Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Why you should adopt a mixed-breed dog next

Each year, it’s estimated that puppy mills contribute up to 90% of puppies sold in pet stores. Puppy mills pump out around two million puppies each year, while roughly 1.5 million animals are euthanized in shelters on a yearly basis. Adopting a dog from your local shelter or breed-specific rescue is a budget-friendly and ethical alternative to purchasing a dog directly from a breeder or pet store. When you adopt a mutt, you’re saving a life, but that’s not the only reason you should adopt a mixed-breed dog. We’ll walk you through some of the best reasons you should consider a mutt the next time you’re ready to adopt a dog.

A blue-eyed mixed-breed puppy sitting on sheet music.
TERESA BERG from Pexels

You’ll get a one-of-a-kind dog

No two mutts are completely alike. Due to their often unknown parentage, mutts can sometimes resemble purebred dogs, but they frequently look like a combination of breeds. For example, we once had a mutt with the face and body shape of a Labrador retriever — and the most adorable curly tail. If you want to find a unique pooch that’s bound to turn heads, you can’t go wrong with adopting a mutt. (Fun fact: Curious mutt owners can find out what breeds make up their dog’s genetics with a DNA testing kit.)  

Mutts usually live longer than purebreds

Inbreeding and genetic tampering to enhance certain traits have left purebred dogs with a host of breed-specific health problems. Bulldogs tend to have breathing issues, German shepherds suffer from hip dysplasia, and shih tzus are prone to weak knees due to selective breeding. While your mutt may be part German shepherd, collie, or Chihuahua, having an assortment of breeds in his gene pool makes him less likely to suffer from breed-specific ailments, which means mutts tend to live longer, healthier lives than purebreds.  

You’re fighting puppy mills

Because they’re moneymakers for owners, puppy mills prioritize profit over animal welfare. In a single year, one puppy mill sold over 1,200 puppies for nearly $300,000. Animals are kept in deplorable conditions, puppies are weaned much too early, and inbreeding runs rampant in puppy mills. By adopting a dog from an animal shelter, you’re putting your dollars where they’ll truly improve the lives of animals rather than lining the pockets of those who don’t care for their dogs. Additionally, adopting a dog from a shelter frees up space for another dog to be housed, so each adoption saves two lives. 

A brown and white mixed-breed dog curled up in bed.
Viktoria B. from Pexels

You’re saving a ton of money

Depending on the breed and the litter’s pedigree, the price of purebred dogs can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. You may fall in love with a Samoyed; with his pristine white coat and soulful brown eyes, it’s hard not to. But did you know you could be spending up to $14,000 to bring him home? We don’t know about you, but we don’t have that kind of money lying around to spend on a dog. Adopting a mutt is a low-cost solution, and plenty of equally adorable dogs are waiting to find a forever home at your local shelter. 

You’ll raise awareness for shelter dogs

It’s impossible to walk your dog without someone coming up to say hello. When strangers greet your dog and ask where you found such a sweet, well-behaved fur baby, they might be surprised to learn that your pooch is a shelter dog. There’s an unfortunate misconception that shelter dogs are aloof, unfriendly, or even aggressive, and that’s not the case. The more people can interact with friendly, well-trained shelter dogs, the more likely they’ll be to consider adopting one, too.  

Mutts tend to be easier to train

Some breeds are genetically hardwired for specific tasks like hunting or herding. While their skills are essential in the right field, they become far less desirable if your dog attempts to hunt the family cat. Because they’re a mix of various breeds, mutts tend to be more laid-back than purebreds. Traits like hunting and herding are watered down by the widened genetic pool, so you’re more likely to find a calm family companion if you opt for a mutt. That being said, training your dog is essential, but research shows that mutts may be easier to train than purebreds. 

A tan and white mixed-breed dog in a brown leather chair.
Brixiv from Pexels

Whether you’ve always had a mutt in your life, or this is your first time considering adopting one, you’re in for a treat. You’ll save a life, save plenty of money, and you’ll bring home a unique pup you can’t find anywhere else. Mutts tend to be healthier than purebreds, and they’re also easier to train. With so many wonderful characteristics, we can’t think of a single reason why you shouldn’t adopt a mutt. 

Editors' Recommendations

Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson is a writer and photographer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has been published in PawTracks and…
Why do dogs’ anal glands fill up? Here’s what to know
How often you may need to take your pup to the vet to relieve this issue
A small dog sits on the table at a vet office

In pet ownership, as in all life, you run into hurdles. Some dogs never have an issue with their anal glands, but they can come as a surprise to even veteran owners who suddenly see or smell something off. Unfortunately, you'll quickly discover how difficult (and gross) these little sacs can be. But dogs with particularly tricky bathroom issues will require a little maintenance and extra attention to the butt area.
What are anal glands?
There's no delicate way to say this: They're two smallish glands on either side of your pet's butthole. From an evolutionary perspective, the anal glands give off a unique scent, and the idea is that it acts as a canine's signature. Anal glands aren't analogous to anything we have as humans, so definitely don't worry about your own body expressing anything like this. However, many pups wind up having issues in this department and find themselves unable to empty them on their own.
Why do dogs' anal glands fill up?
Certain underlying problems, like obesity and poor diet, might make a dog more susceptible to gland issues. Smaller breeds also tend to struggle a bit more since their whole area is more compact. You may find your pooch expressing their own glands, licking the area, or scooting. That means it's time for an inspection.

How do you prevent anal gland issues?
Talk to your vet about what could be causing Fido's difficulties, as it can vary, but generally, you'll want to look at how much food and exercise they're getting. Additionally, a supplement, like a probiotic, will frequently take care of the issue. This works mostly by firming up the poop but can also introduce good bacteria to his gut.

Read more
Wondering how to keep cat warm in cold weather – here are 9 effective ways to help your pet stay toasty
Try these tricks to keep your cat from being cold
A Maine Coon cat reaches his snow-covered paw toward the camera.

There are many reasons why your feline fur baby should remain exclusively indoors, but it's all the more important to keep your cat inside during the winter months. A blanket of snow may look stunning, but it makes it difficult for outdoor kitties to find their way home. The potential for accidents also increases due to decreased visibility and the presence of black ice.

Even if your cat stays indoors all the time, you'll still need to take extra steps to keep her warm during the cool weather. Some homes are naturally drafty, and with snow and ice accumulating on utility lines, the chance of power outages increases as well. Wondering how to keep cats warm in cold weather? Here are nine useful tips to get you started. 

Read more
Good, better, best: Space heaters that are safe if you have pets
Safest options for homes with dogs or cats
A tabby cat stretched out on a faux fur rug near a space heater.

Having an additional heat source in your home can make all the difference between staying toasty warm during the winter and feeling like you live in a walk-in refrigerator, but not all space heaters are created equally. Whether you share your home with a canine companion, a cuddly kitten, or both, safety is paramount when picking the right space heater for your home. Choosing space heaters for pets requires some research, but we've got you covered.

Let's look closer at our top picks for the best pet-friendly space heaters on the market. 

Read more