National Mutt Day is celebrated every July… actually caregivers who are owned by mutts celebrate their four-footed companion EVERY day, but officially animal welfare advocate and founder of Mutt Day, Colleen Paige, explains the purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the plight of mixed breed dogs in shelters and rescue facilities, and to educate the public about the millions of healthy, loving, mixed breed dogs desperately awaiting new homes. National Mutt Day encourages people to adopt a dog-in-need from shelters across the nation instead of pet stores, which are supplied by puppy mills. “Puppy mills are horrific places that neglect and abuse dogs for financial gain. I think that if everyone who wanted a dog would adopt from a shelter or a rescue group, we could make a huge impact on the overpopulation of unwanted dogs in America. Mutts are great family dogs, and are often healthier, behave better, and live longer, and are just as able as purebred dogs to perform expected duties! Please make a visit to your local facility…if you can’t adopt, volunteer to walk dogs, donate food or other supplies needed, or make a donation in the memory of a loved dog. In every heart there is a hole…and in every shelter, there is love to fill it.”

Tips to help you celebrate Mutt’s Day (or any other day):

  • Always be patient and kind and give her lots of love and praise every day. Be proud to announce that your dog is a Mutt.
  • Every dog loves a good walk, or some undivided snuggle time. A good brushing, tummy rub, or massage is always appreciated.
  • Offer to walk a mutt that gets little attention from her caregiver.
  • Write your Congressman and ask that he/she support the ban on puppy mills.
  • Buy your mutt a fun, new dog toy.
  • Throw out all your chemical cleaners, and purchase non-toxic cleaner for your home…both your dog and you will be healthier.
  • Buy a canine first aid kit so that you are prepared in case of emergency.
  • Microchip and I.D. tag your Mutt with current info so if she gets lost, you can be located.
  • Make sure your Mutt has all necessary vaccines and regular health exams.
  • Install a physical fence if you have an unfenced yard, so that your mutt can run and enjoy some freedom at home. NEVER chain him outdoors to a tree or doghouse. Include him in your family be letting him live inside your home with you.
  • Check the ingredients of your dog’s food. Many well known foods are NOT quality foods. Deciphering a pet food label may be confusing, so, an independent site ranks all of the major dog foods. When you discover how different foods rank, you may decide to switch your dog’s food.
  • Most commercial treats are not healthy, and some are downright toxic. The FDA is continually issuing warnings about dog treats (and foods) that are potentially poisonous to your dog. We recommend no commercial treats, but especially avoid those that are imported from China. It is easy (and cheaper) to make your own homemade treats for your Mutt. Frozen dog treats are always welcome on a hot day, and they are easy to make. Dogs LOVE ice cubes, and flavored ice cubes are even better. What can you freeze for your dog? Just about anything.  You can make pupsickles in ice cube trays, or for larger dogs, use a paper cup, and before serving, peel away the cup. If you want to make your dog work for it, pour your ingredients into a stuffable Kong toy, plug the end with peanut butter or dry kibble. (Yes, they are all messy, but your dog’s appreciation is worth the mess!)
  • Pumpkin pops—Mix some canned pumpkin (NOT pie mix, just plain pumpkin), low fat yogurt, and a bit of water, and freeze.
  • Chicken broth on ice—freeze some low sodium beef or chicken broth…you can add almost anything…a few bits of leftover chicken, beef, or fish…bits of cheese, carrots or even peas. Iced treats are so easy to make and fun to eat. Just be sure to never add anything that is toxic to dogs: No avocado, chocolate, macadamia nuts, onions, raisins, grapes or tomato leaves, please.

AHHH… the joys of having a dog: total and complete love and devotion… loyalty, and the determination to stick with you, right by your side, no matter what. If you are lucky enough to have a dog, you are truly blessed.