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Welfare and Behaviour

5 ways we’re advancing science to help dogs live happy, healthy lives

The unconditional support dogs offer us may have been particularly valuable for some of us during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. On National Dog Week, we celebrate our companions’ role in our health and wellbeing, as well as the many ways in which our researchers, In partnership with veterinarians, data scientists and experts from across Mars Petcare, are advancing science to help dogs live healthy, happy lives.

Dogs' unconditional support

Here are just a few ways our best friends can stand by us when we need them most:

How we're giving back, through science

  1. We’re advancing science to help veterinarians prevent and predict disease and offer personalised, efficient care so dogs can live healthier lives.  

    Because we want to catch diseases early, we’re harnessing the power of data to build diagnostic tools that will predict illnesses. Allowing veterinarians to move from disease detection to disease prediction gives both vets and owners the chance to identify tailored care plans earlier rather than later.

  2. We’re improving our understanding of the danger pet obesity poses and have developed evidence-based puppy growth charts so puppies can start on the right path for their adult life. 

    With more than half of all pets in the US and UK considered overweight or obese, pet obesity is one of the biggest health challenges our pets face today. By analysing 20 million body weight measures at different ages from over 6 million dogs, our researchers worked with veterinarians from Banfield Pet Hospital to create growth standards that can track healthy growth in female and male puppies across 5 size groups.

  3. Gum disease is one of the most common health issues veterinarians diagnose, and it’s linked to other serious health conditions. We’re learning more about the bacteria in dogs’ mouths so we can slow down the development of gum disease. 

    Our research has also shown that a good oral care routine (regular tooth brushing, dental chews and veterinary checks) can help prevent dental disease in miniature schnauzers.
  4. Data scientists at our Institute teamed up with the Pet Insight Project to develop an algorithm that calculates personalised food portions for each and every dog wearing a Whistle Fit activity monitor.

    Every dog is unique. With pet obesity on the rise, it’s crucial that owners adapt daily food quantities depending on their pups’ activity levels, age, breed, weight and dog food brand.

  5. Mars Petcare’s diagnostic laboratory, Antech, offers the first non-invasive diagnostic test for inflammatory bowel disease so dogs can get personalised treatment plans, faster.

Read our science stories and download our infographics to learn more about ambition to better understand our pets’ needs through science & data.