Designer dog collars for your Morkie

Designer dog collars for your Morkie

Designer dog collars are perfect for the adorable Morkie. Whether we’re talking $3.2 MILLION, or $9.95, a designer dog collar just has that extra bling a Morkie deserves. Here’s a brief look at the amazing range of designer dog collars available.

Let’s start at the top: $3.5 MILLION!

This may look like a queen’s necklace but it’s actually a designer dog collar.

The Amour, Amour luxury dog collar is made with 1,600 hand-set diamonds, totalling 52 carats. AND, the strap itself is 18-carat white gold with crocodile leather trim! But where do you put the dog tag?

Created by I Love Dogs Diamonds, the dazzling, diamond-studded collar includes 3 brilliant 7-carat diamonds in its design. And don’t worry, it’s custom fitted to your dog.

Yours for just – 

$3,500,000.00!

Speaking of diamonds

A Maryland dog was in the doghouse after he ate a diamond worth $20,000 dollars. On this particular day, a diamond dealer came in to show some some gems to George and Robert. Sollie stood nearby. Suddenly, the dealer dropped one of the expensive rocks, and Sollie went for it. “Saw Sollie go for the diamond — gobbled it up,” Robert told ABC 7 News. “Tried to get it — couldn’t get it — gone!”

(No word on the breed, but I don’t think it was a  Morkie.)

 

Wait, these collars are almost as cute. And you can find them in stores or order online. For a lot less than $3.2 million.

 

Pink princess collar 

This one’s nearly as cute as the $3.2 mill number, and it’s only $50 at Overstock.com

Red dingo designer dog collar

Adorable collar, from Red Dingo. Available at chewy.com

silver and turquoise dog collar

Handsome! Silver and torquoise with brown leather. A steal at Chewy.com

Rhinestone-Crown-Decoration Dog Collar Purple

Also available at overstock.com for just $5.00!

Beautiful! And a matching leash is available.

Luxury lineup from Saks Fifth Avenue – google SaksFifthAvenue to see more

 

collars from Saks Fifth Avenue

Tips for buying a designer dog collar for your Morkie

What’s the BEST collar to use for a Morkie?

The best collar to carry your Morkie’s identification, is soft, pliable and not too thick.

The best collar to WALK your Morkie is not a collar – it’s a harness.  (More on harnesses in the next post)

Identification is a MUST

For identification, pick from an engraved metal tag, a metal nameplate that goes right on the collar or a collar with the name embroidered right into the collar.

There are some FABULOUS dog tags available on ETSY –

 

 

 

Best type of material for a collar

morkie on a ridiculously heavy chainChain – is not good for Morkies since it puts a lot of pressure on their throat when attached to a leash. Plus they’re quite heavy.

Neoprene is rubbery and soft. It is waterproof and comfortable.

Nylon collars are the most popular. They’re inexpensive, and come in lots of cute designs. However they’re not very durable, and can get dirty over time. But at the price, you can replace it. With a nylon collar, be sure it’s not too wide; pick the most narrow one you can find.

Leather – looks good and last a long time. Again, don’t get one that’s too deep. Leather collars come in a variety of colours and designs.

Faux leather is inexpensive but breaks down quickly. Good for a ‘fast fashion’ choice.

 

Type of closure

A small, plastic clip type of closing is fine for a small dog, since it’s not likely he can break it by pulling hard. Other fasteners are metal or the traditional buckle style.

dog collar closings

 

Why you can’t use a CAT COLLAR for a Morkie

Yes, they fit better.  But did you know that cat collars, by law, must release?

So if the cat is caught up in a tree or in bushes and suddenly takes off, the collar will break apart without much effort.  It’s a safety thing for cats. But obviously not a good thing if your Morkie suddenly decides to run.

 

Sizing the collar

Measure your Morkie’s neck, hold the measuring tape firmly but not tight. Then add 2″. You should be able to slip 2 fingers under the collar when your dog is wearing it.

 

how to fit a dog collar

Not-quite-designer collars at Amazon

These collars may not be the super glam but they’re pretty cute!

There’s even a dog collar for Pats’ Fans, and who doesn’t love the WINNERS!

Or how about FLAMINGOES! They go with everything!

Was this the FIRST Designer Dog Collar?first bling dog collar

We started decorating our canine companions’ collars about 10,000 years ago.

Ancient Egyptians were crazy about cats, but they loved their dogs too. This collar was found in a tomb, along with the mummified dog and owners. It’s a work of art in itself.

 

Here’s an awesome store I came across browsing online, called MUTTROPOLIS. Lots of great stuff, including these unique collars.

 

muttropolis designer accessories for dogs

A SPECTACULAR collar - Black Ice Swarovski & Crystal

How would this look on your Morkie?

To read more, visit Holly and Lil.

For the male Morkie in your life

Another gorgeous collar; this one is from Joshua Jones, again in the UK.
Click here to visit.

And to top it all off, from Tiffany of course!

Sterling silver collar charm from Tiffany. $250.  

What is Kennel Cough?

What is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough can be scary – your Morkie can sound like he’s choking on a bone, thanks to the intense, frequent coughing spells that come with this ailment. It’s a dry, hacking cough that can be quite alarming, but don’t worry. Most cases of kennel cough run their course over a week or so.

Kennel cough starts with a virus, followed by a secondary bacteria infection. Your Morkie’s upper airways become inflamed and that’s what causes the harsh, dry cough.

What’s the difference between kennel cough and a cold?

Dogs CAN get colds just like us and there’s a small risk that you could pass your own cold to your Morkie. However, it’s not that likely.

Your dog can catch a cold from other dogs more easily. They don’t have a natural immunity to the cold virus, so you need to keep an eye out for:

  • cough
  • runny nose
  • fever
  • sneezing
  • tiredness, lethargy

Kennel Cough on the other hand, is mostly a powerful cough, a honking kind of sound or a harsh raspy cough. Kennel cough is extremely infectious, especially in tight quarters (hence the name).

It’s VERY common among dogs all over the world, and chances are, your Morkie will catch it at least once in his lifetime.  There can be other symptoms of kennel cough including runny nose and eyes.

 

How Kennel Cough is treated

Most dogs that get kennel cough just ride it out without needing treatment or medication. However, you may want to take your dog to the Vet anyway, just to be sure it IS Kennel Cough and nothing more serious.

If the dog has a fever along with the cough, and the Vet has determined it’s kennel cough, he/she may also prescribe an antibiotic along with a cough suppressant.

What else could it be if it is not Kennel Cough?

Canine Influenza Virus (CIV)

Dog Flu is caused by two distinct strains of viruses:
H3N2 is the newer strain. You might recall the big dog flu outbreak in Chicago in 2015, when over 1,000 dogs were very sick and at least 5 died. This virus has since spread to virtually every state.

H3N8 has been recognized since 2004.

Both strains can result in pretty severe illness or just a mild infection. This varies from dog to dog. Both are very contagious dog-to-dog. (There’s no evidence that people can pick up either strain of dog flu.) Dogs in kennel environments will pick up the virus more easily since they may be sneezing all over each other.

Symptoms include runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fever and generally not feeling great. Dog flu can also include pink eye.

If you suspect your Morkie has dog flu, talk to your Vet. Milder forms of the illness are treated with cough suppressants while more serious cases take custom care.

Controversy around vaccinations against canine influenza and kennel cough.

Allergies

Allergies also look like colds or kennel cough at times. Dogs experience seasonal allergies just like us, and are particularly sensitive to dust, pollen and mites.

Collapsed Trachea

This is a hereditary illness and unfortunately both Yorkshire Terriers and the Maltese dog, can be prone to it. The cartilage of the tracheal rings is weak, and over time fails to hold the dog’s windpipe open. Dogs with this problem have laboured breathing and a wheezy cough that’s made worse with excitement, eating, drinking, playing and walk on a leash with a collar. That’s why Morkies and their Yorkie Maltese parents should always have a harness, not a leash, for walking.

"Should I get the kennel cough vaccine?"

Yes and No

There’s good news/bad news about the Kennel Cough Vaccine

The bad news is, you may be forced to get this vaccination (which is actually a nasal SPRAY) because you want to board your dog. Even though you’re strongly against over-vaccination, many kennels and even groomers insist that all dogs have the the BORDATELLA vaccine.

The good news is, this is not necessarily an effective vaccine but it does not seem to have a lot of negative side effects either. Since the vaccine reduces the risk of kennel cough – a mild and short-lived infection – why have one at all?

You can read more about the canine vaccination controversy here and here on dogsnaturally.com 

Coyote attacks and your dog

Coyote attacks and your dog

If you have a dog, this is the time of year to be on high alert for coyote attacks. Because these animals are in the middle of their mating season, they are more aggressive than ever, and coyote attacks on dogs have increased.

Right across the country, there are news stories almost every night about coyote attacks. Rabbits, squirrels, mice, even calves and fawns all fall prey to the coyote and his close relative the wolf.

Small to mid-size dogs are no exception; and there is even the rare attack on people.

It’s heartbreaking to read these stories because, in nearly every case, the dog was in his own yard, or was with his human. But coyotes can be lightning fast, darting in to snatch a dog and then disappear.

Coyotes sightings are not unusual in cities; and these animals can easily jump over backyard fences.

coyote attacks in the news

Spot a coyote

  • coyotes are smaller than their relative, the gray wolf
  • males usually weight around 20 to 40 pounds and females are a little smaller
  • coyotes stand 15″ to 20″ high at the shoulder
  • fur is predominantly light gray and red, or light gray with black and white throughout

Photo by pixabay on freepik.com

Is it a coyote or a wolf?

Is it a coyote or a wolf?

There are plenty of details on how to tell which is which, here at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

A coyote’s face is narrow and pointed, with a small nose pad while the wolf has a broad, blocky head, with a large nose pad.

Wolves are bigger and heavier, running 26 to 32″ high at the shoulder, compared to coyotes at 15 to 20″.
Similarly, coyotes are much lighter; wolves run between 70 to 150 pounds.

Coyotes are gray or reddish brown, grizzled. Wolves are usually grizzled grey but they can be almost all black, cream or white.

How dangerous is the coyote? He’s “more predatory” than the notorious jackal, found in Eurasia.

Make no mistake, the wolf, coyote and fox are all dangerous predators when it comes to dogs.

Coyotes are abundant throughout North America, and down into Central America. They live on:

“animal meat, including deer, rabbits, hares, rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates, though it may also eat fruits and vegetables on occasion” according to Wikipedia

Both coyote and wolf attacks on humans are rare. But these hunters will attack a dog and almost any kind of livestock or game.

 carry a whistle with you to scare off coyotes

Experts say, if you encounter a coyote or a wolf, make lots of noise, stand up tall and raise your arms to look bigger and snarl and growl. Meanwhile, back away slowly.

Tip: Carry a whistle with you to scare off coyotes.

Try the Coyote Vest™

Pet Body Armor designed to protect. This crazy looking vest just might save your Morkie’s life one day. 

It features stab-resistant Kevlar panels and removable spikes to ward off attacks from coyotes plus other predators like hawks.

See all the models offered on the CoyoteVest Pet Body Armor site.

 

Excellent protection for your Morkie. 

Have you spotted a coyote? Please share.

Ditch the puppy cut: Dog grooming at home

Ditch the puppy cut: Dog grooming at home

The luxurious, flowing coat is one of the things that may have drawn you to a Morkie. That coat can be any mix of the Yorkie’s black, brown and gold colours. Then add in the Maltese dog’s pure white coat. The result is beautiful–and unique.

But then you get your new baby home. You’re not quite sure how to look after all that growing hair. Soon the dog gets matted and you head out to a groomer, who almost always recommends a “cute puppy cut.”

But there’s just one thing. Thanks to the mats, the dog needs a real shave down. That puppy cut comes out like an extreme buzz cut you’d see on a punk band in the subways of New York. Suddenly your adorable, cuddly Morkie looks more like a skinny, trembling little rat.

Disadvantages of clipped coats

Morkies with a shaved-off coat look all bony and awkward. And contrary to popular belief, the Morkie’s long coat does not make him hotter in the summer. In cool weather, there’s no insulating coat to keep him comfortable.

Plus, dogs with short hair or white coats are more susceptible to insect bites and the sun’s deadly rays. Each sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer later. More about sunburns and your Morkie in the Conclusion.)

 

Why would you cut this beautiful hair?

What’s special about a Morkie’s coat

Your Morkie’s unique coat

Coats can be confusing. But here’s what you need to know in a nutshell: dogs have either hair or fur. Hair does not shed but fur, with its fluffy undercoat, does shed. Usually a lot.

The good news is Morkies have hair, not fur. So if you or anyone in your household has allergies, this dog shouldn’t bother you as much as one with fur. And, if you hate dog hair all over the place, the Morkie is the right choice for you.

The difference between hair and fur

Hair is decorative and fur is functional. Because hair is just one layer, there is nothing to insulate the dog who has hair. He can get cold in winter and sunburned in summer. That’s the Morkie.

The double-coated dog, on the other hand, has fur that does protect him against weather’s extremes. Think Golden Retriever. But a dog with thick fur can suffer from heat stroke.

The Morkie has what’s technically called a silky coated, long coat.

Other dogs with this kind of coat are the Afghan Hound, Wheaton Terrier, Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu.

All are easier to groom than most dogs because there is no undercoat that needs stripping and thinning. However, that long, silky hair can easily knot and end up in mats.

Dog with a yellow top and crazy messy bed head.

How to keep your Morkie’s hair long and lovely

The secret is daily combing

In just a few minutes a day, you can keep your Morkie’s hair long, untangled and flowing.

Start slowly if your dog doesn’t like grooming, like literally 2 minutes at a time. Try to make grooming/combing time fun for your Morkie. It’s a great time to bond, and combing your dog gives you a chance to check over his skin and general condition as you comb.

The right equipment

Invest in a few pieces of grooming equipment to be successful. You’ll need a metal comb, with a nice padded handle, that has teeth spaced a ‘medium’ amount. (Don’t get the really fine comb – it’s meant for finding fleas.)

Next, pick a bristle brush, with soft bristles and a wooden handle for your comfort. 

A coat rake can be handy, especially after a bath, to make big, smooth swatches through the hair. The teeth in coat rake are very far apart. It’s a nice-to-have, not a necessity for a great coat.

Finally, the tool I can’t live without the dematting comb. You have to be very careful with this of course, but it is amazing for combing through matted hair. The sharp teeth cut through the mat without pulling. You can get one at Amazon for under $10.00.

dog grooming eqipment

The tools you need for grooming success at home

 

Below, the dematting comb, a real  lifesaver.

Dog bad breath: curse of small dogs?

Dog bad breath: curse of small dogs?

Almost every toy dog over 2 years old has it: dog bad breath. And I mean BAD. But it’s not inevitable. How can you conquer your Morkie’s paint-melting, powerfully bad breath?

Yesterday we looked at dog teeth cleaning, let’s look at the other half of the problem: dog bad breath.

Morkies and dog bad breath

Yorkshire Terriers are renowned for having terrible, awful teeth. Naturally this contributes to their dog bad breath.

The problem is that their little jaws are overcrowded with teeth, so tartar is more likely to build up, becoming plaque, tooth decay and gum disease.

This is the case for virtually all small dogs, but it’s even worse with the Yorkie. The Morkie’s other parent, Maltese dogs, don’t have quite the same problem.

Daily brushing is the only real solution; although as we saw in yesterdays’ post, water treatment can help too.

What causes dog bad breath?

– bacteria and buildup in your Morkie’s mouth

– decay, abscess or infection

– gum disease aka periodontal disease

 -sinus problems

 -illness or a more serious disease, like kidney disease or liver problems.

– eating something really disgusting (like poop – read more about this habit here)

– diabetes. The AKC warns that sweet, fruity breath is a symptom of diabetes, a serious but treatable condition. Talk with your Veterinarian right away.

Some treatments for dog bad breath

Once you’ve satisfied yourself that your Morkie’s bad breath is caused by buildup of plaque and tartar, and not something more serious, here are some steps you can take to address the problem.

DO!

  • daily brushing with a for-canine toothpaste
  • a water additive like TropiClean (see this post)
  • raw bones to chew on
  • probiotics – try EvoraPet for dogs. It will also help overall health of course.
  • coconut oil – like what doesn’t it fix? Add a little spoonful to your Morkie’s water.
  • Neem is another botanical treatment. You can buy Neem Extract in health food stores, or order Neem Leaf Extract online.
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon can freshen breath.
  • wheatgrass; its chlorophyll can help tone down the bad in bad breath.
  • TropiClean Fresh Breath for dogs. Water additive that fights tartar and plaque.

DON'T!

Our own mouthwash since it’s poisonous to dogs, and often includes a lot of alcohol, also deadly to dogs

Our own toothpaste.

Mints, gum, etc. made for people. These cover ups usually have sugar, 0r worse, Xylitol which is very poisonous for dogs. Doggy mints are pretty much useless in addressing the root cause. Chewable products like Greenies are OK, but for a small dog, can be difficult to digest.

Some Resources for Stinky Dog Breath

Read more about dental care and your Morkie here.

And check out some doggy teeth factoids.

Does your pet insurance cover dental work?

Did you know that some pet insurance policies cover dental cleaning and other maintenance, as part of a wellness coverage plan?

Check your policy carefully, and see if your policy includes coverage for wellness. You can read more about how this works there at PetsQuote.com

Hate brushing your Morkie’s teeth? Try this.

Hate brushing your Morkie’s teeth? Try this.

Dog teeth cleaning can be a real pain. Your Morkie hates it. You hate it. It’s a hassle. That’s why I was really excited when I saw the results of this new product. It doesn’t replace everything you need to do for your dog’s dental health, but wow! It goes a long way.

This little pup nabbed her father’s dentures while he was sleeping and this is the result. Read more in People Magazine

Brushing your Morkie’s teeth is about more than that bright smile.

Clean teeth are an important part of his overall health – more than you might imagine.

Keeping ahead of plaque and tartar

Your #1 goal is to keep the clear film called plaque from building up on your dog’s teeth and turning into hard, yellow tartar. You can’t get tartar off with a toothbrush. Now your Morkie needs to have dental cleaning at the Veterinarians. That means he has to be put under anesthetic, with all its associated risks, AND it’s a lot of money.

I tried this water additive, called "TropiClean Fresh Breath" and was blown away by the results

What is it?

Other versions 

You might see a different bottle, and TropiClean is also available in a gel that you wipe on your dog’s teeth, and in different-looking bottles.

How does it work?

TropiClean is an additive you put in your Morkie’s water every day.

It fights the build-up of tartar, and eventual plaque, keeping your dog’s teeth cleaner. (And his breath fresh, yaay!) It works by counteracting bacteria and any fungii.

TropiClean ingredients are:

Purified Water, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Cetylpyridinium Chloride, Chlorophyll, Zinc Gluconate, Green Tea Leaf Extract*

It seems to work — AND, it has worked to dissolve existing plaque on our big dog’s teeth.

Glycerin is considered a safe, but nutritionally empty ingredient. It is used to bind ingredients and as a sweetener.

Potassium Sorbate is considered safe for both dogs and cats in limited amounts. It is commonly used in semi-moist foods to preserve it. In an ideal world we wouldn’t need preservatives, but of all of them, this is among the safest. (Unsafe preservatives in dog food include ethoxyquin and BHT)

Citric Acid – not to be fondued with Vitamin C which is ascorbic acid. Large amounts can irritate a dog’s digestive tract.

Cetylpyridinium Chloride is used to kill bacteria and fungus in animals and people. Large amounts can cause diarrhea in some dogs.

Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in nearly all plants and algae. It helps to cleanse cells, fight infection, heal wounds and detoxify. (And it’s why many dogs who don’t feel well will instinctively eat grass.)

Zinc Gluconate is highly absorbable and easily used by your dog’s body. It’s an important mineral for overall health, in small, safe amounts. Zinc deficiency can actually be fatal – not that these liquid additives can address shortfalls like that.

Green tea. A small amount will not hurt your dog at all. In large amounts, it can be too stimulating. Holistic Vets strongly recommend it for dogs, horses and even aquarium fish!

Leaf extract is a supplement extracted from the leaves of trees, as you’d expect. It’s a natural antibiotic and antioxidant. Again, holistic Vets are very high on this supplement, especially the olive leaf powder version.

What  about other products?

A note from Deb

deb and tink on webcam

I happened to have this product at home and tried it; when it worked and I decided to share the news, I researched a number of similar products online.

There are similar water additives out there, but I found TropiClean to be the most straightforward, had the best reviews, and was priced well. ( Your Vet can probably offer you something that looks more ‘scientific’ or medical but ca-ching!)

One thing I did read, was that for some dogs, these water additives just didn’t work. But if you think it’s worth a try and better than the toothbrushing struggle, then go for it.

Bunny’s Tale

Another dog joined our household last summer: a Golden Retriever breeding bitch who wasn’t producing.

She came with a stupid name that we changed to Bunny because she is sooo sweet, despite a less-than-ideal upbringing in a professional kennel/breeder’s facility. For example, she had never encountered stairs, or living room furniture or potato chips.

Anyway… her teeth were super-disgusting.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a before picture of them, but they looked exactly like the one at top right. Ugh. We plan to have her teeth properly cleaned and scaled by the Vet but in the meantime, I tried TropiClean on her.  AMAZING results as  you can see in Bunny’s picture, bottom right.

This is exactly how poor Bunny's teeth looked before.

This is exactly how poor Bunny’s teeth looked before.

After about two weeks, Bunny's teeth are far from perfect, but they are a LOT better and her breath is good.

After about two weeks, Bunny’s teeth are far from perfect, but they are a LOT better and her breath is good.

Where can you get TropiClean Fresh Breath?

Try your local pet store, or get it at Amazon.com or from other sites including Chewy.com and Petsmart.com

Is your dog's dental work covered by insurance?

Some pet insurance programs include dental care as part of wellness coverage. These policies may help cover regular cleaning, accidental damage, or both. Look at plans that include routine care and wellness procedures as well as major health events.

Read more about how this works, here on PetsQuote.com 

6 COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT BRUSHING DOG'S TEETH

How many teeth do dogs have anyway?

Lots more than us! Adult dogs have 42 permanent teeth (we have 32, not counting any wisdom teeth). Puppies have 28 baby teeth which they'll lose starting around 12 weeks.

Your dog's overall diet is key to his good health, including dental health. But myths like "kibble helps clean your dog's teeth" are just that - myths. If hard crunch food cleaned teeth, wouldn't we eat a lot more potato chips?

Can I use my own toothpaste on my dog?

NO! Our toothpaste is very bad for dogs. Most toothpaste contains FLUORIDE which is poisonous to dogs.

You can buy special dog-formulated toothpaste, or simply use baking soda. Or, find some Make-It-Yourself recipes for dog toothpaste here at care.com

Can dogs regrow their teeth?

No they can't. Only sharks can regrow teeth. That's why we have to take good care of our teeth, and our dog's. Sharks, nah.

What's that HUGE tooth in the middle of my dog's jaw?

This is the largest tooth in your dog's mouth and it's called the carnassial. It has three long roots that extend right up into your dog's sinuses. If an abscess forms, it can look like a serious eye infection.

 

Can I use Listerine for my dog's bad breath?

NOOOO! Most mouthwashes for us contain a great deal of alcohol, among other poisonous ingredients. and dogs will definitely swallow mouthwash, unlike most of us 🙂

TOMORROW: Dog bad breath

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