Updated on
May 28, 2024 by Katy Willis

5 Best Dog DNA Test Kits in 2024 (Fast & Affordable)

5 Best Dog DNA Test Kits in 2024 (Fast & Affordable)

Many companies claim to offer the best dog DNA test, but not all are reliable. Whether you’re curious about your dog’s breed composition or concerned about potential health indicators, choosing a DNA test that delivers accurate results is crucial.

To help you select the ideal test for your canine companion, I spent several weeks evaluating and testing some of the most popular dog DNA tests. In addition to accuracy, I considered factors such as user-friendliness, result turnaround time, and the comprehensiveness of the information provided.

In the end, I found only a handful of tests I’d recommend. My favorite is Embark because it offered the most precise results, but you won’t go wrong with any of the tests that made the list.

Get Started With Embark

Short on time? Here are the best DNA test kits for dogs:

  1. Embark – Most accurate dog DNA test for determining breed and the possibility for developing certain medical conditions
  2. Basepaws – Get detailed health plan for your dog, as well as learn about their breed, traits and more. 
  3. Ancestry– Find out more information about your dog’s breed and traits at an affordable price. 
  4. 5Strands – Great for discovering which food your dog is intolerant to. 
  5. Wisdom Panel – Affordable dog DNA testing that includes breed ID and common health concerns in its basic package

 See how each test comparesFAQs

What We Look for in the Best Dog DNA Tests

There are lots of at-home dog DNA tests available, but we want you to receive only the best results. To determine which tests were best, we looked for:

  • Accuracy: A dog DNA test is no good if it doesn’t offer highly accurate results that you can trust.
  • Ease of use: Dogs don’t usually make great patients, so these tests need to be quick, easy, and painless to ensure you can get a good DNA sample.
  • Comprehensive screening: If you’re concerned about health conditions or intolerances, you deserve as much information as possible.
  • Fast results: No one wants to wait for answers, so these tests offer a fast turnaround.
  • Fair Value: While each dog DNA test offers different information, you can be sure you’re receiving your money’s worth.

Best Dog DNA Test Kits Reviewed

1. Embark – Best Dog DNA Test Kit for Determining Breed

  • Compares your dog’s DNA against 350+ breeds and 200,000+ genetic markers
  • Review your pet’s family tree and find DNA-matched relatives
  • Optional health test screens for 190+ genetic risks
  • Test your pup with a simple cheek swab — no blood draw is necessary
  • Turnaround time is 3 to 5 weeks

Price from$129.00
Our score9.5

Embark undeniably earns the distinction of being the top dog DNA test, thanks to its unparalleled breed database and extensive biomarker screening. With remarkable precision, it can reveal the precise genetic composition of your beloved canine companion, even identifying breeds that makeup as little as 5% of their overall genetic profile. Alongside a detailed breakdown of each breed, Embark provides a comprehensive family tree diagram showcasing your pet’s ancestral lineage, tracing back to great-grandparents.

With your paid test, Embark includes its Canine Relative Finder service at no additional cost. This is a first-of-its-kind feature that you won’t find anywhere else, so it’s quite exciting. It analyzes the results of other Embark customers to find dogs that share your pet’s DNA. You can communicate with pet parents via the site’s chat feature, and if you live close to a pet relative, you can even reach out to set up a puppy playdate.

If you’re concerned about your pet’s wellbeing, you can upgrade to Embark’s Breed + Health test. With this optional upgrade, you’ll get access to info about your dog’s predisposition to over 190 health risks, including glaucoma, hypothyroidism, and muscular dystrophy.

In my opinion, it’s well worth the extra cost to invest in the health test — its findings can help you avoid misdiagnosis and prepare for your dog’s future care.

Also included with the Breed + Health test is a trait decoder service. This is a must-have if you’re the proud parent of a new puppy because you’ll learn valuable information about genes that affect the look and size of your pup. With this info, you’ll have a clearer picture of how big your pup will get and what its coat will be like.

One of my favorite things about Embark’s DNA tests is that you only need a quick cheek swab to gather a sample, so don’t worry about taking your dog in for testing, or worse, trying to collect blood yourself.

The turnaround time for Embark dog DNA tests is 3 to 5 weeks, which is about average compared to other testing services.

Get to Know Your Dog With Embark!

2. Basepaws – Best for Getting a Detailed Health Plan for Your Dog

  • Identifies your pet’s breed based on its 300+ breed database
  • Screens for 280+ health risks
  • Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) an accurate analysis of your dog
  • Free one-on-one consultation with a veterinarian to discuss results

Price from$149.00
Our score8

Basepaws offers a comprehensive DNA test that provides valuable insights into your dog’s health and wellness. By analyzing your dog’s DNA, it identifies genetic predispositions to certain diseases and conditions. This information allows you to take proactive steps in managing your pet’s health, ensuring they receive the best possible care tailored to their unique genetic makeup.

It also explores your dog’s breed composition, tracing back their ancestry to specific breeds. Understanding your dog’s breed mix can inform you about potential behavioral traits and health concerns common to those breeds, enabling you to create a more personalized care and training plan.

Basepaws includes a detailed health plan based on the genetic testing results. This plan highlights recommended lifestyle adjustments, dietary needs, and preventive care strategies to address any identified health risks. It empowers you to make informed decisions about your dog’s healthcare, promoting a healthier, happier life for your pet.

Furthermore, it continuously updates your dog’s health plan as new genetic research becomes available. This means that the care recommendations you receive evolve over time, ensuring that your dog’s health plan remains up-to-date with the latest scientific findings, offering ongoing support for your dog’s well-being.

Get Started With Basepaws

3. Ancestry – Best for Discovering Your Pet’s Traits and Breed

  • Tests your dog’s DNA against over 400 breeds.
  • Identifies your dog’s genetic traits
  • Simple saliva swab 
  • Results in 4 to 6 weeks

Price from$99.00
Our score9.9

AncestryDNA provides an in-depth analysis of your dog’s genetic background, highlighting the breeds that make up their heritage. By comparing your pet’s DNA against a vast database of dog breeds, it identifies the specific breeds and their proportions in your dog’s ancestry. This knowledge helps you understand your dog’s physical and behavioral traits better.

It also offers insights into genetic traits that may affect your dog’s appearance, behavior, and even temperament. Through genetic markers, you can learn about unique characteristics your dog might have, from coat color and length to predispositions towards certain behaviors. This allows you to appreciate the genetic diversity that makes your pet unique.

Additionally, it provides a detailed report that not only breaks down your dog’s breed mix and health risks but also offers guidance on care, nutrition, and exercise tailored to your pet’s genetic profile. This customized advice helps you cater to your dog’s individual needs, ensuring they lead a healthy, happy life.

Get Started With Ancestry

4. 5Strands – Best for Uncovering Pet Intolerances

  • Learn about your pet’s intolerances to everyday items, from foods to grasses
  • Results from hair samples — no blood or saliva needed
  • Turnaround time of as little as 5 days

Price from$144.00
Our score7

5Strands offers several dog DNA testing options, but none of its panels offer information about your pet’s breed or lineage. Instead, the company focuses on your dog’s health, specifically intolerances that may be causing discomforts like itching or poor digestion.

The Environmental Intolerance test checks for adverse reactions against 100 common items that your pet may come into contact with, including bugs, fabrics, and grasses.

The Food Intolerance database is filled with over 250 ingredients often found in pet food. Consider this analysis if your dog scratches incessantly, bites its paws, is losing hair, or often has an upset stomach. Your test results will show how much trigger foods affect your pet, on a scale from 1 to 3, so you can start an elimination diet.

The Food and Treat Intolerance checks for issues against an additional 100 common treats or ingredients you might find in treats.

The Nutrition Test is ideal if you’re working on your pet’s diet. It shows which nutrients your dog isn’t getting enough of or isn’t absorbing properly. Note that this test won’t show actual nutrient measurements, just whether your pet is receiving enough.

The Metals and Minerals test can be a useful tool for parents of pets that are displaying symptoms that can’t be attributed to food or environmental intolerances. While it doesn’t provide exact measurements, it will tell you those metals and minerals in your dog’s system that are high or not being properly eliminated.

5Strands’ Standard Package is a combination of its environmental and food tests, and its Deluxe Package offers the most comprehensive review of your pet’s DNA, including the environmental, food, nutrition, and metals and minerals tests.

Find Out Your Dog's Intolerances With 5Strands!

5. Wisdom Panel – Best Value for Breed and Health Info

  • Compares your dog’s DNA against its database of over 350 breeds
  • Learn about the traits that determine coat type, color, weight, and more
  • Basic test checks for predisposition to 25 medical conditions
  • Upgraded test looks at up to 180+ additional health risks
  • Results available in 2 to 3 weeks

Price from$99.99
Our score9

Wisdom Panel is another top contender for best DNA dog test as it also has an extensive database that covers over 350 breeds, from Affenpinscher to Yorkshire Terrier. As some dogs can be made up of a dozen breeds or more, Wisdom Panel presents its findings by breaking up your dog’s ancestry by type and then percentage — I really liked how easy it was to review this info.

You’ll also see a snapshot of your dog’s family tree information that shows the breed makeup of your pet’s parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. This is an exciting way to visualize where your pup came from.

Also included with the basic Essentials test is a breakdown of the genes responsible for your dog’s traits, including coat type, color, and body type, and info about your pet’s likelihood of developing certain medical complications. You have to pay for this insight with other tests, so it was very nice to see it included with this basic test. You’ll even receive info about your pet’s ideal weight range (based on 7 genetic markers) so you can keep an eye on its diet.

If you want an even closer look at your dog’s health markers, you’ll need to upgrade to Wisdom Panel’s Premium test. With this, you’ll get the results of over 180 additional health tests so you can learn what to look out for in the future. As an added bonus, you’ll receive a call from a licensed veterinarian should your dog test positive for a notable health condition — they’ll talk to you about what the result means and what you should do next.

Testing your pet for a Wisdom Panel dog DNA test is a little more complicated because you need to use two swabs for two samples rather than one, but more swabs means better chances at snagging a good DNA sample. It only takes 2 to 3 weeks to receive your pet’s results, which is a bit faster than other services.

Learn About Your Dog's Genetic Makeup With Wisdom Panel

What’s In the Fine Print?

When purchasing dog DNA tests, it’s crucial to factor in potential additional costs that could impact the overall expense. These may include shipping charges, optional add-ons during the checkout process, or potential subscription fees.

In terms of shipping, most dog DNA tests mentioned offer complimentary shipping to your doorstep. However, it’s worth noting that 5Strands does charge approximately $5 for first-class delivery. Fortunately, all companies include prepaid shipping labels for returning your sample, ensuring you won’t face additional mailing costs.

As for upsells, the recommended DNA tests refrain from pushing for the purchase of extra products or tests during checkout. You’ll only be purchasing the DNA test kit itself.

Subscription fees are another consideration. Some services may require ongoing payments for continued access to your dog’s DNA results or additional features. However, the companies investigated in this review do not necessitate such fees. For example, with tests like Embark’s, your one-time payment grants lifelong access to your results and any included features, such as the relative finder.

Uncover Your Dog's Secrets With Embark!

How Accurate is Dog DNA Testing?

The accuracy of at-home dog DNA tests is very good, and as more pet parents seek tests and contribute their dogs’ data, these results will get even better. Right now, you can expect accuracy rates of 80% or more.

The most accurate dog DNA test on this list is Embark, which boasts up to 99.99% precision for its health tests and points towards the 200,000 genetic markers it checks to determine breed — for comparison, the next best dog DNA test kit is Wisdom Panel, and it only checks 1,800 markers.

It’s important to bear in mind that no testing facility can provide an absolute guarantee of 100% accuracy due to various factors that can influence test results. However, the dog DNA tests featured on this list are known for their high accuracy, resulting in a minimal margin of error.

The quality of the DNA sample collected is a significant factor that can influence accuracy. Unlike humans, who can easily provide saliva samples, dogs may not fully understand the process and may struggle to remain still during sample collection. If the sample collection instructions are not followed precisely, such as insufficient swabbing duration or sampling too soon after your dog has eaten, it can be difficult to obtain an adequate amount of DNA.

To enhance the accuracy of your results, consider practicing saliva collection with your dog before the actual test. During these practice sessions, use cotton swabs and reward your furry friend with plenty of treats afterward. This preparation can help your dog become more cooperative and eager to please when it’s time for the actual DNA swab, leading to better results.

Get Started With Embark Today!

What Will the Results From a Dog DNA Test Tell Me?

A dog DNA test can unlock the secrets of your furry friend’s pedigree and what the future may hold for him. It can tell you about your dog’s:

  • breed makeup and ancestry, often to great grandparents
  • biomarkers that determine coat color, coat type, body shape, and more
  • likelihood of developing health concerns, such as cardiomyopathy or glaucoma
  • carrier status for certain genetic conditions
  • biological age and expected lifespan
  • nutritional needs, vitamin deficiencies, and necessary routine care
  • intolerances to foods, its environment, and other things it may come in contact with

It’s important to remember that DNA tests for dogs are not designed to diagnose health conditions. Instead, they tell you about your dog’s predisposition to a health concern based on its genes. If your pet’s test comes back indicating that he’s prone to a particular condition, you need to consult with your veterinarian to determine what steps to take next, including possible treatment.

How Dog DNA Test Kit Can Be Beneficial to Your Dog

dog DNA tests are not just about discovering your pup’s breed mix and satisfying your curiosity (although that’s pretty cool too). These tests can actually be incredibly beneficial for your dog’s overall health and happiness. Let’s dive in and explore how!

  1. Uncovering Genetic Health Risks: Imagine having the ability to peek into your dog’s genetic blueprint and identify potential health issues before they become major concerns. Dog DNA tests can do just that! By analyzing your pup’s DNA, these tests can reveal genetic mutations or markers associated with certain diseases or conditions. Armed with this knowledge, you and your vet can take proactive measures to manage or prevent these risks, ensuring a longer and healthier life for your beloved companion.
  2. Tailoring Nutrition and Exercise: Every dog is unique, and their dietary and exercise needs can vary based on their genetic makeup. With a DNA test, you can gain insights into your pup’s metabolism, predispositions to weight gain, and nutrient requirements. Armed with this information, you can develop a customized diet and exercise plan that suits your dog’s specific needs. From portion control to choosing the right type of food, these tailored strategies can help your pup maintain a healthy weight, boost their energy levels, and keep those tails wagging!
  3. Predicting Behavioral Traits: Have you ever wondered why your pup behaves the way they do? DNA testing can provide fascinating insights into your dog’s behavioral traits and tendencies. From their socialization skills to their response to training, genetic markers can offer clues about their natural inclinations. Understanding these traits can assist you in tailoring your training methods, setting realistic expectations, and strengthening your bond with your four-legged friend. It’s like having a secret decoder to unlock their unique personality!
  4. Connecting with Ancestral Roots: Discovering your dog’s breed heritage is an exciting adventure in itself, but it’s not just for curiosity’s sake. Knowing their ancestry can help you understand breed-specific behaviors, temperament, and potential health risks associated with certain breeds. This knowledge can guide your training approach, anticipate specific needs, and ensure a happier and healthier life for your pup.

So, it’s time to embark on a tail-wagging journey of discovery! Dog DNA tests offer a window into your dog’s genetic makeup, empowering you to make informed decisions about their health, nutrition, behavior, and overall well-being. Consult with your veterinarian, choose a reputable DNA testing provider, and get ready to unlock a world of insights that will help your furry companion thrive.

Best Dog DNA Test Kits: Comparison Table

DNA Testing Company Breed Identification Health Risks Free Shipping Time to Results Starting Price
Embark 3 to 5 weeks $129.00
Basepaws 4-6 Weeks $149.00
Ancestry 4-6 Weeks $99.00
5Strands 5 to 10 days $144.00
Wisdom Panel 2 to 3 weeks $99.99

Learn Your Dog’s Genetic Secrets

Taking a dog DNA test can be fun because you get to learn about your pup’s unique genetic makeup. But it can also be an important tool for preparing for your dog’s future needs because it can reveal your pet’s chances of developing a disease.

If you’d like to determine your dog’s breed and identify potential health concerns, Embark is my top recommendation. Embark’s accuracy and comprehensive results can’t be beaten, and you’re sure to be pleased with its fast turnaround and fair pricing.

FAQs

How can I find out what breed my dog is?

A dog DNA test that includes breed identification is the best way to find out your pet’s biological makeup. Best of all, most tests don’t require a blood sample or vet visit — you just need to swab your dog’s mouth for about 30 seconds.

Of all the DNA tests I’ve researched, Embark is my top recommendation because it offers the most accurate results. It reviews over 200,000 biomarkers to provide the most in-depth information about how your dog came to be.

What can dog DNA tests tell you about your dog’s health?

Dog DNA tests can tell you a lot about your dog’s health, including what conditions it may be predisposed to developing and what foods or environmental factors may be causing it discomfort.

Remember that dog DNA tests are not intended to diagnose a health condition. Just because a test shows that your pet may develop a disease, that doesn’t mean your dog is sick or that it will ever be sick. It’s best to use the information from DNA tests to develop action plans with your veterinarian.

Why should you test your dog’s DNA?

If you’ve ever wondered why your dog has floppy ears or whether its piercing eyes come from wolf or coyote in its ancestry, you can gain insight into your pet’s lineage by using a dog DNA test.

Dog DNA tests can also be used to learn about possible diseases or health conditions that your pup may develop. If your furry friend has been plagued by itching or an upset stomach, you can use the intolerance tests from 5Strands to determine what food or environmental factor might be causing discomfort.

Can dog DNA tell age?

Dog DNA tests cannot tell your dog’s chronological age, but some can tell you its biological age — that is, how old your dog seems based on the shortening of its telomeres.

My research shows that the NEXTGEN test kit from DNA My Dog offers the best value and results in determining how old your dog is genetically and how much longer he may live.

Which dog DNA test is better: Embark or Wisdom Panel?

Embark is easily the best dog DNA test kit. It offers the most accurate breed identification because it compares over 200,000 biomarkers against its database of more than 350 breeds.

It also offers comprehensive health screening of over 200 medical conditions so you can learn about what diseases your pet may develop in the future. Best of all, it does all of this for under $200.

We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links. Learn more.
About Author
Katy Willis
Katy Willis
Expert DNA & Health Test Researcher

Katy has been researching and writing for more than 15 years. She has a deep understanding of DNA and at-home health testing for humans and pets. She believes in providing genuine, honest information that helps people achieve their goals.

Katy has been researching and writing for more than 15 years. She has a deep understanding of DNA and at-home health testing for humans and pets. She believes in providing genuine, honest information that helps people achieve their goals.