Dog DNA tests can tell you which breeds are in your dog’s genes and so much more. With two adopted dogs running around, I often wonder what breeds they have running through their veins. I recently looked into how much it costs to find out what breeds my dogs are and what health issues they might get with an at-home dog DNA test – and I’m sharing all the costs with you today.
So, how much does a dog DNA test cost? Most at-home dog DNA tests cost between $90 and $130. The cheapest is $45 and the most expensive is around $275. Some tests give you the breed mix, others do disease screening and allergies, and the more expensive tests can do all or most things in one.
It’s important to make sure the test you order will give you the information you want, otherwise it might not be worth doing. Not all tests are created equal and, like most things, you often get what you pay for. For example, cheaper allergy tests only look for 100 or so food intolerances and allergies in a dog, but a more expensive option tests for 300 issues and nutritional problems.
What dog DNA tests tell you and how much they cost
Dog DNA tests to confirm parentage
Some tests only confirm who the dog’s parents are. Once tested, your dog gets a DNA Profile Number that shows on registration certificates.
A parentage test costs $38-$50 for the analysis and results. It can take anywhere between 2 to 8 weeks to get the results, depending on which test you do.
Once done, you’ll get a parentage report and DNA Profile Number.
If you do the parentage test through the American Kennel Club (AKC), you’ll get a DNA analysis letter to use with registration information when breeding dogs. But the AKC test can only be done on purebred dogs that are breeds that can be registered with the AKC. It does not work on mixed breeds or breeds that aren’t in the AKC’s database.
Dog DNA tests to find out your dog’s breed mix, relatives, and ancestry
Some DNA tests tell you what breed or breeds are in your dog. We call this the ‘breed mix’. Most of these tests cost between $70 and $129.
Each company has its own database of breeds that it looks for. The more expensive the test, the more breeds the company usually looks for and the further back in the past it might go. There may even be some wolf to discover in your dog’s past!
The tests work by searching for a certain percentage or more of a breed in the dog’s DNA sample. Some companies identify all breeds that are 12% or more in your dog, while others can tell you if your dog has as small as 5% of a breed in them. Think about how much detail you want and check how many breeds the brand looks for before buying a test.
You might even be able to get in touch with your dog’s family members if they’ve also been tested by the same DNA company.
The results can take 3 to 5 weeks.
Dog DNA tests to find out if your dog is vulnerable to certain diseases
Many breed mix tests don’t just tell you what breeds are in your dog – they also look for health issues and diseases that commonly run in those breeds.
Take one of these tests if you want to know what diseases or health issues your dog might get because of their genes, such as the merle and double merle genes. Some results even give you a plan on how to care for your dog, to keep them as healthy as possible.
These tests are usually around $100 from Petco for a basic health test and to find out health risks. If you want a test to find out the breed mix and health risks of your dog, expect to pay around $150 for a good brand.
The most popular DNA tests for dog breed mix and health traits are the Orivet Dog DNA Health Screen and the Wisdom Panel Health Breed and Health Identification Dog DNA Test
Dog DNA tests to identify your dog’s allergies and intolerances
If you want to test your dog for food and environmental allergies at home, then there are tests available.
The cheapest at-home allergy test is around $90. This Allergy Test My Pet Test Kit from Target tests for 100 different intolerances or sensitivities. It will tell you what your dog’s allergic to and which foods to avoid.
The most expensive test comes in at around $144 and is called At-Home Pet Allergy Test Kit. It tests 300 potential issues and picks up any nutritional deficiencies by testing strands of hair from your dog. It is getting excellent reviews for helping dog owners solve problems with their dogs.
The results can take 2 to 3 weeks to get back.
Dog DNA tests that do it all
There are some tests on the market that test all of the above: breed mix, ancestry, health screens, etc. They are more expensive than the other tests, but it works out cheaper to do one of these tests rather than several of the other tests. A comprehensive at-home dog DNA test costs about $275.
If you do one, you will find out the breed mix of your dog, even its wolf and coyote ancestry. You can connect with other dogs that are related to your dog, if they’ve also had their DNA tested. There are even health screens for over 165 diseases, so you know what your furry friend is more likely to get and put a health plan in place.
The Embark Dog DNA Test Kit is available from Walmart and it does all of these things. It’s also reported to be the most accurate of all at-home dog DNA tests on the market.
Dog DNA tests to tell a dog’s age
There’s now a dog test to find out how old your pooch really is, especially if you adopted your dog and have no idea. Just take a swab from your dog’s cheeks, send it in, and in 2 to 3 weeks you’ll have your dog’s age in human years, not dog years.
Comparison table of at-home dog DNA tests on the market
Here’s a list of the most popular at-home dog DNA tests, what they cost, and what they can tell you:
|Weeks for results
|DNA My Dog
|Orivet Mixed-Breed Identification & Life Plan Dog DNA Test Kit
|Embark Vet Breed & Health Dog DNA Test
|2 – 4
|Embark Breed & Ancestry Dog DNA Test Kit
|2 – 4
|Orivet Geno Pet 5.0 Dog DNA Test
|2 – 3
|Orivet Health Screen & Life Plan Dog DNA Test Kit
|Allergy Test My Pet Kit
Are there any other costs involved for a dog DNA test?
When buying an at-home dog DNA test kit, you get everything you need to test your dog’s DNA. There should be no other costs involved for the test to be done and to get the results. Take the sample, mail it in the package provided, and wait for the results to be emailed to you.
How to take a sample for an at-home dog DNA test
Each DNA test kit will come with its own set of instructions that you need to follow. Most tests ask you to rub the swab on the dog’s inside cheek, to collect loose cells.
How much does a dog DNA test cost at a vet?
There is no set price for dog DNA tests done at a vet as the vet is free to set their own price. But most vets charge around $150 to take the blood sample and send you the final results.
Can a vet tell what breed a dog is by looking at it?
Your vet could have an idea of your dog’s main breed mix by looking at its snout, ears and tail. The vet can give you their opinion based on their knowledge and experience, but there’s no guarantee that the vet will be right.
If the breed mix doesn’t really matter, then there’s no need to do a DNA test. Just ask the vet next time you’re there to get a better idea of what your dog is.
Are dog DNA tests accurate?
If you buy a high-quality DNA test from a well-known brand, such as Embark or Wisdom, then your results should be up to 99% accurate. Sometimes we make mistakes when we collect the samples or the breeds aren’t in the company’s database, so they won’t show up in the results.
Be sure to follow the instructions carefully for the best chance to get accurate results.