The dog explained reviews reddit

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  • In mid-2021 Embark upgraded its Breed + Health Kit to cover more breeds and traits. We’ve updated this guide to reflect the new results and testing protocol, but our picks haven’t changed.

July 27, 2021

If your pup’s parentage is perplexing, a dog DNA test could reveal its ancestry. These tests use your dog’s saliva (and the thousands of DNA markers within it) to tell you which breeds make up its family tree. We dug into 17 products, consulted five genetics experts, and collected slobber from five dogs to find that Embark Breed + Health Kit’s sizable breed database, wide array of inherited-disease screenings, and reliable customer support mark it as the best dog DNA test.

Embark’s breed database covers most dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club, as well as some street dogs and the gray wolf. The company says its breed results are 95% to 99% accurate. And Embark analyzes twice as many genetic markers as the competition, leading to more-accurate results, our experts say. The genetic-disease detection tool screens for over 200 mutations, more than any kit we tested. Yet there’s no government oversight of the industry, so the genetic tests aren’t independently verified. Still, we appreciate Embark’s policy of contacting pet owners about worrisome results, which the competitors did not do. The website is easy to navigate and features a shareable dashboard and downloadable report, so sharing results is seamless.

Also great

Wisdom Panel Premium

Wisdom Panel Premium

More breeds, likely less accurate

Wisdom Panel Premium identifies more AKC-registered breeds than any kit we tested. Also, it’s cheaper, and the turnaround time is quicker than with other kits. But Wisdom Panel uses fewer genetic markers in its tests than the competition, so we don’t think the results are as accurate.

The Wisdom Panel Premium kit is the best option if you have a mixed-breed dog that’s suspected to be of a breed uncommon in the United States. This service tests for 350 different breeds, including the coyote, the Mexican street dog, and the wolf. However, Wisdom Panel analyzes fewer DNA markers in your pet’s saliva than Embark, so we don’t think the results are as accurate overall. (Wisdom Panel previously claimed a 93% accuracy rate, but at the time of writing, it no longer discloses that information because “it simply does not give consumers the whole picture,” according to a spokesperson.) Wisdom Panel also tests for 211 different genetic diseases, yet it may hide “at risk” results for some dogs without informing their owners because it considers the findings irrelevant. (And though Wisdom Panel quickly responds to customers, its answers aren’t always consistent.) Finally, Wisdom Panel doesn’t allow customers to share results through a web portal, something that is vital for social-media-obsessed pet owners.

Why you should trust us

In researching this guide, I spoke with Dr. Brenda Bonnett, a veterinarian and the CEO of the International Partnership for Dogs, an organization dedicated to scientific collaboration in the canine research community and the standardization of genetic testing for dogs. I attended a webinar and discussed the validity of genetic testing with Dr. Jessica Hekman, a veterinarian and postdoctoral associate at the Karlsson Lab at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, who specializes in the genomic behavior of dogs. I also consulted experts at two leading dog DNA test companies: Dr. Angela Hughes, a veterinary geneticist at Wisdom Health, and Adam Boyko, PhD, co-founder and chief science officer of Embark Veterinary and an associate professor at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Biomedical Sciences. And I spoke with Leslie A. Lyons, PhD, the head of the Feline Genetics and Comparative Medicine Laboratory at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. She’s a leader in feline genetics and often consults on consumer cat genetic test kits. She was also part of the original team at the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory that pioneered DNA-based ancestry tests for animals.

I also fetched a panel of five dogs (and their owners) to test each DNA kit we evaluated. And I spent two months boning up on canine genetics, speaking with customer service representatives, and consulting my dog’s veterinarian for advice.

Who this is for

A graphic illustration of a dog, with lines pointing to various body parts that correspond with certain dog breeds.

When I see a dog of an unfamiliar breed, I play a private game of “Guess Who?” and try to match its features to various breed characteristics: That dog’s chest is shaped like a wasp, so maybe it’s part whippet. But it also has a saddle coat and a long muzzle; maybe it has some German shepherd, too.

Guessing a dog’s background can be entertaining, but its appearance may be the greatest con in the animal kingdom. “We really like to play the [guessing] game,” said Dr. Jessica Hekman, a veterinarian and dog genomics expert, during a recent lecture. “It’s funny how we interpret how dogs look, and how it doesn’t necessarily have a whole lot to do with what’s in there.” Appearances are so confusing that even dog experts are outwitted. In a 2012 study of 100 shelter dogs that surveyed 5,922 dog professionals, the professionals correctly guessed a dog’s prominent breed just 27% of the time. And a 2015 study across four shelters reported that DNA tests determined one in five dogs were pit bull mixes, while staff had guessed that half the dogs were pit bulls. (Both studies used Wisdom Panel technology.)

To determine breed results, a dog DNA testing company collects a sample from a subject and loads the information onto a DNA reader, known as a chip. Then it genotypes the sample along targeted gene points, known as markers. A computer algorithm reads the markers and identifies billions of possible ancestry combinations before interpreting the most accurate solution. Finally, the lab spits out the solution to a mixed-breed dog’s mix. (Pet owners may pay an additional $50 to $100 for inherited-disease detection.)

These breed ancestry DNA tests are different from similar tests marketed specifically to breeders. The latter are sometimes more affordable, but they’re too specific and granular for most people. For example, the American Kennel Club offers a $45 DNA test (which doesn’t identify the breed of the dog but rather its exact parentage) as a way of supporting the club’s breeding program and confirming AKC registration. Embark and Wisdom Panel (through Optimal Selection) both offer a variant of their tests for breeders. These also won’t tell you what breed of dog you have; they instead offer genetic health testing relevant to an already-known breed. And they will give you information on a breed’s physical traits, as well as help you avoid inbreeding.

The AKC cautions pet owners about using consumer-brand dog genetic tests to make health-related predictions for their dogs, because the results leave substantial room for interpretation. The AKC says the “correlation [to disease] doesn’t mean causation, so a gene that often occurs with a particular disease might not cause it.” The group suggests considering the dog’s lineage, in addition to the test results, to gain a better understanding of potential health risks for your pup. (Wirecutter adds that a responsible breeder should be willing to discuss the results with you prior to your committing to a dog.)

Breeder opinion on these consumer-facing products is mixed. In online forums, some say they use Embark for verifying the health status of a dog, while others cite the price and slow processing times as barriers. Some breeders also prefer more traditional, already-established and trusted testing companies, such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and the AKC.

If you’re in the process of buying a dog from a breeder (either to get an AKC breed or a mix that’s in high demand), breed ancestry DNA tests can be a useful tool for confirming what the seller is telling you before you spend a large sum on a pup. (Some breeders do test their litters before selling their pups, to identify preferred genetic traits and to limit inbreeding.) If you and the breeder are both prepared to wait the requisite three weeks or so for the results, a test can confirm that your labradoodle is in fact half “labra” and half “doodle” and at limited risk for commonly inherited diseases. But keep in mind that some of the results won’t always be 50/50 for designer dogs (thanks to genetics) or may include results from related dogs in the breed group—the genetic lineage of dogs is long, and the breeding record is less so.

If, based on your dog’s looks, you think you have some idea of its breed, understand that the answer may be surprising. And if you’re just plain curious about the breed composition of your mutt, mixed-breed, shelter, or designer dog (not that it will make you love them any more or less, of course), there are solid options that can provide a clearer picture of your pup’s genetic background.

How we picked and tested

A side closeup view of a person placing a cotton swab inside a large light brown dog's mouth.

In 2019, we assembled a panel of dogs of different ages, sizes, breed appearances, and medical histories: one American Kennel Club Chihuahua and four mixed-breed dogs from across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Then we assessed how user-friendly each service’s website was, the collection method, the turnaround time, how detailed the results were, how robust the databases were, the number of genetic markers they used, the price, and whether the company invested in further genetic research. Finally, dogs with anomalies in their genetic health reports received follow-up consultations with their veterinarians so we could compare the results.

A small dog with long fur, standing in the middle of a dirt road.

This is Gus. He’s 2 years old, weighs 18 pounds, and is from the US Virgin Islands. Photo: Amy Roberts

A medium sized brown and white dog shown laying on a blanket.

This is Sparky. She’s 20 years old, weighs 27 pounds, and is from Puerto Rico. Photo: Rachel Cericola

A small brown and white dog, shown sitting in front of flowers.

Meet Sutton. She’s 2 years old, weighs 9 pounds, and was born in Oklahoma. Photo: Kaitlyn Wells

A large, light brown dog, shown standing outside in a field.

Say hello to Swanson. He’s 5 years old, weighs 65 pounds, and was adopted from New Mexico. Photo: Aviva Johnson

A long-haired chihuahua, shown laying down.

Meet Sephora, our control dog. She’s 7 years old and is a longhaired Chihuahua. Photo: Dana Wells

But what about the breed results—are they accurate?

Dog genetic-testing companies are only as good as the science behind them. None of the companies we spoke with offered specifics into their testing (citing proprietary concerns), and they offered generic overviews instead. Embark and Wisdom Panel both said they use the latest human genetics science to test each dog’s DNA. But, as we found when covering human ancestry tests, big companies rely on algorithms to estimate ancestry percentages—so there’s no way to know their accuracy for sure. Plus, dog breeds are a new-ish invention, and many breeds are closely related (such as the Siberian husky and the Alaskan malamute). You must also consider respective data pool sizes, as well as how many DNA markers (data points) labs use to identify what type of dog you have. Thus, breed reports across labs can get murky really fast.

When a pet owner receives the results, a dog’s breed composition is broken into percentages. We compared findings between Embark and Wisdom Panel, and the top breed result matched 80% of the time during our 2019 testing. When the breed breakdowns got into smaller digits, typically less than a quarter of their heritage, results were nebulous. Some Embark breakdowns listed six breeds, and Wisdom Panel listed just three. And when the two agreed on a dog’s overall makeup, they didn’t always align on just how much of each breed was in its genetic code.

Hekman, the veterinarian and genomics expert at the Karlsson Lab at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, confirmed that percentage breakdowns are a gray area. “Some of these bits are so small that it’s hard for the computer to make a good guess,” she said. “In my laboratory we definitely don’t trust it below 5%.” She believes companies that use more genetic markers are probably more accurate than labs that use fewer markers. This is why Embark’s results (using 200,000 markers) are usually the most detailed and combine breed results that are less than 5% of a dog’s lineage as “supermutt” listings. Comparatively, Wisdom Panel (using 100,000 markers) will include breeds that are just 1% of your pet’s background; this is more granular, but it doesn’t mean it’s more accurate. We prefer Embark’s approach because our expert said that reporting information down to 1% isn’t any more accurate than 5%, since at those low levels it’s hard to be really sure what breed they come from.

Our experts agreed that the accuracy in breed ancestry will improve as technology advances. (For example, one panelist tested their pup with Wisdom Panel three times in five years and received refined yet different results.) To see what the technology reported on our pups at the time of writing, view the breakdowns, below.

Two side-by-side charts showing Swanson's DNA results from the Embark Test and Wisdom Panel Test.

Both Embark and Wisdom panel updated their testing methods in 2021, here you can see how Swanson’s results changed from 2019 to 2021. Illustration: Dana Davis

Two side-by-side charts showing Sutton's DNA results from the Embark Test and Wisdom Panel Test.

Both Embark and Wisdom panel updated their testing methods in 2021, here you can see how Sutton’s results changed from 2019 to 2021. Illustration: Dana Davis

A comparison of Gus's results on Embark and Wisdom Panel.

Gus’s results from our original testing in 2019. Illustration: Sarah MacReading

A comparison of Sparky's results on Embark and Wisdom Panel.

Sparky’s results from our original testing in 2019. Illustration: Sarah MacReading

A comparison of our control dog's results on Embark and Wisdom Panel, showing 100% Chihuahua on both.

The results from our control dog in 2019. Illustration: Sarah MacReading

What about cat DNA tests?

Your feline’s genetic code is a mess when it comes to figuring out their family. Cats are far more difficult to identify by breed than dogs, because their DNA is much less diverse.1 And historically, a lot of what we consider to be cat “breeds” have intermixed with random cats frequently and repeatedly, further muddying the genetic waters. Currently, the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, which was among the first to offer genetic testing, can trace cat lineage back to eight geographic regions, rather than to specific breeds. But if there are similarities between your cat and one of the 29 breeds that the laboratory has sequenced within those regions, it will tell you which ones are closely related to your cat.

We don’t believe the results of either test are accurate enough, so we’ve elected to shelve testing them for now.

Our pick: Embark Breed + Health Kit

The packaging of the Embark Breed plus Health Kit, our pick for the best dog DNA test.

The Embark Breed + Health Kit leads the pack for both its sizable breed database and the robust list of genetic health conditions it reviews. In addition, the service was founded by faculty of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and is committed to canine research. Embark also has strong customer support.

Embark features a comprehensive dog-breed database including most breeds that are common in the United States. Embark reliably tests for more than 360 different breeds; this includes 90% of the 208 breeds in the American Kennel Club database. It also tests for breeds not accepted by the AKC, such as seven types of street dogs from around the world, the American pit bull terrier, the coyote, the dingo, the gray wolf, the Koolie, and the Volpino Italiano. To confirm the results, Embark’s computers test about 256 quadrillion different genetic ancestry combinations, and its scientists manually cross-check suspicious results. Its proprietary process means the breed results are 95% to 99% accurate, claimed Dr. Adam Boyko, Embark’s co-founder and chief science officer.

Breed ancestry isn’t the only driving force for some pet owners. The genetic health results can calm a pet owner’s fears regarding their dog, or it can theoretically help them plan for a future diagnosis or medical expenses, if health results are troubling. (For real peace of mind, pet insurance is a better bet.) Embark screens for over 200 different genetic diseases, but it wouldn’t confirm the exact number. Comparatively, Wisdom Panel tests for 211 diseases, and DNA My Dog’s Nextgen Breed Identification and Genetic Age Test evaluates for more than 100 genetic diseases, although we tested only the breed component for this guide. Boyko said Embark’s inherited-disease screening results are 99.99% accurate.

Robust genetic-health testing sounds intriguing, but “please take them with a grain of salt,” cautioned Hekman, the canine genomics expert at the Karlsson Lab at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. “They’re completely unregulated. The link between the test result and the disease is weak.” Currently, the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees animal drugs, food, and medical devices, doesn’t regulate the pet genetic-testing industry. Pet genetics researchers who are critical of the testing industry, including another author from the Karlsson Lab, found no independent studies on how accurate dog DNA tests are. But a Genetics in Medicine report revealed that results from human genetic-testing companies were inaccurate 40% of the time.

So I remained skeptical of the health results we received for this guide. Two of the five dogs we tested were reported as being carriers of degenerative myelopathy, a debilitating spinal cord disorder. (Both dog test subjects were desexed, so passing it down wasn’t a concern.) And Embark didn’t corroborate that Sparky, our 20-year-old pup, had kidney disease, an ailment she was diagnosed with four years ago. But Sparky’s vet later confirmed that her disease was age related and not hereditary.

I also received an email from an Embark geneticist about my dog Sutton’s results hours before they were officially released. The geneticist said Sutton was at risk for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), one of the most common adult-onset heart diseases in dogs. But published research into the DCM gene, known as PDK4, has focused only on 90-pound purebred Doberman pinschers, so my 9-pound dog’s risk of developing DCM was relatively low. Regardless, they offered to chat if I had any questions. (As of writing time, if your dog has genetic markers for a particular disease, Embark will let you know, even if your pet’s breed breakdown means the disease is unlikely to be a problem.)

The results were further muddled when Wisdom Panel reported that Sutton was not at risk for the disease. (In light of the discrepancy, Embark’s veterinary geneticist offered a free retest.) Wisdom Panel later confirmed that Sutton did test positive for that specific mutation, but its policy is to hide the findings for any dog that isn’t a Doberman or Doberman mix.

“The correlation to actual clinical disease is not supported in the vast majority of these breeds,” said Dr. Angela Hughes, a former veterinary geneticist at Wisdom Health, Wisdom Panel’s parent company. “It’s basically what we consider a false positive,” she said, adding that there are no plans to disclose these results in the future.2

In light of the results, Sutton’s veterinarian recommended an echocardiogram, an ultrasound of the heart. The ultrasound was negative for signs of DCM. Her vet warned that she may develop heart disease as a senior dog, and they suggested tracking Sutton’s health with extra bloodwork during annual wellness exams. But neither Sutton’s veterinarian nor the echo sonographer consulted Embark when giving this advice, which is something our experts encouraged.

Whatever the findings, Embark makes it easy to nerd out over your dog’s genetic results by revealing more information—in an easy-to-read format—than any kit we tested. The dog’s breed composition is broken into percentages, and results that are less than 5% of the dog’s genetic code are combined as a “supermutt” listing (unless there’s a closely related breed that’s already present in the results, in which case those small percentages will be added to their near neighbor). There’s also a family tree that goes back three generations, to the “great grandparents.” The genetic health results specify either “at risk,” “carrier,” or “clear” statuses for the more than 200 diseases it reviews. And there’s an inbreeding score, 25 trait markers, predicted adult weight (which was 5 to 10 pounds greater than our panelists’ actual weights in 2019), a “genetic human age,” a “wolfiness” score, and even a list of doggy relatives, just like with human ancestry tests.

A hand holding a vile, showing a cotton swab and liquid inside. A large dog can be seen in the background.

Embark’s investment in research

Embark sponsors the International Partnership for Dogs, a consortium standardizing dog genetic-testing services. Partners of IPFD disclose their accreditation, mishandling protocols, licenses and patents, and their genetic-testing list to increase transparency in an unregulated industry.

Embark’s dedication to scientific openness is twofold, since it also partners with researchers to better understand canine genetics. In October 2018, Embark published the culmination of one such study in PLOS Genetics, using 6,000 canine participants, and found a chromosomal link to blue eyes in Siberian huskies. It may seem obvious that there’s a genetic component, but researchers say the proof was abstract at best. They believe large-scale canine genetic testing like this can potentially unlock the genetic basis of aging, behavior, and even cancer.

Embark’s privacy policy

When discussing medical privacy, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (also known as HIPAA, the piece of legislation that safeguards a person’s medical data) immediately comes to mind. But there’s no equivalent in the pet world. Yet Embark says its privacy policy is modeled after HIPAA and that it doesn’t disclose any information without owner consent. However, dogs are opted in to genetic research (the information is anonymized), and users may opt out by changing their privacy settings.

Pet owners can also share results with third parties without granting them account access. They can view a certificate or the full report, email the report to their vet, or download the raw genetic data. Pet owners can also share an interactive dashboard and hide from view any sections, such as the family tree or health results. Geneticists are also available to consult with a pet owner’s veterinarian so they can better understand the results.

Customer service

Embark’s support team was transparent and thorough in its responses. Most emails were answered within one business day, and sometimes sooner. And phone wait times were less than five minutes. We also valued Embark’s proactive approach when a veterinary geneticist emailed us ahead of time to explain that Sutton was “at risk” for a life-threatening disease. Their offer to reconfirm the results, when Wisdom Panel didn’t report the same gene mutation, was also stellar.

Comparatively, DNA My Dog and Find My Pet DNA weren’t as forthcoming when we asked representatives about their products (they either couldn’t provide database breed counts or how many genetic markers they use). And at the time of writing, one email from Find My Pet DNA had gone unanswered for more than 30 days.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

An open package of the Embark’s dog DNA testing kit, revealing the instructions written on the inside of the packaging.

Embark has the largest collection wand of any DNA test we reviewed, and that can likely feel uncomfortable inside a small dog’s mouth. The swab itself looks like a Q-tip and is approximately four times larger than other swabs we used in this guide. Our testers with dogs under 20 pounds said it was difficult to fit the swab between their dogs’ cheeks and gums.

The collection instructions were also confusing. Embark has the pet owner swab the inside of the dog’s cheek and under the tongue for 30 to 60 seconds, then enclose the swab in a stabilizing solution tube and mail back the kit using a prepaid box. But Embark offers three versions of printed instructions (the box, a cardboard insert, and a plastic storage bag), and each was slightly different. “I think having a single set of instructions printed on the box would be much clearer and leave less room for confusion,” said Aviva Johnson, a Wirecutter software engineer and Swanson’s owner. (Since writing time, Embark has updated its packaging, and we’ll review it when we next update this guide.)

To see if we could trip up Embark’s breed services, we selected dogs born across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Embark provided precise predictions of any breed that makes up 5% or more of your dog’s genetic code, which our experts cited as the threshold for dependable home results. Plus, Embark uses twice as many genetic markers as Wisdom Panel, which we think is better for most people since it provides a more accurate identification of your pup’s mix. Wisdom Panel, alternatively, uses fewer genetic markers, so it is probably less accurate, but it’s able to identify rarer dog breeds. If you’re going to spend money on a dog DNA test, it’s best to get one that the genetics experts are more likely to trust. But if you suspect that a dog has a rare breed in its genetic makeup, Hekman recommends Wisdom Panel, which tests for more AKC-recognized breeds than Embark.

Embark was also the second-slowest service we tested. The process took two to six weeks, more than any other kit we reviewed. On average, it took Embark 21 days to deliver the results, compared with 18 days for both Find My Pet DNA and Wisdom Panel.

Don’t be surprised if you’re drowning in emails after registering the kit online. Embark sent 19 promotional and update emails over three months, more than any service we reviewed. By comparison, Wisdom Panel sent five, DNA My Dog sent four, and Find My Pet DNA sent one email.

Finally, Embark is still an investment of $199, at the time of writing. To test an entire dog pack, Embark offers tiered discounts on multiple kits, starting at 10% off—but the information is hidden within its FAQ.

Also great: Wisdom Panel Premium

The package of the Wisdom Panel Premium dog DNA kit.

Also great

Wisdom Panel Premium

Wisdom Panel Premium

More breeds, likely less accurate

Wisdom Panel Premium identifies more AKC-registered breeds than any kit we tested. Also, it’s cheaper, and the turnaround time is quicker than with other kits. But Wisdom Panel uses fewer genetic markers in its tests than the competition, so we don’t think the results are as accurate.

If you’re positive that your mixed mutt is made up of an unusual breed or two, Wisdom Panel Premium is the kit to get. It tested for more breeds than any service we reviewed, the collection process was easy to follow, results arrived quickly, and it was cheaper. But since it uses fewer DNA markers than Embark, its results are less precise.

Wisdom Panel tests for over 350 different breeds, including 97% of all breeds recognized by the AKC. (That covers more AKC breeds than any dog DNA kit we researched.) Comparatively, Embark includes 90%, and DNA My Dog tests for 49% of the breed list. Thus, this is the best service for dogs adopted from abroad or suspected of having a highly unique breed in their genetic code. Wisdom Panel’s database covers a variety of breeds found around the world, including the Brazilian terrier, the coyote, the Jindo, the Lacy, the Mexican street dog, and the wolf.

Hughes, Wisdom Panel’s veterinary geneticist, said that its international purebred DNA collection efforts were widespread so the product could be both accurate and accessible to most dog owners. A robust breed database, she said, is a side effect of that commitment. “It’s very important to find a database that has those weird and wonderful breeds,” she said.

When results are ready, owners see the dog’s breed breakdown by percentages, including any breed that’s more than 1% of your pet’s ancestry. Anything below the 1% threshold is removed, and all the other numbers are nudged slightly so they add up to 100%. These very specific small percentages may give the illusion of a more accurate result, but according to our experts, anything below 5% is difficult to know for sure. (Our main pick Embark lumps results that are less than 5% into a “supermutt” category, which we prefer since it avoids giving a false impression of how accurate the test is.)

The Wisdom Panel report also shows information beyond just the breed breakdown. They provide a family tree going back to the dog’s “great grandparents,” as well as a series of trait markers that will tell you things such as your pet’s coat color and type—or at least what the company guesses it is from the DNA. The report also includes health information, like your pet’s ideal weight range (which was accurate for our testers), and a number of genetic health markers that will show if your pet is “at risk,” “notable,” and “clear” for various diseases and conditions. Overall, as of 2019, said Hughes, Wisdom Panel’s breed results are 93% accurate, slightly lower than Embark’s reported 95% to 99% accuracy rate. (However, during our 2021 tests, Wisdom Panel no longer disclosed its accuracy rates.) And even though it’s nice to see as many mixes in your mutt as possible, our experts said such refined details aren’t the most accurate.

Dog owners can share their pet’s findings by downloading a technical report, but the company no longer offers the option to generate a summary certificate or a shareable link. This can be a pain for any pet owner who wants to gloat to their friends and followers about how special their pup is, inside and out, by quickly sharing the information online.

Wisdom Panel Premium’s DNA collection method is straightforward. You remove two bristle wands from the sanitary sleeve and swab the inside of the dog’s cheek with each wand. Then you stand each wand upright in the included box, using built-in holes, and let it dry before mailing it back using the prepaid shipping container.

Our five panelists rated Wisdom Panel’s instructions higher than Embark’s method. Our testers agreed that Wisdom Panel’s single set of instructions was easier to follow than the redundant versions Embark provided on its box, cardboard insert, protective sleeve, and website.

In 2019, Wisdom Panel’s results also arrived faster than those of most kits we tested. The Wisdom Panel results averaged 18 days, Embark’s averaged 21 days, and we stopped counting after 60 days for DNA My Dog. Wisdom Panel’s breed and genetic-disease results also arrived simultaneously, while with Embark there was a one- or two-day gap between the health report and breed results. In our 2021 update, Wisdom Panel’s results averaged 25 days, but we believe this to be a temporary issue.

Wisdom Panel Premium costs $160 for both breed and genetic-disease detection, which is $40 less than Embark But if that’s still too pricey, opt for Wisdom Panel Essential, which is just the breed identification kit. At $100, it’s significantly cheaper than the price of Embark (which has its own breed-only option for $129, at the time of writing), and it is a great option for frugal dog owners who are curious about the breed heredity of their pets.

Wisdom Panel’s commitment to research and privacy

Like Embark, Wisdom Health (Wisdom Panel’s parent company) sponsors the IPFD, the group harmonizing the canine genetic-testing industry. It also conducts canine research based on the DNA samples it receives. For example, an April 2018 study in PLOS Genetics examined 152 diseases in more than 100,000 dogs across 330 breeds. The study reported that mixed-breed dogs are more likely to carry a common recessive disease, and that purebred dogs are more likely to develop a disease from one. Although the findings don’t suggest that a single test is a predictor for disease, Wisdom Panel, in part, believes it can help veterinarians make better treatment decisions.

Wisdom Panel also maintains a strict privacy policy. It doesn't share information with third parties without the account holder’s written consent, similar to HIPAA. And with an account holder’s consent, a veterinarian may consult Wisdom Panel’s in-house vet geneticists about a pet patient’s results.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Wisdom Panel uses half the number of the genetic markers that Embark does to determine breed compositions—100,000, compared with 200,000 markers—so the results may not be as precise. Genetic scientists use these markers to map out a dog’s DNA without examining a dog’s entire 3-billion-base-pair genome. They can save resources by strategically selecting the appropriate markers and comparing them to Wisdom’s dog breed database, using a sophisticated algorithm that will calculate the genetic lineage of a pup that’s the most feasible. Yet a handful of strategically placed markers alone doesn’t guarantee the best results.

Think of DNA markers as random puzzle pieces in an image you haven’t assembled. The few pieces you do possess tell you the photo has shades of blue. But blue can represent anything from the sky or the ocean to tapestry yarns or a funky dinner plate. The more puzzle pieces you’ve joined, the fuller the picture gets. “Sometimes we don’t know what we’re looking for,” said Hekman, who recommended Embark for most dog owners since it uses more genetic markers than the competition.3 “We’re still missing a lot of information when we use just markers; the more markers are better.”

Additionally, Wisdom Panel redistributes any ancestry results below 1% equally into the other breeds on the report.4 According to a spokesperson, this “does not significantly alter the overall results,” which mirrors our experts’ findings that anything less than 5% probably isn’t accurate and isn’t worth trusting. Wirecutter prefers Embark’s methodology because it uses twice as many markers, and clumps breed results under 5% into “supermutt” categories. The exception to this is when there’s already a closely related “sibling breed” in the results, in which case Embark adds the sub-5% numbers to that breed since chances are that’s where it belongs.

Wisdom Panel also screens for 211 genetic health conditions, and it lists the status of each disease as “at risk,” “notable” or “clear.” In 2019, our dog panelists had consistent results among the diseases that Wisdom Panel and Embark both tested for, with one exception: Embark reported that Sutton was “at risk” for dilated cardiomyopathy, while Wisdom Panel did not. When asked about the mismatch, Hughes said Wisdom Panel doesn’t report at-risk statuses for dogs with breed makeups that are not at risk for the disease, but she confirmed that Sutton had tested positive for the mutation. She added that they’ve tested over one million dogs, and “the correlation to actual clinical disease is not supported in the vast majority of these breeds.” We appreciate Wisdom Panel’s rationale of limiting stress among dog owners—after all, someone could end up euthanizing a pet because of frightening genetic health results. But when polled, Wirecutter’s pet owners unanimously agreed that they’d prefer to be able to access all of the information they’d paid for, and to be able to discuss their results with a vet.

When questions did arise during testing, Wisdom Panel, like Embark, responded within one business day. But Wisdom Panel is less likely than Embark to rerun breed results at a pet owner’s request. A pet owner may elect to rerun a test if the breed database and algorithm have significantly changed, such as the addition of new breeds. (Embark offers this as a one-time complimentary service, and Facebook users report success using it.) Two of our panelists submitted Wisdom Panel tests in 2016 and 2017, and in May 2019 Wisdom Panel declined to rerun both,5 citing different reasons. Wisdom Panel also gave disparate rationales on not retesting dozens of outdated kits from other users, from “not enough genetic data” to “we don’t expect a change in results.” As a compromise, some owners claimed they were offered discount codes for new tests, but others were not.

In 2020, Wisdom Panel upgraded its chip to use more than 100,000 genetic markers to test for dog ancestry and to review more than 200 genetic traits, and it’s now called Wisdom Panel Premium. The company announced plans to let customers who have used the test within the last five years get updated versions of their results for free. But as of writing time, Wisdom Panel couldn’t rerun our tests from 2019 and asked us to submit new DNA kits.

Finally, Wisdom Panel, like most of the kits we tested (but not Embark), uses two collection wands. The heads are bristly, like mascara wands, and are uncomfortable to scrape against the inside of a pup’s cheek. Then you’re supposed to perch the wands upright in the included box to dry them before shipping them back. But the wands wobbled in their stands, and some testers feared they’d fall and get contaminated.

What to look forward to

We scouted Darwin’s Ark, a crowdsourcing effort that has pet owners submit short behavioral surveys about their dogs—and in return they receive a free DNA test. Collaborating researchers, like Hekman of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, study the research in the hope of understanding what exactly makes dogs, well, dogs. There’s a waiting list for the free DNA tests, and it can take years to receive the results. (I’ve been on the waitlist since 2019.) Anyone can buy a test starting at $249 (reduced to $149 after submission of 10 surveys). Most results for paid tests are available in 90 to 120 days. Darwin’s Ark has 101 breeds in its database and uses 4 million genetic markers. We look forward to reviewing Darwin’s Ark after it receives additional funding and can streamline its testing process for all participants.

The competition

Information pamphlets for some of the competition DNA dog test listed below, shown laid out on a surface.

DNA My Dog’s DNA Breed Identification Test Plus Health Plan provides breed analysis and a predictive health plan (not a disease screening) with every purchase. Dog owners who use this receive the breed results via email, typically within two weeks. There’s no certificate sent via postal mail, even though it’s marketed as a perk. (We also inconsistently received duplicate certificates from Orivet, which DNA My Dog may outsource tests to, but neither company confirmed this after repeated inquiries.) There’s also no notification when the health plan is ready, so users must stalk their accounts for updates. They must also create a secondary account to access the health plan, which isn’t explained online. And, at the time of writing, we had not received the health plans for three of the five dogs we tested. The company also tests for 96 different dog breeds (a smaller number than with any kit we tested), and it doesn’t disclose how many DNA markers it uses.

If you research Find My Pet DNA right afterward, you may experience déjà vu. The website text, registration process, and customer service responses are eerily similar to those of DNA My Dog. Neither company admitted they’re related, but we found a reference to “DNA My Dog” on a Find My Pet DNA’s webpage, and we received messages from both companies from the same “do not reply” email address. The breed certificates and results were also nearly identical. All of these factors made this one an easy dismissal. (As of 2021, Find My Pet DNA’s website redirects to

This guide is dedicated in loving memory of Sparky.

Frequently asked questions

Which dog DNA test is most accurate?

Discerning accuracy among DNA tests isn’t cut-and-dried because the companies are only as reliable as the science behind them. In 2019, Embark said its breed results were 95% to 99% accurate. At the time, Embark analyzed 110 times more genetic markers than Wisdom Panel, so its results were more granular (200,000 versus 1,800, respectively). Since Wisdom Panel used fewer data points, its results weren’t as precise, and it claimed a 93% accuracy rate. (Because DNA companies use proprietary technology, we couldn’t independently verify the accuracy of their breed and health reports.)

Wisdom Panel revamped its testing protocol in 2020 and now uses 100,000 genetic markers. The company claims the test’s reports are more precise but has declined to share an accuracy rate for its updated product.

Both companies claim to use the latest human genetics science to test each dog’s DNA, but as we discovered while covering human ancestry tests, big companies rely on algorithms, or guesses, to estimate ancestry percentages—so there’s no way to know their accuracy for sure. And a Genetics in Medicine report found that results from human genetic-testing companies were inaccurate 40% of the time.

What will a dog DNA test tell you?

A dog DNA test reveals the likely breed composition of your mutt, with some companies reporting results that go down to 1% of your dog’s genetic code. They can also discern between lineages and provide a DNA tree from both the sire (father) and dame (mother). For an additional fee, you can learn about any hereditary conditions that may be worth bringing up to your vet so you can be better prepared for potential ailments as your pet ages. But don’t rely on these at-home tests to make life-altering decisions for your pet, as they merely provide a potential statistical likelihood—not an actual diagnosis. Discuss any concerns with your veterinarian.

How do you do a DNA test on a dog?

All of the dog DNA tests we reviewed needed a sample of a dog’s saliva and cheek cells in order to identify its genetic makeup, which typically required swabbing the dog’s cheek for around 20 seconds. You simply put the swab into the provided container or clean envelope, mail it to the manufacturer, and wait the requisite two to six weeks for your results to arrive in an online dashboard.


  1. Brenda Bonnett, DVM, PhD, CEO, International Partnership for Dogs, phone interview, May 16, 2019

  2. Adam Boyko, PhD, co-founder and chief science officer of Embark Veterinary, and associate professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, email interview, May 24, 2019

  3. Angela Hughes, DVM, PhD, veterinary geneticist, Wisdom Health, phone interview, May 20, 2019

  4. Leslie A. Lyons, PhD, the Feline Genetics and Comparative Medicine Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, phone interview, May 7, 2019

  5. Katie Burns, Unlocking the genetic secrets of your dog, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, May 15, 2017

  6. Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD, postdoctoral associate, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Karlsson Lab, Fenzi Dog Sports Academy webinar, Genetic Testing: How It Works and When to Trust It, March 14, 2019

  7. Lisa Moses, Steve Niemi, and Elinor Karlsson,


‘Freak accident:’ 8 dogs die in care of Portsmouth dog training facility

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – John Holloway and his 1-year-old French Bulldog, Ego, were the best of friends. He says he was basically another family member to him and his brother. 

While visiting family in Virginia Beach a few months ago, Holloway ran into another dog dad, who’s pup was very well trained.

“I saw the dog prior to going to the training like in October, then I saw him after he went to the training. He listened on command, he was able to do off leash walking,” recalled Holloway.

With a newborn daughter, he wanted Ego to be on his best behavior, so he reached out to Virginia Beach Dog Training to put him through the same program.

Holloway says on May 15, one of the co-owners, Stephane Hubert, picked Ego up for a 3-week training program at the business located off Lane Place in Portsmouth.

This past Sunday, he received a heartbreaking phone call. Co-owner Nicole Hubert told him Ego and several other dogs died from heat exhaustion. She explained that the owners left the house for 5 to 6 hours and during that time somehow the AC unit clicked on, but turned to heat somehow. “It didn’t really make a lot of sense to me,” Holloway said.

Holloway said Hubert explained the house got to be about 90 degrees.

“She was crying hysterically; she was crying the whole time. It felt as if she was sorry it happened,” Holloway stated.

Portsmouth Animal Control officials say a total of eight dogs died in the incident. 

In addition to Ego, several other clients’ dogs passed away. 

Max was also going through the program and didn’t make it out. 

His owner Chris Kowalski took to Facebook to make folks aware of what happened since he said the business’ Facebook page was taken down at the time.

Holloway says a few days ago he commented on the Virginia Beach Dog Training Facebook page to alert other potential customers. 

He says his comment was deleted shortly after.

On Thursday morning, Virginia Beach Dog Training posted about the incident on Facebook. The post reads:

“Last weekend we had a freak accident that resulted in the loss of both members of our personal pack as well as several of our clients’ dogs. We are devastated by the loss and have tried to show compassion and respect for the wishes of the parents of those that were lost. We have been in direct, timely contact with each person affected by the accident and have been transparent with the events surrounding the accident. Once the immediate crisis was handled, we investigated the cause, found, and corrected the equipment failure, as well as are continuing to put measures in place to prevent any chances this situation could happen again.We have been in contact with animal control and have cooperated fully with their investigation.Words cannot begin to express our sadness we feel as a team and we understand the outrage and concern. We appreciate the support from our clients who have reached out during this terrible time to offer their condolences and continued support.”

Holloway says co-owner Nicole Hubert compensated him about $5,000 for his loss and cremated Ego. 

However, he says sharing his story is about bringing awareness to future clients. 

“People should be informed. I know people love their dogs because I loved my guy. I’ve been crying since it happened. But people need to know before they send their dog there it could be the last time they see their dog,” said Holloway.

10 On Your Side was in contact with Nicole Hubert for several days. However, she ultimately contacted a lawyer and decided not to interview until a later date. 

Portsmouth Animal Control says its investigation is ongoing. 

Holloway is now exploring the option of a civil lawsuit.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Pok�mon Go - Furfrou forms: How to get Furfrou and change Furfrou's trims explained

Furfrou is a poodle-like Gen 6 Pokémon which can now be added to your Pokédex in Pokémon Go.

In keeping with its inspiration, there's a variety of Furfrou forms for you to collect and each one is obtained by changing your Furfrou's trim.

Certain Furfrou trims are, however, regionally exclusive, so, if you want the complete set, you either need to jump on a plane or trade with a player who has the Furfrou trim you're looking for.

On this page:

How to get a Furfrou in Pokémon Go explained

Furfrou, the poodle Pokémon, is a Gen 6 Pokémon who was released in Pokémon Go during September 2021.


You can catch a Furfrou through a variety of means during Fashion Week 2021:

Thanks to the variety of methods shown above, you should have much trouble finding and catching a Furfrou.

The easiest method for obtaining this Pokémon is by having it photoboming a snapshot. Another easy method depends on your progress with the Misunderstood Mischief research quest - if you're up-to-date, then you might find it easier to complete the new challenge set, rather than finding a Furfrou in the wild. Otherwise, you can either work through the Fashion Week timed research quest or search for the right field research task.

When searching for the right field research task, it's important to remember that each PokéStop will give out a different task everyday and the one you receive might not be related to Fashion Week. We recommend investigating Pokémon Go groups on Facebook, reddit or Discord if you're planning to go down this route for Furfrou as somebody might have already found the right PokéStop.

Furfrou will be available in the wild once the event has ended, but, since we don't currently know what it's spawn rate will be after Fashion Week, we recommend catching one before the event ends.

How to change Furfrou's form in Pokémon Go

In keeping with its poodle inspired origins, you'll have the ability to change Furfrou's form, also known as its trim, in Pokémon Go.

You must first ensure you have 25 Furfrou candy and 10,000 Stardust before attempting to change a Furfrou's form.

When you're ready, select a Furfrou from your Pokémon Storage. After doing so, you'll notice that, instead of having the option to evolve, Furfrou has a 'Change form' button.

Upon selecting this, you'll be able to select from the Furfrou trims available in your region.


It's important to note that any Furfrou you catch will always begin with its Natural Form and, as long as you meet the requirements, you can change its trim whenever you like.

The Season of Mischief is here! Current events include the Season 9 of Go Battle League, the addition of Raid Achievements, the Misunderstood Mischief research quest and the new Finding Your Voice Meloetta research. Shiny Ditto can also now be found in the wild and this tricky Pokémon is now appearing as new creatures! The Halloween event is now live! You can complete the What Lies Behind the Mask research, evolve Galarian Slowking and compete in the Halloween Cup! Meanwhile, the last major update saw a level cap increase - including the addition of XL Candy, boosts to some XP sources and the addition of Platinum Medals. Phantump and Pumpkaboo can now be caught in Pokémon Go!

Regionally exclusive Furfrou trims in Pokémon Go explained

Just like the regionally exclusive Pokémon, which Furfrou trims are available to you depends on which region you're currently playing Pokémon Go in.

Furfrou's Natural Form, Dandy Trim and Matron Trim will be available to players across the world, but there are six trims which can only be obtained in specific regions.

These trims are:

  • Debutante Trim - the Americas
  • Diamond Trim - Europe, the Middle East and Africa
  • Kabuki Trim - Japan
  • La Reine Trim - France
  • Pharaoh Trim - Egypt
  • Star Trim - Asia-Pacific

Furfrou will also have a Heart Trim, but, at the time of writing, it hasn't been released yet.

Thank you to martycochrane from reddit for the pictures of the various Furfrou trims found below.

New Gen 6 Mons Pushed! from r/TheSilphRoad

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Good luck catching, and trimming, Furfrou!

My Pet Is So Smart It's Scary 🤓🐰🐶 (Reddit Stories r/AskReddit)


Subreddit in support of U.S. president Donald Trump

The Donald.png

Reddit mascot "Snoo" dressed in MAGA attire serves as mascot of r/The_Donald


The Donald Frontpage.png

The front page of r/The_Donald on May 20, 2017, before quarantine. Quarantine has since removed all subreddit CSS[1]

Type of site

Available inEnglish
LaunchedJune 27, 2015; 6 years ago (2015-06-27)
Current status
  • Banned (since June 29, 2020; 15 months ago (2020-06-29))
  • Moved to website

r/The_Donald was a subreddit where participants created discussions and Internet memes in support of former U.S. presidentDonald Trump.[2][3][4] Initially created in June 2015 following the announcement of Trump's presidential campaign, the community grew to over 790,000 subscribers who described themselves as "Patriots".[5] The community was banned in June 2020 for violating Reddit rules on harassment and targeting.[6][7] It was ranked as one of the most active communities on Reddit.[8][9][10]

Activities by members and moderators of the subreddit were controversial, and site-wide administrators took steps, including an overhaul of the Reddit software, to prevent the subreddit from having popular content displayed on Reddit's r/all forum, which the company's motto describes as "the front page of the Internet".[11] A quarantine of the subreddit was imposed in June 2019, which required users to click an opt-in button to view the subreddit and prevented the subreddit from appearing in Reddit's search results and recommendations.[1][12][10] Additionally, ads could not be run on the message board and certain features such as custom CSS were not available.[1] Moderators of r/The_Donald created a backup website outside of Reddit in response to the quarantine.[13]

The subreddit had a lengthy documented history of hosting conspiracy theory content that was racist, misogynistic and Islamophobic.[14][15] On June 29, 2020, Reddit banned the subreddit for frequent rule-breaking, for antagonizing the company and other communities, and for failing to "meet our most basic expectations".[16][17] After the subreddit was quarantined and placed in restricted mode in early 2020, moderators of r/The_Donald created and moved to the site,[18] and after Biden's inauguration moved again to to continue supporting Donald Trump and a potential political party he would create, the "Patriot Party".[19]


On June 27, 2015, shortly after Donald Trump announced his campaign for the presidency at Trump Tower, the subreddit was created as a place for "following the news related to Donald Trump during his presidential run".[20] The subreddit grew to be known for frequent posting of memes, especially Pepe the Frog, and frequent uses of slang terms such as "centipede" (a reference to a much distributed Trump highlight reel featuring the Knife Party song "Centipede"),[15][21] "MAGA," "nimble navigator," "no brakes," "cuck," "4D chess," and "SJW".[15][22] Furthermore, users on the site referred to Trump as "God Emperor".[21] For a period of time, the subreddit repeatedly posted an image of Hillary Clinton kissing Robert Byrd, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan.[23] The image was accompanied by a photoshopped picture of an aged Byrd in Klan garb, which was meant to dishonestly portray Clinton and Byrd as Klan supporters. Byrd had severed ties with the Ku Klux Klan in 1952.

On June 12, 2016, the day of the Orlando nightclub shooting, moderators of the r/news subreddit began to remove many comments from its megathread pertaining to the shooting, leading to accusations of censorship.[24][25][26] On that day, r/The_Donald was featured in 13 of the top 25 posts on r/all, and gained over 16,000 subscribers during the weekend of the shooting. Meanwhile, r/news lost more than 85,000 subscribers.[27] Due to deliberate manipulation by the forum's moderators and active users, the algorithm that dictated what content reached the r/all page of Reddit resulted in a significant portion of the page being r/The_Donald content. In response, Redditadministrators made changes to its algorithms on June 15, 2016, in an attempt to preserve the variety of r/all.[28][20] In April 2016, jcm267, the founder of the subreddit, attributed the popularity of the subreddit to moderator CisWhiteMaelstrom. jcm267 told MSNBC that CisWhiteMaelstrom told him "we'd have hundreds of thousands of readers there and I was very skeptical about that, not because I thought Trump can't win, because I think he's the only GOPer with 'landslide victory' potential, but because Reddit is not a conservative place".[29] Subsequently, CisWhiteMaelstrom deleted his Reddit account.[28] In November 2016, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman reported that the subreddit's moderator team had changed "at least four times" due to the community revolting.[15]

The subreddit has hosted "Ask Me Anythings" (AMAs) of notable right-wing, conservative figures supportive of Trump including Scott Adams, Ann Coulter, Alex Jones, Helmut Norpoth, Curt Schilling, Peter Schweizer, Roger Stone, Milo Yiannopoulos,[30]Tucker Carlson,[31] and Corey Stewart.[32] Furthermore, Trump himself hosted an AMA on the subreddit on July 27, 2016,[33][34] which became one of r/The_Donald's most upvoted posts.[35]

In September 2016, Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus VR, introduced a 501(c)(4) organization on r/The_Donald called "Nimble America" with the stated purpose of creating and spreading pro-Trump Internet memes through "Facebook ads, billboards, and 'website ops'".[36] Luckey stated that he had donated $10,000 to the organization and offered to match contributions from r/The_Donald users for 48 hours after the announcement.[37] Luckey later apologized for any negative impact his actions had on public perception of Oculus, and stated that he acted independently, not as a representative of Oculus VR.[38]

The subreddit was also noted for investigating Clinton's leaked emails after their release by WikiLeaks.[15][39] Their findings were subsequently reported by right-wing news media[40] while WikiLeaks acknowledged the subreddit in a tweet.[41] The subreddit also coordinated to vote on many online polls during the 2016 presidential debates.[8]

The subreddit frequently attempted to manipulate's booklist via vote brigading, or encouraging subscribers to cast a certain review en masse. In November 2016, the subreddit was reportedly mobilizing readers to leave one-star reviews on for Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's autobiography, Settle for More, in response to what users considered biased reporting from her.[42] Amazon later removed many of the negative reviews.[43] Later, in September 2017, the subreddit attempted to buy copies of Trump's Great Again: How To Fix Our Crippled America to outsell Hillary Clinton's then-upcoming book What Happened. However, their plan backfired when several users bought other Trump books instead such as Trump: The Art of the Deal while Clinton's book reached No. 1 on the site.[44] The subreddit also spread a rumor that Clinton's book was actually the bestselling "contemporary women fiction" book.[45]

On November 22, 2016, the moderators of r/The_Donald announced that they were going to start removing posts about some conspiracy theories, such as the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory and a rumor that Julian Assange had disappeared, citing that such content was "drowning out thoughtful discussion or Trump-related content".[9] The next day, Steve Huffman admitted to editing the comments of r/The_Donald users by replacing his username (u/spez) within their comments insulting him with the usernames of r/The_Donald moderators instead.[46] Huffman said of the change that "I had my fun with them, they had their fun with me, but we are not going to tolerate harassment for any others."[46] One week later, Huffman apologized for his actions, and offered a filter feature to the website, allowing users to exclude subreddits from their r/all page.[47] Starting in February 2017, the subreddit was notably excluded from Reddit's updated homepage, r/popular, along with other "narrowly-focused politically-related subreddits".[48][49][50]

In the beginning of January 2017, after BuzzFeed published a 35-page document alleged to be a dossier of controversial but unverified information about then–president-elect Trump, members of the subreddit stated that the document was "fan fiction" sent to Republican political strategist Rick Wilson by members of the 4chan forum /pol/.[51] On January 11, 2017, Wilson denied the claims.[52] Later that day, Republican senator John McCain confirmed that he had sent the dossier to FBI director James Comey several months earlier.[53]

On May 18, 2017, a moderator named OhSnapYouGotServed posted a message claiming that the subreddit has been treated unfairly and that Reddit could not exist without r/The_Donald. OhSnapYouGotServed also suggested that all of their subscribers should move to Voat.[54] The next day, after three other moderators were banned from the site, the subreddit was temporarily set to "private" in a sign of protest. According to the lock message, the admins did not warn the three moderators before banning them.[55] The moderators stated that they "refused to comply by a special set of rules that were solely imposed on this subreddit to marginalize the only community which doesn't conform to the echo chamber of Reddit and corporate media". The subreddit was made public again the next day.[54]

In July 2017, it was discovered that a congressional staffer for Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) asked for users on r/The_Donald to crowdsource information for a congressional amendment that would look into alleged misconduct on the parts of Hillary Clinton and James Comey. Gaetz confirmed the user was a staffer in an interview with Wired, stating that "it is the responsibility of our staff to gather as much information as possible when researching a subject and provide that information for consideration. We pride ourselves on seeking as much citizen input as possible."[56]

On August 5, 2017, a post encouraging users to attend the Unite the Right rally, a white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, was stickied by r/The_Donald's moderators.[57][58] The post was deleted some time on August 13, 2017, a day after the rally ended in the first-degree murder of counter-protester Heather Heyer and the injury of 19 others by white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr.[59][60]

Members of the subreddit maintained a Discord server called "Centipede Central", which peaked at 16,000 active users[61][62] and was among the largest servers on Discord.[63] The server was criticized for leaking personal information of anti-Trump activists,[62][64] which caused The_Donald to sever ties with the group. The server was eventually shut down in a coup in October 2017, which scattered its members to smaller communities.[61]

In January 2018, former Senior CounselorSteve Bannon's statements regarding Trump were published in Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury". After Trump himself criticized Bannon's comments, many individuals on the subreddit turned against Bannon. The negative comments were subsequently covered by Vanity Fair and Independent Journal Review.[65][66]

After the Christchurch mosque shootings in March 2019, users of r/The_Donald posted messages to the subreddit that justified the shooting and violence against Muslims. When asked for comment, a Reddit spokesperson stated that Reddit had strengthened its hate speech and violence policies over the last several years.[67] When asked about users from r/The_Donald posting in the r/newzealand subreddit after the attack, the moderators of r/newzealand noted that the users often employ dog-whistle verbiage, making it difficult to discern which content posted should have action taken against it.[68]

Quarantine, restriction, and ban

On June 26, 2019, the subreddit was quarantined by Reddit admins due to excessive reports, threatening public figures associated with the 2019 Oregon Senate Republican walkouts, and an over-reliance on the site admins to personally moderate the subreddit.[12][69] The quarantine added a warning portal, removed revenue opportunities, removed the subreddit from feeds and search, and removed custom CSS styling.[1][12][10]

In November 2019, the subreddit's moderators attempted to evade Reddit's imposed quarantine by reviving and promoting a subreddit called r/Mr_Trump. This subreddit was banned by Reddit's administrators in accordance with its policy that "attempting to evade bans or other restrictions imposed on communities is not allowed on Reddit".[70] Days later, Reddit's admins warned the subreddit's moderators about trying to out the alleged White House whistleblower in the Trump–Ukraine scandal in violation of Reddit's rules on harassment and inviting vigilantism.[71][72]

On February 26, 2020, Reddit administrators removed a number of r/The_Donald moderators "that were approving, stickying, and generally supporting content in this subreddit that breaks [Reddit's] content policy" and called the remaining moderators to choose new ones from a list of Reddit-approved individuals.[73] About the same time, Reddit placed r/The_Donald in "Restricted mode", removing the ability to create new posts from most of its users. Since then, some users of the subreddit had moved to, a separate site based on Reddit's old user interface.[5]

On June 29, 2020, in a flurry of bans, Reddit banned r/The_Donald, along with 2,000 other subreddits (such as r/ChapoTrapHouse, a leftist subreddit based on the podcast of the same name, and r/GenderCritical) deemed to be against their policies.[74][75][76] r/The_Donald was largely inactive by the time it had closed due to many users flocking to a new site,[5], formerly, is an independent far-rightinternet forum created as a successor to r/The_Donald, similarly based around support of former President Trump.[77][78][79] The website has been labelled "a magnet for extreme discourse" by the Financial Times.[77] It has been likened to Gab and 8kun, as those sites were also created to bypass hate speech policies on more mainstream sites.[78]

The website was created on November 21, 2019, by moderators of r/The_Donald. After Reddit quarantined r/The_Donald, moderators of the subreddit promoted through the use of sticky posts, touting the site as a backup to the subreddit in the event that it was banned. The site rapidly gained users as a result of the promotion. There was another surge of users to the site on June 29, 2020, when the subreddit was banned by Reddit in a purge of around 2,000 communities.[80] As of December 2020, ranked as the 464th most visited website in the United States and 2,875th worldwide, according to Alexa Internet.[81] was among the platforms used to plan the storming of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.[82] According to a January 16, 2021 report from the Wall Street Journal, Epik had threatened to take offline over the forum failing to remove white supremacist, racist, and violent content. The Journal also reported that Jody Williams,'s owner, had received multiple requests from the FBI for user information due to threatening posts, and that the FBI had been informed of several users who had made threatening posts on, including one post from a user threatening to kill U.S. House SpeakerNancy Pelosi. Williams had struggled to moderate the forum's racist, antisemitic, and violent posts over the prior months, and some of's volunteer moderators had responded by thwarting Williams's efforts to take down the violent and objectionable content on the forum. Williams and his family had also received daily death threats from the users he banned from the forum.[83]

On January 20, 2021, due to an internal power struggle over the domain between the moderators and Williams, a new forum called was created and was shut down by Williams on January 21. The moderators of responded by calling Williams a "sellout" who "betrayed the community … [of] hundreds of thousands of loyal patriots." As of January 21, 2021[update], Epik was providing services to[84][85]

In late January 2021, in response to the GameStop short squeeze being carried out by the subreddit r/wallstreetbets, created an unofficial backup forum of the subreddit in an attempt to gain new users.[86] However, according to The Daily Dot, the majority of users on the backup forum were Trump supporters already from[86]

On August 27, 2021, the U.S. House of Representativesselect committee investigating the storming of the Capitol demanded records from (alongside 14 other social media companies) going back to the spring of 2020.[87]

Relationship to Trump

The Trump campaign's digital director, Brad Parscale, stated in June 2016 that he visited the subreddit daily.[88] Throughout the election, members in Trump's war room at Trump Tower monitored the subreddit to see new trends.[89][90] During the 2016 Democratic National Convention on July 27, 2016, Trump hosted an AMA on the subreddit.[33] Moderators of the subreddit stated that they banned more than 2,000 accounts during Trump's AMA session.[91] Trump also posted several pre-debate messages on the subreddit.[92][93]

Throughout Trump's 2016 campaign, as well as the beginning of Trump's presidency, journalists noted that several of Trump's tweets contained images that originally appeared on the subreddit.[94] On July 6, 2016, in response to his deleted tweet containing the Star of David, Trump accused Disney of antisemitism on Twitter, which was accompanied with a photo of a sticker book based on the Disney film Frozen. Justin Miller of The Daily Beast noted that the image Trump used in his tweet originated on the subreddit less than 24 hours before.[20][95] Similarly, on March 3, 2017, Trump tweeted an image of Chuck Schumer posing with Vladimir Putin to allege hypocrisy. According to BuzzFeed News, the image was posted less than 24 hours earlier on the subreddit.[96] On May 11, 2017, after firing James Comey, Trump responded to Rosie O'Donnell's 2016 tweet calling Comey to be fired with "We finally agree on something Rosie." Brandon Wall, a reporter for Buzzfeed News, alleged that Trump browsed r/The_Donald because O'Donnell's tweet was posted on the subreddit 20 minutes before Trump's response.[97][98][99] Although The Washington Post acknowledged that Trump tweeted images previously viral on the subreddit, they also noted that O'Donnell's tweet did not go viral until Trump responded.[90] In July 2017, a video tweeted out by Trump was noted to have appeared on the subreddit about four days earlier.[100] However, the White House denied that the video directly came from Reddit.[101] In May 2019, Politico reported that Trump's social media manager, Dan Scavino, frequented the subreddit, writing that he "has helped craft some of Trump’s most memorable social media moments".[102]


A quantitative analysis found that r/The_Donald was an important influencer of news content on Twitter, with the board contributing 2.97% of mainstream news links and 2.72% of alternative news links on Twitter (as a fraction of all links co-appearing on Twitter, Reddit, and 4chan). The researchers concluded that "'fringe' communities often succeed in spreading alternative news to mainstream social networks". They also calculated that r/The_Donald hosted 35.37% of URLs from 54 alternative news sites "like Infowars" on Reddit.[103]

Prominence on Reddit


Through the use of "sticky posts," a moderation function of Reddit that allows selected posts to be artificially placed at the top of a subreddit, the moderators of the forum were "gaming" the algorithms[104][105] in order to dominate the content on the r/all page, which is a representation of the most popular content on the website.[4] Additionally, users were often apt to flood the website with waves of identical images or posts, a direct violation of site-wide policies regarding spam. In response, Huffman rolled out a change to the r/all algorithm; he noted that r/The_Donald was among several Reddit communities over the years that "attempt to dominate the conversation on Reddit at the expense of everyone else".[28][20][106] Ongoing problems with members of the subreddit brigading and harassing other subreddits forced Reddit staff to modify the site's software algorithms to limit the offending posts to the subreddit. The Reddit team introduced r/popular to replace r/all, which included most popular subreddits except for The_Donald, and as a result the subreddit could no longer reach the front page.[107][108] In February 2017, Reddit overhauled their algorithms even further to prevent content from the subreddit (among other communities) from ever being seen by logged out users or people who do not have a Reddit account.[48]

In a 2018 study by University College London, r/The_Donald was the most active subreddit when it comes to posting memes. The study explained that "Reddit users are more interested in politics-related memes than other type of memes."[109]

Conflict with Reddit management

The subreddit received additional coverage on November 24, 2016, when Reddit CEO Steve Huffman admitted to editing r/The_Donald users' comments that were critical of him, in response to harassment[110] by the community.[111][112][113] On November 30, 2016, Huffman announced that sticky threads from r/The_Donald would no longer show up on r/all.[11] Huffman's rules were criticized by some Redditors, including both Trump and non-Trump supporters,[46] while others felt the sanctions did not go far enough and called upon Huffman to ban the subreddit entirely.[4] While members of the subreddit claimed they were the victims of censorship, Huffman said the actions were about "banning behavior, not ideas".[4]

The harassment directed at Huffman by r/The_Donald users led to changes in the manner in which Reddit deals with problematic communities and users. Since being harassed by the community, Huffman stated that Reddit is going to start actively policing problematic users: "We're taking a different strategy now. We are focusing more on, like, taking care of the individual users instead of doing it at the community level which was largely our strategy before."[114]

In March 2017, users of r/The_Donald accused Reddit of discriminating against them when Reddit's advertising platform portrayed r/The_Donald as having 6,000,000 subscribers instead of the 385,000 displayed on the subreddit live counter available to the public.[115] The Reddit Director of Communications stated that the subscriber discrepancy was a simple labeling error wherein the count for "daily unique visitors" was mistakenly labeled as "subscribers" and that the error would be partially fixed by the end of the day.

In May 2019, former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao told Mother Jones that the subreddit should be banned for not following the site's rules. However, she also acknowledged that "it's hard to take down a subreddit which is driving a lot of traffic".[116]


Pizzagate conspiracy theory

Main article: Pizzagate conspiracy theory

A conspiracy theory involving the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, John Podesta and the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria attracted attention on r/The_Donald. Several members of the community created the r/pizzagate subreddit which was subsequently banned by Reddit administrators for breaking site rules regarding sharing personal information of others.[117][118] In December 2016, the subreddit gained media attention when it linked a knee injury sustained by NBA player Andrew Bogut to the conspiracy theory.[119]

Seth Rich murder conspiracy theories

Further information: Murder of Seth Rich

r/The_Donald devoted a significant number of posts to the murder of Seth Rich.[21][120] In July 2017, The Economist noted that there had been over 10,000 posts dedicated to the topic.[21] The subreddit promoted the conspiracy theory that his killing was a political assassination.[21] Reddit users attempted to tie the homicide to prior "Clinton Body Count" conspiracy theories.[121] Several members of the subreddit planned a march on Washington D.C.[122]

CNN wrestling video

Further information: CNN controversies § Redditor controversy

On July 2, 2017, Donald Trump tweeted a video of himself wrestling Vince McMahon with the CNN logo superimposed over McMahon's face. Multiple sources, including The New York Times, NBC News, the BBC, and The Washington Post, reported that the clip appeared on the subreddit about four days earlier.[100][123][124][125] However, on July 3, the White House denied that the video directly came from Reddit.[101]

Additionally, The Washington Post reported that the Reddit user who posted the video, HanAssholeSolo, also wrote about stabbing Muslims[126] while Vox added that the poster attempted to remove his racist comments, including many that said the word nigger and an image of Jewish CNN employees, each being labeled with a Star of David, in a post titled "Something strange about CNN...can't quite put my finger on it."[3][127] Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League referred to the user as an "extremist" after analyzing his posts.[128] The ADL also identified the user as "a parent and a veteran in his 40s living in Tennessee" based on the personal information within his post history.[129] Based on the aforementioned posts, Vox reported that some members of the forum have interpreted the tweet as support for their racist beliefs.[3] Eventually, after being identified by CNN's Andrew Kaczynski, the user posted an apology in the subreddit on July 4.[130] Immediately afterwards, his apology was locked and deleted by the subreddit's moderators[130][131][132] while the user deleted his Reddit account.[133][134] CNN was accused by Julian Assange, Jack Posobiec, and Mark Dice of blackmailing the user, while the hashtag, #CNNBlackmail, trended on Twitter.[135] Kaczynski responded by stating that his line was "misinterpreted" and that the user said that he was not threatened prior to his apology.[136] In response to the controversy, ShadowMan3001, one of the moderators of the subreddit, told Kevin Roose of The New York Times that CNN's intent in possibly releasing the user's identity was "a glaring example of their absolute lack of not only journalistic integrity, but basic morality".[137]

Russian propaganda

In February 2018 Inquisitr reported on an analysis that revealed that r/The_Donald had thousands of posts to it that originated from Russian propagandists, making it one of the biggest hubs of Russian-based propaganda on the internet.[138] Soon after, The Daily Beast obtained documents from the Russian-backed online "troll farm" Internet Research Agency that confirmed that the organization deployed its agitators on subreddits including r/The_Donald and r/HillaryForPrison in the run-up to the 2016 election.[139]

In early March 2018 congressional investigators revealed that they plan to question Reddit and Tumblr as part of their investigation into the Russian interference surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election with Representative Adam Schiff urging Reddit and other major online platforms to make more data available about the extent of Russia's online propaganda efforts.[140] Huffman later admitted that Reddit was aware that the site was a target of Russian propagandists, and users of the website criticized Reddit for concealing Russian activity on the website and for not working fast enough to ban extremist communities.[141] When asked why the r/The_Donald community was not banned from the website, Huffman replied that "Banning them probably won't accomplish what you want. However, letting them fall apart from their own dysfunction probably will."


Main article: Remove Kebab

The slogan "Remove Kebab" has appeared on r/The_Donald in threads that have calls for violence and open hatred directed toward Muslims.[142] As a meme "Remove Kebab", based on the music video called "Serbia Strong" by a group of soldiers celebrating the Bosnian Serb war criminal Radovan Karadžić has appeared in over 800 threads on the r/The_Donald.[142] The band's accordion player Novislav Đajić, convicted in 1997 of crimes during the Yugoslav wars, features in meme images and is known as "Dat Face Soldier".[142]

Media reception

The subreddit was criticized by Vice, which stated in an article that the subreddit was "authoritarian," "racist," "misogynistic," "homophobic," "Islamophobic," and a "hypocritical 'free speech' rallying point".[20] The publication Slate described r/The_Donald as a "hate speechforum"[143] and The Verge has described it as a "notoriously fetid troll swamp".[144] According to The New York Times, "[m]embers respond to accusations of bigotry with defiant claims of persecution at the hands of critics. It is an article of faith among posters that anti-racists are the real bigots, feminists are the actual sexists, and progressive politics are, in effect, regressive."[30] The subreddit also spread fake news and promoted conspiracy theories[9][46] such as "Pizzagate".[111] In February 2017, Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab analyzed how the subreddit was able to spread fake news throughout similar subreddits and conspiracy sites.[145] The subreddit is also connected to the alt-right[3][146][147][148] while an article by The Washington Post connected the moderators of closely related Trump subreddits to racist subreddits such as "r/Quranimals" and "r/Rapefugees".[149] One moderator banned users for reporting Islamophobia to the subreddit, saying, "Jesus Christ people, stop reporting Islamophobia. We don't fucking care about our 'Islamophobia problem' AT ALL!"[8][20][150]The National Memo noted that "moderators have made the occasional attempt to rid r/The_Donald of overt racism and anti-Semitism"[151] and The Economist emphasized that the moderators "at least try" to remove anti-semitism from the subreddit.[21]

Motherboard interviewed a moderator of the subreddit, who said "[t]he people from /pol/ who can behave, which is probably most of them, stay. The people who don't behave usually wind up getting banned for rule 3."[20]The New York Times also noted that, in addition to the subreddit's "no racism/anti-Semitism" policy, the subreddit also warns against "dissenters or SJWs" posting on there and that "concern trolling" is also banned.[15]Gizmodo commented that the subreddit "revealed how easy the site's ageing algorithm is to game," comparing their actions to the profitability of fake news posted on Facebook.[152]Gizmodo also referred the subreddit as "Trump supporters' de facto base of power on Reddit".[153]Politico described the subreddit as "a message board that acted as a conduit between 4chan and the mainstream Web".[89]

In February 2017, after Kellyanne Conway brought up the false Bowling Green massacre, SFGate noted that the subreddit's response to the incident was "varied – and rather muted". Some users shared the video uncritically while others thought that the incident was an intentional part of a larger strategy by the Trump administration.[154] Similarly, in May 2017, users on the subreddit began reposting memes pertaining to the murder of Seth Rich that occurred in Washington D.C..[120]Mashable described the postings as a distraction since the users began posting just hours after "The Washington Post broke the news that Trump had divulged classified intelligence to Russian representatives".[155] It was later reported by Gizmodo that, at one point, 20 of the top 26 posts on the subreddit pertained to the Seth Rich murder.[153] In the aftermath of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, members of the subreddit initially thought that the suspect in the incident was Muslim and wrote comments about banning Muslims and refugees. After the identity of the shooter was revealed, the members saw the shooting as a "false flag" and posted various conspiracy theories.[156][157] Using latent semantic analysis, FiveThirtyEight analyzed the relationship between the r/The_Donald and 50,323 other active subreddits based on 1.4 billion comments made over a two-year period from 2015 to 2016, and found the community was related to a number of "hate-based subreddits," such as the respectively banned r/fatpeoplehate and r/coontown.[39]

In October 2019, RealClearPolitics criticized Reddit's decision to quarantine the subreddit, calling it "a recent and egregious example of social media sites meddling in political affairs."[158]

See also


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Reviews the reddit explained dog

Labrador's heartbreaking reaction to 'first day at work' goes viral on Reddit

An adorable dog has gone viral for his reaction to his "first day at work".

In the photo shared on Reddit, it shows a Labrador leaning on his owner with a sad face.

The man, who appeared to be a security guard, was looking straight when the dog's emotions caught everyone's attention.

He looked glum as his head was captured leaning on the man doing his job.

It was shared by Reddit user @killHACKS who wrote the caption: "His first day at work."

Since it was shared four days ago, it's already scooped over 87,700 upvotes and almost 800 comments.

The dog captured the hearts of many on social media
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Many social media users were quick to jump in and use the dog as a meme for their own experiences.

One user joked: "Me every day at work."

Another wrote: "When I started retail and had major social anxiety."

A third suggested: "This dog needs emotional support dog."

The pup looked so sad in the photo
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While a fourth couldn't help but use a pun as they said: "He's had a ruff day."

Meanwhile a fifth commented: "One day in and his soul is already crushed."

Others were too busy gushing over how cute the animal was with one writing: "I love him unconditionally."

As one Reddit user suggested: "At least let him work from home."

Recently another dog went viral for her excitable reaction when his owner finally returned home.

In the clip, she spots her owner on the side and desperately tries to open it.

When the man enters, the dog immediately jumps up and hugs him with her tail in overdrive.

She then repeatedly tries to lick his face as someone behind the camera starts giggling.

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Just Another Day In Russia - #79[REDDIT REVIEW]

Lamb ending explained: Director reveals the chilling truth behind his A24 horror hit

Few movies this year are as quietly captivating as Valdimar Jóhannsson’s minimalist supernatural horror movie Lamb, released in the U.S. by famed indie studio A24.

With more animals seen onscreen than human actors, Jóhannsson’s debut feature film explores parental grief and loss amidst vast Icelandic farmlands. And it’s in these wide-open fields of dull greenery that something terrifying stalks the human characters.

“It can stand for so many things,” Jóhannsson tells Inverse about his movie’s ending. “Even I’ve changed my mind after watching the film so often. But it can stand for nature; it can stand for so many things. I feel everybody has to take their own understanding of it.”

He adds, “I think it’s not interesting to know what I think about it.”

In Lamb, Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, Bright) stars as sheep farmer Maria, who, with her husband Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason), is grieving the loss of their child. When a baby lamb is born with disturbing half-human physiology, Maria and Ingvar choose to raise the child on their own, all while refusing to acknowledge that the child, named “Ada,” is not their own.

In an interview with Inverse, Jóhannsson and Rapace discuss the making of Lamb, which includes the live births of real sheep on camera, and the meaning of the movie’s shocking, nightmarish ending.

Warning: Spoilers for Lamb ahead.

Lamb ending: The “Ram Man” revealed

At the end of Lamb, the true “father” of six-month-old Ada is revealed: A towering, menacing half-human, half-ram. This “Ram Man,” as the filmmakers call him, appears and shoots Ingvar dead with his own hunting rifle and takes Ada back with him to live in the wild.

When Maria discovers Ingvar’s body, she mourns before silently accepting what just transpired.

It’s a strange ending, with relatively little said by the characters. But at a post-screening Q&A (which Inverse participated in) at New York’s Scandinavian House, as well as a separate interview with Inverse, Rapace elaborates on what the ending reveals about Maria.

Lamb ending: What does the “Ram Man” represent?

“I think [Maria] always thought that Ada wouldn’t stay,” Rapace said at the Q&A.

“When we meet her, she’s not living. She’s surviving. When Ada is born, it becomes a gift, like oxygen for her body and soul,” Rapace said. “She knows [Ada will] only be there for as long as she needs. She somehow always knew the Ram Man [was there] and that Ada will be taken away from her.”

Rapace adds that the “Ram Man” represents nature's wrath and its anger towards humans who exploit the earth for greedy purposes. The Ram Man was born out of Jóhannsson’s imagination, who said at the Q&A that he once had a nightmare about a giant ram.

“It’s not a joke,” Jóhannsson said at the Q&A. Before embarking on the Lamb press tour in the U.S., his mother dropped off a book in which a young Jóhannsson documented his dreams. “I went through one, and it was about huge rams eating polar bears.”

Lamb has no polar bear slaughters, but the monster of Jóhannsson’s dreams manifests through anger in the film. It’s not necessarily evil; it’s simply seeking justice for itself.

“[Maria] takes something that is not hers because she needs to heal,” Rapace said, “She doesn’t see him, but she knows. That’s why in the end, her pain is released. She’s breathing again; she’s alive. It’s the beginning of a new chapter. It’s extremely painful, but she is there.”

In a separate interview with Inverse, which took place the day after the Q&A, Rapace elaborated on how Maria is “freed” at the end of Lamb. Rapace herself was raised on a farm in Iceland, where her grandmother imparted folk wisdom to her.

“My grandma always said, ‘Don’t provoke the elves.’ We have to be respectful to all creatures, even ones we don’t see,” Rapace explains. “I was always aware of things that are not there. And if you cross that line and take something that is not yours to have, nature will hit back. They will avenge you and come after you.”

She adds that Maria lives with Ada “on borrowed time.”

“It’s almost like a love story or summer fling. You know it’s going to be over when fall comes,” she says. “She knows that. That’s why at the end, she doesn’t come after the Ram Man. She doesn’t run to find Ada. She knows this was supposed to be. She is back alive and awake.”

How Lamb brought Noomi Rapace back to her roots

The terrifying “Ram Man” isn’t the only surprising thing in Lamb.

Filmed during the last week of lambing season in Iceland, the movie features real animals, from sheep to dogs and cats, who appear onscreen with human behaviors like confusion, suspicion, anger, and pain. Jóhannsson credits his many farmers and animal handlers on set to help him “direct” the animals.

“That’s the reason why they’re so believable,” Jóhannsson tells Inverse. “They’re just [being] totally themselves, feeling safe.”

“Animals have a strong intuition,” Rapace says. “If they feel threatened or stressed, they start behaving not like themselves. There was things we wanted to do, but we couldn’t push them.”

Rapace and Jóhannsson both describe a “mother sheep” that got “wired up,” which caused the set to take a long break for the sheep to cool down. “That’s what I’m going to start doing from now on,” Rapace jokes.

Rapace also delivered real lambs from pregnant sheep on camera. She had never delivered before despite growing up on a real farm in Iceland. “It’s all real, happened in real-time,” she says. “I delivered two lambs [for the movie], I saw them stand and open their eyes for the first time. It was magical and scary. It was intense. You see life begin.”

Despite the eerie, isolating world in Lamb, the Icelandic set was comforting for Rapace, who felt like she’d come home after a long journey across the globe.

“I felt like I went back to my roots, to the old Noomi. It was quite magical how the Noomi I am today reconnected with child Noomi, where my life began, and where I found myself,” she says. “I felt like an orphan. Iceland became a parent to me. I felt like I belonged.”

Lamb is now playing in theaters.


Now discussing:

Best dog vitamins and supplements in 2021, according to vets

dog eating a vitamin

Dog vitamins and supplement reviews


⚡️ BREAKOUT — a well-rounded multivitamin made with premium ingredients, manufactured in the states.

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What we love: Our number one pick for a doggie vitamin is the Natural Dog Company Multivitamin. It comes with 35 different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to keep your dog energetic and healthy. Ingredients like organic tumeric and coenzyme Q10 serve as antioxidants, and the vitamin’s additional minerals and enzymes can help support healthy digestion and improve immune function. Plus, the formula is grain, soy and corn-free, too.

What customer reviews say: Many reviewers say these multivitamins are so tasty they don’t even have to hide them in peanut butter — their pups just gobble them right up! They’re also apt for dogs with allergies, according to other reviews, helping to improve their dog’s irritated or itchy skin.

🧪  Ingredients: Organic turmeric, organic hemp seed oil, cod liver oil, coenzyme Q10, digestive enzymes, organic hemp seed, essential fatty acids, protein, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), curcuminoid, niacin, vitamin B1, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, duck, sweet potato, coconut oil, pea flour, palm fruit oil, flaxseed meal, garbanzo flour, prosurance duck/pea, powdered cellulose, sunflower lecithin, coconut glycerin, sorbic acid, rosemary extract, and mixed tocopherols.

Made with natural ingredients such as licorice root, this supplement supports dogs' immune systems and alleviates itching, watery eyes, and allergy symptoms.

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What we love: These allergy immune treats contain bee pollen, a natural antihistamine, to help reduce seasonal allergy symptoms and allergic reactions. They help boost dogs’ health and reduce itchy skin, watery eyes, and other common allergy symptoms. They’re also made in the USA and are free of wheat, corn, and preservatives.

What customers say: With 4,800+ reviews on Amazon, many customers say this supplement has helped their dogs’ seasonal allergies. One reviewer noted, “this product didn’t take all his symptoms away, but he is definitely so much much comfortable.” So while it may not 100% cure your pup’s allergies, many reviewers said it tremendously helped their dogs.

🧪  Ingredients: Bee pollen, kelp, vitamin C, organic licorice root, and colostrum.


Vet’s trust it because it’s manufactured at Nutramax Labs. It’s also pretty affordable when you look at the price per chew.

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What we love: The Nutramax Cosequin Joint Supplement Plus is especially formulated for adult dogs that need a little extra joint love and care. The supplement supports cartilage protection and is easy to crush up in your doggo’s food — they won’t even notice it’s there.

What customer reviews say: Many noticed a significant change in their older dogs aftering using this supplement. One reviewer noticed their dog had significantly more “spunk and energy” after four weeks of use. Another said their dog was “up and running” once again after having slowed down due to age. It’s no wonder this supplement comes 97% recommended on Chewy with almost 2,000 customer reviews.

🧪  Ingredients: Glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl), sodium chondroitin sulfate, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and manganese.

Pet Parents Turmeric & Curcumin Chicken Flavored Dog Supplement

A simple blend of organic nutrients that help older or arthritic dogs deal with inflammation. We also like that it’s infused with hemp seed oil.

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What we love: Pet Parents Tumeric & Curcuma Supplements work on all dog breeds, ages, and sizes, helping with arthritis pain relief and joint health. The company focuses on adding whole meats and veggies to their chewable tablets instead of carbohydrates like rice or oats. Even the inactive ingredients are nutrient-rich, like sweet potatoes and carrots. Plus, natural turmeric and curcumin are anti-inflammatory agents, and the doggie coconut oil helps with joint aches and pains.

What customer reviews say: Pet owners that have dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia, and other joint issues generally love this product. It’s especially helpful for dogs recovering from injuries or surgery, and reviewers also mentioned the fair price. Some dogs loved the taste, though, while others didn’t.

🧪  Ingredients: Organic turmeric, coconut oil, organic hemp seed oil, CurQmin™, boswellia serrata, and bioperine® (black pepper extract).

Multifunctional dog supplement

🔥 POPULAR — Zesty Paws gets lots of love in the reviews. The price is pretty competitive, and it includes a probiotic, which not all multifunctional supplements do.

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What we love:Zesty Paws Multifunctional 8-in-1 Bites has 35 nutritious ingredients to keep your dog in peak shape. The ingredients support healthy skin, coat, hips, joints, digestive system, heart health, and immune health. The multivitamin is also made in the USA in a cGMP facility and doesn’t have any corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavoring. Plus, dogs will love the yummy chicken flavor.

What customer reviews say: Not only does this vitamin help with joint pain, general energy, and wellbeing in dogs, some reviewers said their dog’s fur became shinier and softer, too. Customers also mentioned it helped their dogs lose weight.

🧪  Ingredients: Glucosamine HCL, MSM (OptiMSM), cod liver oil, enzyme blend, chondroitin sulfate, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E (D-Alpha Tocopherol), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), niacin, coenzyme Q10, vitamin B1 (thiamine), pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), manganese, Folic Acid, biotin, vitamin B-12, chicken meal, coconut glycerin, flaxseed meal, natural chicken flavoring, oat flour, palm fruit oil, powdered cellulose, pumpkin, rice flour, sorbic acid, (natural preservative), and sunflower lecithin.

dog 10-in-1 multivitamin

This multivitamin has over 9,500 Amazon reviews and an average score of 4.5 stars. Plus, it’s great for holistic, proactive health support.

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What we love: This multivitamin is packed with vitamins and supplements to support 10 health benefits, including joint health, skin and coat, and digestion. This 10-for-1 is designed to proactively help your dog avoid some of the most common health issues by filling in the nutrient gaps that might exist in their diet. Plus, it’s manufactured in the USA to ensure your dog gets premium ingredients, including Krill oil, Vitamin C, and Glucosamine.

What customers say: According to Amazon reviews, you won’t need to hide this vitamin inside peanut butter to get your dog to eat it — the chicken flavor makes this vitamin a treat for many dogs. Reviewers report seeing more pep in their dog’s step, especially with senior dogs, after incorporating this 10-in-1 in their dog’s daily routine.

🧪  Ingredients: Pumpkin, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), egg shell meal, and krill oil.

Pet Naturals of Vermont Daily Multivitamin

💪 UNDERDOG — Pet Naturals of Vermont isn’t a well-known brand, but we like it. There aren't contain quite as many nutrients as other dailies, but it’s a fraction of the cost and meets our quality criteria.

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What we love:Pet Naturals of Vermont Daily Multivitamin is one of the most affordable vitamins on the market. Although it’s recommended for dogs of any breed, size, or age, it’s especially beneficial for breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs. The vitamin boasts 11 vital minerals to help balance your dog’s immune response and maintain a healthy nervous system.

What customer reviews say: Many reviewers expressed that this vitamin was particularly helpful for older dogs. Many customers also loved the affordable price (under $5 for 60 tablets at the time of reviewing). However, many reviews said that dog’s didn’t love the taste, and these vitamins had to be crumbled or hidden into food.

🧪  Ingredients: Brewers dried yeast, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, microcrystalline cellulose, silicon dioxide, stearic acid, fish oil, cellulose, natural duck flavor, vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid, L-arginine, vitamin B12 supplement, Dl-methionine, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, niacinamide, D-calcium pantothenate, magnesium oxide, mixed tocopherols (a preservative), manganese sulfate, inositol, riboflavin, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin A supplement, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, folic acid, potassium chloride, and calcium iodate.

multivitamin for senior dogs

We love the special blend of ingredients designed to help older dogs’ tails wagging. The Amazon review success stories speak for themselves!

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What we love: These soft, chewable tablets are designed to help with some of the most common health troubles senior pups experience, with ingredients that support urinary tract health, liver function, joint stiffness, and muscular function. Plus, they’ve got the NASC seal of approval, so you know the ingredients are safe and high-quality.

What customers say: Verified purchasers report more spring in their dog’s step and increased playfulness. Even owners of picky dogs say the vitamins were gobbled up like treats.  

🧪  Ingredients: Glucosamine, chondroitin, a gut health Blend, CoQ10, lutein, cranberry, curcumin, omega 3 (from cod liver fish oil), and MSM.


You get 30 of these everyday chews for just $9. And if your dog is under 30 pounds, you only need ½ of a chew per day, doubling your value.

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What we love: With a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals, this is a great substitution for less nutritious treats, and your dog won’t know the difference! The chicken flavor makes them easy for dogs to love, while you can feel good about the U.S.-manufactured, premium ingredients like fish oil omegas, amino acids, and B vitamins.

What customers say: Most Chewy reviewers say that their dogs are excited to eat these plain. Some Chewy reviewers report increased mobility and energy, using these multivitamins in lieu of high-calorie treats for weight control.

🧪  Ingredients: Oat flour, rye flour, soy lecithin, fish oil, vitamin E, vitamin B12, zinc sulfate, vitamin A, vitamin D, biotin, and folic acid.

Natural Dog Company Hip & Joint

Includes potent natural ingredients that’ll appeal to organically-minded dog owners. Made in the USA.

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What we love: This daily chew is great for dogs of any age, but specially tailored to give senior dogs a boost in the joint department. Active ingredients like Alaskan salmon oil, turmeric, and New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel are designed to reduce inflammation and support joint health. You can feel even better about these supplements because they’re vet-approved, manufactured in the U.S., and only contain the highest-quality organic ingredients. 

What customers say: Reviewers report improvements for their senior pups with arthritis and hip dysplasia such as swelling reduction, increased playfulness, and reduced stiffness.

🧪  Ingredients: Alaskan salmon oil, New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel, glucosamine HCL, chicken liver, chondroitin sulfate, purfor MSM flake, organic turmeric, vitamin C, coconut oil, palm fruit oil, and flaxseed meal.

Dogs & Vitamins 101

  • There are some vitamins that dogs cannot produce on their own. Your pup must get the necessary vitamins from a well-balanced diet. High-quality dog food will contain all the nutrition your pup needs.
  • Some dogs suffer vitamin deficiencies. Symptoms like weight loss and coat problems could mean your dog has a vitamin deficiency — even if they eat a healthy diet.
  • Vet-approved vitamins and supplements can help doggies with deficiencies. If your dog has a vitamin deficiency or a medical condition, there are many supplements on the market.
  • Pet supplements are not well-regulated. You must be careful when purchasing over-the-counter products for your dog.
  • Natural remedies are already in your kitchen. Certain fruits and vegetables can help with vitamin deficiencies, too.

How to know if your dog needs vitamins

If your dog is experiencing no health problems and is regularly eating a balanced diet of high-quality commercial dog food, vitamins might not be necessary. But they can help with a variety of health issues, like joint pain, arthritis, urinary dysfunction, dry skin, dull coat, digestive problems, anxiety, memory loss, and low energy. If you’re unsure whether vitamins can help your dog, you should ask your veterinarian. During an exam, they can identify deficiencies and recommend quality products.

Risks to giving your dog vitamins

Unfortunately, the dog vitamin and supplement industry is still unregulated by the FDA. This means you need to be extra careful when picking out a multivitamin for your dog’s body. Just because it’s sold by Amazon or another popular retailer, does not mean it’s safe! If you want to be safe, run anything you’re considering by your veterinarian. And make sure to use a vet-approved vitamin or supplement, like the ones we listed above.

Water-soluble vitamins like B and C are excreted in urine, so it’s not easy to accidentally give your dog too much of them. Fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and E, as well as certain heavy metals can be overdosed and cause illness. If after giving your dog a vitamin they are suddenly vomiting, having diarrhea, lethargic, or experiencing skin peeling, contact your vet as these are possible signs of vitamin toxicity.

An alternative: joint supplements

Supplements are any medicinal compound or mix of compounds designed to support health. Joint supplements can help with hip dysplasia, joint support,  arthritis, and general aches and pains. If your dog is eating a nutritious diet and is otherwise healthy aside from one of these conditions, you might consider a joint supplement instead of a multivitamin. It’s best to minimize the ingredients you’re giving your dog, only giving them what they need.

👉  Read our review of the best joint supplements for dogs

If you’ve ever wondered if your dog is vitamin-deficient, we’re right there with you! Being informed about your dog’s health requirements is part of being a great dog owner.  It’s helpful to define some terms and understand what vitamins and supplements are and what they do.

Terms to know


Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential for an animal to grow and to fight off diseases. Vitamins help your dog’s body carry out certain chemical reactions. For instance, vitamins don’t provide energy like calories.  However, some vitamins aid the enzymes that harness energy from the foods your dog eats.

Think of your fuzzy buddy’s body as an adorable, wagging machine. Vitamins are the things that grease the gears and help everything inside run smoothly. Your dog’s body is capable of amazing things — like stealing your sandwich off the table.  However, it’s important to know what your dog’s body cannot do on its own, too.

Your dog’s body cannot create vitamins on its own without the right nutrients. This is why your pup has to eat well-balanced meals. In the case of deficiencies or other health problems, your dog might need to take a dose of a particular vitamin.

There are two types of vitamins — fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. Because fat-soluble vitamins are stored in fat cells, they requite fat in order to be absorbed by your dog’s body. Water-soluble vitamins, like vitamin C,  are not stored in fat cells and do not require fat to be absorbed.

Our veterinarian advisor Erica Irish points out that it’s important to distinguish between fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins because your dog can overdose on fat-soluble vitamins. This is why it’s important to take supplements very seriously.


Now, about those supplements. The term ‘dietary supplements’  is less specific than the category of vitamins. Some supplements do have vitamins in them. Others can also include any of the following or a mixture of several of these compounds:

  • Amino acids (arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine)
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Enzymes (lipase, amylase, protease, papain, bromelain, cellulase)
  • Minerals (calcium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, iodine)
  • Probiotics (lactobacillus acidophilus, enterococcus faecium, bifidobacterium lacti, lactobacillus casei, bifidobacterium breve)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Herbs/botanicals (milk thistle, ginger, valerian root, chamomile, California golden poppy, cranberries, CBD)


The term ‘antioxidant’ comes up a lot in conversation surrounding canine supplements. It’s also a category that includes any compound that fights against cellular damage.  In dogs, antioxidants are often used to treat inflammation. A common antioxidant is ascorbic acid. You might know it better as vitamin C.

You will also come across phytochemicals a lot. They are antioxidants that are produced by plants.  It’s good to know what words on labels really mean when you’re looking for the best supplement for your pup. Because these labels can be confusing, always talk to your vet before giving your pup any over-the-counter pet product.

Dietary fiber

Dietary fiber exists in two forms: insoluble and soluble. They each have different benefits. Insoluble fiber is not digested by your dog. It is passed through their system. Insoluble fiber can make your dog feel more full without the extra calories. It can help with constipation.

Soluble fiber, on the other hand, is able to be digested. Intestinal bacteria break down soluble fiber and turn it into energy that fuels the cells in the intestines. Soluble fiber can help treat some forms of diarrhea. Both types of fiber exist in the same foods, such as pumpkin.

Note that your dog should be getting enough of both kinds of fiber from their meals. However, if your pup is having digestive issues, your vet might suggest a small amount of pumpkin. Companies even make pumpkin treats for your dog. If your dog has anal gland issues, your vet might recommend some fiber-rich treats for that condition.

A buyers guide: How to choose the best multivitamin supplement for your dog

Like any good dog owner, you want to be choosy about what you’re allowing your dog to put in their body. Here is our best advice about how to decide what essential nutrients your dog needs.

What vets say

Veterinarians stress that not all dogs need multivitamins, supplements, or digestive enzymes. Most young, healthy dogs get all that they need from a healthy diet. Some adult dogs may need extra supplements, which can be identified with the help of a veterinarian. Senior dogs and dogs with deficiencies are most likely to benefit from multivitamins. As far as specific vitamins, here’s what our veterinary consultant said:

  • Great for most dog’s well-being — Omega 3 fatty acids, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin B, Vitamin C
  • Use sparingly — Vitamins A, D, E,  and K 

Tips for shopping for dog multivitamins

  1. Consult your veterinarian — It’s best to rely on the experts for anything that involves your dog’s health.
  2. Be minimal — Try to only give your dog what they need. Maybe that’s nothing, or maybe that’s a few supportive vitamins or supplements. Less is more.
  3. Look for NASC approval — The National Animal Supplement Council is a nonprofit group that identifies quality, safe products for pets.

Canine supplements and government regulation

The FDA does not consider supplements to be foods or drugs. Therefore, their regulation is much less comprehensive. This means that you have to be very careful when purchasing an over-the-counter supplement for your dog.

According to VCA Hospitals, the FDA does have some requirements, which is good news. All the ingredients must be listed on the label. None of the ingredients can be known to be harmful. The FDA also prohibits products from making concrete claims. This is why you will often see language such as, “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.” You must be very careful when picking a pet product. This is also why it is always best to get your veterinarian’s recommendation.

Which vitamins do dogs need to stay healthy?

Now that we know what to avoid, let’s dive into what dogs require. If your dog is suffering from a vitamin deficiency, it could be because they aren’t eating enough food to get as many vitamins as they need. Your dog could also just be naturally deficient and need a little extra boost. It’s ok, pupper, we’ve gotcha covered. According to the AKC and NomNom, dogs need the following vitamins to maintain their health.

  • Vitamin A.  Similar to its effects on people, Vitamin A is good for skin and eye health. It also promotes weight loss.
  • B vitamins. B Vitamins is a category that includes biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, B-6, B-12, and Choline. B vitamins are good for healthy cell growth and cell maintenance. One thing to note here is that choline is not technically a vitamin (or a mineral), it shares similar effects with B vitamins.
  • Vitamin C. This one won’t surprise you. Vitamin C supports the immune system.
  • Vitamin D. That good ol’ vitamin D is great for keeping those bones and teeth nice and strong.
  • Vitamin E. For eyes and skin health, vitamin E is most important.

Common symptoms that vitamins and supplements can help

We compiled a list of the most common canine afflictions along with what vitamins and supplements can be effective in treating these doggie downers.

  1. Joint issues and arthritis. Glucosamine help relieve joint pain. If your pup has arthritis, your vet has likely already prescribed a supplement to help with the aches and pains. The combination of glucosamine and chondroitin is common, too.
  2. Urinary issues. It’s glucosamine to the rescue, again! Our betterpet expert Erica Irish, DVM, notes that glucosamine has protective effects inside the small intestines and urinary bladder. It is great for dogs (and kitties!) with recurring UTIs.
  3. Itching and coat issues. Omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil or flaxseed oil can help improve skin and coat health.
  4. Anxiety. Probiotics and even cannabinoid products like CBD can be used to help a stressed-out pupper relax.
  5. Diarrhea & other digestive problems. Probiotics are often used to treat upset doggie tummies. Fiber-rich treats might also help.
  6. Memory loss. Antioxidants including vitamin A and vitamin E might help doggie brain function in senior pooches.
dog eating fruit

Natural ways to include more vitamins and minerals in your doggo’s diet

Your dog doesn’t necessarily have to get extra vitamins in pill or powder form. Lots of ‘people foods’  are rich in vitamins and nutrients. Remember when your parents told you to eat your vegetables? Well, you can now tell your fuzzy BFF that, too. For a comprehensive list,  check out this handy guide to help you determine what tasty treat to split with your pooch.

For a quick reference guide, here are some delicious ‘people foods’ that are healthy for your pup. Just remember to be moderate when feeding your dog these tasty snacks. We don’t want any upset tummies.

  • Carrots. Bite into a delicious carrot and split it with your dog for a crunch of Vitamin A.
  • Apples. An apple a day is full of Vitamin A (and Vitamin C).
  • Salmon. This fish is swimming with omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B.
  • Blueberries. Don’t be blue and worry about vitamin C and antioxidants.  Pop a couple of blueberries!
  • Sweet potatoes.  This tuber roots for proper consumption of  Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and B6. Sweet potatoes should always be served soft/boiled.
  • Bananas. Your dog will go bananas for all the magnesium and potassium in this smooshy treat.
  • Watermelon. Along with a nice dose of hydration, this vine-grown treat is chock full of Vitamin A and  B-6. Watermelons should be served without seeds and rinds to avoid the potential for choking.
  • Cucumbers. Sure ‘cucumber starts with a c’, but it’s full of vitamin K.
  • Green beans. This type of bean really is magical. Green beans are a great source of calcium, iron, and vitamin K.

👉 Here’s a complete list of all the household foods that dogs should and shouldn’t eat.

Frequently asked questions

Can dogs take human vitamins and supplements?

No. Products formulated for humans often contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs.

What form do dog vitamins and supplements come in?

There’s a wide variety including pills, capsules, powders, chews, treats, and liquid forms.

How will my dog’s vet diagnose a vitamin deficiency?

Your vet might be able to tell just by your dog’s symptoms. When you take your dog into the vet’s office, be prepared to answer questions about your dog’s health, including their diet. Blood tests are not widely used in diagnosing vitamin deficiencies.

I keep hearing that CBD pet products are miracle drugs. Is that true?

Sadly, miracle drugs don’t really exist. Cannabinoid products like pet CBD oil and treats are popular. Until proper testing is done, we won’t really know just how well cannabis works in dogs. Marijuana products for humans are harmful to dogs. THC is toxic to dogs.

👉 Read our guide to CBD for dogs for more information about what’s safe and legal.

Are there any specific dog breeds that benefit more from supplements?

Even within the same breed, each dog is unique. You know this already about their personalities, of course. While some breeds have to deal with skin issues more so than others, it’s not usually nutrition-based.

For example, bulldogs and other breeds with lots of skin folds are more prone to skin infections. Using supplements to treat a topical infection won’t do much good. One thing to remember is that, in some cases, too much of a good thing can be bad.  Large breed puppies sometimes get too much calcium which can lead to issues with bone growth. Therefore, calcium supplements for large-breed puppies are a bad idea. Long story short: Doggie biology is complicated — and best left to the experts.


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