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Animal Attraction: National Mutt Census

Animal Attraction:  National Mutt Census

by Stacy Fox

khou.com

Posted on March 23, 2010 at 6:50 AM

As millions of Americans take part in our nation’s Census this year, a common member in millions of households isn’t included – man’s best friend. That’s why in 2010, the estimated 38 million mixed breed dogs in the U.S. also will have the chance to stand up and be counted with the nation’s first ever “National Mutt Census.”

What is the Mutt Census? The first ever National Mutt Census is designed to get a snapshot of the make-up of nation’s mixed breed dog population. In addition to identifying the breeds that make up the estimated 38 million mixed breed dogs in the U.S., it will
explore factors, such as: dog weight and size; feeding and exercise habits; the proportion of mixed breed dogs adopted from shelters; plus the history of dogs’ health.

Why is it being conducted? Mixed breed dogs account for more than half (53 percent) of all pet dogs in the U.S. But until now, their breed makeup has been largely guesswork. The “National Mutt Census,” conducted by the leading authority in dog DNA analysis, Mars Veterinary™, will provide valuable insights into the background of the nation’s mixed breed dog population. The “Mutt Census” will not only take a paw print of the nations mixed breed population, but may also help owners and veterinarians gain insight into their pets and patients. This research could ultimately help researchers better determine health risk factors for certain breed mixes which in turn could impact how owners and veterinarians care for pets.

How do I get involved? Participation in the National Mutt Census is easy. Dog owners can purchase the Wisdom Panel™ Insights test to identify the breed history of their mixed breed dog – then they’re encouraged to answer a brief five-minute online Census survey found at www.muttcensus.com, which asks them questions about the dog’s size and weight, feeding and exercise habits, whether he was adopted from a shelter – as well as questions about the dog’s health. Everyone participating in the Census will be entered into sweepstakes to win prizes including a supply of Pedigree® dog food and Greenies® digestible chewy treats.

For more information, visit http://www.muttcensus.com

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