Embark DNA test review 2023

Embark DNA test review

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Embark DNA test review – is it worth it?

If you’ve adopted your dog from a rescue centre or don’t have access to the lineage and pedigree documentation you’d typically receive from a professional dog breeder you may be curious to discover your dog’s breed and ancestry through a company like Embark.


It makes sense to check you’re doing everything to make sure your dog is happy and well looked after. And while regular veterinary checkups are great for making sure your dog is fit and well, it doesn’t really help anticipate any breed personality traits or health problems that might arise in the future.


You might be keen to avoid an unexpected illness with your dog. Or at the very least, be in a position to treat it properly should a problem arise. Hence, we’ve been exploring the benefits of Dog DNA testing kits, a solution that’ll help you understand your dog’s genetics, and plan for any possible hereditary diseases.


Read our Embark dog DNA test review below.

Embark product sqaure


Breed + Health Dog DNA Test

This test enables a dog owner to learn about their pup’s breed, ancestry, health, relatives, and more with a simple cheek swab.

Who are Embark – what does the product offer?

Embark offers dog DNA tests to help you learn about your dog’s breed mix, find their relatives, and check for any potential underlying health risks.

To get these insights, they run your dog’s DNA through their database of 200,000+ genetic markers, 350+ dog breeds, and 190+ health conditions.

Embark is developed by leading dog geneticists in collaboration with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. The Embark DNA test is available around the world, including in the UK.


Who is this product for?

Anyone who has a dog and wants to ensure it lives a healthy and happy life for as long as possible could use this product, as well as those looking to rule out any health conditions before breeding from their dog.


It’s also ideal for those with a mixed breed dog, as Embark has an extensive breed database. And for anyone that just wants to know their pet’s unique story, why it looks the way it does or has certain behaviours.


Embark dog DNA test review


Embark’s doggy DNA test offering is a great all-rounder – it has an extensive breed database to test against, can test for a whopping 190+ genetic health conditions, and for peace of mind its customer service is reportedly excellent too.


One particularly intriguing feature is its amazing online dashboard: not only can you see all your dog’s test results and info in one easy-to-use place, you can also connect with its relatives if Embark has their data too.


You do see this reflected in the price, as Embark’s test is more expensive than its main competitors. But if you value accuracy over price, Embark is a great choice.


How does its dog DNA test process work?

You simply rub a couple of long-handled swabs around the inside of your dog’s cheek for 30 seconds to take samples. Then, place them back into the same packaging and post it back to Embark (free). Two to three weeks later, your report will be ready to view online.


Privacy and security

Your dog’s identifying information won’t be shared with anyone unless you give permission. If you do permit to help further scientific research, the shared data will be non-identifiable so nobody can trace it back to your dog.


And if you rather not have relatives’ owners contact you, you can easily turn that off in the privacy settings as well.


Shipping and handling

The process is very simple and straightforward:

  1. Order Embark’s test.
  2. Activate your kit with the included code.
  3. Swab your dog’s cheek.
  4. Mail the swab back (return label included).
  5. Receive results in a detailed personal dashboard within 3-5 weeks (although many customers mentioned it took as little as 2 weeks).

Do note that you need to pay extra if you send the DNA test from the UK as Embark is an American company.



Embark offers an accurate and detailed DNA test available today with testing based on over 200,000 genetic markers. It’s also the official dog DNA test of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.


What do the customer’s say?

Embark receives overall positive reviews. At the time of writing, they were the highest-rated dog DNA test on amazon.

On their site, they have an average rating of 4.6 stars based on 6,500+ reviews. On Amazon, it’s 4.5 stars based on 4,000+ reviews.

What do the reviews say?

  • A recent happy customer on Amazon said they had a lot of fun learning about their rescue dog’s breed makeup recommending it 100%. Read the full review here.
  • There has been comments that UK customers had to wait 3 weeks to get the results and also had to pay tax to receive and sent it back. However, they said this was well worth the extra spend. It received another strong recommendation. Read this review here. 
  • Another 5-star reviewer used Embark finding the test very helpful for identifying their new dogs breed makeup to help them adapt their dog to its new environment. Read it here.

What are the pros of Embark?

  • Compares to 200,000+ genetic markers
  • Checks for 190+ potential health conditions
  • Results delivered in easy-to-understand and graphic overview
  • Includes relatives finder and option to organise playdates/contact owner
  • Tests for 350+ breeds and types

What are the cons of Embark?

  • More expensive than other tests
  • Results in 3-5 weeks, which isn’t the quickest on the market
  • Extra fees apply to return the test from the UK

What are the alternatives for Embark’s dog DNA test?

Three other dog DNA testing kits that are worth checking out are:

Wisdom Panel

This dog DNA test has been on the market for a long time and is trusted by thousands of customers worldwide.


Although less detailed and accurate than Embark, it does offer some fun features. An example is the future weight profile prediction, so you can adjust your dog’s diet and exercise accordingly.


DNA My Dog

DNA My Dog has a wholesome mission: accessible canine DNA tests that don’t cost the world, and give you fast results.


If you’re interested in finding your dog’s breed more out of curiosity than any major concerns, this is the one to go for. Bear in mind, however, that it keeps costs down by testing against a smaller database of the most common breeds – if Rex has a rare breed in his mix, it may not show up.



The mid-range Orivet test has a good-sized database of 220 breeds, which they’re working on upgrading – meaning the test will spot the majority of breeds.


You’ll also get good health testing, with 150+ conditions checked for, and an easy-to-understand report that puts it all together for you. If you don’t think DNA My Dog will give you the accuracy you need, but don’t want to spend a bomb either, Orivet offers a good middle-ground.


Things to consider before buying a Embark dog DNA test

We think the main thing to consider before buying a doggie DNA test is what you want to get out of it.

  • Do you want to understand your dog and their specific needs better?
  • Are you worried about potential health risks?
  • Or are you just curious to find out more about their unique breed mix?

If you answered yes to any of the three, then we think you won’t regret trying Embark’s dog DNA test.


*Disclaimer: we’ve included links to our affiliate partners in this article. This means we’ll earn a commission at no cost to you should you decide to make a purchase using one of our links. Rest assured, all reviews are genuine and written by independent, unbiased authors.

Embark product sqaure


Breed + Health Dog DNA Test

This test enables a dog owner to learn about their pup’s breed, ancestry, health, relatives, and more with a simple cheek swab.

Written by: Joshua Gordon