Your Dog And DNA Testing

We’ve all heard someone ask, “What type of dog is that?”  And we’ve all heard the answer, “He’s a mutt.” Or “We think she’s a combination Rottweiler and Chihuahua.”  If you’ve ever wanted to know for sure – now you can.

Why do people DNA test their dogs?

We ran a little survey, and asked this very question.  The answers were varied.  Some were ‘just curious’ and others were concerned about genetic health concerns.  They wanted to breed their dogs and DNA testing gave them the green light (or in some cases, they chose NOT to breed.)

What’s the process?

The process for DNA testing on a dog is similar to DNA testing on a human.  It’s actually a little easier.  Whereas humans are required to spit into a small container, you only need to swab the inside of your pets cheek and send the sample away for testing.  Testing takes approximately ************.

What companies offer DNA testing for your dog?

Two companies kept popping up over and over in our survey.  Embark and Wisdom Panel.  Luckily, no one had anything negative to say about either company but there were a few differences to note:

Embark has two packages available.  The “Breed ID” kit which offers:

  • 350+ Breeds,
  • Family Tree
  • Relative Finder
  • and Research Surveys

The Embark “Breed + Health” kit offers:

  • All of the Breed ID kit offers plus
  • 200+ Health Risks
  • 20+ Physical Traits

Wisdom Panel
also has two packages available.  Their “Essential” package offers:

  • Tests for 350+ breeds, types, and varieties
  • 25+ genetic conditions
  • 35+ traits

Their “Premium” (more extensive and a bit more pricey) test offers the following:

  • Screens for 200+ genetic conditions
  • 350+ breeds, types, and varieties
  • 35+ traits
  • Plus, this package includes a free call with a licensed veterinarian to discuss positive health findings.

What does it cost?

Pricing is similar between companies, ranging from $99.99 up to $159.99 (Wisdom Panel) and $129-$149 (Embark), depending on which package you choose.

Is it worth it?

If you’re one of those owners who walk around with a burning desire to know what the ‘mix’ part of your (very obviously) German Shepard ‘mix’ is, you should get the test.  You might be surprised – or you might have suspected all along.  Or you might even find out that you’ve got a 100% Golden Retriever that you thought was a Chihuahua (let us know if that happens!).  If you would like to breed your dog and you are willing to spend a little more you can even determine if you want little baby Golden Retrievers running around.  All in all, it’s worth it.