BREED SPOTLIGHT

Should I DNA Test My Dog?

Three Minutes Oct 10, 2022

Most dog DNA tests cost between $60 and $200, depending on a few factors. The good news is that many genetic tests are fairly accessible.

Keep reading to find out why DNA testing for dogs costs what it does, how genetic testing works, and if a dog DNA test is worth your investment.

Dog DNA Test Cost Factors

Whether you spend $60 or $200 on a dog DNA test will depend on which company you choose and how comprehensive the test is.

Companies that perform genetic testing for dogs set their own prices. Plus, each company offers various price points and options. Some of the more popular companies include Embark, Wisdom Panel, and DNA My Dog. Some veterinary offices may offer pet DNA testing as well.

Dog DNA testing has a wide range of options. Some tests are simply for identifying a dog’s breed mix. These tend to be the least expensive test options. More expensive dog DNA tests can give insights into a dog’s ancestry and potential health risks.

How Dog DNA Testing Works

DNA testing your dog is an easy process. If you use an at-home DNA test kit, you’ll swab your dog’s cheek a few times and mail the sample back to the company or their chosen lab. If you schedule a DNA test with your vet, they’ll most likely take blood samples.

Either way, your dog’s DNA will be analyzed in a lab, and you’ll generally get the results within 2 – 3 weeks.

What You Can Learn From a Canine DNA Test

Dog owners can learn plenty of useful information from DNA testing their dog. Information most often includes their breed mix and possible hereditary traits. This can lead to insights into your dog’s personality and health.

What can a DNA test tell you about breed characteristics?

Knowing which breeds and breed groups make up your dog can give an idea of some characteristics and motivations you could expect them to have. For example, if your dog has a large percentage of herding breeds in their DNA, they’ll likely have herding tendencies. They may also respond well during training sessions when given a job to do.

What can a DNA test tell you about your dog’s potential health risks?

Many dog breeds are often predisposed to certain genetic conditions and illnesses. For example, Cavalier spaniels are prone to developing mitral valve disease — a form of heart disease. If your dog’s DNA test shows a high match to Cavalier spaniels, it could be something to speak with your vet about and learn how to spot symptoms.

Knowing your dog’s potential health risks in advance could also help you get the most out of a dog insurance policy.2 A condition your dog may be susceptible to could become a preexisting condition and affect your dog’s coverage. But if you know what insights to share with your vet and get your dog covered, you could save thousands of dollars on the care your dog needs.

Considering MetLife Pet Insurance1 for your furry family member? Get your free quote!

Pet Genetic Testing Accuracy

It’s important to keep in mind that genetic testing for dogs is relatively young and may not be 100% accurate. Each DNA testing company has a different database of genetic information to compare to. That means each company can produce different results.

While genetic testing can offer helpful information, veterinary professionals caution that dog DNA tests are not diagnostic tools.3 Just because a test reveals your pup has a potential risk of hereditary illness, it does not mean that they have that illness.

Should You DNA Test Your Dog?

While you can learn fascinating information about your pup, genetic testing won’t revolutionize your dog's life. Ultimately, the choice to DNA test your dog is yours.

A DNA test is a fun way to explore your dog’s breed makeup. So if you’re simply curious, there’s no harm in getting one.

Just remember that the information you obtain from a canine DNA test should not replace advice of your vet. If your goal is to provide your dog a healthy lifestyle and learn about potential issues, there are other alternatives to DNA testing. Talk with your vet about providing your dog a good diet, meeting their exercise needs, and a realistic care routine first.

Protect your Dog

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2  Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 “Review of the Current State of Genetic Testing in Dogs,” Canine Health Foundation 

L1022026447[exp1024][All States][DC,GU,MP,PR,VI]