Were you surprised by your dog’s Age Test results?
Whether you’re feeling excited, relieved, shocked, or even concerned, we fully understand and we are happy to walk you through how we determine these results.
First, what’s important to remember about the Age Test, is that it’s a prediction. The birthdate provided is the most likely date of birth for your dog based on DNA methylation measurements across thousands of markers in your dog’s genome. Our Age Test algorithm looks at methylation patterns in the saliva sample you collected from your dog and gives us a range of dates in which your dog might have been born. While there’s not yet a way to be sure of the exact date, the result provided is our best estimate, which represents the midpoint of that range.
How accurate is the Age Test?
At this time, 90% of dogs have a true birthday within 18 months of their Age Test estimate.
Why did a previous test give me a different age for my dog?
Great question! Whether you got an estimated age from your veterinarian or from another age test (including Embark’s previously released test in 2022), it’s actually not uncommon for those results to differ. Because of the nature of the methylation model, testing multiple times, even with the new and improved Embark age test, could yield different results.
If you received an estimate from your vet, they were likely using a physical examination to determine an estimated age. This can be challenging, especially after puppyhood. Many dogs have physical characteristics that just aren’t consistent with their age. Learn more about how vets estimate age in this post!
If you received results from a methylation-based age test previously it’s also very likely that your latest Embark Age Test results differ from past tests. As mentioned above, methylation pattern analysis estimates your dog’s age within a range of time called a prediction interval. The estimated birthday in your dog’s results is the midpoint of that age range and different tests could yield differing intervals.
What about the old Embark age test?
If you did purchase Embark’s original age test in 2022, then you likely know that shortly after we launched it, we quickly realized that some results were not matching the accuracy levels we observed when we built the model so we pulled the product, refunded our customers, and dedicated an extraordinary about of time and effort to creating an age test that is comparable to the most accurate methylation clock models available today.
Embark’s new and improved model was developed with a carefully curated reference dataset of over 2,000 dogs and we are very proud of this product.
What next? What do I do with my Age Test results?
We hope your dog’s age test results have given you joy and excitement! Maybe it’s time to plan a birthday party, a pup gathering, or a celebratory social media post (which we would LOVE to be tagged in!). We’re honored to have been trusted with your dog’s sample and we want to help you care for and love your furry family member in the best way we can. You can find many Care Resources in your dog’s MyEmbark account to help you plan for their future.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.