Best Dog DNA Test Kit to Find Out the Breed and Health of Your Furry Friend

Updated: Jan. 24, 2024

Uncover the secrets your dog can't tell you, such as breed type and health risks, with one of our top picks for best dog DNA test kit.

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Silly Dog Tilts Head in Front of BarnTHEDOGPHOTOGRAPHER/GETTY IMAGES

Home DNA tests are widely available now, and their results have either confirmed what people already know about their genetic heritage, or they’ve revealed some big surprises. But beyond sheer curiosity, DNA tests can help you discover what potential health or disease risks may be encoded in your genetic makeup.

That same combination of curiosity and concern may lead you to try a doggie DNA test. That’s right, there are now dog DNA tests that will help you uncover answers to questions you wish you could ask your dog. The best dog DNA tests will tell you more than just your pup’s genetic profile.

Knowing what’s in the dog’s DNA can alert you to specific physical issues. For example, some breeds are prone to respiratory issues or hip dysplasia. So having an idea of his genetic makeup can go a long way toward keeping that beloved fur baby healthy for many years.

To help you decide which one is right for your canine companion, here’s a look at the best dog DNA test kits. If there are any dog lovers on your shopping list, these tests make perfect gifts.

Best Dog DNA Test Kits

1 / 4

Wisdom Panel Dog Dna Kit Ecomm Via Petco
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Best Overall

Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Test Kit

We like the all-inclusive coverage of this dog DNA test kit from Petco. The personalized results show your dog’s breed (including percentages of all breeds detected), potential medical issues your pet may develop and what your pup’s ancestors might have looked like.

The test has more than 12,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, many from dog owners like L. Ramsey, “I read the reviews and was interested to see what type of dog our small dog was mixed with. WOW, the results were amazing. They got the color of his coat correct, that he has short fur, his size, weight range and even his floppy ears. There was nothing in his results that was incorrect. I recommend Wisdom Panel Essential dog DNA kit if you are curious about what your fur baby might be mixed with.”

Pros

  • Provides dog breed percentage breakdown (350+ breeds, types and varieties)
  • Screens for medical complications, including drug sensitivities
  • Provides ancestry and trait-specific information
  • Provides information on close, distant and extended relatives (their growing database consists of over 3 million pets, so if your pup’s relative joins, you’ll be notified!)
  • Some users say results arrive quickly—often within two weeks
  • Mid-range price

Cons

  • Some users felt the results were inaccurate

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2 / 4

Orivet Genopet Dog Dna Test Ecomm Via Amazon
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Best Budget

Orivet Genopet Dog DNA Test

Compared to other kits that make the same claims, this dog DNA test kit from Orivet is a relative value. It screens hundreds of breeds, and we like that it includes a care plan tailored to your dog’s specific genetic makeup. The company will also send reminders for your dog’s check-ups or vaccines.

Of course, solving the mystery of your dog’s breed mix is the most fun part for a lot of users, like Jennipher L., “I ordered DNA My Dog at first and they immediately came back with 100% of one breed. I knew that wasn’t correct so I ordered Orivet. Their results were so thorough and showed a total of three breeds. The results took a month so be patient but well worth it.”

Pros

  • Value priced compared to other kits
  • Provides dog breed percentage breakdown (350 breeds, types and varieties)
  • Includes health risks and breed-specific traits (behavior, personality, adult weight)
  • Provides nutrition and health advice
  • Comes with an app personalized to your pet

Cons

  • Some users say the swabbing process is complicated
  • Some users claim the results are not accurate

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3 / 4

Fh We Tried It Embark Dog Dna Test
Nicole Doster/Family Handyman

Best Splurge

Embark Dog DNA Breed ID & Health Test Kit

The Embark Dog DNA Breed ID & Health Test Kit is one of the most comprehensive dog DNA test kits currently on the market. With a simple saliva swab, the test results will identify your dog’s breed, show his family tree and nearest relatives (if they’re also in the database) and provide insight into genetic predisposition to drug sensitivities, degenerative diseases and other potential concerns.

“After we adopted our dog, Huey, I scoured through countless forums to find the best DNA kit to find out his breed. He was only 5 months old when we found him abandoned on the side of the road, so we really had no clue what his background was,” writes Nicole Doster, Content Director, Strategy & Performance.

“When we finally landed on Embark, I was worried that our results would come back as inconclusive or as a ‘Super Mutt’ as I had heard happened to a few online, but it was quite the opposite. Embark was able to identify the breeds of his parents, grandparents and even his great-grandparents. I would highly recommend this to parents of rescue dogs who want to know their fur baby’s breed!”

Pros

  • Extremely comprehensive test
  • Provides dog breed percentage breakdown (350 breeds, types and varieties)
  • Screens for 230+ health risks, including drug sensitivities
  • Provides information on close, distant and extended relatives (Embark touts that over 90% of dogs in their database are matched with a relative)
  • Generates family tree, along with information about your pup’s ancestors
  • Kits available for mixed or purebred dogs

Cons

  • One of the most expensive kits (however, they offer a more affordable kit option, Breed ID, which does not include health results)

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4 / 4

5strands Pet Food And Environmental Intolerance Test Ecomm Via Amazon
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Best for Food Intolerances

5Strands Pet Food and Environmental Intolerance Test

If your pet is chronically scratching his coat or chewing his paws—or if he has digestive problems that you can’t resolve—chances are he’s intolerant to something he’s eating or something in the environment. Unlike saliva swab tests, 5Strands tests via pet hair, which you collect and send in. Within 10 days, online results show your dog’s intolerances to common pet food ingredients, as well as intolerances to grass, chemicals and other substances (be sure you’re using a pet-safe pesticide).

Several five-star reviewers refer to this test as a life-saver. Brooke LeMay calls it a game changer: “After spending a ton of money treating her unknown intolerances we decided to look into a way to test them so we could care for her better and help her itchiness…it turns out our girl was intolerant to some of the ingredients in her dog food,” she says.

“She also struggled with some environmental factors such as grass and ants. These intolerances were causing her rashes and itchiness which is no longer a problem. We’ve switched her to a food that was recommended by the veterinarian nutritionist through 5strands and she is doing wonderful! No more monthly rashes, vet visits or bills!”

Pros

  • One of the few tests on the market that pinpoints substance intolerance
  • Tests for 380 common pet food ingredients and environmental factors
  • Easy to use (hair testing vs saliva swab), with fast results
  • Can be used with cats too

Cons

  • On the pricey side
  • Some users say results are inconsistent
  • Does not provide breed identification or genetic testing results

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Embark Dog Dna Test
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How We Found the Best Dog DNA Test Kit

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.

FAQ

What’s the best dog DNA test on the market?

Most DNA dog tests work the same way, draw results from the same genome database and return similar criteria. Choosing the best dog DNA test for you and your pooch largely comes down to studying the resulting interface before you buy: Do you like the looks and interface of the app or digital results? Does it feel like it would be easy to use? Be sure to read user reviews, both positive and negative ones, to assess the strong and weak points of each test you’re considering.

Do dog DNA tests actually work?

Dog DNA test kits claim a degree of accuracy as high as 98%. But some experts contend that because the tests and testing process is not regulated or peer-reviewed, the results are not necessarily reliable. Results related to genetic mutations and potential diseases and disorders may be accurate and helpful but are best interpreted by a veterinarian.

For identifying a mixed dog’s breed makeup, DNA tests will either confirm what a dog owner already suspects or upend their ideas of their dog’s genetic makeup—which is why a lot of people question the accuracy of the results.

Our final take? The best dog DNA tests can provide fun breed information for the curious dog owner and can alert you to potential health issues with your pet. But they don’t replace veterinary care, and of course, the results won’t affect how much you love your pooch!

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