The 4 Best Dog DNA Tests of 2020

Find out more about Fido’s genetics with these easy-to-use tests

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Embark Breed & Health Kit at Amazon

"If the report has a potentially alarming finding, a geneticist will reach out personally to go over the implications."

Best Budget-Friendly: DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test Kit at Amazon

"This test is significantly more budget-friendly, and results are available after about one week."

Best for Mixed Breeds: Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Test Kit at Amazon

"If you have any questions or confusion after receiving your results, reviewers say that the company is very responsive."

Best for Next Steps: Orivet Mixed-Breed Identification Dog DNA Test Kit at Chewy

"Beyond just a simple DNA test, this text gives you insight into health risks common with specific breeds."

  • 01 of 04

    Best Overall: Embark Breed & Health Kit

    If you want the most possible information on your pet, there’s no question that Embark Breed & Health Kit is your best bet. The kit is made in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. With Embark Breed & Health Kit, you’ll get information on your pet’s breed breakdown and information on ancestors going back to great-grandparents. 

    There’s also a social component to this kit: You can connect with other dogs that have been tested with Embark that share DNA with your own dog. Finally, as well as checking for breeds, there are also genetic health tests run on the DNA. You can see all these results on a nicely designed dashboard on Embark’s website, or download a report (that’s handy, particularly if there is information you want to share with your vet). 

    After taking a cheek swab from your dog, you’ll mail it to Embark for testing. Results are generally available in two to four weeks. Reviewers note that while the wait is long, Embark does a great job providing status updates, so it’s always clear that progress is being made. Some reviewers did note that the volume of emails after the test results were sent over was quite high. 

    Overall, most reviewers were thrilled with the results, as well as the customer service. The report has detailed results, with attractive, easy-to-follow visuals and charts about the finding. Some reviewers mentioned that when the report on their dog had a potentially alarming finding, a geneticist would reach out personally before sharing the report to go over the implications.

  • 02 of 04

    Best Budget-Friendly: DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test Kit

    Are you put off by the long waits and hefty prices of many of the dog DNA testing kits? The DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test Kit might be the perfect option for you—results are available after about one week. And, the cost is significantly more budget-friendly. 

    As with the other kits, you’ll swab your dog’s cheek to get DNA, mail the sample in, and then get details on your pup’s ancestry. You’ll get details on your dog’s breed composition, as well as information on your dog’s dominant breeds and the associated personality traits and health issues. 

    Many reviewers appreciated the speed of the results, the ease of the test, and the readable information provided in the results.

  • 03 of 04

    Best for Mixed Breeds: Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Test Kit

    Wisdom Panel

     Courtesy of Amazon

    If your dog’s breed is truly mysterious—or if you suspect there are many or rare breeds involved—the Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Test Kit is likely your best option. It tests for 350 breeds, types, and varieties. 

    And the testing process is fairly simple: Each test comes with two DNA test swabs. You’ll use them to take a sample from the inside of your dog’s mouth. (Reviewers note this process may be a bit more complicated than it seems—just make sure your dog does not lick, chew, or eat anything for a couple of hours before getting the sample.) Then, using pre-paid postage (also included) you’ll mail the sample off. At a lab, this DNA sample will be tested for hundreds of markers that help identify your dog’s breed ancestry all the way to the dog’s great-grandparents. Within three weeks, you’ll receive an email with your dog’s results. 

    Most reviewers were thrilled with the results, and the ability to give in to your curiosity and learn more about your dog’s background. As well as the details on the dog’s genetic background, you’ll also receive weight range predictions for your dog and some details on your dog’s mix of breeds. Most reviewers felt that the results were accurate—they also recommended calling with questions or confusion and praised the company’s responsiveness.

  • 04 of 04

    Best for Next Steps: Orivet Mixed-Breed Identification & Life Plan Dog DNA Test Kit

    Mixed Breed

     Courtesy of Chewy

    Finding out about your dog’s breed can be informative and fascinating. But it’s not just a matter of curiosity: Having insight into your dog’s background can also help you be more aware of health risks common with specific breeds

    With the Orivet Mixed-Breed Identification & Life Plan Dog DNA Test Kit, you’ll get a personalized Life Plan, which provides detailed information on inheritable health risks, and what you can do about them. This can be helpful information to share with your veterinarian. The Life Plan lays out, by your dog’s age, recommended routine care, as well as suggested tests based on your dog’s health indicators.

What to Look for in a Dog DNA Test

Depth Your reasons for testing will determine what type of test you want to select. If you’re just curious about your dog’s lineage, there are basic tests, while others provide more analysis of how their DNA may contribute to their personality. Others can tell you if your dog is more or less at risk for various health conditions. 

Speed of results How long do you want to wait for your dog’s DNA results? If speed is important to you, there are tests that can deliver them quickly (in a couple of weeks), while other testing companies take months to deliver results. Your reason for testing and your level of patience will factor into which type of test you should choose.

Accuracy Of course, the most important quality you want in a dog DNA test is accuracy, particularly if you’re looking for insight into their health. Some tests guarantee accuracy rates of nearly 100 percent.

Why Trust the Spruce Pets?

Madeleine Burry is a dog lover, who has written content about pet health and conditions for PetCareRx, as well as writing about pets for AAA’s Via Magazine, and Women’s Health.