Have you had a long, hard winter? Then you’re probably glad that yesterday was the first day of spring. What about your Morkie? Can he get spring fever?
Absolutely! Most dogs are more energized and eager to get outside when the weather warms up. They’re even more interested in sniffing everything outside, and in extending their walks.
A couple of things to be aware of — always keep your Morkie on a leash and be vigilant that he doesn’t dash out of your house onto the road. It’s a sad fact that every year in the U.S., cars kill 1.2 million dogs each year and 5.4 million cats. Your pets might be more eager than usual to get outside, so watch the door.
It’s also the time when seasonal allergies start up again. If your Morkie has runny eyes or is sneezing, that could be the problem. Other signs of allergies are itching, and biting at paws and skin. Talk to your Veterinarian, because dogs CAN take Benadryl. Yup, the over-the-counter medication that we take. Be sure you get the CHILDREN’s liquid version, WITHOUT artificial sweeteners or alcohol. And do check with your Vet first.
Some people recommend that you:
- wipe down your dog’s coat every time he comes in, to remove excess pollen
- soak his feet in epsom salts to reduce swelling and wash away pollen
And then there’s mud…
Britain’s Daily Mail asked readers to share their best pictures of muddy dogs. I think this one wins! Believe it or not the pup was all cleaned up after just an hour in the tub.
P.S. Another tidbit: Blogger Paul Janson – link – reminds us that “Spring Fever” used to be a real disease, thanks to a long winter with little in the way of fruits and vegetables. Back in the 1700s, spring fever was probably really scurvy – the lack of Vitamin C, and it was a serious, often fatal illness. Read more of Paul’s writing here.
Hope you enjoy this new site…. we’ve added more content
for you, and much larger pictures.
Some of your favourite pages are easier to find than ever:
And guess who has a MORKIE!??
Here’s Drake in Toronto with his new Morkie. Left, the Morkie breeder. (Sorry we didn’t get her name)
See the other celeb pups here.
And a whole new album of Morkie puppies.
Do you have a picture you’d like to share? Please send it along! Just email to [email protected]
How big will your puppy get?
A lot of people have been asking this lately, so there’s a page dedicated to the subject, including a worksheet you can download and use to figure it out.
Not an exact science, but this should be helpful.
(And did you know that one of the parent dogs, the Yorkie, used to be a lot bigger? Check it out.)
Feedback? Comments? Kudos?
Please share your thoughts on the new site, and anything you’d like to see that we’ve missed… here’s the contact form.
Phew, time to take a rest!
Happy Valentine’s Day Morkie fans! A couple of reminders for the day to keep your Morkie safe….
Chocolate can literally kill your Morkie!
It’s the Theobromine in chocolate that can poison your Morkie. The darker the chocolate, the more deadly. Just a single square of Baker’s Chocolate can be enough to cause serious illness and even death, according to Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Typical early symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, bloated stomach and restlessness. This usually happens 1 to 4 hours after the dog has eaten chocolate. Without treatment, seizures and muscle spasms follow, then cardiac failure (coma) and death. If you suspect your Morkie has had chocolate, get him to the Vet or emergency clinic right away.
Dogs can’t eat candy
Morkies are sweet enough! Even if the candy doesn’t have chocolate in it, high levels of sugar can send your Morkie into a mild diabetic coma. Plus, getting him used to sweet treats sets the stage for annoying begging, tooth decay and overweight. Remember, no Porkie Morkies 🙂
Artificial sweetener can be deadly for dogs
Xylitol is a next-generation sweetener that is in a lot of foods and treats. And it’s very toxic for pets. Although Xylitol is found naturally in berries, plums, etc. even small amounts of Xylitol in the manufactured form, can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or death in dogs.
6 more things that can make your Morkie very sick
- alcohol of any kind – wine, beer, liquor
- grapes and raisins – experts don’t really know why, just that only a couple of grapes or raisins can lead to seizures, coma and death
- Macadamia nuts can bring on vomiting, tremors, joint pain and diarrhea. They’re extremely toxic for dogs.
- Garlic and onions are surprisingly toxic to dogs and cats. That’s because they contain chemicals that damage red blood cells in some animals, to the point where the cells can’t carry oxygen throughout the body. Cooking these foods does not make them any safer.
- Avocado, especially the pit, will bring on severe diarrhea and vomiting in your Morkie.
- Cellophane, ribbons and glittery stuff that chocolates and gifts are wrapped in, can get lodged in your dog’s intestine, making expensive emergency surgery necessary to save his life. Keep all wrappings out of harm’s way.
The short answer is No, and here’s why.
Ethical breeding isn’t a hobby. People who work hard to breed purebred dogs, or in this case, cross breeds of two purebreds, have invested a lot of learning, money and effort into what they do. And once the puppies are born, can you devote at least 8 solid weeks to the puppies’ care, night and day? Do you have buyers for the pups? Dog breeding is very complex, and it can be very expensive too.
Over population. There are waaaaay too many dogs and puppies in shelters… adding your own litter means fewer of those dogs have a chance.
The ASPCA estimates that in U.S. Animal Shelters alone, 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year, simply because there’s no room for them. That’s more than 7 pets every minute, every day.
Your pet should be spayed or neutered for health’s sake.
Females that haven’t been spayed have a 25% greater chance of dying of cancer. Females that haven’t been spayed can quickly develop Pyometra, a deadly uterine infection. (http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/)
Male dogs who have been neutered live, on average, 40% longer. Plus they can’t of course, get testicular cancer.
“But I want my kids to see the miracle of birth.”
Sure, the birth part is a miracle. But what about the life after birth? If the puppies don’t land in a good home, or if you sell them to people you don’t know and have not screened, then that’s a hard lesson learned for the dogs. And it might even teach kids that life is cheap. There are lots of great videos on birth and some shelters have live webcams of birthing.
This sums it up.
Here are a bunch of Morkies just ready to give hugs and kisses! Enjoy!
Here’s a best friend who just can’t wait until Valentine’s day.
This sleepy baby Morkie.
Two dates of interest to dog lovers — Feb. 12, 13, 14, 2018. The 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Feb. 16 – 18, 2018 PetSmart’s adoption weekend at their stores. Check your local store for more details.
- it’s the ritzy-est of the ritzy dog shows! The Westminster at Madison Square Garden, New York.
- but save that $567 each for seats, and watch it on TV
- fun to hear about the breeds and breed standards, and of course, the Yorkshire Terrier and the Maltese will be of special interest to Morkie lovers
- here’s the website for more information
And for THE BEST satire on purebred dog people, check out the classic mockumentary, Best in Show. Seventeen years old, it’s still hilarious and is the perfect send up of the doggy-dog crowd.
15 Prized Facts About Best in Show
PetSmart’s fabulous National Adoption Weekend
Gotta love an organization that gives SO much back.
Four times per year, PetSmart Charities works with Animal Welfare Organizations across North America to host pet adoption events within PetSmart stores.
When you attend, you’ll find dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and small pets all in need of a lifelong, loving home.
The amazing organizations they work with ensure each pet is spayed and neutered prior to adoption, giving adoption parents added peace of mind as they search for a new best friend.
Download and print these free Morkie Valentine’s Day cards, or send with your emails.
Right click on the image, and then select ‘download’ on your computer. Or download this PDF document, which has all the cards on it.
A new study shows that helicopter parents, harmful to a child’s development, are actually not so bad when it comes to dogs!
A survey of 1,000 pet owners, conducted by UC Berkeley and California State University, shows that pet parents who tend to be overprotective and anxious about their animals, actually make the best pet parents. They are more careful about the pet’s health and well-being, checking things like food very carefully.
Children of helicopter parents tend to be snowflakes
When you’re a helicopter parent to your kids, they seem to turn out very clingy and extremely reliant on their parents. They lack confidence and the independent spirit to strike out on their own when the time comes. They can be very needy and overly sensitive, hence the nickname “Snowflake Generation.”
Helicopter PET parents
This group is often home more with their pets, so dogs have a regular routine and don’t need to act out for attention.
However, warns professional trainer and writer Shannon Coyner, pet parents CAN cause Separation Anxiety is they are too involved with their pet. She says we should make a point of going out at least once a day, increasing the time gradually, so that the dog doesn’t become neurotically attached to them. Dogs with separation anxiety exhibit a number of negative behaviours, including excessive barking, chewing, scratching and generally destroying their surroundings in their discomfort.
It’s great to be protective about your Morkie, but don’t go overboard and create Separation Anxiety in him.
When you’re home, don’t go overboard “entertaining” your Morkie all the time. Let him learn to play on his own, and definitely start basic training early, teaching him sit, down, come and stay.
Take the test yourself
You’ll find an online copy here at psychologytoday.com – https://www.psychologytoday.com/test/3265 It takes about 20 minutes to complete but will give you some insights into your attachment style.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials, called AAFCO, is a private organization of volunteers in the animal feed feed industry — including people from the pet food industry itself.
It is not mandated by any laws; it does not write laws or change them.
AAFCO sets standards for nutritional adequacy for a wide variety of animal feed, including cattle feed, feed for commercially raised rabbits, pig feed, dog and cat food, etc.
In my personal opinion, AAFCO regulation falls FAR short of protecting the welfare of our pets; here are some reasons why I say this.
1. How AAFCO tests pet foods
Food is either analyzed in the lab, or AAFCO runs feed trails.
- the feed trial includes 8 dogs minimum, or more
- 25% can be removed during the test – so the test could be conducted with just SIX DOGS
- as long as the remaining animals don’t lose more than 15% of their body weight during the 26 week trial, the food is approved
AAFCO states clearly in its mandate, that it is setting standards for adequate nutrition. Not good nutrition, not particularly healthy. Adequate to keep the animal alive.
2. FEED and FOOD is very different
There’s a big difference between FEED and FOOD.
AAFCO is mostly comprised of Feed Control Officials. These are state department of agriculture representatives who work together on feed that livestock eats. It’s nothing like our FOOD or what we think of as our pet’s FOOD. AAFCO is all about FEED.
Feed is all about fattening commercially raised animals for slaughter with the minimum resources possible; food is about building and maintaining good health.
One difference alone – FEED is allowed, per FDA, to contain euthanized pets and pesticide-laden grains and vegetables that wouldn’t be allowed for human consumption. (www.truthaboutpetfoods)
3. AAFCO doesn’t actually approve pet food
AAFCO does not approve, certify or reject pet food. Wording on pet food actually says that it MEETS the nutritional requirements established by AAFCO. Those standards, as mentioned, are what’s needed for adequate nutrition, in highly processed pet foods.
4. These are the people who brought you the Label Laws
Remember these rules? You can read about them in detail on my blog, What’s on Your Dog’s Menu, but basically it’s a serious of weasel statements that tell manufactures what to call their products when they don’t contain a lot of meat.
For example, let’s look at Cesar Classics Filet Mignon Flavor, made by food giant Mars.
It contains no filet mignon; it contains nothing like what we think of as beef.
Instead, this Cesar Classics flavour contains:
- beef by-products – this is leftover, non-meat which can include lungs, stomach, and intestines (required to be freed of feces) from slaughtered mammals. It is not the flesh or ‘meat’ which has been removed for human food or other animal feed products.
It’s not even the ‘acceptable’ kinds of slaughterhouse leftovers like gristle, pieces of fatty tissue, meat from the animal’s head and feet; connective tissue – all of this goes into hot dogs and processed meat for people.
- animal liver – liver is a good source of protein; the problem here is, what kind of animal?
- meat by-products – again, the leftover waste from the slaughterhouse, but what kind of animal(s) are we talking about?
- chicken by-products – this is not chicken ‘meat;’ it is the scrap, and can include feet, backs, livers, lungs, chicken heads, undeveloped eggs, etc.
….along with artificial colouring, sodium nitrite and more.
The total protein content of this food: 8%.
Remember, it’s the food name that counts
More reading on AAFCO and its role
Dog Food Advisor – https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/animal-by-products/
Truth About Pet Food – http://truthaboutpetfood.com/should-my-pets-food-be-aafco-approved/
AAFCO official site – http://www.aafco.org/Consumers
Knowing when a problem is serious concern can be a tough call. Here are 6 times you should take your Morkie to the vet ASAP.
These are no-brainer reasons to rush to the Vet or emergency clinic!
1. Injury or Trauma
Sadie Mae has the flu
A broken bone, cut, gash or other trauma is reason to get to your Vet’s, or an after-hours emergency clinic immediately. Ideally someone can go with you and call from the car.
Keep your Morkie as still as possible, and wrap him in a towel or blanket to keep warm.
If he’s bleeding a lot, use gauze to staunch the wound.
Wounds can be deeper than they appear and complications like infection can develop if medical care is delayed. Plus, your Morkie may be in more pain that you realize, and so will benefit from a painkiller from the Vet.
Download this form and fill it in with your Emergency Vet information
2. Severe vomiting and/or diarrhea
Most bouts of vomiting and/or diarrhea are over within 24 hours and are often a result of eating something disagreeable. But if these symptoms seem severe, if there’s blood in either vomit or diarrhea, or the illness has lasted more than 12 hours, your Morkie should be treated right away. At the very least, he can become severely dehydrated, to a critical level.
If you’re in doubt, the safest course of action is always to seek Veterinary attention.
If your dog has a fever, best to seek immediate help.
This can be a sign of internal bleeding or some major trauma that you can’t easily identify, like heart or organ failure. Or your Morkie may have eaten something poisonous. Collapse, or sudden, serious weakness could be a sign of poisoning, internal injuries or something else you don’t know about.
4. Severe pain
When your Morkie is crying, whining, panting, breathing heavily or showing some other signs of pain, it’s time for immediate medical care. Don’t let him suffer.
Uncontrollable shaking and tremors, loss of consciousness, paddling with the legs and possible loss of bowel or urinary control are common signs of seizure. The most common cause is epilepsy, although there are many other triggers, some of which can be life-threatening.
6. Stings, bites, allergic reactions
These can all lead to more serious problems including collapse, difficulty breathing or even organ failure. Keep a very close eye on your Morkie if he’s suffered from any of these things.
As always, this advice is NOT a substitute for a proper consultation with a Vet and is only intended as a guide. Please consult with a Veterinarian for any questions or concerns you have about your pets.
Yay! It’s the weekend! Time for you and your Morkie to have some fun.
1. Is there anything a dog loves more than a walk? They don’t seem to care if it’s cold, raining or snowing. They just wanna walk, so grab that leash and off you go.
2. Grooming can be a fun and bonding time if you’re super-patient and gentle. Use grooming as a way to really get to know your Morkie, and throw in a bit of massage too. Use a good-quality metal comb with teeth that are ‘medium’ spaced. Comb a very small part of the hair at a time if it’s matted. To get your Morkie used to you combing him, run the comb all over his body on the “other” (non-teeth) side.
3. Play Fetch! Call out the Terrier in your Morkie, and get her involved in an active game of indoor fetch. Since Yorkies were originally bred to catch rats and mice in factories, they’re keen to chase down any little toy you throw… try it, your Morkie will love it.
4. Be sociable. Visit friends and family who also own small dogs and get your Morkie socialized. Being with other dogs is a great way to ensure your pup stays centred and happy, and helps reduce that Diva Dog attitude that many toys get.
5. Bake! There are lots of recipes for healthy dog biscuits online and you can make them Morkie-size. Use quality ingredients and you can cut calories too: the average commercial dog biscuit has more than 80 calories.
6. Cuddle. Grab a great book and get snuggled down in your bed with your Morkie. That “dog den” feeling is one dogs really love, and if your Morkie doesn’t sleep with you, it’ll be an even bigger treat.
7. Go for a car ride… and not to the Vet’s. Sometimes the only time we take our dogs out is to go to the Vet or groomer’s and then we wonder why they’re not so keen on cars… take a little drive and see if your Morkie doesn’t come to love the car. (Don’t forget to secure your pup in a small kennel carrier or with a doggy belt)
8. Add some more ‘stuffing’ to your Morkie’s bed... preferably one or two of your old t-shirts. The bed will be softer, and your Morkie can dig around and make a nest to his delight. And if it’s your old stuff, so much the better!
9. Sing to your Morkie! What’s cuter than seeing her head turn in puzzlement as she listens! Silly songs with lots of high and low notes, will keep your Morkie amused and engaged.
10. Praise, praise, praise! Look your Morkie straight in the eye and tell him how’s he the smartest, most handsome, best dog ever! Use your Morkie’s name a lot. Keep talking in a low, warm voice and watch your Morkie lap it up!
If you buy commercial dog food for your Morkie, you’ll want to read the label very carefully. That’s because the HUUUUGGGGEEE pet food industry is a little… shady… when it comes to truth in advertising.
For example, the industry has set its own rules for WHAT TO CALL dog food, based on what’s in it.
Dog food names and what they mean
The rules and regulations set out by the industry itself seem designed to confuse us! Just look at these examples below. You might think you’re buying a quality food, but take a closer look.
Packaging rules are defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). AAFCO
is “a voluntary membership association of local, state and federal agencies charged by law to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies.” In other words, it’s the industry regulating itself. Conflict of interest anyone???
The 95% Rule
The food must be made up of at least 95% of what’s named.
For example, Beef Dog Food means that the food is 95% BEEF. Sounds sensible, but from here, it goes down hill.
The 25% or “dinner” rule
The meat that’s named has to be only 25% of the food. So for example, Turkey Dinner is 25% turkey meat
and 75% other ingredients.
Watch for any descriptors like dinner, entree, feast, platter, nuggets, formula, etc.
BUT…it can also mean that Meat + something else like rice, makes up the 25% of the food together. Lamb & Rice Feast could be 1% lamb, 24% rice and 75% other. It’s not usual, but it COULD happen.
The 3% or “with” rule
Anything named after the word “with” is only 3% of the food. Dog Dinner Delight With Liver means that the food can be just 3% liver, and 97% other ingredients.
Watch for “with” or “plus.”
The “flavor” rule
This just means that there is a ‘noticeable’ amount to imbue flavor. Beef Flavour Dog Food means there’s just enough beef to give some flavour, according tot he testing dog. How do they know the dog thinks it tastes like beef? Good question.
Watch for the word ‘flavor.’
First in an informal series on commercial dog foods.
When you’re shopping for commercial dog food – canned or kibble – here is an important place to start: the first 5 ingredients listed on the label.
Even though dog food labels may list dozens of ingredients, it’s the first 5 that matter.
That’s because dog food ingredients are listed in order of weight, so the closer to the top of the list, the more of that ingredient in the dog food.
Let’s look at one notably horrible dog food and one notably good commercial dog food.
Ol’ Roy Complete Nutrition (dry food)
Ol’ Roy is the store brand, or private label brand, of Walmart. It’s manufactured by Doane Pet Food, which is owned by Mars Pet Food Division. Virtually any website that compares commercial dog foods rates this one at the bottom of the list. (Mars makes other cheap pet foods like Pedigree, Cesar and Nutro.)
The first 5 ingredients in Ol’ Roy
- Ground Yellow Corn
- Meat and Bone Meal
- Soybean Meal
- Poultry By-Product Meal
- Animal Fat
Are dogs corn eaters? No, but that’s the first ingredient and it’s CHEAP filler.
Meat and bone meal is a nasty mix of waste animal tissues, including bone. Very hard for dogs to digest. And what kind of animal does the meat and bone meal come from? Could be any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats…
Soybean meal does contain 48% protein. It’s probably included to boost the overall protein content of this food but it’s much lower quality than protein from meat.
Poultry by-product meal is made from slaughterhouse leftovers like chicken feet, backs, lungs and heads. If these leftovers are edible, they’re added to people food like bologna, sausage and hot dogs.
Not edible? Then add it to dog food, where it’s rendered (cooked at very high temperatures) until it is a dry meal.
Animal fat – again, what kind of a animal are we talking about?? If it doesn’t say, you don’t know.
And that means it can be spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle (the Three Ds of the meat world); road kill and even euthanized pets!!! It’s all legal.
AND, generic animal fat is often preserved with BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole). BHA is a suspected cancer causing agent. It’s also used in making rubber and cosmetics.
MEAT is great for dogs because it’s a source of protein that’s complete. It contains all all ten essential amino acids — nutrients dogs cannot live without. Plus, dogs can easily digest it, especially compared to inferior protein sources like corn or grain. But if the meat is not named, it can be literally anything, including
Whenever a pet food does not name the TYPE of animal, but just says “animal” or “meat” instead of, for example, “beef” or “chicken,” your guard should go up. That’s because the meat can be almost anything, and changes depending on what’s the cheapest in the marketplace.
MEAT BY-PRODUCTS are even scarier – by-products are slaughterhouse waste. The stuff that they won’t even put in hot dogs! The stuff they sweep up off the floor at the end of the day.
Purina calls this –
“nutrient-rich organ meats”
Sorry, but the rest of the world calls it crap! For example… “deboned chicken” is literally chicken meat that we’d eat. “Poultry by-products” can be what’s left after the ‘real’ meat is stripped off. Stuff like the head, the feet, neck and internal organs that no other food processor wants.
In summary, AVOID –
- commercial dog food that has “meat”
- instead, go for a named product, like beef, chicken, lamb, etc.
- and avoid poultry, and go for chicken, turkey, duck, etc.
- avoid by-products, meat or otherwise
Here’s an example of a label that you can understand, and that actually looks good.
Blue Life Protection Formula Chicken & Brown Rice
Top 5 ingredients:
- Deboned Chicken
- Chicken Meal
- Brown Rice
Now THAT sounds like something you’d want to feed to your Morkie!
To see how your dog’s food compares, check out Blue Buffalo’s web page Take the Test.
Dogs can be poisoned in the blink of an eye — getting into antifreeze in the garage, eating mouse poison, digging through your cleaning closet….
But by far, the #1 cause of poisoning in dogs:
Nationwide pet insurance (formerly known as VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, has analyzed its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to find the sources behind the hundreds of poisoning claims submitted to Nationwide pet insurance every month.
More than one recent study has documented, beyond a doubt, that owning a dog can help:
- reduce stress
- improve your enjoyment of life
- encourage an active lifestyle by promoting more exercise
- improve depression
- lower blood pressure
- and more
But there’s lots more: dogs are even trained to detect oncoming epileptic seizures and diabetic shock.
Getting an epilepsy-predicting dog is a reality
There are special service dogs trained to predict an epileptic seizure. They can alert the person by barking, or send an alarm to a caregiver. These dogs have also been trained to:
- lie next to someone having a seizure to prevent injury.
- put their body between the seizing individual and the floor to break the fall at the start of a seizure.
- fetch medication
(Approximately 65 million people around the world have epilepsy.)
Called Seizure Dogs, they’re a tremendous resource for anyone who lives wondering when the next attack might come. For children especially, a Seizure Dog can protect them from injuries, such as falling, and also give kids the confidence to llive with the daily struggle of epilepsy.
Even more amazing is the fact that many people report that their family dog already predicts and protects people in his family — with no formal training!
Joretta has had epilepsy since she was fourteen and utilizes Atco as her seizure alert dog. She has violent, partial complex seizures at least once or twice a week and needs assistance from a family member at those times. When Joretta had a seizure during her first days of team training, it was Atco’s body laying over her that kept her lying down and safe. Now, when Joretta has a seizure, Atco pushes the ‘life alert’ button which notifies her partner, who works seven miles away. Atco also provides balance and stability when Joretta is feeling weak.
How do dogs do it?
Gregory Holmes, a neurologist at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire, says the dogs could be detecting a change in smell.
“People have autonomic changes, such as increased sweating, which a dog could pick up on.”
According to Douglas Nordli, director of the children’s epilepsy center at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, such external changes could result from a small electrical discharge that occurs in the brain before the full blown electrical seizure. (New Scientist Journal)
The DAD or diabetes alert dog
Other specially trained, medical alert assistance dogs, can alert their owners to an oncoming diabetic episode of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. They seem to smell the change in the person’s breath, as a result of the dangerously low sugar levels in the blood, and alert the owner. The diabetic can take action before he becomes shaky, confused, disoriented – or even passes out.
Rocket the poodle brings a diabetes emergency kit to his owner Annegret Pross in Margetshoechheim, Germany, on March 17, 2015.
The dog’s unique sense of smell
Besides alerting a medical condition, dogs have been used for many years in law enforcement, sniffing out bombs and other explosive devices, missing people, drugs and even the dead. These seeming miracles can be explained because of the dog’s unique sense of smell.
Estimated to be at least 40 times greater than the human sense of smell, dogs have a super STRONG sense, plus the smells remain ‘separate’ for them. So where a person walks into a home and smells stew, a dog smells each and every ingredient, separately.
Where we have about 6 million olfactory receptors in our nose, dogs have 300 million!
So the diabetic-episode-alerting-dog can smell out a volatile chemical compound that diabetics release just before an attack, even though scientists themselves have not yet been able to identify that exact compound!
James Walker, former director of the Sensory Research Institute at Florida State University, www.pbs.org
There are three ways that you can help prevent your Morkie from getting diabetes… and you definitely want to avoid diabetes. But good news, many diabetic dogs go into remission by getting their diet, supplements, and exercise all in good order.
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
1. Lower the carbohydrates
Dog foods sold in big box stores contain as much as 98% carbohydrates! Carbs can not only trigger blood sugar swings, and ultimately diabetes, but they can keep your dog overweight. That’s another key risk in becoming diabetic.
Reducing the amount of carbs in your dog’s daily meals, can go a long way towards diabetes prevention.
Diet is especially important for dogs that are genetically at risk for diabetes. Fortunately that’s not Yorkies, Maltese or Morkies… but there’s no point in tempting fate.
(By the way, Golden Retrievers are most at risk to get diabetes.)
2. Talk to a holistic Veterinarian
Ask about natural supplements for your Morkie’s immune system. Many dog owners miss this important step in preventing diabetes. Supplementing with organic products such as antioxidants and herbs for the immune system can go a long way to help prevent diabetes.
Along the same lines as natural prevention, it is important that your Morkie isn’t over-vaccinated. Too many vaccines in his system can cause toxins to build up in the animal’s system, which in turn can trigger diabetes.
Flea tick treatments can also trigger diabetes by putting the body in a toxic state. By keeping your Morkie clean of these chemicals and toxins you are helping his immune system stay healthy.
It is sad to see so many diabetic dogs out there who don’t need to be. But being overweight and under-exercised makes it almost inevitable.
This of course is your direct responsibility. If your dog is a couch potato and gains weight, he can develop diabetes even if he is not a breed that is genetically at risk.
It doesn’t take much. Just 20 minutes of brisk walking once or twice a day is all your Morkie needs for optimum health and to keep him in good shape. If you can go jogging with your dog, even better. And it doesn’t hurt you either!
Who doesn’t love little dogs? The rich and famous, who could have their pick of ANY breed in the world, are certainly fond of Yorkies, Morkies and Maltese. Here are just a few celeb pups!
Famous Morkie owners – singer songwriter Jann Arden
This is Jann Arden‘s little Morkie called Midi (it’s a musical term). Jann has had a number of adventures with her, including being kicked off a CN Train on her way to a concert in Canada’s capital, Ottawa.
Part way through the trip, a porter noticed little Midi in a kennel cage, and gave the singer two choices: stow her Morkie with the rest of the luggage (!!) or get off the train.
Rumour has it Jann pulled the stop cord, and got off!
Rocker Steven Tyler
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler credits his dogs with keeping him sane in an otherwise insane industry.
Here he is with his Morkie AND an adorable Yorkie. They’re called Sundance and Butch Cassidy.
Check him out on YouTube here – with his dogs on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Modern Family Star Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Here’s actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson with his Morkie Leaf.
Last year on the Golden Globes, he said goodnight to his beloved pup!
And, the latest celeb Morkie lover …..
Above, Drake in Toronto with his new Morkie puppy, and the breeder whose kennel provided the dog.
Famous Yorkie owners – actor Johnny Depp
You may remember the big deal when Depp and his partner Amber Heard, went to Australia so he could complete filming on the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Seems the couple “forgot” to notify customs and immigration that they were bringing in animals, and the Prime Minister exploded. He even threatened to “execute” the two dogs since they weren’t put into quarantine, as is Australian law!
The late Whitney Houston loved her little Yorkie Doogie. When the singer passed away, daughter Bobbi Kristina took over care of the Yorkie, and added two more of her own.
Whitney’s sister now looks after the remaining dogs.
Above, left to right. Academy Award winning actress Natalie Portman; Rocker Ozzie Osbourne and wife Sharon with their baby; tennis superstar Venus Williams.
Molly Sims and her pair of Yorkies, Chloe and Poupette. She takes them everywhere – along with her baby – in their own doggy stroller!
President Richard Nixon in the White House, 1970, with the family’s pet Yorkie Pasha. The dog was bought for his daughter Tricia, but Nixon seems to have loved the pup just as much.
AND…. Celebrity Maltese dogs go waaaaaay back!
Maltese dogs are one of the oldest breeds still around today. It’s believed they were pets to Ancient Greeks including Aristotle, a whopping 2,600 years ago!
Many members of the British Royalty were very attached to these loving lapdogs, even centuries ago.
Left to right; the Duchess of Alba with her Maltese, painted by Goya in 1797; Marie Antoinette around 1780; Queen Elizabeth I in the 1580s; Mary Queen of Scots, with her Maltese in the 1590s.
In THIS century, fans of the Maltese included Elvis, left, who bought several for girlfriends and for his mother. Diana Ross had a Maltese dog, as did Marilyn Monroe – hers was a gift from Frank Sinatra and was called Maf, short for Mafia.
Another 60s star who loved her Maltese – Elizabeth Taylor.
Left to right: Demi Lovato; Susan Sarandon; Jane Fonda and Halle Berry.
Real men love Maltese too!
Left to right, with their beloved Maltese! Ashton Kutcher; Russell Brand and Snoop Dog.
When it comes to food for Morkie, you expect the best. And so you should. You want food that is:
- nutritious and healthy
- breed appropriate
- pure or ‘clean’ – minimal or no additives
- clearly labelled as to what’s in the food
You don’t always get this with commercial food
Commercial pet food is such a HUGE and profitable industry, that competition is fierce and scruples are often pretty low among manufacturers.
Just because a food is well-known and seen on TV, doesn’t mean it’s good for your dog. In fact, one dog food expert, Mike Sagman advises:
If it’s advertised on TV, don’t buy it!
You can read more at his outstanding website: www.DogFoodAdvisor.com
Best to worst types of food
Most experts agree, the best-to-worst types of food for your dog are:
- a balanced, homemade raw diet
- a balanced, commercial RAW diet
- a balanced, home cooked diet
- premium wet (canned) food
- premium dry (kibble) food
What does “balanced” mean, in pet food?
A balanced diet for your dog includes animal protein, vegetables, fat and micronutrients (omega 3 fatty acids for skin and brain function; and for older dogs, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate). Grain isn’t necessary, but it is a carrier for the other ingredients.
Dogs and cats also require more than 50 key nutrients, the most important of which are vitamin C and the minerals magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. The balance among these nutrients is important, too.
And, nutritional needs change by age and lifestyle.
So whether you’re making your own RAW food, or cooking your own dog food, it’s vital that you follow a professional recipe, or consult with an animal nutritionist.
Consult with a nutritionist or follow a professional recipe if you make your own dog food.
Yes, there ARE days when it’s too cold to take your Morkie for a walk!
Since Morkies have hair, not fur that can generate some thermal properties, they can get REALLY cold in winter, especially this year’s polar blasts.
Besides hypothermia, there are other winter dangers for small dogs, including:
- cracked paws
- toxic chemicals in ice remover
Do dogs need coats in cold weather?
Yes they do; and the coat should come up around the neck and cover the belly. It should be long enough to go from the neck to tail. Waterproof coats, versus sweaters, are better in protecting your Morkie.
The coat should be big enough to fit comfortably. Think “snug” but not tight.
At $79.95 at Amazon.com,the Quinzee Jacket from Ruffwear is expensive, but will last your dog’s lifetime: it is warm, weather-resistant, and packable. Available in 6 sizes.
The Quinzee jacket – comes in three colours.
Click image to read more.
Their other jacket, the Cloud Chaser, is similar, but features short front sleeves.
Click image to read more.
Winter paw care
Consider a product like Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax from Amazon.
Year round help. It not only protects your Morkie’s paws from winter ice, snow and snow removal chemicals, it protects against sand and hot pavement. Musher’s Secret Wax is made from all-natural, 100% wax-based cream. Non-toxic, non-allergenic, non-staining formula can be used weekly or as needed to prevent abrasions, burning, drying and cracking.
When you shop for dog food for your Morkie, your head might be spinning when you read labels. I believe the pet food manufacturers – a multi BILLION dollar industry – purposely confuse consumers. Why would they do that? So they can pass off sub-par food (made with the cheapest possible ingredients) as high priced, quality food.
There are many, many ways dog food makers can do that, and I’ll be reviewing them over the next few weeks. Let’s start with dog food names.
But first, who regulates the pet food industry?
Meet the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials)
This is the group that regulates the pet food industry. You’d expect this to be an unbiased, third party group. Possibly a government organization or agency.
AAFCO is a private corporation. It is made up largely of PET FOOD COMPANY EXECUTIVES, business insiders and some elected officials in the United States and Canada. They set standards for their industry that are not very high, to state it mildly. The Association believes foods that are made up predominantly of ingredients like these, are just fine for our dogs:
Ground yellow corn, soybean meal, ground whole wheat, and corn syrup.
What’s corn syrup doing in dog food?
It covers up the putrid taste of processed food, to the point where your dog will find it reasonably palatable.
The role of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration ) is one of oversight. They check that what’s on the label, is in the food. That, and whether or not the manufacturer’s name is correct on the label. They have no input or insights into what constitutes healthy pet food, and their recommendations to the AAFCO are generally considered ‘suggestions’ only. And generally ignored.
Unethical and shady: dog food names
That is what allows the industry to label dog food like this:
- “Beef for dogs” then at least 95% of the product must be beef (or 70% when counting the added water)
- “Beef dinner” requires the product to contain at least 25% of beef
- “With beef” means the product contains at least 3% of beef. Buying a product that says “now with real beef” and you get only 3%!
- “With beef flavour” means the flavour itself is detectable (from beef meal or beef by-products for example), there doesn’t have to be any actual beef meat present in the product
Don’t buy foods that are labelled as dinners, entrees, meals or anything along those lines: it means the food contains just 25% of the named meat.
“With beef” or “with beef flavour” are even worse so avoid them too.
Go for the simple animal protein name, such as Beef for dogs, Chicken or Lamb.
The pet food industry sums up what people think about advertising when they’re feeling especially cynical.
It’s shady, sketchy and more than a little dishonest.
Descriptions are twisted and turned. Words are left out. Others are honed to a fine edge, perfect to stick in your eye.
Does it have to be this hard?
No, it doesn’t. But this is big business, very big business. It’s estimated that last year alone, in just the United States, we spent more than $23 BILLION on pet food. So no wonder the stakes are so high when it comes to competition. Even the tiniest increase in market share can deliver hundreds of thousands of dollars to a company’s bottom line.
And it’s why pet food makers take short cuts, use the cheapest possible ingredients and hate to follow rules and regulations. They just don’t want us to know what’s in pet food.
FAIL: What’s in this food?
Unless your Morkie is a vegetarian, you’d expect to find meat in his food. But not so fast… When it comes to the source of protein, there are several things to remember.
- There’s “meat”
- There’s meat by-products, and
- There’s “meat meal”
“Meat” is the muscle that is stripped off a slaughtered animal, which can include what’s attached, such as fat, skin, sinew, nerve and blood vessels.
If a pet food says “meat” instead of the specific source of meat like beef, lamb or chicken, then beware. You don’t know where the meat has come from. It can be from animals that didn’t make it to the slaughterhouse and died on the way (The infamous 4-D meats, dead, dying, diseased and disabled.) It can be road kill. It can be other dogs, picked up after they’ve been euthanized at the pound or shelter.
Bottom line, look for the specific source of meat.
By-products are the polite word for sh*t you wouldn’t consider eating or feeding to your pet. Chicken by-products for example, include beaks, feet, the head, bones, intestines and even some feathers that stick to the rotting by-products.
Again, if the source of meat by-products isn’t name, the nightmare doubles. It’s disgusting parts from unknown or mystery animals. At least beef by-products, for example, come from cattle despite being parts your don’t think can be food.
Bottom line, avoid by products. And especially avoid meat by-products, versus a named protein by-product.
Author Ann N. Martin describes a rendering plant in her book, Food Pets Die For. By-products and waste from the slaughterhouse pile up on the factory floor. Maggots thrive in the barrels of dead dogs and cats, snakes, roadkill, deer, foxes, spoiled grocery store meats still in their foam packaging and more.
This stuff is then picked up by front end loader and dumped into a huge vat, where it’s boiled and boiled — or rendered — down into a concentrated sludge of horrifying goop. At the same time, a grinder rips into the mess, popping bones and joins, and tearing skin apart. After cooking and grinding, the mess is spun by centrifugal fore to remove the fat. It’s measured and added back in to the food as “animal fat.” Again, not identified by type of animal. Because how could it be?
Finally the rendered material is dried to a highly concentrated protein powder.
Bottom line, if a meat meal is made from an identified source of protein, such as beef, it does offer more protein, although it’s from pretty unappetizing parts of the animal. But “meat meal” or even worse, “meat by-product meal” means you can’t get a worse food to feed your Morkie.
Look for a specific type of meat in your Morkie’s food. Period. Chicken meat, beef meat, lamb meat and so on.