December 2nd is National Mutt Day, and Loftin Veterinary Hospital would like to pause to celebrate the mixed-breed dog.
Over the past 25 years of practice, Dr. Loftin has been asked his opinion on A LOT of topics; however, the vast majority of these questions revolve around a central theme: the best breed.
“Hey Doc, what is the best breed for my kid, my mom, my wife, my hunting camp, my elderly uncle, etc.?” – You get the picture.
When asked this question, 9 out of 10 times, he enthusiastically will reply, “A black and tan mutt. It’s the best dog God ever created!”
The opinion seeker, who undoubtedly is looking for a specific pure breed or designer breed suggestion, such as tiny Teacup Poodle, rambunctious German Shorthaired Pointer, or the oh-so-popular Goldendoodle, is often disappointed by his answer.
What’s so great about the mixed-breed dog?
Dr. Loftin has a few theories:
Mixed-breed dogs are generally healthier and live longer. Mixed-breed dogs often suffer from fewer genetic diseases specific to certain breeds. For example:
Bulldogs with their adorable short nose often suffer from respiratory problems.
Pugs, because of their bulging eyes are prone to eye problems, such as dry eye and corneal abrasions.
Shih Tzus, Toy Poodles, and Yorkshire Terriers may have problems with their knee caps requiring surgery to correct limping.
Breed mixing often decreases the likelihood that these genetic diseases will present.
Mixed-breed dogs often have better temperaments. Again, pure-breed dogs have specific temperament traits and activity levels. Through mixing, many of these temperament issues are mellowed.
Mixed-breed dogs are often less expensive. Lower costs can be realized for the initial investment as well as over the dog’s lifetime. Many rescues offer their dogs with up-to-date vaccines, spay/neuter, microchips, and heartworm prevention for a nominal fee. Also, with fewer genetic conditions to treat, lifetime veterinary costs may be less than pure breeds suffering from chronic diseases. Dr. Loftin often says, “The more you pay, the more you pay.” In other words, the more you pay for the breed, the more you will spend over the lifetime of the pet to treat conditions associated with medical problems.
Are mixed breeds always the best choice?
The short answer is no. Having a mixed breed does not guarantee a long, healthy life and docile personality; there are always dogs that are exceptions to the benefits as mentioned above. And, there are times when a pure-bred dog is a superior choice. Breed specifics can be critical when looking for a dog to perform a specific job or meet specific needs, such as hunting, search and rescue, service, no shedding, low allergen, and a particular size.
How do I find a mixed breed dog?
Dr. Loftin found, yes found, all three of his mutts. His first mutt, his beloved Duck, “mysteriously” appeared on his back porch one morning while Violet and Beast were found with the rest of their litter in an old barn on Doc’s mom’s farm. But, you don’t have to wait until you happen upon a mutt to find the perfect pet. The Lafayette area has many excellent rescue organizations that serve our city. They are a great place to locate your ideal mutt match. Recently, Dr. Loftin’s in-laws adopted a mixed-breed pup. They used website called adoptapet.com and petfinder.com. Using their zip code, they were able to see many dogs available for adoption from a variety of local rescue agencies. Happily, they found their perfect match.
On this National Mutt Day, celebrate your mutt and consider all the benefits a new mutt can add to your life. So many dogs are waiting for their forever families. Check out some of our local rescues: