Mars Veterinary, a global company specializing in pet care and canine genetic breed identification, is conducting an inaugural National Mutt Census. The goal is to provide insights into the background of the nation’s estimated 38 million mixed-breed dogs.
The company hopes that a portrait of the makeup of the nation’s mixed-breed dogs will lead to a better understanding of the prevalence of genetic traits and conditions among this population, says Dr. Angela Hughes, veterinary genetics research manager at Mars Veterinary. “Understanding an individual dog’s breed makeup is like understanding its family history – this information can provide an owner with valuable insights that strengthen the pet-owner relationship,” she says.
Mars Veterinary urges dog owners to participate by visiting www.muttcensus.com, where they can take a five-minute survey that asks questions about the dog’s size and weight, his feeding and exercise habits, whether he was adopted from a shelter – as well as questions about the dog’s health.
The findings will offer the most comprehensive analysis of the nation’s mixed-breed dog population ever conducted, the company said.
The results may also provide researchers a better understanding of the types and frequency of diseases among this group of dogs that may ultimately help determine health risk factors for certain breed mixes.