Making the decision to run a dog DNA test on your little buddy was a no-brainer, but finding the best one can be difficult. There are a lot of canine genetic testing kits on the market today, and they all look kind of ... the same. But trust us; they're not. Each company uses its own breed database and screens for different health risks. We researched all the kits out there and found the five best dog DNA tests available, so you can get the most accurate results possible.
Embark is praised by many for being the best dog DNA test out there, and we absolutely agree. Their technology was created by expert geneticists and veterinarians from Cornell to give users the most accurate results possible. Embark's database also includes more than 350 dog breeds, plus wild dogs like wolves and coyotes.
Along with your dog's breed info, Embark has a Relative Finder that will connect you with your dog's canine family. Wouldn't that be the cutest playdate ever? But where they really shine is the health analysis. Embark tests for more genetic health risks than most other companies, and this valuable information can help you extend your dog's life. Oh, and did we mention the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show uses these tests? Enough said.
Wisdom Panel has been running the dog DNA game for more than 20 years, and they have a team of veterinarians and experts to back up their results. The brand offers a few different test kits, with the "Essential" being their mid-level choice. It gives your dog's breed plus more than 25 essential health points. These are things like medication sensitivities, hemophilia, or other conditions that are important for you to know so you can advocate for your pup.
Wisdom Panel will screen your dog's DNA against more than 350 different breeds, and they'll determine your dog's mix down to a breed's 1% contribution to your dog's genetic makeup, which is super cool. They're able to do this because they have the world's largest breed database. If you're more interested in the breed aspect of the test rather than the health stuff, Wisdom Panel Essential is the way to go.
Wisdom Panel also offers a Premium panel, which is a step up from their Essential test. You get all the good breed stuff included in the Essential, with the addition of almost 200 more genetic health tests.
If you're between vets right now or can't get in with your dog's doctor for a while, you can enjoy a free consult with a Wisdom Panel veterinarian to go over your results. As a bonus, Wisdom Panel partners with pet-focused charities to help other pets. We love that!
Interested in doing a dog DNA test but don't want to go broke? The Orivet Gen Pet+ test is probably your best bet. Their breed and health test kit is a little less expensive than the rest, but they still have an extensive database for identification. Orivet has been in the genealogy business for more than 10 years, and their leadership in the industry shows.
They screen for just as many breeds, health markers, and traits as most competitors, plus they offer a LifePlan feature that gives you a customized wellness plan for your dog based on all the findings, like their breed and even their environment. The only qualm users have is that their turnaround time is a bit longer than others.
Royal Canin Genetic Health Analysis
You might be familiar with Royal Canin because they're a well-respected name in pet nutrition, but they also have a foot in DNA testing. They offer a test that includes both ancestry and health marker information. And because food is their thing, they also include nutritional guidelines for your dog based on whatever breed or breeds they are.
The Royal Canin Genetic Health Analysis is a test that is run on blood rather than a mouth swab. Does this make the test more accurate? No, not necessarily, because both sample types are equally reliable when collected the right way, but the nice thing is you don't have to worry about any of that. Your vet's office will do all the heavy lifting for you; they'll supply the kit, collect the sample, package it up, and mail it out for you.
Your Dog Deserves It
You're probably only going to do this once, so you want to get the best test kit you can. If you're still not sure which one to get, consider whether you're more concerned about learning your dog's breed breakdown or their health risks. For puppies, you should definitely go with both, so you can do things to help prevent or slow down any conditions you learn they might be at risk for. We both know they're worth it.