National Mutt Day, also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day, was started over 10 years ago by animal welfare advocate, Colleen Paige, to celebrate, embrace and save these special pups. It’s celebrated twice each year – July 31st and December 2nd – to raise awareness of the dilemma of unwanted mixed breeds in shelters.
Mixed Breeds Need Loving Homes
If you are looking to purchase a dog for someone this holiday season, consider a mutt! About 80% of the dogs in shelters are mixed breeds. If a purebred dog reaches a shelter, they are usually rescued much faster than the mutts by those looking to get a deal on a purebred.
The largest percentage of dogs euthanized in shelters are medium to large mixed breed dogs. For anyone who’s owned a mutt, you know just how special they can be. For those of you who haven’t, here are some strong reasons why mixed breed dogs rule.
Top Reasons to Own a Mutt
- They are one of a kind. With a purebred dog, you’re getting puppies whose appearance and temperament are pretty much the same. Breeding standards require it. With a mixed breed, you’re getting a unique blend of breeding lines. These dogs have their own personalities, body shapes and coloration. And, when visiting a shelter, you’ll have a large selection of mutts with the characteristics you’re looking for.
- They are more adaptable. Purebred dogs are often bred with a specific temperament, skill set or activity level in mind. If you’ve ever been around a purebred dog with a strong herding mentality, it can be irritating to person who’s more laid back. With a mixed breed dog, they tend to be more flexible and middle of the road in their personalities, making them more likely to adapt to a variety of living conditions and personalities of family members.
- They are just as smart and competitive. Mixed breeds were often left out of agility competitions and being trained as service dogs. This is no longer the case. Groups like NADAC, among others, welcome mixed breeds in agility competitions. And mutts are now considered very capable at being trained to be a service dog.
- They are usually housetrained. Most mixed breeds land in a shelter because their previous owners can’t keep them any longer due to allergies, moving or some other reason. Oftentimes this means these dogs have had some level of potty training and housetraining. This is a definite plus for a new dog owner who is gone from the house during the day!
- They are past the puppy stage. Many dog adopters are looking to skip past the craziness that many puppies exhibit during the first two years. They may be too busy to adequately train a puppy, or they may be short on patience at an older stage of life. Adopting an adult or senior dog gives you the advantage of being able to see the final product in the dog’s size and temperament.
- They have fewer health issues. While it isn’t proven, many dog owners believe that mixed breed dogs are less likely to get specific illnesses and live healthier lives. For example, purebred Golden Retrievers are often prone to skin allergies, but a Golden that’s mixed with another breed has less Golden Retriever genes, so is less likely to have the same tendency toward that disease.
- They cost less to own. Purchasing a purebred puppy can cost well over $1,000, whereas a mixed breed adopted from a shelter will cost you a donation of about $50-200. Plus, shelter dogs are most likely already spayed or neutered and come with up-to-date vaccinations.
- They deserve a good life. Mixed breed dogs at shelters have a high chance of being euthanized because of overcrowded conditions. Many of these dogs are wonderful pets just caught up in bad circumstances. By giving them a second chance through adoption, you will be directly responsible for saving a dog’s life. You will be showered with gratitude for years to come.
- They spark spontaneity in us. Mixed breeds are unique individuals. They live outside of the box that purebreds are required to stay within. Their free spirit connects with the explorer within us. Embrace the adventure of adoption and blaze a new trail with a mixed breed companion.
Related: Celebrate National Mutt Day – Dec 2
This blog is brought to you by Under the Weather®, provider of a new line of freeze-dried bland diets for dogs. Bringing a new dog into your home may set off a temporary bout of vomiting or diarrhea until he gets adjusted. Vets often recommend giving them a “bland diet” until their digestive systems return to normal. Until now, this required you to cook chicken and rice. With Under the Weather’s bland diets there is no more cooking – just add water!
Under the Weather is also an avid supporter of finding homes for shelter dogs. We finance the Ruffy Rescue Transport Fund to cover the transport cost of bringing dogs from overpopulated kill shelters to Vermont for adoption. A portion of every dollar in sales is channeled to supporting this cause as well as financing the spaying and neutering fees of shelter animals. Get to know more about Ruffy.
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