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Dog Age Test

Early access

Unlock your dog's calendar age.

The Embark Age Test measures your dog's chronological (or calendar) age. We use DNA methylation to determine the amount of time that has passed from their birth to the given date.

Includes:

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    At-home collection kit (including swab and return envelope)

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    Your dog's calendar age and suggested birthday

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    Lifestyle and care insights based on your dog's age

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    Free shipping

Backed by science:

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    Results delivered within 98% accuracy (± 5 months)

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    Research partner of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

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    Every dog tested can contribute to aging research that will help dogs live longer, healthier lives

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Get lifestyle and care insights based on your dog’s life stage.

In addition to learning your dog's true calendar age and suggested birthday, you'll get access to helpful information based on your dog's life stage as they mature from puppy to adult to senior.

Insights include:

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    Behavior - Training and mental stimulation

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    Activity - Reducing risk of injury

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    Nutrition - Food and supplements

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    Dental - Creating good habits

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    Preventative - Examinations and more

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"
Ever since we adopted Percy from a shelter in Tennessee, we’ve been dying to know his real calendar age and when to celebrate his birthday. It turns out, he’s a year younger than we originally thought!”
- Martina G.

The science behind our Age Test

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Demystifying DNA Methylation

Even trained experts get age identification wrong about 75% of the time when judging by visual cues alone. That’s why we go beyond appearances and use DNA methylation to determine your dog’s age. DNA methylation has been used to develop biomarkers of aging, known as epigenetic clocks, which predict chronological age with remarkable accuracy.

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How it Works

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    1. Swab your dog

    After receiving your kit, simply collect a saliva sample by swabbing your dog’s mouth.

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    2. Mail your swab

    After swabbing your dog, seal it in the provided envelope, and mail it to us within 10 days.

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    3. Get results in 6-8 weeks

    You’ll receive your dog’s calendar age along with actionable insights within 6-8 weeks.

FAQs

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What is an age test? How is age determined?

Scientists at Embark can now detect how old your dog is. Yes, really! We use a saliva test that is similar to our current kits (i.e. Breed ID, Breed and Health Kit), but that has key differences. Instead of being based on your dog’s DNA sequence, this test is based on epigenetics, which is how behaviors and the environment affect how genes work. The specific marker that we use for the age test is called DNA methylation, which is one of the most well understood epigenetic mechanisms that regulates gene expression in a cell (Arneson et al. 2022). As your dog (or any mammal, for that matter) ages, the amount of methylation present on DNA decreases (Field 2018; Horvath 2013). We can use the amount and position of this methylation as a molecular clock to pinpoint just how old your dog is (Horvath et al. 2021). We’ve created a proprietary model that translates your dog’s genome-wide methylation patterns to their age.


How accurate is the test?

Our test has an accuracy of 98% and estimates your dog’s age within ± 5 months. If our quality control checks do not meet these standards, we will offer you a refund.


How do I know it works?

We have successfully used this age test on hundreds of dogs who ranged in age from 6 months to 18 years old, from over 100 breeds and mixed-breeds, and of various body sizes/weights. We use stringent quality control criteria to ensure that the data are of high quality so that our predictions are accurate.


How is the age test different from the breed and/or health DNA test that I previously purchased? Why do I have to swab my dog again?

The previous DNA tests were based on your dog’s DNA sequence that was present from birth. An epigenetic test instead tells us about your dog’s unique life and how that has impacted the structure of their DNA. You will still swab your dog, but the DNA will go through different processes in the lab to tell us about its epigenetic state. This different processing means one swab can’t be used for genetic tests, nor can we re-run a dog’s existing Embark test results for this new test.


How will my dog’s data contribute to research?

At Embark, our mission is to help dogs live healthier, happier lives. Your dog’s sample will fuel our epigenetics discovery engine as we learn more about wellness, healthy aging, and disease risk.

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What is an early access product?

Before we yell it from the (doghouse) rooftop that we can offer an Age Test through Embark, we are doing a smaller trial run to make sure our operational processes are built for scale. We’re confident in the science and the product that we’ve created to date, but feedback on your experience is greatly appreciated as we seek to continuously improve our service.


Why was my dog selected for this test?

We’ve reached out to a small number of Embark customers who indicated that their dog’s age is unknown/estimated and may benefit from knowing this information.


Can I share my invitation with others? Another dog in my household?

Your invitation is 100% exclusive to you and your Embark-tested dog. Since this is a limited run, we are unable to make substitutions for other customers or canines.


How do I activate my dog’s swab?

The early access swabs are pre-activated for your dog; you no not need to activate it on your Embark account. Simply swab your dog and mail it in the provided return envelope within 10 days of receipt.


What if I don’t make the 10 day swab return window?

You’ll receive a confirmation email once your swab arrives at our office. If the acceptance window has passed and we’re unable to get your swab included in the early access batch, we will reach out to provide a refund.


How long will it take to receive my results?

We’re expecting 6-8 weeks from the time that we receive your swab. We may be able to provide your dog’s results much sooner, and we’ll keep you up to date as processing progresses.


What type of results will I receive?

You’ll receive an email with a report that provides your dog’s age result and life-stage informed insights. We recommend consulting with your veterinarian on any lifestyle or health-related changes that you may consider.


Who should I reach out to if I have questions or concerns?

Please contact our customer service team at howdy@embarkvet.com or by calling (224) 236-2275.