Buying a mutt has risks and rewards |

Buying a mutt has risks and rewards

Nadine Lober

When buying dogs, new owners have lots of questions about mutts. How do you know what kind of mutt to get and how it will turn out. Ultimately, you always take a chance when you get a mutt. It can be difficult or impossible to determine the breeds that went into making a certain mutt. For example, there is this dog Jack, who came from a Dalmatian rescue service as a pup. Now that he is a year old, he looks more like a pitbull-great Dane mix with evidence of Dalmatian.Overall, mutts are usually healthier and great pets. Many purebred dogs are inbred and end up with specific diseases inherent to that breed. Labs and shepherds, for example, can suffer hip dysplasia. Sharpies can develop a condition call entropion in which wrinkles inverting the eyelids. Ear and skin disease are common in cocker spaniels, westies suffer skin allergies, boxers can develop skin tumors, and pit bulls are habitually aggressive. When choosing a mutt, try to pick out one with the most obvious breed you like, such as a lab mix, an Australian shepherd mix or a husky mix. Or you might go to a rescue service for a specific breed and find a good pet that needs a home. These services are in most large cities and can also be found online. If you adopt an older pet, then try to get as much info about his past and his behavior to see if he will adapt in your environment. There is a breed for everyone and sometimes they say that the owner resembles their dog, so keep that in mind when choosing your dog. Dr. Nadine Lober can be reached at 949-7972. Vail, Colorado

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