Our pets are extremely close to our hearts, however, many of us don’t know their origins or their genetic roots. Some of our furry friends come from breeders, but many also come from shelters. This leaves us with little to no trace of their genetic background or any idea of their true breed. However, dog DNA testing alleviates this issue by providing answers for everybody regarding their tiny family member.
When people think of genetic testing for dogs, some believe the process to involve complex scientific procedures taking months to find your, pet’s results, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Dog DNA test kits can be purchased online or at your local Target or Walmart and the results only take weeks to receive. Simply swab the inside of your dog’s cheek with the provided cotton swab and start learning more about your pooch in a few weeks.
What Does DNA Testing Reveal?
Percentage Breakdown of Breeds
Genetic summaries are included in the results and will show you the breed percentage breakdown of your furry little friend. Purebreds will be uniform 100% across the board but mutts or mixed dogs may have up to eight different breeds within them! With new breeds popping up every day, it’s no wonder why the numbers continue to grow every year.
The genetic testing kit will also delve generations deep into your, dog’s parents, grandparents and great grandparents! It’ll also show you their breed breakdowns, so you can see where your doggo came from, no matter how far back it stretches. Dog DNA testing kits, such as HomeDNA and Embark test for more than 250 dog breeds in their database.
Paternal and Maternal Lines
This feature shows the location of your dog’s ancestors from more than 15,000 years ago! It traces your pet’s ancestors from across the world and provides an in-depth description of their ancestor’s lineage and history. Locations are narrowed down to continents and even specific countries where your canine’s predecessors once roamed.
Detecting Hereditary Diseases
This gives owners and breeders a heads-up of possible conditions their dogs could face in the future so they can best plan for a course of action. Knowing what diseases may be on the horizon can decrease the health costs you face in the future by allowing your vet to proactively defend against the disease. For example, the Embark dog DNA test accounts for more than 165 genetic health issues for dogs.
- Hip Dysplasia
- Urinary Bladder Stones
- Heart Disease
- Allergic Skin Disease
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
Last but certainly not least, some dog genetic testing kits even offer the option to find your pet’s exact relatives. This feature goes beyond the stereotypical family tree and allows you to view your pooch’s relatives. The Embark DNA test kit even allows you to chat and message others who share DNA with your dog so you can connect for the next canine family reunion!
How do DNA Tests Work?
Many of us are familiar with DNA ancestry kits for humans, but few have ever had the pleasure of using one for their pet. Some might think that genetic testing requires a blood test from your vet but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You simply swab the inside of your dog’s mouth and mail the swab to the lab address for scientists to test the DNA.
DNA Testing Process
- Order the genetic testing kit online
- Receive the kit one week later
- Activate your kit on the website with your dog’s profile
- Swab the inside of your dog’s cheek
- Seal the swab in a pre-paid envelope
- Ship it back to the lab for DNA testing
- Wait 2-4 weeks for the lab results
- View and analyze your results online
With all the different DNA kits available for your pooch, you’ll be able to find one that fits your wants and needs in no time!
The Cost of Dog DNA Testing
Genetic testing kits for dogs range from $70 for the least comprehensive, to $190 for the most encompassing kit. Embark and Wisdom Panel are by far and away the best rated DNA tests for dogs on the market today, therefore they’re obviously the most expensive, but not all kits have to burn a hole in your wallet.
If you’re agnostic about the features other than finding your pet’s genetic makeup, look no further than cheaper dog testing kits that don’t go into as much detail as Embark or Wisdom Panel. Tests like Find My Pet DNA can run as low as $70 for basic genetic info and hereditary diseases about your furry little friend.
But for the sake of the best tests, let’s take an in-depth look at the top two.
Embark is the official dog DNA test of the Westminster Kennel Club, the organization who organizes the Westminster Dog Show on an annual basis. It’s even consistently rated the #1 Dog DNA test throughout many reputable websites, such as the Huffington Post and the Canine Journal, along with happy countless customer reviews.
Features of Embark
- Tests for more than 250 breeds
- Family tree dating back to great-grandparents
- Screens for over 170 hereditary health conditions
- Connect with your dog’s relatives via online chat
- Results determined in 2-4 weeks
All these enhanced features are possible because Embark works with scientists from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Without the help of the students of Cornell, this DNA testing wouldn’t be possible.
Because Embark is consistently rated the best dog DNA test, the cost of their dog genetic testing reflects that. Their all-encompassing Breed + Health Kit is going to run you $199, with a special $10 discount for their Breed ID Kit costing just $129 only until 8/31/19!
In terms of features, Wisdom Panel is surprisingly ahead of Embark on the number of breeds they cover but behind on the health conditions associated with your pet. However, they fall behind Embark in terms of the enhanced features they offer in their kit.
- Tests for over 350 breeds
- Screens for more than 150 genetic health conditions
- Future adult weight and Body Condition Score
- Ancestry percentage chart and tree
- Physical and behavioral traits
The other nice thing about Wisdom Panel is their pricing system; they also offer two different products with limited differences. The Health test is their top-of-the-line solution for around $150 but their 4.0 test is only $84.99 which includes everything from the Health test, other than the health disease screening.
- WISDOM PANEL 4.0: $84.99
- WISDOM PANEL Health: $149.99
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