Don’t know the genetic makeup of your mutt? You don’t need to visit a vet to find out, you can do it at home!
Knowing your dog’s mixed breeds will be beneficial to you. That way, you could understand what works out the best for your pup and what to look out for.
Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Table of Contents
- Our Top 3 Picks for the Best Dog DNA Tests at a Low Price
- 2 More Interesting Picks
- How Does It Work?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Our Top 3 Picks for the Best Dog DNA Tests at a Low Price
There aren’t a lot of choices to pick from. Nonetheless, here are the top ones.
Embark Identification Results Genetic Markers
This is different from the other tests. I’m not only talking about how accurate or how easy it is to use, but I’m also talking about how you could connect with other dog owners. After your results are in, Embark will connect you to the owners of your dog’s relatives. That way, you could arrange playdates and have dogs meet each other.
There are tests and surveys that you could participate in. They’ll ask you general questions about your dog.
According to the advice Embark gives you, you can tweak your dog’s routine to make it healthier.
Using the DNA test is a breeze. You have to do only one swab of the mouth. The swabs are gentle and will not irritate your dog. Instructions are clear and easy to follow, you’ll find them on the package.
- HUNDREDS OF ACTIONABLE HEALTH INSIGHTS: 75% of dogs are either at risk or a carrier for a genetic health condition. Embark's panel tests 210+ health risks and provides hundreds of actionable insights to help you give your pup the best care possible. After receiving their test results, 37% of dog owners changed how they care for their dog.
- BREED ID THAT'S TWICE AS PRECISE: Embark tests over 220,000 genetic markers, twice as many as the next competitor. We also screen for 350+ dog breeds, more than any other dog DNA test. This means Embark's test is the most accurate and scientifically advanced on the market.
- HIGHEST RATED & MOST TRUSTED: Embark is the highest rated dog DNA brand on Amazon.com with over 16,000 5-star reviews. Only Embark uses research-grade data and is partnered with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. In a blind study, dog owners rated Embark as the most trusted dog DNA test.
- DISCOVER RELATIVES, TRAITS, AND MORE: Find and connect with your pup's family through the world’s only canine relative finder. Over 90% of dogs tested by Embark have a close relative, like a cousin, and 12% discover a direct family member. Plus, get genetic info on 35+ physical traits, such as POMC, the 'always-hungry' gene.
- EXCELLENT SERVICE & FAST RESULTS: Have a question about your results? Just talk to one of our dedicated vets or geneticists — they’re ready with the answer. Embark generally delivers results in 2-4 weeks and keep you updated every step of the way.
What We Like
- 250 dog breeds included
- 175+ genetic diseases included in tests
- Highest rated test
- Results in 2 to 4 weeks
- Could connect with dog’s relatives
What We Don’t Like
- Most expensive choice
Wisdom Panel Health Canine Genetic
This kit has, by far, the biggest dog breeds database. The chances that you’ll find your dog’s breed is higher than other DNA test kits. However, it takes much more energy to do so.
You have to swab your dog’s cheeks three times. Unfortunately, most dogs won’t take kindly to this. It may be hard to control your dog for the duration of the process because it won’t let you work in peace. On top of that, the swabs are toothbrush-like. This allows for better sampling but may irritate the dog’s cheeks.
You can choose to check your dog’s breed only, the possible genetic health conditions only, or both. Those different options come with different prices. So you can suffice your curiosity about the breed only without getting into health conditions.
- DOG DNA HEALTH TESTING KIT: Our results feature an extensive genetic health Screening For 150+ conditions, breed detection with a family tree going back three generations & extensive breed info, predicted weight profile & genetic trait analysis.
- THREE SIMPLE STEPS: Simply collect your dog’s DNA with a cheek swab, activate your kit online & send your kit to the lab with pre-paid shipping. You’ll receive our genetic analysis of your dog’s ancestry & breed IDENTIFICATION in as little as 2 weeks.
- BENEFITS OF DNA ANALYSIS: genetic testing can help you identify breeds & specific health issues that may be important to the wellbeing of your dog. Work with your veterinarian & use your results to develop training, nutrition & long-term healthcare plans.
- BEST IN SHOW: Wisdom Health is the world’s leading DNA test for dogs. With Screening For 150+ genetic health conditions as well as 350+ breeds, types and varieties, we’ve got your furry family members covered from nose to tail. Some customers may receive kits with older packaging that still refers to 250+ breeds; rest assured that your test will be automatically upgraded to the current 350+ breeds, types, and varieties analysis.
- DISCOVER MORE ABOUT YOUR DOG: DNA analysis unlocks a brand new World of dna-based insights that may help you understand your dog’s unique appearance, behaviors, and Wellness needs.
What We Like
- 350 dog breeds available
- Includes 2 swabs
- 150+ genetic health conditions
- The health screening is optional
What We Don’t Like
- Could irritate dog’s gums
- Tiresome sampling process
DNA My Dog – Canine Breed Identification Test Kit
This is the most inexpensive dog breed identification kit on the list. The kit includes two cotton swabs that you’ll use to collect DNA samples from your dog’s inner cheeks. Then, use the envelope that’s included in the kit to mail the samples to the lab.
In two weeks, you’re going to get your results, along with a certificate with your dog’s picture on it. It’s nothing serious though, you can stick it on your fridge.
The only downside is that the database is smaller than with the other tests. Thus, your results may not be accurate. This test is great if you’re on a budget or just doing this for fun.
- Simple, at-home canine breed DNA test, east to administer
- Highest Accuracy, up to 99.997% accuracy
- Results in 2 weeks or less upon receipt of your dog's sample
What We Like
- Fast turn-around time
- The most budget-friendly option
- Health screening is optional
- Life plan service for canines
What We Don’t Like
- A database of only 100 breeds
- Cheap packaging
2 More Interesting Picks
If you’re doing this for fun or curiosity, then you might favor a cheap kit over a premium one. Here are 2 options tailored to this case.
Embark Breed Identification Kit
Similar to the other Embark product we’ve mentioned, this dog DNA test kit is accurate because it has a database of 250 dog breeds. The only difference is that this is a breed test only.
In other words, this test will not show genetic diseases or disorders. That may make it obvious why it’s cheaper than the Embark Identification Results Genetic Markers.
- BREED DISCOVERY: Embark screens for over 350 dog breeds, types, and varieties. Using a research-grade genotyping platform developed in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Embark offers the most accurate breed breakdown on the market.
- MOST ACCURATE: In mixed breed dogs, Embark can precisely detect breed contributions down to 5% of the total breed make. This makes Embark’s product more than twice as precise as other tests on the market that can only detect breed contributions of 12% or more.
- DISCOVER YOUR DOG’S RELATIVES: Find and connect with other dogs that share DNA with yours. Only Embark will give you a percentage of shared DNA between your dog and others that have been tested with Embark. Doggy DNA Relative Finder included with purchase.
- FAST & EASY: Simple cheek swab. Results generally available online in 2-4 weeks.
- UPGRADE ANYTIME: Solved your breed mystery but now want to know if your pup is at risk for 200+ genetic health conditions? Upgrade your Embark account at any time to get your dog's genetic health report — no additional swabs or kits needed. Upgrade equivalent to buying the Embark Breed + Health kit.
Canine Genetic Age Test DNA My Dog NEXTGEN
This is simply the basic DNA My Dog – Canine Breed Identification Test Kit, but with the genetic age feature added. You can choose to buy the regular DNA My Dog Kit and pay more money to find out your dog’s genetic age. However, this product has that cost covered in its price already.
Unfortunately, this test doesn’t provide the most accurate results. That may be due to its small database of breeds.
How Does It Work?
Results don’t just magically appear on the swab after you collect your dog’s DNA. First, you need to make sure that you collect a good sample that they can use at the lab. In order to do that, you need to make sure of several things. At least 2 hours prior to the test your dog shouldn’t
- Come in contact with other dogs
- Eat or drink
Basically, anything that might interfere with the sample in any way.
Then, you should follow directions on the package. Most will instruct you to swab your dog’s cheeks for 20 seconds to 1 minute. If your dog is feisty and doesn’t like being forced to do something, be prepared with a handful of treats. Just don’t give them to your dog before you collect your sample.
After you mail the company your sample, they analyze it. It takes a while, maybe a couple of weeks. After they’re done, they’ll send you back a report on your dog. This report may include
- Parents and ancestry
- Breed or breed’s mix
- Medical conditions that may occur
- Possible allergies
- Conspicuous traits
You get to know your puppy inside out, literally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are these tests accurate?
Those tests try as much as they can to be so. The estimated accuracy is between 95 to 99%. In my opinion, that’s as accurate as it gets.
Does the sampling process hurt my dog?
Simply, no. We’ve mentioned that the toothbrush-like swab may irritate the dog’s gums a little bit, but that’s about it. The process itself doesn’t cause harm, although it may make it very uncomfortable.
Are DNA tests worth it?
If you feel like you’re doing things wrong or just generally not providing your dog with the lifestyle they need, then yes. This test will help you determine what works out the best for your pet.
By using a dog DNA test, you get to know your pup better than before. It’ll possibly make you change the way you feed it or how long you take it out for a walk. Those changes are for the best, they will benefit your dog tremendously.