Embark review

  • Results
  • DNA testing
  • Price
  • Customer Service
  • Safety

Our view

Embark, experts in DNA testing for dogs, use microrray technology to decipher your four-legged friend’s genome. Their range includes breed identification kits, combined breed-health tests, as well as intestinal and oral analyses. Covering 350 breeds, 35 traits and over 250 diseases, Embark delivers comprehensive results in 2–3 weeks, easily shared with your vet. With Embark DNA tests, you’ll understand your dog’s genealogy and discover any possible relatives. For breeders, it’s the assurance of successful and secure breeding. Embark is undoubtedly perfect for obtaining all kinds of information about your pet. However, we recommend EsayDNA, if you’re looking for more in-depth and accurate results.

Every day, thousands of vets, owners and breeders turn to Embark hoping to decipher their dogs’ DNA. But are Embark DNA tests really for understanding the genetics of your faithful friend, or just another expensive product? How reliable is the information provided by these tests? We tested Embark products to find out the truth, and here’s our expert opinion.

  • Proposes the most complete kits on the market;
  • Scans over 350 breeds (including street dogs and wolves) and over 250 diseases
  • Analyzes gut and mouth microbiome
  • Offers the possibility of building a genealogical tree
  • Traces the origins and ancestry of dogs
  • Provides a search tool for canine relatives
  • Users have access to raw, correct data
  • Excellent packaging 
  • Possibility to share results to contribute to canine genealogy research
  • Excellent customer service
  • Provision of veterinary team to interpret results
  • Impossibilité d’importer des informations d’autres services
  • Some users feel that the test may be inaccurate
  • Tests coûteux

Embark essentials

Embark is an American startup founded by Ryan and Adam Boyko, two scientist brothers with a passion for canine health. Working with National Geographic and other scientific organizations, the two brothers have swabbed dogs from remote areas of Europe, Asia and South America.

This quest has enabled them to build up a vast and diverse database. With the help of several geneticists, the company has established itself as a reference in the genetic testing sector. The company has earned the trust of thousands of vets, breeders and dog owners.

The tests offered by Embark

Embark offers two types of DNA tests for dogs: the breed identification DNA test and the breed identification + health test.

The breed ID DNA kit


Embark’s Breed Identification Kit is designed to provide information uniquely about your dog’s breed. Breed identification can reveal the mix and percentage of breeds that make up your canine’s DNA. In addition to racial identification, this kit can trace your dog’s ancestry and geographic origin. You can discover relatives and other dogs sharing identical genes with your companion. Embark also offers support from genetics specialists.

Embark DNA test Breed identification: Advantages
  • Identifies over 350 breeds
  • Reports the percentage of breeds in dog DNA
  • Traces the ancestry and region of origin of each breed
  • Helps find other dogs with identical genes
  • Offers the possibility of establishing a genealogical tree
  • Offers support from specialists

Race + health DNA test


TheBreed DNA + Health Kit from Embark is an enhanced version of the Breed Identification Test. This comprehensive test reveals not only your dog’s genetic heritage, but his predispositions to over 250 genetic diseases. The kit also reveals whether your dog is sensitive to certain medications, so you can avoid health risks.

The information gathered will enable you to adapt his diet, lifestyle and even medical care. The Breed + Health kit also tests over 35 physical traits (size, coat, grooming needs, etc. You’ll learn more about the unique characteristics of your purebred or mixed breed puppy.

Test ADN Embark Race + health : benefits
  • Identifies over 350 breeds
  • Analyzes the predisposition of more than 250 genetic diseases
  • Identifies purebred and mixed-breed dogs
  • Offers the possibility of establishing a genealogical tree

Other available tests

Beyond DNA testing Emabark offers two other useful tests for your dog.

Gut health test


Embark has teamed up with AnimalBiome to offer products related to the canine microbiome. The start-up’s gut health test gives a clear picture of your dog’s gut microbiome. It identifies bacterial imbalances that can lead to diarrhea, constipation, skin problems, immune dysregulation and behavioral disorders.

The results are also accompanied by recommendations for dietary adjustments, supplements or lifestyle changes. After sending your puppy’s stool sample to Embark, results are ready in 2-3 weeks.

Embark gut health DNA test: Benefits
  • Product created in collaboration with AnimalBiome
  • Scans the intestinal microbiome
  • Identifies bacterial imbalances
  • Offers recommendations for better management

The oral health test


Poor oral health causes problems such as bad breath and tooth loss. Embark uses DNA sequencing to identify the bacteria in a dog’s mouth. This oral test evaluates your pet’s oral microbiometo help you determine if he needs a dental cleaning. Results are available in 2 to 3 weeks, along with advice on appropriate care.

Embark oral health DNA test: Benefits
  • Évalue the oral microbiome 
  • Determines the bacteria present in the animal’s mouth
  • Provides solutions for appropriate management

How the Embark DNA test works ?

Using Embark DNA tests is simple and easy. Just follow the steps below.

Unpacking the kit 

The kit is sent directly to your home address after you place your order online. After receipt, you need to unpack your package to check that all the necessary items are present.The package should contain the metal label with the Embark logo and a small URL on one side. You’ll also find the swab and tube for sampling.

Activating the kit 

The first thing after opening your package is to register your kit. To do this, go to the official website from your smartphone or computer to fill in some information about yourself. As far as your dog is concerned, you’ll need to provide information such as:

  • Age
  • Health status
  • The diet
  • Medication treatments

If you have several kits for different dogs, link them all to a single account to simplify online access. After activating your account, set up a profile for each dog and associate it with the corresponding Embark kit number.


The next step is to collect the sample from your dog. For breed identification tests, breed + health except intestinal health test, your dog’s saliva is required. Before sampling, briefly clean your dog’s lower gums. Although the procedure is simple, it may take longer if your dog is reluctant. After collecting the saliva, place the swabs in the tube containing the violet liquid.

Close it tightly and shake it about ten times to preserve the DNA. For the intestinal test, a sample of your dog’s stool is required. Package the samples according to the kit instructions and send them using the prepaid envelope provided. The laboratory will send you an e-mail to notify you of receipt of your package.

Receiving your results

After samples have been sent, results are available online within 2 to 3 weeks. The laboratory will send you a second notification to let you know that the results are available and can be consulted.

The Embark DNA test results presentation 

Embark’s DNA test results are divided into 5 tabs: research, breeds, health, traits and care tips.


The first “Research” tab offers you the opportunity to help canine genetics progress. Embark is collaborating with scientists at Cornel Universityl to study the DNA of many dogs. If you wish, you can take part in surveys of your dog’s behavior and activities, and incorporate his DNA into these studies. Currently, the Embark team is studying topics such as the genetics of stomach cancer, Wobbler syndrome and the genetic influence on obesity and canine arthritis.

One of their major discoveries concerns a genetic variant linked to early deafness in Rhodesian Ridgebacks. As a result, Embark is the first to inform Ridgeback owners and vets about this risk. Your participation will not bring any material reward, but it will make a positive contribution to science.



The “Breeds” tab gives you an in-depth look at your dog’s genetics. It shows a precise percentage of the different breeds detected in your pet’s DNA. It also provides information on the history and origins of the breed. This tab also displays your dog’s family tree. Embark also offers other exciting features, such as the ability to view photos of dogs with similar genetic profiles. Another notable feature of Embark is the ability to discover your dog’s genetic ancestry.


The “Health” tab, accessible only with the breed+health kit, details your dog’s state of health. This section lists any diseases to which your dog may be predisposed. The “Periodontal” and “Potential Pathobionts” sub-tabs provide details of your dog’s intestinal and oral health. You can save and store your dog’s medical files. What’s more, from the health dashboard, you can transmit your Embark data directly to your vet.


The “Traits” section of the report highlights the physical characteristics of your purebred dog. These include specific traits such as coat color and pattern, and ear shape. In this section, you’ll also find characteristics such as his eye color, appetite and even his ability to adapt to altitude.

Embark also offers an estimate of the height and weight your puppy will reach as an adult. For those with an adult dog, this estimate can help determine whether the animal is overweight or not. If you’re unsure of your dog’s true age, Embark can estimate its genetic age. This information can guide owners in choosing a suitable diet, or give an indication of how close their dog is to old age.

Test reliability

Embark, a certified laboratory, is renowned for its expertise and precision in canine genetic testing.The firm relies on the expertise of eminent researchers who process each sample with unparalleled rigor, using microarray technology to ensure accurate results. 

Embark delivers concrete data on canine genetics and offers leads to optimize their quality of life. The UFCAS also recognizes Embark’s commitment and reliability to research and dog welfare. As a result, you can rely on this laboratory to understand your dog’s genetics.

Embark’s data security and confidentiality

Embark places paramount importance on the security and confidentiality of its customers’ data. The company has strict protocols in place to ensure that every dog’s data remains private and protected. Personal data about you and your dog is only shared with your explicit consent.

Embark will not sell or share this data with third parties for commercial purposes. In addition, the company continually strives to improve its security measures to meet the highest standards of data protection. With Embark, you can rest assured that your pet’s genetic information is in safe hands.

Embark kit prices

The price of Embark kits varies according to the product chosen. The racial + health dentification test is currently offered at a reduced price of $127 (€120), instead of its usual price of $199 (€189).

The Racial Identification Kit is available for$99 (€94), down from its original price of $129 (€122). The Gut Health and Oral Health tests are offered at $115 (€109), slightly reduced from their original price of $125 (€118).

Embark vs Wisdom panel

Embark and Wisdom Panel are two of the most popular laboratories offering DNA testing for dogs. Embark analyzes over 200,000 genetic markers, enabling it to identify more than 350 breeds and over 250 canine conditions. Wisdom Panel, meanwhile, has the world’s largest database and also offers DNA testing for cats. Their results are more detailed and in-depth than Embark’s.

Embark vs QuickDNA

QuickDNA offers DNA testing for dogs and cats and stands out for its delivery of results in just 72 hours. However, Embark provides more in-depth breed and health reports. What’s more, Embark extends its services to include gut and oral microbiome analysis, an option not offered by QuickDNA. Based in Europe, QuickDNA guarantees 100% accuracy and reliability of its results.

Our Embark experience and reviews

✅ After testing Embark’s identification+health kit on Blackie, we’re convinced of its accuracy. Blackie is a dog owned by a member of our team. The kit’s packaging is elegant and the instructions are crystal clear.

The simplicity of the process immediately appealed to us. The integrated metal collar, serving as a means of accessing genetic data in the event of the dog’s loss, is an ingenious idea. 

Blackie was cooperative during the sampling, and the shipment to the laboratory went off without a hitch. Less than three weeks later, we were informed that the results were available. To our surprise, despite his Pittbull appearance, Blackie had bloodhound and Siberian husky genes. His health details were detailed, including his genetic predispositions. Embark is ideal for those who want a complete DNA test.