They are national preference. With unique characteristics, they can have different coat colors, but caramel is the big celebrity. Mixed-breed dogs are the majority in Brazilian homes, but they also fill shelters waiting for an opportunity.
They are considered smart and resistant, but truths and myths surround these animals, remembered annually on July 31. The Day of the Mutt calls attention to care and seeks to encourage adoptions.
Mutts earned this nickname because they were often seen on the streets rummaging through garbage cans in search of food. But, according to Farah de Andrade, a veterinarian at the DrogaVET chain of pharmacies, mixed-breed dogs and cats —animals from the crossing of two or more breeds and which have characteristics of some of them— can be considered as having no defined breed. bear traits of some breed and also dogs with deliberate mixtures, such as the labradoodle — a cross between a Labrador and a poodle.
According to her, this mixture of races gives mutts different physical characteristics, and the personality can also vary a lot. This is because, in addition to the influence of the combination of breeds, mixed-breed dogs and cats that were rescued from situations of abandonment or mistreatment can carry trauma and phobias.
“The environment in which they grew up significantly affects the personality of pets, but with great care, patience and guidance from trainers, it is possible to alleviate these traumas and transform the lives of these pets. The most important thing is to give them the chance to have a family. will certainly reciprocate with a lot of gratitude and love”, he says.
Just like with any other Pet, it is up to the tutor to guarantee health care, food and leisure for life. Therefore, adoption should always be discussed with the family, who must evaluate costs and availability of time for the pet.
“Anyone who is interested in having an SRD dog or cat in their home should keep in mind that it is a lifelong commitment. Animals feel pain, fear, longing, joy and sadness, they are part of the family and they need love and care”, says Flavio Silva, veterinarian and supervisor of technical-scientific training at PremieRpet.
Check out 6 questions and answers about mutts below:
Are purebred dogs more likely to develop diseases than mutts?
Veterinarian Pedro Giovannetti, from Cobasi, explains that many breeds, which emerged from crosses with the aim of acquiring specific physical and behavioral characteristics, ended up developing genetic diseases, as in the case of brachycephalic dogs —those with a shorter and flatter snout— which are more prone to having respiratory problems, or in the case of large or giant breeds bred, more prone to joint problems.
The mutt, on the other hand, has developed a certain resistance to genetic diseases. According to him, however, this does not justify the lack of health care and nutrition.
Can mutts eat anything?
The Cobasi veterinarian says that specific rations are indicated to offer benefits according to the standardized characteristics of certain breeds. But in the case of mutts, this is impossible due to the mixture of races. But care must be maintained according to the stage of life —puppy, adult or elderly — and the size of the SRD, respecting their nutritional needs.
Are rescued stray dogs more affectionate?
Animals taken from the street bring trauma that must be treated with love and patience.
“I’m suspicious to say, at the beginning of the pandemic I rescued a puppy from the street, and we can understand this profile a little: a scared animal, with nutritional deficiencies, socialization difficulties and some traumas. From the moment we help with a house, comfort, food, love and affection, we realize how grateful stray dogs are for each care offered, the look of gratitude is perceptible, even for remembering the difficulties experienced in the street phase”, says Giovannetti.
Are mutts more resistant to the cold?
Not. Most SRDs have short fur and, with lower temperatures, they feel cold and need more attention with clothes, blankets and beds to stay warm and comfortable.
Is it harder to find a small stray dog?
Medium and large mutts stand out as the majority of the homeless population and animals in shelters in the country. However, according to the vet, this does not mean that small dogs are harder to find.
“In fact, there is also a preference on the part of owners for SRD puppies and small dogs, so these animals are less time available for adoption and on the streets, which gives us this ‘feeling’ that they are more difficult to find. “
Do mutts live longer?
Giovannetti says that this is a very famous myth. However, there is no scientific proof that mutts live longer than purebreds. SRDs are less prone to genetic and hereditary diseases, but an animal’s life expectancy is directly influenced by the care it receives, which includes affection, love, attention, proper nutrition and periodic visits to the veterinarian.
Want to adopt?
Anyone who wants to adopt a mutt can turn to municipal kennels, NGOs and protectors.
To find out if the SRD is the right pet for the owner’s lifestyle and the dynamics of the house, PremieRpet offers a tool called MatchPet. Just answer questions like the space available for the pet, preference of activities, if there are other animals sharing the same environment – important details to promote a happy and healthy coexistence. From the answers, there is the ideal “match”.
The platform also directs the future tutor to the partner NGOs of the PremieRpet Institute: Catland, DNA Animal, Amigo Animal, Maxmello, Segunda Chance and APATA.