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Why you should get a mutt

Approx. 3 minutes read

There’s a reason why mutts are also nicknamed ‘pavement specials’ – because generally, that’s where they were conceived. Go to any SPCA or animal shelter and yes, you will find an array of pure breeds in the kennels, but the majority of shelter dogs are mixed breeds. Mutts come from the backyards and side streets of people who either don’t care or can’t afford to sterilise their dogs. 

The upside is that mixed breed dogs are now more available than ever, so here’s why you should consider adopting a mutt. 

One-of-a-kind best friend

Many mutts abound, but often you will only ever find one of each with its specific genes. Your mutt will be truly unique – a gift from the doggiverse to grace your life with an incredible experience. Even a litter of puppies from a dog covered by a different breed will result in a variety of puppies and no two will be alike. Each recipe delivers a different muffin and you’ll end up with a one-of-a-kind, undefinable dog, but she’ll be only yours.

Better genes

It’s highly likely that the mutts you see at an animal shelter are descended not from two different purebred parents, but from other mutt parents. Their gene pools are very wide and varied, so the traits they develop will not only be a surprise, but a strong surprise. While it hasn’t been proven that mixed breed dogs are genetically stronger or hardier than pure breeds, it’s a commonly held belief that mutts are less prone to developing breed-related illnesses because of their mixed genetics.

Pure breeds are often the result of selective breeding and interbreeding in order to strengthen favourable traits and breed out unfavourable traits. This limits the gene pool, which can result in breed-specific health problems too.

Keep in mind that just because your mutt seems genetically healthy doesn’t mean you should skimp on her diet and health. Feed her high-quality food and supplements, and get her checked out at the vet on a regular basis. ALL dogs deserve high-quality health and long and happy lives!

Save a life

Most mutts will have started life as unwanted puppies. People generally don’t go around purposefully breeding mutts. Litters of unwanted mutts often appear in boxes in front of animal shelters, dumped on the side of the road or collected as strays by SPCAs. These furry treasures are just waiting to be adopted, so find your perfect pavement special and know that you’ll not only be saving his life, but making space for the next stray – in effect, saving two lives!

Adaptable as ever

Your mixed breed is very likely to be highly adaptable and happy-go-lucky. Because her ancestry is so mixed, she won’t be genetically programmed to exhibit certain behaviours or traits. For instance, a border collie is one of the most intelligent dog breeds and needs near-constant mental and physical stimulation in order to reach his full potential. There are very specific genes at play. The same goes for pointers, terriers, and other working dogs who become destructive if their genetically-defined behaviour isn’t stimulated. 

A mutt is more likely to exhibit middle-lane behaviour and be happy to just be around you and do whatever you’re doing. She’ll thrive on any attention you give her and the two of you will learn each other’s traits and just be chill best friends from the very beginning.

Save some cash

Since you’ll be adopting a mutt, the ‘doggy start-up’ costs will be lower than buying a purebred dog. Your adoption fees will include vaccination, deworming, sterilisation and microchipping, and if your new mutt’s genes are hardy, you’re unlikely to fork out for medical costs later on in her life.

So visit your local shelter and pick out the mutt that truly speaks to your heart. If you choose an adult mutt, good for you – your new adoptee will be ever-grateful and you’ll have an instant new best friend. If you choose a puppy pavement special, then all the best with your furry lucky packet and don’t be too rigid about what size you expect her to be – love what you get and she’ll love you back TENfold!

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