Embark Dog DNA Test - Breed, Health and More

Interested in seeing what an example Dog Breed DNA test report looks like?
Photo provided by Flickr
Several companies sell DNA kits for dogs, both online and at pet stores. They range in price from about $60 to $90. Some of the higher-end tests justify their price in that the affiliated laboratories include tests for common disease-causing genetic mutations or supposedly have more dog breeds on file, allowing them to identify genes from breeds that are obscure in the U.S.
About: DNA My Dog provides mail-in DNA testing for canines with questionable breed histories.
Photo provided by Flickr
We conducted a national survey of dog experts to compare their best guesses for the breeds of dogs in a series of photographs. These visual assessments were compared to DNA breed profiles for the dogs. About: DNA My Dog provides mail-in DNA testing for canines with questionable breed histories.
Photo provided by FlickrEmbark can even separate ancestral breeds between the maternal and fraternal line – something few (if any) other dog DNA tests can do.
Photo provided by FlickrSend the DNA sample to the kit lab, where they will analyze your dog’s DNA for various breed-related genetic markers.
Photo provided by Flickr
A few weeks ago, a New York City co-op made headlines when it informed pet-owning residents that they had to produce documentation proving the breeds of their dogs. If the dog was a mix, the percentage of each breed had to be detailed in DNA testing—which prompted cries of "doggie racism," according to . The co-op bans 27 breeds.While co-ops and rentals may use the tests if specific breeds are banned, in large part, the sales of DNA tests have been fueled owner curiosity and by animal shelters, which to help place pets into homes. When adopting a pet, prospective owners want to know how big the dogs will get, whether they're good with kids and if the dogs might be suitable for, say, apartment living. Knowing the breed makeup can shed light on that. Wisdom Panel even makes a shelter test called DogTrax, which gives fast-tracked results since shelter dogs so often have a short amount of time to find a home. Knowing a dog's breed is also helpful in knowing what health issues for which the dog may be at risk.Years after dog DNA testing was first introduced, though, it's finally becoming mainstream. Since Mars Veterinary launched its dog DNA test in 2007, Wisdom Panel, the company—owned by Mars, Incorporated—claims to have sold some 400,000 tests—with the latest consumer version selling for $84.99 a pop. Its other major competitor is DNA My Dog—owned by a Canadian firm—which charges $59.99 per test. Both claim to unlock the mysteries of a dog's genes to reveal their breeds.DNA My Dog is the other consumer test for mixed breed dogs. Located in Toronto, DNA My Dog has sold “lots,” since their 2007 launch according to DNA My Dog’s president Mindy Tenenbaum. DNA My Dog tests for 85 of the most common breeds that Tenenbaum says make up approximately 97% of the common North American mixed breed population. Both tests required taking two samples of cells from the dog’s inner cheek on swabs, which are then air-dried, sealed, and mailed off to the lab.But Fortune had a big question: Do these tests actually work? Short of becoming a geneticist and analyzing the DNA yourself, if you have a mixed breed rescue, how can you know whether any of this is legit? I decided to try out the two brands currently available and see if they gave matching results for my dog, Addie. MetaMorphix Inc. (MMI) Genomics administers the Canine HeritageTM Breed Test, commonly referred to as “the swab test,” and Mars Veterinary provides “the blood test,” the Wisdom PanelTM MX Mixed Breed Analysis. These two companies have been considered the main players in this market, but new contenders are flocking to the scene. The most recent challengers are DNA Print Genomics, which offers the Doggie DNA Print, and BioPet Vet Lab, which recently unveiled the Dog DNA Breed Identification Test. Both use cheek swab samples.