There are millions of loving mixed breed dogs in shelters, waiting for that new special companion who will come and adopt them.
July 31st marks National Mutt Day, also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day.
The event, which is also celebrated every December, began in 2005 to help bring awareness to the large number of mixed breed dogs that end up in shelters.
About 75-80% of dogs in shelters are mixed breeds.
Most purebreds that end up in shelters are adopted very quickly but there are plenty of reasons to adopt a “mutt” over a pure breed dog.
- Mixed breed dogs tend to live longer than pure breeds and are generally healthier with less “breed-specific diseases” and conditions. This is because mixed breeds are derived from a more diverse gene pool than pure breeds.
- Mixed breeds are just as capable of being trained to be excellent family dogs. They can also be trained to perform skills such as bomb and drug sniffing, search and rescue, and guiding people with disabilities.
- Mutts come in all shapes and sizes and have unique features that will earn you compliments at the dog park.
- You can find a mixed breed to fit your lifestyle. You can find a friendly mutt, an exercise partner, or a “snuggler”. Whatever your lifestyle, you are sure to find a mutt that will fit in.
- Mixed breeds tend not to have the extremes in behavior that purebreds do.
- Adopting a mutt can be more affordable than the cost of purchasing a purebred dog. Keep in mind that every dog still requires routine veterinary visits (consider pet health insurance), obedience training, a nutritious diet, toys, bedding, and other supplies.
- The best reason for adopting a mutt – you get to provide a loving home for a dog that deserves to be part of family. Every dog that is adopted from a shelter is one less that is purchased from a puppy mill.
Some tips for finding the perfect mutt
- Do research on owning a dog, especially if you have never owned one before.
- Do not be impulsive once you are at the shelter. While your heart strings may be pulled, be very deliberate and take time to consider what you really want. This will avoid a mismatch and a potential return to the shelter.
- Speak to the shelter employees about what kind of dog would make the best fit for you and your family. The employees will have gotten to know the dogs and will be able to help you choose the one that will best fit your lifestyle.
Not ready to adopt yet?
There are still ways you can help support your local shelter. Consider making a donation. Every donation counts, no matter how small. Call your local shelter to see if they need any donations – towels, food, and toys are items that the shelter may need. Consider fostering a mutt until he can find a permanent home. Many shelters can’t house all the dogs in need of a home. Fostering can be a great way to see if you are ready to adopt a dog and provides a dog with a loving home in the meantime.
Want to get involved?
Spread the word about National Mutt Day on social media, volunteer at your local shelter, or make the ultimate commitment and adopt a mutt this July!