Knowing about your dog’s ancestors is kind of cool. Of course, you love your dog no matter what breed she is. But isn’t it amazing to know whether your mix-bred pupper has a beagle ancestor that loves to hunt, a retriever that loves water, or a German Shepherd with guarding and herding instincts? It certainly is and makes you feel more connected with your pooch.
For example, we wouldn’t have known that the dog below is a Neapolitan Mastiff x Cane Corso x Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog without the help of a Dog DNA test.
In this article, we are going to discuss how to choose the best dog DNA test kit that is ideal for your needs.
Dog DNA Test, How to Choose the Best?
As it’s true for most products, all dog DNA test kits are not of the same quality. Multiple companies on the market provide dog DNA testing. The best dog DNA testing kit is the one that has reasonably good value-for-money, fits in your budget, and whose pros outweigh its cons for you.
In addition to that, most DNA tests come in two different types. One is a starter, and another is the advanced version. We will see more about that later. Since there are no definitive guidelines to verify the accuracy promised, it becomes crucial to know which dog DNA test you should purchase.
Why Choosing the Best Dog DNA Test Kit is Important?
Value for money is more or less the same with all dog DNA tests, meaning you get what you pay for. It also brings our attention to the two options generally dog DNA test company provides.
Both the starter and more advanced dog DNA test options will tell you about your dog’s parents, ancestors, and the information of potential medical conditions your dog is susceptible to. The premium option offers additional health tests that can provide information on your dog’s genetic inclination towards particular diseases.
The difference between the price of both options can range from $20 to $80. You can only use a single DNA test kit on one dog. If you own multiple dogs, you will have to buy one dog DNA test kit for each dog. And in that case, the price factor becomes more significant.
Are Advanced Dog DNA Test Kits Worth the Money?
Before deciding whether you should spend extra money on dog DNA test kits, you should know the science behind it and understand how reliable the results are.
According to Tiffany Morefield, DVM, Author & Veterinary Advisor at DogNeedsBest, “The problem with identifying the effectiveness of the tests is that you can’t vouch for the accuracy promised. The companies providing test kits keep their testing procedure a secret to preserve their methods.”
Looking forward, the results of these tests are often heartbreaking and worrisome as you wouldn’t like to know you may lose your dog to cancer. While the accuracy of these tests is still questionable, you might not want to find the outcomes reliable.
On the other hand, the tests can give you a false sense of security from the medical conditions your dog will develop during its lifetime.
For example, there is a severe medical condition called Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). Research revealed that the disease is associated with a genetic mutation. An advanced dog DNA test can tell whether your dog is a carrier of this gene or mutation or if he is at the risk of developing this condition.
However, a (DM) mutation is always tough to trust, and your dog may not even develop this condition even being a carrier.
Why is that?
Because a mutation in a gene does guarantee if a dog is going to develop degenerative myelopathy or not. While it is also true that some breeds are more susceptible to certain diseases. But it isn’t always true that a dog will develop all of the said medical conditions.
Conclusively, it would be best to consider the health checkup outcome of the DNA tests a little suspicious. At Canine owners, we believe in taking preventive measures and getting your dog checked regularly for medical or mental conditions rather than investigating genetic factors.
Best Dog DNA Test Kits | Our Top Picks
Are there any other factors to consider when selecting a canine DNA test kit?
Yes, but more or less, it depends upon the brand you will want to choose. Some brands have a more extensive database of genetic information of different breeds, whereas some provide a higher number of checks for the medical conditions.
When you consider the price of a dog DNA test and what those options entail, you will be able to pick the one according to your preferences.
According to our research, here are some of the best dog DNA test products in the market today.
Embark Breed & Health Dog DNA Test Kit (Premium)
Here are the top reasons we love the Embark premium dog DNA test kit. The premium kit includes the health screening component which tests for over 200+ genetic diseases.
Embark Dog DNA Breed Identification Kit (Basic)
Here are the top reasons we love the Embark breed identification dog DNA test kit. Embark’s basic package does not contain the health screening component.
There are also other excellent dog DNA test kit options available from Embark’s competitor Wisdom Panel that you can select from.
Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Test Kit (Premium)
Below is the Widsom Panel premium dog DNA test kit which is more affordably priced compared to Embark’s premium package. However, it lacks features such as relative finder.
Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Test Kit (Basic)
Unlike Embark’s breed identification package, Wisdom Panel’s Essential dog DNA test Kit also includes medical complications for a great price.
Is it Worth to Buy a Dog DNA Test?
The answer to this question depends on many factors. Dog DNA tests can be expensive, especially if you have a multi-dog household. But you have to keep your priorities clear. If you’re concerned with what medical conditions they’re prone to, I would recommend investing your money in the regular checkup at your vet instead.
As we have discussed in this article, the accuracy of DNA tests can’t be verified just yet; you can’t entirely rely on the tests as far as your dog’s health is concerned.
But if you think the other way around, I like to think about what ancestors and the family my dog belongs to. DNA tests can tell you a lot about your mix-breed dog’s parents and grandparents. Your dog may be a part wolfdog or has a “super mutt” parent.
Supermutt parent is the term coined for a parent dog who is a mixed breed of so many different dogs, and they cannot be identified as a primary breed.
My dog is 71% Basenji, 21% chihuahua, and a super mutt grandparent. And I love to discuss when someone asks me what breed my dog is. It allows me to express what I feel about my dog and connect with him.
Anyway, I’m proud to say I love my dog, whatever breed is, but a DNA test gives you a chance to love and understand your dog more. And don’t feel bad if you can’t prioritize DNA tests just right now.
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