No, it's gentle and soft, easier than brushing their teeth.
The DNA collection is painless—and sometimes humorous while watching your pup trying to eat it (make sure that doesn't happen, though).
Embark uses a gentle sponge swab, not the bristle brush that many of the other testing companies use. The sterile, gentle, sponge-tipped swab minimizes any chance of infection or irritation and has been completely approved by thousands of dogs before your own. Rest assured, your pup will be comfortable.
For a video and step by step instructions on how to swab your dog, please visit https://embarkvet.com/how-to-swab.