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Mars Veterinary Conducts 2010 National Mutt Census

Posted: Monday, March 22, 2010, 5:16 p.m., EST

Mars Veterinary Conducts 2010 National Mutt CensusMcLean, Va.-based 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, said 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 said.

Mars Veterinary urges dog owners to participate by logging on to where they can take a five-minute survey, which asks them questions about the dog’s size and weight, its feeding and exercise habits, whether it 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. <HOME>

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Reader Comments
I needed Sharpei to complete the survey acurately.
Janet, Fontana, CA
Posted: 3/30/2010 7:38:09 AM
I commented on my overall impression before trying to take the survey, which I was unable to complete. My mixed breed dogs include a sharpei mix and an American Pit Bull Terrier mix. Those are among the most common breeds in this area, yet neither breed is listed.
Allison, Birmingham, AL
Posted: 3/24/2010 8:29:39 AM
I think that this is generally a great idea, but a true "census" tries to achieve a 100% count. That's a large and expensive undertaking, whereas an online survey is a little more manageable. The problem is that the data will be collected from a convenience sample of owners that may be more educated and of higher socio-economic status. Dogs in my inner city neighborhood, with a decidedly different breed mix than the surrounding suburbs, will be missed. So the dogs that are counted will be systematically different from those that are not and the results of the survey may present a misleading portrait.
Allison, Birmingham, AL
Posted: 3/24/2010 8:17:41 AM
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