Aligning with the upcoming 2020 United States Census, Wisdom Health, the world's leader in pet genetics, announces its own 2020 United States Pet Census. This parallel population survey seeks to provide insights into the lives of the Nation's cats and dogs, asking owners about a variety of factors, including their pets' size, breed, activity levels and overall lifestyle to better understand the lives of American pets.

Pet owner responses will be analyzed in combination with Wisdom Panel's genetic information providing a clearer picture of potential healthcare considerations to help keep our cats and dogs healthier. These comparisons will also give a deeper understanding of the purebred and mixed breed pet population, and provide clues regarding the history of dogs and cats in the U.S., as well as the preferences of owners by region and state.

"Wisdom Health is a purpose driven company focused on leveraging technology to make A Better World for Pets," said Audrey Yoo, general manager of Wisdom Health. "Not only will the 2020 Pet Census provide a window into the lives of America's cats and dogs, but it will also better inform the relationship between pets, their owners, breeders, shelters and veterinarians with the ultimate goal of improved pet care and wellness."

"The insights from the Pet Census, together with genetic information from Wisdom Panel, will help advance the healthcare of the Nation's cats and dogs," said Dr. Angela Hughes DVM PhD, veterinarian and genetics expert at Wisdom Health. "We're also hoping a genetic portrait of our nation's pets will lead to greater awareness of which breeds are predisposed to certain complex health conditions such as gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) or skin allergies (atopy), along with the genetic disorders found in the Wisdom Panel array of tests."

The Pet Census is scheduled to begin later this year with results expected in 2020.

About the 2020 Pet Census

The 2020 Pet Census will be a comprehensive analysis of the nation's dog and cat population. Similar to the U.S. Census, researchers for the Pet Census will examine topics including:

  • Average number of pets in each household
  • The nation's top purebred and mixed breed dogs
  • The nation's top pedigreed and random bred cats
  • Places where people are obtaining their pets
  • Most popular feeding choices
  • Most popular activities to engage in with their pets (e.g. agility, tracking, fetch, etc.)
  • Most common reasons for obtaining a pet
  • Preventative healthcare regimen (e.g. flea control, heartworm, etc.)
  • Most common diagnosed disorders
  • Frequency of veterinary visits

2010 National Mutt Census Findings

The 2020 Pet Census is a follow-up to the "National Mutt Census" that Wisdom Health, formerly Mars Veterinary, conducted in 2010. The 2010 National Mutt Census surveyed more than 16,000 mixed breed dog owners and, at the time, was the most comprehensive analysis of the nation's mixed breed dog population ever conducted. Key findings of the 2010 National Mutt Census uncovered a range of insights such as:

  • German Shepherds were among the most popular purebred and mixed breed dogs.
  • Most mixed breed dog owners prefer smaller dogs over larger dogs. Mixed breed dogs weighing more than 80 pounds represented less than 11 percent of all mixed breed dogs.
  • Shelters were the most frequently cited place (46 percent) where people obtained mixed breed dogs, followed by a friend/neighbor or relative (18 percent).
  • Dry dog food was the most popular feeding choice (65 percent), surpassing mixed food (wet and dry - 21 percent), wet food (5 percent) and raw food and scraps (9 percent).