Did you know that today is National Mutt Day? It’s a unique holiday because it’s celebrated twice a year on July 31st and December 2nd. The holiday was created to celebrate and save the mixed-breed dogs of the world, which make up the largest percentage of euthanized dogs in the United States due to over-breeding and purebred popularity.
But you’re still probably stuck on the whole twice-a-year celebration thing. It threw us for a loop too. When we did a little research, we found out that it’s because mutts seriously need our help. It’s a shame so many sit in shelters and rescues across the country. So here are a few reasons you should adopt a mutt today:
Reason 1: They Are Healthier
That’s right, mutts are actually more likely to be healthier than purebred dogs. You may have read about something called “hybrid vigor,” which suggests that a mutt only gets the “good” genes from breeds, not the genes that cause genetic diseases. This isn’t entirely proven, although a UC Davis study of 90,004 dogs did find that mutts were less likely to have 10 out of 24 genetic disorders found in dogs. The reason for this is simple: even if your mutt has spaniel in it, it’s got less spaniel genes than a purebred, making it less susceptible to the genetic diseases that can affect the breed.
To be fair though, we are talking about genetics, which is, as Dr. Patty Kuhly of vetstreet.com says, “A crapshoot. Some win, some lose.” You won’t always find a healthier mutt, but just know that you’re more likely to find one than a similarly healthy purebred counterpart.
Reason 2: They’re Unique
The randomness of genetics is also responsible for the uniqueness of each and every mutt. And uniqueness often translates into stunning-good looks:
But even under the fur, a mutt’s unique qualities make it a great companion. A mutt, for example, can combine the best qualities of a Labrador and a German Shepard, whereas either purebred example can’t. But—at the risk of repeating ourselves—genetics is random, so we do recommend getting to know that potential mutt before making a decision to adopt.
Reason 3: They’re Affordable
When you do find that perfect mutt companion that fits your lifestyle, you won’t have to break the bank.
First of all, let’s talk about adoption versus buying. Buying a puppy from a breeder can cost $500 or more. And if you’re looking for an Akita in particular, be prepared to shell out $4,500 for that pup. Compare that to the $50-$200 you’ll spend in adopting a mutt from a shelter. The difference is insane, especially when you start factoring in vet visits.
Forbes Magazine, writing on the economics of purebred puppies, reported a story by a golden retriever forum member:
“She got her [purebred] puppy from a backyard breeder, a casual breeder who doesn’t do the cruel, large-scale, for-profit breeding of a puppy mill that feeds to pet stores, but also doesn’t do medical or behavioral clearances on the parents. The owner of the new puppy felt proud at having haggled down the price on her dog from $550 to $300. That lovely cute puppy ended up needing double hip surgery at eight months. Needless to say, her vet bill ate up her savings tenfold or more. And even after thousands of dollars of veterinary care, the poor puppy still will never romp that Tessie does.”
Again, there’s no guarantee a purebred will be unhealthier than this person’s golden retriever and there’s no guarantee a mutt will be healthier. But if you’re calculating costs, wouldn’t you rather spend money on a dog that has better odds and actually needs saving?
Reason 4: You’ll Truly Be Saving a Canine Life
As we mentioned earlier, mutts are more likely to be in shelters and at risk of being euthanized. The mutt you adopt is the canine life you may save. There’s a high likelihood that all of a breeder’s dogs get adopted. The same doesn’t hold true for shelters, unfortunately. And we know dogs are notoriously loving and grateful; your rescued companion will not soon let you forget your kind act.
So get out to your local shelter or rescue today. If you can’t bring home a mutt right now, even donating $5 to their very good cause would be appreciated, we’re sure of that.
Do you have any great stories about adopting a mutt? Share them in the comments below!