Pet selection - Choosing a crossbreed companion

For many dog lovers, owning a mixed or crossbreed is a badge of honour. Most puppies come into the world as "surprises", born from roaming house pets and sometimes sent off to animal shelters as orphans.

Often adopting a crossbred canine is literally saving an unwanted dog's life and the odds are he or she will make a great companion. So what are the pros and cons of selecting a crossbreed companion?

Crossbreeds - the pros and cons

Value - without the price tag

Put simply, crossbreeds don't usually come with a purebred price tag. Whilst a new crossbreed puppy may be a bargain just keep in mind they are not self-sufficient superdogs and will require normal doggy upkeep. Such as a balanced diet, training, dog registration and identification, parasite control, vaccinations, medical and dental care including regular check-ups and grooming.

Like any other creature a mixed breed companion can still get sick by chance, however there's a good chance they will not be predisposed to the genetic traits associated with certain breeds. For example it's less likely for a Dalmatian-Labrador mix to inherit the deaf and lame genes that plagued their purebred ancestors. 

Size unknown

If you have just purchased a crossbreed puppy, it will be tough - if not impossible - to predict their adult size. Even if both parents are known but their breeds are dissimilar, it could still be difficult to tell which side of the family your puppy will take after. Looking at the size of a puppy's feet is a good idea, if still an unscientific way to guess how much they will grow.

The temperament of various mixes

Being able to predict a dog's potential temperament is especially important for families with children, the elderly or if you have any environmental or lifestyle restrictions such as limited space or time. With a crossbreed puppy, this is sometimes impossible. The breeds of the puppy's parents can generally give a good indication of the puppy's personality but all dogs are different individually.

Desexing can help moderate any aggressive tendencies and is recommended for all dogs regardless of breed. 

The upside

If you stroll down to your local park or visit your closest beach, you will notice a number of crossbreed dogs with very proud and happy parents. It is without a doubt a crossbreed companion can be just as caring and loving as their purebred cousins.

If you need any further information about selecting a pet please do not hesitate to contact our healthcare team for assistance and advice.

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