Pet Wellness Guides > The Benefits of Dog Genetic Health Testing - Pet Insurance Review

The Benefits of Dog Genetic Health Testing

Posted: 05/22/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Dog , Pet care , Top Tips

Is your dog a mystery mix? Maybe you think you know their breeds but you may be surprised by what’s actually in there. Even vets can sometimes struggle to identify dog breeds by physical traits alone. And that’s why dog genetic health testing is so important. 

By knowing exactly which breed genetics have come together to make your fantastic furry friend, you’ll have a clearer understanding of their behaviors and potential health risks.

dog genetic health testing

What is a Dog Genetic Health Testing?

These tests, also sometimes referred to as dog DNA tests, can reveal an awful lot about your pup like their breed composition, genetic traits, genetic markers, and identify potential health conditions for which they may be more at risk.

How Does it Work Exactly?

Dog genetic health testing is a fairly simple process. There are 4 main steps:

Step 1: Purchase a DNA Kit

There are a variety of at-home dog DNA kits on the market. Do a little research, read some reviews, and purchase the one you like the best.

Step 2: Collect Your Dog’s DNA

Don’t worry! No blood is involved with this testing. You simply need to swab the inside of your dog’s mouth to collect a DNA sample.

Step 3: Mail in Your Sample

Follow the instructions provided in your kit and package up the sample. Send it back and wait for the results.

Step 4: The Truth is Revealed

It typically takes two to six weeks to receive your results, which will be offered in a user-friendly online portal. Your pup’s results will show breed composition that is broken down into percentages.

5 Benefits of Dog Genetic Health Testing

So why exactly would you want to bother with testing your dog? There are 5 key benefits to doing so:

Plan for the Long Haul

Before you bring home that adorable ball of fur, consider their adult size and lifespan. DNA testing helps you create a comfortable living space and prepare for their needs throughout your fur baby’s life.

Unlock Their Inner Personality

Different breeds have distinct personality traits. Understanding these predispositions allows you to anticipate their behavior and tailor your training approach for a happy, well-adjusted dog.

Proactive Pet Care

Certain breeds are prone to specific health issues. Knowing these potential risks helps your veterinarian provide the best preventive care for your furry friend. Additionally, DNA health tests can reveal underlying health concerns that might require lifestyle or dietary adjustments.

Ethical Breeding

DNA tests can uncover hidden genetic traits your dog may carry, even if they don’t exhibit them themselves. This information is valuable for breeders looking to improve future generations.

Purebred Pride

For purebred owners, DNA testing provides proof of pedigree for your dog’s offspring. This is especially important for families seeking puppies with verifiable ancestry.

How Accurate are Dog DNA Kits?

The accuracy of dog DNA tests can definitely vary because different companies use different testing methodologies. Embark claims its breed results are between 95% and 99% accurate, while Wisdom Panel claims a 93% accuracy rate. 

Admittedly, it’s a bit hard to recognize how accurate any testing results will be, as most DNA companies use proprietary technology. This means reports cannot be independently verified.

While the dog DNA testing industry isn’t currently regulated, several groups are working to improve transparency. For instance, Embark and Wisdom Health are sponsors of the International Partnership for Dogs, a consortium focused on standardizing dog genetic testing services. Experts believe that as technology advances, the accuracy of breed ancestry results will also continue to improve.

How Much Does Dog DNA Testing Cost?

The cost of at-home dog DNA tests depends on the brand you choose and the tests you select. Basic tests typically only identify your dog’s breed. If you want to screen for inherited diseases, you’ll likely pay an additional $50 to $100. In total, expect to pay between $60 and $200 for most at-home dog DNA tests.

Is Dog Genetic Health Testing Worth It?

It definitely can be. In addition to being fun, the results can reveal valuable information about their potential health risks. Armed with this knowledge, you can ensure you provide your pup the proper nutrition and care they need to age well.

Something else that can help your fur baby age well is a pet insurance policy. Once you know their breeds and potential health risks, you’ll want to sign them up for a policy BEFORE any health issues arise. Pre-existing conditions are not covered by insurance, so enroll your fur baby while they’re still young and healthy.





The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

Get a quote today

Leave a review