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    This Is Why Mutts Tend to Be Such Healthy Pets

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    It’s hard not to fall in love with purebred dogs. Their pristine appearances make each purebred a strong candidate to go home with a loving family. On the other hand, mutts don’t come with a pedigree, but they’re just as lovable and deserve a forever home.

    Mutts also have something that purebreds don’t. Animal lovers looking for a new furry friend should consider adopting a mutt because they’re less predisposed to genetic defects and breed-specific ailments. Check out all the other reasons why mutts live a longer, healthier life.

    Mutts come from diverse ancestries

    Mutts have a much more diverse genetic pool than purebred dogs. Mutts are created when two dogs from different breeds mate with each other. While purebreds are the product of controlled breeding, mutts descend from ancestors that represent many different breeds. In fact, a mutt’s ancestry is often unknown, especially if they started life as a stray.

    Since mutts come from many different breeds, they’re less likely to inherit genetic disorders. Breed-specific ailments are commonly found in purebred dogs because their ancestry has little genetic variation. For example, purebred Golden Retrievers have the highest risk of developing cancers like lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma. Cocker Spaniels are predisposed to recurring ear infections due to their long, floppy ears. Genetic disorders are still found in mutts, but not at the rate they’re diagnosed in purebred pups.

    Mutts are also protected from the dangers of inbreeding. Inbreeding occurs when breeders produce a litter from two dogs that are closely related to each other. Two dogs from the same family will carry the same genetics, increasing the chances of health defects in the litter. Mutts have mixed backgrounds that prevent inbreeding.

    Shelter life boosts the immune system

    Mutts get a bad rap because they often wind up in shelters. These facilities hold many dogs in a confined area, which increases the spread of infectious diseases. Mutts are more likely to contract kennel cough, fleas and intestinal parasites since they’re living in close proximity to other dogs. However, these pups tend to have stronger immune systems than their purebred counterparts because they’re exposed to a greater array of bacteria.

    Purebred dogs often come from breeding programs. Reputable breeders will hold a limited number of dogs on the property and give them plenty of open space to run around. While purebreds are less likely to contract canine distemper and other infectious diseases, they might not have the bacterial diversity in their guts to really strengthen the immune system.

    Shelters pay for medical procedures

    Mutts are more likely to have someone tending to their medical needs. Shelter staff follow a standard procedure every time a dog is put up for adoption. Before pet parents can take home their new fur babies, the dogs receive all their vaccines along with a general wellness exam. They get spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted litters, and some are treated for specific health conditions before leaving the shelter.

    Breeders and pet stores don’t usually cover these expenses for purebred dogs. The owner will have to pay out of pocket for vaccines, exams, treatment and a spay/neuter procedure. Some owners might neglect these medical needs, especially if they don’t have the finances to care for a new furry friend. Unlike purebred dogs, mutts will have all their medical procedures taken care of before arriving at their forever homes.

    Infectious diseases are easily treatable

    Mutts aren’t immune to developing health problems. However, their health problems are usually much easier to treat than the ones found in purebred dogs. Purebreds are often born with genetic disorders that have no cure. For example, Bulldogs are bred specifically for their adorable squished faces, but this unique trait is what causes brachycephalic syndrome. This means Bulldogs have abnormally narrow nasal passages that make it difficult to get enough oxygen. Expanding the airways requires invasive surgery that can only minimize the problem, not cure it.

    Mutts encounter many diseases in animal shelters, but the good news is they can overcome infections with prompt treatment. Antibiotics can clear up bacterial infections in just one or two weeks. Dogs can receive deworming medication to get rid of intestinal parasites. Pet parents can keep their lovable mutts healthy for the long haul by administering a monthly flea and tick treatment. With any luck, a doggy flu is the only illness your mutt will have to worry about!

    Future pet parents should consider giving mutts a chance. They’ll enjoy more years filled with cuddles and love since mutts have a much healthier track record. Mutts rarely have genetic disorders, and if they get an infection, prompt treatment can lead to a speedy recovery. Plus, a mutt’s unknown ancestry adds to their one-of-a-kind beauty!

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    Meet Our Expert

    Dr. Janice Huntingford

    Pet Wellbeing's own Dr. Jan has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years. Since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, she's founded two veterinary clinics and lectured extensively on pet herbal therapy, nutraceuticals, acupuncture, rehabilitation and pain management.

    Dr. Jan has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities, helping us to formulate all of our supplements. She is an essential part of Pet Wellbeing.

    And lucky for us, she's only one of the great team of people who make Pet Wellbeing so special.

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