What better birthday gift could there be than the gift of knowing who you are? Not that I think Mr. N spends much (or any) of his time pondering his identity but the humans always want to know. Mr. N knows he is a terrier and would like some tasty rodents to chase please for his eighth birthday today.
A company new to the market, Embark Veterinary sent us a dog DNA test to try out. At the time of his adoption, we were told that Mr. N was a Yorkie/Maltese mix. And from his mannerisms and looks that seemed plausible although I always thought that his Yorkie side is predominant.
The test itself is pretty simple. You swab your dog’s cheek with the provided swab and send it off in a pre-paid mailer and register online. Then you wait 6-8 weeks and voila!
The results came back as: 50 percent Yorkshire Terrier, 17 percent Pomeranian, 17 percent Shih Tzu, 11 percent Maltese and 5 percent Supermutt. No big surprises except for the Pomeranian part. I definitely don’t see any Pom in him. His paternal side is all Yorkie. All the breed mixing happens on the maternal side. Embark makes the results shareable and you can view Mr. N’s results here.
His weight prediction came in at 17 pounds which seemed a little high. They advise you to email if you feel like the weight results are off which I did. We’ll see what they say.
They also test for 160+ genetic diseases including Multidrug Sensitivity (MDR1), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), exercise-induced collapse (DNM1) and more. Mr. N’s results came back as negative for everything thankfully.
The test can also look for coyote, wolf or village dog ancestry. Not that Mr. N has any of those. He is a very domesticated wee beastie with test results to prove it (his wolfiness score came back as 0).
Embark partners with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and tests over 200,000 genetic markers to build your dog’s breed profile. You can opt in to have your dog’s DNA results included in studies in canine health and science (which I did).
The test does take longer than its competitors (6-8 weeks compared to 2-3 weeks) so if you’re in a rush, this is not the test for you. The big stickler is the price ($199). Embark is the most expensive test out there on the market. It’s also the most comprehensive test on the market providing the most data (you also have access to the raw data if you’re curious) and health testing and free updates (new info is added to your panel when new research is done).
I found their customer service to be helpful and responsive. I accidentally touched the swab while putting it in the tube and they reassured me that they could most likely sort out the human DNA from the dog DNA and if not, they would send me a new kit.
It’s worth the splurge to try it if you are curious about your dog’s health or breed identity. Also Christmas is coming up and this would make a nice addition to a wishlist.
Embark has also generously offered to give one of our readers a dog DNA test. Enter below!
This post was sponsored by Embark. They are not responsible for the contents of this article. All opinions expressed are our own.