Obese dog or just “fluffy”?

Obese dog or just “fluffy”?

Is your Morkie a porkie? An overweight dog, obese dog, fat dogs or just fluffy, the results are the same. Your dog won’t live as long, and is in danger of high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease and diabetes. Here’s how to tell, and what to do.

How to tell if your Morkie is overweight

It’s as little hard because of all the hair, so if you keep your Morkie’s hair long, I suggest you do an inspection when he’s wet. From overhead, see where  your Morkie fits in:

Here’s another view

From the side, you should be able to tell where the ribs are, but they shouldn’t be protruding.

Neck should look sturdy, not thin.

Note the ‘abdominal tuck‘ – Morkies have a fairly deep chest, so there should be a definite tuck where their tummy is.

 

Breeds most prone to obesity

Phew, good news. Neither the Yorkshire Terrier, nor the Maltese dog, are prone to being overweight. Dogs that can easily get too heavy, include:

  • Basset Hounds
  • Pugs
  • Bulldogs
  • Beagles
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Dachshunds
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Newfoundlands
  • Rottweilers
  • Bichons

Does it really matter if your Morkie is overweight?

Yes! A pet that’s just 10% to 20% overweight is at risk of lots of problems – and his life  can be shortened by an average of 2 1/2 years! That’s reason enough to keep your Morkie’s weight at its healthy range.

Help your Morkie lose weight

Slowly cut back food

Give your dog the best quality food you can. Reduce the amount gradually.

At the same time, stop giving him tidbits from the table, or specially cooked foods that aren’t so good for him. (And no, your Morkie won’t eat salad.)

Worried  your Morkie will stop eating altogether and starve?

He won’t. Honest. And if you’re seriously worried, please see your Vet for more advice.

Eliminate treats

Commercial dog treats have LOTS of calories. And most of them are not good for your dog anyway.

In fact, treats like Beggin’ Strips, rawhide chews and jerky treats are often on recall because of serious contamination from salmonella and toxic chemicals.

Plain old dog biscuits like milk bones aren’t that great either. They’re loaded with sugar, contain BHA, a preservative that is a known cancer causing agent… PLUS, they’re made  with chemicals that also are used to manufacture things like rubber and petroleum products, and embalming fluid.  

Walk more

“But my Morkie runs all around the house all day!” you say. “Isn’t that enough exercise?”

Actually it isn’t. Small dogs often miss out on daily leashed walks because they already seem so active at home. but all dogs benefit from a regular, brisk walk outdoors.

And a leashed walk does more for your Morkie. It tells him that you’re the alpha dog in charge, and helps build a strong bond between the two of you.

As I like to say, a tired dog is a good dog.

 

Why worry if your Morkie is overweight?

Why worry if your Morkie is overweight?

In my last post, Is your Morkie a Porkie, we looked at how and why small dogs become overweight, and what we can do about it.  No surprise it’s the same problem we have — too much energy in and not enough out.  But is a pudgy dog anything to really worry about? Well, yes.. as you’ll see when you read on…

 

Impact of your Morkie being overweight

 

Your Morkie is half Yorkie and half Maltese, and both of these breeds (and all pure breeds) have hereditary diseases that they MIGHT suffer from in their lifetime – it doesn’t mean they WILL get these diseases but they are more likely to than other breeds.  A number of specific hereditary diseases that your Morkie could get, are made much worse by too much weight.

Yorkshire Terriers, and to a lesser degree, Maltese, have a potential hereditary defect called Patellar Luxation – or “floating” kneecaps. The kneecap or patella, actually slips in and out of place. This disease is a result of years of breeding to produce all the good things we love about the Yorkie. Unfortunately along the way, some of the negatives stick too.

You can imagine that extra weight on that leg aggravates the problem.

Maltese dogs are more susceptible to Cushing’s Disease than many other breeds. This is another hereditary condition and it happens when the normal hormonal feedback loop goes crazy. Too much cortisone is produced by the adrenal glands. It’s more common in older dogs, and can even seem like the aging process itself, because the dog will gain weight, lose hair and pee in the house. Controlling weight of a dog with Cushing’s is more challenging, but it can be done. Your Vet will probably prescribe on-going medication to treat the disease, and can give you advice on managing your Morkie’s weight at the same time.

yorkie eating dogfood on white

Any breed can have these problems being overweight

Besides breed-specific hereditary diseases that are made worse by too much weight, there are more common problems that any breed can suffer. These include:

  • Canine diabetes.
  • Digestive problems including constipation, flatulence and diarrhea. Phew, who needs it!
  • Serious damage to joints, bones, and ligaments are a direct result of too much weight being borne by the joints.
  • Heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Difficulty breathing – fat pushes on the abdomen wall and there is less room in the for the lungs to fill properly. Overweight dogs often wheeze, unable to take a full, deep breath.
  • Increased chance of cancer – could be another risk to your Morkie who’s overweight. The exact link between obesity and cancer isn’t known for sure, but why risk it!
  • A shorter life – just like people, dogs with all the burdens overweight causes, simply don’t live as long.

In conclusion, keep your Morkie fit and at a healthy weight and she’ll be a happy, lively companion for many years.

 

Wondering “how big will my puppy get?”  Click here.

How much should your Morkie weigh?

How much should your Morkie weigh?

is your yorkie a porkieIf your Morkie is a puppy, you might be wondering how much he’ll weigh when he’s full-grown.  Or, if he’s already an adult, you might wonder if your Morkie weighs too much… or too little.

Since your Morkie is half Maltese dog and half Yorkshire Terrier, it make sense that he’ll be some combination of both breeds. And coincidentally, those two breeds are just about the same size.

“Breed standards” (those qualities that professional breeders and kennel clubs work to establish over years and years) say both Maltese and Yorkshire Terriers should be:

  • roughly between 4 and 8 pounds
  • (1.8 k to 3.6 kilograms)

The preference among professional judges and dog handlers, is a dog 5 to 6 pounds, although those closer to 8 pounds are very acceptable.

What judges and dog professionals in general don’t like however, is a dog that is too small.

Teacup or mini-Morkies are not a good idea

Full grown Yorkies, Morkies and Maltese that are less than 4 pounds have lots of problems right from birth.  These include:

    1. More health problems.  They are more sensitive to potential hazards around the house than ‘full size’ dogs of the same breed. A jump from the couch can break a leg and they can have chronic diarrhea.
    2. A super small dog faces high risks if an operation is needed, even common neutering.
    3. Very small dogs are harder to house train. Their bladders are that much smaller and owners say it takes at least 6 months to potty train a teacup.
    4. Teacups normally need a lot of attention and can’t be left alone for a long period of time. They need food more often – at least 3 or 4 meals a day, and can be very high-strung.
    5. Teacups usually have a much shorter lifespan. Most toy dogs have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years but a teacup can live as short a life as just 5 or 6 years.

And the number one concern of very small (teacup) dogs is —

sugar

Teacups are prone to Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar shock.

This problem is a temporary one with any toy puppy until it grows to its full size, but with teacups that are under 5 pounds when full-grown — they always at risk of this common yet very serious problem.

Hypoglycemia is caused because the small dog is not able to store enough energy (food) in its tiny digestive system. Any kind of stress can cause a drastic drop in blood sugar levels which can actually be fatal!

 The Morkie who’s more than 8 to 10 pounds

There’s certainly nothing wrong with a larger dog, provided he’s not overweight. How can you tell?

Diagram of dog profile showing ideal weight dog

Diagram of dog profile showing ideal weight dog

  1. Can you feel his ribs easily through a light cover of fat, or are they difficult to feel because of thick fat?
  2. From the side view, is there an abdominal tuck beginning from base of ribs?
  3. Is there thickening at the tail base?
  4. From the overhead view, does she have a marked hourglass shape? (underweight indicator)
  5. Or, from the overhead view, is the back slightly or markedly broadened at the waist? (overweight indicator)
  6. Is your dog slow to rise or move around?
  7. Is she reluctant to exercise, or does she tire easily with activity?
overweight dog profile

Overweight or fat dogs face many health problems.

Besides breed-specific hereditary diseases that are made worse by too much weight, there are common problems that any breed can suffer. These include:

  • Canine diabetes.
  • Digestive problems including constipation, flatulence and diarrhea. Phew, who needs it!
  • Serious damage to joints, bones, and ligaments are a direct result of too much weight being borne by the joints.
  • Heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Difficulty breathing – fat pushes on the abdomen wall and there is less room in the for the lungs to fill properly. Overweight dogs often wheeze, unable to take a full, deep breath.
  • Increased chance of cancer – could be another risk to your Morkie who’s overweight. The exact link between obesity and cancer isn’t known for sure, but why risk it!

A shorter life – just like people, dogs with all the burdens overweight causes, simply don’t live as long.

In conclusion, keep your Morkie fit and at a healthy weight and she’ll be a happy, lively companion for many years.

feeding-on-reader-with-price

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