Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The best dog DNA tests to find out your furry friend’s true breed

America is known as the great melting pot. Most of us have mixed ancestry, and with the availability of at-home DNA kits, learning more about our heritage has never been easier. If you’ve ever wondered whether the Greene side of the family comes from England, Ireland, Scotland, or Wales, finding out is as easy as choosing a company, sending in a DNA sample, and accessing your results online. But did you know you can do the same with your dog? If you’ve ever adopted a pup of questionable origin, now you can find out your fur baby’s true breed as easily as you can learn your family’s genetic background. Let’s take a look at the best dog DNA tests to find the perfect match for your pooch. 

Four dogs looking down from a concrete wall.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The best dog DNA tests

Whether you’ve adopted a mixed-breed dog or taken in a shelter dog, knowing your pup’s genetic makeup can do more than just tell you what percentage of each breed helped create your dear dog. Just like human DNA tests, many canine DNA tests will provide valuable information about your pup – like breed-specific health conditions – and help you determine the best diet for your beloved pooch. Which is the best DNA test for your dog? Here are our top picks. 

#1: Embark Breed Identification & Health Condition Identification DNA Test for Dogs

Nothing is more important to you than your pet’s health, and this DNA test from Embark screens for 210 genetic health risks. Because it was developed in partnership with the prestigious Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, you know you can trust the results. All you have to do is take a quick swab of your pup’s cheek, send in the sample, then Embark will analyze the sample using over 200,000 genetic markers. Not only will you uncover potential health risk factors, but you’ll also learn your pup’s breed. Embark traces their lineage going back to their great-grandparents. Embark has genetic data for over 350 breeds, and it can even help your pooch find his relatives in just 2-4 weeks. 

Two dogs looking up into the camera.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

#2: Wisdom Panel Essential, New and Improved Dog DNA Test for Ancestry, Traits, and Medical Complications

If you’re curious about your dog’s breed but want to avoid spending a small fortune on the results, Wisdom Panel Essential is probably your best bet. Wisdom Panel has tested over two million dogs and boasts the largest dog DNA database in the world. All it takes is a painless cheek swab, and within 2-4 weeks you’ll know your pup’s breed mix. Wisdom Panel’s test is so accurate it can determine breed percentages down to a single percent, and the database houses genetic data for over 350 dog breeds and varieties. Additionally, the test screens for over 25 medical complications, which can help you discover any medication sensitivities and even determine which medical procedures are safe for your pup. And it screens for 35 unique traits, which can determine everything from your pup’s ideal weight to why his muzzle is shaped the way it is. 

#3: Embark Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets Canine Genetic Health Screening & Genetic Diversity Score

Does your dog look exactly like every other golden retriever you’ve ever met? While there’s a good chance that he is a purebred golden, this test from Embark can identify more breeds and varieties with greater accuracy than other commercially available genetic tests. Embark’s test allows you to validate your pup’s breed, reveals any inbreeding – sadly a common issue with purebreds – and evaluates over 200,000 genetic markers to help you learn more about your pet’s health. Worried about breed-specific conditions? Embark can help you learn what to look for. The test screens for over 210 genetic health risks, such as cardiomyopathy, glaucoma, MDR1 drug sensitivity, and more. Collect a DNA sample by swabbing your fur baby’s cheek, send the sample off to Embark’s lab, and you’ll receive the results within 2-4 weeks.  

Four puppies behind a wooden fence.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Take the guesswork out of your dog’s breed

Guesstimating your dog’s breed based on their appearance is a thing of the past thanks to these in-home DNA test kits. If you’ve ever wondered where your pup gets their unique coloring, now you can find out in a matter of weeks. These tests can also provide you with crucial information regarding your beloved fur baby’s health, allowing you to keep an eye out for conditions they may be predisposed to developing later in life. Best of all, collecting a sample is easy for you and completely painless for your dog. 

Editors' Recommendations

Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson is a writer and photographer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has been published in PawTracks and…
The Best Dog Stairs for Your Furry Friend to Get Around
A Dachshund climbing up a dog stair

There's no denying the popularity of trendy pet products. One such product is the aptly named dog stair. These aren't silly items, but a tool for safety and convenience. Dog stairs cater to any dog that may experience accessibility issues around the house. Senior dogs, short dogs, or dogs with physical disabilities can all benefit from help reaching high places.

Dog stairs should be lightweight and easy to move around your house to lead into your bed, couch, or car. Here is a list of our favorite dog stairs.

Read more
Everything to know about the adorable Yorkie dog and its characteristics
Do Yorkie dogs make good pets? Here's everything you need to know
A cute Yorkie on the floor

Whether you're a canine pro or new to the dog world, Yorkshire terriers are one of the most recognizable dog breeds. Maybe it’s their teeny-tiny size, their brown and black markings, or the numerous celebs like Kristin Cavallari and Giselle Bundchen who have allowed their Yorkie dogs to ride in their designer handbags. But whatever it is -- no one's questioning these cuties' recognizability.

As you may have guessed, parenting a Yorkie dog can be a rewarding experience. Small in stature, this breed boasts a massive personality. However, Yorkies also have a big (and sometimes bad) reputation. Despite their tiny size, they’re known as rather vocal dogs and considered high-maintenance pets. While some of these claims are unfair, others have some truth.

Read more
These national parks are stunning in the fall – and allow your dog to visit, too
These 4 beautiful national parks have pet-friendly attractions
Couple looking at map on fall trail with dog.

With cooler fall temperatures just around the corner, pet parents dream of taking their dogs on long outdoor adventures. Some might even be planning pet-friendly getaways. Autumn is certainly a wonderful time to get outside and enjoy nature, and where better to do this than in a U.S. national park? Many of these wonderful parks are pet-friendly. Here we highlight four national parks that are incredible in the fall and perfect for both of you.

Are dogs allowed in national parks?
The good news is that most national parks do allow pets in some areas and under certain conditions. Only a few deny pets in all parts of the park — so you can easily plan an outing or vacation for you and your four-legged friend. However, it's important to follow the rules, especially when it comes to hiking and wildlife. The National Park Service uses the acronym B.A.R.K. to sum up the four basic principles you should follow while in the parks with your pets. It stands for:

Read more