woman cuddles brown terrier in the grass

5 Reasons Mutts are Awesome!

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A mutt is a dog that comes from unknown origins. Mutts are also known as mixed-breed dogs and a variety of other names that have more negative connotations, like mongrel or cur. I don’t think there’s any reason to think negatively of a mutt, though- seeing as the dogs that I love are all mutts!

July 31st (and December 2nd) is National Mutt Day, created by Colleen Paige in 2005 to celebrate and save mixed breed dogs. In honor of today, I put together a list of reasons that mutts are the best!

Mutts Are Just Plain Awesome

1. Mutts Can Do Anything Purebreds Can Do

Okay, maybe not every dog every time, but if you pick the right mutt for the job, he can make a great hunter, a great agility dog, police dog, or service dog! Mutts can run just as fast, smell scents just as strongly, and love just as deeply as most any purebred. They can have great natural and learned talents if you just take the time to train and get to know your dog!

A small mixed breed dog standing outside in the leaves.

2. There Is the Perfect Mutt for Every Person

You can absolutely find the perfect mutt for every family or situation. You should know what personality traits you are looking for in your new furry friend-and you bet you can find a mutt with those qualities! Do you need a calm, sweet dog to have around young children? Do you want an adventurous dog full of energy to take hiking with you? Do you want a dog you can train as a service dog? There’s a mutt for every situation!

3. Mutts are Healthier and Live Longer

two large mixed breed dogs laying down on a grassy hill with their tongues hanging out.

Mutts are thought to have fewer health issues than purebred dogs. Purebreds may have had unwelcome traits bred into the breed for centuries in order to maintain some of their very desirable traits. Purebred dogs are often prone to different illnesses depending on breed while mutts are generally healthier because they usually contain fewer genes from just one breed, instead drawing from a wider gene pool.

4. Mutts are More Cost Effective

Adoption from a shelter is a great, inexpensive way to save the life of a mutt and gain a great, life-long friend! The adoption fee you will pay to a shelter will cover vaccinations, spay or neuter, and other costs for care received. That’s all. And part of your puppy vaccines are already taken care of by the time you adopt from a shelter as well. I generally see adoption fees ranging from about $70 to $150, depending on the facility or rescue group and the amount of care needed to rehabilitate and feed each dog. (A dog who had to have multiple surgeries before being ready for adoption may have a higher adoption fee than a healthy, happy 3-year-old dog). Plus there are events throughout the year where shelters have reduced fees! Purebred dogs from a breeder can run thousands of dollars.

5. Mutts are One-In-a-Million

A large mixed breed dog laying in a field of wildflowers.

When you choose a purebred dog or designer breed, you are choosing a dog that is just like thousands of others out there. When you choose a mutt, you don’t always know what you are getting and mutts can have unique and fun personalities! They also come in all shapes and sizes: mutts can have droopy or perky ears, snub or pointed snouts, curly or straight fur, short or long tails, and they can be any color available out there!

Do a Good Deed!

Shelters, humane societies and rescue groups are full of mutts-in fact, they make up the vast majority of the populations housed and cared for in shelters and are the most likely to be euthanized. So when you choose to adopt a mutt, you will not only be getting an awesome dog who is just what you are looking for in a companion, but you will also be saving a life!

What are the things you love best about your mutt?

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