This dog DNA test helped me figure out what breed my rescue dog is and what health conditions to watch out for

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  • Embark is a dog DNA test that determines your dog's breed and checks for over 170 genetic health conditions and 20 traits among other fun facts.
  • Staff veterinarians and customer service representatives are also available to answer questions from pet owners. 
  • We used the test to learn more about our rescue dog, Nellie. You can read more about our experience below.

Embark breaks down dog breeds by percentages. If you keep scrolling, Embark highlights the main characteristics of each breed present. 

Embark tests your pup for over 170 genetic health conditions and 20 traits.

We took the Embark DNA test probably just as much for the health results as to satisfy our curiosity, if not more so. Embark screens for over 170 genetic conditions looking for the mutations that can cause them, and Nellie showed up negative for everything. Being able to rule out these mutations also makes it easier for your chosen vet to determine what's wrong quickly and accurately if your dog becomes sick in the future, and to avoid prescribing medications your dog may be sensitive to. To easily share with your vet, click "Vet Report" to input your vet's name and email address. They'll get a copy.

Embark makes the results easy for non-scientists to understand. It showed that she was cleared for the 135 genetic conditions common for Nellie's breed (which the test already provided for us and the lab) and then broke down what those conditions are exactly. You can also view the full disease test in more detail if you wish. 

Embark also breaks your dog's DNA down to make a family tree that goes back to great-grandparents.

Embark's algorithm generates the most likely family tree for your pup, though it's not the only possible one for your dog's mix. 

You can also check out other dogs who have Embark accounts that have similar breed mixes for comparison via the Mix Matches tool. 

The DNA test also tests your dog's traits, making it possible to predict coat color, coat traits (shedding, curly, straight) and body size among other things.

You'll be able to see the genes that make your dog's coat the color, texture, and shedding-heavy mess that it is, as well as your dog's projected body size, along with links to deeper wells of information if you're interested in learning more. 

You can also see your dog's genetic diversity (was there inbreeding?) as well as performance. For instance, we discovered that Nellie has an adaptation that makes her more tolerant of high altitudes. 

Staff veterinarians and customer service reps are also available to answer questions from owners.

The service also encourages users to email [email protected] if they have a particular health issue or area they're interested in. 

You can also take "Health and Wellness" quizzes to get personalized feedback and contribute to research, making the Embark test even more accurate and extensive for you and others in the future.

These quizzes and feedback mean the service can get smarter and better over time — benefiting both old users and new with more features and ever-more accurate results, just like human DNA tests. If you choose to participate, you could help scientists make new discoveries. 


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