Embark, The Best Dog DNA Test for Unlocking Your Dog’s Genetics?

June 23, 2023
Annette Thompson

As pet owners, we all want to provide the best possible care for our furry friends. One way to do this is by understanding their genetic makeup and potential health risks. With dog DNA tests becoming increasingly popular, pet owners now have access to valuable information about their dog’s breed ancestry and potential health issues.

However, with so many options on the market, it can be challenging to determine which test is the best. This article will explore the top two dog DNA tests, Embark and Wisdom Panel, and provide information about their accuracy, features, and overall value.

By understanding the benefits and limitations of dog DNA tests, pet owners can make informed decisions about their dog’s health and well-being.

Note: This posts tries to be as objective as possible, as we are not reciving any money from Embark to write about them nor to link to their site.

Key Takeaways

  • The best dog DNA tests use saliva to reveal a dog’s breed ancestry and can also detect inherited diseases.
  • Experts often fail at interpreting a dog’s Breed based on appearance, making dog DNA tests necessary for confirming breed ancestry.
  • Embark is a great dog DNA test option, with a comprehensive breed database, screens for more genetic diseases than rivals, and reliable customer service.
  • Wisdom Panel is a cheaper alternative that identifies more AKC-registered breeds but uses fewer genetic markers, potentially resulting in less precise results. They also perform DNA tests on cats.

Understanding Dog DNA Tests

Dog DNA Test

Understanding DNA is crucial for dog owners interested in making a this kind of tests for their dogs. DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, carries the genetic information that determines a dog’s traits, behaviors, and potential health risks. By unraveling the mysteries of DNA, dog owners can gain valuable insights into their pet’s breed composition, ancestry, and possible health conditions.

With a DNA dog test, owners can uncover their dog’s genetic heritage and better understand their unique characteristics. It can answer questions about a dog’s breed ancestry, helping owners gain insight into specific breed traits and behaviors. This knowledge can be valuable for training, understanding a dog’s needs, and tailoring their care accordingly.

DNA testing can also shed light on potential health risks. Certain genetic mutations or markers are associated with specific health conditions in dogs. By identifying these markers through a DNA test, owners can proactively monitor their dog’s health and take preventive measures. Early detection of genetic predispositions allows for timely veterinary care and management, leading to better health outcomes.

Furthermore, DNA testing can be helpful in responsible breeding practices. Breeders can use DNA tests to verify parentage, assess genetic diversity, and make informed decisions to improve the overall health and well-being of future generations of dogs.

Understanding DNA and utilizing DNA dog tests can provide dog owners with valuable information about their pet’s breed composition, ancestry, potential health risks, and behavioral traits. It empowers owners to make informed decisions about their dog’s care, monitor their health, and contribute to responsible breeding practices.

Why Use a Dog DNA Test?

Dog DNA Test

Dog DNA testing has become increasingly popular among pet owners seeking to confirm their dog’s breed ancestry and screen for genetic health conditions. The benefits of using a dog DNA test include providing insight into a dog’s breed composition, which can help owners better understand their pet’s behavior and health needs.

Additionally, genetic testing can identify potential health risks, allowing owners to take preventative measures and provide early treatment if necessary. One of the most significant benefits of using a dog DNA test is cost-effectiveness. Owners can save money on expensive veterinary bills and treatments by identifying potential health risks early on.

Furthermore, knowing a dog’s breed ancestry can help owners tailor their pet’s diet and exercise routine to their specific needs, potentially preventing future health issues. A dog DNA test can provide valuable information for pet owners, leading to better health outcomes and a stronger bond between owner and pet.

Limitations of Appearance-Based Breed Guessing

Genetic testing for mixed-breed dogs can provide more accurate and comprehensive information about their breed ancestry. It can even identify breeds that are not immediately recognizable based on physical traits alone. Genetic testing can also screen for inherited diseases, which can be important information for pet owners and veterinarians

Herd Immunity and Responsible Breeding

Dog DNA Test

The concept of herd immunity and responsible breeding practices play a crucial role in maintaining the health of dog populations. Herd immunity is a term used to describe the resistance to the spread of a contagious disease within a population due to a significant portion of the population being immune to the disease.

As there are homeless dogs in many parts of the world waiting for a loving family to adopt them, at Bone Voyage Dog Rescue we deeply encourage for people to adopt dogs rather than buying.

We still recognised that there is a demand for dogs from a specifc breeds. and we are awere that there are responsible breeders that have practices that considered the wellfare of their dogs over the profit, for this they need to follow some criteria and guidelines to be recognized as responsible,

Purebreed dogs are more prone to have particular diseases because of the inbreeding they have gone through generations. Responsible breeding practices can help maintain herd immunity by reducing the prevalence of genetic diseases within a breed. This can be achieved by carefully selecting breeding pairs based on their genetic health and avoiding breeding dogs with known genetic disorders.

To ensure responsible breeding practices, breeders should prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs over profits. This can be achieved by conducting health screenings and genetic testing before breeding and only breeding dogs with good health and temperament. Breeders should also avoid inbreeding, as it can increase the risk of genetic disorders and decrease genetic diversity within a breed.

Inherited-Disease Detection

Inherited disease detection is an essential aspect of dog DNA testing that can help pet owners make informed decisions about their dog’s health and potential medical needs. Genetic screening can identify if a dog is a carrier for certain inherited diseases, allowing owners to take preventative measures or seek early treatment. This information can also be helpful for breeders to make informed decisions about which dogs to breed and which to avoid to prevent the spread of genetic diseases within a breed.

Disease prevention is crucial for the overall health and well-being of dogs. Inherited diseases can lead to various health issues, from mild to life-threatening. By identifying which conditions a dog may be at risk for, pet owners can take preventative measures, such as regular check-ups with a veterinarian or modifying their dog’s diet and exercise routine, to mitigate the disease risk.

Inherited disease detection is just one of the many benefits of dog DNA testing and can ultimately lead to a healthier, happier life for our furry friends.

Genetic Diseases Detectable by Tests

Regarding genetic testing for dogs, the detection of inherited diseases is an important aspect that pet owners may consider in addition to breed ancestry.

To give a better understanding of the genetic diseases detected by a genetic health test, below is a table showing some of the genetic diseases tested and their effects on dogs:

Genetic DiseaseEffects on Dogs
Degenerative MyelopathyProgressive paralysis
Von Willebrand DiseaseExcessive bleeding, bruising
Dilated CardiomyopathyWeakened heart muscle, heart failure
Exercise Induced CollapseMuscle weakness, collapse during exercise
Progressive Retinal AtrophyProgressive vision loss

By detecting these genetic diseases before they start, pet owners can proactively manage their dog’s health and prevent the onset of debilitating conditions. Embark’s comprehensive genetic-disease detection tool makes it easier for pet owners to manage their dog’s health and ensure that they lead happy and healthy lives.

Dog Genetic Tests Risk

Doing genetic tests come with some risks that you should consider before making the decission.

  • Inaccuracy, the accuracy of the tests are reported by providers, you will have to take their word, as so far there is no independent organism that can back their claims with no conflict ofinterest.
  • Genetic risks that might never develop
  • Finding about a dog disease you cannot do anything about it

Industry Regulation and Privacy Concerns

The regulation of the pet genetic-testing industry and privacy concerns have become essential considerations for pet owners seeking to learn more about their pet’s health and breed ancestry.

The pet genetic-testing industry is currently unregulated, so companies must adhere to no standards or guidelines. This lack of regulation has led to concerns about test results’ accuracy and the potential misuse of personal information.

Additionally, privacy concerns have arisen as pet owners must share personal information and genetic data with these companies. Many pet owners are worried about how this information will be used, who will have access to it, and the potential for this data to be used against them.

As such, it is essential for pet owners to carefully consider the privacy policies of different companies before choosing a dog DNA test.

Embark Overview

Embark offers a genetic breed & Health test is a comprehensive and accurate pet genetic-testing tool that offers screening for over 230 genetic diseases, making it the top choice for pet owners. The kit’s shareable dashboard provides a breakdown of breed composition, genetic health results, and other relevant information. Embark uses 20,000 genetic markers, which is more than 100 times greater than some of its competitors, resulting in more accurate health breed identification and health screening.

Embark is a worthwhile investment for pet owners who want a more detailed understanding of their dog’s breed ancestry and health risks. Embark tests for more than 350 different breeds, including breeds not accepted by the American Kennel Club, make it the best choice for those with mixed-breed dogs.

Embark also offers other test like Gut Health Test, Oral Health Tests and supplements, and a bundle option if you want to have a complete test for assesing your dog’s health.

Overall, Embark Breed & health test is a reliable and valuable tool for pet owners who want to understand and take advantage of current DNA technology for their dogs.

Embark’s Involvement in Canine Genetics Research

Embark sponsors the International Partnership for Dogs and collaborates with researchers to enhance the understanding of canine genetics. This partnership aims to improve dogs’ health worldwide by researching and identifying genetic mutations that cause diseases in dogs. Embark’s involvement in canine genetics research is essential in advancing the field and improving dogs’ health globally.

Here are some ways Embark’s impact on breed health through canine research partnerships can be seen:

  1. In collaboration with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, they developed a high-resolution genotyping platform. This development enables the analysis of a dog’s genome at more than 230,000 distinct locations.
  2. A research team is currently investigating prevalent canine cancers and dilated cardiomyopathy.
  3. With Embark’s comprehensive breed database, researchers can study the genetic diversity of different breeds and identify health concerns specific to certain breeds.
  4. Embark’s genetic-disease detection tool screens for more mutations than any other kit tested, enabling researchers to identify and study mutations that cause dog diseases.

Embark’s involvement in canine genetics research is critical in advancing the field and improving dogs’ health worldwide. Through partnerships with organizations like the Cornell University College of Vetrinary Medicine and by providing comprehensive genetic testing, Embark is making a significant impact on dog’s health.

Wisdom Panel Overview

Wisdom Panel is a comprehensive DNA test specifically designed for dogs, providing dog owners with valuable insights into their pet’s genetic makeup, breed composition, and potential health risks. With over a decade of experience and advancements in DNA technology, Wisdom Panel has established itself as a trusted and reliable resource for dog owners seeking a deeper understanding of their furry companions.

Wisdom Panel has done more 19 million genetic marker analysis and did the genotype of more than 13,000 dogs. They use over 1800 genetic markers for testing.

Through the analysis of a dog’s DNA, Wisdom Panel can determine the breed ancestry, often identifying multiple breeds that contribute to the dog’s genetic composition. This information helps owners comprehend specific breed traits, behaviors, and potential health concerns associated with different breeds. Whether a dog is a purebred or mixed breed, Wisdom Panel offers a detailed breakdown of the genetic contributions from various breeds in the dog’s lineage.

Beyond breed analysis, Wisdom Panel also provides insights into potential health risks. The test screens for genetic mutations and markers associated with various health conditions, enabling owners to monitor their dog’s health and take proactive preventive measures. Early detection and management of genetic predispositions can significantly impact the dog’s well-being and longevity.

Conducting the Wisdom Panel test is simple and non-invasive, involving a straightforward cheek swab from the dog. Owners then send the sample to the laboratory for analysis, with results typically delivered within a few weeks. The comprehensive report offers a detailed breakdown of breed ancestry, including a family tree, breed traits and characteristics, and potential health risks to be aware of.

Wisdom Panel serves as a valuable tool for dog owners, providing them with a deeper understanding of their pet’s genetic background, unique traits, and potential health concerns. This knowledge allows owners to tailor their dog’s care, training, and overall well-being based on their specific genetic makeup. Whether fueled by curiosity or practical considerations, Wisdom Panel empowers dog owners to make informed decisions and provide the best possible care for their beloved companions.

In important advantage about wisdom panel is that it can do genetic tests for cats, which Embark does not do. Here we can have a look to the difference services that wisdom panel provides. (Prices and what is included might be outdated).

Wisdom Panel™ PremiumWisdom Panel™ EssentialWisdom Panel™ Breed DiscoveryWisdom Panel™ Complete for Cats
Screens for 350+ breedsScreens for 350+ breedsScreens for 350+ breedsScreens for 70+ breeds and populations
Test for 210 genetic health conditionsTest for 25+ genetic health conditionsTest for medication sensitivities (MDR1 test)  Test for 45+ genetic health conditions.
Find your dog’s relativesFind your dog’s relativesFind your dog’s relativesSee a multi-generational family tree
Test for 35+ physical traits Trace their family tree back 3 generations  Test for 25+ physical traits
Discuss ‘at risk’ health findings with a vet  Identify blood type
   Discuss ‘at risk’ health findings with a vet  

Comparison of Embark Vs Wisdom Panel

In here a table comparing the features of the two companies face to face. We put the more complete servece only in the following table. (Prices and what is included might be outdated).

Wisdom Panel™ PremiumEmbark Dog Dna Breed and Health Test
Breed Screening350+ breeds350+ breeds
Genetic Health ConditionsTest for 210Test for 250+
Relative FinderYesYes
Physical TraitsTest for 35+Test for 35+
Expert AdviceDiscuss ‘at risk’ health findings with a vetSupport from genetic specialists
Genetic Markers Measured1,800200,000

Head to head Embark looks as a better option, as both have the same cost, but Embark tests for more genetic conditions and analyses way more genetic markers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Accurate is the doggy DNA test?

The accuracy varies from provider to provider and it depends on the quality of the sample (which depends on the persons that takes the swap from the pet) amount of genetic markers tested, and how much probes they test.

Is DNA Testing Good For Dogs?

Yes. The test usually is not invasive with a saliva swab, and it a health test can provide insight on the diseases the dog can develop and start preventing treatment sooner rather than later.

How Much Is DNA Test for Dogs?

DNA tests come from $66USD to $199USD, depending on the company. Health tests make the cost higher.

How Do You Test you Dog DNA For Breed?

  1. Buy a test kit from an reputable provider
  2. Take the sample carefully from your dog’s mouth
  3. Send back the sample to the provider
  4. Wait for the results in your email.

AreDog DNA Tests Worth it?

If you can afford them, a good quality genetic health test totally worths it. As with them you can prevent or delay the onset of terrible diseases in your dog. Also, consider the following risks:

  • Inaccuracy
  • Genetic risks that might never develop
  • Finding about a disease you cannot do anything about it
  • Use of the genetic information on your detriment by


If you’re curious about the genetic heritage of your dog or if you want to know what diseases he or she is prone to have, don’t hesitate to take a breed and health test. You can chose either from Wisdom Panel or Embark, from the info presented, for a complete analysis embark is a better option, as it tests for more diseases, analyzing way more genetic markers, but if you want a partial health test or only the breed test, Wisdom Panel is a good option as they have more affordable packages.

At Bone Voyage Dog Rescue, we understand the importance of knowing your dog’s genetics to provide tailored care and ensure its well-being.

However, there’s more to enriching your life with a furry friend than just discovering their DNA. By adopting a rescue dog from Bone Voyage Dog Rescue, you’re gaining a loyal and loving companion and giving a deserving soul a second chance at happiness.

Visit our website today, explore our adoption process, and embark on a life-changing journey filled with unconditional love. Adopting Bone Voyage Dog Rescued makes a difference in a dog’s life.

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