The 3 Best Dog DNA Test Kits: Reviewed for 2021

Published: April 11, 2021


This post may contain affiliate links to our partners. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to help us educate about the world’s species so we can all better care for them.

As more pet owners adopt mixed breed dogs many are asking: “What is the best dog DNA test kit?“. Is your companion part terrier or labrador retriever? Want to figure out how to know if your dog is related to a wolf? We do to, so we ordered all of the top dog dna test kits on the market today and after exhaustive research chose the top three.

What makes a breed DNA test important is that it allows you to find out crucial health information regarding your best friend based on his/her breed composition. The test can reveal if your dog is at risk of developing certain gene-specific diseases or disorders. This not only calms your fears about possible health issues your dog might face in the future, it can help you plan for such an occurrence. In some cases, it can help your vet rule out health issues that your dog might have. With the right test, you can have a better understanding of how to keep your dog happy and healthy. 

Of course, not all of these tests are made equal. And they’re certainly not cheap. So, if you’re planning on getting one, you have to make sure that you get the best dog DNA test that suits your particular needs and budget. Below, we compiled a list of tests that we’ve found are the best in the market according to experts and the slobber of several dogs in our midst. 

Sale
Embark | Dog DNA Test | Breed & Health Kit | Breed Identification & Canine Genetic Health Screening
  • BREED IDENTIFICATION: Embark screens for over 350 dog breeds, types, and varieties. Using a research-grade genotyping platform developed in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Embark offers the most accurate breed breakdown on the market.
  • HEALTH SCREENING: Embark tests for 200+ genetic diseases including MDR1 drug sensitivity, glaucoma, degenerative myelopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy, some of the most common adult-onset diseases in dogs. Keep your dog healthier & happier, longer.
  • HIGHEST RATED: Embark's Breed + Health DNA test is the highest rated dog DNA test on Amazon.com.
  • DISCOVER YOUR DOG’S RELATIVES: Find and connect with other dogs that share DNA with yours, including distant and close relatives. Only Embark will give you a percentage of shared DNA between your dog and others that have been tested with Embark.
  • FAST, TRUSTED RESULTS: Built by experts, only Embark is partnered with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and is trusted by veterinary hospitals. Results generally between 2-4 weeks.

The Embark dog DNA test kit is our pick for the best overall dog DNA test in the market today. It was the most comprehensive and accurate test in our trials. The Embark dog dna test kit won our confidence because it analyzes 200,000 genetic markers and compares it to over 350 dog breeds as well as coyotes, wolves, dingoes, and street dogs in its database. One of the AZ Animals staff was surprised to learn that his small dog actually has a mix of Chow and German Shepherd. Physical appearance can really be deceiving. According to Embark, the accuracy of their test is “above 99.99% accuracy for health tests” and 95% to 99% accurate for breed results.

Using the same comprehensive database, Embark also provides you with your dog’s family tree – possible relatives based on his/her genetic makeup. You and, more importantly, your dog will get a chance to connect with other pups who share his/her DNA. You can chat about the special quirks your dogs have in common and even set up a playdate (if they’re willing). 

That’s not all. The kit also tests for over 200 genetic diseases. The report provides you with an explanation of what the results might mean for your dog and what actions you can take. The report also includes an inbreeding score and a list of your dog’s physical traits. By the way, all of the results can be downloaded into a report that you can share with your vet. 

Aside from the depth of information you get, we appreciated how easy the kit was to use; the instructions come complete with pictures. The platform was also easy to navigate, allowing you to quickly read through the various sections of the report.   

While it is the most expensive test in the market, breeders are offered a discount and an interest-free payment plan. Plus, we enjoyed taking the research surveys which are used by Embark to collect additional data to fuel future scientific discoveries.

Obviously, our review team was pretty happy with this test. However, we did hear from some customers that the results sometimes took longer than the promised 2 to 4 weeks. One reported not getting any results for several months. In addition, Embark sends you a number of updates via email, including promotional ones. While this is not necessarily a dealbreaker, it is annoying and something you need to keep in mind before you make your purchase.

Click here to check out Embark Breed and Health Kit at Amazon.com.

Best Dog DNA Test for Health Screening: Wisdom Panel Premium

Sale
Wisdom Panel Premium, New and Improved Dog DNA Test for Comprehensive Health, Traits and Ancestry
  • Use the world's leading dog DNA service: Choose the kit most used by veterinarians to get access to robust ancestry, trait and key health insights every pet parent needs
  • Better science means better care: Become an expert about your canine companion's health with 200+ health tests including vision, weight, mobility, and drug sensitivities like MDR1
  • Get the breed breakdown: Uncover your dog's breed mix down to 1% by testing for 350+ breeds, types, and varieties; Wisdom Panel has tested over 2 million dogs and has the largest dog DNA database
  • Your dog is one-of-a-kind, find out why: Understand what makes your pup so unique with 35+ trait tests revealing the factors behind hair length, ideal weight, muzzle shape, and more
  • Over 2 million dogs tested: Just swab your pup's cheek, send your kit to our lab with the provided pre-paid shipping and you'll get results in 2-4 weeks

The Wisdom Panel Premium is a recently released breed DNA test that is comparable to Embark’s Breed and Health Kit. At a glance, the two tests seem quite similar with the exception of the price. Wisdom Panel prices their kit at $159 which is considerably more affordable than Embark’s retail price of $199. 

Like Embark, Wisdom Panel has accumulated data on more than 350 breeds including coyotes and wolves. However, it only analyzes 100,000 markers which affects its accuracy. While not as precise as Embark, we did see some similarity in the results. Our staff’s test kit picked up the german shepherd in their mixed breed pup, but not the chow.

Now, what makes this dog DNA test better for health screening is that it screens for 211 genetic health conditions including muscular atrophy and sensitivity to medications (MDR1) – the highest number compared to all other tests in the market. The report informs you whether or not your dog is at risk. It also lets you know if your dog is a carrier which is important information if you’re planning to breed him/her. 

Moreover, the Wisdom Panel Premium also tests for medical complications (over 25 of them) which include bleeding disorders. These conditions can cause serious problems during simple, routine procedures like neutering if undetected. The heartbreak that this report can prevent makes the Wisdom Panel kit well worth the cost. 

Click here to check out Wisdom Panel Premium at Amazon.com.

Best Budget-Friendly Breed DNA Test: Wisdom Panel Essential

Sale
Wisdom Panel Essential, New and Improved Dog DNA Test for Ancestry, Traits and Medical Complications
  • Use the world's leading dog DNA service: Uncover your dog’s breed mix down to 1% by testing for 350+ breeds & varieties; Wisdom Panel has tested 2M+ dogs and has the world’s largest dog DNA database
  • The highest rated dog DNA test on Amazon.com: Know what medications and procedures are safe for your canine companion by screening for 25+ medical complications including drug sensitivities like MDR1
  • Every dog has a story: Uncover the ancestry, trait, and key health insights you need as a pet parent to help make your furry family member happy and healthy
  • Your dog is one-of-a-kind, find out why: Understand what makes your pup so unique with 35+ trait tests revealing the factors behind hair length, ideal weight, muzzle shape, and more
  • Swab, send, and smile: Just swab your pup's cheek, send your kit to our lab with the provided pre-paid shipping and you'll get results in 2-4 weeks

Not everyone has the cash to spare. If you have a limited budget and are only interested in the breed makeup of your pup, we recommend that you get the Wisdom Panel Essential. 

For just $100, you still get access to the company’s comprehensive database. In addition th the breed breakdown, you will also get a family tree and trait results which include coat & color as well as body features. You’ll even be provided with an ideal weight range for your dog based on his genetics. 

More importantly, this kit also includes testing for over 25 medical complications which include immune deficiencies, drug sensitivities, and bleeding disorders. That’s more than what other basic kits in the market are offering. So, if you want the most bang for your 100 bucks, we recommend sticking with this one. Just take note that it can be difficult to share the in-depth results because you can only print the summary.

Click here to check out Wisdom Panel Essential at Amazon.com.

What to Look for in a Dog DNA Test Kit: The Essentials

To choose which is the best dog DNA test for you, you need to consider the following factors:

Depth

What’s your reason for testing your dog’s DNA? The answer to that question should help you determine whether to get a basic or premium test. If you’re just curious about your rescue’s breed, then a basic test will do. But if you want to learn about potential health risks, genetic mutations, and carrier status, you’ll need to purchase a breed DNA test that includes those results in their analysis.

Speed 

Most, if not all, dog DNA kits promise delivery of results within 2 to 6 weeks. However, some of them may test your patience. Don’t forget to factor this when you’re considering your purchase, especially if you need to get the results as soon as possible.

Precision

The most important factor you need to consider when choosing a dog DNA test is accuracy, especially if you want to get insight on the potential health problems that your dog may face in the future. Some companies state that their tests’ accuracy is nearly 100%. Others are considered to be only 90% accurate.

PROSCONS
Database of over 350 breeds, types, and varietiesVery expensive
Uses 200,000 genetic markersDelayed results
Easy to useLots of promotional emails
Tests for 200+ genetic diseases
Family tree and relative finder
Lots of raw data
Offers discounts to breeders
Downloadable report and shareable platform
PROSCONS
Database of over 350 breeds, types, and varieties including those found outside the USDifficult to share data with others (only prints summary report)
Easy to useOnly uses 100,000 genetic markers
Screens for 211 genetic mutations
Tests for over 25 medical complications
Provides family tree
Identifies 35+ traits
Includes genetic diversity
Includes free phone/online consultation with a vet
PROSCONS
– Database of over 350 breeds, types, and varieties including those found outside the US– Difficult to share data with others
– Identifies 35+ traits– Only uses 100,000 genetic markers
– Includes family tree– Does not screen for genetic mutations and carrier status
– Screens for 25+ medical complications– Does not include genetic diversity
– Prints summary report only

Last update on 2021-10-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Latest Product Reviews