DNA test kits for dogs are known for not being cheap. In fact, their price point makes them off-limits for many dog owners. These tests are expensive, but they can provide you with a slew of priceless information about your dog. Still, not everyone is ready to empty their wallets for something that often doesn’t even seem reliable. This is why in our review, we’ve picked the most affordable and decently reliable test kit that is currently available.
You have to keep in mind that being the most affordable DNA test does comes with a few catches. DNA My Dog is a barebones test kit that only provides basic DNA information. It should be considered as a gateway test kit for people who want to see what these kits do. Or it can be used by people who simply want to have an interesting experience as they learn more about their pet. This kit isn’t made for people who want serious information on their dog’s ancestry. Neither will we recommend it to someone who’s looking for a DNA test for medical purposes.
Using The Test Kit
Before you take a sample of your dog and ship it to the kit provider, you’d want to register your test kit first. DNA My Dog’s process is purely digital after you’ve shipped the sample to them. This means that in order to track your test’s progress and get your results, you need to provide the company with some way of staying in touch with you. The first thing that you need to do is sign up on DNA My Dog’s website with an existing email. Then, you register your test kit to that email account. Doing so ensures that you’ll be able to receive information about your test throughout the process.
DNA My Dog offers hybrid DNA testing, health plan screenings, and even an option for performing a DNA test for a deceased dog. However, all of these options will cost you extra. If you go for all of them, then this test kit’s price can go up to $188. At this price point, you can purchase more reliable test kits that offer all of these services without extra cost.
The DNA collection process is pretty standard. The testing kit comes in an envelope that contains two sterile swabs, an instruction sheet, and a return envelope. The envelope is already paid for, which is a bonus. The instruction sheet guides you through the entire collection and mailing process.
To collect a DNA sample, start by making sure that your dog hasn’t had anything to eat for at least 30 minutes. This ensures that there aren’t any potential contaminants in your dog’s mouth. Take a cotton cheek swab and roll it around your dog’s gums and cheeks for about 20 seconds. Do this with both the swabs and then place them in the return envelope. You’re supposed to leave the return envelope unsealed for around 30 minutes after placing the swabs. This lets them become air dry and ready for shipping. You can expect to wait for two weeks before the test samples reach the company.
DNA My Dog also offers a blood-based DNA test option. However, this option requires you to involve your vet for drawing blood and also costs an additional $20.
You can keep track of whether your test samples have reached the company or not through their website. Once they reach them, it takes around two weeks to get your results. These results get emailed to you on the provided email address without prior notice. You can expect your results to come with three documents.
The first is a novelty certificate that displays your dog’s genetic makeup. The second is a more detailed document that covers all the genetic and ancestry findings on your dog. You can find information about your canine’s breed purity and their health conditions. The third document provides you with more or less the same information but in greater depth.
The test results show a fair amount of consistency. Even when the same dog is tested multiple times, you get the same findings. Bits of data do become a bit skewed. However, at this price point, this much should be expected. You can discuss these test results with your vet or with the company’s customer support. A disappointing thing about DNA My Dog is that they don’t offer any findings on genetic mutations. There are some DNA testing kits out there that are cheaper and offer insight on genetic mutations. Then again, DNA My Dog’s DNA tests aren’t the most accurate and shouldn’t be relied on for more serious findings anyway.
DNA My Dog’s way of displaying breed information seems a bit off. They don’t make use of a family tree diagram that makes it easier to visualize your dog’s breed makeup. Also, instead of displaying identified breeds in precise percentages, their test results attribute “levels” to every breed found. For example; instead of saying that a dog is 75% lab and 25% Pitbull, you’ll be told that it’s a level 1 lab and level 5 Pitbull. This seems like a convenient way to cover up inaccurate data.
If you check out DNA My Dog on Amazon, you’ll see that around 50% of people are happy with its results. The test seems to have an easy time analyzing common purebred dogs. Even mixed breeds that aren’t true mutts and have simple family trees are identified with acceptable accuracy. Customers are also happy with the kit’s result delivery time.
DNA My Dog gets a bad reputation when it comes to identifying mildly complex mixed dog breeds. Since the kit has a small breed database, it can only identify a select number of dogs. Also, many customers complain about their breed identification feeling incomplete or misleading. In most cases, DNA My Dog manages to provide breed identification with around 75% accuracy. Also, there are a few customers that complain about their results coming in very late.
Overall, DNA My Dog is an average DNA test kit. It provides dog breed identification with an okay level of precision. You don’t get any information on your dog’s genetic health. If you’ve previously used other DNA test kits, then you may feel that their test results are lacking. Also, the way information is presented leaves plenty of space for improvement.
This dog DNA test will feel like a gimmick to enthusiasts and canine experts. However, at its price point, one should keep in mind that it isn’t targeted at the former or the latter. DNA My Dog can be considered as an entry level test for people who simply want to identify their dog. If you’ve rescued a pup in the wild or adopted a mixed breed dog, then you can use the DNA My Dog breed database to learn a bit about its background.
It definitely isn’t the best dog DNA Test out there. However, it provides people with a breed identification test that gets the job done (most of the times) and doesn’t cost too much.