Wouldn’t it be great to know as much as you could about your dog? Are they really pure-bred? What breeds do they have in them if they’re not? Or maybe they’re a rescue pup and there’s no information about their family and you’d like to know if they’re prone to any health risks. Well, with Embark DNA testing you can get all the answers to these questions with just a simple swab.
How does the Embark dog DNA test work?
The process is really simple and pretty similar to human DNA tests. You order a DNA kit online, take a swab from the inside of your pup’s cheek, send it off to the lab and wait 2-3 weeks for your results. Easy!
When you’re ordering your DNA test you can choose to either buy Embark’s Breed Identification Kit ($129) or the Breed and Health Kit ($199). There’s also a test available specifically for breeders which costs $149.
Embark uses 200,000 genetic markers to check for over 350 dog breeds and 200 genetic health conditions. That’s over 100 times more genetic information than other DNA tests out there. Embark is also partnered with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and there’s the option for your dog’s results to be used in their research into canine genetics. So, by finding out more about your pup, you might actually help another!
Doing Embark DNA testing is a great way to know your dog a little bit better but also to be aware of any possible future health problems. You can share the results with your veterinarian so that they can keep an eye out for any symptoms or signs.
Positives of Embark DNA testing
Embark is definitely one of the best dog DNA tests you can do. Here’s why:
- Breeds. They test over 350 breeds including dingoes, village dogs, and wolves. So even if your pup has a less common breed in them, they should show up in your Embark test results. You can trace their family back to their great grandparents too.
- Accuracy. Embark claims to be between 95% and 99% accurate. That’s pretty good for at-home DNA kits.
- Health. Because they test 200,000 genetic markers you have the best chance possible of knowing (and therefore hopefully treating) genetic diseases before they develop.
- Donations. Embark gives money from each test kit to doggie shelters in the US and Nepal, as well as to canine research.
- Replacement. If your swab gets damaged they’ll send you another one free of charge.
- Sociability. You can share your dog’s results with others and even link up possible relatives of theirs. Embark is the only DNA test to use the breed results to create a possible family tree!
- Age. Embark offers you an age estimate based on your dog’s genetic makeup which is really useful if you adopted your pup and you don’t know how old they are.
- Reviews. Generally, Embark DNA reviews are really positive. Customers love that they get the results on their cellphones and how accurate they are. They like how easy it is to use their dog’s DNA to find out more about them.
Negatives of Embark DNA testing
As with everything, not even Embark is totally perfect.
- Price. The breed health kit is expensive. In fact, it’s nearly $50 more than their competitor Wisdom Panel. The simple breed kit is also more expensive. However, if their results are as accurate as they claim them to be and you can be aware of any possible health issues your pet might develop, it’s worth paying the money and actually getting what you signed up for.
- Presentation. Some customers note that the presentation of the results can be a little complicated. Embark does, however, have a live chat option where someone can talk you through them.
What are people saying?
Here are some reviews that people have about Embark DNA testing.
“This product is not cheap, but the second you get results you realize instantly the price is no longer hard to swallow. We were so entertained by finding our mystery rescue dog’s breed mix and we were so surprised! It makes so much sense now and we received some fantastic and helpful health information. We also found our dog’s cousin!” Ian C.
“While the health feature was really nice and gave us some great information, the breed was completely off. We KNOW we have a mixed breed and it came back as a purebred which, to me, made this test a complete waste of money…” Jordan.
Is the Embark dog DNA test worth it?
That really depends on whether you’re happy to pay that kind of money in order to get to know your dog a little better. As far as good quality dog DNA tests go, you can’t get much better than Embark. They test more breeds and genetics than any other and can help you to build a better health profile of your dog – which is really interesting for you and your veterinarian to know.
It is expensive, but if you want to get accurate results, with good customer care and an easy-to-do test, Embark is for you.
Have you ever done an Embark DNA test? What did your test say about your dog?
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!