You might be enjoying some time off right now, and think you’ll give your Morkie a bath.
Two really important things to remember:
- you can’t use your shampoo (not even baby shampoo)
- please – get dog shampoo that’s “Certified Organic”
Why the fuss?
Simple – a dog’s skin is much thinner than our’s, so anything harsh can harm him. That includes people shampoo which is much stronger than dog shampoo, and it includes poor quality dog shampoo.
“Cancer is the primary cause of death in dogs over the age of two years. Minimizing our dogs’ exposure to harmful environmental factors is critical.”
Just 5% of dog cancers are hereditary, while 95% are a result of environmental toxins.
Since skin is a dog’s biggest organ (and our biggest organ too), it makes sense to take special care in picking products like shampoo. Toxic shampoos are not what we want.
—from the well-regraded DogsNaturallyMagazine online.
What makes shampoo toxic for dogs?
People shampoos can be toxic because they are too harsh and contain chemicals dogs don’t need. Our skin is FIVE TIMES THICKER than a dogs, so we can handle stronger formulas to clean our hair. Dogs can’t.
Plus, the PH level of dogs skin is close to NEUTRAL (7.5) but our skin is ACIDIC (7.5)
Regular Dog Shampoo
Cheap or regular dog shampoos, even well known brands, can be deadly unless they are clearly marked CERTIFIED ORGANIC. That’s because they contain poisons like:
- preservatives, including those that release formaldehyde into the shampoo
- artificial colours and fragrances
- a group of ammonia-like proteins such as DEA, MEA and TEA,
- Isopropyl alcohol and mineral oil
Unless the shampoo you buy clearly states CERTIFIED ORGANIC, it’s garbage. Terms like natural, pure, green, naturally-derived and organic have no legally binding meaning.
The production of pet shampoos is a huge business and they are aggressively marketed. The more confused consumers are by labelling, the better.
But you can avoid all this by choosing “CERTIFIED ORGANIC.” These products undergo a great deal of scrutiny. They are verified by neutral third parties who determine that there are no GMO ingredients, no pesticides, herbicides, artificial colours, or artificial fragrance.
Want to learn more about grooming your Morkie?
Please check out my new book from Amazon – it’s available on Kindle, so you can read it on your tablet, smart phone, computer or any reader.
Groom Your Morkie at Home is now available at Amazon.com
For a limited time, you can buy this 82 page guide for just 99¢
Groom Your Morkie at Home: Keep his coat long and luxurious in just minutes a day (The Magic of Morkies Book 3)
Nice clean pup!
The last few days we’ve looked at the dog bath: how often should you bathe a dog, what’s the best dog shampoo, homemade dog shampoo and more.
Today is the final in the series of 4 posts.
Your Morkie is clean, but still wet.. so let’s finish the job!
Drying your Morkie
First, pat your dog all over with a clean, dry towel. Then, with the setting on low or no-heat, use a blow dryer to gently dry the hair. (Keep the breeze out of your dog’s face.) You can pause every couple of minutes and run a comb through your Morkie’s coat.
If your Morkie really objects to the hair dryer’s sound, you’ll have to continue with towel drying.
Equipment you’ll need
Steel-toothed comb and coat rake
You’ll need a steel-tooth comb, with a good comfortable, padded rubber handle.
It’s also handy to have a coat rake – very, very wide spaced teeth (like 1” apart) for getting out super-mats or for use right after bathing, when your Morkie’s hair is still damp.
Cleaning the ears
As your Morkie dries, you can focus on her ears; are they dirty or waxy looking? Then you need a special dog ear cleaner – put some on a cotton pad or cotton ball and gently swab he external part of your dog’s ear, which you can see. You can get ear cleaner at pet stores, your Vet’s office or online.
If your Morkie’s ears look like this, they need cleaning. (Picture from Wiki-How)
Under no circumstances should you use a Q-tip or insert ANYTHING into the dog’s ear canal. And never pour water into the ear canal; that’s a sure route to infection.
What about nails?
Personally I never cut my dogs’ nails; I think professional dog groomers can do a much better job and it reduces my stress to have someone else do it! (This is because my dogs have black coloured nails – dogs like Maltese, and some Morkies – with white nails, are much easier to see and therefore cut right.)
How often? Dogs’ nails need to be cut about every 6 weeks.
If you’re confident in cutting your Morkie’s nails, here’s what you need: good quality, sharp nail clippers made for dogs and styptic powder or a styptic pencil in case you cut too closely and the quick starts bleeding. Once it starts, it’s pretty hard to stop it without styptic powder. Common brand names are Kwik Stop or Four Paws Quick Blood Stopper Styptic Powder.
Once you’re ready to begin, take a close look at your dog’s nails – look for the curve. That’s where you can safely clip – a minimum of 1/8″ below that curve. That should ensure you miss the quick or live part that contains a lot of blood vessels.
Key to success? As the ASPCA advises:
Link: No matter what age, size, sex or breed of dog you have, you can make nail trimming a pleasant part of your dog’s life if you keep two main ideas in mind:
- Teach your dog to associate nail trimming with things he loves.
- Take it slow and easy.
The final touch: brushing your dog’s teeth
This is one of the most ignored healthy actions you can take for your Morkie yet most of us skip it. Quite simply, if you ignore your small dog’s teeth, they’ll go away.
Take it slow. Start by brushing your dog’s teeth when they’re clenched. Yes, that’s right. Just add some DOG TOOTHPASTE to a tiny brush and work away. Within a week or so your Morkie should be comfortable enough to open her mouth and let you brush inside too. For more information, check out the ASPCA’s page on brushing your dog’s teeth.