Morkie Temperament: What are Morkies Really Like?

Morkie Temperament: What are Morkies Really Like?

i love new yorkiesEvery now and then, a dog or a breed comes along that just steals your heart. For many people, that dog is the Yorkshire Terrier. In fact Yorkies are the #6 most popular pure breed dog in America and in some cities, like New York, they’re #1.

The Maltese dog on the other hand, is not as popular. Maltese ranks as the 29th most registered breed in 2014, behind uncommon dogs like the Pomeranian, Havanese and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Both the Yorkie and the Maltese are wonderful companion animals, with plenty in common, but enough differences to make their offspring – the Morkie – a very interesting little pup too.

Yorkies are smart, feisty little terriers, in brown and tan. They are relatively new as far as pure breeds go, developed in northern England in the 1850s to work in coal mines and factories to catch and kill rats and mice.

Maltese on the other hand, are an ancient breed, developed strictly as lapdogs since the time of Aristotle. Their most treasured qualities are their affectionate, loving nature and beautiful, pure white coat.

If you decide to go with a Morkie, you’ll find the characteristics, looks, behaviour and health of both parents, the Yorkie and the Maltese, apparent in the Morkie. But since the Morkie is so new, you don’t really know which breed’s qualities will dominate, and even which parent the Morkie will most resemble physically.

yorkie plus maltese equals morkie

Every breed has its pluses and minuses

What behaviors are so built-in to Maltese and  Yorkies that they never change? In other words,

 

What’s bred-in-the-bone?

Bred-in-the-Bone is a very old expression meaning something is deeply instilled or firmly established, as if by heredity. When speaking about people, we might say his loyalty is bred-in-the bone.

It also means persistent and habitual; for example, he’s a bred-in-the-bone conservative. You’ll hear similar expressions like these:

  • the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
  • blood will tell
  • he’s a chip off the old block

Bred in the bone = Deep-seated and can’t be changed

This doesn’t mean that the characteristics above can’t be changed; nor does it mean that EVERY Maltese dog will be a sweet, loving dog for example. Training and environment also have a very big part to play in how a dog behaves.

But generally speaking, the REASON the dog was originally bred, will come through loud and clear in their everyday behaviour, even if that original reason isn’t valid any more.

Maltese - what's bred in the bone?

  • pampered lapdogs
  • super sweet
  • very affectionate
  • generally calm, quiet although they do have a very playful side
  • loves to sit with ‘their people’
  • will bark to warn you that someone is approaching

Yorkie - what's bred in the bone?

  • explorers and hunters
  • love chasing small animals and toys
  • very alert and inquisitive
  • despite their small size, can be aggressive and feisty

One more thing.... the size debate

The Maltese is a sturdy little Toy dog that ideally weighs no more than 7 or 8 pounds when fully grown. Males should be 8” to 10” tall at the shoulder, while females should be 8” to 9” tall.

The Yorkshire Terrier is very similar; an ideal dog is a minimum of 5 pounds according to breed standards, and not over 7 or 8 pounds.

Smaller than that is NOT ideal and in fact, you want to beware of breeders who offer “teacups.” A Maltese, Yorkie or Morkie that weighs less than four pounds when fully grown is a runt. That dog is more prone to genetic disorders and is at a higher health risk in general.

 

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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

Holiday safety tips for your Morkie

Holiday safety tips for your Morkie

The festive season means time to enjoy family. But keep these holiday safety tips in mind when it comes to your Morkie. Rich foods, certain decorations and more can mean a trip to the Vet.
 

holiday hazards for dogs

The Top Ten Holiday Hazards for your Morkie

 

  1. Raisins and grapes
  2. Nuts
  3. Toxic holiday plants
  4. Tinsel
  5. Electric cords, lights
  6. Wrapping paper, ribbons, ties
  7. Onions, chives, garlic
  8. Chocolate
  9. Turkey, bones and fat
  10. Tree preservative

Raisins and grapes are very toxic for dogs. Although scientists don’t know exactly why, this phenomenon is well documented. Dogs of any age or breed can be affected. Grape/raisin toxicity can lead to suddenly kidney failure in some dogs, but not all.

Just another reason to ban fruit cake from your home.

Toxic holiday plants – two of the worst are holly and mistletoe which can cause gastrointestinal problems, difficulty breath and even heart failure!

 

Nuts. Most nuts are not good for dogs and some are downright dangerous. Macadamia nuts and black walnuts can be lethal in large enough doses. Others like peanuts (not salted, roasted or spiced) and plain cashews are “OK” for dogs in small amounts, but really, they’re best avoided since they’re also a choking hazard for a small dog like a Morkie.

Tinsel and other ornaments – eeewwww, shiny object! Tinsel can be sharp, and if it wraps itself around the intestines or balls up in the stomach, it can mean major surgery to save your pet’s life.

Turkey bones, fat and skin should be kept well out of reach of pets. Cooked bones especially, revery dangerous. After they’re eaten, bones can break off in shards and puncture an animal’s intestines.

Turkey itself can be quite fatty for a dog, unless you stick to a plain piece of white meat with no skin and no gravy. Otherwise your Morkie could get an upset stomach or even a bout of painful pancreatitis.

Onions are, surprisingly, quite toxic for dogs and cats They contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia. In the same family, garlic, chives and leeks should be avoided as well. Some experts say that garlic, prepared properly for dogs, isn’t dangerous and in fact, is good for your pet. But the benefits don’t seem worth it.

 

Chocolate contains the toxin theobromine. We can easily metabolize theobromine, but dogs process it much more slowly, so it builds up to toxic levels in their system. A small amount can cause major gastrointestinal distress; and a large amount, can even lead to death.

Wrapping paper, ribbons, ties are all attractive to dogs, and all can get lodged in your dog’s stomach or intestines, causing illness and pain.

Electric cords, lights. Curious puppies and kittens can get caught up in the excitement of lights, and bite through, burning themselves and shorting the wires. Keep them out of reach, and/or tape them down.

Tree water. Commercial preservatives typically contain some kind of fertilizer, some type of sugar, and fungicides. Some contain other ingredients such as aluminium sulphate.

The amount that a child or pet could consume isn’t poisonous, but will cause a stomach upset and vomiting.

Christmas tree preservatives aren’t necessary, according to experts – just fresh water is all you need to minimize needles dropping and keep the tree from being super dried out. If you really want to add something, try 1/4 cup corn syrup mixed into 1 quart of water. Keep the tree basin filled.

And a big danger during the holidays

morkie running in field good quality photo

Running away. With people coming and going, the doorbell ringing, and lengthy goodbyes at the door, your Morkie has plenty of chances to sneak out and dash off into the night. Keep him in another room or safe in a carrier cage or kennel while your guests are coming and going.

Can dogs eat turkey?

What to do if your Morkie does eat turkey bones

Don’t panic.

Don’t try to make your dog throw up; better, say experts, to let the bones work their way through….UNLESS your dog is pacing, upset, choking, gagging or licking his lips a lot (a sign of anxiety). In that case, contact your Vet or an Emergency Vet right away.

If he seems alright, feed only soft foods for the next few days, such as rice or white bread. Keep him calm and quiet, and monitor his poop for the bones or bone fragments. 

Keep your dog calm and quiet for the next few days. Monitor his poop carefully for bones or bone fragments. 

If your Morkie has any of these symptoms, contact your Vet immediately:

  • difficulty going poop
  • black or bloody stools
  • vomiting
  • no appetite
  • diarrhea
  • seems to have abdominal pain.  

More tips and ideas for the holidays, including gifts for dog lovers.

7 Tips for Picking Healthy Dog Food

7 Tips for Picking Healthy Dog Food

Do you know how to find the best dog food for your Morkie? Waht to look for and what to avoid? Here are 7 handy tips to guide you in picking helathy dog food for your Morkie –whether it’s dry food (kibble) or canned.

Why can’t we just trust manufacturers?

The commercial dog food is a multi-billion dollar industry, much bigger than baby food. In 2015, we spent $60.28 billion on our pets in the U.S. Pet food alone represents $23 BILLION in sales per year, compared to baby food, at $1.25 billion.

The pet food industry is one of the most profitable in the world. And it’s growing by leaps and bounds every year.

With a market this size and tremendous profits to be made, it’s all about the marketing of pet food, not necessarily making great dog food.

Like cigarette makers ini the 1950s and 60s, pet food manufacturers:

  • lie to us about what’s in their products
  • use terrible ingredients
  • spend tons of money on advertising
  • ignore existing regulations without any penalty
  • “regulate” themselves
  • know full well that what they make is killing our pets

So unfortuantley, you must do your own research when it comes to finding a credible, and good quality, dog food manufacturer. 

 

wet or dry dog food?

 

Weigh the pros and cons of kibble versus canned dog food

Canned dog foods typically have much less grain and carbs than kibble, which needs these ingredients to bind the product together.

Canned food can have fewer preservatives since the canning process takes care of that; however, canned food typically uses a lot of thickening agents such as carrageenan, which has been associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), acid reflux, and intestinal ulceration.

Most dog food cans today are lined with Bisphenol-A (BPA), declared a toxin in many parts of the world.

Kibble costs less per serving and is more convenient to use; however it less protein-dense, so your Morkie must eat more to get the same benefits.

 

which food is better?

Diet Rotation

You wouldn’t want to eat the same food, day after day, year after year. Neither does your dog. Plus, no single brand is perfect. The answer is diet rotation.

It’s simple. Every few months, slowly change your Morkie’s food (dry, moist or canned) to another brand or another type within the same brand.
Do the changeover slowly, so you don’t trigger GI upsets and diarrhea. Add about 1/4 new to the old food for a week, increase it weekly until it’s all-new food.

Tip #1 Read the label

Whether you’re buying dried food (kibble) semi-moist or canned dog food, start with the label.

It looks imposing – dozens and dozens of ingredients listed in tiny type. But start with the first 5 or 6 ingredients. They form the bulk of the product by far.

You can also take a look at the ingredients above the fat ingredient. Again, it’s the bulk of the food and the most important.

 

If you can decode the label, you’re well on your way to providing better food for your Morkie.

All of the ingredients must be listed in order. Focus on the first five; this is where the bulk of the nutrition comes from.

 

average number of ingredients in dog food

Tip # 2: Look at the first 5 ingredients... or the ingredients above the fat

For example, look at the ingredients in Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Healthy Weight kibble, a top-quality product:

By either measure, we can see that this is quality food.

First 5 Ingredients 

  1. Deboned Turkey
  2. Turkey Meal
  3. Chicken Meal
  4. Peas
  5. Dried Ground Potatoes

Ingredients above the fat line:

  • Deboned Turkey
  • Turkey Meal
  • Chicken Meal
  • Peas
  • Dried Ground Potatoes
  • Pea Fiber
  • Ground Flaxseed
  • Tomato Pomace
  • Chicken Fat

PICK FOOD WITH:

  • a NAMED meat, like chicken, beef, salmon, etc.
  • a NAMED source of fat, such as chicken fat, beef fat, etc.
  • Foods that are made with fewer ingredients – instead of a lot of additives and preservatives, the food will often have more carbohydrates, although not necessarily grains. As you might expect, these foods can be costlier than ‘regular’ foods on the market.
  • Potato or sweet potato as a filler in the top 5 ingredients are acceptable; one or the other.

    Foods that contains grain are ok just as long as there is only one of these grains in the Top Five.

ALWAYS AVOID FOOD WITH:

  • generic descriptions like meat, poultry, and fish
  • “meat byproducts” 
  • Avoid all dog foods with animal digest, including a named meat digest.

  • Avoid food with “meat and bone meal” even if the meat is named.

  • CORN in the top 5 ingredients

  • Avoid dog foods with more than one carbohydrate in the first 5 ingredients.
  • Avoid dog foods with a generic fat source, rendered fat or beef tallow.
  • Avoid food with BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, and PG (Propylene Glycol).
  • Avoid food with added sugars and watch for its other names.

Small dogs don't need fillers in their food

Do dogs need carbohydrates?

Meat is a quality, complete protein. It contains all ten essential amino acids — nutrients dogs cannot live without. Plus, dogs can easily digest it, especially compared to plant proteins like corn or grain. But high quality, meat-based proteins are also the single most expensive ingredients in dog foods. So manufacturers use grains and other carbohydrates as fillers that also deliver some protein.

The problem is, dogs don’t need corn, or wheat, barley rice, soybean meal, dried beet pulp, and potatoes. Carbohydrates aren’t necessarily bad for your dog, but they’re just not needed for good nutrition. For a small dog like a Morkie, food with too much corn or grain can fill him up before he gets enough quality meat protein.

Kibble has to have some form of carbohydrate in the recipe to bind it together, but grains shouldn’t be at the top of the ingredients lists.

The best compromise especially for kibble 

Avoid dog foods with more than one carbohydrate in the first 5 ingredients.

Here are the first 5 ingredients in a popular —  but very poor quality — kibble, Alpo Prime Cuts Savory Beef Flavor. As you can see there’s virtually no ‘meat’ in this food.

Ugh – check these First Five ingredients

  1. Ground yellow corn
  2. Corn germ meal
  3. Beef and bone meal
  4. Soybean meal
  5. Beef tallow

Tip #3: Avoid these Top Three Offenders 

Watch for these ingredients on the label – none belongs in your pet’s food and some can even shorten his life.

1. The word “meat” or “meat by-products” near the top of the ingredient list

If it’s called just ‘meat’ (not beef, lamb, etc.) then the animal parts used can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination. Any kind of animal can be included in meat and meat by-products: including the infamous “4-D animals” (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), goats, pigs, horses, rats, misc. roadkill and animals euthanized at shelters.

These “4-D” animals were only recently banned for human consumption and are still legitimate ingredients for pet food.

2. BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin

Watch out for:

  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA),
  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT ) and
  • Ethoxyquin (an EPA-regulated pesticide)

These are all highly carcinogenic or cancer-causing additives that are used to preserve the dog food for long shelf life. Besides cancers, these chemicals have been linked to thyroid, kidney, reproductive and immune-related illnesses.

3. Corn

There is no nutritious value in any dog food that lists corn as the first ingredient. It is a useless filler that is a known cause of allergies and is difficult for dogs to digest.

And in the wild – ever see a wolf break into a cornfield to steal a cob or two?

Should you pick organic dog food?

When you see ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ on your Morkie’s dog food label…

It does NOT mean:

  • Humanely raised
  • Chemical or drug-free
  • Raised without pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics antibiotics

Claims made such as original, natural, prime cuts, tasty, organic and more, mean nothing; there’s no legal standard for the wording that describes pet foods.

Some of the most appealing and popular dog foods are the worst nutritionally. And they are the most secretive, from an ingredients standpoint.

Instead, vague terms cover up a host of grisly ingredients.

What does “organic” mean on a dog food label?

curious morkie

There's meat and then there's "meat." And they are worlds apart

Look very carefully at how the main protein source is described

You would expect food that’s called “chicken” and lists “real chicken” as the main ingredient, would include chicken. Not so fast.

The food can be made up of chicken by-products, which is essentially slaughterhouse waste. Beaks, heads, and feet. But the picture on the left is the one that will appear on the package.

 

whats really in dog food

Tip #4: Avoid food with meat by-products - whether the meat is named or not

Meat by-products can include organ meat, most of which is just fine for dogs. Lungs, spleen, brains, kidneys, and liver may not be to our tastes, but they provide excellent nutrition for dogs.

HOWEVER, meat by-products can also include NON-MEAT ingredients such as horns, feathers, feet, hides, beaks, hooves and teeth. Ugh. They won’t even put this stuff in hot dogs and bologna.

Whether the meat is named or not, this ingredient should be avoided.

Pictured above: a sample of chicken by-products; this carcass is covered in skin cancer tumors. It is allowed in dog food as a “chicken by-product.”

Tip #5: Avoid food with meat MEAL

Meal refers to an ingredient that’s been through the rendering plant or other high level processing. There is some controversy about whether or not we should be feeding our dogs meal, since it’s a lower quality protein, usually found in cheap dog foods. (The quality of protein is measured by scientists as “biological value” – the ability of the food to deliver protein’s ten amino acids.)

There are two kinds of meal:

  • Named meat meal: beef meal, chicken meal, lamb meal, etc.
  • Generic meal: meat meal, poultry meal, fish meal

Meal is a highly concentrated protein powder; if it’s from a named source, its acceptable, or just “OK,” say many experts. Others are against named meat meal, because of the chance it can contain noxious ingredients.

Bear on mind, even though the meat is named, it could come from a carcass that failed USDA inspection. If it is called simply “meat meal,” it can contain shocking ingredients, including intestines with feces, road kill, and more.

Tip #6: Avoid food with meat AND BONE MEAL

Avoid food with meat AND BONE MEAL even if the meat source is named

AAFCO — the Association of American Feed Control Officials — defines this ingredient as “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hooves, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents.”

Whether it’s from a named meat, or is generic ‘meat,’ the main drawbacks of MEAT AND BONE MEAL are:

  • it’s harder to digest.
  • it’s a lower quality protein.
  • there is some scientific evidence linking bone meal to cancer.

Plus, in Meat and Bone Meal, there’s no way to determine the amount of bone versus ‘meat.’

Tip #7: Avoid food with ANIMAL DIGEST

Animal digest is a highly processed product that is used to flavor dog food that doesn’t have much taste otherwise. Even when it is identified, for example, Chicken Digest, the dog food may taste like chicken thanks to the digest, but it does not have to contain chicken.

Then why’s it there? Manufacturers like Purina brag that their product is “highly palatable” or in other words, it tricks dogs into thinking their food has a great flavor. Animal digest, a highly processed mess of mysterious animal parts, is what delivers flavor.

Download this free one-pager “Pick This Not That”

FREE Download

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

Small Dog Syndrome – does your Morkie have it?

Small Dog Syndrome – does your Morkie have it?

If your toy dog is a pain in the neck, he’s probably suffering from Small Dog Syndrome and the problem originates with — YOU! So what exactly IS Small Dog Syndrome, and how do you overcome it?

Is Your Morkie a Spoiled, Snarky Brat?

Symptoms of Small Dog Syndrome 

This syndrome defines the little dog who is spoiled and obnoxious.

It is the caricature of some breeds, like Chihuahuas or toy Poodles.

Yet there’s no biological reason for whiny, entitled dogs; they all started out as canines. But pets with small dog syndrome have been trained to act badly.

This includes:

  • being territorial over areas of the house, toys, food or people
  • biting and yapping
  • growling
  • peeing or marking all over the house
  • ignoring house training or potty training
  • obsessions with certain toys, food bowl or people

You would never accept this behavior from a large dog.

Small Dog Syndrome is NOT the same as Separation Anxiety

sad dog

Separation  Anxiety is a serious problem, not a mere annoyance like Small Dog Syndrome.

A dog with Separation Anxiety is nervous, frantic, sad and agitated when separated from his main caregiver.

There are steps you can take to reduce Separation Anxiety in your Morkie, but it’s likely that the original causes are beyond your control:

  • was your dog removed from the litter too early? Toy dogs should stay with their mothers until they’re at least 8 weeks old.
  • was your dog surrendered to a shelter, abandoned or given to a new family?
  • has the dog lost someone significant in his life?
  • has there been a traumatic event in his early life, such as an attack by a large dog?
  • time spent in a pet shop or an animal shelter
  • being a puppy mill dog

For more about resolving this painful situation, please check out the ASPCA’s article here.

“Small dogs compensate for their size by acting big and tough when they feel intimidated, nervous, upset, threatened or afraid.”

Canidae.com website

Isn’t Small Dog Syndrome natural?

Small dog syndrome, or the tendency for tiny dogs to be yappy, untrained, snappy and generally obnoxious, is not something that is natural or common to small breeds by nature.

It’s learned behavior that is brought about by the way we owners treat our toy dogs.

As humans, we are programmed by Mother Nature to coddle and take special care of creatures we perceive as ‘babies.’ No surprise, it’s a biological response, and it’s how our race has survived. The problem is, toy dogs, with their big eyes and tiny size, bring out that same “babying” tendency in us, even when they are adult dogs.

So we keep over-compensating for their small size (carrying them everywhere!) and overlooking bad behavior that we would never tolerate in a medium or large size dog.

The good news is, with some understanding of the roots of the problem and active steps to counteract it, you’ll have a happier, healthier and more centered small dog.

spoiled dog

 

What Small Dog Syndrome is NOT

  • It’s not a high spirit, outgoing dog.
  • It’s not a happy, sociable dog.
  • It’s not a high-personality dog.

A dog with Small Dog Syndrome is a spoiled dog who has decided to take the lead in his or her household. The “SDS Dog” often doesn’t see himself as a dog. 

But doubling down on discipline is not the solution. In fact, it can make an SDS Dog worse!

More firm discipline on its own can actually make Small Dog Syndrome WORSE

How to Conquer Small Dog Syndrome

Remember, your Morkie is:

  • first an animal
  • then a dog
  • then the breed – a Morkie
  • then, and only then, your pet named “X.”

Once you understand your role in treating your Morkie like a little person, not a dog, then you can start taking steps to combat the problem including:

  • stop carrying your little dog all over – do you see a 15-year-old human child in a stroller?
  • don’t let your little dog jump up on you – would it be OK if your dog were a Rottweiler?
  • let your dog know with a sharp verbal correction, incessant barking and yapping are not acceptable. Or withdraw your attention to make your point.
  • don’t let your small dog sit on you to “claim you.” As the owner, you set the time for snuggles.
  • ensure your little dog has his own bed and designated quiet area; a corner or an open door crate works well.
  • don’t encourage hysterical behavior by comforting your dog; just ignore it.

Some truly spoiled dogs featured on BoredPanda.com

See more.

So what’s a Napoleon Complex and does your Morkie have one?

The Napoleon Complex is named after Emperor Napoleon I of France (1769 – 1821). A French statesman and military leader, he rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars (France vs. Great Britain) 

Portrait of Napoleon

Common folklore about him suggests that Napoleon compensated for his lack of height by seeking power, war, and conquest. His enemies, the British, mocked him as being small and short-tempered.

It turns out Napoleon was of average height for the time (5′ 7″ or so), but the term Napoleon Complex stuck. Today it’s the theory that says people overcompensate for short stature with aggressive social behavior and an attempt to dominate others.

dog dressed as napoleon

Ever thought of having a portrait painted of your Morkie?

This fabulous example, someone’s pet done up like Napoleon 1, was done by SplendidBeast.com  Check them out – the artwork is fabulous.

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 DNA Tests – right for your Morkie?

Dog DNA Tests – right for your Morkie?

It’s the latest runaway fad in pet care: the Dog DNA Test. But is it right, or even necessary, for your Morkie? The pros and cons of the latest trend, the Dog DNA Test.

Dog DNA tests are easy to do – some experts say too easy

Dog DNA Tests are a snap. Just order the kit and then like the humans’ version, you simply take a cheek swab, put it in the container provided and send it back.

Within a few weeks, you’ll get a report that includes your dogs’ DNA results. These results are supposed to let you know your mixed breed’s parentage and sometimes the dog’s potential for genetically caused health concerns. (There are other tests to confirm if a dog is purebred.)

These test kits are incredibly popular – last year, the Embark Dog DNA Test Kit was on  Oprah’s list of favorite holiday gifts list.

But are they a good idea and are there any risks?

Mostly all white Morkie with dark ear tips, sitting on a table.

Is this pup really half and half Yorkie and Maltese dog? Or is there some poodle or Shih-Tzu thrown in? A dog DNA test could tell you.

Dog DNA tests work by comparing the sample you send in to the breeds they’ve already tested.

dog dna tests for sale

There are dozens of brands — and price points — for dog DNA tests.

How do Dog DNA Tests work?

Dog DNA tests work by comparing the sample you send in to the breeds the provider has already tested. Most labs have at least 100 breeds on file; some, like Embark Dog DNA Test, have 250+.

These tests work like other DNA tests for people; every dog (or person) has two copies of every gene. One from the mother and one from the father. DNA genetics labs can analyze every gene and then track it back three generations to the great-grandparents.

Puppies randomly inherit 50% of each of their parents breed, so your Morkie’s littermate could have very different DNA results – and characteristics, looks, and personality — than your Morkie.

How much do they cost?

Priced from $60 to hundreds of dollars, these tests are available everywhere.

You can find the fad from Amazon to Walmart and everywhere in between, with at least 10 national brands.

Mars Veterinary Wisdom’s Panel Professional is the most expensive – it requires a blood test at your Vet’s.

Accuracy won’t be in the cards any time soon

All the tests say they’re for information only; I’d say that, in fact, they’re for entertainment purposes only. Some Vets say take the results with a grain of salt because the same test done by different providers can deliver very different results.

Accuracy won’t be in the cards any time soon; there are no quality control standards for pet DNA testing, no regulations and providers don’t need to reveal how the tests are conducted.

Michael San Filippo, a spokesman for the American Veterinary Medical Association, said the group does not have a position on DNA testing for dogs, but “it’s fine to do if you’re curious about your dog’s ancestry and breed makeup.” He said pet owners should talk to their vets if the goal is to identify potential hereditary disorders or health conditions.

What’s the urgency to discover your dog’s breed(s)?

Every single purebred dog has an inherent disposition for illnesses. These health issues can range from being really cancer prone (Boxers and Golden Retrievers for example), to having bleeding disorders, poor joint strength and more.

If you know if advance, the theory goes, you can be prepared and on the watch for certain diseases.

Sometimes people want to know for their own curiosity or to explain certain behaviors. Dogs with a lot of terrier, for example, are likely to be smart but also likely to bark a lot.  Dog DNA Tests identify genetic markers, and what they mean.

 

Mars Veterinary, makers of the Wisdom Panel dog DNA test, is considering using their results to create food specialized for specific breeds. This is already a thing, and as Pets.wedMD.com points out, it isn’t necessary. And it can be misleading for owners. A food specially formulated for poodles, for example, doesn’t mean your poodle will be healthier or that a sick poodle will get better. Therapeutic diets can definitely help, but they’re formulated to address the problem, not the breed.

royal canin dog food

We’re already seeing this at the retail level, with kibble and canned from manufacturers like Eukanuba and Royal Canin. A food that is specific for Yorkshire Terriers, for example, recognizes that they (like nearly all small dogs) have a fast metabolism. So they need a diet higher in fat.

Plus, just because a food is breed-specific there is no guarantee that the food is of good quality. These same manufacturers who top up on useless fillers like corn in their other brands can do the same with breed-specific food.

What are genetic markers?

A genetic marker is a DNA sequence with a known physical location on a chromosome. Genetic markers can help link an inherited disease with the responsible gene.

Most of these kits will show you genetic markers that identify an estimated risk for more than 150 canine conditions.  But the problem is that genetic marker can indicate different variations of disease in different breeds. What could be fatal in a Collie is only a mild nuisance in a German Shepherd.

So you could be buying a big box of junk science, and get results that you don’t know what to do with.

Articles about Dog DNA Tests always mention the tragic case of a Pug owner who put her dog down based on hazy information from one of the leading Dog DNA Tests:

“….the story of a 13-year-old dog that was losing her ability to walk. Her owners decided to buy a $65 direct-to-consumer test, which showed a mutation linked to a neural disease called degenerative myelopathy (DM). Convinced that she would slowly die of the disease, her owners put her to sleep.

But the mutation for DM is notoriously hard to interpret. Kari Ekenstedt, a professor of anatomy and genetics at Purdue University, calls it the “ever controversial DM mutation.” The problem, she says, is that not having such a mutation is a good sign a dog does not have DM, but having a mutation does not guarantee the dog has the disease. It’s possible the dog Moses wrote about had an entirely treatable spinal disorder and did not need to be put down.”

 

Google Dog DNA Test and you’ll find a WHOLE BUNCH of “review sites.”

Review sites are set up to compare different brands, in any field, and they do just that.

But the site owner also offers ‘convenient’ links to buy any of the products reviewed. That’s how the person makes money.

So review sites are helpful but they are not true product research and are bound to have some degree of bias.

review sites for dog dna tests

Keep in mind that review sites like these are set up to sell merchandise, not find flaws or concerns with the products.

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.

So what’s the final word on Dog DNA Tests?

Are they worth it or not? And are there any downsides or dangers?

thumbs down symbol

 

Pet genetics must be reined in,” an article says. If it is not, the experts argued, then companies will continue to profit by “selling potentially misleading and often inaccurate information,” pets and owners will suffer, opportunities to leverage the data to help dogs could be lost, and people will become “more distrustful of science and medicine.”

–  from animal research experts who published an op-ed in the scientific journal Nature. “Pet genomics medicine runs wild.”

thumbs up symbol

 

Another scientific journal quotes an expert who says,

There’s fantastic potential for dog DNA testing to improve the health of dogs. Already, scientists understand more and have improved circumstances for single-gene disorders through DNA testing.”

“Though the direct-to-consumer dog-DNA market has grown quickly, it is still early days for canine genetics.”

Read more in Atlantic magazine 

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

Let’s honor dog heroes too

Let’s honor dog heroes too

As we give thanks to all those who have served to protect our freedom, we pause to honor our canine war heroes too. Dogs play a vital role in every aspect of our lives, from hunting to scaring off intruders and herding our livestock. But did you ever think a YORKSHIRE TERRIER would become a true war hero? AND the first therapy dog? Meet Smoky! It’s true: Meet Smoky!

 

Dogs have played a big role in history, war, literature, art, and culture – even little Yorkies and Maltese.

Meet
the Famous WWII Yorkshire Terrier Smoky!

Owned by Corporal William A. Wynne of Cleveland, Ohio, Smoky became one of the most famous Yorkies ever.

Corporal Wynne picked up Smoky, who was a stray in the New Guinea Jungles, (southwest Pacific, just north of Australia) during World War II. He actually won her in a poker game.

The dog was such a fighter, she became a famous symbol of the times – even parachuting with Wynne’s platoon.

Smoky used her small size and cleverness to her advantage and helped to “run” communication wire through a culvert that was under an airplane runway.

Without Smoky’s assistance, laying cable would mean digging up the entire runway. The soldiers working on it would be exposed to enemy fire. The runway would have been inoperable for several days, critical during the war, but Smoky saved the day.

 

In total, Smoky went on over 100 missions with her troop.

Here’s Smoky, actually parachuting!

Smoky parachuted from 30 feet (9.1 m) in the air, out of a tree, using a parachute made just for her.

Smoky at work

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Magazine ran this photo of Smoky at work, with the following caption:

Where in the world is New Guinea?

Located north of Australia, New Guinea is the world’s second-largest island, after Greenland.

New Guinea was invaded in 1942 by the Japanese. The highlands, northern and eastern parts of the island became key battlefields in the South West Pacific Theatre of World War II.

It was a fierce battleground; approximately 216,000 Japanese, Australian and U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen died during the New Guinea Campaign in WWII.

It’s hard to imagine a 4 pound Yorkie abandoned and lost in this kind of landscape.

New Guinea landscape

smoky and col wynn

Here is Smoky with Col. Wynn. Strangely, Smoky was found wandering in the New Guinea jungle! How did she get there? Where was her human?  Wynn didn’t actually find Smoky – another American serviceman found her abandoned in a foxhole. He took her to the nearby prisoner of war camp, to discover she didn’t understand Japanese commands. Nor did she understand English commands.

Before too long, this serviceman sold Smoky to Wynn for two Australian dollars (equivalent to about $6.00) – he needed the money to get back into a poker game! 

smoky war dog

Smoky weighed four pounds and stood 7″ tall.

Wynn shares the details about her service:

“Smoky Served in the South Pacific with the 5th Air Force, 26th Photo Recon Squadron [and] flew 12 air/sea rescue and photo reconnaissance missions.”

On those flights, Smoky spent long hours dangling in a soldier’s pack near machine guns used to ward off enemy fighters. Smoky was credited with twelve combat missions and awarded eight battle stars. She survived 150 air raids on New Guinea and made it through a typhoon at Okinawa.

Smoky even saved  Wynn’s life:

Wynne credited Smoky with saving his life by warning him of incoming shells on an LST (transport ship), calling her an “angel from a foxhole.” As the ship deck was booming and vibrating from anti-aircraft gunnery, Smoky guided Wynne to duck the fire that hit eight men standing next to them.

No wonder he called her an “angel from a foxhole.”

Smoky and Wynn after the warAfter the war, Smoky returned home to Ohio with Corporal Wynne where she continued her “entertainment” career, visiting VA hospitals to cheer up Vets, and entertaining children in hospitals.

She also appeared on a number of TV commercials and made personal appearances across the country.

Owned by Corporal William A. Wynne of Cleveland, Ohio, Smoky became one of the most famous Yorkies ever.

In fact, Smoky was so popular she was credited with reigniting interest in Yorkshire Terriers, who had almost dropped out of sight as a registered breed during the War.

Smoky the Yorkie was the first true service dog

After Wynn returned from the War, he recognized that many people would love to see Smoky’s amazing tricks. First stop, the veteran’s ward at Wynn’s local hospital. You’ll recognize the name – this was the Mayo Clinic!
Soon Col. Wynne and Smoky were also visiting children in hospital, bringing cheer to everyone who saw the little dog perform.
When they arrived home from the war, Wynne and Smoky were featured in a page-one story with photographs in the Cleveland Press on December 7, 1945. Smoky soon became a national sensation.

Over the next 10 years, Smoky and Wynne traveled to Hollywood and all over the world to perform demonstrations of her remarkable skills, which included walking a tightrope while blindfolded.

She appeared with Wynne on some of the earliest TV shows in the Cleveland area, including a show of their own on Cleveland’s WKYC Channel 3 called Castles in the Air, featuring some of Smoky’s unbelievable tricks.

Smoky performed in 42 live-television shows without ever repeating a trick. Smoky and Wynne were also very popular entertainers at the veterans’ hospitals. According to Wynne, “after the War, Smoky entertained millions during the late 1940s and early 1950s.”

 

On February 21, 1957, “Corporal” Smoky died unexpectedly at the approximate age of 14. Wynne and his family buried Smoky in a World War II .30 caliber ammo box in the  Rocky River Reservation in  Cleveland Metroparks, Rocky River Reservation in Lakewood, Ohio.

Nearly 50 years later, on Veterans Day, November 11, 2005, a bronze life-size sculpture, by Susan Bahary, of Smoky sitting in a GI helmet, atop a two-ton blue granite base, was unveiled there. It is placed above the very spot that Smoky was laid at her final resting place. This monument is dedicated to “Smoky, the Yorkie Doodle Dandy, and the Dogs of All Wars”.

 

poppy

Smoky’s Memorial, in Lakewood Ohio.

By Aphillcsa – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

smoky's memorial

The BOOK about Smoky

You can get this paperback story of Smoky, written by Col. Wynn himself, on Amazon.

FROM AMAZON:

Yorkie Doodle Dandy is Corporal William A. Wynne’s story about Smoky, a tiny Yorkshire Terrier found in a New Guinea foxhole during World War II.

Smoky helped save the lives of servicemen who were faced with imminent airfield attack.

Wynne’s own life was spared while under a shipboard kamikaze attack–led by Smoky–Smoky is credited internationally for her therapy work in hospitals and care facilities.

Post-war, Smoky continued therapy work and performed on live television with Bill as trainer.

Smoky ultimately proved to the world the therapeutic value of dogs to people during war, conflict, and recovery, as well as in friendship, entertainment, and hope.

The WORST vaccination for your Morkie!

The WORST vaccination for your Morkie!

You might have heard there’s a disease on the rise in dogtown called Leptospirosis. Three questions pop into your mind —

  • what is lepto-whatever?
  • how common is it?
  • should I get my Morkie vaccinated?

Let’s take a look at those answers.

What is Leptospirosis?

This funny squiggly thing is a Leptospirosis bacterium (that’s a SINGLE bacteria) … it looks a little like a piece of lint, but it’s actually a harmful germ.

The Lepto virus is spread by the urine of infected animals.

Typically, that’s a rodent.

BUT, raccoons, dogs, and even pigs, cattle and horses can carry Lepto. The infected urine goes into the soil, and into the water system where the Lepto bacteria can survive for weeks.

Your Morkie drinks from a stream that’s been infected with rodent urine… BOOM!

Wait!! What??! That’s SOOO unlikely. 

dogs swimming in creek

 

Dogs swimming in a creek could be at some risk of being exposed to Lepto bacteria. Does that mean they’ll get sick? Not necesssarily.

 

IS LEPTO REALLY ON THE RISE??

You may have read some disturbing news about Leptospirosis being in the rise, killing animlas, being spread to humans, etc. But who is spreading this news?  The media, looking for sometning, anyhting, new to print or broadcast.  Vets, who’d love for you to drop by and spend some money, and VACCINE MANUFACTURERS, like Duramune.

Duramune recently published a study showing that 8% of dogs tested positive for Leptospirosis. As DogsNaturallyMagazine.com points out, “most Lepto infections are subclinical” meaning the dog isn’t sick, he just has antibodies showing he’s been exposed to Lepto. And he’s fine.  NO SYMPTOMS, NO ILLNESS.

Many Vets recommend these non-core vaccines as a matter of course. But are they really necessary?

Probably not.

The Lepto vaccination isn’t necessary, and it is downright dangerous for small dogs.

 

When any non-core shot is recommended, be sure to ask your Vet about your small dog’s specific chances of getting the disease, the severity of that disease, the success rate of the vaccine and the risks that come with vaccination.

Since you might not get all the answers you deserve, or you might suffer from ‘white coat syndrome’ (feeling intimidated by doctors), or you’re simply confused, please, continue your research into non-core vaccinations.

Non-core vaccines for dogs

The list is long, and includes:

  • parainfluenza virus (CPiV)
  • influenza virus H3N8
  • influenza virus H3N2
  • distemper-measles combination vaccine
  • Bordetella (kennel cough)
  • Borrelia (Lyme disease)
  • canine Corona virus
  • Rattlesnake vaccine
  • LEPTOSPIRA vaccine

The Leptospirosis vaccine is called a KILLER for a reason

THREE PROBLEMS WITH ALL NON-CORE VACCINATIONS

They don’t work very well.

thumbs down symbol

Any vaccine can have dangerous side effects; doubly so for SMALL DOGS.

thumbs down symbolthumbs down symbol

They don’t last very long.

thumbs down symbol

How effective is the Leptospirosis vaccine?

Leptospirosis appears in many different strains (over a hundred) including a common one that attacks humans. Vaccinations work against JUST FOUR STRAINS of the disease, but other strains may still hurt your dog.

This vaccine is usually given with several others — it’s the L in combo shots.

Like all vaccines, some of the ‘extras’ or additives can be more dangerous than the product itself. Vaccines are made with toxic ingredients like Aluminium and Thimerosal. 

The vaccine (sort of) protects against FOUR strains of Lepto.

There are OVER 320 strains of Lepto!

Symptoms of Lepto infection

Symptoms of a Lepto infection include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhea, poor appetite, lethargy, depression, and blood in the urine. In more serious cases, the dog may be jaundiced – Lepto attacks the liver and kidneys. And – this is hard to see in a dog – but look for a yellowing of his gums.

Medical treatment will definitely help a dog with Lepto – milder cases can be treated at home with help from your Vet; very serious cases require hospitalization where your dog will get antibiotics and other medications to control vomiting and diarrhea.

Now look at what the vaccine can do to your Morkie

Adverse reactions to Leptospirosis vaccination

Leptospirosis is a “killed” vaccine. It’s also been called the “killer” vaccine because it is the #1 cause of adverse reactions in small dogs. They can have a severe allergic reaction to the Lepto vaccine, particularly younger dogs and small breed puppies.
In fact, this vaccine has a reputation for being the most likely
to cause reactions, also known as anaphylactic shock reactions (“anaphylactic” = allergic). These include:

  • vomiting
  • severe diarrhea
  • panting and wheezing
  • disorientation, dizziness
  • collapse

The #1 WORST vaccine for small dogs

And the award goes to …. the Leptospirosis vaccine.

It is often called the “killer” vaccine because it is the #1 cause of adverse reactions in small dogs.

Keep your Morkie safe without endangering his health

When does a Lepto vaccination make sense?

 

NEVER!

 

Does your small dog go wilderness camping or backwoods hiking with you? Roam on rural property, or drink deeply from creeks and streams? Not likely!

If this isn’t your dog’s lifestyle, this is one you can probably skip. Keep in mind though that at least one Vet supply website (www.veterinaryteambrief.com) is warning Vets that they should continue to advise it for their clients’ pets – and to remind clients that even small dogs can come into contact with infected wild animal urine outside. Is this a scare tactic? I think so.

 

Given the risks, I personally would never get the shot for my small dog and I live in the country. Instead, stay alert to symptoms of the actual infection, and you can reduce the vaccination count by one at least.

 

A final note about Lepto

Today, the tests for actual Leptospirosis infection are much more accurate than ever and incidents of the illness are reported more frequently and accurately — compared to other illness which is registered probably between 1 and 10% of the time.

That and the new interest in this disease can make you think it’s an epidemic. It’s NOT.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, check out this excellent article by Dana Scott. 

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

Low budget, last minute dog costumes

Low budget, last minute dog costumes

 

It’s almost Halloween and if you’re like 29 million other Americans, you’re planning to dress up your pet. According to the National Retail Federation, those pet costumes will cost consumers $490 million. That’s about double what people spent on costumes for their pets in 2010, just 9 years ago.

If you want to be part of the excitement but don’t have a costume yet, here are some low budget, last-minute ideas to make a Halloween costume for your Morkie.

Low budget, last minute costume ideas for your Morkie

Meet the “Purebred” Morkie!

There are two ways to do this. The first is super easy but it won’t last long.

Cut out the middle, soft part of a piece of bread, just big enough for your Morkie’s face to come through. Ta-da! That’s it.

 

The WONDER MORKIE

Turn your Morkie into a “Purebred Wonder Morkie” with this easy-to-make costume.

You’ll need:

  • an empty Wonder bread wrapper
  • a sheet of lightweight, white Bristol board
  • a bit of string or ribbon

This costume is beautifully made with fabric, but you can repurpose a plain old Wonderbread wrapper to make a quick version.

Get an empty Wonder Bread wrapper and cut it lengthwise along the bottom. Lay it out flat on a table, and cut some white Bristol board (lightweight) to fit, leaving about 3” of bread wrapper at end, with no Bristol board. 

how to make a wonder dog

The beautiful  Wonder Bread costume picture abo0ve features square off ends like a real loaf of bread, but we’re just going to leave some extra bag and tie it off. 

Now fold the wrapper/board so that the loaf is squared up on your Morkie. If your dog is really small, cut the Bristol board smaller, leaving more bag at each end.

 

To finish your costume, just use the string or ribbon to tie off each end.  This version doesn’t use the white Bristol board liner, but I think it looks better white. 

 

More quick ideas

The ever-pupular Ghost Dog

Simply cut a piece of white fabric to fit around your Morkie (don’t leave anything trailing), and cut out eye holes. You’ll probably need to keep it in place with white ribbon, one piece tied around the body and one tied around the neck.

hersheys kisses costume

The Hershey’s Kisses Doggy

You just need lots of aluminum foil and a name strip for “Hershey’s”

Be sure to leave your Morkie’s legs and feet outside the foil so he can walk.

 

Need a quick template for the paper strip that says KISSES?  Here’s one to print yourself.

 

template for kisses

Giant Loofah Puppy

I LOVE this one and it’s so simple.  All you need is lots of Tulle (netting fabric) in blue or any other color that strikes you, and a piece of white rope.  

Run a heavy thread along the long end of the Tulle fabric, then pull it tight to gather the fabric and make it curly. Fasten the thread off then wrap the fabric around your Morkie. Anchor a piece of white rope in the middle with a safety pin.

giant loofah costume

Watchdog Morkie!

Draw a watch face yourself on the back of a paper plate, add a big wide watchband and then attach an elastic and put it around your Morkie. Or download a cool-looking watch face from the web and print it out. Mount on light card and attach it to your Morkie with a band.

No time? Print this Morkie Time watch face.

Minnie Morkie

You’ll need some felt, in red, black and white to make the ears and the beautiful bow.  Add some netting, gathered into a skirt for the final touch.

 

Here are some specific recommendations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLJYxP4HdRI 

minnie mouse costume

angel or devil

Good or Bad Dog?

Gold pipe cleaners are perfect for making a halo; use red felt to cut out devil’s horns. 

Attach with elastic.

Lion King… or Queen 

Make a collar out of a strip of brown felt, measured to your Morkie’s neck plus 4″.

Then glue loops of felt in different browns, to the collar with a hot glue gun.

Glue on some velcro to close the collar once it’s on your little king or queen.

lion puppys.

harry potter

Harry Paw-ter

Pipe cleaners make good geeky glasses here (don’t forget the lightning bolt) and a necktie or orange and brown scarf add up to the perfect little Harry Potter.

 

Here’s another version:

another harry potter costume

And my fave - the Beany Baby Morkie

How about you? Got your Morkie’s costume ready yet? Please share!

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

How to Tell if Your Morkie is Too Fat

How to Tell if Your Morkie is Too Fat

“Does this make me look fat?” Is there a worse question from a partner or friend? It’s just so awkward because no matter what you say it’s still uncomfortable.But what about a friend who asks you, “do you think Max is overweight?” Max is my friend’s four-yer-old Morkie and yes, he is overweight. In fact, he’s FAT, FAT, FAT. I don’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings because clearly she thinks he is absolutely perfect. But what about the all too real dangers of obesity in our pets?

7 Things Excess Weight Makes Worse in Pets

Almost 60% of dogs in America are dangerously overweight. A pet that’s just 10% to 20% over his ideal weight can suffer from:

  • Canine diabetes.
  • Digestive problems including constipation, flatulence and diarrhea. Phew, who needs it!
  • Serious damage to joints, bones, and ligaments are a direct result of too much weight.
  • Heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Difficulty breathing – fat pushes on the abdomen wall and there is less room in the for the lungs to fill properly. Overweight dogs often wheeze, unable to take a full, deep breath.
  • Increased chance of cancer could be another risk to your Morkie who’s overweight. The exact link between obesity and cancer isn’t known yet, but why take chances?
  • A shorter life – just like people, dogs with all the burdens overweight causes, simply don’t live as long.

Keep your Morkie fit and trim and she’ll be a happy, lively companion for many years.

How can you tell your Morkie is overweight?

Many of us don’t want to see what’s right there. But there are obvious signs of overweight in dogs. First, from the side, you should be able to see a definite ‘tuck’ at his stomach.

 

From overhead, what shape is your Morkie?

  • He should have a clear waist, not just go straight down.
is my dog fat
Uploaded by: Wikivisual

Here’s what to look for from a top view of your Morkie

overhead view of your dog  

Three ways you can help your Morkie slim down

1. Cut out dog treats and people food

If your Morkie needs a reward, try a baby carrot or a good ear scratching. Otherwise, cut out all snacks. Today’s commercial dog treats are so high in salt, fat and sugar that they’re addictive. Dr. Ernie Ward, who heads up a not-for- profit organization dedicated to healthier pets, calls them “kibble crack.” If you cut out treats and snacks, your Morkie will also miss also a number of questionable products, including rawhide chew sticks, dental sticks, “greenies” and begging strips.

say goodbye to junk food for dogs

2. Gradually reduce your Morkie’s dog food

Does your Morkie have a health problem that’s making her overweight? Check with your Veterinarian before you start any weight reduction program. Go for a gradual and steady loss of weigh over a number of weeks or even months. Reduce your pup’s calorie intake over several weeks, by carefully measuring your Morkie’s usual meal. Then reduce it by 5% to 10% every two or three weeks. Tip: feed your dog at the same times every day, dividing the food into 3 or 4 portions to help him cope.

slowly reduce your morkie's food

3. Walkies!

Now the hard part: daily exercise.

If you’re not on a regular walking program with your dog, why not start one today.

Start out small and build up over time. For the first week, a 10-minute walk every day will be enough to get the ball rolling. Every week, increase this by 5 minutes until you’re up to half an hour.
Then add a second, short walk per day – starting at 10 minutes. Soon you’ll be up to two 30 minute walks per day and both you and your dog will see excellent results.

Weigh your dog regularly and chart your progress – check pet stores for scales sized to Morkies, or use a baby scale (often on sale online, or available in thrift stores).

walkies

Monitor your Morkie’s weight

monitor your dogs weight

 

Keep an eye on your Morkie’s weight with regular monitoring. Invest in a baby scale and track his weight once a month in a notebook. A pound or two, either way, doesn’t seem like a lot of weight, but it could represent 20% of your Morkie’s weight. That’s like the average 140-pound woman gaining (or losing) about 30 pounds.

baby scale

 

Baby scales are available online and in stores, or check your local thrift shop.

We're so used to overweight dogs, we don't see it any more.

At least 65% of all dogs in America are overweight.

No wonder our dogs are getting dangerously heavy.

An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight. Nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of women are obese or overweight. These are also major challenges for America’s children – nearly 30% of boys and girls under age 20 are either obese or overweight, up from 19% in 1980.

– source: The CDC

Read more

 

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

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