December 2nd is Mutt Day! Is your canine companion a mixed breed? Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and there’s no end to the possible combinations of different breeds. While we certainly love our purebred patients, we’re also happy to put those lovable mutts in the spotlight for this special occasion. A Roanoke, VA vet discusses mutts in this article.
Mutts, Mongrels, And Mixes
In case you were wondering, there is technically no difference between a mutt, a mongrel, and a mixed breed. All three terms are used to describe dogs who aren’t of one specific breed. The term mongrel has fallen out of favor in recent years, and has some more negative connotations, so it’s more common to hear Fido referred to as a mutt or a mixed breed.
What’s In A Name?
Mutt and mongrel aren’t the only terms used to describe pups with complicated and/or unknown family trees. In the Turks and Caicos, they are often called Potcake Dogs, a reference to the food scraps they often eat. In South Africa, Fido may be referred to as a Pavement Special, while in Australia he may be called a Bitsa, for ‘bitsa this’ and ‘bitsa that.’ There are also some cuter variations, such as Heinz 57 Dog or Heinz Hound, a play on the famous Heinz ketchup’s 57 flavor varieties.
Purebred Or Mutt?
Purebreds and mutts both have distinct advantages and disadvantages. With a purebred, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what your puppy will look like. Researching breed information can also provide insight into what Fido’s personality and preferences may be. You may also be able to glean information about any potential health issues your pooch may be predisposed to. However, purebreds are more expensive. Plus, many are at higher risk of developing specific issues.
Mutts, on the other paw, have a lot of question marks: if you’re adopting a puppy, you may not know how big he’ll get. However, due to DNA tests, you can (and perhaps should) identify your pet’s lineage. This is actually quite helpful, not just for winning bets, but also for learning if your canine pal is at risk of any specific health problems. Mixed breeds are also cheaper. And while no dog is immune to the effects of illness or disease, mutts are often quite rugged. Many are also very unique in both appearance and personality. Plus, they’re super cute!
Happy Holidays from Old Dominion Veterinary Clinic, your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic. Contact us anytime!