Mount Olive, N.J. -- While Americans fill out their own U.S. Census forms this year, Mars Inc. is asking pet owners to fill out a National Mutt Census for their mixed-breed dogs.
Mount Olive, N.J.
-- While Americans fill out their own U.S. Census forms this year, Mars Inc. is asking pet owners to fill out a National Mutt Census for their mixed-breed dogs.
A new Web site muttcensus.com launched today is promoting Mars' canine DNA test and dog products and asks pet owners to fill out a short survey about their dogs. Mars spokesperson Hugo Perez says the online census has already received hundreds of responses in its first few hours.
The questions—developed in part with input from a veterinarian and a geneticist—concern dogs' gender, age, size, weight, food, feeding schedule and environment.
A "compendium" of the census data and DNA tests will be published sometime in the fall after the census ends Aug. 31, according to Perez.
Mars hopes the census will drive more dog owners to use the canine DNA test to develop a better understanding of their dogs' breed makeup and genetic predispositions to diseases, Perez says.
The site's publicity campaign will focus on social media Web sites, with tweets on Twitter, posts on Facebook, and a YouTube campaign of user-created "public service announcements" about the census. Banfield, The Pet Hospital, a subsidiary of Mars Inc., will promote the Web site to its veterinarians and veterinary team members.