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2 DNA Tests for Your Dog

by Angelique Platas

Feb 16, 2020

Photo: Christinlola | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

It may not be National Pet Month until April (yes, that’s a thing), but considering your furry friend is also part of the family, focusing on their health should be a priority all the time.


While doggie DNA tests may be more fun than actual health- and wellness-related, we can rationalize just about anything for the sake of Fido, can’t we?


Rescue pets often come with varied backgrounds, but it can be helpful knowing the various breeds making up your dog. DNA testing your dog can be helpful in diagnosing your pet at the vet, determining personality traits and any drug sensitivity they may have — it’s also a great way to know their limits, especially if you ever board your dog in a kennel or leave them with friends and family while traveling. You may have a larger dog, but if your rescue has some terrier and smaller breed mixed in, that could account for labored breathing or reluctance to walk as far as an unknowing walker would expect.


Here are two DNA test you should look into if knowing your dog’s breed is a concern.


Wisdom Panel

Ranging $75–85, Wisdom Panel features the world’s largest breed database of any DNA test. Covering more than 250 dog breeds and specific varieties, Wisdom Panel is the only officially licensed canine DNA test in the United States offering MDR1 drug sensitivity screening — this included feature helps determine your dog’s possible allergies and aversion to medication.

Rescue dog with family. Photo: Fizkes | Dreamstime.com


Wisdom Panel determines your mixed breed, purebred or designer dog breed all the way back to their great-grandparents. Simply swab your pet’s cheek and send the test to the lab. Results are typically ready about two–three weeks after the lab receives the sample — this will be the kid’s favorite part of the process. Let them read the results and feel like future veterinarians. The simple cheek swab can help you determine your dog’s ancestry and understand your dog’s unique appearance, specific needs and various behaviors.



Also determining your dog’s various breeds, Embark is another top DNA test to consider. Again using a cheek swap, Embark determines your dog’s ancestry back to the great grandparents in order to understand any health risks or diseases, including MDR1 sensitivity, degenerative myelopathy or PRA blindness.


Take advantage of the expert veterinary advice and recommendations based on your dog’s specific breed and needs. Tests range $175–200 and are also a fun, unique gift for your pet-obsessed partner.


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