Updated: June 2018
***We review a lot of products, and it’s rare for us to call something the best. The Embark DNA Dog DNA Test is the best!!!***
Have you adopted a new dog? Are you curious to learn more about their genetic makeup and potential health conditions? Then here’s what you need to know about Embark DNA testing for dogs!
DNA testing has become popular for people to learn more about their ancestry and what’s shaped the generations before them. But, did you know you can also DNA test your dog! For around a decade there has been testing available on dog DNA to determine their ancestry and genetic health.
DNA tests for dogs give you more information about the breeds that contribute to your dog. Now, dogs might not care to find out if their family tree includes breeds of noble beginnings.
However, genetic testing for dog owners can be quite helpful. With genetic testing, you’ll learn about how to care for your dog and how to deal with potential health or behavioral traits they may carry.
What is Embark DNA?
Embark DNA is comprehensive genetic testing company for all dogs – from mixed-breed dogs to pure breeds. Founded by two brothers, Ryan Boyko and Adam Boyko, they are considered pioneers. Self-confessed lovers of dogs, their careers as researchers span both the purely scientific and the social aspects of original dog breeds in history – perhaps an inquisitive nature they share from their own family tree DNA?!
Embark DNA is partnered with Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The Boykos head a team of geneticists and veterinarians that that take a multifold approach to genetic testing for domestic dog breeds. Hence the name “Embark”, with undertaking a DNA test with your dogs you embark on a journey to:
- Receive Embark DNA results for your individual dog that includes information on their ancestry and mix of breed, along with health data and information on genetic mutations to help with caring for your dog.
- Optionally contribute your dog’s genetic data to ongoing health and scientific research and reviews of health conditions for various dog breeds.
- Support Embark DNAs broader vision to end preventable genetic diseases and illnesses suffered by dogs.
Embark Dog DNA: Why Doggie DNA Testing is Important
The advantage of reviewing the genetic mix or ancestry of any dog DNA, whether purebred, or lovable mutt, is that you have more of an insight into what their needs are for a healthy life.
If you have a mixed breed dog, you may have some idea of what breeds genetics are within their ancestry based on their appearance, or what you do know of their background. If you have adopted a purebred from a shelter, you may want confirmation of their breed identification.
The results from an Embark DNA test can help you with reviewing:
- The appropriate diet and exercise needs to suit your dog’s breed identification
- How big a young puppy is likely to be when it reaches adult size
- Diseases that may be prevalent your dog’s genetic breed so you, or your vet, can monitor and review your dog for any signs as they age
- How your dog’s genetic breed identification may interact or need socializing with other pets and people
- Your training techniques to suit different genetic breeds, temperaments, and personalities.
Finding Your Furever Brother! How Embark Brought 2 Pups Together
A sad situation that often happens in the face of a natural disaster is that dogs and other pets are separated from their families and unable to be reunited.
The reuniting of pets with their original people, when possible, is fantastic for all concerned. Results from Embark DNA testing took the reunion of a doggie family that one-step further.
On reviewing separate results, the team at Embark DNA identified that the DNA test results from two dogs adopted from separate rescue shelters following Hurricane Harvey were likely to be DNA relatives from the same litter.
After joining the dots and reviewing the genetic markers from different test results in their doggie database of ancestry markers, they joined the dots on the family tree. They asked each new owner if they would like to connect, and they did. The brotherly love when the two dogs met up again is clear to see:
What You Need to Know about Embark’s Database!
Embark’s database is the biggest and growing! They test over 200,000 different genetic markers from over 200 dog breeds. Their genetic health testing reviews over 160 diseases in one test. Their database includes physical traits for different breeds such as shedding, body size, genetic age and the type and colors of coats.
Is the DNA Test Limited?
Any company offering dog DNA testing is going to be limited to the genetic numbers they can crunch and review from their databases. For Embark’s current comprehensive testing database parameters and the number of dogs breeds they test against, please see the section above.
Fun Fact: What’s the largest dog breed they have on file?
Of the over 200 dog breeds in their database, they test for all 15 of those identified as the largest purebreds by the American Kennel Association. These include:
- Great Dane
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Saint Bernard
- Cane Corso
- Dogue de Bordeaux
- Great Pyrenees
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Tibetan Mastiff
- Black Russian Terrier
- Irish Wolfhound
- Scottish Deerhound.
5 Facts You Need to Know About the Embark DNA Test
- The test is really easy to use. Simply take a cheek swab of your dog’s saliva, pop it in a tube, let Embark DNA know online you’ve done it and get it sent off for testing.
- You will receive your dog’s DNA results and report back within 3-7 weeks with information on the genetic markers that differentiate their individual mix of breed identification, behavioral and personality traits and health.
- You can get reduced rates if you have more than one dog in your family. Be inclusive, no dog DNA likes to feel left out!
- Now, you can choose to contribute your dog’s genetic DNA test data to innovations and improvements in health research and preventing diseases in pets.
- Results from the dog DNA test are sent to you electronically. Results include information on your dog’s ancestry. This shows genetic markers of breeds going back three generations. Health test results include whether your dog tests positive or negative or is a carrier of common conditions within their breed identification. Trait results include their coat, body features and size, and physical performance.
Embark Dog DNA Cost!!
The cost of Embark dog DNA testing is $199 US with free shipping within the United States. For DNA tests for dogs outside the US, there are small additional shipping charges. It’s more than the competition, but well worth it.
While the Embark dog DNA test cost is at the higher end of the range among different genetic tests available for dogs, it does offer WAY more in the way of health testing and is much more accurate for breed testing. The test covers known breeds and has the backing and support of a scientific team working towards better health outcomes for the long-term benefit of all dogs and is receiving great reviews.
Embark DNA Coupon!
- Use “EmbarkDNA10” for $10 off at Checkout
- Embark has a link to current promo codes on their own checkout. Currently, they have offers of up to 20% for buying four or more dog DNA test kits – perfect if you have multiple dogs
“What Comes in my Embark DNA Test Kit?”
The Embark dog DNA test kit includes a collection tube with a swab and a pre-paid envelope for returning your dog’s sample back to the lab.
Embark Dog DNA Results: 8 Tips on How to Ensure Accuracy Before and After You “Embarked” Your Pup!
- Read and review the instructions that come with the test DNA kit and online before you start.
- Don’t allow your dog to eat anything for at least 30 minutes before you take the swab – you only need their saliva to find out their mix of breed identification, not the remnants of their last meal!
- Use the tube as the handle so you don’t contaminate the end of the swap with anything on your own hands.
- When you take the cheek swab, make sure you rub the inside of your dog’s cheek and under their tongue for at least 30 seconds, if not 60 seconds. You will then need to saturate the swab with saliva. Yum!
- If your dog needs a little help generating saliva, show them a treat to make them drool. But, make sure to only give it to them until after you’ve finished taking the sample!
- When you place the swab inside the tube make sure you don’t spill the liquid already inside – it stabilizes the sample until it gets to the lab.
- After you’ve sealed the tube with the swab down inside, shake it for 10 seconds.
- Place the dog DNA test kit into the pre-paid bag, activate your test online, and get it back to the lab!
Why People Choose Embark DNA: The Best DNA Testing Kit
- Contrary to what the competitors claim, Embark dog DNA tests for the most amount of breeds. Their competitors inflate their numbers with several “types” of the same breed.
- Starting in July, Embark DNA (already testing for the most health conditions) will expand their health testing from 160 to 200 conditions. This is huge! You may think you’re interested mainly in the breed of your beloved friend. Understanding what health conditions they are at risk of is key to ensuring they live a longer AND healthier life.
- The highest quality in the market. The Embark DNA test uses over 200,000 genetic markers. This is 100x more markers (for 20x more genes) than the competition and is roughly inline with human DNA tests.
- These guys are not just passionate about ensuring Embark DNA testing is the best! With your permission, every test is expanding their database to identify additional genetic markers for health conditions. Their goal (and only one of the reasons we love them) is to double the lives of dogs through the reduction and treatment of preventable genetic issues.
- Embark dog DNA tests are receiving pawsome reviews from customers worldwide and the pet industry media alike. They don’t just claim to be the best, their reviews back it up.
Embark DNA Reviews
To check out a few reviews of what customers have thought of the Embark dog DNA tests accuracy in determining breeds, traits and health of their dogs, see what recent customers have said on the checkout page on the Embark website. There are also recent articles in the news about the benefits for dogs of testing and collecting their DNA.