Is Pumpkin for Dogs Good? YES!

Is Pumpkin for Dogs Good? YES!

Pumpkin for dogs

Pumpkin for dogs in an amazing cure for both diarrhea AND constipation!

Hard to believe this veggie is so good for dogs, but pumpkins genuinely are. They can help resolve two opposite problems – diarrhea AND constipation. How? Read on.

What is a pumpkin anyway?

Pumpkin is a flavorful, healthy FRUIT that’s good for us and for our dogs. Yes, that’s right — pumpkin is a fruit. A pumpkin is a fruit simply because anything that starts from a flower is botanically a fruit. Botanically speaking, a fruit is the mature ovary of a flowering plant, usually containing seeds.

Pumpkins fit this definition because they develop from the ovary of a pumpkin flower and contain seeds. However, in culinary terms, pumpkins are often treated as vegetables because they are not typically used in sweet dishes like other fruits.

Usually, fruits and vegetables are named according to how they are consumed. How people eat them versus how people see them is often different. Take the tomato, for example. It grows from a flower, so it’s technically a fruit as well.

pumpkin and tomato: are they fruits or vegetables

Pumpkin contains lots of vitamins and minerals that support good health for dogs

Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy vision, immune function, and skin health. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage and supports immune function. Potassium is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure, nerve function, and muscle function. Iron is important for oxygen transport in the blood and energy production.

So, consuming pumpkin and other foods rich in these vitamins and minerals can help support overall health and well-being.

Canned pureed PURE pumpkin - not pie filling - is a great product to keep on hand

Cooked or canned pure pumpkin can do wonders for dogs’ digestive health.

It’s a miracle food – solving both constipation AND diarrhea. It contains magnesium, potassium and iron as well as beta-carotene which the body converts to Vitamin A. And, if your Morkie is overweight, it can even help him lose weight!

What makes pumpkin such a miracle food? Pumpkin is high in fiber.

So that means it can help bulk up loose stools by absorbing that excess liquid, or soften hard stools so your dog isn’t constipated any more. Digestive upsets are among the most common ailments dogs have, and can be very frustrating to deal with. But pumpkin can solve both extremes, diarrhea and constipation.

A natural stomach settler

white morkie feeling sick

A small amount of pure canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) can settle your Morkie’s stomach, whether he’s suffering from:

  • diarrhea
  • vomiting or
  • constipation

Just add a half to one teaspoon to his regular food once a day.

Pumpkin is a great source of natural fibre, and can be used to fill your dog up, without too many calories. This will also help in reducing his weight.


Just add a half to one teaspoon to his regular food once a day.

What causes dog diarrhea?

Dog Diarrhea is never pleasant

Diarrhea is a common problem in dogs that can have a variety of causes. While it may not always be a cause for concern, it can be a sign of an underlying health problem. In this essay, we will explore some of the reasons why dogs get diarrhea and what can be done to prevent and treat it.

Dietary Changes

One of the most common reasons for diarrhea in dogs is a sudden change in diet. Dogs fed table scraps or a new brand of food can experience digestive upset that leads to diarrhea – small dogs even more so. Dogs that overeat or eat too fast, or scarf down spoiled or contaminated food may also develop diarrhea.


Another common cause of diarrhea in dogs is the presence of parasites. Intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and giardia can all cause diarrhea in dogs. These parasites are usually picked up through contact with contaminated soil or feces.


Diarrhea can also be a symptom of an underlying illness or disease. Inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and kidney or liver disease can all cause diarrhea in dogs. In some cases, diarrhea may also be a side effect of medication.

There lots of reasons why dogs may develop diarrhea. While it may not always be a serious problem, monitoring your Morkie’s health and getting veterinary care if diarrhea persists for more than a day or two is essential. With proper care and attention, most cases of diarrhea can be successfully treated quickly.

Dog diarrhea: when to check with the Vet?

Check out what Dr. Jerry Klein has to say about dog diarrhea. He is the Chief Veterinary Officer from the AKC –  the American Kennel Club.

Canned Pumpkin can also help your Morkie lose weight!

If your Morkie is a Porkie, pure canned pumpkin with his regular meals can help him lose weight.  Pumpkin puree can help dogs lose weight in a few ways.

First, it is high in fiber which can help dogs feel full and reduce their appetite. Second, it is low in calories which means dogs can eat a larger volume of food without consuming too many calories. Finally, the nutrients in pumpkin can help support a healthy digestive system which is important for maintaining a healthy weight. However, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet to ensure it’s appropriate for their individual needs.


Check out this COMPLETE HANDBOOK for raising a happy, healthy Morkie. From puppy to senior. Includes potty training, feeding, common health concerns, obedience, vaccinations and much more.  Charts, photos, illustrations and easy-to-read text.

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Apple cider vinegar for dogs

Apple cider vinegar for dogs

Is Apple Cider Vinegar really as good as some people think?

Apple cider vinegar has become a popular home remedy for various human health concerns, including weight loss, digestion, and skin issues. As a result, some pet owners have started giving apple cider vinegar to their dogs in an attempt to address similar health problems in their pets.

However, before giving apple cider vinegar to your dog, you need to consult with your veterinarian. While apple cider vinegar can have some health benefits for dogs, it can also cause harm if not used correctly.

Some potential benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs include:

  1. Digestive Health
  2. Skin and coat health
  3. Weight Loss
  4. Upset Stomach
  5. Tooth decay
  6. Skin Irritation

What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented apple juice. It is often used in cooking and as a home remedy for various health concerns. Some people also use apple cider vinegar as a natural cleaning agent or as a beauty product. It is believed to have several health benefits. Still, if you’re considering it for your Morkie, you should consult a healthcare professional before using it for medicinal purposes.

How’s it made?

First, the apples are crushed, and the juice is extracted. Then, yeast and bacteria are added to the juice to start the fermentation process. The natural sugars in the juice are converted into alcohol, which is then converted into acetic acid by bacteria.

The acetic acid gives apple cider vinegar its characteristic sour taste and strong odour. The vinegar is typically aged for several months to develop its flavour before being bottled and sold.

A drawing of a bottle of apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar – or ACV – has a reputation for being able to cure a wide range of ailments, in both people and pets.

small dog making a funny face

“I have a number of clients who attempt to add apple cider vinegar to their pets’ diets, but their pet won’t eat it,” Dr. Heinze said.

Apple Cider Vinegar Diet

Apple cider vinegar has been a popular home remedy for weight loss for people for ages. Some studies suggest that consuming apple cider vinegar may help us feel fuller, leading to fewer calories consumed throughout the day. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential effects of apple cider vinegar on weight loss and overall health.

Apple cider vinegar MIGHT be beneficial for dogs that need to lose weight since it has been shown to help reduce fat storage and increase metabolism. 

Since ACV can increase the acidity of the stomach, it can aid in the breakdown of food. Plus, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may help balance the pH levels in your dog’s digestive system. But again, it is essential to check with a vet.

Dr. Cailin Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN

Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

Is it safe?

Most experts agree ACV for dogs is safe when diluted and in small quantities. Since it hasn’t been scientifically proven, you might want to look for something tested and proven. 


And please be aware giving your dog undiluted apple cider vinegar or too much apple cider vinegar could be dangerous for some pets, especially those with existing health problems. 

Although the enzymes in ACV may reduce gas and bloat, which can relieve some digestive issues like diarrhea or constipation, the acid level can damage the dog’s tooth enamel.  


quote about apple cider vinegar

Credit: From websiste.

The bottom line? There’s not enough research to validate how effective ACV is in treating dog ailments, from skin conditions and infections to digestive issues.

However, used with care and always diluted with water, apple cider vinegar just might be what your Morkie needs to solve some common problems.

little dog with a glass of apple cider vinegar

ACV for your dog's ears?

If your dog’s ears are itchy and uncomfortable, you can clean them using half ACV/half purified water.  Wet a cotton ball with the 50/50 mixture and swab out the ears, repeating until the cotton ball comes out clean. NEVER pour the solution into your dog’s ears, and NEVER use Q-tips.


What about “hot spots” on the skin? Some people swear by a 50/50 water/ACV mixture sprayed lightly on the affected skin area. But don’t use this if the skin is broken.


Fat dog or just “fluffy”?

Fat dog or just “fluffy”?

Do you have a fat dog, or do you prefer the term fluffy? If your Morkie is a porkie, he won’t live as long because he’s in danger of developing high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease or diabetes. Even several of these ailments at the same time. Plus he may suffer from aching joints, heartburn and overall discomfort. Here’s how to tell if you have a fat dog, and what to do about it.

How to tell if your Morkie is overweight

It’s as little hard because of all the hair, so if you keep your Morkie’s hair long, I suggest you do an inspection when he’s wet. From overhead, see where  your Morkie fits:

Here’s another view

From the side, you should be able to tell where the ribs are, but they shouldn’t be protruding. The neck should look sturdy, not thin. Note the ‘abdominal tuck‘ – Morkies have a fairly deep chest, so there should be a definite tuck where their tummy is.

Breeds most prone to obesity

Phew, good news. Neither the Yorkshire Terrier, nor the Maltese dog, are prone to being overweight. Dogs that can easily get too heavy, include:

  • Basset Hounds
  • Pugs
  • Bulldogs
  • Beagles
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Dachshunds
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Newfoundlands
  • Rottweilers
  • Bichons

7 reasons you shouldn’t let your Morkie get overweight:

  1. Health problems: Just like humans, overweight dogs are at higher risk for a range of health problems, including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and more.  Major issues like kidney disease, respiratory problems, and many forms of cancer are directly related to dogs who are overweight.
  2. Shorter lifespan: Studies have shown that overweight dogs have a shorter lifespan than dogs that maintain a healthy weight.
  3. Decreased quality of life: Overweight dogs may have difficulty exercising, playing, and engaging in other activities that are important for their physical and mental health.
  4. Increased veterinary bills: Treating health problems related to obesity can be expensive, and overweight dogs may require more frequent trips to the vet.
  5. Reduced bond with your pet: Overweight dogs may have a harder time bonding with their owners, as they may be less active and less interested in spending time with their human companions.
  6. Arthritis – Extra weight puts extra pressure on a dog’s joints. The cartilage in the joint deteriorates, which leads to arthritis.
  7. Anesthesia risk – The heart and lungs of overweight and obese dogs have to work harder during anesthesia. The dog struggles to breathe because he has difficulty expanding his chest. Dogs often sleep too deeply or not deeply enough. In addition, overweight dogs may take a long time to wake up after anesthesia.


Remember to keep your pupper at a healthy weight, cut way down on treats, feed a quality diet and enjoy exercise together.

national pet obesity day

Does it really matter if your Morkie is overweight?

Yes! A pet that’s just 10% to 20% overweight is at risk of lots of serious health problems – and his life  can be shortened by an average of 2 1/2 years! That’s reason enough to keep your Morkie’s weight at its healthy range.

Credit: Prudence Insurance

Help your Morkie lose weight

Slowly cut back food

Give your dog the best quality food you can. Reduce the amount gradually. At the same time, stop giving him tidbits from the table or specially cooked foods that aren’t so good for him. (And no, your Morkie won’t eat salad.) Worried  your Morkie will stop eating altogether and starve? He won’t. Honest. And if you’re seriously worried, please see your Vet for more advice.

Eliminate treats

Commercial dog treats have LOTS of calories. And most of them are not good for your dog anyway. In fact, treats like Beggin’ Strips, rawhide chews and jerky treats are often on recall because of serious contamination from salmonella and toxic chemicals. Plain old dog biscuits like milk bones aren’t that great either. They’re loaded with sugar, contain BHA, a preservative that is a known cancer causing agent… PLUS, they’re made  with chemicals that also are used to manufacture things like rubber and petroleum products, and embalming fluid.  

Walk more

“But my Morkie runs all around the house all day!” you say. “Isn’t that enough exercise?” Actually it isn’t. Small dogs often miss out on daily leashed walks because they already seem so active at home. but all dogs benefit from a regular, brisk walk outdoors. And a leashed walk does more for your Morkie. It tells him that you’re the alpha dog in charge, and helps build a strong bond between the two of you. Like I always say, a tired dog is a good dog.

How often should you bathe your dog?

How often should you bathe your dog?

How to give a dog a bath

Wondering how often should you give your dog a bath?  One of the mistakes first-time dog owners make is bathing their dog too often. That will strip the natural oils from your Morkie’s coat and can cause skin irritations. Plus dry hair is more prone to tangle and go frizzy.

Limit dog baths to every 2 to 3 months

Too much washing will actually harm your dog’s coat and skin rather than make it healthy. Your Morkie’s skin can become dry and flakey, and his coat will go dull when the natural oils are washed away.

Generally speaking, a bath more than once every 6 to 8 weeks is too often. Most experts recommend waiting at least 3 months between baths. Try more combing instead: regular combing keeps your Morkie’s coat smooth and mat-free. Frequent combing can reduce dirt and even reduce the smell.

Try a foot bath for your Morkie instead of a full bath

Your dog’s feet can pick up lots of stuff outside including road salt. Plus, dogs sweat almost entirely from the bottom of their paws. Their little feet can end up smelling like a teenage boy’s who’s worn high tops all day!

Clean paws will make your Morkie more comfortable, and a cleaner companion. There’s even a handy little cup tool for dipping one foot at a time in warm soapy water available from Amazon. (Be sure to use unscented, dog-friendly shampoo.)

Hey, how come my dogs feet smell like FRITOS?

The American Kennel Club’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Jerry Klein, DVM, explains this odd mystery!

bag of Frito corn chips

At any given time, dogs have some level of bacteria and fungi on their feet. Bacteria called Pseudomonas and Proteus have a real yeasty odour and can smell just like Frito corn chips.

But don’t worry, this is completely normal and doesn’t mean your dog has an infection or problem. Anything wrong with your Morkie’s feet will show up as lumps or bumps on his paws, or the paw pads are red or irritated. Then it’s time to see your Vet

It’s not hard to bathe your Morkie and if you make it a habit when the dog is young, he may even enjoy it.

Remember that your goal is more than a clean dog. You want to create a positive bonding experience between the two of you. Take your time, be positive, and offer lots of praise.

Dog expert Cesar Millan recommends a long walk before the bath, to burn off your dog’s excess energy. I can attest that this is a great idea.

BEFORE YOU START, make sure your Morkie’s hair is mat- and tangle-free. A matted coat will only get worse when you add water. In my experience, there isn’t a conditioner or special treatment in the world that will help. In fact, these products can make it even worse. (I know professional groomers will bath a tangled dog, but I leave it to their expertise.)

Step One: gather together everything you need before you start

Get organized first; you can’t dash off and get what you forgot. A smaller dog might jump down from the counter and injure himself. A bigger dog might panic and become aggressive. 

Keep everything you need within arm’s reach and be calm and measured. Your dog can sense if you are nervous, and he’ll get worried too.

  • a plastic apron for you.
  • 2 large towels.
  • a non-slip rubber mat on the bottom of the sink or tub to keep your dog from skittering around on the slick surface.
  • a non-slip mat for yourself.
  • a good quality dog shampoo. It must say “Certified Organic” because terms like natural, pure, or organic have no standardized meaning.
  • cotton balls.
  • wide-toothed comb or a coat rake.
  • hair dryer.
  • ear cleaner: an over-the-counter type of ear cleaner made for dogs.
  • treats to give throughout the process.

Step Two: start the bath

Put the rubber mat in the bottom of the sink or tub, and run some lukewarm water. (Dogs cannot tolerate hot water the way we can.) For smaller pets, a laundry tub works well, or you can use your kitchen sink. Some people prefer a portable dog bath, available at pet supply stores.

Take your dog’s collar off and put one or two cotton balls in each ear. Don’t jam them in with anything other than your finger.

Put the dog under the lukewarm running water, encouraging him to keep all four feet on the bottom of the sink or tub.

Wet your dog’s body but leave the head and neck for last; dogs aren’t crazy about water on their head or in their face. As you wet down your dog, praise him and talk to him in a low, gentle voice.

As he gets used to the water, put the plug in, and fill to the top of his legs. Now, pour some of the dog shampoo in the palm of your hand, and rub to warm it up. Don’t use too much or it’s hard to rinse out. Apply to your dog’s body, not the head.

Massage your dog all over with shampoo, starting with the top of the body. Work your way around to the tummy, giving the tail and genitals extra attention. Lift each leg and give it a quick shampoo.

Don’t scrub too hard; your dog’s skin is sensitive and will become irritated.

Refresh the dog’s coat with some more lukewarm water and keep shampooing.

Finally, wet the head and face area with a wet washcloth. DON’T pour water over your dog’s face – it’s like waterboarding him. The washcloth will clean any debris on his face. Don’t use shampoo on his face unless it’s really dirty.

Keep water out of your dog’s ears if possible.

Let the plug out and rinse your dog with more lukewarm running water, starting with the head. Again, don’t run water onto your dog’s face – let a little run on top of the head and down.

There’s no need to ‘rinse and repeat.’ One shampooing will do the job. And dogs do not need a cream rinse or conditioner unless your home is very dry.

Step Three: finish the bath with a towel dry and light blow dry

Once he’s thoroughly rinsed, lift your dog out and put him on the waiting towel. Be watchful he doesn’t try to jump down after his “ordeal.” Pat down his coat with the towel then wrap him up in it. Don’t rub the hair, it will cause mats.

  • Remove the cotton balls in his ears if they haven’t already fallen out.
  • Use ear cleaner to rinse out any residue; the alcohol in it will help dry the ears.
  • This is the ideal time to trim your dog’s nails since they will be softer and easier to cut.

Wet Morkie shivering in the coldOnce your Morkie is dry, give him a gentle, all-over brushing, starting at the head and working your way to the tail. If you want to do any clipping or a cleanup trim, use the right scissors and don’t cut your dog’s hair until it is thoroughly dry. 

Get the second towel you’ve set aside, and pat your dog all over with it. Then, with the setting on cool to medium, use a hairdryer. You can pause every couple of minutes and gently run a comb through, for smooth, tangle-free results.

Keep the nozzle of the hairdryer moving so there’s no chance of overheating one area. Another safety measure is to leave one hand on your Morkie as you’re drying so you can tell how hot the airflow is. Your Morkie hates air blowing in her face, so keep the dryer moving, and never focus the heat on only one area at a time.

The hairdryer’s sound might stress him, so take it slow. 

Don’t forget to put your Morkie’s collar back on – a collar with legible, up-to-date I.D.


7 Mistakes to Avoid When Bathing Your Morkie

The water is too hot

Dogs feel temperature more than we do, so go on the cooler side.

The water is spraying too hard

This will be scary for your little dog. Instead of spraying him directly, let the water run over your hand and THEN onto him. And of course, NEVER spray your dog directly in the face or around the ears!

It’s the wrong shampoo

Our shampoo, even if it’s baby shampoo or marked gentle or organic, is FAR too harsh for dogs. Their skin is only 3 cells deep while ours is 15 cells deep so they are much more sensitive than we are. Invest in a quality organic dog shampoo for your Morkie.

You’re not massaging the shampoo

To get rid of the dirt and grime, you need to massage the shampoo in to your Morkie’s hair, gently rubbing down to his scalp. Gently work the shampoo in for about 4 minutes in each area.

You don’t remove mats BEFORE the bath

A recipe for disaster: take coat mats and add water! Only expert groomers can do it without making the mats much worse. Give your Morkie a light brushing before bathing.

Not thoroughly drying your pet

Start by patting him with a dry towel.  Keep your dryer on LOW heat and never point a  hot stream of air on your Morkie. Low heat takes more time but it’s safer. Lift his hair with your fingers, so the drying air gets all the way down to his skin.

Bathing too often

Remember, your dog doesn’t need to be bathed more than once every 2 or 3  months. If he’s stinky, give him a good combing or brushing and try the footbath.

Try my Kindle Book –

Groom Your Morkie at Home: Keep his coat long and luxurious in just minutes a day

Keep your Morkie’s hair long and flowing yourself… in just minutes a day.

Why settle for a puppy cut?

Instead you can enjoy your Morkie’s beautiful long coat, a combination of colours from the parents, the Maltese dog and the Yorkshire Terrier.  By persevering with your Morkie for just a few minutes every day, you can easily groom him yourself, and keep his hair long, flowing and luxurious. That’s the way the Morkie is meant to be. No more puppy cuts for you!

Groom Your Morkie at Home takes you through the steps you need to know.  Click here to order from Amazon today.


Why you should NEVER buy a dog from Craigslist

Why you should NEVER buy a dog from Craigslist

A very, very sad story on the news out of California… a family bought a beautiful Morkie puppy from a Craigslist seller. Within just six days, Copper, the Yorkie Maltese mix, was dead.

white morkie feeling sickAs buyer Kathy Nixon said, “It’s very upsetting to see my children go through this.”

Her Veterinarian confirmed that the puppy would have been sold already suffering from parvovirus. And, of course, the Craigslist seller refused to cover the nearly $900 vet bill.

Because of puppy mills, both Kijiji and Craigslist have been targets of international petitions demanding they remove the sale of animals and only promote adoption from registered animal rescue groups and shelters and the re-homing of family pets (“for a small adoption fee”).


After this backlash, both sites have backed off pet sales to some degree but do allow people to advertise to “re-home” their own pet to a forever home. So now, unscrupulous puppy mill breeders pose as regular dog owners, pretending to “re-home their pet. There is a “small” fee, which is usually anywhere from $300 to $900 and up, supposedly for shipping and other ‘costs’. As one writer put it:

“I thought I would be doing a good deed and providing a forever home. Instead, it was a breeder scam.”

Be sure to ask to visit the breeder’s kennel or home and see the other Morkies and dogs they have. The mother dog should be at the same location. Watch for suspicious signs – otherwise, you could be buying blind.

If the seller insists on meeting you at the halfway point or somewhere other than where the other puppies and parent dogs are, you know you’re dealing with a puppy mill.

The California Case 

Ironically, there is a law in California that protects people who buy dogs. But this seller insists she’s not a “real breeder.”  If you buy from a breeder, defined in California as someone who sells at least twenty puppies or three litters a year, you have rights if a dog becomes sick within the first 15 days.

  • You can return the dog for a refund and get your vet bills covered up to the dog’s purchase price.
  • Exchange the dog and get your vet bills for the dog’s cost.
  • Or keep the dog and get up to 150% of the price to cover the vet bills with proof of the illness

 Want more tips on avoiding sick puppies, scams and puppy mill dogs?

Download my free e-book, “The 7 Things You Need to Know Before You Get a Morkie.” Among other tips, this e-book tells you how to avoid getting stung like Kathy Nixon.


The AKC’s warning about online puppy sales

Puppy scammers post fake litters online or pretend to be someone they’re not (usually an existing breeder) to take advantage of puppy sales (sans the puppies.) This means that if you aren’t careful, you could find the perfect puppy, send the ‘breeder’ your money, and never receive a puppy or any follow-up communication in return.

While many times these fake listings appear on websites like Craigslist, some scammers find ways to position themselves as reputable breeders by stealing personal info from them.

Luckily, it’s easy to know what to look for to ensure your puppy-buying experience is both safe and enjoyable.


What are the Red Flags?

No phone calls. The seller prefers to handle communication by email and not by phone. A reputable breeder will always communicate with you via phone or video chat (if not in person) before selling you a puppy. Fraudulent sellers are oftentimes outside of the U.S. and may be hiding their phone numbers by only communicating by email.

Copycat or stock photos. Photos of the dog or ad text can be found on multiple websites. Search for the text in the listing to see if the seller copied and pasted it from another site.

Sketchy payment. The seller asks for the wiring of money or payment by gift cards. Be aware that if you choose a non-secure payment method, it is highly unlikely that you will get your money back. Avoid paying a stranger using apps such as Venmo, as it is harder to get your money back if you don’t get what you paid for. Paying by credit card or PayPal is typically the safest option.

The price is too good to be true. Research the prices for the breed you are considering ahead of time. Purebred dogs sold at deeply discounted prices are typically frauds. If the seller says they register their dogs with a specific organization, you can call the organization to confirm.

Breeder “badges.” AKC does not distribute badges to breeders.


7 Warning signs that you’re dealing with a puppy mill or unscrupulous backyard breeder

1. The “breeder” is local, but no, you can’t visit. Instead, he or she wants to meet at a halfway point, a mall or car-park.

2.  You can visit – but you see 3 or more different breeds running around. This is a red flag that the breeder isn’t committed to one breed or hybrid and is just churning out whatever puppies she can to make money.

3. Dirty or stinky facilities. Genuine breeders love their dogs and put their care first. The home and puppy area should be clean and tidy and a safe environment for the puppies and parents.

4. Junky hand-painted signs on the road, advertising puppies for sale. This isn’t how a real kennel runs its business.

5. Puppies are always available, and the breeder will let you take one at Christmas, Easter, etc. No good breeder will release a puppy during these high-stress times and no responsible breeder always has a handy supply of puppies.

6. Stay away from anyone who’s selling puppies at a public place like a flea market, yard sale, swap meet or pet store, or out of the back of a pickup truck, car or van.

7. Be suspicious of the breeder who doesn’t demand that you spay or neuter your puppy. A genuine breeder will ask you to sign an agreement that your dog will NOT be bred.

sign of a puppy scam

Homemade signs like these, filthy surroundings and lots of different breeds running around are all signs you’re dealing with an unscrupulous and cruel puppy mill.

Free Report about Morkies

7 Things You Need to Know Before You Get a Morkie

FREE REPORT by small dog expert Deb Gray.

Click to order your free report. Instant download, so you can read it right away on your computer, smartphone, tablet, iPad or laptop.

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Never cut your Morkie’s whiskers – here’s why

Never cut your Morkie’s whiskers – here’s why

Morkie dog whiskers

Part antenna and part sense of touch, whiskers are long coarse hairs on your Morkie’s face. If you cut your Morkie’s whiskers, you can expect him to be grumpy and growly because he’ll be disoriented; even his vision is affected.  So what are the effects of cutting dog whiskers?

funny looking morkie

Called vibrissae because they vibrate, whiskers are long, coarse hairs that act like a dog’s GPS.

About five times thicker than hair, whiskers are sensitive to air currents, touch, or vibrations, so they can help your Morkie find his way, especially in the dark.

Despite a dog’s incredible sense of smell, his vision isn’t so great. Dogs are naturally farsighted (things in the distance are clear, but things closer are blurry).

Add the blocking effect of a muzzle, and most dogs are poor at seeing closer things. That’s where sensitive whiskers really help your dog navigate.

Whiskers are so important, that 40% of the dog’s brain is set aside to process their signals.

from Psychology Today

How do dog whiskers work?

When a whisker touches a surface or is moved by an air current, it vibrates right down to the nerve, which transmits that message to the brain.

Whiskers are SO sensitive that they can pick up the smallest changes in air currents.

Whiskers themselves have no feeling, but the nerves at their base are highly sensitive to touch or movement.

dog whisker diagram

There are FOUR types of whiskers on dogs, and each one has a special function

types of dog whiskers

A dog’s very long eyebrows (called “superciliary whiskers“) have another function. When they touch something, the dog’s eyes automatically close, so he doesn’t get poked in the eye.

Mystacial whiskers on either side of the upper lips pick up shifts in air currents. A dog can have up to 20 on each side. They’re sometimes called moustache whiskers.

That little tuft of whiskers under your dog’s chin — called an Inter-ramal Tuft — helps him figure out how far away the food bowl is and what’s right under his nose, which is where most dogs have a blind spot.

Genal whiskers grow on the cheeks and help a dog judge the distance to the edges of his environment.


Rats, seals, walruses, and monkeys all have prominent whiskers

Most mammals have whiskers. Biologists think they first developed to help the animal in the dark, especially cats who tend to be nocturnal.

Did you know that a cat’s whiskers grow out to be exactly as long as a cat is wide/high? This is because cats use them to figure out if they can fit somewhere, like in an old box.

While cats have 12 neatly arranged whiskers that form four rows on either side of his face, a dog’s whiskers are random.

Ever notice, when kids draw cats, they always include whiskers; but they rarely draw whiskers on dogs

whiskers on cats
how kids draw dogs

What happens if you cut a dog’s whiskers?

Noooooooo………..Don’t ever cut your Morkie’s whiskers! But if you do by mistake, you should know it can leave him feeling disoriented and lost. The stress might make him cranky and growly.

It doesn’t HURT a dog to cut his whiskers, but it does limit hunting and playing for a while. Dogs NEED their whiskers to get around their environment.

Four more cool things about dog whiskers

1. What are whiskers made of?

Whiskers are the same as hair, but they’re about three times thicker. Whiskers and hair are made from keratin, a strong fibrous protein.

2. Can I pluck my dog’s whiskers?

NO, definitely not. There are so many nerves at the base of a whisker that pulling one out will certainly hurt — quite a bit. Plus, each whisker is deeply embedded, much more so than regular hair.

3. Do dogs’ whiskers fall out?

They do fall out from time to time, and it’s nothing to worry about. A new whisker grows in to replace the old one. However, if your dog is losing a LOT of whiskers at once, it’s a good idea to see your Vet. This could be a sign of something else going on, such as mange or ringworm.

4. Why do groomers sometimes cut off a dog’s whiskers?

Some groomers think that whiskers look scruffy, so cut them off for a clean look. Dogs who are in shows sometimes have their whiskers trimmed off too. But it’s not a good idea. Whiskers are much more than cosmetic; they serve a purpose.


Ditch the Puppy Cut!

Ditch the Puppy Cut!

The luxurious, flowing coat is one of the things that may have drawn you to a Morkie. It’s part of his cachet.

With the Yorkie’s range of brown, black and gold colors plus pure white from the Maltese, a Morkie’s coat is beautiful and unique.

But then you get your new baby home. You’re not quite sure how to look after all that hair. Soon the dog gets matted, and you head out to a groomer, who almost always recommends a “cute puppy cut.” But there’s only one thing. Thanks to the mats, the dog needs a real shave down. That puppy cut looks like an extreme buzz cut you’d see on a punk band in the subways of New York. Now your adorable, cuddly Morkie looks more like a skinny, trembling little rat.

Why shave down your Morkie? They don’t shed!

All animals, even us – shed dander, so there’s technically no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog. However, both the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier come close, along with breeds like Poodles. That’s because these breeds do not have fur. 

Like their parents, Morkies have hair so their coat doesn’t shed. Morkies aren’t like Golden Retrievers, shedding big gobs of fur all over your house.

  • They have a single layer of hair, with no undercoat that sheds every season
  • There’s no fine undercoat floating around in your house, and far less dander (dander is basically animal dandruff, except that it’s natural; and can be controlled).
dog with hair thats too short

What about summer? Shouldn't I cut my dog's hair then?

Contrary to popular belief, the Morkie’s long hair does not make him hotter in the summer.

Dogs with short hair or white coats are more susceptible to insect bites and the sun’s harmful rays. Each sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer later. 

Three of the skin cancers that our vets commonly see in dogs are squamous cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and mast cell tumors. Each of these dog skin cancers has somewhat different symptoms, and tend to strike some breeds more than others.

But here’s the good news!

You CAN keep your pup’s long, flowing hair yourself in just minutes a day at home,

How to start:

You CAN learn how to keep your Morkie well-groomed in a long, beautiful coat and you can do it all yourself. Grooming your Morkie is not only a great way to bond and stay close to your dog, it saves you time and money, too.

You’ll learn how to handle the 4 essentials:

  1. Brushing and combing
  2.  Bathing
  3.  Nail trimming
  4.  Ear care

I wrote this blog because I hear from lots of people who love luxurious, flowing coats. But they don’t know how to groom their dog. Don’t worry, if you’re  not trying to trim his hair, orr shave it down, it’s easy to groom your Morkie yourself at home and keep his hair long and flowing.

Let's get started

1. Start Slowly - Let your Morkie get used to being handled this way

You can teach your Morkie to love (OK, like) grooming if you start early. And you can teach an older dog to like grooming. The key is frequent, short sessions.

No need to make every grooming session long and tiring. Just a few minutes a day can keep him well-groomed and mat-free.

Mats are irritating and painful and they can lead to skin diseases. They’re the main reason owners end up clipping their dogs down.  The more frequently you comb your Morkie, the lower the chance of a matted coat.

If your dog is really fussy, just handle him all over a couple of times a day, as if  you’re combing – without the comb!


3. Start with VERY short combing sessions

If your dog seems nervous or afraid, make the combing sessions VERY short at first – like 1 minute. Gradually incease the time and introduce a brush. Over time, he’ll get very used to being combed and brushed and may even like  it.

If you’re also giving your Morkie a bath, give him a comb-out before you put him in the water. Wet mats are even hard to get out. Towel dry him gently after, use a dryer, then start combing and brushing again.

dog brush and comb

2. Get some decent equipment

Your new friend: the comb

Combing (not brushing) is at the core of a well-groomed Morkie.

Although it is handy to have a good brush, I recommend that you focus on the comb. Select one with average-spaced teeth.  (There are combs with very fine teeth, but they are for finding fleas.) Metal is best, with a sturdy rubber handle for your comfort. Expect to pay between $10.00 and $20.00 for a superior comb that will last for years.

Select a quality brush

For the brush, pick a “Wire Pin Brush.” As the name suggests, each stainless steel wire or pin is rounded at the end for the dog’s comfort. Wooden brushes are comfortable for you, but personally I prefer a rubber-handled brush. Expect to pay between $15.00 and $25.00 for a brush that will last your dog’s lifetime.

4. Be consistent - shorter sessions, more often

The best and proven way to prevent mats? Comb your dog’s hair at least every other day. Just 3 or 4 minutes will do the job. More frequent, shorter sessions  are better. 

Once your Morkie is looking gorgeous again, consider a natural treatment like Argon oil. Also called Moroccan oil, it’s traditionally used to treat skin diseases, and as a cosmetic oil for skin and hair. You can buy it for less at beauty supply stores, or order online at Amazon and similar outlets.  I pour a little into my palms, rub well, then spread lightly on the surface of my dog’s coat. It leaves her shiny and smooth, and less likely to get tangles.

The Secret Weapon: a de-matting comb 

Get a de-matting comb. Look for a well-made one with a comfortable rubber handle. The de-matting comb has few, single teeth set far apart like the rake, but there’s a big difference. The teeth are actually sharp blades on one side. (These teeth have rounded tips to protect your dog’s skin.)

Gently drag this through your Morkie’s coat in the direction of hair growth. Mats will be sliced apart and tangles cut out, without pulling! It works on loose hair, knots and debris.

This is one piece of equipment that I would recommend for any size dog with any kind of coat. They’re great for cats, too. Like the coat rake, these are advertised as essential tools for dogs like Golden Retrievers with their heavy undercoat. But you’ll be glad to have one for your Morkie.


Dematting comb for dogs

morkie dog before and after a haircut

In this BEFORE and AFTER picture, this little guy looks naked without all his hair – and nothing like a Morkie. But with regular, frequent combing your Morkie can have long, flowing hair.


Looking for more information about grooming your Morkie yourself?

Groom Your Morkie at Home takes you through the steps you need to know to groom your Morkie yourself at home, and keep his hair long and luxurious.

Plus you’ll learn:
– the truth about shampoos (and how to make your own)
– how to safely clean your Morkie’s ears and under his eyes
– how and why to brush your dog’s teeth
– what equipment you need for grooming at home
– removing mats and tangles
– how to do the top knot …and lots more

Complete with illustrations.

Easy to read style
You’ll enjoy the author’s trademark easy-to-read style and insight. Deb is not a Veterinarian, and she is not specially trained in animal care. But she is a dedicated and life-long animal lover with a particular fondness for dogs.

Order your ebook today and read it on any device.

buy at amazon

Want to take better care of your Morkie?

Check out this COMPLETE HANDBOOK for raising a happy, healthy Morkie. From puppy to senior. Includes potty training, feeding, common health concerns, obedience, vaccinations and much more.  Charts, photos, illustrations and easy-to-read text.

Read it on your smartphone, computer, laptop, iPad or reader.

ORDER this invaluable e-book today 

Or read more about the MORKIE MEGA GUIDE e-book.


Order today and take better care of your Morkie

From getting a Morkie, to common health concerns, what to feed your Yorkie-Maltese mix, which deadly vaccinations to avoid — and much more! 

Over 300 pages of vital information.

THE Comprehensive Guide to Morkies

Dog Vacations: take your Morkie on holiday

Dog Vacations: take your Morkie on holiday

Planning your next vacation or family holiday? You might be wondering what to do with the family dog: get a friend or neighbour to help out, board him at a professional kennel, have a dog sitter come into your home, or take him with you for a dog vacation.

Of all the choices, more and more people are choosing dog vacations. That’s because it’s easier than ever to find pet-friendly hotels, motels and campgrounds. There are even dog-tailored special vacations offered by specialty travel planners and websites.

The first thing you’ll need to do is narrow down your own vacation choices and then see how that merges with what’s out there for dog vacations. It does mean giving up some of the freedom you might normally have, but on the other hand, it’s a great opportunity to spend more quality time with your pet, something we don’t often enjoy in our time-stressed world.

Airline travel is tough these days for people, let alone pets, so if you are taking your dog with you, dog vacations are almost always limited to car or RV travel.

Airline travel and your dog

dog vacations via airlines

Airlines are constantly flip-flopping on allowing small dogs in the cabin with you during a flight or not. Larger dogs have to be created, of course and are shipped with the cargo. That has so many risks that the American Humane Society doesn’t recommend airline travel for a dog who has to be stowed unless it is absolutely necessary and there’s no other option.   However, if your small dog can fit under your airline seat in his carrier, airline travel for dog vacations might not be so bad

Baggage and cargo slip-ups and mistakes are inevitable, and the added degree of security at airports today often means that checked items are lower on the priority scale. There are horror stories of dogs left in freezing cargo bays or extremely hot loading docks, sometimes for hours and hours.

So, a vacation is not the time to test your luck with airline travel and your dog, although you might consider it if your dog can be carried with you in the passenger cabin. To find out more about the rules and regulations surrounding that option, check with the airline itself — get their policy in writing.

So… it’s a road trip-style dog vacation. What do you need to plan?

First, a secure and safe way to transport your dog in the car

yorkie in seat belt sound asleep

For a longer trip, the most practical is a kennel cage, well strapped into the back seat of your vehicle. Your dog should have access to water every hour or so and, of course, be given breaks to relieve himself.

I read an excellent suggestion about stopping at rest stops to let your dog out; be sure to put his leash on BEFORE you take him out of the kennel cage and get a good strong grip on that leash, even for a little dog.

After a car ride, your dog may be a little disoriented and stressed and could dash out of your car right into traffic.

Second, double-check that dogs are welcome at your destination

One of the best online resources for finding pet-friendly accommodations is called It is a dog travel directory that provides unbiased reviews, detailed pet policy information, and online reservations at more than 25,000 pet-friendly hotels through a partnership with Travelocity.

Since launching in April 2005, Bring has helped more than half a million people take their dogs on vacation. When you’re looking for somewhere to stay, play or eat with your dog, is the place to come.

Travel for you and your dog

Another excellent resource when you want to take your dog on vacation with you is This site lists tons of resources for travelling with your dog, including airline pet policies, pet passports and more.

Third: Your Emergency Plan

When you take your dog on vacation with you, here are some of the extra precautions you might want to consider:

  • Write down your veterinarian’s name, address and phone number and take it with you: it’s crazy how you can forget even the basics in an emergency situation
  • Be sure to write down your dog’s registration, license and/or microchip information, and take a recent hard-copy photo of your dog with you. You definitely don’t want to think about it, but what if he got lost while you were away? You want to make it as easy as possible to get him back – fast.
  • a little dog first aid kit – with dog-friendly insect repellant, extra towels, antibiotic cream, some gauze and some rubbing alcohol would cover off most emergencies until you can get vet care
pack for dog vacations

How smart is this??!!

Everything you need to pack for your Morkie for a great dog vacation.

kit for dog vacations

Read more about travel with dogs here.

Roll with it! That’s what dog vacations are all about!

Remember, it’s a lot of fun taking your dog on vacation with you, but it does mean you’ll have to maintain your good humour and flexibility at times.

For example, if your dog is afraid of storms and encounters a big one while you’re away, plan to order take-out food to eat in the hotel room that night.

Resources Summary: