How Dog DNA Testing Works
Ranking Criteria Explained
One of the crucial factors we focus on at the very beginning of our ranking process is that of test variety and quality. Of equal importance are test accuracy and the likelihood of test error and failure. More specific test-related criteria include the number of checked DNA markers and the quantum of checked breeds, genetic diseases, and potential physical traits. The quality of test results is further determined by the professionalism of the staff and the quality of the testing facility and equipment.
After carefully analyzing all test-related factors, we proceed to thoroughly inspect different aspects of customer service. These include the quality of customer support, turnaround times, privacy and information security, and of course, prices.
Finally, we take into consideration the available partnerships with relevant entities, including veterinarians and animal clinics. Now that you know how our ranking process works, let’s take a look at the best dog DNA tests on the market!
Founded in 2005, Wisdom Panel is the sub-operative of Mars Petcare, a division of Mars Incorporated. Confusing as the company structure may be, the only thing that interests us is the fact that Wisdom Panel has one of the 6 biggest private companies in the world behind it.
The company specializes in DNA tests for canines and felines, but it is constantly expanding its program, so we’re sure we can expect more solutions in the future.
Wisdom Panel has performed over 800,000 tests so far, has over 12,000 samples in its database, and covers 99% of the 180 breeds recognized by the AKC. The company even goes approximately 70 dog breeds beyond that. It also has multiple partnerships in the field, including Washington State University, Genoscoper Laboratories Finland, Geneseek, Waltham, Morris Animal Foundation, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, and more.
Wisdom Panel currently offers 3 animal DNA tests:
- Wisdom Panel 4.0 – The price tag is 84.99$, with a turnaround time of 2-3 weeks. It can be performed on purebred, mixed breed, and designer dogs. The results provide purebred ancestry identification (3 generations), weight profile prediction, info on physical traits, MDR1 genetic mutations, and the possibility of Exercise-Induced Collapse. You’ll also receive a predicted weight profile, a genetic trait analysis, and a unique discount code for your family and friends. You can also share the results with your veterinarian.
- Wisdom Panel Health – Previously known as the “Optimal Selection Canine Genetic Breeding Analysis,” this test combines screening for potential genetic health conditions with exhaustive breed detection. The test costs $149.99 and has a turnaround time of 3-4 weeks. The results provide a full genetic disease report (among 150 conditions), reports on morphology, coat properties, and other traits, a personal dog profile you can share, a breeder tool for identifying compatible mates, and constant updates to the results.
Wisdom Panel 2.0 and 3.0 can now only be purchased through online retailers.
Embark is a successful startup put in motion by brothers Adam and Ryan Boyko, two prominent scientists and genetics aficionados. It’s the youngest company on our list by far, being founded in 2015.
Embark features a detailed canine DNA test with over 256 quadrillion genetic combinations tested. The company processes the samples in a modern lab and allows for raw data download.
Embark has partnered with the Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine and the ever-present Scientific Advisory Board. On top of that, it engages in numerous research projects and does charity work whenever given the opportunity. Every test bought from Embark brings a bit of money to several shelters they’re co-operating with.
The main test is called Embark Dog DNA Test and here’s what it offers for the price of 199$:
- Breed identification and ancestry research, cross-referencing your dog’s DNA with over 170 dog breeds, including village dog, coyote, and wolf heritage.
- Health report, examining more than 160 most common genetic canine diseases.
- Genetic age, allowing you to “translate” your dog’s age into human years.
- Detailed care and wellness recommendation, based on your dog’s genetic age.
- Perfect accuracy, with over 200,000 DNA markers checked.
- International shipping.
Embark also offers a DNA test specifically designed for breeders. For the price of 179$ (special discounts for bulk purchases), you can learn how to breed your litter for a specific size, coat color/texture, and so on.
There is also a special offer for veterinarians who choose to sell Embark tests in their clinics. Embark provides a decent profit margin and life-long plans for new clients.
EasyDNA is the most international company on our list, sporting 25 offices in different regions of the world. This makes its canine DNA tests the most accessible ones on the market.
It currently boasts more than 300,000 tests executed, complementing high-quality service with knowledgeable user support. EasyDNA offers 6 different canine tests, which check 21 DNA markers, ensuring 99.9999% precision.
Canine DNA tests available at EasyDNA include the following:
- Dog DNA Testing Without the Mother – Canine parentage testing without the mother’s sample is much more complex and difficult, but EasyDNA offers this possibility nonetheless. The price is 306$ and the average turnaround time is 10 business days.
- DNA My Dog Breed Test – This test allows you to identify the genetic combination of your mixed breed dog. The price is 79$ and the results are usually complete within 2-3 weeks. Note that the entire dog’s genome is tested, so the results might not reflect its current appearance.
- Dog Breed Identification Test – This examination takes the guesswork out of the equation and gives you a precise confirmation of your dog’s breed. The price tag is 79$ and the results arrive after 3 weeks.
- Dog Parentage Test – This test establishes your dog’s parentage in a definitive manner. The price is 198$ and the results are ready in 10 business days.
- Dog Inherited Disease & Trait Test – EasyDNA tests your dog for diseases and traits specific to its breed. The price is 75$ and the results are complete within 7 business days.
- Dog Poop DNA Testing – The company’s only price-on-request product is more aimed at identifying irresponsible owners than anything else. As such, it is not of interest to our current topic.
Live Well Testing
Live Well Testing is an e-commerce branch of Confirm BioSciences, stationed in San Diego. It offers a plethora of canine DNA testing solutions and a certain amount of dog wellness kits and equipment.
Some of the canine tests available:
- Canine HealthCheck – Dog Genetic DNA Disease & Trait Test – For the price of 129.99$, your dog is checked for over 150 dog traits and diseases. The results are ready within 7-10 days and will be displayed on your account.
- Petnostics Urine Home Test Kit – The test examines the overall health of your pet. The price is 10.99$ and the results are available instantly.
- PetConfirm Canine Value Pack – It screens for infections of the urinary tract, kidney failure, and diabetes. The price of the test is 29.99$ and the results are complete within 2 minutes.
- Canine Parvovirus/Coronavirus Antigen Home Test Kit – This test discovers pathogenic strains of canine Coronavirus and Parvovirus. The test was released on 31st of May 2017 and the price is 19.99$.
- Perfect Pet Fecal Worm Home Detection Kit – It discovers hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and coccidia. The price is 33.99$ and the results are available 24 hours upon sample receipt.
Live Well Testing also provides tests for heartworms, Ehrlichia, and Lyme, as well as kits and strips for glucose level monitoring. It ships its merchandise worldwide, so you can order any test from pretty much any part of the globe.
On top of frequent discounts and coupons, Live Well Testing also holds a price match policy, which means it’ll match any lower price for the same products as the ones in its offer.
DDC Veterinary is a division of DDC, one of the largest private laboratories for DNA testing. The father conglomerate was founded in 1995 in Fairfield, Ohio, which gave it ample time to hone its service quality and staff professionalism. DDC is the first (and only) laboratory to implement robotics technology into its testing processes.
DDC features a multitude of international partnerships and accreditations (AABB, ANAB ISO/IEC 17025, ASCLD/LAB -International, College of American Pathologists, New York State Department of Health, and others).
Every test is executed twice and overseen and reviewed by a highly-qualified Ph.D.
DDC Veterinary offers a wide assortment of animal DNA tests including the following species:
- Alpaca (DDC is the official DNA testing provider for Association of Alpaca Owners, located in Lincoln, Nebraska)
Canine DNA tests are by far the most sought after, so we’ll enumerate DDC’s offer in that regard:
- Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification Test – The test can be performed on purebred, mixed breed, and designer dogs. It identifies 3 generations of ancestry and helps you create a personal wellness plan for your dog. The price is 79$ plus shipping.
- Canine DNA Parentage Test – The price of the test is 38$ per sample plus shipping and it determines and certifies the parentage of the litter.
- Canine DNA Profiling/Genotyping – Personalized profiling of the dog costs 38$ per sample plus shipping. It checks 16 genetic markers in the dog’s genome.
- Canine Inherited Disease Tests – Your dog is tested for the genetic presence of 10 different inherited diseases. The price is 58$ plus shipping.
- Inherited Traits Testing – With this test, the test subject is tested for 7 inherited traits. The price tag is 58$ plus shipping.