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Best DNA Test Kit for a Dog

Doggy DNA test kits have become increasingly popular in the last decade, possibly off the back of human DNA tests which are still booming. These tests became more accessible to the general public when the technology advanced to a level where the sample could be retrieved via a mouth swab, rather than a blood sample.

Why DNA Test a Dog?

DNA tests enable dog owners to check for several genetic indicators. These tests are typically performed by breeders or potential new owners of pedigree dogs to ensure there are no inherited diseases. If the breeders neglected to carry this out and a disease was passed down to its puppies then (for starters) it would significantly reduce their value.

Also, many (arguably most) potentially fatal diseases are genetic so establishing whether your future dog has these could save you potentially a lot of money in vet bills and eventually the heartache involved in a premature death of your dog.

For a breeder, having their dog (and its parents) given a clean bill of health with one of these tests makes their dog a lot easier to sell and gives reassurance to the buyer. Also, not breeding with a dog that has a genetic disease reduces the risk of any such diseases appearing in future generations of the breed.

What DNA Test for Dogs do I recommend?

You will see several DNA test kits online when looking for a kit. I am only going to recommend one as there are many that provide a near-identical service but this one gives a lot of data and is widely well-received by the community. It is also competitively priced and has a relatively fast turn around. So, which one is it that I recommend?

I Recommend the Embark Dog DNA Test Kit!

There are several reasons why I am recommending to you the Embark Dog DNA test kit (click on the link for the current price) for your dog. For instance:

  • Family Tree Identity – this kit will provide information not only about your dog but also about the dog’s Great Grandparents! You’ll also get information on dogs that are similar to your breed and you will receive photos to show you how closely they resemble yours.
  • Breed Information – you will receive detailed information regarding the breed of your dog. In fact, there are over 250 breeds that are covered and actually even includes the coyote and wolf!
  • Easy to test – with some of the more complex tests you need to provide a blood sample but with this it is just a simple cheek swab test.
  • Dog’s Relations – you will receive information about other dogs that also share the same DNA as yours which have also been tested with this kit.
  • Quick Results – with some tests you can be waiting for months but not with this one. After sending the sample back you can expect results within 2-4 weeks.
  • Disease Checks – this particular kit will test for over 165 genetic diseases.

There are some reasons why Embark sees themselves (perhaps rightly) in a different league to the other companies that perform these tests. They say they are the only genetic company for dogs that use a ‘research-grade DNA genotyping platform’ which was developed at Cornell University. They believe they provide the most accurate results out of all the kits. In fact, they say they have over 100 times more genetic data capturing ability than the next best brand. These are some impressive facts and I am yet to see anyone dispute it.

Best DNA test kit for a dog

So, there you have it. Despite there being several DNA test kits available for your dog, there’s only one I’d really recommend at the moment so it’s nice and easy for you. The Embark Dog DNA Test Kit (opens in a new window) just works. It’s not only me that has that opinion though, I share it with hundreds of other people who have positively reviewed it online at Amazon.

Embark was formed only a few years back by Ryan & Adam Boyko. Ryan has travelled the planet, collecting canine samples which were then contributed to other scientific studies. He has a BA in Computer Science as well as degrees in public health and ecology from Yale and the University of California. Adam is an associated professor in biomedical sciences at the Cornell university of veterinary medicine.


This has been quite an easy article to write as it is clear that there is only one DNA testing kit to go for at the moment. Although you will find many more out there, I could find none that matches the data provided by Embark. Just a final note that I have not been contacted or paid by these guys, it is purely my personal opinion based on personal experience and extensive research into this market.

If you’re interesting in wondering what the best dog for families is – take a look at my post, you may be surprised!

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