DNA Testing Kits Compared: EmbarkDNA Vs Wisdom Panel Vs DNA My Dog
If you’re a pet owner, you’ve likely wondered about your pet’s background, breed, and health from time to time. After all, our pets are like family. Why wouldn’t we want to know everything about them?
Thankfully, today, there are many at-home pet DNA testing kits available that make learning about your pet easy, affordable, and insightful. Most tests can be ordered online, and after a quick swab or saliva sample, the sample is sent off to a lab.
Depending on the DNA testing company you choose, you can learn critical health insights, traits, and breed information about your furry friend.
EmbarkDNA Vs Wisdom Panel Vs DNA My Dog
Three leading pet DNA testing companies include Embark DNA, Wisdom Panel, and DNA My Dog. With the rise in popularity of DNA testing kits for dogs, each company offers different benefits, insights, and capabilities to remain competitive.
Keep reading to learn how these three leading pet DNA testing compare, and which test is right for you and your pet.
DNA Testing Kit Prices
Each company offers various levels of testing, and along with that of different prices. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- EmbarkDNA’s basic breed testing kit costs $99
- Wisdom Panel’s 4.0 Canine Breed package costs $84.99.
- DNA My Dog’s testing kit costs $68.99
Collection Process and Results
The easiest way to collect DNA from your pet is through a saliva sample.
Your pet shouldn't eat or drink for about one hour before collection, to avoid any cross-contamination.
- Hold the provided soft, sponge-like swab on your dog’s lower gum for 30-60 seconds to collect a saliva sample
- Using the swabs provided in your testing kit, roll them around your pet's mouth for about 15 seconds each
DNA My Dog
- Rub the provided cotton swab and brush into your dog’s mouth for 20 seconds
It’s not always easy to get a sample from your dog, especially when it involves sticking a swab in their mouth for upwards of 20 seconds.
That said, you can reward them with love and treats once you successfully get the DNA sample.
Pet DNA testing companies may use your dog’s DNA test results for different purposes, running from research to helping to identify your pet if they are lost or stolen.
Here’s how Embark DNA, Wisdom Panel, and DNA My Dog handle personal information:
- Along with your pet’s DNA test results, you’ll receive a tag for your dog’s collar that allows you to look up information about your pet (which is also helpful if your dog is lost)
- Your pet’s DNA results are used to help Wisdom Panel’s parent company, Mars, with research and their business model. For example, they used information from pugs to design a food better suited for their jaw types
DNA My Dog
- This company doesn’t mess around with personal data. As your pet’s results will be added to their database, they ensure there is no way this information could be used to identify you
Each pet DNA testing company comes with its advantages:
- EmbarkDNA’s breed test runs through an extensive base of 250 breeds
- The genetic information offered is significantly more comprehensive than those from competitors
- Check over 175 conditions with the genetic mutation test
- Your dog’s breed is likely to be covered as the test spans 99% of the 180 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC)
- In case of a mistake or an uncooperative dog, backup swabs are included in the testing package
- Gain more information and resources into breeds and DNA testing for dogs on their comprehensive website
DNA My Dog
- You’ll receive replaceable swabs available if you don’t get a good sample the first time around
- The company gives back by donating money to dog charities in the US and Canada
- It’s one of the least expensive options when compared to leading competitors
It seems no DNA testing kit is perfect. Some may have longer wait times while others may be more on the expensive side. Here are some disadvantages of three testing kits:
- Slower results can take up to 4-6 weeks to arrive
- Specific testing for health and genome sequencing are pricey
- The variety of results may be difficult to understand
- Expensive service
DNA My Dog
- This company has one of the smaller databases for different dog breeds
- There have been some complaints about turnaround time
Consider your budget carefully, along with the information that’s most interesting and valuable for you to know about your dog. Once you determine those, you’ll be able to sort through the advantages and disadvantages and find the right test for you and your dog.