I Like Big Mutts and I Cannot Lie
By Lauren Myers
Happy National Mutt Day! Mutts are so awesome, there are actually two days dedicated to celebrating how much they rock. We celebrate their awesomeness on July 31st and December 2nd , in order to raise as much awareness as possible for our furry, four legged friends. There are an alarming amount of mixed breeds (and dogs in general) at shelters across America. More than 75% of the shelter population consists of mutts! That number, alone should encourage anyone to drive to their local shelter and adopt. If you’re still not sold, here are some other reasons why mutts rule and purebreds drool… Literally!
Mutts can come in any shape, size or color you’d like! I, personally love my mutt big, fawn colored and squishy faced, like Clifford (a famous mutt). Apartment or city dwellers may enjoy the company of a smaller, noise tolerant, not-too-much-space-necessary pup. Don’t have $1000.00 lying around for a Shih Tzu? That’s OK! You can find yourself a mutt with Shih Tzu in him or one that resembles your favorite breed without having a drop of that breed in it’s DNA. Do you live on a few acres with livestock? Get yourself a collie mix, a cattle dog mix or a lab mix with endless amounts of energy and herding abilities! Most adoption fees range from completely free to $300. That’s reason alone to love mutts.
Crossbreeds and mutts are similar, but different. A crossbreed is two specific breeds, intentionally bred together to get a “designer” breed. Your Doodles and Poo’s and Chi- weenies are crossbreeds, but still tend to be healthier than their purebred parents. Mutts are more involved than your crossbreed friend. Mixing genes gives your furry family member a better chance of not living with the threat of strange allergies, cancers and other genetic diseases passed down from generation to generation. A healthier dog means a longer, happier life with your furry friend. Who wouldn’t want that?
Something fun to do with your four legged friend is a DNA test. You have the chance to find out what specific breeds make up your uniquely put together mutt. Your veterinarian can run a test that is pretty fool proof by a simple blood draw. They tend to cost a decent amount, so you can also order a DNA test online that requires a simple cheek swab. A great test to search for is the “Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit”, found on Chewy.com and costing less than $90. It detects about 250 breeds so you’re bound to find out what your mutt consists of! Finding out what your mixed breed is made up of can help you better understand his or her needs and personality traits.
Lastly, there are a paw-full of organizations that would like to celebrate mutts along with you. Country singer, Miranda Lambert started a donation supported organization called MuttNation Foundation. Say that ten times fast. The mission is to end animal cruelty, neglect and homelessness. There are marches each year to raise awareness and help adopt out as many shelter pets as possible. Nutz4Mutts.com is a fun website that celebrates your mixed breed with funny videos, proud apparel and helpful tips on what’s best for your breed of mutt. There is also a website dedicated to this very day called NationalMuttDay.com, which takes the cake as far as celebrating goes. Let’s honor our Benji’s and our Old Yellers, by doing something great for a mutt in your own neighborhood. If you cannot adopt a shelter pet, you can donate your time at your local shelter or send a few bags of food their way. Any little bit helps and they appreciate even the smallest token of love. Think about your nearest and dearest mutt today and tell the world why you love them and cannot lie.