Grooming your dog is a great way to build a bond… and it’s a good way to keep an eye on his health.
As you brush and comb your Morkie, you can check for unusual lumps and bumps, insect bites, or skin problems. But can you overdo it and groom your Morkie too much?
Well, you can bathe your Morkie too much!
You probably can’t comb and brush your Morkie to excess; for one reason, he may not allow it 🙂
When you are grooming your little pet, be sure and use the right tools.
Because Morkies have hair, not fur, they don’t shed. They don’t have that soft, fluffy undercoat dogs like Golden Retrievers have.
So the types of brushes you would use for fur-dogs, are not good for your Morkie. They can break the hair off and the result is a very frizzy coat. This includes de-shedding brushes like the Furminator.
Instead, here are the basics you need:
The hidden danger of mats
The Humane Society near us recently took in a Shih Tzu who had so many mats, her life was at risk. Over one pound of matted, filthy hair was taken off this poor little dog, who was only 7 pounds herself after her haircut.
Mats can trap moisture, making the warm skin under them ideal breeding grounds for bacteria. In serious cases, skin irritations from mats can lead to lesions and sores. Those nasty sores are hidden under the coat, and can become infected.
The matted coat can pull (hard) on your dog’s skin and will hurt. This can cause him to start chewing at the mat to try and get relief.
Plus, that hair pulling the skin can bruise it and even cause circulation problems. Mats can cover up problems that you didn’t even know about. This includes hot spots, parasites, cuts, bruises, eczema, growths and worse.
How often should you bathe your Morkie?
One of the big mistakes first-time dog owners make is bathing their dog too often.
Regular combing keeps your Morkie’s coat smooth and mat-free. It even reduces smell. But you will need to bathe your dog from time to time.
Generally speaking, you should not bathe your Morkie more than once every 6 to 8 weeks. Most experts recommend waiting at least 3 months between baths.
Too much bathing will strip the natural oils from your dog’s coat and can cause skin irritations. Dry hair is more prone to tangle and go frizzy.
Too much washing will actually harm your dog’s coat and skin rather than make it healthy.
Your Morkie’s skin can become dry and flakey, and his coat will go dull when the natural oils are washed away.
Instead of a bath, try a more frequent foot bath. Your dog’s feet can pick up lots of stuff outside, including road salt. Plus, dogs sweat (almost entirely) from the bottom of their paws. Their little feet can end up smelling like a teenage boy who’s worn high tops all day! “Frito Feet” is the term that’s often used, thanks to the unfortunate similarity to that corn chip snack. Keeping her paws clean will make your Morkie more comfortable, and a cleaner companion.
“Is my shampoo OK for my Morkie?”
This is a question I hear quite often and the short answer is NO. Although you might have to use it in a pinch, dog shampoo is quite different than ours.
Dog shampoo is made to match a dog’s natural PH levels. (Remember grade 9 science? The pH level of the skin refers to how acidic or alkaline it is. On a scale of 1-14, 1 is the most acidic and 14 is the most alkaline. 7 is a neutral reading.) A dog’s skin has a pH balance of 7.5, compared to our skin, which has a pH balance of 5.5. So you can see our skin is quite a bit more acidic while your Morkie’s is almost neutral.
Plus, our skin is 5X thicker than a dog’s! So our shampoo must be stronger to do its job, and will be too harsh on your dog’s skin. It may not seem like much of a difference, but people shampoo is just not designed to clean a dog’s thinner, more alkaline skin.
If you’re stuck and must use human shampoo, dilute it with plenty of water before applying.
The ONLY term you can trust on a pet shampoo label, is CERTIFIED ORGANIC. That means all the ingredients are organic, not just one or two. The product must meet USDA standards to earn this label.
WANT TO LEARN TO GROOM YOUR MORKIE YOURSELF AT HOME?
In just a few minutes a day, you can groom your Morkie yourself, and keep his long flowing hair, instead of clipping it off in a puppy cut. Both Yorkies and Maltese dogs are renowned for their beautiful coats, so why clip it down?
Instead, in this short ebook, you’ll learn all the basics you need to do a top job yourself.