The 6 Best Dog DNA Tests

Updated November 20, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

6 Best Dog DNA Tests
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Anybody who has ever adopted a mixed breed pup from a shelter wonders at one time or another just exactly what kind of dog their four-legged best friend is. Dog breed tests are the only way to know for sure. They test a dog's DNA and give a breakdown of their genetic makeup, and many also include vital health information, which may just save your dog's life one day. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best dog dna test on Amazon.

6. Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed 2.0

The Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed 2.0 has an impressive database to help owners discover typical ailments certain dogs can have over another. Their interactive website nicely charts your dog's lineage to fully understand the complexity of their biological composition.
  • easy to follow instructions
  • dogs must fast 2 hours before test
  • results may take more than 3 weeks
Brand Wisdom Panel® Insights
Model Mixed Breed DNA Test Ki
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. DNA My Dog At-Home

The DNA My Dog At-Home provides a full health predictor report on every breed found in your pet's results and shows exactly what percentage he or she is of each one. It also provides insight into the personality traits of the breeds included in your dog's genetic makeup.
  • produces a custom breed certificate
  • determines safe exercise levels
  • doesn't test for mdr1 resistance
Brand Dna My Dog
Model pending
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Wisdom Panel 3.0

Even dog owners who feel certain their pet is a complicated, undiscoverable mix have been impressed with the accuracy of the Wisdom Panel 3.0. It gives in-depth personality and health breakdowns of all four grandparents to give you a better understanding of your dog.
  • report explains aesthetic features
  • helpful in choosing training methods
  • results can take up to two weeks
Brand Wisdom Panel 3.0
Model pending
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Paw Print Genetics Canine HealthCheck

The Paw Print Genetics Canine HealthCheck provides a tremendous amount of information for a good price, and only requires you to swab your pet's cheek for 30 seconds, making it ideal for finicky animals. It's perfect for dogs with an unknown medical history.
  • results are delivered quickly
  • comes with a baggy for your sample
  • postage to the lab is prepaid
Brand Paw Print Genetics
Model Canine HealthCheck
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 3.0

The Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 3.0 boasts one of the most comprehensive breed databases, with the ability to check for over 250 types of dog. It also tests for multi-drug resistance sensitivity, which is vital, as having that knowledge may save your dog's life one day.
  • predicts weight of growing puppies
  • shows three generations of ancestry
  • offers extremely consistent results
Brand Mars Veterinary
Model # 07639
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Embark DNA101

The Embark DNA101 delivers a detailed family tree, showing you the exact genetic history of your dog. Extensive information on your pup's ancestry can not only better help you understand his behaviors and medical risks, but it's also very interesting.
  • shows a dog's wolf percentage
  • sends results to your vet online
  • gives chromosome breakdowns by breed
Brand Embark Veterinary
Model DNA101
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Just How Well Do You Know Your Dog?

Every dog owner likes to think they know their pooch better than anyone else. After all, you know exactly where Fido likes to be scratched, which squeaky toy is his favorite, and why he'll bark at the UPS guy but not the FedEx driver.

Until you know your dog's exact breed or mix, however, you can't say you truly know him. After all, breed plays a large part in canine behavior, so if you don't know this basic fact about your furry friend, how can you hope to understand him? Or more importantly, how can you know which diseases and conditions to which he may be predisposed?

That's why a dog DNA test can be a must-have for any responsible dog owner. Beyond satisfying your curiosity, it can help you be more prepared for your dog's future, whether that means watching what you feed him or being on the lookout for the early warning signs of cancer. Some breeds are simply more high-maintenance than others, as well, which can help with diagnosing and treating behavioral problems. Does your dog need more exercise, or is he craving mental stimulation? Knowing his breed can help you make those determinations.

In fact, many insurance companies and landlords are now requiring canine DNA tests before they'll accept your little buddy. This can be done to weed out potentially aggressive breeds (although the science behind the idea of inherently aggressive breeds is dubious at best), as well as preventing tenants from bringing a hyperactive dog into a tiny studio apartment.

Of course, besides trying to predict the future, knowing your mutt's mix can also improve the time you spend with him now, from picking the game he'll most likely enjoy to finding the perfect dog toy. Your days with your best friend will be even more special if you know he's having as much fun as he possibly can.

And besides, what kind of buddy can you claim to be if you don't even know where your best friend is from?

Finding the Right Test for Your Pooch

The most important thing to consider when looking for a home DNA kit is the size of the database. Simply put, the more doggy DNA the company has stored, the better able it will be to match your pet's genes to its particular breed. The more comprehensive databases can tell the difference between extremely similar dogs, or even if your fuzzy buddy has any wolf in him!

However, some owners may think they already know what kind of dog they have, and just want to make sure he's as purebred as he's supposed to be. Many DNA testers can not only break the dog's heritage down by percent, but they'll also provide owners with a certificate to back up their findings. This can come in very handy indeed if you're looking to breed your dog at some point down the line. If you're looking towards the future in this regard, you need to make sure that the test you choose can verify purebred bloodlines.

If you're mostly interested in your dog's heritage to satisfy your curiosity or alert you to potential health issues, though, most can identify your pooch's breeds and inform you of any predispositions. Performing the test while your dog is still a puppy is probably your best bet, as well, as it can prepare you for the possibility that your little guy can grow up to be a giant if there's some Great Dane hidden in there.

How A Dog DNA Test Works

The vast majority of DNA tests on the market involve swabbing the inside of the dog's mouth and then mailing the swab back to the company. After a few weeks, the company will mail you back their findings, complete with a host of complementary information (the amount and type of info varies from test to test, however). Some tests will email you the information instead, giving you a quicker turnaround time, but you'll have to print it out yourself if you're the type who likes to show these things off.

Some of the higher-end models involve drawing blood from your dog's paw, however, and might be able to give you much more detailed health information than the swab variety. These tests are done at a veterinarian's office, so fortunately you don't have to worry about pricking your pooch and having him hate you.

Once you send in your sample, the testing center will store it and add the information to the database. This helps improve accuracy in future results, while also safeguarding the company against people submitting the same samples over and over in an effort to trick the test. As you might expect, each dog's DNA is unique, so the test will flag repeat submissions - and don't even think about trying to slip cat DNA past it, as the examination looks for canine markers that won't show up in other animals.

Regardless of the reason you're interested in investigating Spot's background, learning more about your dog can bring you both closer together, as well as give you a leg up on potential future issues. While many owners might be fine not knowing their dog's heritage, these panels are a fun and easy way to get to know a little more about one of the most important members of your family.

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Last updated on November 20, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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