JoAnna Lou
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National Mutt Census
Mars Veterinary gathers data on American mixed breed pups

The recent popularity of canine DNA breed tests have given those with mixed breeds a chance to learn more about their pups’ backgrounds. There are an estimated 38 million mixed breed dogs in the United States, a large group of canines we know very little about. 

This year, Mars Veterinary has launched the 2010 National Mutt Census to systematically collect the data dog lovers have been uncovering. 

Breed tests aren’t required to participate, but are encouraged. Mars Veterinary has two versions, Wisdom Panel Insights, which can be done at home with a cheek swab, and the more comprehensive Wisdom Panel Professional, which is a blood-based test administered by your veterinarian.

The National Mutt Census just covers the basic information -- whether the dogs were adopted from a shelter, their size and their diet, but it’s a great first step towards understanding the make-up of the American mixed breed population.

All participants will also be automatically entered in a sweepstakes to win prizes. 

So far over 12,000 pups are registered. I hope many more mutts will participate!

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.
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