Adopt a Mutt: Why Mutts Are Awesome!

mutt portrait If it is that time in your life when you are ready to expand your family by adding a furry companion, one of the most overlooked and forgotten options is considering the faithful mutt!

Don’t get me wrong. As a diehard animal lover, I love and adore all dogs, from a stout Alaskan Malamute to a stumpy little Corgi! However, adopting a cross breed into your family has many benefits, and here are a few reasons why I think mutts make amazing candidates for filling the position of your newest family member.

  1. They are unique! Every mutt is different! Your mutt will be truly different from any other dog in the world! Even littermates never seem to look the same! Who needs an expensive pedigree when you can have a dog that is one of a kind?
  2. You can get the traits of several breeds all combined in one. Look at your mutt and what do you see? By identifying what the mix might be, you get to capitalize on the good traits of several breeds, and also be mindful of other dominate traits. As an example, if you have a beagle mix, that dog will live by his nose, and a Jack Russell mix will need a well informed alpha human to keep him in line.
  3. You are saving a life! Shelters in the U.S. are overflowing with dogs and too often up to 75% of those dogs are mutts. With roughly 6 million animals passing through shelters each year, and with the perhaps misplaced allure to purebreds, mutts are often ignored or seen as second class citizens! Yes, one can save the life of a purebred by working with one of the many wonderful rescue groups that rescue specific breeds, but the mutt is still being ignored. So if you are not 100% committed to any one specific breed — think MUTT!
  4. Less health problems! Although this may not yet be scientifically proven, there are thousands of case studies around the world comparing health histories of purebreds versus mutts. Purebred dogs can have a higher incidence of significant health problems such as hip/back problems in large dogs and respiratory or eye problems in smaller breeds. Since mutts are not being over bred, they do not have as many genetic health problems, and in many cases may have longer life spans!
  5. Just because they aren’t purebred doesn’t mean they can’t compete! A common misconception is that mutts can’t participate in competitions. Well, not only are there dedicated shows for cross breeds, but mutts are also now allowed to compete in agility competitions! They can even be trained as service dogs!
  6. An adult shelter mutt is pre trained! Many of the mutts in shelters have been with a family at some point in their lives, so this means that they may already be house trained! Plus, they may already be leashed trained and/or crate trained.
  7. Did you know mutts have their own designated day and it happens TWICE A YEAR?! July 31st and December 2nd are designated as National Mutt Day! This event began in 2005 and was originally started by pet expert Colleen Paige. She wanted to bring attention to how awesome mutts are, and to raise awareness for the number of mutts in shelters that need loving homes.

Have you always been an owner of purebred dogs? Or will you be celebrating National Mutt Day with your fluffy friend?


Who is Holly Lewitas?

Holly Lewitas is the author of the Spunky Murder Mystery Series — cozy mysteries for dog and cat lovers. Books include: The Nose KnowsThe Nose Sees All and An Army of Noses. You are invited to connect with her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest.


Photo: “4 Week Anniversary” by Bad Apple Photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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