What is a mutt

National Mutt Day

On National Mutt Day, we celebrate the mutts of America! These are not your ordinary mixed breed dogs. National Mutt Day is a day to appreciate all of the different dog breeds that make up this country's second favorite breed (Labrador Retrievers being first).

National Mutt Day, also known as National Mixed Breed Dog Day, was created in 2005 by Celebrity Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Welfare Advocate Colleen Paige. We celebrate this holiday twice a year; July 31st and December 2nd. National Mutt Day is celebrated twice a year to raise awareness of the predicament in which mixed breeds around the nation find themselves.

National Mutt Day is a day to celebrate the differences and uniqueness of mixed breeds. Mixed breeds are approximately 80% of the dogs found in shelters. The mission of National Mutt Day is to educate people about the mixed breeds that desperately want a fur-ever home.

What is a Mutt?

A mutt is a result of the mixing of breeds. Mutts do not "belong" to one specific breed. Instead, they are a mix of 2 or more breeds. There are estimates of over 150 million mutts worldwide. So when you ask someone their dog’s breed, and they say a mix of different types, that’s a mutt!

Mutt vs. Purebred

There are many benefits to adopting a mutt versus a purebred. Yes, purebreds are fantastic, but many of them are prone to genetic diseases, which can shorten their lifetime with us. We will touch on a few reasons why adopting a mutt has many benefits.

One of A Kind

The standard for breeding purebreds calls for breeding puppies whose appearance and temperament are precisely the same quality every time. A mixed-breed dog is incredible because they are unique. Mutts have a unique look and personality to match. Plus, when you go to a shelter to adopt a mutt, there are more choices of different types of dogs than at a breeder.

Mutts Live Longer

Image of mutt with owner

Due to inbreeding and artificial selection, purebred dogs tend to be prone to genetic disorders and other health problems. With mutts, widening the gene pool helps reduce the risk of these potential issues.

May not be "Show" Quality, but… 

Dog in agility competition

You may not be able to "show" your mutt, but they can still do the same things that purebreds are known for. Such as competing in different dog competitions (agility competitions or diving competitions). They can also be trained to be service dogs, such as seeing-eye dogs or PTSD companions. Mixed breeds are considered equally capable as purebreds.

Save Money

Mixed breed dogs cost less than purebred dogs, purchased from breeders. Many shelters only require a small donation to adopt a dog. Purebred dogs can be costly. Plus, a mixed breed from the shelter is likely already spayed or neutered and is up-to-date on vaccinations before they’re allowed to be adopted, which will save you even more money.

You are Saving a Life 

Fur parent petting mutt

Most importantly, when you adopt a mutt from your local shelter, you save their life. In addition, this potentially opens up a space for another mutt at the shelter. According to the Humane Society, 6 to 8 million dogs and cats enter shelters each year. Sadly, 2.7 million of them are euthanized due to a lack of space and resources.


National Mutt Day celebrates the diversity and uniqueness of mixed breeds. When you’re ready to welcome a new furry friend into your family, be sure to first visit a local animal shelter or call a local rescue service and save a life. 

National Mutt Day

We'd love to see your mutts, so share some cute pictures with us on social media and be sure to tag us @vitalpetlife and use the hashtag #nationalmuttday #ilovemymutt.