A French bulldog puppy with itchy skin looks up at the sky.

Pedigree vs Purebred: What’s the Difference?


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Pedigree vs purebred might sound like a needless concept. Why the tussle? Surely they’re same thing? No, they’re not quite the same. That’s why we’re going to cover everything pedigree and everything purebred in this article.

After you’re done here you’ll be able to educate anyone and everyone who loves animals.

So, if they’re not the same, what exactly is the difference? 

Is this golden poodle standing on grass in front of sunlight purebred or pedigree?

Pedigree vs purebred; what’s the difference?

The tricky thing is that people like to use these words interchangeably. They’re both used to describe the breed or genetics of an animal, but they aren’t exactly the same. So how are they different? 

Well, there’s one main difference between purebred vs pedigree. Purebred means that both parents of the dog or cat in question are the same breed and that they’re purebreds of that breed. So to get a purebred French Bulldog, you need a purebred French Bulldog mum and dad.

Essentially, when using the term purebred you’re talking about the pup’s parents. 

Pedigree means that the French Bulldog’s breeding history has been recorded and you can trace their bloodline back in time through their family tree.

When using the term pedigree, you’re talking about the pup’s entire genetic background.

This picture shows a puppy Labrador article explaining the difference between Pedigree vs purebred

Let’s dive a little deeper into what purebred means

So, you now know purebred pups and kittens are bred from purebred parents of the same breed. This is done to ensure that the child will carry the characteristics of the parents, making the breed specs consistent and predictable.

We call this type of breeding selective breeding. Not sure if your furkid is pure of breed as well as of heart? You can find out how to tell if a dog is purebred here, and the same applies to purebred cats. Also, you might’ve heard pedigree dogs are more likely to carry hereditary issues – read up on this in our ‘purebred dogs, yay or nay‘ article.

To add to our description of purebred above, let’s use an example. A kitten born from two purebred cats (of the same breed, otherwise it won’t be a purebred) will carry traits from the parents. However, this doesn’t mean that the kitten will carry traits of all the breeds in the family tree.

This picture shows a white cat with blue eyes lying on a laptop in an article explaining the difference between Pedigree vs purebred

Now for pedigree

Like we said before, pedigree means the breeding history of a pet’s parents, grandparents and so on has been recorded. You can trace their bloodline back. This is recorded in what’s called a breeding registry.

A big reason for this is to document traits and diseases through several generations. That information can then be used to identify which animals in their family tree recognisably or silently carried these traits or diseases. 

So how do you get your beautiful new pedigree pup or kitten registered? Well, we’ve written a whole article detailing how to get your dog papers, so you’ll find all the info there! A very similar process applies to cat papers.

Once registered, you receive a certificate to prove your beautiful furbaby is pedigree and you’ll be able to more easily continue the family line if you’d like to explore that. 

This picture shows a ginger car in an article explaining the difference between Pedigree vs purebred

Where pedigree vs purebred gets confusing

Now that this all makes sense, you might be thinking “well, that’s not so confusing”. And you’re not wrong. Where people tend to trip over these terms is that all pedigree pets are purebred. But not all purebred pets are pedigree.

What we mean is that all pedigree animals must be bred with other pedigree animals from the same breed to give life to new pedigree pups and kittens. So when you’re breeding with animals from the one breed (and only the one), you’ll always get purebred furbabies. However, breeding from parents of the same breed that aren’t pedigree – aren’t registered, with no breeding registry listing – will give you a purebred furbaby that isn’t pedigree.

And now you’re a purebred vs pedigree aficionado. Congratulations! 

All furballs are welcome

Whether you’ve a pedigree, purebred or anything else, pet insurance can protect your pooch, kitten, and your pocket across all kinds of illnesses, accidents, infections and beyond. 

At PD Insurance we have plenty of pet cover options for pet parents. Take a couple of minutes to find the dog insurance or cat insurance plan that suits you purrrfectly.

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