If you’re a J.K. Rowling fan, you probably already know that July 31 is Harry Potter’s Birthday. You may not know it’s also National Mutt Day—which makes it an important date for the dedicated staff at Ambassador Animal Hospital.
We love all dogs, especially all of our wonderful patients. We feel lucky that we get to go to work everyday and help so many dogs be healthy and happy for life. But we have a special place in our hearts for mutts, or mixed breed dogs, who are resilient, full of life, and just as adorable and lovable as purebreds. In celebration of National Mutt Day, here are our top six reasons to adopt a mixed breed dog.
Benefits of Adopting a Mutt
While some people who are planning to bring a new dog into their home are looking for breed-specific physical traits or other characteristics, many people are just looking for a dog that will fit in well with their family, make a suitable companion, or play with their kids. If you’re in this second category of people, consider adopting a mixed breed dog from your local shelter rather than shopping for a purebred. In addition to finding a great companion dog, you will also enjoy some definite perks:
Save a Life—or Three!
The number one reason to adopt a mixed breed dog is that you are quite literally saving lives. Even if you adopt from a no-kill shelter, once you take home a new dog, you are opening up space in that shelter for another homeless dog. Plus, decreasing the demand for purebred puppies is one of the best ways to fight abusive puppy mills.
Get the Benefits of Hybrid Vigor
Many purebred dogs have breed-specific genetic health risks. For instance, Siberian Huskies are prone to autoimmune disease while English Bulldogs tend to have respiratory issues. Genetic health problems are less likely to occur in mixed breed dogs because crossbreeding makes offspring less likely to carry the defective gene. Of course, it varies for individual dogs—but in general mutts tend to be more robust, hardier, and healthier overall. If you’re looking for a reliable companion with few genetic health concerns, then a mutt could be a great choice for you.
Make a More Affordable Choice
With the annual cost of owning a dog ranging from $500 to over $1000, bringing a new dog into your home is a significant financial commitment. Adopting a dog at a shelter is clearly much more affordable than buying a purebred puppy. Purchasing a purebred can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Shelter adoption fees, on the other hand, range anywhere from $150 to $300 and typically include spaying/neutering, initial vaccinations, and microchipping. Since mixed breeds tend to be healthier and to have fewer genetic health risks, adopting a dog from your shelter will also save you money in lifelong veterinary care as well as breed-specific grooming fees.
Enjoy Truly Unique Mixed Breed Looks
While purebreds can be truly beautiful, mutts are always one-of-a-kind. Even littermates can look completely different from each other. Whether you are looking for a medium-sized dog with a smooth, short-haired coat and prick ears, a tiny dog with a curly or wiry buff coat, or a large, fluffy dog with tri-color fur, there’s sure to be a perfect mixed breed dog for you.
Choose the Best Dog for Your Family
Mixed breed dogs have incredible personalities. One of the coolest things about mutts? Since they haven’t been bred for certain specific abilities, such as hunting and herding, their personalities are much more adaptable. Many mutts are easier to train because they have a blend of characteristics rather than all the traits of one breed. If you are looking for a dog that will fit in easily with your family and your lifestyle, a mixed breed may be the way to go.
Love Your Dog for Longer
Again, lifespan varies for individual dogs—but numerous studies in both Denmark and the United States have demonstrated that, on average, mixed breed dogs live longer than their purebred counterparts.
We understand that many people become devotees of certain dog breeds—or want purebreds to be working dogs or show dogs (of course, there are now mixed breed dog clubs that are going toe-to-toe with pure breed clubs). If you have your heart set on a Standard Poodle or an Australian Shepherd, then just be sure to do your research and make sure you are purchasing from a reputable dog breeder. However, if you’re simply looking for a great family dog that will provide love and companionship, then check out your local shelter to find a dog who makes you smile.