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Did you know that mutts have longer lives, are generally healthier, and are more even-tempered? Learn more about them and why they make great pets!
11/22/2022 | Sniff & Bark
In honor of National Mutt Day, we’ve written about one of the most special groups of dogs out there: mutts!
They may not have the more pricey and elitist pedigree of purebred canines but there are numerous reasons to love them.
Let’s learn more about mutts and what makes them so special.
What Exactly Are Mutts?
In a nutshell, mutts, mongrels, or mixed-breed dogs are made up of different breeds instead of a single identifiable pedigree. This means that you’ll find them in all sizes, shapes, and colors with different personalities.
Since they weren’t bred for specific purposes like hunting or retrieving, they’re more likely to have more well-rounded temperaments — though you will still find mutts with dominant characteristics from their purebred parents.
Importance of National Mutt Day
National Mutt Day is celebrated twice a year — July 31 and December 2. It aims to celebrate and save mutts. As you might have guessed, there are more mutts in the world than purebred canines. A study conducted by the National Animal Interest Alliance revealed that only 5% of shelter dogs are purebred, making 95% of them mixed-breed dogs.
Despite the fact that mutts greatly outnumber pedigreed dogs, the demand for mutts has a long way to go before it comes close to the demand for purebred canines. This is why it’s important to celebrate National Mutt Day and the mixes that are just as loving and deserving of good homes.
Instead of thinking, “should I buy a dog?” National Mutt Day encourages us to find a dog for adoption.
Why Mutts Matter: Advantages of Owning Mixed Breeds
Some of them may look quirky and it may be difficult to tell their lineage but owning a mutt has several advantages that purebred enthusiasts often overlook.
Here are some reasons to give mutts a second glance:
They’re Often Healthier
Inbreeding often results in health issues. Since mutts have mixed genes, they’re less likely to inherit complications that are associated with purebred dogs.
Bulldogs are known to have breathing problems. Bloodhounds are prone to eye infections. Beagles are more at risk for joint pain. Many boxers develop cancer.
Thankfully, these are less likely to occur with mutts. While there’s no way to absolutely guarantee a clean bill of health, it’s much less probable that mutts will suffer from serious genetic health conditions.
This leads us to the second major benefit of getting a mutt —
They Live Longer
Since they’re healthier, you can expect mixed breeds to live longer. The average lifespan of purebred dogs is ten years while mutts live an average of 14 years. That means more years and happy memories with your cherished four-legged friend!
They’re More Even-tempered
Because they come from a wider gene pool, mutts are more likely to be even-tempered. Instead of having one or two dominant traits, you have a greater chance of enjoying a more well-rounded set of characteristics.
Despite their more ambiguous ancestry, mutts are known for being loyal, loving, and flexible. They’ll be just as happy cuddling up next to you, taking walks with you, and engaging in playtime activities.
Adopting Mutts Is Cheaper
Adopting from dog shelters entails a dog adoption process where you have to pay a donation. For mutts, you’ll usually have to donate $20 to $500 but if you adopt a purebred dog, that donation amount can go up to $1,000.
We haven’t even begun to factor in the costs of buying a purebred puppy. Consider the fact that purebreds like the Tibetan mastiff, black Russian terrier, and Samoyed can fetch prices of up to $5,000!
Plus, if your dog needs veterinary care, medication, or surgery, costs can quickly add up.
It Sends a Strong Message About Adoption
Giving a mixed breed its forever home sends a strong message about adoption. It shows that opening your home and heart to a dog that needs a home is important. When others see how much you and your mixed breed value each other, people may be encouraged to adopt one themselves.
How Can I Find a Mutt To Adopt?
It’s true that adopting a mixed breed comes with some uncertainties. You won’t be as sure what your dog will look like when it reaches adulthood and you can’t guarantee how its personality will turn out.
But as with purebred dogs, mutts that are nurtured in loving homes grow up to be sociable loving dogs who value their humans just as much as their pedigreed versions.
If you’re interested in adopting a mixed breed, here are some tips for finding a dog in search of its forever home!
Explore Dog Shelters in Your Area
There are lots of dogs who need good homes in your area. You can find an adoption center for dogs by searching for shelters near you and visiting them.
If you have the heart for it, you can even consider getting a pet with disabilities such as a three-legged dog for adoption. Organizations like Tri Pawed Dogs provide fellowship and support for 3-legged dog rescues.
Unsure about adopting? You can also volunteer. Some relevant online search terms you can use are “animal shelters near me to volunteer” and “animal shelters near me volunteer work.” Many shelters are understaffed and would appreciate a helping hand.
Dog Adoption Events
Shelters and animal organizations periodically organize adoption drives to get people to adopt homeless animals. If you search for “dog adoption events near me,” you’ll find upcoming events where you can meet dogs for adoption. To encourage more people to take in pets, some of these events even sponsor a free adoption day where you can interact with the animals and take one home for free or with minimal cost.
Everything can be found online these days, including mutts! In addition to dog shelters and rescue organizations that have their own websites, there are sites with online dog adoption forms. This lets you start your search and dog adoption application without leaving your home.
Here are some online resources you can visit:
Almost 11,000 shelters and adoption centers use Petfinder to list and advertise pets in need of their forever homes. These adoption facilities are located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Visit petfinder.com to learn more.
California-based Milo Foundation rescues, rehabilitates, and puts dogs up for adoption. They educate the public about responsible pet care and have a no-kill policy.
No Mutts Left Behind
No Mutts Left Behind rescues unwanted homeless dogs in New England, Massachusetts. In addition to adoption, they’re also looking for temporary foster homes for dogs. If your application to foster is accepted, they’ll shoulder all the associated expenses.
Mutts Matter Because Life Matters
Mutts matter because we value life regardless of its size, shape, or pedigree. This National Mutt Day, consider adopting a mixed-breed dog without a home.
You’ll be rewarded with years of cuddles, love, and loyalty — not to mention the knowledge that you made a massive difference in the life of one animal.