Embark Dog DNA Test Review

About Embark

Embark Dog DNA Test Review

Embark is an online company that sells dog DNA tests. By sending in a saliva sample of their pup, owners can find out more about their breed and ancestry. Additionally, customers can be notified if their pet has any health conditions

After partnering with experts from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, Embark quickly became a favorite among owners and the media alike. They have been featured on The Verge, Mashable, and the HuffPost

Is this brand worth all the bark, or would you rather leave it in the dark? This Embark dog DNA test review will hopefully answer that for you in this following commentary.

We will take a closer look at their products, customer ratings, promotions, and more to help you decide if they are worth checking out. 

Overview of Embark

Embark Dog DNA Test Review

It’s no secret that dogs are man’s best friend. Because they are considered part of the family, it’s only natural to want to learn more about them. Founders Ryan and Adam Boyko had spent nearly a decade learning everything they could about dogs. 

Questions such as, How did they first get humans to fall in love with them?, and How can we best care for our furry family members? pervaded their thoughts. Their shared interests grew into a lifelong passion, as the duo began to conduct scientific research in various labs. 

With combined efforts, they found the origins of the first domestic dogs in central Asia, from over 15,000 years ago. Adam’s lab also uncovered the genetic foundation for many pup-related illnesses and traits.

From there, the team decided to share their discoveries with the rest of the world. And so, in 2015, Embark was founded in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Embark is armed with cutting-edge science and insights that customers can easily access online. A statement made by the brand reads: 

“Owners and their pets can immediately benefit from all the newest and most advanced science. They can also contribute to advancing scientific discoveries every day. By continually sharing new insights while collecting more data, our dogs can benefit from the best care.” 

Need proof? Here is what one of their tests can show about just the breed of a dog:

Embark Dog DNA Test Review

Before we get into this Embark dog DNA test review, let’s go over some initial pros and cons: 


  • By purchasing a Embark DNA kit, owners can learn more about their pet’s specific breed, family tree, traits, health conditions, and more
  • The brand tests for more health conditions and traits compared to other dog DNA tests
  • Embark is the only canine genetics company that uses a research-grade DNA genotyping platform. This ensures that customers receive accurate results 
  • It only takes 2–4 weeks to get your results back 
  • Owners can access their information on their phone or PC 
  • Offers Affirm as an alternative payment option
  • Discount codes offered if you want to test more than one pet 


  • They do not offer refunds for their Embark DNA testing for dogs 
  • Some customers reported implausible information in their given results 
Embark Dog DNA Test Review 1
Sponsored: PetMeds® is an online pet pharmacy providing pet parents with the medications their pets need delivered straight to their doorstep. Licensed to dispense prescription medications in all 50 states.

How Does Embark Work?

Embark Dog DNA Test Review

Considered the canine version of Ancestry and 23andme, the Embark dog DNA test kit works pretty much the same. First, owners must choose one of the two sets available to purchase on their website. 

This varies between the Breed ID Kit or the Breed + Health Kit. Note that the brand also offers more in-depth tests, such as their Litter Package and the Embark Breeder Kit box sets.

For the purposes of this Embark dog DNA test review, we will only be looking into their pet owner kits. 

Once the company has sent over your kit, owners are to collect a DNA sample from their dog. The easiest way to do this is to swab the insides of their cheek. Afterward, customers are instructed to register for their tests online.

On the landing page, there is an Activate Kit button right next to the “Sign In” feature located on the top right-hand corner of the screen. As soon as you’ve finished creating an account, you can mail the sample back to Embark for testing. 

What’s great about this DNA kit is that owners can track through every stage of analysis, as the brand identifies your dog’s sample with a unique ID found inside of the box. Whew, no more asking, Are we there yet?! 

Embark Dog DNA Test Review

According to Embark, the amount of genetic information stored in a single cell of DNA is equivalent to 1.5 gigabytes of data.

To get a more accurate look into your pooch’s genetic profile, the experts back at Embark will separate the DNA from other parts of the cell in order to make millions of copies of it for analysis. 

After this process, they will look at over 200,000 different locations across your canine’s genome to collect as much information they can.

If you have more than one pet, you can save a bit of money when purchasing their Embark dog DNA tests. We will go over their offered discounts for this occasion later on in this review. 

Owners will receive results within 2 to 4 weeks, which you can see on your Embark login account. You can easily access this information on your phone as well.

The brand will also send you a print report, which is a PDF that can be printed or shared with others. This is especially helpful if you’d like to initiate some conversations about your pup with an EmbarkVet or your local veterinarian. 

You can find out more information on how the Embark dog DNA testing kit works by visiting the How it Works page on their website. Moving forward, this Embark dog DNA test review will go into depth on their two offered assessments below. 

Embark Breed ID Kit Review

Is it paw-sible to learn about your furry friend’s family tree and past ancestry? You bet your tail it is. The Breed ID Kit can tell owners more about their dog’s specific breed, various traits, and whether there are any canine siblings running around.

More specifically, Embark will screen for over 350 breeds. The brand offers an entire list of canine varieties on their website, with each type containing more information such as background history and a list of key facts. 

The Breed ID Kit will also dig up more information pertaining to your pet’s lineage from over 3 generations ago. Perhaps you’ll find out that your poodle isn’t as pure as you once originally thought.

Customers can learn if their pooch comes from a rare breed, or if they are specified as a village dog, which is known as “outsider” canines that live in human settlements. 

Embark Dog DNA Test Review 1
Sponsored: PetMeds® is an online pet pharmacy providing pet parents with the medications their pets need delivered straight to their doorstep. Licensed to dispense prescription medications in all 50 states.

What’s especially neat about the Embark dog DNA test breed identification kit is that owners can directly reach out to doggy DNA relatives owners by using the brand’s chat function.

From there, you can set up a cute family reunion playdate in the future. How adorable is that? In terms of what is inside the Breed ID Kit:

  • A swab to obtain samples
  • Detailed list of instructions
  • A return envelope to mail back your kit for results

Embark Breed + Health Kit Review

With the Breed + Health Kit, owners can learn much more about their dogs. Compared to the Breed ID Kit, this test will provide 20+ physical trait reports and uncover 190+ genetic health risks, while offering an inbreeding score at the end.

It will also screen for affiliated dog breeds, find out more about their family tree, and match you with related doggo brothers and sisters. They will also give you a research survey to fill out to help provide more information that Embark experts can use. 

Using a research-grade DNA genotyping platform, this Embark sample kit will let owners know of any notable conditions their pets might have. It undergoes tests for over 16 different areas including blood, the kidneys, brain, and the heart.

By choosing the Breed + Health Kit, customers can also get a detailed analysis of their pup’s physical traits, including their coat color, muzzle length, body size, and more

Wondering about the inbreeding score? This component will provide owners with a score of how inbred their dogs are. According to Embark, a higher number could be an indication of future or current health problems.

When it comes to what’s inside the Breed + Health Kit, it contains the same items as their other set. This includes the swab, a record of instructions, and a return envelope. 

How Much is Embark?

Embark Dog DNA Test Review

For the Breed ID Kit, it costs $129 in total. The Breed + Health Kit is priced at $159 instead of the original $199.

This is because this sample test provides owners with more information about their dogs. If you aren’t savvy about having to pay the full price upfront, Embark offers its customers monthly installment payments with Affirm. 

Embark Dog DNA Test Review 1
Sponsored: PetMeds® is an online pet pharmacy providing pet parents with the medications their pets need delivered straight to their doorstep. Licensed to dispense prescription medications in all 50 states.

Embark Reviews: What Do Customers Think?

Embark Dog DNA Test Review

Is Embark a good brand? Based on thousands of positive customer reviews online, this Embark dog DNA test review seems to think so. On their website, there are over 18,029 buyer testimonials posted with an average of 4.6/5 stars all around.

Dog owners have noted that their Embark genetic testing for dogs kits helped them learn more about their pets. Additionally, customers have stated that they liked that they were kept in the loop during the process. 

Really fun to see what your super mutt is made of! We have 3 dogs and got to know what their (genetic) makeup is. Kit is easy to use and they always get the results back faster than they say they will,” one reviewer wrote on their website. 

We also found favorable reviews on the Amazon product pages. For the Breed + Health Kit, there are over 15,505 global ratings posted with a general ranking of 4.7 stars out of 5.

A majority of pet owners said that they were able to find out surprising information from their tests. For instance, some users were taken aback that their dog wasn’t the type of breed that they originally thought they were.

Others stated that the kits helped them learn more about their pup’s health as well.

“It also gave us a bunch of additional info on his health and breed ancestry. Fascinating stuff! I highly recommend this test for anyone who wants to learn more about their dog. I’m planning on ordering a second one for my other dog now too,” one Amazon reviewer wrote for the Breed + Health Kit

This Embark Dog DNA Test review found a few customer complaints online. Some dog owners on Amazon stated that the tests were inaccurate, as it showed results for a dog breed that was entirely different from their pet’s actual variety.

Others noted that it took a long time to get their information back. A few reported issues with their customer service. 

Is Embark Worth It?

Embark Dog DNA Test Review

For those who would love to familiarize themselves more with their pups, this Embark dog DNA test review encourages you to check this company out. This online service enables owners to get more information pertaining to their cherished furbabies.

By purchasing their easy-to-use Embark breeder kit, customers can receive their results within a short amount of time (and track the whole journey).

From family trees to various dog breeds, buyers are given several tidbits of data and statistics that are ultimately fascinating to know. 

By using their sample kits, users can also be notified of any alarming health conditions that could impact the well-being of their dogs. The Embark DNA test enables customers to be informed in advance before looking into possible treatments or procedures.

Also worth pointing out: It can also reduce the likelihood of paying for expensive clinical bills in the future. 

Is DNA Embark worth it? For in-depth test results that provide people with interesting (and useful) results, this brand gets an all-resounding howl of approval

Embark Dog DNA Test Review 1
Sponsored: PetMeds® is an online pet pharmacy providing pet parents with the medications their pets need delivered straight to their doorstep. Licensed to dispense prescription medications in all 50 states.

Embark Promotions & Discounts 

Embark Dog DNA Test Review

This Embark dog DNA test review found out a few ways that customers can save money. You can get $40 off their Breed + Health Kit by using the promo code, FROZEN40, at checkout. 

Buyers can also give their friends a discount on the Breed + Health Kit through Embark’s referral program. You receive a $10 Amazon gift card when your buddies sign up.

If you’d like to test more than one furry companion, Embark offers 3 discount codes depending on the number of canines. As a side note, this only applies to their Breed + Health Kit.

  • Code for 2 dogs: MULTIPACK2 (10% off 2 kits)
  • Code for 3 dogs: MULTIPACK3 (15% off 3 kits)
  • Code for 4 dogs: MULTIPACK4 (20% off 4 or more kits) 

Sign up for Embark

Embark Dog DNA Test Review

This Embark dog DNA test review found two ways that customers can sign up for an account via their website: Then, simply follow these steps:

  1. Click the Activate Kit button on the top right hand corner of the screen. Fill in the necessary boxes to create your login 
  2. Purchase one of their Embark testing kits. From there, customers can check out and build their account further 


Embark Dog DNA Test Review

How accurate is Embark Vet?

According to their website, Embark ensures that their probes are 99.9% accurate. 

What diseases does Embark test for? 

This Embark dog DNA test review found out that they test over 190+ known genetic conditions for dogs. This includes hemophilia, cardiomyopathy, muscular dystrophy, and more. 

Does Embark test for allergies? 

Embark does not test for allergies. However, they do test for the MDR1 gene, which is the drug sensitivity gene (some pet owners might find this information very useful).

Does Embark tell your dog’s age? 

This Embark dog DNA test review found out that the company can tell what age your dog is. They can estimate your pup’s genetic age and their calendar/biological age. 

Does Embark test for color? 

Yes, the Embark test kit can give you a detailed biological analysis of your pet’s physical traits, including their coat colour.

Embark Dog DNA Test Review 1
Sponsored: PetMeds® is an online pet pharmacy providing pet parents with the medications their pets need delivered straight to their doorstep. Licensed to dispense prescription medications in all 50 states.

How long does it take to get Embark results? 

According to their product descriptions, it takes 2–4 weeks to get your results back. You can track the analysis process through your online account. 

How do I cancel my Embark subscription?

There is no subscription plan. Customers can only order their Embark dog DNA kit as a one-time purchase

What is Embark’s Shipping Policy?

This Embark dog DNA test review found out that they offer free shipping for US orders for their Breed ID Kit and their Breed + Health Kit.

The brand only uses UPS and USPS as their main couriers, and they have over 4 different shipping options available. 

In terms of delivery times, it varies depending on the chosen shipping method. For instance, USPS First Class takes 2 to 6 business days to arrive. 

They also offer shipping to over 240 countries around the world. For global orders, a $10 shipping fee will be added to your final purchase. International customers will need to pay for shipping in order to send their kits back for results. 

Customers will receive a tracking number in a confirmation email, to efficiently monitor their packages. 

What is the Embark Return Policy?

Embark does not issue refunds. That being said, there are some cases in which exceptions are made.

For example, if the saliva swab failed to generate results due to insufficient DNA content on the first try. You can find out more about more specifications by contacting their customer service team directly.  

From what this Embark Dog DNA test review has learned, you can return unused DNA kits. Contact [email protected] to initiate the process. 

How to Contact Embark

For inquiries unrelated to this Embark Dog DNA test review, you can contact the company through:

Keep your dog happy with these top pet food brands: 


Pet Plate

The Farmer’s Dog 

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Ask the community or leave a comment

Ask a Question
Embark is a scam
Asked by Barbara MacDougall (3 years ago) Reply

I had my two dogs tested by Embark. After I sent the kits back, I looked on their website and found different instructions if you have more than one dog. I contacted them that I had not followed those instructions since they were not included in my kits. They told me if the dog’s DNA was tainted, they’d send me new kits at no charge. My Min-Pin showed the same breeds as my Chihuahua, stating that he was 41% Chihuahua, which is suspicious. I contacted Embark, and they never replied. There are probably many people with more than one dog who didn’t know about separating their dogs for several hours before testing since those instructions are not included in the kits. I have no confidence in a company that can’t bother to include the correct information and then ignores their customers when there’s a problem.

Answered by Barbara MacDougall (3 years ago) Reply

I need to retract most of this comment. I heard from a representative today and they patiently explained everything in great detail concerning why they know my dog’s results are correct, backed up with a lot of science. I was convinced. However, I do stand by my comments about them not providing correct instructions. If they can’t get that simple thing right, it doesn’t exactly build confidence.

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