Use code CYBERMONDAY for up to $70 off plus free shipping. Ends 11/29.
Choosing a Dog DNA Test Last Updated:

Embark vs Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Tests

By

A brown-and-white mixed breed dog looks up, sitting next to a blue Embark Dog DNA Test kit.

When comparing dog DNA tests, we know the choice can be overwhelming. Here, we explore some of the differences between Embark vs Wisdom Panel dog DNA tests, and explain why Embark is the best choice for your dog.

 

Embark vs Wisdom Panel: Which one is better?

Comparing Embark vs Wisdom Panel dog DNA tests means not only looking at the test offerings, but also the companies and the science behind each of them. 

What makes Embark the best dog DNA test? Here are six reasons to choose Embark over other dog DNA testing companies.

1. Embark analyzes more data per dog

We use the only research-grade genotyping chip for dogs currently on the market. What does that mean? 

Having a more complex DNA chip allows us to collect more genetic data than our competitor. To do that, we invest in a few extra costs to process every swab. This volume of data means that we can make novel genetic discoveries about dog health—a goal that we believe is worth the investment in a higher-quality chip. 

We’re proud to have the most scientifically advanced dog DNA test on the market, so that we can continue making discoveries in the name of dog health. By testing with Embark, your dog’s genetic information helps the dogs of the future.

Collecting more genetic data also allows us to give you the most accurate dog DNA test, with the highest breed accuracy. It helps us distinguish between closely related breeds in every dog’s ancestry. Of the mixed-breed dogs that Embark has tested, 80% had a breed contribution small enough that only Embark would detect it.

We also test each health condition multiple times, using multiple probes on the DNA chip (known as redundancy), to make sure the result is accurate. More genetic data means that you can be confident in the accuracy of your dog’s Embark results. 

2. Embark is advised by leading scientists 

At Embark, science is at the heart of what we do. We are founded and led by scientists, and our ongoing research aims to improve the health of dogs everywhere. We are honored to have world-renowned geneticists and veterinarians leading our Scientific Advisory Board and guiding our research and development. 

3. Embark dog DNA tests are created in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Our dog DNA tests are veterinarian developed, in collaboration with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the most prestigious schools for veterinary medicine in the US. Our Chief Science Officer, Dr. Adam Boyko, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University.

We’re proud to partner with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine not only on our dog DNA tests, but also on continuing research studies.

4. Embark is the most trusted dog DNA test on the market

Don’t just take our word for it—hear from our customers about why Embark is the best dog DNA test.

A blind study of 2,000 dog owners found that Embark was the most trusted dog DNA test. Our Breed + Health Test has 23,200+ five-star reviews on our website and 12,000+ five-star reviews on Amazon.com. 

“Out of all of the dog DNA testing services out there, Embark is widely known to be the best *by far,* so if anyone is going to give you good results, they’re your best bet.” —Embark customer review on Amazon.com

When comparing our test to others, customers note that they prefer Embark, mentioning that “Embark was much more detailed, had more information, and was more interactive” compared to Wisdom Panel.

5. Embark is endorsed by experts at The New York Times Wirecutter

Experts and customers alike choose Embark. After extensive testing, product reviewers at The New York Times Wirecutter ranked Embark as the #1 dog DNA test. “Embark analyzes twice as many genetic markers as the competition, leading to more-accurate results,” their experts say. 

“Wisdom Panel analyzes fewer DNA markers in your pet’s saliva than Embark, so we don’t think the results are as accurate overall.”  —The New York Times Wirecutter

Wirecutter also notes that Embark has a comprehensive breed database, screens for more genetic diseases, and has reliable customer service.

6. Our sole focus is canine health

Embark is not a large conglomerate. We’re a mission-driven startup company founded by dog-loving scientists and veterinarians who want to end preventable disease in dogs. Unlike our leading competitor, a candy and food brand, Embark is a dog DNA company at heart.

Our founders, Ryan and Adam Boyko, traveled the world studying dog DNA to better understand our canine companions. From this work, they founded Embark with research in mind. To that end, our scientists are actively making discoveries to improve the health of all dogs. 

Our scientists made a novel health discovery associated with early-onset adult deafness in Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs, which is the first step in helping the Ridgeback community reduce the frequency of the disease in their breed. We’re proud of this first-ever canine health discovery using commercial testing genetic data, and we’re just getting started. We are currently recruiting for ongoing research into diseases like cancer and Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

Keep reading to see how Embark compares to the competition.

Embark vs Wisdom Panel comparison for dog owners

Testing for breed ancestry

Want to discover your dog’s breed mix? Here’s what you need to know about Wisdom Panel vs Embark breed identification tests.

 

Embark Breed ID Test Wisdom Panel Breed Discovery
Number of breeds tested 350+ 350+
Includes dingoes, coyotes, wolves, and village dogs
Wolfiness score
DNA collection Soft cotton swab Rough bristle swab
Relatives The world’s first canine Relative Finder uses patented technology and allows you to connect and reunite with your dog’s extended family. The Relatives (Beta) feature finds your dog’s relatives but does not allow you to chat with them.
Dogs Like Mine 
Number of genetic markers 230,000 ~100,000
Most scientifically advanced dog DNA test
Maternal and paternal lineage
Breed reveal video provided with results
Breed ancestry accuracy 99% > 98%*
Most trusted by dog owners
Health testing One health test, MDR1
Option to share results with veterinarian
Shipping Free Free
Turnaround time 2–4 weeks 3 weeks
Price $99 $79.99

* According to The New York Times Wirecutter: “In 2019, [Wisdom Panel] claimed a 93% accuracy rate; in 2021 it stopped disclosing its rate; and in 2022 it claimed a 98% accuracy rate.”

† Based on a blind study of 2,000 dog owners

Testing for breed, health, and traits

Interested in your dog’s genetic health risks and traits, as well as their breed ancestry? There are several options to compare from Embark and Wisdom Panel.

Embark Breed + Health Test Embark Purebred Dog DNA Test Wisdom Panel Essential Wisdom Panel Premium
Number of breeds tested 350+ 350+ 350+ 350+
Includes dingoes, coyotes, wolves, and village dogs
Wolfiness score
DNA collection Soft cotton swab Soft cotton swab Rough bristle swab Rough bristle swab
Number of genetic markers 230,000 230,000 ~100,000 ~100,000
Number of health conditions  215+ 215+ 25+ 210
Number of physical traits 35+ 35+ 35+ 35+
Relatives The world’s first canine Relative Finder uses patented technology and allows you to connect and reunite with your dog’s extended family. The Relatives (Beta) feature finds your dog’s relatives but does not allow you to chat with them.
Dogs Like Mine
Most scientifically advanced dog DNA test
Maternal and paternal lineage
Breed reveal video provided with results
Breed ancestry accuracy 99% 99% > 98% > 98%
Veterinarian consultation available
Option to send results to veterinarian
Shipping Free Free Free Free
Turnaround time 2–4 weeks 2–4 weeks 3 weeks 3 weeks
Price $129 $129 $99.99 $159.99

 

Wisdom Panel vs Embark comparison for breeders

Embark for Breeders Optimal Selection powered by Wisdom Panel
Number of health conditions 215+ 200+
Number of genetic markers 230,000 ~100,000
Number of traits 35+ 40+ 
Sample collection Requires a simple cheek swab with a soft cotton swab, for 30-60 seconds. Puppies can be swabbed as early as 2 weeks old. Requires a blood draw by a veterinarian or saliva sample with a bristle swab. Requires air drying the bristle swab for at least 5 minutes, avoiding contact with other surfaces, people, or dogs, before putting the swab in the container.
Turnaround time 2–3 weeks 2–3 weeks
Genetic coefficient of inbreeding (COI) Only genetic COI test available to breeders
Unique breeder tools
  • Veterinary report
  • Option to download raw data
Technical report
Official dog DNA test of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Official dog DNA test of the National Dog Show
Results are updated when new tests are available Yes, when possible*  No—requires new sample

* We aim to backfill results whenever possible. This capability depends on which version of the chip was used for the previous test.

Embark vs Wisdom Panel comparison for veterinarians

 

Embark for Veterinarians Wisdom Panel Premium
Number of health conditions 215+ 210
Number of breeds 350+ 350+
Number of traits 35+ 35+
Veterinary-specific report with actionable recommendations
Fits into standard veterinary workflows
Developed by veterinarians, for veterinarians
Turnaround time 2–3 weeks 3 weeks
Number of genetic markers 230,000 ~100,000
Research partners  Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Morris Animal Foundation
University of Helsinki
Morris Animal Foundation
Dedicated veterinary decision support Support is available, but not dedicated to veterinarians
Top 20 health conditions tested*
Bald Thigh Syndrome
Canine Multifocal Retinopathy, cmr1
Collie Eye Anomaly
Cystinuria Type II-A
DCM1 (PDK4)
DCM2 (TTN)
Degenerative Myelopathy (SOD1A)
Exercise-Induced Collapse
Factor VII Deficiency
Hereditary Cataracts (Aussie)
HUU
Ichthyosis, ICH1
IVDD Type I
NCL4A, American Staffordshire Terrier Variant
PRA crd4/cord1 (RPGRIP1)
PRA, prcd
Primary Lens Luxation
Protein Losing Nephropathy<
Shar-Pei Autoinflammatory Disease
Von Willebrand Disease Type I
Other notable genetic health tests
ALT activity (GPT)
Von Willebrand Disease Type II
MDR1

* Top health risks and comparisons are based on frequently asked questions from veterinarians and allele frequencies within Embark-tested populations.

What to know when comparing Wisdom Panel vs Embark

There are a few factors to keep in mind when comparing Embark vs Wisdom Panel dog DNA tests and deciding which one to choose.

Dog DNA test costs

The first factor that comes to mind is often the cost of the test itself. 

A DNA test is an investment in your dog’s genetic health, and the cost can reflect the quality and accuracy of the results. Buying a high-quality Embark dog DNA test means that your dog’s DNA can contribute to research that benefits canine health, and you can trust the accuracy of the results.

Find out how much a dog DNA test actually costs and how to get the most value from it.

Dog DNA test accuracy

Many dog DNA tests claim to be very accurate.

Some clues about the accuracy of a dog DNA test include the number of genetic markers and the quality of the chip. More genetic markers means that the test captures more data, so that it can report your dog’s results with higher accuracy and precision. 

Learn more about how accurate dog DNA tests are for breed identification and for identifying genetic health risks.

Value of dog DNA tests

Because the same genetic variant can affect different breeds in different ways, it’s important to know the health risks related to your dog’s specific breed or breed mix. 

When comparing dog DNA tests, look for one that gives you multiple health results from a single test, and one that takes into account breed-relevant health results. It’s important to know which genetic health risks you and your veterinarian can be proactive about based on your dog’s unique health profile. That type of actionable health information can have a significant impact on a dog’s quality of life.

How to choose a dog DNA test

Not sure which Embark dog DNA test is right for you? Take this helpful quiz and we’ll recommend the dog DNA test that fits your needs.

Mimi Padmabandu Contributor

Mimi Padmabandu is a scientific writer and Senior Content Strategist at Embark Veterinary. Her career includes a decade of experience writing about science and genomics for leading biotechnology companies, including Illumina, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and more. She holds a bachelor's degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from UCLA and a master’s degree in Early Modern English Literature from King’s College London.

Read more about Mimi Padmabandu

Related categories

Choosing a Dog DNA Test Dog DNA Testing

Shop dog DNA tests

Shopping in the {{ userRegion }}?

You're viewing our {{ region }} website, but it looks like you're in the {{ userRegion }}.

Visit {{ market }} site