Protect your dog and learn its lineage with these DNA kits

Everybody thinks they know their dog and it's true that you probably share a unique bond with your pet if they've been a part of the family for any length of time. But even though the way you nurture them is important, there are aspects of nature that you can't control.

That's why serious pet owners have been going the extra mile with a DNA test like the Embark Dog DNA Test Kit.

DNA tests for your dog? It might sound weird if you only know the science from baby-daddy reveals on tabloid talk shows. But these tests can actually help avoid drama with your dog.

With Embark, all you do is take a swab from your dog's cheek and send it in for testing. When your lab results come back, you'll know your dog's exact breed and ancestry from a database of more than 250 breeds. That can tell you a lot about your best friend, from his or her predilections to disease to base personality traits. Embark can even help you discover and connect with your dogs living relatives if they're on the extensive family tree that gets created.

One of the most popular kits out there, the Embark Dog DNA Test Kit is now $174.99, a 12% discount off the list price.

You can also go with the DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test, which is a more medically-focused version.

Just take the test, and in two weeks after sending your sample away you'll know all the fun stuff: Breed mix, personality traits and the like. But you'll also get a breakdown of genetic health concerns for that breed mix, and specific info about what diseases to watch out for.

As preventative medicine goes, it's well worth it. The DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test is on sale for $59, down 25% from the regular MSRP.

If you want to focus on possible allergies, the Allergy Test My Pet Kit actually checks for a range of proteins in the cheek swab - not DNA.

The lab results won't give you breed info, but they will give you a thorough list of foods, products and environmental hazards your dog should avoid, based on sensitivities found in the sample. It can be hard to care for a sick dog when you don't know what's triggering their illness, and this kit can be a lifesaver in that regard.

Pick up the Allergy Test My Pet Kit for $69, a 30% discount off the retail price.