Embark Dog DNA Breed + Health


The Embark Dog DNA Breed + Health test kit is very similar to 23AndMe genetic testing for humans.  Both require saliva for the DNA sample.  Of course, since your dog won’t spit on command, you have to swab his cheeks, which most but not all dogs are OK with.  Both tests report ancestry, though we call that breeds in dogs.  Both tests report relatives, which is really fun for dog owners!  You can find out that your dog’s sister or cousin lives right down the road, and start doggie family reunions.  Embark also includes a Mix Match, which shows you dogs who have similar DNA.   And both tests report gene mutations which can cause health problems.

Embark tests for over 190 different diseases in dogs including some really important ones like MDR-1 drug sensitivity.  This information alone can save your dog’s life when shared with your veterinarian.  The health test can also help save money and be proactive in your dog’s health.  For example, if your dog has 2 mutated copies of the APRT (Exon 3)- chr5 gene, it is highly likely to develop purine bladder and kidney stones.  Instead of waiting for your dog to develop life-threatening urinary blockages or even go into kidney failure, you can feed a low purine prescription diet and prevent the whole expensive emergency surgery and pain of not being able to pee.  Unfortunately some of the tests reveal diseases for which there is no management or cure, such as degenerative myelopathy.  It doesn’t mean your dog will absolutely get degenerative myelopathy, a progressive hindlimb weakness that leads to paralysis, but it is definitely an increased risk.  And there’s not a darn thing you can do about it.

For that reason, some people don’t find the health report very much fun.  If you’re the type of person who would rather not worry about something you can’t change, I recommend the Embark Dog DNA Breed ID test.  It includes everything except the health screening.  You still find out what breed(s) your dog is, and get a family tree of relatives- all the fun things!

Embark was developed at the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine and is the most well respected consumer dog DNA test kit available.  Embark checks for over 200,000 genetic markers, almost 10 times more than any other dog DNA test kit.  That greatly improves the accuracy of both the breed ID and the health tests.  And Wisdom panels don’t include the dog relative finder or DNA-mix match.   The price is more than other test kits but you get much improved accuracy so it’s totally worth it.

Embark DNA Breed + Health

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Embark DNA Breed ID only

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Don’t forget, when you buy through our website, 10% of proceeds go to It takes a Village Rescue!


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