What Can You Do With Your Dog DNA Test? 5 of the Best Reviewed

Admit it. You must have at one point or other been curious about what breeds make up your beloved pup and why he behaves the way he does. You might also have had some concerns that he may be prone to certain hereditary diseases due to his lineage. Whatever the reasons for wanting to know what dog breeds are in your pooch, the good news is you can get answers to all your questions by doing a DNA test by mail order. DNA tests are an exciting and informative way of understanding your dog’s traits which can help you take better care of your furry friend.

How Does Dog DNA Testing Work?

dog dna testDNA tests are actually not that complicated. At-home dog DNA tests are especially easy to carry out. All you need to do is take a swab from your dog’s cheek, put it in the container provided by the DNA testing company and mail it back to them in a prepaid envelope. However, some DNA tests like the Mars Veterinary’s Wisdom Panel Professional are more technical and require you to take a blood test at your vet’s office. Once you’ve submitted a tissue sample you can expect to get a report with your dog’s DNA results in a few weeks’ time. Some companies even give you the percentage breakdown of the different breeds that constitute your dog and explain which hereditary diseases he might be predisposed to. Others also provide purebred and designer dog testing.

How Knowing Your Dog’s DNA Test Results Can Help You.

Once you’re armed with knowledge about which predominant breeds are in your dog, you can take the results to your vet and discuss various health issues that arise with specific breeds. According to some dog experts, Dobermans are known to suffer from hemophilia, while Boxers are susceptible to getting cancer. Having an awareness about these potential risks in advance and asking your veterinarian to be on the lookout for them, can make a great difference when taking care of your pet.

DNA testing can also help you understand your dog’s other traits better such as how big your puppy is likely to grow, his temperament and how long he’s likely to live for. By knowing which diseases your pup is predisposed to due to his breed type you can also consult your vet on the best diet to protect him against the progression of these diseases. For example, if your dog is predisposed to arthritis you can put him on a diet with ingredients that help fight the condition. Knowing your dog’s unique personality traits can help you create the best training strategy that’s adapted to his behavior patterns.

What’s the Best Dog DNA Test?

This article looks at 5 of the best DNA dog test available in the market and their various features to help you know what you can expect from them. We’ve chosen several of the best DNA dog tests on the market and given you detailed information about what you can learn from each one. All are at-home cheek-swab tests, although the type of results you’ll receive varies from one test to another.

1.      Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit

Wisdom Panel DNA Test Kit
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Wisdom Panel 3.0 is a DNA test kit that uses a simple cheek swab to help you uncover your dog’s DNA makeup and includes a customized report.

Features

  • With more than 250 breeds, types and varieties covered, the wisdom panel DNA test kit features the largest breed database of any DNA test globally.
  • The only canine DNA test that offers the potentially life-saving MDR1 drug sensitivity screening under license in the US at no extra cost.
  • This single test enables you to test your dog’s breed ancestry as far back as his great-grandparents whether he’s a Mixed Breed, Purebred or Designer Dog.
  • Short turn around for processing of DNA test results, typically 2-3 weeks after the sample arrives. Shipping to the lab is pre-paid
  • Sample taking is a simple cheek swab.

What we liked:

  • The test is simple and affordable.
  • The Test is comprehensive and covers 99% of 180 breeds recognized by AKC.
  • The kit comes with 2 swabs which can be replaced for free if damaged.
  • Great customer support by phone or email.
  • The test kit makers have a good website resource that clearly explains the canine DNA testing process. The site is also user-friendly.
  • The test includes an adult weight range prediction to help you choose the right nutrition and diet for your pet.

What we didn’t like:

The kit only offers genetic mutation testing for two inherited health conditions.

Amazon rating: 5

Our rating: 4.5

Price: $$

Check it out HERE

2.      Embark | Dog DNA Test | Breed Identification | 160 Health Results | 200K Genetic Markers

Embark Dog DNA Test
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Embark is an all-encompassing dog DNA test that screens for breed identification, traits, ancestry and genetic disease risk and at the same time covers 160 known canine genetic health complications.

Features

  • Is a proven and tested DNA test kit that tests over 200,000 genetic markers and reconstitutes your breed mix chromosome by chromosome.
  • Embark DNA test results are relayed through an interactive guide which you can access on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.
  • Enables you to test for three of the most common adult-onset diseases in dogs like glaucoma, enabling you to extend your dog’s health span by warning you early on the appropriate interventions required.

What we liked:

  • Embark tests over 100 times more genetic markers than competitors in the marketplace.
  • It does genetic mutation testing for more than 160 canine health conditions.
  • Replaces your swab for free in case of damage.
  • Great customer support with live chat or email available to help you interpret the test results when the need arises.
  • Rather than simply tell you the breeds in your dog, Embark takes the time to explain why your dog looks like your dog using the genetic basis of appearance.
  • Makers of Embark do charitable work with animal shelters.

What we didn’t like:

  • The test kit is pricey.
  • The kit tests for 150 out of 187 AKC recognized dog breeds, which is fewer than Wisdom Panel.
  • Test results take longer to process 6-8 weeks compared to the customary 2-3 weeks.

Amazon rating: 4.5

Our rating: 5

Price: $$$$$

Check it out HERE

3.      Find My Pet DNA Dog DNA Test

Find My Pet DNA Dog Test
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Features

  • The test includes a pre-paid label for ease of sending your Dog’s DNA sample.
  • The database currently includes over 200 breeds and therefore gives the pet owner a more long-term history of their pet’s ancestry.
  • For more than 99% of the samples they have received, Find My Pet has been able to match the samples to the breeds in its database.
  • The Find My Pet DNA test will not only show you some of the more obvious breeds in your dog’s genetic makeup but breeds further back in your dog’s ancestry.
  • Results include a report detailing your dog’s dominant breeds, personality traits and potential health concerns.

What we liked:

  • The test is simple and accurate with a 99% level of reliability.
  • Results come with custom photo certificate of the breeds that constitute your dog’s genetic breed composition and percentage breakdown of the levels found in your dog’s unique DNA
  • Price is pocket-friendly.

What we didn’t like:

  • Results are divulged 3-4 weeks after you mail them, one week longer than the customary 2-3 weeks waiting period.
  • It does not test for the MDR1 gene.

Amazon rating: 5

Our rating: 4.5

Price: $$$

Check it out HERE

4.      Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed DNA Test Kit

Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed Test Kit
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Wisdom Panel Insights is the most comprehensive mixed-breed cheek swab DNA test in the market and can help trace back your mixed-breed dog’s ancestry.

Features:

  • Is designed to create a more targeted and effective behavior training plan.
  • Plan exercise and play activities that cater to your dog’s natural tendencies.
  • Assists you to customize your dog’s diet and nutrition plan in line with the breed’s specific needs
  • Distinguishes the breed makeup of your dog.

What we liked:

  • Delivers fast results compared to competitors in the market.
  • The instructions are simple enough to follow.
  • The company that makes the test kit is very responsive to customer questions and have a user-friendly website.

What we didn’t like:

  • Cost is on the higher side.
  • Not particularly effective for testing mutts.

Amazon rating: 4

Our rating: 4

Price: $$$$

Check it out HERE

5.      Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 2.5 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit

Mars Veterinary Wisdom DNA Test Kit
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Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel uses a simple cheek swab to give the pet owner a better understanding of your dog’s unique appearance, behaviors and wellness needs based on his DNA makeup.

Features:

  • Includes MDR1 testing and direct testing for the mutant MDR1 gene. The results can be used in the prevention of severe drug reactions.
  • It does adult weight range prediction to assist you in making the right nutrition and diet choices.
  • Provides breed insights to help you design a more responsive training program based on your dog’s behavior.
  • Results include an official Ancestry Report that reveals your dog’s a genetic background.

What we liked:

  • Results are delivered fast and are reliable compared to competitors in the market.
  • The instructions are simple enough to follow.
  • The test is very comprehensive covering over 200 dog breeds, types and varieties.
  • The company has a user-friendly website where you can check if there’s a test available for your particular breed of dog.

What we didn’t like:

The Price of the test is on the higher side.

Amazon rating: 4

Our rating: 4.5

Price: $$$

Check it out HERE

Choosing Between Dog Crates & Kennels? 5 of the Best Reviewed

beagle in dog crate
bemused beagle

Although a number of pet owners feel that dog confinement is cruel, the truth is that a kennel or crate gives your dog a sense of security. Like their wild cousins, the wolves, dogs are naturally den animals that like having somewhere to retreat after a day of play and other activities. But apart from offering peace and quiet, crates and kennels help in other aspects such as housetraining and keeping your dog away from trouble when you’re not around. They’re also great for taking your dog for camping trips.

How to Choose the Right Crate

There are all kinds of crates in the marketplace and you need to be clear about what kind of living space you want to create for your dog. Comfort and security for your dog are paramount, of course, but you should also be on the lookout for durability, ventilation and ease of cleaning when choosing the ideal crate for your pooch.

Below are some great tips to help you provide the living space your dog deserves.

Get the right sized crate

According to the AKC, a good crate should have ample room for an adult-sized dog to stand upright without hitting his head against the roof. Your dog should also be able to turn around 180 degrees in it.  However, the crate shouldn’t be too large, otherwise, your pooch may end up using one corner as the bathroom as he sleeps in the other. If you want a large crate that your puppy can grow into, you can start off by partitioning it and then remove the partition once your dog is fully grown.

Choose the most appropriate material

  • Dog crates mostly made from plastic, wire or collapsible materials like nylon or canvas which gives you a variety of styles to work with.
  • Plastic crates are lightweight, easy to clean and economical. They also enclosed and den-like, which increases your dog’s sense of safety. Smaller crates come with a handle on top, while larger ones can come with wheels, which makes them portable.
  • Wire crates have the advantage of allowing for maximum visibility from the inside and outside. They are collapsible, which also makes them easier to store and transport, not to mention that they are better ventilated than plastic crates. If you like, you can always cover the crate with a drape to make it feel more den-like for your dog.
  • Crates are also built using collapsible materials such as canvas or nylon to give them soft edges. They’re also easy to wash and can be taken with you during travel.

Ensure your dog is comfortable

Once you’ve made up your mind which crate to get your dog it’s important to make it as comfy and inviting possible. You can use a blanket or a special kennel dog bed or crate pad to accomplish this. Giving him a new toy to enjoy while in his crate would also add a nice touch.

It’s worthwhile to note that if you opt for a permanent crate, you should get one that is long-lasting and that matches your home décor.

Top 5 Dog Crates Reviewed

1.      AmazonBasics Single Door & Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate with Paw Protector

AmazonBasics Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate
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This dog crate comes with a double-door design for convenient front and side entry.

Features

  • Each door comes with two slide-bolt latches for increased safety and security.
  • Has a sturdy metal framework and collapses flat for easy transport and storage.
  • Design includes mini dividers of 1.15 cm between each bar on the bottom perimeter to stop dog paws from slipping through.
  • Optional divider panel included as well as a composite plastic pan at the base.
  • Dimensions are 36x23x2” (LxWxH). 

What we liked:

  • The crate is sturdy and keeps its shape, it doesn’t have sharp edges.
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble, and is portable and easy to store. Great for camping with your dog.
  • Is great value for money compared to similar crates in the market.

What we didn’t like:

  • Plastic pan at the base may hold up very well to bigger and aggressive chewing dogs.
  • Latches may not fit into place if the mesh-wire bends with age.

Amazon Rating: 4.5

Our Rating: 5

Price: $$

Check it out HERE

2.      MidWest iCrate Single Door & Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crates

MidWest iCrate 42" Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate
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The iCrate is a double door folding metal dog crate designed for medium to large dog breeds (50 – 75 lbs).

Features

  • Comes with a free divider panel, a strong carrying handle, leak-proof plastic pan and rubber feet to prevent scratching of your floors.
  • Includes two heavy-duty slide-bolt latches for each door to securely lock the crate door.
  • Its patented rounded corner clips minimize risks associated with sharp points on the wire dog crate making it safer to use.
  • Durable, satin black elector-coat finish.

What we liked:

  • It’s convenient to assemble and doesn’t require tools for the task just unfold it and snap it into place.
  • The price is very competitive compared to other products in the market.
  • Easy to travel around with.
  • Affords plenty of room, even for large sized dogs.
  • The pan is tough enough to withstand chewing.

Amazon Rating: 4.5

Our Rating: 4.5

Price: $$$

Check it out HERE

3.      Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel

Lucky Dog Heavy Duty Dog Cage
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The Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel is made of steel with a sleek, black powder-coated finish that makes it attractive and resistant to corrosion. It is designed for residential or professional use.

Features

  • Has a large hinged door that makes it easy to bring larger animals in and out.
  • Its steel bars and wire mesh are welded before coating to prevent sharp edges that may harm your pet and offers greater rust and corrosion protection.
  • Comes with a durable UV treated WATERPROOF COVER to protect your pet from sun, rain, snow and debris. The tarpaulin is held in place by sturdy elastic cords while the roof pitch prevents accumulation of water, debris and light snow on the crate kennel.
  • Has 1.5″ raised legs that make the crate easy to sweep or hose out.
  • Setting up the kennel is simple thanks to the use of pre-assembled modular panels that connect quickly and easily via hand tightening clamps. NO TOOLS are REQUIRED for this process.
  • Includes all necessary parts, hardware and instruction manual.

What we liked:

  • The tall hinged door enables you to accommodate larger animals.
  • It includes a protective cover so you can put the kennel outdoors without worrying about the weather.
  • It’s easy to assemble and requires no extra tools for the job.
  • The meshwork is coated which makes it both attractive and durable.
  • What we didn’t like:
  • The product comes with a warning from the State of California that it may contain products that cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Amazon Rating: 4.5

Our Rating: 5

Price: $$$$

Check it out HERE

4.      MidWest Life Stages Heavy-Duty Folding Metal Dog Crates; Single Door & Double Door Dog Crates

MidWest Life Stages Dog Crate
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The MidWest Life Stages kennel is designed with double doors to help it fit in easily with existing rooms and vehicles by its ability to fold down to portable size for easy transportation.

Features

  • Comes with a single or double door option with 36L x 24W x 27H inches dimensions.
  • Includes a free divider panel, leak-proof plastic pan, carrying handle and rubber feet to protect floors from scratches.
  • Has a 1-year Manufacturer’s Warranty.
  • Life Stages is manufactured with heavier gauge steel to give it a tight wire mesh pattern.
  • Comes with two slide-bolt latches that secures the door.
  • Is collapsible and therefore convenient storage, travel and portability.
  • Has a strong and sturdy structural metal design that makes it highly durable.

What we liked:

  • Its divider panel makes it easier to housebreak your puppy by discouraging it from eliminating in one corner of the crate.
  • This is a sturdy crate made of heavy-duty wire that doesn’t bend easily.
  • The bottom tray is made of plastic which makes it corrosion free.
  • The crate is collapsible and easy to store and transport. Very good for camping trips with your dog.

What we didn’t like:

The plastic pan while easy to clean can break especially under the weight of larger dog breed sizes.

Amazon Rating: 4.5

Our Rating: 5

Price: $$

Check it out HERE

5.      Paws & Pals Dog Crate Double-Door Folding Metal – Wire Cage

Paws + Pals Dog Crate
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The Paws & Pals Dog Crate is a premium product built for durability and security. It is made using high tensile-strength all-steel wire that is securely welded into a strong mesh pattern.

Features

  • Simple to set up and take down as well as fold and put away – No tools required for this process.
  • Has a convenient space-saving design means it can be stored practically anywhere when not in use.
  • Is made from heavy duty steel metal to provide maximum security and safety.
  • Easy to Clean and completely washable
  • Comes with free split divider, multiple doors and a versatile carry handle with 122 x 74 x 81 cm dimensions.

What we liked:

  • The kennel is easy to assemble and disassemble with no extra tools required. It’s also very portable.
  • The price is pocket-friendly.
  • It’s easy to clean thanks to the plastic pan beneath.

What we didn’t like:

The divider panel is quite flimsy and falls off if your dog pushes it hard enough.

Amazon Rating: 4.5

Our Rating: 4.5

Price: $$

Check it out HERE