Approximately 3-4 million animals are euthanized every year (1), many of which are mixed breed dogs. In honor of National Mutt Day, petMD.com has put together the top ten reasons dog lovers should adopt mixed breed dogs (aka mutts).
10. They are unique – The standard for breeding purebreds calls for breeding puppies whose appearance and temperament are of exactly the same quality every time. A mixed breed dog is awesome because without these standards, the dog is more unique.
9. They are more flexible – Mixed breeds are thought to adjust more easily to a variety of households and living conditions, whereas purebreds tend to be bred with a specific skill set in mind, such as herding or hunting.
8. They can still compete – Think you need to purchase a purebred in order to enter dog competitions? Think again! Mixed breeds can compete in agility competitions through groups like the NADAC.
7. They can still be trained as service dogs – Training for service dogs is no longer limited to just purebreds. Mixed breeds are now considered equally capable in this regard.
6. Housetraining is provided – Many mixed breeds found in shelters did belong to someone before – people who couldn’t keep them due to allergies, relocation, or for some other reason. Because of this, many mixed breed shelter dogs come already housetrained. A definite plus!
5. You can skip the puppy stage – While many pet owners cherish the puppy stage, there are others who just don’t have the time and patience for training a puppy. With a mutt from the shelter, you have the choice of adopting a young or adult dog over a baby. In these cases, the dog’s size and temperament will more or less be set, so there will be fewer surprises in the future.
4. They have fewer health issues – There are some people who claim mixed breed dogs are healthier than purebreds. While this isn’t proven, it is known that certain purebreds are more prone to specific illnesses. Mixed breed dogs are thought to be less likely to develop these illnesses because they have fewer genes of the same breed.
3. They have cheaper start-up costs – Many shelters only require a $50 to $200 donation in order for you to adopt a dog. Purebred dogs can run up to and over $1,000. Plus, a mixed breed from the shelter is likely spayed or neutered and is up-to-date on vaccinations.
2. You’re saving a life – Adopting one means you are directly saving a life, a fact your grateful new dog will not soon forget.
1. Their awesomeness will rub off on you – A mixed breed dog is for the adventurer in all of us. When purchasing a purebred dog, you’re buying a specific temperament that has been honed through strict breeding practices over a long period. With a mixed breed, a puppy especially, the unknown genetic line leaves all that up in the air. Appreciate the spontaneity behind this and that makes you awesome by association with the awesome mutt you’ve chosen to adopt!