July 31st is Mutt Day! Tails will be wagging all over the country for this one. Quite a few of our canine companions are mutts. A local vet shines the spotlight on mixed-breed dogs in this article from Westside Animal Hospital, your Savannah, GA veterinarians.
You may have heard the rumor that mixed breed dogs are often healthier than purebreds. This isn’t just hearsay. Because purebreds come from restricted gene pools, any abnormalities tend to reappear in generation after generation. Some examples of genetic disorders that are more common in certain breeds include aortic stenosis, atopy/allergic dermatitis, gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), early onset cataracts, and elbow dysplasia.
Mutts make up the vast majority—about 75 percent—of dogs in shelters. There is some good news on that front, though: mixed breed dogs have become much more popular in recent years. (Fun fact: the most popular mutts are German Shepherd mixes)
Another reason to opt for a mutt? They’re often a bit more adaptable, and less inclined to some of the quirky and sometimes obsessive instinctive behaviors purebreds have. Each and every one of the official dog breeds was developed with a specific purpose. For instance, Golden Retrievers were bred to retrieve fowl from lakes. That’s great for hunters. However, that predisposition has a messy (but adorable) downside that exasperates many Golden owners: these guys love rolling in mud puddles.
One of the fun things about getting a mutt? Fido probably won’t look much like any other pooch. He may have gotten his coloring from one part of his family tree, his tail from another, and his head shape from a completely different line.
The rise of DNA testing has been a game-changer for mutts. While it can be fun to speculate on what kind of dog your canine pal actually is, you don’t have to stay in the dark. It can be fun and exciting to find out what breed(s) Fido is. This is also useful, as it can help you learn if your pooch is predisposed to any specific health issues. Of course, if someone asks you what your pet is, just tell them he’s a purebred mongrel!
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact Westside Animal Hospital, your Savannah, GA veterinarians, today!