November 1, 2011
Kind News Story: Mixing It Up
The wonderful world of mutts!
Our pooch to the left may be a little unrealistic, but there are plenty of dogs who actually are a little bit of this and a little bit of that. They’re called mixed-breed dogs, or mutts. You may even have one or two of them living in your home!
Mixed-Breed vs. Purebred
Dogs and cats are either mixed-breed or purebred. Mixed breeds are animals with two or more different kinds (breeds) of dogs or cats in their family tree.
Just like people, their babies might look a little like mom and a little like dad. A pup whose mom is a beagle and dad a poodle might have beagle ears and curly fur!
Purebreds have parents who are the same breed. They usually have “papers” with a list of ancestors going back several generations. Because they look very similar, all their babies look alike—and just like mom and dad. Some people think that mutts are not as good as purebred dogs. Not true! Mutts make great pets. They may even be healthier than purebred dogs.
It’s important to do your homework before you bring any pet into the home. Most people don’t realize that puppies sold in pet stores, over the Internet, or in classified ads likely came from a puppy mill, a factory-style breeding facility where animals are raised under poor conditions. Never buy a puppy without seeing where the dog and his parents were raised.
Better Yet, Opt to Adopt!
Animal shelters have a variety of dogs, both purebred and mixed-breed, just waiting for homes. Shelters screen pets for health and behavior problems before putting them up for adoption. Staff at your local shelter can work with you to find the perfect pet to add to your family.