National Mutt Census examines health trends, parasite control and compliance - DVM
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National Mutt Census examines health trends, parasite control and compliance


DVM360 MAGAZINE


A look at veterinary care

In terms of veterinary care, almost half of mixed-breed owners (43 percent) say their dog received veterinary care in the last six months. About 33 percent of mixed-breeds got veterinary care in the last month and 20 percent in the last year. Only 4 percent had not received veterinary care in more than a year, according to the survey.

Most mixed-breeds see a veterinarian once or twice a year (49 percent and 43 percent, respectively), while only 8 percent admit to taking their dogs to a veterinarian only when they are ill.

About 73 percent of the respondents reported to be on monthly preventives, while 18 percent were not on any. Heartworm preventives are given irregularly to 9 percent of the respondents' dogs, according to the survey.

In contrast, 77 percent of mixed-breed owners say they always comply with recommendations from their veterinarian, compared to 23 percent who answered "sometimes." No mixed-breed owners said they never comply with advice from veterinarians.

Although the survey asked questions about genetic disease diagnoses, there were not enough responses to generate useable statistics in this area, adds Laura Nedbal of Weber Shandwick, a public relations firm that worked with Mars on the survey.

Here are some of the other findings:

  • About 89 percent of mixed-breeds have been spayed or neutered.
  • Dry food is the most popular choice for mutts (65 percent), followed by feeding a mixture of wet and dry (21 percent), raw food and scraps (9 percent) and all wet food (5 percent).
  • Nearly 70 percent of mixed-breed dogs don't use regular flea-and-tick preventives.
  • 48 percent say they sleep with their dogs.
  • Nearly 100 percent (99.7 percent) of survey respondents say they regard their dog as a member of their family.
  • Most mixed-breed owners have multiple pets, but few children. A quarter of these owners have just one pet, 26 percent have two pets, 17 percent have three pets, about 11 percent have four pets and 21 percent have five or more pets.
  • Dogs weighing more than 80 pounds represent less than 11 percent of the mixed-breed population.
  • Nearly half of all the mixed-breed dogs (46 percent) were obtained from a shelter, while 18 percent came from friends and neighbors.
  • Almost half (47 percent) all mixed-breed owners live in the suburbs, followed by the city (30 percent), rural areas (18 percent) and on farms (3 percent).
Detailed information about the census results for each state can be found at http://muttcensus.com/.


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Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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