Not every dog is a purebred dog, and that’s okay. In fact, 95 percent of dogs in shelters are mixed breed mutts. Many dog lovers out there would much rather have a mixed breed mutt for a pet. Most dogs are mixed breed, and many pet owners feel it is their duty to adopt a mixed-breed dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. Not only are you saving a pet’s life, you’re getting a companion for life. What a wonderful feeling it is to take one more dog out of the shelter into his or her forever home.
Unfortunately, some mixed-breed dogs result from unethical breeding practices, so by adopting a dog, you’re doing a great thing. You may get the best qualities of both breeds in your mixed breed dog. After all, purebred dogs are bred for certain tasks like hunting or herding. Mutts are a mix of all traits, and tend to have better temperaments and fewer health problems as well. In general, these dogs are more adaptable and less prone to the behavior problems that some purebred breeds have.
Genetics do play a role in what personality a dog will have but so does training and socialization, both of which have a huge impact on a dog’s temperament and behavior as they grow and adjust to their new home and surroundings. Think about obedience training right away to help your new pet get off on the right foot (or paw, that is).
Mixed-breed pets cost far less than pricey purebreds over a lifetime. Certainly, up-front costs like shots and spaying or neutering are the same regardless of the dog, but lifetime vet bills will likely be less with a mixed breed. This is because mutts in general have far fewer health issues over their lifetimes. Purebred genetics can lead to specific breed problems like hip dysplasia or specific types of cancer. Mutts are simply hardier and have longer life expectancies. A more diverse genetic composition means that the pet is far sturdier healthwise, and that’s easier on your pocketbook. By comparison, purebred dogs are much more likely to suffer from inbreeding and therefore have mutated genes.
Mutated genes often lead to health issues like neurological issues and epilepsy, bone and joint disorders, cancers and reproductive issues. Purebreds are much more likely to carry diseases, and have specific medical problems for a certain breed. For example, golden retrievers and German shepherds often have hip dysplasia, and Cocker spaniels often suffer from eye problems.
One of the greatest things about mutts are their uniqueness. Mixed breed dogs can have genes from two or more different breeds, so you’ll get your own little (or big) ball of fur unlike no other.
You might be surprised to find out that poodles are the most common purebred found in mixed breed dogs. Labradoodle (Labrador and poodle)? Labsky (labrador and husky)? What kind of mixed breed do you want. One thing is for sure—your mixed breed will be one-of-a-kind, and will look and behave differently from any other dog.
Perhaps you’re looking for just the right sized dog, not to small but not too big. Mixed breeds tend to be average-sized dogs between 30 and 60 pounds. Purebreds on the other hand can range from Chihuahua size to mastiff!
Just remember that 95 percent of dogs in shelters are mutts. These dogs are durable, healthy and lovable. There are several places in our area to find your forever pet, including: Hope for Pets, Texas Star Rescue , The Cat’s Meow Rescue, Longview Animal Care & Adoption Center, and Regard for Life.
Mutts are generally healthier, but it is really important for you to start your journey right with your new pet, from that very first vet visit after you get home, to annual visits after that.
Just like you have a schedule for doctor’s checkups, so should your pet. At Longview Animal Hospital, we can help. We want to meet your new furry friend! We will make sure that you and your pet have access to our high quality veterinary care. Come visit us to request an appointment. We’d love to have you as a new client; in fact, we’ll give you 50% off your pet’s first physical exam. Give us a call – we’ll treat your pet just as if he or she were our own. Your mutt will be in good hands, we promise!