10 Reasons to Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. December 4, 2019
10 Reasons to Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog

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There's no greater joy than adopting a dog and bringing home this new member of the family with whom you will build a lifelong bond. While many people tend to look for purebreds, adopting a mutt or mixed breed dog is a unique experience, and highly recommended for any animal lover. Perhaps you have already decided to adopt a shelter dog, but are not fully convinced about getting a mixed-breed.

At AnimalWised we love all dogs, but today we are here to tell you why mixed breed dogs can make the best pets. Keep reading this article on the 10 best reasons to adopt a mixed breed dog, to learn about all the benefits of choosing a mixed breed puppy to bring into your home. Of course, remember that many mutts suffer from trauma or lack of training, so they may need a little more time to adapt. But give them your love and affection and you will soon realize that you have gained a friend for life!

You may also be interested in: 10 Reasons to Adopt a Stray Dog

1. You'll have a unique dog

Mixed breed dogs - also called cross breeds - have not been selectively bred to show specific physical traits, unlike purebred dogs that have to follow rigorous breed standards. Therefore, if you adopt a mixed breed dog you will take home a unique animal both in appearance and personality. Each mutt is truly different from the other. Among purebred dogs personality and temperament are also predictable, but each mixed breed dog or puppy has a singular, irreplaceable character.

10 Reasons to Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog - 1. You'll have a unique dog

2. You'll save a life

It is estimated that around 75% of dogs in shelters and animal rescue centers are mixed breed dogs. Some studies have suggested that the numbers may be even higher, at 95 percent[1]. This means that the mutts and mongrels in shelters have lower chance of being adopted and are more likely to be euthanized. Choosing to adopt a mixed breed dog can therefore save a life.

Although some shelters are beginning to implement a “no-kill” policy, the truth is that the sheer numbers of stray dogs in shelters means that many are still euthanized - 670,000 is the estimated number in the Unites States. This is more so with elderly and sick dogs. It also happens to healthy dogs that are not adopted after within a certain time frame, of which most are mutts. So, if you really want to do your bit, consider adopting an older mixed breed dog.

10 Reasons to Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog - 2. You'll save a life

3. You make space for another dog

By adopting a mixed breed dog from a shelter or rescue home, you are freeing up valuable space that can be taken by another dog. There are many dogs on the street suffering abuse, cold or hunger that cannot be taken in by a shelter because they are at full capacity. When you adopt a dog, you make space for the shelter to take in and look after another stray, whose chances of being adopted will also go up. So, when you adopt a mixed-breed dog you actually save two lives!

10 Reasons to Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog - 3. You make space for another dog

4. You'll improve the dog's life

“Saving one animal will not change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal.”
The phrase perfectly sums up this fourth important reason for adopting a mixed-breed dog. Mutts are often overlooked in favor of purebred pups, and live difficult lives as strays or in over-crowded shelters, as we have explained. By adopting a mixed breed you offer them the possibility of living a comfortable, dignified life and the chance to feel truly loved.

Of course, it it important to determine whether you can really give the dog a good life before you adopt them. If you don't have enough time or resources to look after a dog, then you should hold off adopting one until you do.

10 Reasons to Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog - 4. You'll improve the dog's life

5. You'll gain a best loyal friend

Many dogs that end up in shelters - especially mutts - previously belonged to a family. When this happens, they feel abandoned, both physically and psychologically. Once the dog learns to trust you, the emotional bond that you create will be very strong, because the dog feels eternally grateful for your love and affection.

Of course, remember that it is not easy for a dog that has been abused or abandoned to learn to trust again. Be patient with them, and remind them that you are always there ready shower them with affection. Treating your new friend with love and respect will help you gain the dog's trust and earn you a loyal companion for life.

10 Reasons to Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog - 5. You'll gain a best loyal friend

6. Mixed breed dogs are healthier

Mixed breed dogs tend to be healthier and live longer than purebred dogs. Since purebreds are selectively bred for certain traits, many of them suffer breed-specific genetic diseases caused by inbreeding. For example, dysplasia is common among several purebreds such as Labradors, German shepherds, etc.

This does not mean that your mutt won't have any health problems, but a mixed breed dog is less likely to suffer hereditary diseases, even though it may carry the recessive genes for some[2]. Being more robust, mutts also tend to have longer life expectancy. Finally, it is worth mentioning that many purebred dogs were originally created to excel at specific types of work or survive particular environments. This can be a disadvantage to keeping purebreds as pets. Choosing a mixed breed dog avoids having to provide breed-specific requirements.

10 Reasons to Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog - 6. Mixed breed dogs are healthier

7. You'll help discourage purebred puppy mills

Although there are legal breeders who work professionally and with great respect for their dogs, the truth is that the market for purebred puppies and dogs also includes people who do not care about the animals or their welfare. The result is what are called “puppy mills” - places where dogs are bred solely to turn a profit. The puppies are often kept in inhumane conditions, taken too early form their mothers and given little or no veterinary care[3].

By adopting a mixed breed puppy you avoid contributing to the high demand for purebreds that leads to such abuse. Instead, you will help promote and support rescue associations and shelters that fight for animal welfare andtake proper care of all dogs, including those that are mixed breed.

10 Reasons to Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog - 7. You'll help discourage purebred puppy mills

8. You have a wider selection

As we have explained, mixed breed dogs are unique and most of the dogs at shelters are mixed-breed. You will have a wide variety of colors, sizes, ages and types to pick from. This means you can choose a dog based on whatever characteristic you are looking for. For example, you may want a dog that matches your personality, or maybe you prefer an older or younger dog to suit your routine and rhythms. You may even discover a unique-looking pup that convinces you to take it home. Choosing to adopt a mutt gives you a much wider selection than adopting a purebred dog.

10 Reasons to Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog - 8. You have a wider selection

9. You'll save money

Adopting a dog is always going to save you money. This is because the cost of adoption is low and dogs in shelters have often already been vaccinated and sterilized. They may even come with a microchip implant. Of course you will still have to spend on food, accessories and vet visits, but if you have decided you want a dog you have probably already factored in those expenses. Additionally, adopting a mixed breed can save you money because, as we explained, they are less prone than purebreds to genetic diseases that can be expensive to treat.

10 Reasons to Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog - 9. You'll save money

10. You'll be much happier

There is a reason that dogs are known as our best friends. We have mentioned how adopting a mixed-breed dog can help improve its life, but the truth is having a dog also helps improve your own life. By adopting a dog, you will discover a new world full of loyalty, love, companionship and affection. Plus, sharing life with a dog has a ton of physical and emotional benefits. If you adopt a mutt, for all the reasons above, you will surely find yourself much happier.

Have we convinced you to adopt a mixed breed dog? Let us know if there are other reasons you think should be on this list!

If you want to read similar articles to 10 Reasons to Adopt a Mixed Breed Dog, we recommend you visit our What you need to know category.

  1. American Kennel Association. (2019). Survey Reveals Misconceptions about Purebred Dogs in Animal Shelters. Retrieved from
  2. Donner, J. et al. (2018). Frequency and distribution of 152 genetic disease variants in over 100,000 mixed breed and purebred dogs. PLoS Genetics, 14(4).
  3. ASPCA. More puppies more profits. Retrieved from

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