Dogs are incredibly lovable creatures and pretty much any dog owner wants to know as much as they can about their pet. Dog DNA tests are a great way to learn more about your dog. These tests can give you details on your pet’s genetic makeup and they’re easy to use. They can also help identify any health issues that your dog might have.
Conducting a DNA test on your dog sounds pretty complicated. However, DNA tests are really simple and the benefits of conducting one on your dog are many. Dogs are fragile animals, they have short lifespans and the slightest problem in their DNA can become a major issue in the future. DNA abnormalities have become all too common in dog breeds. This is due to the fact that many dog breeds have been subjected to excessive selective breeding. A DNA test can alert you to any shortcomings or abnormalities that may be present in your dog. This lets you make preparations for the right kind of healthcare. Preventive healthcare is often the best (and affordable) way to keep your pet healthy and happy.
Along with identifying potential health issues, DNA tests can also identify your pet’s bloodline purity. This makes DNA tests especially popular among people who are into designer and pedigree breeds.
What Does a DNA Test Do?
As its name suggests, this test provides in-depth information on a dog’s heredity. In order to conduct this test, you either need your dog’s saliva or blood. The type of bodily fluid that you need to obtain from your pet depends on what kind of test kit you are using. DNA tests that require blood provide accurate and more detailed information. However, you cannot use these tests on your own since you need the help of a vet to draw blood. Saliva kits are simple, but their accuracy can be reduced by any contaminants that might be present in your dog’s mouth.
For most people, a saliva based dog DNA test kit is a good option. Blood based test kits are usually used when you want very specific information about your pet’s DNA.
How to Use a DNA Test Kit?
DNA test kits are painfully easy to use. All you have to do is buy one that you like and then collect a sample from your dog. Most dog DNA kits come with detailed instructions that tell you what to do. Test kits that require saliva involve using a cotton cheek swab to obtain saliva from a dog’s cheek. After collecting your sample, you place it in a container that comes with the test kit. Finally, you mail the container to the company in a provided pre-paid envelope and wait. Your test results are then shared with you in a few weeks’ time. The process for blood tests is quite similar. The only difference being that you take the kit to a vet rather than try to gather a sample by yourself.
Things to Look For in a DNA Test
Every DNA test company breaks down the details of your results differently. Some companies only offer the basic information. Others offer more in-depth information, such as whether your dog is purebred or not.
There are a handful of factors that determine a company’s ability to conduct accurate DNA tests. The size of a company’s breed database determines its ability to offer precise results. If a company’s dog breed database is smaller than your pet’s DNA sample, then their results aren’t going to be accurate enough.
The complexity of a company’s dog DNA testing process should also be considered. If a company only gives you generalized data then their test results will not be useful to you. You must find a company that conducts various kinds of screening to produce in-depth data. The more a company digs into your dog’s DNA, the more information they can give you.
The reputation of a company in terms of test result accuracy and delivery time should never be overlooked. DNA test results can be pricey, so you want to make sure that you get your money’s worth. You also don’t want to wait for ridiculously long periods of time to get your results. A decent company will deliver your results to you within 3 weeks. However, sometimes it can take longer depending on the sample size of your dog’s DNA.
Here are some of the best dog DNA tests that you can find at the moment. To keep things simple, we are only going to discuss tests that require saliva. Blood tests aren’t recommended for use at home. Their usage should only be considered after consulting a vet.
Embark Dog DNA Test
- Embark Dog DNA test can detect more than 200,000 genetic indicators and more than 160 different diseases. Embark’s test kit will also find your dog’s ancestry results and its breed identification.
- The company provides you with frequent email updates which make the long waiting time bearable.
- Results are very detailed and accurate as well.
- This test kit can detect sensitivity to drugs (MDR1), PRA blindness, and a variety of other diseases as well.
- Embark has a great reputation, their users are quite pleased with their results.
- The test is quite expensive.
- It takes around 3 to 7 weeks to get your results.
IdentiBreed Complete Dog Test
- Made specifically to provide accurate medical information about your dog. It can detect up to 160 health conditions and up to 125 types of food sensitivity.
- You get to enjoy satisfactory customer service throughout the testing period.
- Great for people who want to identify allergies and health conditions in their pet.
- The company keeps its customers happy. They have good customer support and their results are satisfactory as well.
- The waiting period is long. You will have to wait around 4 weeks for your results.
Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test
- The Wisdom Panel Canine DNA test kit can be used with more than 250 breeds. It is also the only official DNA Test in the USA that can screen dogs for MDR1 drug sensitivity.
- The Wisdom Panel’s wide range of dog breed compatibility makes it a great option for breed testing.
- Licensed MDR1 sensitivity test. Meaning that you can be absolutely certain that the results that you get are correct.
- The results come in quite fast; within 3 weeks’ time.
- The Wisdom Panel test can determine ancestry results of up to three generations.
- Wisdom Panel presents results in a complicated way. People who are unfamiliar with dog DNA testing find it hard to read and understand.
- The results often fail to accurately identify mixed breeds.
Orivet Dog DNA Test
- This DNA test helps owners understand their dog’s dietary limitations better. It identifies food allergies accurately.
- Results also provide a list of dietary and physical activity recommendations with the results.
- Every result comes with a customized recommendations list. This list can help improve your dog’s health and make preventive care easier.
- The cotton swabs that come with this test have an extra-long stick. This makes it easier to obtain a sample from your dog.
- The company has a good reputation.
- Results can take a while to reach you.
- The test is expensive. Customers have complained that its breed identification isn’t as accurate.
DNA My Dog
- DNA My Dog is a great overall choice. It helps you identify your dog’s breed and any health issues that it might have.
- DNA My Dog also helps you figure out your pet’s temperament based on its breed and test results.
- Results offer a nice overall profile of your dog. This makes DNA My Dog a great DNA kit for first time dog owners wanting to learn more about their pet.
- The results come within 2 to 3 weeks and the company’s customer support is helpful as well.
- The test kit’s breed database is very limited, it can only test up to 84 breeds.
These were all the best dog DNA test kits out there. Now before you order one for your dog, keep one thing in mind. Before taking a sample from your dog, you should make sure that their mouth is free of any contaminants. These could include food debris, excess plaque due to bad dental hygiene or even dirt. Give your dog some water to drink, or better yet, give them a dental chew toy. This can clean out their mouth and prevent any other substance from affecting the accuracy of their DNA test.