Is Pumpkin for Dogs Good? YES!

Is Pumpkin for Dogs Good? YES!

Pumpkin for dogs

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

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

What is a pumpkin anyway?

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

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

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

pumpkin and tomato: are they fruits or vegetables

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A natural stomach settler

white morkie feeling sick

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

  • diarrhea
  • vomiting or
  • constipation

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

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


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

What causes dog diarrhea?

Dog Diarrhea is never pleasant

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

Dietary Changes

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


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


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

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

Dog diarrhea: when to check with the Vet?

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

Canned Pumpkin can also help your Morkie lose weight!

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

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


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

Read more about your dog in this complete Morkie Guide

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.

just 9.99

Apple cider vinegar for dogs

Apple cider vinegar for dogs

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

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

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

Some potential benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs include:

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

What is apple cider vinegar?

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

How’s it made?

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

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

A drawing of a bottle of apple cider vinegar

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

small dog making a funny face

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

Apple Cider Vinegar Diet

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

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

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

Dr. Cailin Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN

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

Is it safe?

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


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

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


quote about apple cider vinegar

Credit: From websiste.

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

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

little dog with a glass of apple cider vinegar

ACV for your dog's ears?

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


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


Beware of these toxic foods for dogs

Beware of these toxic foods for dogs

Keeping toxins away from your pet can make the difference between life and death. Here are 7 toxic foods that your Morkie should definitely avoid, so please keep them out of sight …. Pet poisonings are a nightmare. You know something is drastically wrong with your Morkie, but you don’t know what because he can’t tell you. Your dog may be staggering, having explosive diarrhea or vomiting sessions, or convulsing uncontrollably.  Exactly what are the foods that are toxic to dogs? Among others, here are the top 7.

7 Foods that are toxic to dogs

1. Chocolate, coffee, coffee beans and caffeine

  • chocolate contains two deadly toxins for dogs: theobromine and caffeine
  • both stimulate the central nervous system, and in turn, the heart
  • symptoms include restlessness, excessive thirst, uncontrollable peeing, and vomiting
  • any delay in treatment can result in seizures, coma, and even death

2. Xylitol

  • this artificial sweetener is rising fast in the list of things that can kill your Morkie
  • it’s used in sugar-free gum, candy, bread, and other baked goods and even toothpaste
  • in dogs, Xylitol leads to a life-threatening drop in blood sugar; symptoms include lethargy, inability to control movements, collapsing and seizures

3. Onions, chives, garlic and leeks

  • these plants are all part of the Allium family and often – but not always – make dogs very sick
  • symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite
  • eventually, affected animals develop anemia and becoming weaker and weaker
alcohol is toxic for dogs

4. Ethanol which is found in alcohol

  • an alcoholic beverage can be the culprit of alcohol poisoning in your pet
  • but so can rotten fruit like apples (which are turning into alcohol), uncooked pizza dough, antifreeze, perfume, and mouthwash, because all contain ethanol
  • a dog or cat who has ingested ethanol will be very lethargic and his breathing rate can slow to dangerously low levels

5. Grapes, raisins, currants

  • these foods have been reported to cause kidney failure in dogs, but not all dogs
  • those animals who ARE sensitive to grapes and raisins have died after just a handful
  • diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy and abdominal pain are just some of the symptoms of grape/raisin poisoning

6. Hops

  • hops, used to brew beer, are made up of several compounds including resins, essential oils, and tannins which can cause high fevers in pets
  • anxiety, rapid heart rate, panting vomiting, and seizures can also result when a dog eats hops (or gets into beer)
macadamia nuts are one of the toxic foods for dogs

7. Macadamia nuts

  • good for humans, macadamia nuts can be deadly for dogs
  • even a few can lead to weakness, especially in the hind legs which can collapse
  • within 12 hours of eating macadamia nuts, dogs can suffer from shaking, fever, abdominal pain, and stiffness
  • although there are very few deaths associated with dogs eating macadamia nuts, your Morkie CAN become very, very ill eating them

If you suspect your Morkie has eaten any of these foods, call your Vet right away, and try to get your Morkie to vomit


If you think your Morkie has been poisoned by one of these toxic foods, and you’re SURE he hasn’t ingested something caustic like bleach, weed killer, rat poison, etc., get him to throw up.

Mix water and hydrogen peroxide and force into his mouth with an eyedropper or turkey baster.


The leading cause of poisoned pets is, by far, human medications – prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs that we take.

This is followed by foods that are toxic to dogs (but not humans or other animals), household items like cleaning supplies, glue and paint, followed by “Rodenticides” – that is, anything used to kill rats and mice are extremely toxic for pets and can cause a slow, agonizing death.

Insecticides are the next leading cause of pet poisoning. Ant traps, bug sprays and powders are all responsible for serious illness.

Certain plants like sago palm, lilies, marijuana, holly and others, and finally, garden products including weed killer and fertilizer.




The Humane Society’s full list of plants poisonous to dogs

Prepare an anti-poisoning kit for your pet

Full list of medications deadly to dogs

What your dog can and cannot eat. Dangerous ingestibles.

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? What to look for and what to avoid? Here are 7 handy tips to guide you in picking healthy dog food for your Morkie –whether it’s dry food (kibble) or canned.

Why can’t we just trust manufacturers?

Commercial dog food is a multi-billion dollar industry; it is 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 profitable market this size, it’s all about marketing pet food, not necessarily making excellent dog food.

Like cigarette makers in 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, unfortunately, you must do your own research to find a reliable 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


  • 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.


  • 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”

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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

Thanksgiving treats for dogs

Thanksgiving treats for dogs

You probably know that you can give your Morkie a little turkey meat as a treat now and then, but what about other typical Thanksgiving treats that we enjoy? Can you share them with your dog?

little morkie eating the family turkey

Can dogs eat turkey?

Not really, but….

White meat (without skin) is OK for dogs on a limited basis.

Turkey can be fatty and so can cause digestive upsets for your Morkie, including vomiting and diarrhea. But a little bit of white meat as a treat now and then is alright.

And of course, NEVER your dog have cooked bones of any type. Once cooked, bones shatter and splinter and can cause serious stomach and intestine damage. If your dog is used to a RAW diet,  he can have bones with meat on them which is a great way to clean your Morkie’s teeth.

Otherwise, keep all bones, dark meat, skin, gravy, tendons, and tough pieces of turkey away from your Morkie.

Use ground turkey meat to make these treats instead

Ground turkey is plentiful at this time of year and it’s often on sale. Use it to make these healthy, bite-size dog treats for your Morkie.

1 pound ground turkey meat
1 teaspoon of coconut oil
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
about 1/2 cup cornmeal


Brown the ground turkey in coconut oil, breaking it up as you cook it. Once it’s done, remove from heat and drain.

In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of quick-cooking oatmeal, flour, and baking powder and mix well. Add the cooked ground turkey. Use an electric mixer to blend in the low-sodium turkey or chicken broth, adding just enough to moisten the mixture so you can make it into small balls.

Scoop small balls (about 1 teaspoon size) and roll in cornmeal.

Put on a lightly greased baking pan and press them down with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees until they’re browned and firm to the touch (about 20 minutes).


dog treats you can make

More Thanksgiving treats your Morkie can enjoy

Besides a piece or two of white turkey meat, your Morkie might like to try veggies like cooked carrot, a couple of peas or steamed green beans.

Don’t expect him to be overly enthusiastic though; like most small dogs, Morkies can be picky when it comes to food, especially if you’ve already been sharing your own food with your dog. He could be reluctant to try one of these healthier choices.

cheese cubes

Mild, low-fat cheese makes a good snack for special occasions for your Morkie.

mashed potatoes

Plain mashed potatoes (no garlic) can be a novel treat for your Morkie.

baby carrots

Most dogs enjoy baby carrots, raw or lightly steamed.


Did you know that regular, canned pumpkin (ideally organic) – not pumpkin pie filling – is one of the best foods you can give your Morkie for digestive upsets?

Plain canned pumpkin can be added to his food to help resolve diarrhea and ironically, constipation too. Just a teaspoon a day, mixed in with his food, will help your sick Morkie feel better.

And pumpkin is nutrient-rich, filled with beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, along with potassium and fiber.

Check the label to make sure the can contains only pumpkin.

You can freeze the leftover pumpkin in ice cube trays to use later.


freeze  leftover pumpkin to use later


pumpkin is good for dogsPure pumpkin – not pumpkin pie filling – is good for dogs with both diarrhea AND constipation.

Generally speaking, it’s just not worth it to give your Morkie scraps and treats from your own plate. Chances are, he will end up with an upset stomach, diarrhea or vomiting. And fatty foods contribute to the painful condition called pancreatitis, something you definitely want to avoid.

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 easy-to-read text, charts, illustrations and photos.

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


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

Can Dogs Thrive on a Vegan Food & Treats Diet?

Can Dogs Thrive on a Vegan Food & Treats Diet?

Special Post by Chris Holzhauer
Chris is a freelance writer and pet specialist. His website is Chris can be reached at

If you are reading this post, most probably you are a vegan or your dog has meat allergy to certain types of meat. You are looking for an answer to the question “can dog survive on a vegan food & treats diet?” Well, it depends on many factors. It is possible for a dog to consume vegetables. But you cannot expect your dog to get rid of meat completely.

Many studies suggest that dogs can digest vegetable protein. People, in general, consider the dog to be carnivorous. But they have the characteristics of omnivores.

There are some animals from the Carnivora order who frequently consume plants. To defend the omnivorous nature of the dog, people present the example of the panda., which has the physical characteristics designed to eat meat, but they prefer plants and eat mostly bamboo. 

There are debates over the total vegetarian dog. It might seem cute to hear the word “Vegetarian dog,“ but ithere is some considerable health risk involved. Because, most of the dog from very early age, are accustomed to eating animal protein, vegetables without any meat might be stressful for their digestive system.

Some dogs are allergic to certain types of meat. So to compensate for the lack of nutrition, you can add vegetables to your dog food. Vegetables that are rich in protein will be good for the dog’s nutrition.

Can Dogs Survive on a Vegan Food & Treats Diet?

A vegetarian diet system for the dog is a new idea. Many people are thinking of being vegan. Although it had started as a healthy diet change, now for some, it’s a way of life. So they also want to add their beloved pet in that lifestyle.

It isn’t completely impossible for a dog to have a moderate vegetarian diet. But the diet should contain the proper amount of meat. It is natural for the dog to go for the meat if meat and vegetables are presented to the dog at the same time. You can’t just turn your dog into a vegetarian overnight.

So, if you truly want to serve vegan food to the dog, you can do that by following these instructions.

A Vegan Menu for Dogs

Dogs have the ability to consume a variety of vegetables. As mentioned before, vegetables that are rich with protein should be your first choice. Vegetable such as pulses, bean, carrot, broccoli, and other vegetables which are rich with proteins can be considered for dog food.

Protein is easy for the dog to digest and turn them into amino acid. It is tough for the dog’s stomach to digest vegetables that have no protein. Then the stomach has to collect Amino Acid from other kinds of components of the vegetable. It is both stressful and not enough for dogs.

So you should always look for vegetables rich in protein. To provide the daily requirement of protein, you can try adding an egg, which is an excellent source of protein. Adding an egg is not a true vegan diet; it’s called an ovo-vegetarian diet.

You need to take some precautions if you want your dog to be vegan. Although they can consume various vegetables, some could have a harsh effect on your pet. Bunch of vegetables has components that are harmful or non-consumable for dogs. So do a thorough study before choosing a vegan diet for your dog . If you keep giving vegetables that your dog won’t like, it might eat less. That is not what you want for your dog. Another critical issue is that you have to ensure that your dog gets the right amount of neutrinos from its food. So choose the correct mix of meat and vegetable to ensure the good health of your dog.

You can find vegan dog food in the market. There is some good brand of vegan dog food which you can get for your dog.

Provide supplements

Naturally, vegetables don’t have the same kind of components as meat. There are some proteins, that is almost impossible to find among vegetables which exist in meat. Lack of these proteins will cause some pretty nasty disease.

These missing protein can be compensated with supplements. Even if you make sure that your dog gets proper protein, vitamin, and mineral, there is a fair chance that your dog might miss other essential compound needed for its body. So you may give supplements to your dog with the consent of a vet. It will make up for the ingredients required for the dog’s immune system.

Whatever you do, don’t do anything without consulting with the doctor.

If your Morkie doesn’t want to eat the food, don’t force it. First, try adding a little bit of vegetable with the meat. Then gradually try to increase vegetable. Always keep a certain amount of meat in the dog food. Do not go for a vegan diet, if your dog totally refuses to eat vegetables.

check with your vet before making changes

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.


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
green beans
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.



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

Can dogs eat nuts?

Can dogs eat nuts?

Most dogs love peanut butter, but what about nuts? Can dogs eat nuts safely? The answer is, yes they can eat SOME nuts but others are dangerous.

For a small dog like a Morkie, any type of nut can be a problem:



  1. most tree nuts are infected with low levels of mold, including pistachios, walnuts, hickory nuts, and pecans. Moldy nuts contain aflatoxins, which can lead to lifelong health troubles for your dog, including liver failure.
  2. almost any nut can be a choking hazard in little breeds
  3. large nuts, like whole pecans and walnuts, can actually block your small dog’s stomach or intestines, causing tremendous digestive system problems.
  4. dogs with sensitive stomachs or a condition like pancreatitis shouldn’t have nuts because they can lead to discomfort and diarrhea.

Deadly: macadamia nuts

These delicious buttery nuts from Hawaii and Australia are THE worst thing for a dog. Why? They contain an unknown toxin that attacks the nervous system, causing  severe neurological problem.

Your dog might appear drunk, staggering all over; or he may lose his ability to walk (temporarily or permanently!) Severe vomiting and weakness can also be symptoms.


If you suspect your Morkie has eaten macadamia nuts, see the vet at once.

More Nuts to Avoid

Almonds aren’t as dangerous or deadly but they can cause a lot of digestive upset for your Morkie, along with the choking possibility.

Pistachios are “OK” except if they are mouldy and this type of nut is susceptible to mould.  Not enough for us to notice, let alone affect us but for a small dog, they can mean trouble.

Cashews don’t contain anything particularly poisonous to dogs but they ARE high in fact which can lead to obesity and even kick start pancreatitis in your small dog.

Brazil nuts are THE fattiest of all nuts, so again, should be avoided because of the risk of pancreatitis.

Walnuts are not only responsible for severe digestive illness in dogs, they can obstruct the bowel, leading to  more serious problems.  Plus, they’re one of “the moldies.”  (Black Walnuts are just as bad for dogs.)



No to Black Walnuts

Be aware of some wacky advice on holistic and all-natural dog care sites: they are encouraging us to switch from harsh deworming chemicals and medicines, to more natural ways to fight worms, like chamomile. BUT one thing that’s mentioned as a dewormer is Black Walnut! There’s often an accompanying warning, like this one:

“Black Walnut. Black walnut is a very effective natural dewormer, but it can be harsh on your dog’s system, so keep it for cases that don’t improve with the more gentle solutions listed above.


While it can effectively get rid of parasites (even heartworm), the strong ingredients in black walnut can cause vomiting, diarrhea and gastritis. It’s best to use it in consultation with a holistic vet.”

No to Almonds

The AKC says avoid almonds for your dog because they can cause digestion problems even though they aren’t as toxic as some nuts.  If your Morkie gets into almonds, expect him to have an upset stomach, pain in the stomach, gas and possibly diarrhea.

No to Pecans

Pecans are bad for dogs because they can cause aflatoxin poisoning. Symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, colored urine and jaundice, liver failure, blood-tinged vomit, and bloody or blackened stools.

Peanuts aren't nuts - SO THEY'RE OK

What about peanuts and peanut butter?

Peanuts and peanut butter are NOT toxic to dogs – because they’re not nuts.  

But don’t feed your Morkie too many, because of their higher fat content. Avoid salted or seasoned peanuts. Peanut butter is another treat dogs seem to love, and it can be an occasional treat or used in making dog biscuits.

While “nut” is in their name, peanuts are legumes just like kidney beans, peas or lentils. Peanuts grow underground, while most other nuts grow on trees.


peanuts growing

Here’s how peanuts grow – underground from the green leafy peanut plant.

The One Peanut Butter that IS Bad for Dogs - Very Bad!

More and more manufacturers are offering ‘low cal’ peanut butter. It’s made with XYLITOL, a sugar substitute which is HIGHLY DANGEROUS to dogs.

Please watch for this ingredient on a number of foods and candies that your Morkie might get into.

Smarter Snacks for your Morkie

Instead of nuts, try your Morkie with a small piece of your favorite fruit – apple, banana, peach.  (NOT grapes).

Or try some veggies including a bit of carrot, celery or a green bean.

No matter how healthy a snack might be, remember the 10% rule – only 10% of your Morkie’s total calories per day should be made up of snacks. The rest should be a balanced dry or wet food or a combination.


What is the best dog food for your Morkie?




Check this site

Find a lot more information on human foods your dog should avoid on the site, Fido’s Favorites.  Plus you’ll find other helpful articles there.

Fidos Favorites website

Best food for small dogs – is it right for your Morkie?

Best food for small dogs – is it right for your Morkie?

Small breed dog food is the latest spin manufacturers are putting on commercial pet foods… but do small dogs need a special diet? And why are these so formulas much more money than food for ‘full size’ dogs?  More about the industry’s latest scheme, ‘best food for small dogs.’

There are dozens of special foods on the market now specially made for toy dog breeds; they are the latest from manufacturers like Wellness, Nutro, Blue Wilderness and a host of others.

But are they actually unique? And does your Morkie need to be on one of these small breed dog foods?


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Today’s dogs are meant to eat MEAT. But plant material can’t hurt them, just fill them up. That’s something small dogs do not need; instead, every bite they eat should be maximum  nutrition.

All dogs need the same, good nutrition

Dogs are carnivores, not matter their size. Some experts say they are also omnivores – or eaters of just about anything. Their teeth are definitely for eating meat. But their intestines are longer than cats, who are true carnivores. So dogs CAN digest some amount of plant material.

A dog’s ancestor, the grey wolf, is primarily a carnivore. But dogs adapted over time to be scavengers, picking up the leftovers from humans, and generally eating whatever they could find. Meat was preferred, but not too many dogs will turn down a biscuit.


Commercial diets with plant filler

Any food with corn as its first ingredient, is not top quality nutrition. Corn is used for one reason only – it is an inexpensive filler.

Corn is a contentious subject in the world of dog food, Some experts claim dogs can get nutritional value from corn; others say, they can’t really digest corn, so it’s of little value.

Corn is a cheap filler, and small dogs like Morkies don’t need fillers. Every bite they eat should be nutritious since they’re so small.


What ARE the nutritional needs of a toy dog?

Toys need a quality diet of protein, fats and carbohydrates*. Carbs are starred, because they’re not technically NEEDED, but are usually the carriers of important vitamins, minerals and plant-based nutrients.

But guess what? Any size dog needs a quality diet of protein, fats and carbohydrates.

pet food treats in a dog bowl

Just some of the well-known commercial dog foods that have corn as their #1 ingredient:

Everpet Dog Food (Dry)
Gravy Train
Kal Kan Dog Food (Dry)
Kibbles ‘n Bits
Purina Dog Chow
Ol’ Roy Dog Food (Dry)
Pedigree Dog Food (Dry)

Hill’s Science Diet (Canned)

How important is small size kibble?

If you feed your Morkie a dry diet (kibble) how important is the SIZE of the kibble pieces?

Many Vets recommend that you add water – an equal amount as the kibble – to the meal before you give it to your dog. That’s because kibble diets can be very drying and can even result in dehydration.

So if you follow that advice, the size of the kibble doesn’t really matter, since it will soften right down.

Otherwise, the kibble size shouldn’t be an issue. Look at how a toy dog will grab onto a meaty raw bone and you’ll see there’s nothing too big for these guys!


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Your Best Bet for Toy Dog Diets

 If you feed your Morkie commercial dog food, look for:


  • good quality food, with a high levels of protein
  • without fillers like corn, soybeans or glutens (if they’re listed in the first 5 ingredients, try another brand)
  • add at least some fresh food to your dog’s diet, by hand; a little bit of beef or chicken (raw or cooked); veggies your dog might like and even fruit. 
  • keep training treats very small
  • no other snacks
  • food consistently available throughout the day, to stave off hypoglycaemia
  • don’t overfeed
  • balance feeding with 20 minutes a day of exercise (leashed walk) to help your toy dog build muscle tone

Here’s a quick guide to help you pick better quality food — 

Let's sum up: does your Morkie really need small breed dog food?

Being labelled for toy dogs, doesn’t mean the food is superior than regular dog food.

Always check the label carefully – especially the first 5 ingredients. They are what matters most. You want to see real meat products named, not “meat by-products” or “meat meal.” Instead look for beef, chicken, lamb, etc.  And avoid anything called a by-product.

If the food checks out, and there is a small dog version available (at the same price), then go for it. Otherwise, stick to a regular, quality food.

Download a list of quality dog foods to take shopping

If you feed your Morkie commercial food, you’ll want this list. Download it here free. 

Prescription dog food – is it worth it?

Prescription dog food – is it worth it?

When you look closely at the ingredients, it’s pretty clear that in nearly every case, prescription dog food is just regular food with a new label and a much bigger price tag. Sure, there are some extra ingredients, but they are WAY down on the label.

Manufacturers are aggressively competing against one another in the lucrative pet food market, by introducing ‘new’ versions of food. Many of these trends parallel our own foodie trends:

  • continued emphasis on protein – including alternative protein sources like quinoa and lentils
  • vegan or vegetarian food
  • low protein food
  • grain-free is now almost half the market in dog food
  • prescription diets
  • food formulated for small dogs
  • breed-specific food such as Royal Canin kibble for Yorkshire Terriers

 Trendy new dog foods are all about PROFITS

These “new” dog foods aren’t really new, and they aren’t designed with your dog’s health first. They’re designed to increase PROFITS for pet food manufacturers.

Before you shell out big bucks for these specialty foods, take a closer look and be sure you’re not being manipulated by this multibillion dollar industry.


don't be a puppet to pet food makers

Let’s look at an example of prescription dog food vs regular food

Dana Scott from has just written an extensive review of prescription dog food, versus regular store food.

It’s hard to see how prescription dog food, or veterinary diets, are worth the premium pricing. Here’s an example from

Here, we compare the ingredients ABOVE the named fat, which represent the bulk of what’s in the food. (Read more about how dog food ingredients are listed in this blog)


Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Mobility Dry Dog Food for Joint Health

Chicken Meal
Whole Grain Wheat
Brewers Rice
Whole Grain Sorghum
Cracked Pearled Barley
Brown Rice
Soybean Meal
Dried Beet Pulp
Chicken Liver Flavour
Pork Fat

So, as you can see, the main ingredients are the same in both foods. What’s different? THE PRICE!


Ingredients from Iams Veterinary Formula Joint Plus Dry Dog Food

Chicken by-product meal
Corn meal
Ground sorghum
Ground whole barley
Chicken (meal or whole)
Chicken flavour
Dried Beet Pulp
Chicken Fat

In most markets, the prescription food is almost TWICE AS MUCH MONEY as the regular food.

As with all my columns, this information is for your consideration. Please do not make changes to your dog’s diet, medication or exercise plan without consulting a professional.

Our pets are getting progressively fatter and sicker eating processed pet food.


The best prescription: a whole, healthy diet for your Morkie

Your Morkie is a carnivore and needs quality meat. Yet commercial food can be nothing but empty calories, and stuff like CORN which isn’t what dogs need. Or worse, processed dog food can contain carcinogens, triggering cancer.

Dr. Karen Becker, of offers a NEW list of Best to Worst Ranking of 13 Pet Foods.

From the best – Nutritionally balanced raw homemade diet to the worst, an unbalanced homemade diet, raw or cooked.



Here’s Dr. Becker’s list:

Nutritionally balanced raw homemade diet
Nutritionally balanced cooked homemade diet
Commercially available balanced raw food diet
Dehydrated or freeze-dried raw diet
Commercially available cooked or refrigerated food
Human-grade canned food
Super premium canned food
Human-grade dry food
Super premium dry food
Grocery store brand canned food
Grocery store brand dry food
Semi-moist pouched food
Unbalanced homemade diet, raw or cooked

Do small dogs need special food?

Do small dogs need special food?

What’s the best dog food for small dogs? And do small dogs need special food, or is any good dog food OK? Here are 5 top questions about dog food for small dogs like Morkies.

1. Is kibble or canned better for small dogs?

pick this not that for your dogJust like us, dogs can get bored eating the same thing, day after day. So switch it up with different brands, and don’t hesitate to use both kibble and wet food together.

If you’re buying commercial dog food, look for quality ingredients,  whether you’re buying kibble or canned (wet) food.

What makes up “quality ingredients?” Pick food with a ‘real’ source of protein in the first 5 ingredients. For example, beef, chicken or salmon. AVOID food that is labelled “meat” “poultry” or “fish.” AVOID meat by-products (named or not).

AVOID: bone meal, meat meal, corn high up on the label, and food that includes a ‘flavour.’ Why? Because that flavour is usually added to disguise the poor quality of the main ingredients. If a dog food is made with chicken, why would you need to add chicken flavour?

How are ingredients ranked on a dog food label?

Ingredients in dog food are ranked by weight

All ingredients must be listed in order of predominance by weight, including the ingredient’s water. So without a complex formula which removes the weight of the water in the dog food, it’s not fair to compare a dry food with a canned food. However, kibbles can be compared to one another, and canned foods can be compared fairly.


  • First 5 ingredients – make up the bulk of the food, and are most important

  • Above the named fat – another way to look at it, is the ingredients above the named fat, are what matter.

  • First 3 ingredients – generally make up the protein of the food

2. Why a high quality food is important for small dogs

Small dogs need all the nutrition a big dog does, but with a difference.

Small dogs actually need to eat more calories for their body weight, than larger dogs. That’s because smaller dogs usually have faster metabolisms and will burn off energy at a faster rate than larger dogs. For example, a Maltese needs more than twice as many calories per pound as a Great Dane.

Since small dogs are, well, small…. they can’t afford to fill up on low-quality ingredients like corn and other grains. Another reason you need the best dog food for small dogs.



3. Are breed-specific foods worth it?

Spoiler alert: Nope. What matters is that the food is species-specific… that is, it’s made for DOGS.

You might wonder sometimes, when you see ingredients like CORN first on the dog food label. When’s the last time you heard of a wolf breaking into a farmer’s field, shucking a few cobs and feasting on corn? Like never.

This doesn’t stop manufacturers from extending their pet food lines with plenty of silly options, like breed-specific food. Let’s look at two dry foods specifically for Yorkies, compared to a premium brand for small dogs.

Two breed-specific, specialty foods – for Yorkies

Eukanuba Yorkshire Terrier Food

Eukanuba Yorkshire Terrier Dry Food

First ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Chicken By-Product Meal
  • Corn Meal
  • Ground Whole Grain Sorghum
  • Brewers’s Rice
  • Chicken Fat

Chicken as the first ingredient is excellent. Meal is a concentrated version of the meat named, and so delivers excellent protein value; however, poultry by-products are the really ghastly parts like beaks and feet. Corn meal is the third ingredient, and it’s a controversial one. One thing we do know is, that as a whole grain, corn is not easily digested by dogs.

Sorghum is usually fed to cattle and Brewer’s Rice, or broken rice, are the broken bits of regular rice, which are rejected for people. They’re OK, nutrition wise, for pets.

10 pounds – at – $31.49

All in all, a pretty average food.

royal canine yorkie food - kibble

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Yorkshire Terrier

First ingredeints:

  • Brewer’s rice
  • Brown rice
  • Chicken by-product meal
  • Chicken fat
  • Wheat gluten

Brewer’s Rice is an odd ingredient to find first in a dog food. (see Eukanuba description, left)

This is a medium quality food, heavy on the carbs which small dogs like Morkies don’t need.

10 pounds – at Chewy – $38.69

My personal opinion is that this ranks well below the just-average Eukanuba, at left.

A much better choice – 

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food


12 pounds –  $37.99

      • Deboned turkey
      • Turkey meal
      • Chicken meal
      • Potatoes
      • Peas
      • Dried Ground Potatoes
      • Chicken Fat

      Premium natural ingredients, with no wheat, corn, soy preservatives or artificial colours and flavours.

      Provides energy without all the carbs, thanks to high-quality protein. Complete with probiotics, glucosamine, Omega fatty acids for coat health, antioxidants and more.



      4. Should I pick a food that’s specially made for small breeds?

      Some kibble comes in smaller sizes for smaller dogs, like the Wellness Core, above. That’s not a bad idea, as long as the food itself is high quality. Other than the size of kibble, there’s no reason small dogs need a different recipe than their big friends.

      cesar dog food commercial

      A frame from the latest Cesar Dog Food commercial.

      Pulling the heartstrings of small dog owners

      cesar dog foodSome foods are specially marketed to small dog owners. Cesar Savory Delights is a good example. Ads feature a  single man or woman, alone with their soulmate, a tiny dog. These ads are targeted at the GenX/Boomer pet parent, who is lonely, but thankfully, has his fur baby for company. So naturally he wants the best for that dog – and the implication is, that’s Cesar! 

      This food is one of the poorest quality on the market. Why?

      After water, the top 5 ingredients are:

        • beef by-products – which is industry-speak for slaughterhouse waste. This isn’t meat, it’s the leftovers, rejected for hot dogs. Can include lungs, brain, intestines, even tumours! 
        • animal liver – the animal isn’t named, so it could be anything, including any combination of pigs sheet, goats and horses. 
        • chicken – good!
        • meat by-products – slaughterhouse waste again, but from what animal??? Could even roadkill!
        • bacon – the cured fatty meat from the belly of the pig. Hmmm.

        5. Can small dogs handle a RAW diet?

        Yes they can. But RAW diets are about more than slicing off some sirloin before you toss that steak on the barbie…

        It’s important to handle raw meat carefully; especially for YOUR health. Your dog may love it, but raw meat is still full of potentially harmful toxins, bacteria and even parasites. Dogs are more resistant, but they’re not immune to some of these dangers.

        A RAW diet isn’t without digestion problems either, especially when you get started. Launching a new feeding regime can be tricky.

        And the number one issue: ensuring your Morkie gets the right nutrition. For a RAW diet, this takes a lot of planning and knowledge to balance the ingredients, and ensure all the micronutrients and vitamins and minerals are delivered in a RAW diet.

        Next: 'Prescription' or Veterinary Diets - Scam or Solution?