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Best Dog DNA Tests For 2020

Where once it was a weird and interesting novelty, home DNA testing is now a common activity amongst us humans, who’ve been swabbing our mouths and sending off samples in search of ancestral history for years.

It’s unsurprising then that many companies are now looking to offer you exactly the same service – except for your dog.

Working in the same way as human ancestry tests, dog versions allow owners to send off doggy bags of swab sticks to discover the breed history of their pup, which can often be particularly interesting for owners of mixed breeds who are unaware of their pooch’s backstory.

But that’s not the only benefit of opting for dog DNA testing and such is their advancements in the last few years that they can now even help reveal predispositions to certain illnesses and unique behavioural traits.

This means rather than just a fun learning exercise about your faithful hound, dog DNA tests can actually help you devise and plan a better life for them, with nutrition and vitality programmes based on the results you receive.

But with so little dog DNA testing kits currently available on the market, choices are limited and deciding which one is worth the money can be tricky.

So to help you discover insightful doggy DNA and much, much more, we’ve assessed the small array of products out there and picked out our three absolute favourites, that all provide you with an enthralling experience and results you can use forever.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Wisdom Panel 3.0 Canine DNA Test
    • Breed detection for 350 types & varieties
    • Offers MDR-1 drug sensitivity testing
    • Weight & nutrition guidance
    Check Price
    Wisdom Panel 2.0 Dog DNA Test
    • Breed detection for 220 types & varieties
    • Three-generation family tree
    • Predicted weight profile for nutrition
    Check Price
    DNA My Dog Canine Breed Identification Test Kit
    • Easy & painless cheek swab kit
    • Learn full breed composition & unique traits
    • Results in just two weeks!
    Check Price

    The Top 3 Best Dog DNA Tests Reviewed

    1.
    Wisdom Panel 3.0 Canine DNA Test

    The most successful, authentic and trustworthy dog DNA kit on the market, your first port of call for any canine ancestry test should always be Wisdom Panel!

    Now boasting their new and improved 3rd kit, their new analysis systems are more advanced than ever, now being able to provide data for more than 350 breeds, types and varieties of pup!

    But despite its impressive upgrade in science, the test itself remains a simple cheek swab process that any owner and pooch can complete at home, with all the hard work left to Wisdom Panel’s brainy boffins once you send the completed test back to their labs.

    Receiving a genetic analysis of ancestry and breed in as little as 2 weeks, WP’s results can help identify breed-specific health issues your mixed canine may be at risk of as well as allow you to create the optimum tailored training/nutrition plan for their health and future.

    These insights can help you better understand your own beautiful dog’s unique appearance and behaviours and Wisdom Panel have so far tested DNA for more than 1.5 million dogs making them very much the best in show when it comes to doggy DNA!

    Features

    • Breed detection for 350 types & varieties
    • Offers MDR-1 drug sensitivity testing
    • Weight & nutrition guidance

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 21.59 x 13.34 x 2.54 cm
    • Weight: 18.14 g

    2.
    Wisdom Panel 2.0 Dog DNA Test

    We realise not everyone has the budget for a top of the range, mega-expensive DNA kit, but thankfully earlier versions of Wisdom Panel’s DNA test now makes your dog’s ancestry twice as cheap to discover!

    As with their other kits, this 2.0 edition is a simple online order and all you have to do is swab the inside of your dog’s mouth and then send them back to Wisdom Panel to get in-depth results back through their website!

    Once your results have been calculated in two to three weeks, you’ll be able to log into Wisdom Panel’s Learning Labs, where you can read all your results in one comprehensive report!

    With breed detection for more than 220 breeds, types and varieties, you’ll receive a three-generation family tree, a breed percentage chart, a predicted weight profile for nutrition guidance and much more in-depth info!

    It’s especially useful when bringing home a new mixed breed puppy you still know little about, as the predicted weight profile will help you gauge how big they should be and can get with the right nutrition!

    As it’s a little cheaper, though it’s not quite as comprehensive as the 3.0 test, for half the price, it should still be an ultra-satisfying expedition into your pet’s background!

    Features

    • Breed detection for 220 types & varieties
    • Three-generation family tree
    • Predicted weight profile for nutrition

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 22.23 x 5.08 x 12.07 cm
    • Weight: 18 g

    3.
    DNA My Dog Canine Breed Identification Test Kit

    Helping you to discover true hound heritage, DNA My Dog is another reputable and reliable brand when it comes to playing Who Do You Think You Are with your beloved pup!

    A quick cheek swab test, it’s an easy and painless process for your pooch which after analysis can help gain unique insights into their genetic background, including their breed history and personality traits!

    After DNA My Dog has snapped up your samples they are thoroughly examined and passed through their database of dog breeds, looking for shared DNA with your dog’s cheek cells.

    What we really love about DNA My Dog though is their results presentation, as rather than being a largely online resource, they instead send your results back to you in the form of a lovely certificate, featuring a custom photo of your mutt and all their interesting genetic findings!

    This means it’s never been easier to show off your results to family and friends, and it could even make a fascinating and fun display piece to help steer a house guests conversation back to what matters – your dog!

    The results offer information about every small percentage and level of different breeds in your dog’s background, as well as the traits and health concerns associated with each breed, helping you to understand your pooch’s behaviour and wellbeing a little better.

    And with a turnaround time of just two weeks, it’s one of the fastest and most efficient tests on the market!

    Features

    • Easy & painless cheek swab kit
    • Learn full breed composition & unique traits
    • Results in just two weeks!

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 24.13 x 10.16 x 0.76 cm
    • Weight: 22.68 g

    Buying Guide

    The Benefits Of Dog DNA Tests

    Digging into family ancestry has become such a popular hobby in the 21st century, that’s it’s now a booming business, with millions subscribing to archive and history sites to try and discover who they really are. In the wake of such interest, DNA ancestry testing also becomes a popular process, allowing subjects to send off saliva samples to dedicated companies and receive back detailed information on they’re geographical and ethnic heritage.

    It was only a matter of time before we started to become similarly curious about our pets!

    To many though, DNA dog tests are an expensive extravagance, and it’s difficult to understand why finding out your dog’s genetic make-up is ever worth such a large price tag.

    DNA dog tests, however, are far from an indulgence for dog mamas and papas and they can actually be incredibly valuable in ensuring the long-term health of your pooch, as well as an interesting tool when it comes to addressing behavioural concerns.

    The highest quality tests can test your dog’s DNA against over 300 breed samples and in turn, offer screening for literally hundreds of health conditions. Some companies also provide weight guidance aids and nutrition plans based on your dog’s breed make-up, making them ideal for ensuring complete vitality in your pup’s lifestyle.

    What Do Dog DNA Tests Consist Of?

    Considering how much money they cost, it can often feel like a leap of faith purchasing a dog DNA test, as it’s hard to know quite what you’re going to get. Ultimately though, the price of these tests is based on paying for the process rather than a box of goodies, as cross-referencing DNA against a database is a time consuming and refined bit of science.

    Therefore, most DNA test packages are fairly simple, providing you with instructions for taking samples from your pup, as well as a few swabs to do it with.

    There is then plastic sleeves or a test tube to place your sample inside and then an attachable label to add your information to the sample.

    Features To Consider

    Breed Databases

    Dog DNA test companies use in-house genetic databases to cross-reference with your personal samples and it’s fair to say, some companies can offer more data and success than others.

    Obviously, the more breed data a company boasts, the higher chance you have of gaining a truly accurate reading of your dog’s sample and is more likely to reveal rarer breeds if you suspect your dog is not just a standard two breed mix.

    You’re unlikely to find any companies which boast more than 400 plus breeds in their database but the most reliable and best products tend to boast over 300. We genuinely would suggest always looking for databases of 200 or more, as otherwise, you’ll likely be disappointed with your fairly basic and inaccurate results.

    Health Insights

    While learning the breed history for your dog is definitely fun and interesting, dog DNA tests are most valuable when they can also provide information to help you better look after your dog’s unique needs.

    While DNA tests can’t actually reveal whether your pup is currently suffering from an underlying issue, high-quality tests can offer health screening as part of their results, revealing if your pet is predisposed to a specific illness based on their genetic history.

    Learning these results could help you alert your veterinarian of such genetic health traits and from there you could work with them to devise a nutrition and health plan to ensure your dog’s vitality.

    The best DNA tests will reveal predispositions to hundreds of health issues, but there are also tests which offer screening for just one or two, such as resistance to common medication (MDR-1 sensitivity).

    At the very least it’s good to get some general health results as part of your package, revealing any allergies your mutt has and analysing some of their vitals such as hormones and vitamin levels.

    Test Speed

    If you’re considering getting a kit as a gift, or you’re just someone who doesn’t like to be kept waiting, it’s often important to pay attention to how fast a company can complete the process and send results back to you.

    In general, this is a time-consuming process and it commonly takes at least two weeks. Pay close attention to product descriptions and try and find one which promises a two-three week turnaround time, but be careful of the wording – ‘At least two weeks’ isn’t promising anything and could easily extend to three, four or more!

    It’s also wise to look up the laboratory addresses of these companies too, as then you’ll get a better idea of how long it’s going to take your sample to get there and your results to come back.

    For this reason, it’s often wise to go with companies which offer online resources, as then you’re not waiting around for a package.

    Price

    Naturally, the biggest drawback of DNA tests is their price.

    Many high-end products can cost you well over £100 and at a minimum, even the cheapest kits are going to set you back around £60.

    We feel it’s wise to check prices against breed database ranges and extra features before shelling out over £100 though, as products like Wisdom Panel are one of the most reliable and trusted, yet cost much less than that depending on what version you buy.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    Which dog DNA test is most accurate?

    As dog DNA testing is a relatively new procedure, there are still not many companies out there that offer it. But given how costly it is, it’s only natural that you want to ensure you’re paying something worth the price.

    At the moment, Wisdom Panel products offer easily the most extensive databases and range of health insights, which means, in turn, they’re likely to provide the most accurate results. Previous versions of their test also offer the cheapest in-depth testing on the market and so they are without a doubt the best option.

    How do dog DNA tests work?

    Dog DNA tests arrive at your house as pretty basic kits, featuring swabs, test tubes and labels for you to provide a sample.

    Then all you need to do is take a sample. Using one of the provided swabs, place inside your dog’s mouth and gently rub the inside of their cheek to pick up some of their cells and saliva. Then repeat the process with the remaining swabs in the kit to ensure the DNA testing company has a sufficient sample size to work with.

    These swabs must then be sealed in either a provided plastic sleeve or test tube to ensure they remain sealed and uncontaminated. Then all that’s left to do is to write in the correct information on any provided labels and secure it to the test tube or sleeve.

    You are then required to send these to the DNA companies labs/premises for them to run the samples against their breed databases, where they can then look for genetic matches between your dog and the various dog breeds out there.

    Once they’ve gained all the data they can, DNA companies will then use this data to create an online or physical document detailing your dog’s genetic background.

    Can dog DNA tests determine age?

    If your pup is a rescue or you acquired them through unconventional means, you often have very little knowledge about their backstory and even simple things like their true age can remain a mystery and are down to the educated guesses of your vet.

    The arrival of dog DNA tests has therefore really peaked the interests of such dog owners as they could be the gateway to discovering more!

    However, standard DNA kits do not cover age information and so if this is all you care about – don’t waste your money!

    Instead, look out for genetic dog age kits, which are specifically designed to find this out rather than breed information.