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Reasons to DNA Test Your Dog

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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.

Chihuahua pug mix dog

Reasons to DNA Test Your Dog

Personality Traits

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.

Contents of the dog dna test

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.

Health Risks

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.

Open box of the Embark DNA test for dogs

Help Science

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.

Meet Relatives

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.

Dog tag from Embark Vet

Safety ID

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.

Little chihuahua mix sitting behind an Embark dog DNA kit

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.

embark Coupon Code

Embark Dog DNA Kit

Find out more about your fur friend!


Use code DECODED50 to save $50 on a Breed + Health kit.

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What are some reasons you want to DNA test your dog?

Little dog next to an Embark dog DNA test

Let us know your thoughts and experiences!

Update: Here are our dog DNA test results! So interesting and definitely some surprises!!

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