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National Mutt Day 2024: When It Is & How to Celebrate

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on July 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

mutt dog sitting outdoor

National Mutt Day 2024: When It Is & How to Celebrate

Though “mutt” may not sound like a term of endearment, any family who has ever owned one can tell you just how special they are. Purebred pups get all the attention, but mixed-breed canines have unique personalities and many of the same desirable traits.

National Mutt Day is the perfect time of year to celebrate your special mixed-breed pup. They’re so special, in fact, that two days a year are set aside to recognize them. So mark your calendars for July 31st and December 2nd to remember to commemorate your pup on these days.

What Is National Mutt Day?

National Mutt Day was established in 2005 to raise awareness for dogs in shelters waiting for their forever homes. According to statistics from the ASPCA, approximately 3.1 million dogs enter animal shelters annually.1 Sadly, almost 400,000 shelter dogs are euthanized every year. Though these numbers have declined significantly since the early 2010s, far too many dogs are meeting their ends too soon.

On a happier note, the ASPCA reports that approximately two million dogs are adopted from shelters every year. Whether the creation of National Mutt Day is to promote these higher adoption rates and lower euthanization rates remains unclear.

man in volunteer shirt petting a dog in a shelter
Image by: Max kegfire, Shutterstock

Why Should Someone Adopt a Mutt?

Prospective dog owners have much to consider before bringing home a new pet. Many people gravitate toward a particular breed, but there are a lot of benefits to adopting a mixed-breed dog over a purebred one.

1. Less Likely of Inheriting Genetic Diseases

While inherited conditions affect all animals regardless of breed or species, purebred animals are more likely to develop genetic diseases. For example, one study found that the incidence of 10 genetic disorders was significantly greater (42%) in purebred dogs2.

Because mutts have mixed genes, they are less likely to inherit a high dose of any particular breed’s genes, reducing the likelihood of them developing a genetic condition like spinal disease or hip dysplasia.

2. May Have Better Temperaments

Many purebred dogs have been bred for specific tasks such as herding or hunting. While this is great for dog owners who need a pet to fulfill such duties, this trait can become an issue over time. Mutts are often easier to train, more easygoing, and more adaptable to their owner’s lifestyles.

Malshi dog Maltese Shih Tzu mix
Image by: TracyUnicorn, Shutterstock

3. Affordable

Adopting a purebred dog can cost thousands of dollars while acquiring a mutt from a shelter will cost no more than a few hundred. In addition, most shelter dogs are up to date on all their vaccines and should also be spayed or neutered, which saves you money.

4. Making a Difference

Perhaps the most significant advantage of adopting a mutt is that you will save a life. Choosing to adopt an animal from a shelter versus a breeder means you’re making a massive impact on the life of a deserving dog. You’re also freeing up space for future homeless dogs and showing unethical breeders that you don’t support their methods.

Closing Thoughts

National Mutt Day comes twice a year and is the perfect time to add a pup to your family or spread awareness about the benefits of adopting a mixed-breed dog. So, mark July 31st and December 2nd down on your calendar so you remember to sing your mutt’s praises on these days and do your part in letting the world know just how amazing a mixed-breed pup can be.

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Featured Image Credit: 12photography, Shutterstock

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