Table of Contents
- How They Work
- The Pros And Cons Of Embark
- The Pros And Cons Of Wisdom Panel
- Which Dog DNA Test Is Most Accurate?
- What Breeds Does Embark Test For?
- What Breeds Does Wisdom Panel Test For?
- Can You Buy Embark Or Wisdom Panel At Your Local Petsmart, Petco, Or Pet Store?
- Can You Do Them Yourself Or Does Your Vet Need To Do It?
How They Work
Both Embark and Wisdom Panel use the DNA found in your dog’s saliva for their analysis. Running it through their system, they’re able to tell you several different aspects of your dog based on their DNA. This information can be used to shed some light on their genetic background. For example, it can tell you what breeds make up your dog.
You may think that your dog is just a lab, but it may actually have other breeds in it as well.
Another benefit of using Embark and Wisdom Panel is that it can make you aware of potential genetic diseases. If you plan on breeding your dog, then knowing if it’s a carrier for a disease is crucial. It can also help you raise your dog in such a way as to prevent certain diseases from occurring.
The Pros And Cons Of Embark
The positives of Embark is that it tests for over 200 genetic diseases. According to their official site, their database now lists over 200 diseases that they can test for with your dog’s DNA. They also offer tons of information on the breeds that may make up your dog. You can read more about the breeds to help determine certain behavioral traits that exist in your dog.
Another great aspect of Embark is that the collection of saliva is gentle. They use a cotton ball-like tool that is gently rubbed into the saliva of your dog. This ensures your dog isn’t injured or scratched during the collection process.
It does take a few more steps for the sample to be processed. You need to place it in the tube after you’re done and shake it before sending it off. If you don’t read the decorations thoroughly, then there’s a good chance you might miss a step and do it wrong.
Considering that Embark is quite expensive, the bad part, you don’t want to make a mistake. Another negative aspect of Embark is the time it takes to do the analysis. While they state on their site that their analysis now takes 2-4 weeks for results, some users claim it takes longer than that.
The Pros And Cons Of Wisdom Panel
One of the best aspects of Wisdom Panel is that it’s cheaper than Embark. If you don’t have a large budget to spend on testing your dog’s DNA, then this may be a better option for you. Another great aspect of Wisdom Panel is that they’re quick. Most users get their results after 14 days.
Upon crawling their website, it also seems as though they put a lot of effort into making their analysis report as easy to understand as possible. The information is digestible. It gives you quick facts, but it also gives you an opportunity to learn more if you choose to.
The bad aspect of Wisdom Panel is that the tool you use to collect your dog’s saliva isn’t as gentle as a cotton ball. While it likely won’t scratch or injure your dog, it may put some pet owners at unease.
Some users found that Wisdom Panel didn’t catch certain genetic diseases they know their dog has. Or they gave a false negative. Double-checking with your vet can help you discover the truth.
Which Dog DNA Test Is Most Accurate?
They’re both tied. Based on reviews, the users found that Embark was more accurate when it came to genetic diseases. There were fewer false negatives and false positives than Wisdom Panel.
However, Wisdom Panel was more accurate when it came to breeding information. It split breeds into even more specific categories and offshoots. A coonhound, for example, is different than a treeing walker coonhound. Wisdom Panel picked up on that.
If you want an accurate test, then you’ll have to decide if you want a more accurate reading on genetic diseases or breeding information.
What Breeds Does Embark Test For?
According to the Embark official site, they test for over 350 dog breeds. Some of them include:
- Siberian Husky
- Labrador Retriever
- Shih Tzu
After you click on the specific breed, Embark goes into great detail scribing the breed. It will give you information about average weight and height, their personalities, and their breed’s history. However, Embark doesn’t always offer information on lesser-known breeds or designer dogs.
What Breeds Does Wisdom Panel Test For?
Because there are a few different versions of the Wisdom Panel, it varies. If you’re using the 2.0 version, then they test for 200 breeds. If you’re using a version that’s newer than that (3.0 and 4.0), then they test for 350+ breeds.
Wisdom Panel also lets you search for information about your dog based on their genetic group and size. This is helpful if you’re not too sure what breed your dog actually is. They also do not have information available for designer dogs.
Some breeds they check for include:
- Afghan Hound
- American Foxhound
- French Bulldog
- Tibetan Mastiff
Can You Buy Embark Or Wisdom Panel At Your Local Petsmart, Petco, Or Pet Store?
You can find several DNA pet kits at PetSmart and PetCo. That includes Embark and Wisdom Panel. Your local pet store may not. You can also find the DNA kits on their official websites.
Can You Do Them Yourself Or Does Your Vet Need To Do It?
As long as you follow the instructions given in each kit, then you can perform the DNA test yourself. It’s important that the DNA sample isn’t contaminated with your own DNA. This can muddy the results, especially when it comes to searching for genetic diseases.
All you need to do is take a swab of your dog’s saliva. They both say to swab your dog’s cheek for at least 30 seconds. Embark requires you to shake the sample once you’ve placed it in the container. Wisdom Panel does not.
Then you just submit the sample to the designated address.
If you’re concerned that you may mess the sample up or that you may somehow injure your dog in the process, then you can always take your dog to the vet. They can easily perform the swab for you.
The hardest part may be to get your dog drooling if they’re not big droolers. Embark suggests showing them a treat.