Comes with frameable results certificate
Results are very limited with no interactivity
Results varied greatly from the other tests we tried
Plastic swabs broke during the testing process
Unless you’re 100 percent sure you have a purebred dog, you’ve probably wondered exactly what his or her genetic makeup is. That’s where DNA tests like the DNAffirm Dog Breed DNA Test come in handy. By swabbing your dog’s mouth and mailing the sample to a lab, you can find out the breed makeup of your dog. In addition to learning what breeds are in your dog’s ancestry, you’ll also learn about likely personality traits and health concerns to watch out for. Here’s what we thought of the DNAffirm Dog Breed DNA Test, as well as our recommendations on whether or not to buy.
Ease of Use: Easy, but cheap materials
The DNAffirm Dog Breed DNA Test is easy to use, as were all the tests we sampled. Before collecting the DNA, you’ll need to register your test online. During this process, you’ll have to fill out some basic info including what you think your dog might be—which kind of makes you wonder if the results might be biased to deliver the results you want. You also have to upload a photo, which gets used on your dog’s results certificate.
It was the quickest of the kits we tested, delivering the DNA results in just over two weeks.
Using something similar to a cotton swab, you’ll swab the inside of your dog’s mouth for around 30 seconds to grab a DNA sample. Unfortunately, both of the swabs broke very easily when our dog attempted to eat them during the process. This didn’t happen with kits that cost a bit more, suggesting that the plastic on this one may be a bit lower quality. We’d caution future buyers to be aware of this as we had to make sure our dog didn’t quickly swallow the tip with his DNA. We had to touch the broken swabs to pull them out of his mouth, which you’re not supposed to do in order to provide a clean sample.
When you’re done collecting the DNA, you’ll need to return the swabs (broken or not) to the packaging and mail it back to the lab. This part of the process was a bit questionable as the packing felt cheap (it’s a paper envelope, rather than a box) and users need to pay for their own shipping. Though it cost us only around $1 to mail it from California, it feels unprofessional. Given the broken swabs, cheap packaging, and typos on some of the accompanying documents, we didn’t have high hopes for this kit.
Results: Delivers less info than other tests
If you’re looking for an interactive experience as you learn about your pet’s background, this isn’t it. There’s no website to explore; results are delivered via email as a PDF. The kit promises quick results, which was more or less correct. It was the quickest of the kits we tested, delivering Doolie’s DNA results in just over two weeks. About all it did was confirm what we already knew: that Doolie is an adorable hodgepodge of breeds.
The DNAffirm test does not deliver a percentage breakdown of your dog’s breed, as other tests do. Instead, it divides your pet’s ancestry into five levels. Level one indicates a breed that makes up 75 percent or more of your pet’s DNA, while level five represents a breed that contributes 5 percent or less of its DNA to your dog’s genetic makeup. This means that for a highly mixed-breed dog, like ours, you may not have a level one or level two breed in your dog’s results.
The DNAffirm test does not deliver a percentage breakdown of your dog’s breed, as other tests do.
Also in the PDF is a frameable certificate, a family tree, a list of traits likely to be displayed by your dog, and a report on MDR1 and EIC screening results. MDRI indicates a sensitivity to certain popular drugs, and a positive result for EIC indicates that your dog may be more likely to collapse after periods of heavy activity. The report does not include any additional medical screening, nor does it provide any additional information about MDR1 or EIC. There’s no information beyond this, so if you want to learn about your pet’s paternal or maternal history, physical characteristics, likeliness to shed, age, or relatives, you’ll need to buy a different kit.
Accuracy: Questionable at best
We tested four different DNA kits on Doolie, and while the results were slightly different on all of them, the DNAffirm test was definitely the outlier. While other tests reported basset hound and border collie as our dog’s primary breeds, the DNAffirm kit reported border collie and Labrador retriever as level two breeds (37 to 74 percent of his DNA) and foxhound and Plott hound as level four breeds (10 to 20 percent of his DNA.) Basset hound, which other tests reported as a primary breed, ranked only as a level five breed with this test, indicating it’s less than 5 percent of his DNA.
We’re a bit skeptical of these results.
Though looks aren’t always a strong indicator of a dog’s breed, Doolie is long, low, and floppy—there’s a reason his vet thinks he’s primarily a basset hound. Given that the other tests we used also reported basset hound as a primary breed—and none brought up a foxhound or Plott hound—we’re a bit skeptical of these results. Because this test gives ranges for your dog’s DNA percentage, rather than specific percentages for each breed, the results are always going to be a little less accurate than other tests, even if the overall breeds are correct.
Price: The most affordable kit on the market
This kit is by far the most affordable on the market. It has a suggested price of around $70, though you can usually find it for much less on various sites. You’ll also need to pay to mail in the kit, which should be inexpensive. This makes it around $20 cheaper than most other affordable kits, and more than $100 cheaper than high-end kits.
Competition: We tested better options
Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Test Kit: The DNAffirm Dog DNA test is cheaper than the Wisdom Panel test (view on Walmart), which we also tested, and it’s clear why. Wisdom Panel delivers more detail on your pet through an interactive results website, whereas DNAffirm provides just a PDF document. Both come with frameable certificates, but we felt that Wisdom Panel was more professional and more reliable.
Find My Pet DNA Dog DNA Test: DNAffirm and the Find My Pet Test (view on Amazon), were the cheapest of the kits we tested and are a very similar product. Both deliver results as a PDF document and both give ranges for the percentage of genes from each breed in your dog rather than exact percentages of each breed. However, the information on the DNAffirm kit was a bit more detailed and it included two basic health tests that weren’t part of the Find My Pet DNA test. For those reasons, we recommend that between the two, buyers opt for the DNAffirm kit.
Embark Dog DNA Test Kit: The DNAffirm test and the Embark Dog DNA kit (view on Chewy) that we tested are polar opposites. The DNAffirm test can be found for under $50 and includes basic breed information delivered via a simple PDF. In contrast, the Embark dog DNA kit is close to $200 and includes everything from a personalized breed reveal video to maps of your pet’s ancestral history. If you’ve got the money, opt for the Embark DNA kit.
The DNAffirm Dog Breed DNA Test is a good example of the saying “you get what you pay for.” Perhaps if you had what you thought was a purebred dog and needed simple affirmation of that, it would be a good buy, but for everyone else, the questionable accuracy of the results and lack of information provided leads us to advise buyers to opt for a more professional, high-end option.
- Product Name Dog Breed DNA Test
- Product Brand DNAffirm
- MPN 23229VIAPET
- Price $68.99
- What’s Included 2 swabs, mailing container, instructions