Looking for a New Dog? Adopt, Don't Shop!
According to the ASPCA, roughly 3.9 million dogs enter animal shelters each year. Of the 3.9 million, 1.2 million are unfortunately euthanized for various reasons; be it behavioral or shelter overcrowding. It is these kinds of statistics that help reinforce my belief of adopt, don’t shop! July 31st is National mixed breed day, otherwise known as National Mutt Day! This day is celebrated and embraced across the country to raise awareness for the millions of mixed breed canines waiting in shelters for their forever homes.
Mutts can make great pets. Generally they are healthier, lifespan is longer, and they tend to be better behaved. There are also advantages to adopting from shelters. Typically shelters make sure each dog that gets adopted leaves microchipped, is surgically altered, has been tested for heartworm and lyme disease, and is vaccinated. I have never had a purebred dog, nor will I ever strive to. There is something quirky about mixed breeds that makes them so uniquely them.
My husband and I adopted Shelby right before Christmas this past year. When I first brought her in to Dr. Weeks she said to me “she’s cute, but what is she?” My response at the time was I have no idea, maybe lab and basset, but no matter what, I love her all the same. Shelby looks like a lab, but has a long body, shorter legs and is very deep chested. She is the silliest, yet sweetest dog I’ve ever had.
With my veterinary background, I know certain breeds are pre-disposed to certain health conditions, plus I was very curious to know what she was mixed with. To become aware and better prepared of what to expect behaviorally and medically with Shelby, I had her DNA tested. Mars Veterinary is the company I used to get this information I was seeking. The test was extremely thorough and detailed the following:
- Shelby’s unique genetic signature
- Breed breakdown: Analysis of each breed
- Drug sensitivity
- Exercise-Induced Collapse
- Adult weight
- Personality traits
Knowing all of this information has better informed me as the pet owner of my mixed breed so I can provide the best care possible during her life with my husband and I. I was so satisfied with the results, I had my other dog Hunter tested as well.
Whether a dog is purebred or mixed, adopting from shelters literally saves an animal’s life. And with DNA testing now as an option, there is a way to know what to expect behaviorally and medically to better prepare oneself later on down the road with their beloved mixed breed.