It’s still completely wild to me that you can DNA test your dog from the comfort of your own home. embark Vet sent me a DNA test for the Little Bits, and I’m an embark affiliate. All opinions are my own.
Ready to buy? There’s a valuable coupon code at the end of this post!
Testing your dog’s DNA from home is not a brand new concept. However, the science behind the tests has come a long way. There’s so much to learn with a DNA test that can even help keep your pet safe.
What I would have once considered a novelty, dog DNA tests are so much more than a curiosity-satisfier. Let’s talk about the reasons to DNA test your dog.
Reasons To Consider DNA Testing Your Dog
Although each animal is an individual with their own unique quirks and personalities, certain breeds have strong common traits.
More active and outgoing traits might like to go for longer walks or socialize more often. Some breeds may have timid personalities that bond to one human and are content with little exercise.
Finding out information about your dog may help give you an insight into what brings them the most comfort.
Size and Weight
Sometimes when you adopt a dog from a shelter, it’s a complete mystery as to what kind of mix they are. How big will they get? How much will they weight?
Testing your dog’s DNA can help determine the breed mix, which in turn helps get a better idea on what size and weight you can expect.
Some breeds are prone to certain illnesses. embark screens for over 170 health conditions, including glaucoma, degenerative myelopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy – three of the most common adult-onset diseases in dogs.
Arming yourself with this info helps you work with your vet to see if there’s anything you can do to help prevent or delay a disease.
Our old German Shepherd, Hilo, had degenerative myelopathy. Had we known it was in his DNA, we would have given him supplements, kept him at the ideal weight, and discussed every option under the sun with our vet.
Each purchase of an Embark dog DNA test contributes to life-saving canine health research.
Your dog’s DNA becomes part of an extensive database giving scientists more to study on their mission to end preventable diseases in dogs.
How hilarious would it be to hang out with your dog’s second cousin? Embark matches your dog’s DNA to others in their database to find close matches.
You even have the ability to chat with the humans to possibly plan a doggy play date!
Curiosity and Fun
Let’s face it, a lot of us are just plain curious to know which breed mixture makes up our furry little friends.
Does knowing their breed change the way we feel about them? Of course not! But, it’s interesting to know and may clear up some of the mystery about how they look and act.
The DNA kit includes a special tag to put on your pet’s collar. If your dog ever gets lost, the ID tag can help ensure a safe return home using the embark system.
Since The Grump’s microchip migrated, I love the additional security this ID tag provides.
Embark tests for over 250 breeds with the most accurate breed ID on the market.
Using the Dog DNA Test
With three rescue dogs, it was hard to choose which one to test. But, our Little Bits is the biggest mystery. (Yes, her name is Bea, but we call her Little Bits mostly.)
For full details, read the blog post about her adoption, but the shelter originally said she was a pug Boston terrier mix. Weighing in at 5.5 pounds full-grown, we highly doubt that.
Our vet and many other people think she’s a chihuahua pug mix, but we really aren’t sure. She’s so small it’s hard to believe she’s anything but chihuahua. Her brindle markings suggest a mix.
A quick swab of the cheeks which is completely harmless will tell us shortly!
After signing up for an Embark account and shipping the sample off, we now look forward to the results. Emails and optional text updates let us follow the sample’s journey.
Stay tuned for a follow-up post showing our results! The next post will also include a giveaway where a lucky reader will win their own dog DNA test.
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What are some reasons you want to DNA test your dog?
Let us know your thoughts and experiences!
Update: Here are our dog DNA test results! So interesting and definitely some surprises!!
Thursday 8th of August 2019
This is a very informative article. I would love to be able to DNA test my rescue dog.
Saturday 27th of July 2019
Oh, how exciting that you get to find out Little Bits' ancestry. Four years ago, my daughter brought home an itty bitty puppy in her hoodie pocket that someone gave to her. We think Burton is a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix, but it sure would be awesome to know for sure! He probably has something mixed in that we have no idea about. I'll stay tuned for an update on Little Bits. What a sweetie!
Tuesday 23rd of July 2019
Thank you for sharing. I recently adopted a shelter dog i thought was a shepherd mix. The test i did showed that the dog, who weighed a mere 18 pounds, was actually a Lhasa apso mix.
Tuesday 23rd of July 2019
Oh wow. That's quite a difference! I am posting our results soon -- we definitely got a surprise!!