Did you know that you now can also have a DNA test for a dog? Yes you can. This is now an easy breezy way to get a glimpse into the story behind your dog. It is a simple easy process as simple as a kit being mailed to your front door.
When it comes to uncovering the mystery behind who we are and where we come from, DNA has been used to uncover this mystery for many years.
We all know that humans can have their DNA tested to help them understand their ancestry and for of course to take a look at their genetics. There are many positive and important reasons why people need to know what their DNA tells them about themselves. Many are healthy related, and some are just because they want to know their true history.
So why not test your dogs DNA?
Why test my dogs DNA
You may think that testing your dogs DNA seems strange and unnecessary. But have you ever wondered about your dogs history. It doesn’t matter if your dog is a rescue dog, a dog from a neighbor, or from a breeder. When we get our dogs, we honestly never truly know the truth about our dogs genetic makeup.
Yes a breeder can say your dog is 1/2 Lab and 1/2 Poodle, but aren’t you just trusting them that the information they have given you is truthful. What about your dogs parents… Wouldn’t it be cool to find out more information about your dog?
Once you get your head around the idea of testing your dogs DNA, there are actually some very positives reason as to why it would be a good idea to do it.
The first most important reason to test your dogs DNA, is to get a glimpse into your dogs health. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to understand what health your dog may face down the road. Are they at risk of certain health conditions?
Then lets not forget about the physical aspects of who your dog is. The actual traits that your dog has that make them the size, color, type of hair, energy level and breed, that they are.
When we get our dogs we are often told things like:
We think they are this breed or that breed….
They should turn out to be this color or have this type of hair….
and so many other things
Let’s also not forget that all the data that gets collected from all the dogs that get tested can actually help with dog research. Learning everything we can about ever dog breed is some pretty important stuff.
All these questions or traits that we are curious about and want to know are easily found out by doing a DNA test.
Dog DNA history
The ability to test your dogs DNA, has not been around all that long. It first started in 2007 when the Mars Petcare first launched the ability to test dog DNA.
When they first came out, you could only get your dogs DNA test by going through your Veterinary. But back then, they actually need to draw some blood to be able to do the test.
By going through the Vet, this meant that the Vets needed to be on board with it. To be honest, according to Angela Hughes, the veterinary-genetics research manager at Mars’ Wisdom Health division Vets weren’t really that interested in the product.
Once the public got in on the idea of doing testing, Mars quickly realized that there was a huge demand for the product on the individual market. The big issue was having to go through the Vet.
Luckily by 2009, the company was able to physically change the way the test needed to be preformed. Now they can simply get DNA results from saliva, blood draws are no longer needed.
What this change did was enabled Mars Petcare to directly offer their product to dog parents who were interested in getting their dogs DNA tested.
Ever since the technological change in testing, the dog DNA testing market has gotten very large and a tad crowded. There are now many companies that offer this type of service.
There are quite a few dog DNA testing companies around today. All companies offer some type of DNA kit that you order off their website. They mail you the test kit direct to your home.
Once you get the kit, you open it up and enter the ID that is given to you on the respective website. Fill out all the required paperwork and read the directions that are in the kit. Inside the kit you would also find your cotton swabs.
You then swab the inside of your dogs mouth and cheeks. Let the swabs dry and then insert them into the pre-paid return packaging.
Then in 2-4 weeks, depending on the company, they will provide your with your online results by email. You can then print out the documents for yourself to keep.
Ryan and Adam Boyko, who are brothers were very busy prior to the creation of Embark. They spent a decade of their life dedicated to taking DNA samples from dog all around the world. They used these results to help research the actual origin of dogs.
Equipped with his personal lab, Adam is actually responsible for uncovering the genetic base for so many dog diseases and traits today.
After working all over the world doing research, the two brothers decided to share their gifts with dogs parents everywhere. The goal was to help improve dogs lives by providing all this valuable information. To achieve this, they decided to partner up with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and Spencer Wells a pioneer in consumer genetics.
This partnership was born and so to was Embark. They are a state-of-the-art company that offers DNA kits to dog parents through the mail all around the globe for a reasonable price.
They offer 2 different DNA kits to choose from. The first one is:
Breed Identification Kit which costs $129 USD. Or you can also choose to pay in 3 installments of $43 interest-free.
The kit will provide you with breed information on your dog. They have access to 250+ dog breeds in their list. Along with doing 20 trait tests, also included in this kit is their DNA Relative Finder. Giving you access to all of your dogs relatives, based on the percentage of DNA that they share. Pretty neat hey!
The step up kit offers breed information and health testing. This kit is called:
Embark Breed + Health Kit which cost $199 USD. The obvious difference with this kit is that they test your dogs DNA for 170+ health conditions. So on top of getting all the breed information you will also get testing that looks at 16 different areas of in your dogs body which accounts for the 170+ different health conditions. Just like the lower priced kit, you will also get the DNA Relative Finder and a Talk with a Vet Geneticist.
Once you choose the kit that best suits your needs, you just order it online from their website. When the kit arrives, you just follow the well laid out directions and send it back in the prepaid return envelope.
Just like other companies, the results can take 2-4 weeks to arrive my email. The results will be easy to read and understand. The Print Report is a PDF file that you can easily print out. Your Embark Veterinary Report that is sent to you can be a great resource to give to your own Vet to help facilitate a conversation about your dogs health.
What makes them different
Earlier in my post, I mentioned that there are many companies that offer this same type of product or service. So what makes Embark different?
First of all Embark was created by world leaders in genetics, this makes their testing capabilities the best most comprehensive on the market. Although other companies do DNA testing, they don’t have the ability to test a dogs breed for example against the same number of scientific breeds Embark does.
This is also the case with Embark’s list of health conditions that they test your dogs DNA against. 170+ health conditions is an absolutely huge list of conditions. This type of health condition testing can tell you if your dog is at an increased risk of a specific disease.
I also should mention that Embark has the highest rate of testing on the DNA Test Kit market. This alone is a great reason to trust that your dogs DNA test done by Embark is the absolute best choice to make when doing a DNA test for a dog.
One a finale note, I wanted to tell you that Embark takes all data that is collected from all the testing and then uses this information to try to help end preventable dog diseases.
I would love to hear what you thought about my post on Embark DNA dog testing. I find this product completely fascinating and exciting, so please tell me what you think!