Dog DNA Test Cost: What’s the Average Price of a Dog DNA Kit?
Dog DNA tests can very quite a bit in terms of pricing.
The average cost of a dog DNA test hovers around the $70 – $80 area. However, the most comprehensive dog DNA tests can cost as much as $200.
These tests are often conducted through the use of a cheek swab DNA sample that owners can obtain at home and then send off to a lab.
While there are several dog DNA test kits on the market, there are really only two contenders worth considering: Wisdom Panel 4.0 (by Mars Veterinary) or Embark. While both very reputable, accurate, and trustworthy dog DNA test services, they are quite different in several ways.
Wisdom Panel 4.0: The Budget Option
Wisdom Panel 4.0 is relatively affordable at $85. While not exactly cheap, it’s priced similarly to most human DNA tests. From our research, there aren’t any reliable, accurate dog ancestry tests much cheaper.
Wisdom Panel is good stuff – Mars Veterinary, the producers of Wisdom Panel, have been creating dog DNA tests for decades.
Their test covers over 250 breeds, and you can choose to conduct the test for a mixed-breed, designer, or purebred dog. While the testing is the same, results will be customized depending on your needs and the type of test you choose.
4.0 is the latest iteration of Wisdom Panel’s dog DNA test kits. With Wisdom Panel 4.0, you’ll get:
- Breed identification of your dog’s family tree for three generations (up to your pup’s great grandparents)
- An expected adult weight profile (great when planning ahead for your pup’s full size)
- Testing for the MDR1 genetic mutation (relates to the absorption and reaction of drugs, more common in herding breeds or mixed breeds with herding ancestry)
- Testing for Exercise-Induce Collapse (EIC). This is a nerve and muscle disorder that was first identified in Labrador Retrievers, characterized by exercise intolerance.
What Customers Think:
All across the web, customers rave about Wisdom Panel 4.0. With great customer service and comprehensive, quality breed descendent info delivered, you know you’re in good hands with them.
Note: Wisdom Panel is developed with the American Kennel Club and The Kennel Club registered breed lists, so if your dog is from a country other than mainland US, UK, Canada, Australia, or Germany, Wisdom Panel’s database may not have much info to give you.
Embark: The Pricier Bells & Whistles
When it comes to bang for your buck, Embark definitely delivers. Embark is priced considerably higher than Wisdom Panel at a whopping $200. But you get tons of information that Wisdom Panel just scratches the surface of.
To understand just how much info Embark delivers, be sure to check out our full Embark Dog DNA test review. We’ll highlight a few features below:
- Custom Vet Reports. Detailed reports designed specifically for your veterinarian and you to look over together. This can be a great tool for jump starting conversations between you and your vet about any health concerns.
- Interactive Owner Report. Embark delivers your dog’s DNA results with a pretty splashy online interactive report, which is fun to navigate. They also have a great app that delivers your dog’s info.
- 160 Disease and Mutation Tests. Wisdom Panel tests for MDR1 and EIC (two of the most common genetic mutations), but Embark tests for 160, including glaucoma, coagulopathy, and others.
- Weight & Age Prediction. Embark offers an adult weight prediction as well as a “genetic age” estimation for owners who are unsure about their dog’s age.
- Free Lifetime Updates. What’s also cool is that as Embark adds new features and testing, you’ll automatically get those tests for free added to your report. You’ll note that Wisdom Panel has several kit generations (2.0, 3.0, 3.5, etc.) due to new features and testing options. With Embark, you get every new feature for free.
- Extreme Accuracy. Embark has made it their mission to be the most accurate dog DNA test kit on the market, and they’ve really succeeded. Embark hired the best DNA scientists in the world for their tech, and they use over 200,000 genetic markets (vs. 2,000 of most other dog DNA tests).
- Foreign Dogs Too. Embark creators actually spent yeas studying village dogs across every continent to gain the best understanding on canine genetic diversity. This allows for a level of precision and breed detail in their tests that few competitors can beat. If you suspect your dog is from an area outside of Wisdom Panel’s breed list, Embark is your best bet.
- Grooming, Nutrition, & More. In addition to weight and age profiles, Embark also delivers great information on helping you understand your dog’s unique nutritional, grooming, energy level, and training needs. A Border Collie will have vastly different needs than a Yorkie, and Embark shows exactly how to care for your one-in-a-million canine.
What Customers Think:
Fans are pretty head over heels for Embark. They love all the info they get, the easy Embark app, and the customer service.
Cheek Swab Testing vs Blood Testing
Dog DNA test kits are quite accurate – look for tests that use a large number of genetic markers, as increased breed-related genetic markers improve accuracy.
While cheek swab sample based DNA tests will be suitable for most dogs and owners curious about their dogs’ genetic background, owners who want even more detailed results may opt for a DNA test using a sample of their dog’s blood. Theses tests are significantly more expensive and are conducted at veterinary clinics. Ask your vet for more information if you are considering a blood-based DNA test for you dog.
Dog DNA Test Pricing: What Fits Your Wallet?
In our opinion, if your budget allows for it, we’d suggest going with Embark. They deliver tons more info than Wisdom Panel, and with free lifetime updates, you won’t have to be re-buying every new version that comes out.
However, Wisdom Panel 4.0 is a fine option for those looking for affordability. While it lacks the same breadth of information, there’s nothing wrong with Wisdom Panel, and it still provides tons of great, valuable information about your canine. If your dog is from the US, then you’ll likely be satisfied with the ancestry breed detail they provide.