The 4 Best Dog DNA Tests That Dig Into Breed, Health, and History
We know so much about our beloved furry friend: her favorite dog food brand, go-to squeaky toy, preferred pillow on the couch. And while we can go on about who she is and what she loves, there's a lot to uncover when we think about the oh-so-special genes that make our dog truly one of a kind.
The best dog DNA tests demystify just about everything we should know about our dogs to find out who they really are. (Spoiler alert: 100-percent good dog.) With a simple swab of their cheek, you can find out your dog's breed, health, and traits after it's been analyzed by a laboratory.
"DNA testing is very beneficial to learn what breed of dog that you have," says Sara Ochoa, DVM at Senior Tail Waggers. "This can help you know what disease(s) that your pet is predisposed to. You can then monitor them for these conditions and even start preventative measures to help prevent these issues."
If you're ready to learn what breeds make up your adorable pup or just want more information on their health, here are the best dog DNA tests in 2022, ranging from budget-friendly basics to in-depth kits.
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What To Look For
Learning all about your dog's breed, genetics, and even family members with a simple cheek swab? Is that even possible? Ochoa reminds us that "some of these tests may not be 100-percent accurate [and] with dogs who are very mixed, the test may be inconclusive."
When browsing tests, review the company's accuracy results and read reviews for reassurance. With something as complicated as DNA via cheek swab, it's best to keep in mind that it'll likely be at least 90-percent accurate but maybe not completely accurate considering various factors like the sample quality, testing method, quality control, etc.
Always follow the swabbing and handling directions from the company to ensure the most accurate results.
Because these are DNA tests you can use from the comfort of your home, there are some limitations associated with the type of test you're using, particularly when it comes to health. "While they can give you genetic markers for certain diseases, they cannot tell you if your dog will ever develop these issues," Ochoa says.
While they might be a little more expensive and don't come with an aesthetically pleasing breakdown like the at-home kits, your vet could be able to perform a DNA test in their office.
"There is blood testing that is a little more accurate than the cheek swab," she says. "Your vet will also be able to fully examine your dog to see if they detect any health issues on their exam that you should worry about."
If you do go with an at-home test, don't forget to share the results with your vet so you can come up with the best preventative care plan for your pup.