#1 Walk your dog every day
#2 Brush his teeth
#3 Get regular Vet checkups

#4 Don’t over-vaccinate
#5 Learn more about dog food
#6 Live like your dog – in the moment

#1 Walk your dog every day

#2 Brush his teeth

#3 Get regular Vet checkups

#4 Don’t over-vaccinate

#5 Learn more about dog food

#6 Live like your dog – in the moment

#1 Walk your dog every day

Many of us underestimate just how important exercise is for their dogs.

Even small dogs need exercise for both physical and mental health. Daily exercise will keep your Morkie fit – mind, body and soul.

Without enough physical activity, dogs have excess energy that gets burned off through:

  • destructive behaviour like chewing, digging and barking too much.
  • behavioural problems like separation anxiety, hyperactivity, excitability, excessive night-time activity, play biting and rough play.
  • attention-getting behaviour like whining, excessive barking and scratching.

Dogs who don’t get enough exercise are more likely to bark at neighbours, dig holes in the garden and generally get into trouble. Is your Morkie acting up? Before you blame her, ask yourself if she’s had her regular daily walks recently. It’s amazing to see the correlation between exercise and good behaviour.

Many people choose a toy dog because they can’t or don’t want to walk a dog, but even the smallest of dogs benefits from daily exercise via a leashed walk.

More exercise = better health and better behaviour

READ MORE: in my blog post, The Single Best Thing You Can Do For Your Morkie.

 

Tips for Walking Safely

When walking your Morkie, be on the lookout for:

  • unleashed dogs
  • hot pavement
  • walking area treated with snow removal salt
  • garbage (he might eat it)
  • dog poop and all its germs
  • long grass and tall weeds = tick territory
  • yucky water like that muddy puddle – this isn’t where your Morkie should quench his thirst

#2 Brush his teeth

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. So then 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.

If you just ignore it, you are literally—

  • shortening your Morkie’s life, because the ugly bacteria of dental disease eventually can make its way into the blood stream, where it causes permanent damage to vital organs like the heart and kidneys.
  • sentencing your Morkie to pain and suffering from bad teeth. Pain he can’t even tell you about.

Plaque and tartar build up leads to a myriad of other health problems in dogs, including heart disease.

And just a reminder – people toothpaste can make your Morkie really sick or even kill him. So pick one of the flavoured brands formulated specially for dogs. You can select natural or artificial flavours and Vet-recommended brands.

Read more about dog dental care.

#3 Get regular Vet checkups

morkie at the Vet 

There’s more to owning a pet than providing love, exercise and proper nutrition.

Regular check ups with a Veterinarian are essential to making sure your dog is as healthy as possible.

According to the ASPCA, dogs should have an annual checkup or “wellness visit” with their Vet. This is even more important as they age, so talk to your Vet about whether such visits should become more frequent than annually.

The Vet will listen to your dog’s heart and lungs, take his temperature and examine your pet’s skin, ears, eyes, mouth, teeth and feel around internal organs. The doctor may also order routine screening tests for early detection of problems.

Don’t wait until it’s obvious your dog needs medical attention. Regular visits help in prevention.

Tip: What to Take on Your Vet Visit

  • Your dog’s collar and license tag.
  • A leash and harness or small carrier cage if appropriate.
  • A muzzle if your Morkie barks excessively or bites.
  • A favourite toy or a few treats, especially if your dog is anxious.
  • Health care information if you’re switching Vets or were seen by a different Vet since your last visit.
  • Put medications, including vitamins and supplements, in a zip-lock bag to show the doctor.
  • Recent stool sample to test for intestinal parasites.
  • Written list of questions or concerns to ask.
  • Insurance card (if you have pet insurance).

#4 Don’t over-vaccinate

There’s been a backlash against dog vaccinations – and for good reason!

Pet immunization is far riskier than you might think Many people believe we are giving our pets vaccinations TOO SOON – to puppies that are too young.

We are giving TOO MANY TYPES of vaccinations. More is not better!

We’re giving them TOO OFTEN. Research shows most vaccinations protect for at least 7 years, if not the dog’s lifetime.

So why are we revaccinating and giving booster shots EVERY YEAR?

 

Learn more about Vaccinations: which ones, how often and why

 Click here to read more about this downloadable e-book

by small dog expert Deb Gray

vaccinations

#5 Learn about 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

What’s their motive?

Money.

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

It is a multi-billion dollar industry, much bigger than baby food. In 2015, we spent $60.28 billion on our pets in the U.S.

Pet food alone represents $23 BILLION in sales per year, compared to baby food, at $1.25 billion.

Commerical pet food manufacturers make big bucks by turning industrial waste and slaughterhouse leftovers into expensive, well advertised brands.

This is just one example of the ingredients in premium dog food!

rotten meat photo dog food ingredients

Even the brands we know and trust, are mostly made with slaughterhouse waste, spoiled grocery meat (foam tray and all) and yes – even euthanized pets.

Read more here and get the downloadable list of good and terrible dog foods for your Morkie.

Get the free downloadable list - good dog food and really, really BAD dog food

#6 Live like your dog – in the moment

Dogs can be a good role model for us. They live in the moment. No grudges, non hurt feelings, no self-pity. They don’t worry or hold on to the past. And if they’re raised reasonably well, they are free from anxiety, aggression and depression.

Great lesson for all of us as we start our new year.

When the dog looks at you, the dog is not thinking what kind of a person you are. The dog is not judging you.

– Eckhart Tolle

Happy New Year!

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