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Good, better, best: Dog DNA kits worth the investment

In recent years, DNA testing kits for people have boomed in popularity, especially for folks who don’t know their ethnic background. But did you know you can test your dog’s DNA as well? With any one of the best dog DNA tests, you’ll be able to identify any breeds that make up your dog’s unique genetics. Who knows what you might discover! Here are our favorites:

a brown and white dog lies on the floor
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Good: Wisdom Panel Essential Breed Identification DNA Test for Dogs

Breeds, ancestry, and genetics-based medical information? Sign us up! The Wisdom Panel Essential Breed Identification DNA kit will match up your dog’s genetics with over 350 listed breeds, including breed varieties and types that you don’t normally think about. Your pup’s ancestry will be traced back to his great-grandparents, so you can learn even more about his family history and genetic makeup. You’ll even learn about any predispositions for medical issues and unique physical characteristics!

Here’s why we love it:

  • This kit uses a database of over 1.7 million dogs to match DNA to breeds and types as accurately as possible.
  • Results usually available in three weeks
  • Includes medical complication risk assessment
  • Traces your pup’s ancestry back to great-grandparents
  • See what physical traits and weight ranges are ideal for your pet

Better: Orivet Dog DNA Test

With this genetic testing kit, you simply swab your dog’s cheek and send his sample in a prepaid envelope — so easy! In just a few weeks, you’ll receive an online report that includes his breed makeup, health risk analysis, and even a comprehensive life plan that outlines nutrition and vaccination needs. What else could you ask for?

Some key features:

  • Complete breed makeup including percentages of each breed
  • Sign up for routine medical alerts (vaccination due dates and more)
  • Discover genetic health risks and make a care plan
  • Learn about genetic variables to your dog’s behavior
  • Access records from your computer or phone

Best: Embark Breed Identification Kit

If you’re looking for the most accurate and extensive canine DNA kit, look no further! With over 350 breeds to test from (check out the full list here) and the pros at Cornell University behind the science, you’re truly getting the best from Embark.

While this test doesn’t include health information as is, it can easily be added on for an extra charge. Here’s what does come free, though: the world’s only canine relative finder, which will connect your pup with any others who share a significant amount of his DNA.

Here’s what we love:

  • All DNA used for these tests is given to researchers at Cornell University to help advance veterinary science.
  • Twenty trait tests in addition to ancestry and breed results
  • This test uses over 200,000 genetic markers to match with breeds and traits.
  • Test results returned to you in two to four weeks
  • Doggy DNA Relative Finder is the only one in the world.

Whichever kit you decide on, you can expect a few things no matter what. All tests use a simple cheek swab to gather DNA data, so all you really need to do is swab your pup’s mouth and send the swab in the included envelope. You’ll always get results relevant to your dog’s breed and ancestry, though added features like health assessments and family connections are extra. In the end, it all comes down to what kind of information you’re looking for. With these top-notch tests, though, you really can’t go wrong!

Editors' Recommendations

Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
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