No, really, I’m falling into mutt love! Oh wait …
Happy Mayday for Mutts! So let’s talk about them mutts.
Why is there a day for mutts? Well, believe it or not, many people think mutts are inferior to purebred dogs. Now, some of you may harbor that opinion, and that’s totally fine. I respect that. Me, I think differently. I don’t think either is superior or inferior, though I will admit I have a tendency to like mutts better simply for their uniqueness.
Another reason to love mutts is their tendency to be healthier, at least in the sense that they miss out on a lot of those genetic diseases many purebred dogs are burdened with simply because they receive such a high dose of specific genetic material, which can (and often does) include genetic diseases. Some of those genetic diseases are, hip dysplasia, most spinal diseases, a lot of heart diseases, certain knee diseases, quite a number of cancers, and many skin, blood, brain, liver, and kidney diseases. You can read more about that, here: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/the-great-debate-are-mutts-healthier-than-purebreds
Take Pixie, for example. Part Dachshund, part Chihuahua. Dachshunds are prone to a lot of hip, knee, and spine problems. However, because she’s mixed with Chihuahua, her back is somewhat shorter, meaning there isn’t as much pressure on her spine, and her legs are longer, which means she has less of a chance of developing knee or hip issues because her body is more proportionate and more able to support her weight (as long as I don’t let her get fat). That doesn’t mean she absolutely won’t develop any of those spine, knee, or hip conditions, just that she has a lower chance of it.
Now take Luna. She’s got three breeds in her, Border Collie, Boxer, and Whippet. Does that mean she’s without her issues? Certainly not! She’s actually had more issues than our previous dog, Coconut Baby, who was a purebred Chocolate Lab, ever did! We’ve discovered Luna has a very sensitive tummy and digestive issues that seem to go along with that. She would throw up her food almost every day, which was seriously concerning. We took her to the vet, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. We tried changing to a chicken-free kibble since chicken can cause allergic reactions. Nothing changed. So then we tried doing a beef-free kibble. Again, no change. Next was grain-free kibble. Once again, nothing changed. Finally, because I’d been researching different types of diets, we decided to try her on a raw diet. This one seems to be the one that’s best for her. However, she still ends up throwing up every now and again, but now the frequency is down to maybe, once or twice a month. Big improvement. Even so, her stomach sensitivity and digestive issues continue and, every once in awhile, I have to readjust her diet. It’s not perfect, but it works.
Even with Luna’s issues, I would still much rather have a mutt to a purebred simply for the lower chance of incidences of genetic disease.
Does this mean I don’t like purebreds? Not at all! I love their distinct characteristics as well as knowing (as much as one can know) what their temperament will be like, and I, like many others, have my favorites among them. Some among those are, the Labrador Retriever, the Great Dane, the Basset Hound, the German Shepherd, the Corgi, the Great Pyrenees, and the Newfoundland. But! Surprise, surprise, I would rather have mixes of those than purebreds ^_^
My sister and I both love the fact that a mutt is a surprise. They’re a surprise in appearance, a surprise in temperament, a surprise in personality; there’s no one like the other. Not saying this isn’t true of purebreds, but some of those things are very much like the other, such as appearance and even temperament. Personality, though, that is unique in each one and why I will never discount purebreds when I decide to adopt again. The point is, my sister and I love journeying with our dogs. We love learning about them. We love figuring out what makes them tick, what’s the best way to train them on an individual level, how much exercise do they need, what should they eat, what makes them happy, what gets them excited, what are their dislikes, are they cuddlers or do they like their space?
Whether you love mutts or purebreds or both, the journey, I think, is really what counts!
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