The Guide to Dog DNA Tests: Breeds of Dogs and Genetic Mutations
There are many advantages to knowing the exact breed of your dog. From knowing the exact nutrition they need to being able to understand particular behavior.
There's other reasons you should get a DNA test for your dog that many people don’t even consider: DNA tests can help you find out if your dog has pre-dispositions to genetic diseases. In other words, dog genetic testing is very important.
The question is, how do you find out which breed your dog is?
Well, luckily for all of us dog owners, there are companies that do dog DNA testing. These tests allow you to collect DNA from your dog (usually from a simple cheek test) and send it in for testing.
DNA tests can be a bit pricey, so, you definitely want to know what the best brand is before you fully invest. It would be horrible to get results that are inaccurate. It’s a little hard to tell what makes a DNA test more legitimate than other DNA tests. So, you can follow this guide to find out.
What Makes a Dog DNA Kit Different?
When looking at dog DNA test reviews online, it wasn’t always clear what made some of these tests different. They overlap for sure, but I personally feel that they are different enough that a clear decision can be made. Some of the factors I considered were:
- Number of Genetic Mutations and Breeds in Results
- Details of Information
- Design of Information when Sent Back
The Test Kits
The DNA test from Wisdom Panel is a simple dog DNA kit that is easy to use and very accurate.
It’s called the Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification Dog DNA Test Kit. All you have to do is swab your dog’s cheek with the dog DNA kit and then send it off in a post-paid box. This test is quite speedy and you will get your results back in about two or three weeks.
The test can detect over 250 breeds. It can even trace back multiple generations.
There are many different results you can get back too. The test will determine whether your dog is pure-bred, mixed or even a designer dog. The dog genetic testing will also tell you if your dog has any mutations.
This means your dog may be resistant to some medical chemicals that are normally safe for other pups. This comes in handy when your vet wants to give your dog new medication. You will know beforehand if your dog will have any adverse effects and reject the medicine physically.
Another fun part of this test is that it will explain how your dog’s weight works. The test will then recommend healthy and nutritional things you need to look out for to keep your dog fit!
Every dog is different, so it’s great that this test provides this specific information.
Wisdom panel provides a dog genetic test that is more specific towards health concerns.
This one is called the Wisdom Panel Health Breed & Health Identification Dog DNA Test Kit and it works the same way as the other Wisdom Panel’s dog DNA tests. Just swab your dog’s cheeks and put it into a postage paid box. You’ll get your results in two or three weeks.
It’s a lot more expensive because it does exactly everything the Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification Dog DNA Test Kit does, but with one added benefit.
It gives more elaborate results about diseases and will check your dog for 140 disease-causing genetic mutations. This is a very elaborate dog genetic test, so if you’re interested in your dog’s safety, the extra cost is worth it!
The results also will include comprehensive descriptions about diseases that could become possible and the percentages of that happening. There will also be a potential level of severity included.
A lot of dogs do not have mutations, so if you your main reason for purchasing is this 140 genetic panel, you might want to look at another test. Although the panel can be very helpful if your dog happens to be one that actually has a mutation.
In fact, you probably should aim to have a low amount of results back. Dog DNA test reviews are always extremely detailed and informative, and you will learn so much about your dog!
You can also consider using Embark’s dog DNA test. It is called Embark Breed & Ancestry Identification, Trait & Health Detection Dog DNA Test Kit. I love this one because the results are given online and their website portrays results in a fun and easy to understand way.
For example, your dog’s ancestry tree will be portrayed with different dog icons to represent their breeds. You can pick to view your dog’s ancestry with different colored percentages or with the cool looking family tree. Their website is very user-friendly, which is great for people like me who aren’t the best at tech.
Results are backed with professional research. In fact, they are partnered with the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.
Again, the dog DNA kit just needs you to swab your dog’s cheek. You can send it to them with a pre-paid postage. It tests for over 200 breeds and 160 genetic conditions. There are also a lot of fun facts that this dog DNA kit provides. For example, you can find out why your pup sheds or plays the way he does.
All the information you receive will be very detailed, and you will have a lot of fun going through it.
They’ve even included wolf, coyote, and stray dog ancestry checks. The other important thing this dog DNA test gives is a Vet report, which you can print and bring to your vet.
Every good list needs a cost friendly option. If you’re finding it hard to find the money to spend on a DNA test, rest assured that there are good cheap options out there.
They might not be as elaborate, but they still provide accurate information about the breed and ancestry of your dog! DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test Kit is a great alternative to some of the other options above.
This test is much faster as you’ll get your results in one week! You are also required to swab your dog’s cheeks and send it in.
However, this dog DNA kit does not include a postage paid sticker so you will have to get your own. Painless and easy, just send the provided sterile applicator to them.
They divided a dog’s breed intensity into five levels to make it easy for us to understand what breeds make up our dog!
Level one means the test has concluded your dog contains 75% or higher of a specific breed.
Level two means it's between 37% and 74% percent.
Level three means it is between 20% and 36%.
Level four means your dog’s DNA contains between 10% to 20% of that specific breed.
Finally, if your dog contains 9% or less of a specific breed, that breed will be categorized with a level five.
They will send the results back in a custom certificate form. That certificate will also include details of how much exercise was done by your dog’s ancestors, as well as tips on how to make sure your dog grows up healthy.
These dog DNA test reviews show that many of the results are detailed and many tests provide the same information.
However, if you have the time and money to spare, I recommend trying all four tests. The more information and perspective you receive, the better you will understand your dog’s ancestry.
If you are looking to have fun, the best dog DNA test is DNA My Dog’s DNA kit. It is cheap and they respond with information in a very accessible and fun design. It also includes a certificate.
If you are doing the test because of health concerns, I love Embark’s dog DNA kit. There is so much to learn from their website and they really prioritize providing you with information about potential genetic diseases.
Their printable Vet report is also extremely handy. Wisdom’s kit, which is specific to health-related diseases is more detailed, but Embark’s DNA kit is comprehensive enough.
I know I’ve recommended it already but if your concern is really about health, then the best route is to get a dog DNA test from multiple sources.
If you want to find your dog’s breed for breeding, Wisdom’s dog DNA kit is probably the best for you. It tests for the most breeds and will be able to give you very detailed information specific to breeding needs.