12 Fun Things to Do with Your Morkie

12 Fun Things to Do with Your Morkie

Looking for something different to do with your Morkie? Here are 12 ideas to keep you busy on these hot summer days!

1. Take some great doggy pix

2. Make pupsicles

3. Go for a boat ride

4. Do some urban exploring

5. Soft frisbee

6. Dog training lite

 

7. Swimming
8. Include your Morkie in a wedding
9. Spa Day for Two
10. Go for a long run
11. Stay at a dog-friendly B&B
12. Visit a LUXE doggy store

1. Take some great doggy photos

When you have some time on your hands, that’s when you can get a GREAT photo of your Morkie.  Here are some hints to help you capture the real essence of your Morkie: 

  • Timing is everything. Your dog will be more alert and receptive before dinnertime. After a good walk is another excellent time to take photos; your Morkie will be relaxed and just tired enough to stay still!
  • Avoid flash, which gives your pet that devil-dog appearance, and get down at your Morkie’s level.
  • Use simple, colorful backgrounds without a pattern. If you’re shooting outside, take a quick look at the background. Nothing worse than a telephone pole appearing to grow out of your dog’s head.

cute dog with a toy

Photo credit: Chloe Polka Dog

2. Make pupsicles

Your Morkie will appreciate a frosty cold treat this summer. For frozen yogurt, simply fill an ice cube tray with plain yogurt and pop one out for your Morkie’s dish. (Use a special tray for tiny cubes; they’ll fit your Morkie better.) To make them tastier, mash a ripe banana into the yogurt before freezing.

You can do the same with beef or chicken broth. When the broth is half frozen,  drop a crunchy treat into each cube for extra fun.

 

Can dogs eat ice cream?

You might give your Morkie some licks from a cone, but generally, dogs don’t digest milk well, and the sugar isn’t good so keep this treat for VERY special occasions.

Here’s a great recipe from WideOpenPets.com for Frozen Meat Treats:

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked meat
¾ cup plain low-fat yogurt
A little bit of finely chopped parsley
1 cooked and mashed carrot
3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Spoon mixture into ice cube trays and place in freezer until hard.

The versatility of this recipe makes it a great option for when your pantry’s running low and you don’t feel like going to the store. Carrots and parsley can be replaced with peanut butter, and the meat can come from your leftover dinner.

3. Go for a boat ride

Know someone with a boat? Catch a ride for you and your Morkie… don’t forget his life jacket. Neither Yorkies nor Maltese can swim well, so your Morkie definitely needs a life jacket.

No boaters in your group? You can always rent a paddleboat, canoe or rowboat at your nearest waterfront park.

4. Do some urban exploring, thanks to the help of a doggy stroller

 

Dog strollers might seem silly until you find yourself in a large city or doing tons of walking in the hot weather.

Then they can really come in handy.

Bonus – you can often wheel your Morkie into a shop, bookstore, etc. without objections from the staff because your dog isn’t running all over the store. And, it’s a great way to keep your Morkie safe and happy if you’re visiting a sidewalk cafe.

Check Amazon for a full range of strollers, from bargains to super deluxe. 

5. Soft frisbee!

Dog frisbee isn’t just for the big guys… small dogs can learn to love it too, with a smaller, soft frisbee.

Look for the flying disc made of fabric, with a soft rounded edge to protect your Morkie’s sensitive mouth. The 7″ Chuckit! available on Amazon, is a smaller frisbee that’s soft yet durable.

 chuckit frisbee for dogs

 

Check out the smaller, soft dog frisbee on Amazon, from Chuckit!

 

 

6. Dog Training Lite

Do some fun training with your Morkie, or try a Fun Meet in your area. Fun Meets are dog shows that are heavy on fun and light on serious rules. You could win, for example, for the Kissingest Morkie.

For more on training, head over to YouTube and check out “Easy Dog Tricks.”

7. Swimming

Since a Morkie’s parents, the Yorkshire Terrier and the Maltese, aren’t known to love water, never force your Morie to take a dip. that said, lots of Morkies do love swimming, so give it a try!

8. Include your Morkie in wedding

Yours or a friends, nothing glams up wedding pix like a well dressed Morkie!

More on dogs in weddings in my blog here.

9. Spa Day for Two

 

But relaxing Morkie in a pink robe, pretending to be at a spa

A nice warm bath and dog massage for your Morkie, and a homemade facial for you… before you know it, it’s SPA Day at home!

Lots of great ideas at SheKnows.com

10. Go for a long run

An estimated 52% of dogs are obese nowadays, so exercise is always a good thing. If possible, find a nice open field that’s fenced it and let your Morkie have a good run. He probably won’t need much encouragement, but if he does, you can always tag along beside him.

Should your Morkie be a running partner for you? Not really. Small dogs don’t have the size to maintain a good pace, and your Morkie may not be strong enough. Plus, they can be prone to slipping knee syndrome (Patella Luxation) so running every day on a leash with you isn’t ideal.

Don’t forget water breaks.

11. Stay at a dog-friendly B&B

Check out BringFido.com and you’ll find hundreds of fabulous B&Bs that welcome dogs, all around the world. These places are beautiful, and offer a true, all family vacay for you and yours.

More here: https://www.bringfido.com/lodging/bandbs/ 

Some of the gorgeous properties on Bring Fido: dog-friendly B&Bs

 

dog friendly B&Bs

12. Visit a LUXE doggy store

Whether it’s Bark & Fitz or Muttropolis, every city has a super posh dog store.

Take your Morkie to one and do some browsing… you’ll find it an eye-opening experience!

From the Swarovski crystal dog bath, at $6,995

Swarovski crystal dog bath

 

To a genuine Louis Vuitton Dog Carrier at $58,000!

Louis Vuitton Dog Carrier at $58,000!

Glucosamine for your Morkie?

Glucosamine for your Morkie?

If you’re worried about your dog’s joints you might want to add glucosamine for dogs to your shopping list.

Glucosamine is an amino-sugar that young healthy dogs produce continually. It helps joints to build and maintain cartilage. Cartilage is vital because it is the tough spongy layer that shields the bones in joints from each other.

As dogs age, they produce less and less glucosamine, which can lead to a painful condition called osteoarthritis, where bones start to rub painfully at the joint. This generates the pain and inflammation of arthritis.

If your dog responds well to glucosamine supplements, he will have healthier cartridge, better mobility, and less pain. Like humans, not all dogs respond to glucosamine, so you need to try it to find out.

 

normal joint versus arthritis

 

 

The AKC agrees

The American Kennel Club (AKC) agrees that no one knows exactly how glucosamine works, but it appears to help build better cartilage to protect against joint degeneration.

Since it has very few side effects it is worth trying because many studies have shown it does provide relief.

What is arthritis?

Inflammation of a joint or joints causing pain and/or disability, swelling and stiffness, and due to various causes such as infection, trauma, degenerative changes or metabolic disorders.

While there is no cure for arthritis, some treatments can lessen pain and improve mobility.

Signs of arthritis in dogs

  • difficulty standing or sitting
  • stiffness getting up or after resting
  • slow, steady weight gain
  • less interest in playing
  • licking certain joints
  • behavior changes like decreased appetite and snappiness or forgetting potty training
  • difficulty getting comfortable at night
  • sudden whining or crying we your Morkie moves or when you’re petting him

Dogs can’t tell us about their arthritis pain

How big will my morkie get? Picture of a morkie puppy

Is glucosamine safe for dogs?

Glucosamine or glucosamine chondroitin for dogs is safe, say Vets, as long as you follow the recommended dosages and directions. Your Morkie’s weight is an important factor in just how much glucosamine is right.

Fortunately, if your dog does get too much, the excess is flushed out in the urine.

Watch your Morkie for any signs of glucosamine allergy

made from lobster shellsGlucosamine supplements are usually made from something called chitin. Chitin is extracted from the crushed shells of crustaceans, which include lobsters, crabs, shrimp, and barnacles. So if your dog has an unusual allergy to shellfish, this could be a problem.

Symptoms of an allergy can include

  • itching
  • cramps
  • vomiting and diarrhea

Glucosamine plus Chondroitin sulfate

Another nutrient called chondroitin sulfate is often combined with glucosamine for dogs.

It combats enzymes that might damage the cartilage and fluid in the joints. Together with glucosamine, it’s like a double whammy for pain and stiffness.

A vet and tech support person, demonstrating good Veterinary careGet the correct diagnosis

If your Morkie seems to have stiff, sore joints it’s important that your Vet diagnose what’s happening before you start treatment. Osteoarthritis is just one possibly with these symptoms. Others could be Lyme Disease, Tetanus or parasites.

6 More Ways You Can Help Relieve Joint Pain for Your Morkie

If your Morkie is showing signs of joint pain and/or osteoarthritis, here are 6 more things you can do to help reduce her struggle:

  1. use area rugs for traction on slippery floors
  2. keep nails cut short
  3. provide a warm, padded bed
  4. never let your Morkie jump down from a bed, chair or sofa
  5. keep food and water within close reach
  6. try skid proof socks

It may take at least 3 months to see an improvement in your dog who is taking glucosamine supplements.

Picking a Brand of Glucosamine

Nutraceuticals – dietary supplements – aren’t regulated by the FDA like regular pharmaceuticals, so it’s important to read labels and take extra care in picking a brand.

Some kibbles include glucosamine, but the quantities available in food like this are far too small.

Some foods like Bone Broth (see my latest post on this wonder food) contain good amounts of glucosamine for dogs.

Or you might choose a specific supplement so you’re sure your Morkie is getting enough of the good stuff.  Check out bestglucosaminefordogs.org for more information.

For a rundown of the best glucosamine for dogs, see bestglucosaminefordogs.org here.

Bone Broth for dogs: is it right for your Morkie?

Bone Broth for dogs: is it right for your Morkie?

Bone broth is the latest thing for dogs; it’s a pot of nutritious minerals and nutrients that dogs love, and is super easy to make and very good for your dog. Should your Morkie be getting bone broth for dogs, the latest superfood?

Benefits of Bone Broth

  • Nutrient dense
  • Easy to digest
  • Helps dogs with digestive problems
  • Supports your dog’s immune system and detoxes his liver
  • Helps protect your Morkie’s joints
  • Promotes probiotic balance and growth
  • Is full of minerals, including calcium, silicon, sulphur, magnesium and phosphorus

Bone Broth for Dogs

It’s great as a regular supplement and especially good for dogs who have diarrhea or are vomiting.

 

How to Use It

Use bone broth to moisten dry food, hydrate your Morkie when he’s sick and as a base for a complete meal.

Pour it on food; your dog won’t likely drink it on his own.

 

If Your Morkie is Feeling Sick

You could try an ounce or two in an eyedropper. Pull back his lip and empty the dropper between lip and gums.

roasted bones in bone broth

Make Your Own Bone Broth for Dogs or Buy It Ready-Made

Bone broth is loaded with:

  • amino acids
  • gelatin, which helps support your dog’s need for protein
  • important minerals like calcium, magnesium phosphorus, silicon, sulfur, and other trace minerals
  • glycine, which helps digestion by regulating the bile
  • joint protecting compounds like chondroitin, glucosamine, and hyaluronic acid

 

 

You can make bone broth yourself, or buy it in powdered form. 

download symbol

Download printable recipes here.

It’s easy and inexpensive to make bone broth yourself. A crock pot or super pot helps but you can also make bone broth in a big soup pot on the stove.

Organic, free-range chicken and grass-fed beef are good choices if you want to avoid added hormones and antibiotics.

 

use a variety of bones for bone broth

For the best results, use a variety of bones, including knucklebones and joints.

RECIPE I: BASIC BONE BROTH

Margaret Nee from The Art Of Dog

Gather up raw or cooked ones, and be sure to include joint bones with cartilage. (Rinse off any sauce on cooked bones.) Examples include turkey wings and leg bones; chicken feet and necks; knucklebones; beef marrow bones, or bones from your own meals.

Completely cover the bones with water, and add 2 to 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

Add about 1/2 cup fresh parsley at the very end, just before you take the broth off the heat.

Start the mixture on high to get it going, then turn it to very low and cook for the day.

*Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours. Beef bones can cook for 48 hours.

When it is finished cooking, strain the bones (do not feed to your dog). Chill the remaining liquid and skim excess fat off the top when cooled. The broth should be a jelly-like consistency when cooled.

You can freeze this broth in small containers, even ice cube trays, or store in your refrigerator for about 4 days.

Download printable copy.

For even more nutrition, add any of the following while the broth cooks:

sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, fennel seed
burdock root
dandelion root
kelp
kale
green beans
broccoli
celery
carrots
fennel
quinoa
a piece of fresh ginger

Be sure to strain these extras out before using the broth.

jelly bone broth

The best broth looks like a jelly when it’s done and cooled.

Gelatin that’s been drawn out of the bones makes this broth jelly-like.

If yours isn’t that gelatinous, don’t worry. Use the broth anyway and next time, add more apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to ensure it gels.

Recipe 2 – Fiskesuppe

Animal Wellness Magazine

2 pounds fish bones, including heads, tails, and the trimmings after cleaning
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 bay leaf
4 cups filtered water
Herbs can also be added, including flat or curly parsley

Put all ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for one hour. Remove the pot from heat and strain out the bones, using a very fine sieve or cheesecloth pulled tightly over a clean pot. Press with the back of a ladle or wooden spoon to remove all the liquid.

Download printable copy.

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Recipe 3 – Chicken Bone Broth with Turmeric

Dr. Axe

4 lbs. chicken necks, feet, and wings. You can also use the chicken frame if you can get it. Organic, free-range chicken is an excellent choice to avoid added hormones and antibiotics

2 carrots, chopped
3 celery stocks
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
5 to 6 sprigs parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon powdered turmeric
1 pinch ground cumin
1 section of fresh ginger cut into small pieces

Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat. Simmer for 24–48 hours, skimming fat occasionally. This low and long cooking time increases the chicken bone broth benefits as there is lots of time for the ingredients to release their goodness into the broth.

Once the broth is cooled, strain out the solids and chill. Then remove the layer of hard fat on top.

Use within 4 to 5 days or freeze.

Download printable copy.

Bone broth ready for the refrigerator

Bone broth ready for the refrigerator. Use it within 4 days or else freeze it.

Buy quality dried bone broth for your Morkie

Homemade bone broth is by far, better than store bought, but if you don’t have the time, pick one that offers at least 10 grams of protein per 8 ounce serving.

Avoid products with additives, coloring or flavor enhancers. Quality products should not contain sugar, hydrolyzed proteins, yeast extract, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, and maltodextrin.

Grass-fed beef and pasture raised or free-range poultry bones are superior.

READ MORE

 

Bone Broth for Dogs Available on Line

Is bone broth the same as soup stock?

“No. The key to the power of bone broth is long, long cooking time. That’s what pulls the nutrition right out of the bones. The regular broth has only a fraction of the nutrients, and little or no gelatin. The stock has more gelatin, but not as much as bone broth—and it doesn’t cook long enough to extract as many bone-deep nutrients.

 

 

“So bone broth isn’t the same as stock or broth. It has more gut-healing gelatin, more anti-inflammatory nutrients, and more building blocks of skin-smoothing collagen. It even has more flavor, because it simmers for a longer time.”

— from https://www.epicurious.com

Dog ring bearer – dogs in weddings

Dog ring bearer – dogs in weddings

Including your dog in your wedding is becoming more and more popular. In fact, lots of us love having a dog ring bearer. Here are some tips to make it all go smoothly.

Ways to include your Morkie in your wedding

Besides the popular role of dog ring bearer, here are some other ways you can include your Morkie in your wedding. Naturally, your Morkie should be comfortable around lots of people including kids.

 

  • Pup of Honor — Walk your Morkie down the aisle with the wedding party. You’ll probably want to use a leash; decorate it to fit your wedding theme.
  • Flower Dog — Your Morkie could carry a small bouquet on a ring pillow, carefully fastened to her back.
  • Honored Guest — If your Morkie is shy, give him a place of honor in the front row, sitting with someone he’s familiar with.

Don't forget to check that your venue allows dogs

reminder

 

What to bring if your Morkie will be at your wedding:

  • a pet sitter
  • wedding day attire
  • a secure place for the rings
  • leash and collar with tags – decorate the leash for an extra touch
  • food, water, and poop bags

Safety Tip

A number of flowers are toxic to dogs, including Lilies and Baby’s Breath. Check the full list here on the ASPCA site.

 

If your dog can’t be part of the actual wedding, consider:

  • including her in the engagement pictures
  • featuring her as part of the theme on the wedding stationery
  • showcasing her as one of the figures on the cake

Dog on wedding cake

Cake Decor Photo by Jenny DeMarco

dog topper on wedding cake

Rachael Buckley Weddings

 

If your Morkie can’t take part in your wedding, consider including him on some of the wedding stationery.

Feature your dog on some of the wedding stationery

Include your Morkie in the traditional ‘bridesmaids on a bed’ photo

Bridesmaids on the bed photo, with dog

What your dog should wear to the wedding

beautiful lace wedding dress for dog

AVAILABLE AT AMAZON.COM

wedding party, including dog

 from Hudson Valley Magazine

Yorkie in wedding dress

Available at Amazon.com

What the best-dressed Morkies are wearing

How about donations to your favorite pet charity instead of wedding or shower gifts?

Harry & Meghan started the ball rolling by asking for donations to their charities instead of gifts. 

Charitable donations instead of gifts

Tips to make it work, from Medium.com

 

Set your registry up early. From the moment you announce your engagement, friends and family will want to send you gifts.

Make sure you set up your charitable wedding registry (or any registry) early before guests can start shopping.

 

Include a card with details about your registry with your wedding invitation. It’s good wedding etiquette not to mention gifts on the invitation itself.

However, you could pop in a separate card with a message about why you are choosing charitable donations instead of gifts and including the URL for your charitable wedding registry. Include it on your wedding website too.

 

Give options. If your guests would like to give to a charity on your behalf, great! However, it’s good to recognize that some may not, and to give them other options (the same goes with any registry — options are important!).

Another couple, who had their dog in their wedding, were able to raise more than $15,000 for the Humane Society of New York.

For Those Who Have It All, Charitable Wedding Registries

Keep your Morkie calm this July 4th

Keep your Morkie calm this July 4th

Dogs and fireworks just don’t mix… for most dogs, celebrations like the 4th of July are the worst day of the year. How can you keep your Morkie calm and safe this year? Here are 4 strategies for a happier, safer Morkie this July 4th.

FEAR OF FIREWORKS is completely normal for dogs. Flashing lights, tremendous noise, and crowds all work to keep your Morkie on edge and nervous. Some dogs are extremely fearful and will do anything to escape the anxiety of fireworks. That’s when a dog will try to run away.

In fact, July 4th is the busiest day for shelters and humane societies because of runaway dogs. One year, a runaway Morkie even made the evening news.

Strategy #1: Keep your Morkie away from fireworks

The best place for dogs during big celebrations like the Fourth of July is away.

Put your Morkie in a quiet place, close the curtains, and run the TV or radio to mask sounds.

Include his crate or bed, plenty of toys, food, and water nearby. Check on him from time to time, but don’t baby him or pay too much attention to his fears – it can make him more fearful and needy.

dog cozy in bed safe and sound

Strategy #2: Keep your Morkie safe

Make sure your Morkie is wearing a collar with up-to-date identification, including your phone number.

If people are coming and going, put your Morkie an extra door away from the action so he can’t suddenly slip out.

Make sure windows are secure. Dogs will jump right through a screen in their panic to escape.

Designate one family member to be in charge of the dog. Sometimes everyone thinks the other person is keeping an eye out, and nobody is.

Never leave your Morkie outside in the yard during a get-together. It’s too easy for him to slip away.

safety first on the 4th of july

Strategy #3: Keep your Morkie calm

Try a pressure vest like a ThunderShirt

Experts say they can really help calm an anxious dog.  You can read all about them in my blog post here.

No time to get a ThunderShirt? Try a homemade version with Ace Wraps, thanks to Kathy Coffman and Gracie Girl on Pinterest.

See my other blog post on ThunderShirts here.thundershirt for dog anxiety

Try a calming scent

Dogs sense of smell is many thousands of times stronger than ours, so aromatherapy makes sense. Four scents, in particular, are found to be effective in calming dogs:

  • lavender
  • vanilla
  • coconut
  • ginger

Other scents reported to calm dogs include cedar, orange, and lemongrass.

lavender oil to calm dogs

An old standby: Rescue Remedy

 

rescue remedy

 

Rescue Remedy for Pets is available at Amazon and in health food stores and many drugstores.

 

And two more remedies – Benadryl and D.A.P.

Benadryl liquid is great for your dog’s allergies, and it’s calming. Generally accepted as safe for dogs, children’s liquid Benadryl in a small quantity may work for your Morkie. Don’t give it to him, however, if he’s taking other medications and be sure to get the regular kind, NOT sugar-free. The Xylitol in sugar-free formulas is highly dangerous for dogs.  (Download a free info sheet about Benadryl for dogs here.)

D.A.P. or dog appeasing pheromones are used to keep your dog calm under stressful situations. A popular brand is Adaptil, which comes with an electric diffuser. Other formats are also available, like a wearable collar scent. Read more here.

Strategy #4: Help your Morkie get used to loud sounds

Well-known dog trainer and therapist Victoria Stilwell offers four individual CDs which you play to your dog to help him get used to loud noises. Different types of loud sounds progressively increase over the course of the CDs. You can read more about this canine noise phobia treatment here.

July 4th for people

july 4th is fun for people

July 4th for dogs

July 4th for dogs is a nightmare

 

3 things to avoid if your Morkie is afraid of fireworks

PetMD.com offers these sensible tips:

Don’t baby your dog. If you fuss over her too much, she may get confused and become more afraid. Or she could learn that she gets extra attention or yummy treats when she’s stressed. Act normally. You can play with her, feed or do other fun activities.

Don’t punish her. Do not lock her in a crate or tie her up. She could injure herself trying to get away from the scary sound. She may also believe she’s in trouble for being afraid. Fear is a behavior, not an obedience issue. Your dog isn’t doing anything wrong by being afraid — even if the noise seems harmless to you.

Don’t force her to gut it out. Making your dog endure the sounds — especially without trained supervision — could make things worse.

And one more way to help your Morkie to stay calm

A brisk walk before the festivities begin is always a good idea – “a tired dog is a good (and calm) dog.”

10 Reasons to Neuter/Spay Your Morkie

10 Reasons to Neuter/Spay Your Morkie

10.  Neutering reduces health risks for male dogs.

Neutering your male Morkie eliminates any chance of him getting testicular cancer. It also removes the risk of benign hyperplasia of the prostate gland, prostatitis and perineal hernias in dogs.

 

9. Spaying reduces Mammary Gland Tumors in female dogs.

The more often a female goes through the hormonal spikes of a heat, the higher the chances of tumors. Once females had several heats, intact female dogs have a one out of four chance of developing mammary tumors.

What is spaying?

In female animals, spaying involves abdominal surgery to remove the ovaries and uterus.

This can be done by traditional open surgery or sometimes through laparoscopic surgery where a very small incision is needed.

What is neutering?

Neutering a male involves making a small incision to remove the dog’s testicles.

Complications or  dangers

Risks are very low in these operations. Many of us don’t want to put our dogs under anesthetic, but deaths related to anesthetic during spaying or neutering or less than 0.05%.

There is some concern that spaying could cause a  little incontinence later for a female, and that neutering could cause less control for a male, leading to ‘dribbling.’

Neutered dogs of both sexes have a 27% to 38% increased risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations, another reason to be selective in how many vaccinations your Morkie gets and how often.

Always review risks with your Vet before any procedure.

 

When to neuter or spay?

Puppies can be neutered or spayed any time after 8 weeks according to some experts but the trend now is to wait a little longer,  until at least 6 to 8 months. Dogs can also be spayed or neutered as adults, but expect a female who has already been in heat, to cost a little more for spaying.

 

Recovery period

The ASPCA advises the following – along with following all your Vet’s instructions of course —

  • Provide your pet with a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals.
  • Prevent your pet from running and jumping for up to two weeks following surgery, or as long as your veterinarian recommends.
  • Prevent your pet from licking the incision site, which may cause infection, by distracting your pet with treats or by using an Elizabethan collar.
  • Avoid bathing your pet for at least ten days after surgery.
  • Check the incision site daily to confirm proper healing.

8.  Eliminate the danger of Pyometra in females.

Pyometra is a nasty infection of the uterus that strikes up to 15% of female dogs. Surgery is needed FAST to save a dog with this condition but a female whose uterus has been removed doesn’t face this danger.

Symptoms of Pyometra include:

  • Swollen tummy
  • Vaginal discharge.
  • Lethargy.
  • Depression.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Vomiting.
  • Frequent urination. 

 

7. Males will mark and spray less.

Male dogs who haven’t been neutered are very territorial and will mark their territory with small amounts of urine – all over! And they’ll also spray urine as a sign of dominance. Very messy in your home.

 

6. Reduce humping!

Or as the Humane Society calls it, “inappropriate mounting.” Both males and females who haven’t been spayed/neutered will often hump your leg… or anyone else’s including your mother-in-law and your boss. That’s just awkward.

5.  Cut down on runaways.

All dogs should be safely fenced or contained; there’s no reason to let your dog have the run of the neighborhood, risking getting hit by a car.  Neutering/spaying reduces your dog’s urge to escape to find a date.

4. Keep your male Morkie from roaming and fighting.

male dogs fighting over a mate

 

The ASPCA reminds us:

An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate, including finding creative ways escape from the house. Once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other male animals.

3.  Avoid messiness and the nuisance of your female dog in heat.

Estrus, the proper name for the female’s heat, is the time when your female Morkie is receptive to mating.

It occurs about every 6 months and lasts 2 to 3 weeks.  Signs of estrus include blood-tinged discharge, which isn’t a huge problem with small dogs like Morkies.  But there are other  annoying behavior changes like:

  • nervous, unsettled more alert – possibly barking more
  • pacing, trouble sleeping
  • urinating much more frequently
  • humping other dogs, toys, your leg
  • howling, whining
  • attempts to get out of your home (to find a mate)

female dog in heat

Females in heat have to wear a kind of doggy diaper that makes going potty difficult. They’re never too happy with it either.

2.  Your Morkie will probably live longer spayed or neutered.

Longer life? Neutered pets live longer than intact pets – that’s a proven fact. However, it’s not clear if that’s because owners who neuter their pets generally take better care of them, or if the actual neutering extends a dog’s life.

Whatever the reason, we all want our Morkies around as long as possible.

 

neutered and spayed pets live longer

The #1 reason to spay or neuter your Morkie

10.  There are too many dogs in the world already

Those who can’t find homes are euthanized – put down – killed – however you want to express it, in the U.S. alone, more than 4,000,000 cats and dogs—about one every eight seconds—are put down in shelters each year. Do we need more litters? No, and none by accident.

there are too many dogs in the world

 

 

Thundershirt for Dogs

Thundershirt for Dogs

Amelia’s Maltese Button suddenly started biting and chewing on himself. He started nuisance barking and had started hiding and growling. Button was normally a very calm and loving dog (except if she saw a squirrel) so Amelia was concerned.

A visit to the Vet didn’t uncover any physical problems and more walks didn’t help either. Amelia gave her pup a little more attention, more snuggles and petting to try and calm her, but nothing worked. Finally, Amelia realized that the problem was major noise from next door. The neighbors were renovating and contractors had been in every day with heavy equipment, tearing down walls and pulling up concrete. 

Noise anxiety

Noise anxiety is a very common problem for dogs, especially small dogs.

Typically, it is triggered by thunder or fireworks, but any sudden and loud noise can trigger an anxiety that’s hard to see in your pet.

A dog with noise anxiety can have symptoms including trembling, biting, excessive barking, hiding, growling, submissive urination and more.

Petmd.com outlines 3 levels of dog anxiety and fear:

Mild fears: signs may include trembling, tail tucked, withdrawal, hiding, reduced activity, and passive escape behaviors
Panic: signs may include active escape behavior, and increased out-of-context, potentially injurious motor activity. Classic signs of sympathetic autonomic nervous system activity, including diarrhea
Anxieties: lesions secondary to anxious behavior (such as licking and biting at the self)

Treating Noise Anxiety

Changing the environment is the obvious treatment for a dog with noise anxiety; don’t take him to fireworks displays, keep him close during the thunder, and so on.

You can also talk to your Vet about a variety of prescription medications. Some are given regularly for the life of the dog, and some are used only during the anxiety event.

If you go this route, be sure to talk about side effects and long term risk any drug might pose.

Another option is behavior training therapy, which CAN work but takes time. 

Pressure Wraps for dog anxiety

Pressure Wraps for dog anxiety also called a dog anxiety jacket, a pressure wrap works Much like swaddling an upset baby. Gentle pressure wraps for dogs work surprisingly well.

You can buy the popular ThunderShirt, or make your own by modifying an old t-shirt. The principal is the same: light and constant pressure is applied to the dog’s torso and chest.

 

a pressure shirt for dogs is like swaddling a baby

ThunderShirt is the leading pressure vest for dogs, and is available in all sizes and colors

Here’s what a pressure wrap like the ThunderShirt can help:

 

  • canine separation anxiety
  • noise anxiety
  • social anxiety

Questions and answers about pressure vests for dogs.

How long can you keep a ThunderShirt on a dog?

The makers of ThunderShirt advise:

When properly sized and properly put on with a comfortably snug fit, your dog should be very comfortable. If your dog will be wearing a Thunder- Shirt for more than one hour at a time, we recommend removing ThunderShirt every one to two hours during the initial periods to check for any signs of irritation points.

Once your Morkie is used to the ThunderShirt, he can wear it comfortably for extended periods, but it should be removed TWICE A DAY.

 

Does the ThunderShirt really work?

Although we don’t know precisely how they work, pressure wraps like the ThunderShirt do work. The wrap creates pressure points which may help release calming hormones.

A properly fitted pressure wrap is calming for your dog and can help reduce anxiety and fear, without the use of any drugs or medication.

 

Is ThunderShirt washable?

Yes, the manufacturer advises that the ThunderShirt can be washed in a regular cycle using regular laundry detergent and cold water. Hang to dry. 

 

How long does it take for the ThunderShirt to work?

Put ThunderShirt onto your dog or cat, and you will likely see results with the very first usage – no training necessary. However, for some, it may take two to three usages to see maximum results. For some more serious anxiety cases, such as severe separation anxiety, you should consult a good trainer for how to integrate ThunderShirt into a training program.

How much is a ThunderShirt?

You can order one online at Amazon for about $45 or visit your local pet supply store. 

A happy ending for Amelia and Button

At her wit’s end because of Button’s anxiety, Amelia heard about the ThunderShirt and decided to give it a try.

After wearing it just twice, Button was free of his sudden anxiety symptoms and life returned to normal.

Summer Dangers: water intoxication

Summer Dangers: water intoxication

It was a tragic accident that didn’t need to happen.

Ben Carthy and his wife Lucy were devastated after their dog Max died after playing in a lake. Their beloved springer spaniel, Max, died from swallowing too much water.

Ben shared:

“We are so unbelievably devastated that a simple game of fetch in the water, something we had done a hundred times before, resulted in such a perfect day turning into our worst nightmare.

“Water intoxication was something we knew nothing about. At this time of year, so much awareness is spread about not leaving dogs in hot cars but no one ever mentions the hazardous effects of your dog ingesting too much water while playing.”

iNews UK

Water intoxication results in deadly LOW levels of sodium.

What happens when a dog takes in too much water?

When your dog takes in more water than his body can process, the excess water dilutes bodily fluids, creating a potentially dangerous shift in electrolyte balance.

When sodium levels fall, cells start filling with water as the body attempts to balance the sodium levels inside the cells with falling levels outside the cells. This inflow of water causes the cells — including those in the brain — to swell.

The ultimate results can be lethal.

Symptoms of Water Intoxication

Lethargy might be the first sign a pet parent sees. After a good play session, dogs are usually tired but happy.

A dog with water intoxication will be tired to the point of collapse. Neurologic signs are probably already occurring, so look for a “spacey” appearance to the eyes.

Vomiting water and excess drooling are also key first signs. Seizures can occur if neurologic signs continue to progress.

Look for:

  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Coordination loss
  • Excessive salivation
  • Restlessness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Glazed eyes
  • Pale gums

Although it’s not common for Morkies to play in the water for long periods of time, it is worth knowing about Water Intoxication and its potential effects.

RECAP – Water intoxication

  • Water intoxication is a rare but often fatal condition in dogs. Dogs that love being in the water and playing with sprinklers or hoses are at the highest risk.
  • Water intoxication causes hyponatremia, a condition in which sodium levels drops to dangerously low levels.
  • Symptoms of water intoxication include staggering, vomiting, pale gums, and dilated pupils; severe cases can cause loss of consciousness and death.
  • Water intoxication is a medical emergency, and even with aggressive veterinary care, many dogs do not survive.

It’s actually possible for your Morkie to ingest too much water, and each year a small percentage of water-loving dogs get dangerously drunk on their favorite beverage.

Water intoxication can result in a potentially fatal condition called hyponatremia, which is an excessively low blood sodium level. Dogs that play in the water for long periods of time are at highest risk, as are dogs that ingest water from a lawn sprinkler or hose.

Reduce the risk of your dog taking in too much water

  • Reduce the time your dog spends in the swimming pool.  He is probably drinking all the water that comes into his mouth.
  • Make sure your dog does not play with water sprinkles or a running hose.
  • Always provide a sufficient amount of water on your pet´s bowl.

Best dog shampoo for your Morkie

Best dog shampoo for your Morkie

There are more than 3,600 products on Amazon under “pet shampoo.” They all work pretty well, but are they all made with safe ingredients? And why should you care? In one word:

Cancer

  • More dogs than ever die of cancer.
  • 1 in 4 dogs will be diagnosed with cancer.
  • Cancer now is the leading cause of death in dogs over 10; 1 in 2 will die from it.

Hereditary factors play a role, but by far, toxins in the environment (including what they eat) are responsible for the vast majority of cases.

Skin is the biggest organ mammals have. A dog’s skin is especially sensitive. So why take chances on products that are absorbed into the pet’s skin, and even licked off.

Here’s what worries me about pet shampoo:

  1. Manufacturing is unregulated. Some pet shampoos use cheap, nasty ingredients, even though they’re known to be harmful, even causing cancer.
  2. Labels lie. The stuff written on the shampoo bottle is often false and misleading; manufacturers can claim just about anything.
  3. Confusion around the basics. Shampoo can be a soap or a detergent. Which is better, and why?
  4. Ethics. Many shampoos are tested ON animals. Wait, what? It’s hard to believe, but true. That’s just wrong.

more dogs die of cancer

How to pick the best dog shampoo for your Morkie

A good and safe shampoo should be free of sulfates, alcohols, harsh chemicals and detergents.

It has these characteristics:

 

  • is safe and non-toxic
  • non-irritating, natural solution
  • doesn’t say proprietary blend or proprietary fragrance
  • free of sulfates such as SLS, ALS, SLES, etc.
  • has no formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, like butylparaben, methylparaben or propylparaben
  • no MEA, TEA, DEA or phosphates

OR, pick a dog shampoo that’s “Certified Organic”

Just organic, or natural, or all-pure, etc. won’t work.

Those terms don’t have any legal meaning in the pet world. A manufacturer can add a tiny drop of something good, and then call the product Natural or Organic.

Certified Organic goes through testing and certification. The USDA Organic seal on grooming products means the products are free from artificial colors, preservatives and fragrances, and GMO ingredients.

But it's complicated

Of course, it’s not that simple because there’s a disagreement about “soap” and Certified Organic dog shampoo contains soap. 

Plenty of great, natural and safe shampoos that do not have the USDA Organic Seal, because the manufacturer doesn’t want to use soap.

Other companies are so small or new, that they can’t afford to go through the process yet to get the Certified Organic label.

So we’re back to reading the details on the label.

The good guys: here are some brands you can trust

Certified Organic

4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoos
Bodhi Dog Shampoo Made with Organic Oils
BotaniVet Certified Organic Manuka Honey Pet Shampoo
Dr. Mercola Healthy Pets
Fieldwork’s Moosh Natural Dog Shampoo
Fluppets Certified Organic Pet Shampoo
H&P’s Certified Organic Pet Shampoo With Coconut Oil and Aloe Vera
H&P’s Fresh Collection
Lola & Max
Max & Neo
Organic Oscar Oatmeal Shampoo
Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner
Paws & Pals Natural Dog-Shampoo and Conditioner
Pura Naturals Pet
SUDSY WUDSY ORGANIC DOG SHAMPOO™

Products nearly as good as Certified Organic

earthbath
Eco-Pet Shower Pet Shampoo
Fifi & Fido Natural Pet Shampoo
Odie and Cody Natural Dog Shampoo, Organic Pet Shampoo for Dogs, Cats, Puppies, Kittens, Guinea Pigs & More

picking the best dog shampoo

earthbath offers an excellent All Natural Shampoo line with plenty of choices:

Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo, Fragrance Free
Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo
Mango Tango 2-in-1 Conditioning Shampoo

Shed Control Shampoo
Hypo-Allergenic Grooming Foam for Dogs
Deodorizing Shampoo
Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo
Coat Brightening Shampoo
Ultra-Mild Puppy Shampoo
Dirty Dog Shampoo
Eucalyptus & Peppermint Shampoo
Tea Tree & Aloe Vera

red flag warning about dog shampoos

Red flagged products

These are just a few popular dog shampoo brands that contain 4 or more dangerous products.

  • Arm & Hammer shampoos
  • Hartz products
  • Isle of Dogs Everyday Elements
  • Wahl Dog/Puppy Shampoo

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