We all love our dogs regardless of whether they are purebred or mixed. However, to show our love and affection for our pets we must be able to be prepared to take care of them in the best way we can. Advances in genetic and molecular engineering are now a mainstay in canine health especially in the determination of health and behavior problems. As everything is contained in our DNA, the same test on our pets can help us understand their true nature. As such, we are sharing with you our 7 best dog DNA tests you may want to consider in 2017. Do this not only for your dog but also for your own peace of mind.
7 Best Dog DNA Tests
1Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit by Mars Veterinary
If you just brought home a mutt from the animal shelter and you are quite puzzled as to its actual breed, perhaps because you’re not sure if the shelter’s classification is accurate or not, then you may want to get the Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit. This product from Mars Veterinary boasts of an extensive canine breed database numbering at least 250 breeds, varieties, and types. You will have the results of your query within a matter of weeks, 2 to 3 weeks to be exact from the date that the lab has received the specimen. Obtaining a cheek swab specimen is also made very easy. The package comes with several pieces of sterile swabs which you are going to rub or roll between your canine’s gums and its cheek for around 15 to 20 seconds. You’ll have to use all of the swabs on the package. Once you’re done, you can logon to the company’s website and activate the DNA test. You will then receive an activation code which you’ll write on the label of the swabs. You’ll then reinsert the swabs into their respective protective sleeves and place these inside the main box. All you need to do now is to seal it, mail it, and then sit back and relax. After 2 or 3 weeks, you will now have a very complete information about your dog’s breed, its temperaments, behaviors, appearance, and even health and wellness needs. The Wisdom Panel 3.0 also provides an additional screening test for the MDR1 protein which can potentially save your pup or even your adult mutt from severe health conditions secondary to adverse drug reactions. One particularly useful result of the test is its weight prediction service. This can help you plan more appropriately for your mutt’s nutritional and exercise needs.
What We Like about It – With an extensive breed database, it’s very surprising that the Wisdom Panel 3.0 will only cost you less than $100. And with the different add-ons in the test results, you’d be better prepared to care for your mutt.
2Mixed Breed DNA Test Kit by Wisdom Panel Insights
If we own a canine pure breed, there would really be any question as to how we are going to care for it. We will already know what to expect, its behavior, its temperament, and even its many health conditions that are specific to its breed. Unfortunately, what if something is off? What if your mutt is displaying a behavior that is totally unexpected from its class? Is there a possibility that the pure breed dog you have known all your life is actually a mixed breed? There’s only one way to test our hypotheses subject our mutts to Mixed Breed DNA testing. Like the other kits in our list, this product from Wisdom Panel Insights provides you with a very complete information about the ancestry of your mutt as it covers more than 200 breeds, varieties, and types. There’s no need to second-guess the actual class of your mutt as this is already provided for you by Wisdom Panel Insights. With this information, you are now better equipped with the understanding of your mutt’s true behavior and temperament, giving you the opportunity to design a more appropriate obedience training program for your pet. Because you already have an idea of your pooch’s natural tendencies, you can decide on which toys and playtime activities to give it. More importantly, you’ll have greater control in what you need to feed your pet and just how much exercise it needs to have.
What We Like about It – The Wisdom Panel Insights’ excellent AKC class coverage accounting for at least 200 breeds is exceptionally extensive. While it’s not as extensive as the Wisdom Panel 3.0, it can still provide the canine information that you’ll need to better care for your pooch.
3Wisdom Panel 2.5 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit by Mars Veterinary
An earlier version of the Wisdom Panel 3.0 is the Wisdom Panel 2.5 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit, also made by Mars Veterinary. While we are not really sure why thousands of happy and satisfied customers recommend the 2.5 whereas there is already the 3.0, perhaps it is because of the same features and benefits that it provides. It should be important to understand that since the 2.5 is a much earlier version of the Wisdom Panel, then its database of canine classes may not be as extensive as the 3.0. That said, if you are confident about the ancestry of your pooch, then you can use the 2.5. However, if you are not really sure, then we’d recommend getting the 3.0 instead. Nevertheless, as we have already said, countless of customers and pet owners actually love using the Wisdom Panel 2.5. It gives you a very detailed ancestry report of your mutt’s genetic genealogy including a weight prediction services which should come in very handy if you have a variety of mutt that is quite prone to obesity and other weight-related problems. This way, you can easily monitor their food intake as well as develop a more appropriate exercise plan for them. Like the 3.0, the Wisdom Panel 2.5 already comes with a standard MDR1 testing which can potentially save the life of your mutt against life threatening adverse drug reactions.
What We Like about It – We may not really fully understand why many people would still get the 2.5 since its breed database is already quite outdated and had been replaced by the 3.0. Nevertheless, we cannot disprove the fact that it’s well-accepted by thousands of loyal pet owners.
4Dog DNA Canine Breed Identification Test by DNAffirm
What do you get if you have a pooch whose ancestors include a Chow Chow, a Collie, a Welsh Corgi, and an Afghan Hound? Chances are, you will be confused as to exactly what kind of canine behavior you will be looking for in your pooch. This is adequately answered by the Dog DNA Canine Breed Identification Test. In our example, a report from DNAffirm will indicate that this pooch will often run in circles as well as snap at heels just to direct its owner. These are the characteristics of the Corgi and the Collie. Add the singular affection of the Chow Chow and you can expect this mutt to only associate with those persons it calls its master. Other wonderful details about your mutt’s unique genetic makeup is provided by DNAffirm. This includes personality traits, potential health concerns, and dominant breeds in mixed types of mutts. DNAffirm’s test kit provides the fast answers to your questions in as short as 2 weeks. Obtaining the specimen is also made easy as gently rolling the accompanying swabs and then completing the form. Sending it by mail and then waiting for the results typically completes the procedure.
What We Like about It – The custom photo certificate is cute. However, it’s the very detailed genetic reporting that is very admirable in the DNAffirm.
5Dog DNA Test Kit by Embark Veterinary
Boasting of hundreds of tests conducted on a single batch of specimen, the Embark Dog DNA Test Kit is one truly useful test that should put to shame all other similar tests. It already provides excellent information on your mutt’s breed classification, ancestry, health status, personality traits, and other useful information. More importantly, Embark performs at least 160 tests for canine genetic health conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, blindness, heart diseases, and MDR1, as well as other health conditions. Embark runs more than 170 tests overall to help determine the correct canine species in addition to the 160 or so tests specifically for canine diseases. What you are looking at is more than 300 tests to help define your pooch. This simply means that the more you know about the composition, health, and behavior of your mutt, the better will you be able to care for it.
What We Like about It – The extensiveness of the tests are really astounding. No wonder it’s gained a perfect rating from the pet owners that have tried the service so far.
6Canine Breed Identification Test Kit by DNA My Dog
There’s a reason why DNA My Dog’s Canine Breed Identification Test Kit is well-received by many. Like the other tests in our list, the DNA My Dog can deliver the much needed results within 2 weeks after sending the sample over for analysis. The report already includes everything you need to know about your pooch so you’ll be in a much better position to care for it. This is particularly helpful if you recently brought home a dog from the shelter. Part of your responsibility as a pet owner is to give it the kind of care that is appropriate to its classification. This is where the DNA My Dog report will be very useful. And if that is not motivation enough, the custom certificate as well as a detailed report of your mutt’s genetic profile which you can frame on your wall should.
What We Like about It – The DNA My Dog kit is one of the most inexpensive yet truly effective packages we have in our list. At least, if cost is a major concern, then this one’s for you.
7Wisdom Panel Insights Dog DNA Test Case Pack by Preferred Pets
One of the most interesting aspects of canine DNA testing is finding out many surprises about your mutt. This is echoed by a lot of pet owners who have used the Wisdom Panel Insights Dog DNA Test Case Pack. Many pet owners were very pleased of what they learned about their respective pets especially the class of pooch that they have which helps explain the observed behaviors. Likewise, the test gave them the added benefit of custom-fitting obedience training and nutrition programs for their pooches. One of the best things about the Preferred Pets is the level of accuracy of the tests.
What We Like about It – It may not be as popular as the other kits in this list but the Preferred Pets surely can hold its own. This should give you the confidence to better care for your pet.
How We Chose the Canine DNA Tests in Our List
Coming up with a shortlist of the best DNA test kits is not a walk in the park. Genetics is a very complex field which requires a solid foundation on gene sequencing and structuring including protein synthesis and other biochemical reactions. We clearly are not chemists nor geneticists. As such, we took this as our cue in what we should be looking for.
First, it must be easy to perform. Since DNA is present in all cells, we should be able to obtain a specimen for DNA analysis with absolute ease. If the test requires blood to be drawn, then it won’t really be that easy as only a licensed phlebotomist or any other healthcare practitioner trained and licensed to draw blood can effectively do so. If that is the case, then what’s the point of collecting samples for DNA testing at home?
Secondly, the testing, analysis, and interpretation of the results must be very accurate. In many cases, this often corresponds to the extensiveness of the breed database in the testing facility. The more breeds they have in their database, the greater is the sensitivity and accuracy of the genetic testing. Unfortunately, this also means that it will be quite more expensive than others. As such, we should strike a balance between maximum accuracy at the most affordable price available.
Third, the length of time before results can be known was also considered. Usually it takes around 2 to 3 weeks upon arrival of the sample at the lab for the results to come out. If it can provide the results in a much shorter time, then that would be a big plus. However, other factors have to be considered in situations where the testing may be deemed too fast. There may already be questions about the validity and veracity of the findings. So, we don’t want this from happening.
Related to the management of the result is that, as pet owners, we must be able to obtain the information we seek in the fastest and most efficient way possible. If the whole test results can be mailed to us absolutely free of charge, then this test kit was considered into our list.
We also examined how the different tests have fared in terms of the responses from satisfied customers. While it is unavoidable that there will be people who are not fully satisfied with what they got, in general, these customer reviews and comments gave us an overall idea of how well-accepted the product is.
Lastly, since DNA testing requires very strict protocols, we only included companies that have seriously complied with all the regulations and policies of relevant government agencies.
Why You Should Have Fido DNA Tested
Our genes contain all the information about ourselves. How we act. How we think. Why we are fat or thin, tall or short, and everything else that make us who we are. In like manner, our dog’s makeup is also contained in their genes. That is why if we really love our furry 4 legged friends, it would be wise to invest in a good canine DNA test kit to help us better understand our dogs as their genetic makeup matters. Here are some of the reasons why you need to have your pet DNA tested.
- Know the real breed of your pet.
Not all of us are gifted with a pure bred pet. This is especially true if we got ours from the animal shelter. Unfortunately, mixed breeds often present with a lot of challenges as multiple mixed-breeds in the genealogy can compound even the most advanced of testing facilities. For instance, if both the dam and the sire of your pup are mixed breeds themselves, and that their respective dams and sires were also mixed breeds, you are now looking at a conglomeration of several breeds that it may be quite difficult to ascertain which trait is the more dominant one. This is the purpose of genetic testing: to help establish the lineage of a particular species and help lay the groundwork for the proper or correct identification of its breed. So, it may not be entirely unusual to have a mixed Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Maltese, Japanese Spitz, and a whole lot more in a certain pet. The good thing is that you’ll have peace of mind just known what breed your pet really is.
- Modify your approach to its training.
Knowing the breed is one thing. Understanding the inherent characteristics of each breed is another. This can help us better understand their behavior as well as personality traits. When we understand their temperaments, we will know how best to modify their obedience training and whether positive reinforcement will work very well with them or will they require an entire different approach. It should be understood that different breeds have vastly different temperaments and intelligences. For instance, training a standard size poodle will be quite easy as they are known to be highly intelligent and easily trainable. Compare that with a breed of mixed poodle and shih tzu and you may be faced with an entirely different set of temperaments.
- Help prevent certain breed-related diseases.
The DNA provides the blueprint of our existence. The same is true with our pets. Because many canine diseases are highly specific to certain breeds, it does pay to know the different health problems which can beset our furry friends. Understanding our pet’s genetic health risks and discussing these with our veterinarians can help us better prepare for the development of such diseases. While risks are not yet fully manifest, these give us ample time to help prevent its occurrence. At the very least we can guarantee a healthier future for our beloved animals.
- Shows how much we love our pets.
When we subject our pets to canine DNA testing, we are actually showing that we love them. By learning their roots, their true origins, we are able to formulate caring patterns that are more appropriate to the genetic makeup of our canine friends. This helps them to grow and develop more well-balanced, even-tempered, and happy mutts. Likewise, they will also appreciate what we’re doing and this further strengthens our bond with them. They may be considered by some people as mere animals. But for us, our dogs are a lot more loyal than some of our human friends ever will.
- Tests are now inexpensive, super-fast, and painless.
There have been significant strides in the technology involved in genetic evaluation. Before, you’d pay a handsome price just to obtain a sample result. You’d also wait several weeks up to months before you can even take a glimpse at the result. Before, blood had to be drawn for greater accuracy of the tests. Because of advances in genetic testing technology, specimens can be obtained easily and painlessly and evaluated in the laboratory within a matter of a few weeks. Best of all, you don’t have to pay a fortune to get the genetic evaluation done.
The Bottom Line
Part of being a responsible dog owner is understanding the behavior, personality, and health status of our pets. With the 7 best dog DNA tests in 2017, we’re confident you’ll gain a much better appreciation of what you need to do to care for our pooch.
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