Observed twice a year on December 2nd and July 31st, National Mutt Day was established in 2005 to celebrate mixed-breed dogs, affectionately referred to as “mutts.” It’s an entire day designed to embrace everything great about all of those one-of-a-kind dogs. And there truly is a lot to celebrate—studies suggest that mixed breed dogs are often healthier, better behaved and live longer than their more distinguished purebred cousins. Unfortunately, because many people still want specific breeds or “designer dogs,” mixed breed dogs are also less likely to be adopted and more likely to be euthanized in animal shelters. That’s why today is an important day to recognize that a mutt can be a great addition to any family.
According to the U.S. Pet Population Fact Sheet, mixed breed dogs top the list of most popular dogs, accounting for 53 percent of all dogs in the United States. Still not convinced a mixed-breed dog is right for you? Here are some reasons why mutts make great pets:
- They’re unique. Regardless of the size, color, personality traits, or temperament you’re looking for in a dog, you can find it in a mixed-breed dog.
- They’re just as smart and trainable as purebred dogs. Mixed breed dogs can also be used as service or therapy dogs, and they can compete and often excel in events such as agility, flyball, or obedience.
- They can be more easygoing. Because they haven’t been selectively bred for specific characteristics such as herding or hunting, they are often more relaxed.
- They’re easy on the budget. Purebred dogs can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars while you can adopt a mutt from your local shelter for a low adoption fee, and your new mutt will already be spayed or neutered and current on vaccinations.
Most importantly, by adopting a mixed-breed dog, you’re saving a life. There are millions of beautiful mutts sitting in shelters across the country just waiting to become part of a family. Already share your home with a mutt? Show your appreciation by giving your furry pal a big hug and an extra dog treat or two!