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Mars Veterinary Offers New 'Insights' Into Mixed-Breed Dogs
Date:9/15/2009

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Where does Buddy get his curly tail from? Why does he love digging holes in the backyard? Could I be doing more to make him happier and healthier? Your dog may not be able to tell you the answers -- but his DNA can. Wisdom Panel(TM) Insights, the most comprehensive mixed-breed cheek swab DNA test on the market, can help explain a mixed-breed dog's ancestry.

The new do-it-yourself doggie DNA test kit from Mars Veterinary(TM), an established name in canine genetic breed identification and a division of MARS((R)) Incorporated -- a global leader in pet care -- made its debut today at SuperZoo((R)), one of the pet industry's largest trade shows. Wisdom Panel Insights is the result of advancements in canine genetic testing technology, making it possible for dog owners to access unrivaled breed detection inexpensively and conveniently.

Roughly half of all dogs in the United States are mixed breed and the bulk of owners (86 percent)(1) are unsure of their pet's breed composition. With the simple swipe of a cheek swab, Wisdom Panel Insights can determine the ancestry of a mixed-breed dog by testing for more than 170 breeds, the largest database on the market. Within three weeks, dog owners will be e-mailed an official Ancestry Report that reveals the dog's genetic background.

A dog's ancestry can influence him in surprising ways. Obvious and not-so-obvious physical traits plus behaviors like digging, herding and barking all come from the various breeds in a dog's family tree. Once an owner understands a dog's natural tendencies, it makes it possible to create a tailored training, exercise and nutrition program to fit his one-of-a-kind needs.

"We're excited to give dog owners easier and more affordable access to the best-in-class canine genetic analysis to help them understand what breeds make their dog so special," said Dr. Neale Fretwell, chief geneticist at Mars Veterinary. "But it's not just about curiosity. The smarter you are about your dog's past, the smarter you can be about his future."

Wisdom Panel Insights is now available for mixed-breed dogs across the U.S. for only $79.99 online at www.wisdompanel.com.

The Science Behind Wisdom Panel

Mars Veterinary launched the veterinary administered, blood-based Wisdom Panel MX test in 2007. The state-of-the-art Wisdom Panel tests from Mars Veterinary are based on nearly a decade of extensive research, drawing from the expertise of leading scientists, veterinarians, universities and breed organizations throughout the world. Their development included the analysis of more than 19 million DNA markers from more than 13,000 dogs. As a result, the tests are the most complete and comprehensive products on the market, able to detect the breed composition of a mixed-breed dog with unprecedented accuracy.

Coming Soon

Also launching this October is Wisdom Panel(TM) Professional, which will eventually replace the current Wisdom Panel(TM) MX product. This blood-based mixed-breed dog genetic test will be offered exclusively through veterinarians and will be capable of detecting more than 200 breeds, types and varieties with unprecedented accuracy. Going above and beyond breed detection, the test will pre-screen for 14 breed-related diseases, predict a puppy's adult weight range and offer the most comprehensive breed database of any DNA test in the market.

About Mars Veterinary(TM)

Mars Veterinary is a division of MARS((R) )Incorporated, a company known for innovative consumer and pet food brands that are trusted by people around the world. Its mission is to facilitate responsible pet care by enlightening pet owners and communities with valuable insights into their pets as individuals through innovative, science-based discoveries. For nearly a decade, Mars Veterinary has researched and developed state-of-the-art genetic tests for mixed-breed dogs, revolutionizing personalized pet care. By discovering a mixed-breed dog's ancestry, pet owners and veterinarians can work together to tailor wellness programs that fit the one-of-a-kind needs of a mixed-breed dog. For more information, visit www.wisdompanel.com.

About Mars, Incorporated

Mars, Incorporated is a family-owned company that produces some of the world's leading confectionery, food and petcare products and has growing beverage and health & nutrition businesses. The confectionery division offers a wide range of products that include chocolate, gum, mints, hard and chewy candies. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Mars operates in more than 70 countries and distributes its world-famous brands in more than 180 countries. Mars employs more than 65,000 associates worldwide. The company's global sales are over $27 billion annually.

(R)/(TM) Trademarks (C) Mars, Incorporated 2009

(1) This research project was conducted online in order to assess mixed breed dog owners' knowledge of their dogs' makeup. A total of 711 mixed breed dog owners completed the survey. All participants were members of the Zoom Panel -- which has been selected to match US consumer demographics. Research was conducted in June 2007.


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SOURCE Mars Veterinary
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