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

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on April 15, 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 these dogs can be. With a little bit of this from one breed and a little bit of that from another, mutts come with a unique look and personality like no other.

National Mutt Day is the perfect time of year to celebrate the beautiful and special mixed breed pup. It’s so special, in fact, that two days a year are set aside to recognize the uniqueness of the mutt. 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 thank for 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 towards 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 it 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 will come to you up to date on all their vaccines, and they should also be spayed or neutered, saving you from having to drop more money at the vet for these procedures.

4. Making a Difference

Perhaps the biggest advantage to 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 huge 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 but 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 in 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.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: 12photography, Shutterstock

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