Hello and welcome. We are Farrah and Lara — just two people who are unapologetically obsessed with our dogs. When we found out that DNA tests for pets existed, we knew we had to test our beloved furry family members.
Farrah was gifted Gizmo as a puppy when she was living in Arizona. The family told her that the dogs who gave birth to him were a mix of Chihuahua and Shih-tzu. Lara adopted Pepper through a center in Los Angeles and thinks Pepper might be part Maltese and part Yorkshire Terrier.
There are a few different dog DNA tests out there, but after doing some research we found that Embark was one of the easiest ones. AND WE LIKE EASY. Embark is a swab test that comes in a small box with step-by-step directions.
The swab looks like a Q-Tip and the directions say to rub it in your dog's mouth for 30 to 60 seconds. Both Pepper and Gizmo weren't too happy about this part, but once we began massaging the swab gently along their gum line, they sat still and let us work.
The box that the kit comes in is also the box you need to mail it out (it has first-class package return service). Once you get your activation code, seal that baby up and drop it in the mail!
Farrah found herself feeling a combination of anxious and curious about Gizmo's results.
Lara was honestly petrified to see Pepper's results because she was scared it would reveal a myriad of potential health problems down the line and she is extremely co-dependent on Pep.
It was confirmed that Gizmo's family DID come from Chihuahua and Shih Tzu breeds, but Farrah was also surprised to learn that he's part Chinese Crested, Pomeranian, and Pekingese!
They also make a little family tree for your pet!
The only thing flagged on Gizmo's health report was one copy of a mutation in the ADAMTS17 gene, which means he is at some risk for developing Primary Lens Luxation. Naturally, Farrah freaked out before doing ANY research, and her brain went straight into worst case scenario mode.
It turns out that Pepperoni & Cheese isn't pure maltese/yorkie like Lara thought, but mostly Yorkshire Terrier with a bit of Maltese and some Pekingese as well?? She was surprised.
And seeing Pepper's family tree just made Lara want to hire a private detective to find her family so she could adopt them all.
The best part, of course, was that lil Pepito didn't have any potential health issues flagged. Of course, this doesn't mean she's in perfect health forever, but for the ones they test for, she passed with flying colors!
Overall, Embark was VERY easy to use and provided us with a detailed report about our doggos. This is a great service to use if you're curious about your pet's breed or if you have a breed that is predisposed to certain illnesses!
Kits were provided to BuzzFeed free of charge.