Mars Petcare launches
3-year canine health study

Plans call for using the Whistle Fit monitor with 200,000 dogs.

Mars Petcare launches <br>3-year canine health study
The half-ounce, battery-powered Whistle Fit monitor (inset) is attached to a dog’s collar.

Mars Petcare plans to enroll more than 200,000 client-owned dogs in a three-year longitudinal study that aims to identify links between pet activity, behavior and health.

Dog owners who utilize Banfield Pet Hospital’s Optimum Wellness Plan will be asked to register their pets in the no-cost Pet Insight Project. Mars Petcare owns the 1,000-hospital Banfield chain.

Participating dogs will wear the data-collecting Whistle Fit, an activity monitor made by San Francisco-based Whistle Labs Inc. Banfield veterinarians will document any health changes discovered during the dogs’ wellness visits, and the information will be correlated with Whistle Fit data, Mars reported.

“This unique combination of insights will be analyzed by data scientists and veterinary professionals to map relevant patterns of pet behaviors and movement with illness, to aid in more precise detection of ailments and, eventually, early warnings,” the company stated.

The Pet Insight Project was announced April 5 at the Veterinary Innovation Summit in College Station, Texas.

“Innovative projects like Pet Insight Project are exactly what this industry needs to drive care forward,” said Tom Bohn, CEO of the North American Veterinary Community, which co-sponsored the Veterinary Innovation Summit.

“Technology and big data are powerful tools that could radically alter how we deliver veterinary care. This notion of transforming veterinary medicine is the driving force behind NAVC’s Veterinary Innovation Council and the Veterinary Innovation Summit, and resonates strongly with our summit attendees working hard to transform pet health.”

The NAVC publishes Today’s Veterinary Business.

More information about the study is available at Protection Status