On July 31st and December 2nd we celebrate mixed dog breeds with National Mutt Day. It’s a day to recognize these one of a kind dogs and to particularly draw attention to those in shelters. Mutts represent the best of both worlds and quite often many worlds. In fact, it’s rare to find any two that are exactly alike. This special occasion was created by animal welfare advocate, Colleen Paige in 2005. The goal is to save 10,000 beautiful mixed breeds through education, awareness and love. Plus, it serves as a reminder that personality, not pedigree makes a world of difference.
According to Caroline Crane, vice president of education at the Humane Society of Broward County, there are a million and one reasons to love mixed breed dogs, but we’re going to focus on a few and get her take on the world of mutts:
Mutt love reason #1: They are unique. “Needless to say I am a big advocate of adopting mixed breed dogs,” says Crane. “Purebreds all look the same. The character and personality of mixed breed dogs wins for me every time. They’re just original models—special one of a kinds and they have great personalities.”
Mutt love reason #2: Mixed breeds tend to be healthier. Purebreds are prone to breed specific illnesses. “Mutts are heartier because they come from a more diverse gene pool,” explains Crane. “The gene pool from one breed can cancel out the disease-gene pool from another breed, resulting in a healthier dog.”
Mutt love reason #3: They are smart. “As long as a mixed breed is healthy and active he can hold his own in any competition with like size dogs,” says Crane. Some mixed dog breeds may be better at certain tasks due to characteristic traits. However, they all can be trained to perform many tasks. Nutrition, vet visits and training will make all the difference.”
Mutt love reason #4: Mixed breeds make for affordable family pets. The initial costs for a mixed dog breed is less than a purebred dog. “And they tend to be less costly over time as well, due to less health risks down the road,” says Crane. “So, they’re more affordable and potentially live longer which means more love for you and your family.”
Mutt love reason #5: They need us. “The majority of dogs in shelters are mixed breeds or mutts,” says Crane. “The breakdown is about 30% purebred to 70% mixed breeds. Shelter dogs are thankful and grateful. And tend to be a bit more humble due to the circumstances surrounding their rescue.”
Whether you’ve just found him or he’s been in the family for years, give your mutt a hug today and celebrate with a little token of appreciation. And if you’re looking to add a furry family member to your pack, adopting a mixed dog breed pup from a shelter is undoubtedly a wonderful way to find your four-legged pal.