On July 31st, we salute one of the absolute best pet holidays – National Mutt Day. This pet holiday was created in 2005 by animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige. The purpose is to honor and embrace mixed breed dogs, which are the dogs that account for the largest percentage of dogs found in shelters.
Unfortunately, mixed breeds are often the first on the list to be euthanized when the shelter runs out of room.
The majority of folks who are looking for a dog to add to their family look first for a specific breed or even a designer breed while the mixed breed mutt frequently gets overlooked.
But mutts make great pets, sometimes even better than those designer breeds. Here’s the top 5 reasons mutts make great pets:
- Healthier: Purebred dogs have a smaller gene pool and are therefore more susceptible to genetic disorders. Mutts have a much bigger gene pool and while they still might develop an illness, they tend to be hardier stock.
- Save money: Finding and adopting a mutt is usually easier on your pocketbook. A purebred or designer pup can cost upwards of $1,000 or more in areas where they are in high demand. Mutts usually can only cost a basic shelter fee of $25-$50.
- Unique: When you adopt a mutt you are adopting a unique combination of characteristics and genetic traits. Even if the parents are known and you surmise that mom is a Lab/Shepherd mix and dad was a Rottweiler, you don’t know the mix of genes that mutt is going to possess – that mutt is going to be a unique combination of traits from all of their ancestors, just like you are.
- Raise awareness: Adopting a mutt from the shelter helps raise awareness of the great pets you can find at shelters. It also helps to put puppy mills out of business when folks begin to recognize that mutts make great pets too.
- Surprise: Adopting a puppy is always a surprise, but adopting a mutt as a puppy is an even bigger surprise. Will they be big or small, long haired or short haired, will that little star on their forehead grown over or get bigger? It can be fascinating and exciting to see what your adult mutt is going to look like. If you are curious, you can order a dog DNA test to see which combination of breeds your best friend is descended from.