What is the best dog food for your Morkie?

What is the best dog food for your Morkie?

Your Morkie deserves the best dog food, but with more than 5,000 varieties of commercial dog food available on the shelves today, how can you pick healthy dog food brands from the garbage? Here’s the scoop, plus 12 top quality foods you can buy.

There's only one way to pick a healthy dog food brand: Read the label. Very carefully.

 

First, look for foods that do not contain dangerous or toxic ingredients.

Next, look for healthy ingredients.

I’m not going to lie – this is not food we’d ever like to eat. But it’s clean, pure and unadulterated. And it’s perfect for dogs.

Avoid all dog food that lists any of these ingredients: 

MEAT. Just generic or unnamed meat can be from almost any kind of animal you can imagine. It could be road kill, euthanized pets, or spoiled grocery meats complete with styrofoam trays and plastic wrap. Look for food that NAMES the species. For example, beef, lamb, salmon, chicken, etc. 

OTHER GENERIC NAMES such as animal fat – or is it used restaurant grease? Could be.
Is Meat and Bone Meal listed? The problem is, you don’t know meat and bones from what animal??!!  Horse, goat, donkey??

Foods with ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS including the preservatives BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin and propylene glycol.

  • BHA is a preservative that’s linked to cancer in laboratory animals by the World Health Organization. It’s banned from use in human food in Europe and Japan, yet we feed it to our dogs.
  • BHT is also believed to cause cancer.Propylene glycol is a food stabilizer. It’s a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is “generally recognized as safe” for use in food.

I want better than that for my dogs and I’m sure you do too.

Look for foods with healthy ingredients

Healthy dog food brands go beyond excluding bad ingredients. They actually contain GOOD stuff for our dogs.

Here’s what you want to see:

  • named animal protein – near the top of the list and plenty of it
  • whole veggies, fruits and grains
  • a ‘best by’ date that is at least 6 months away

The sad story of Kibbles ‘n Bits

A food with both hard crunchy kibble and soft chewy pieces, Kibbles ‘n Bits was introduced in 1981 by Big Heart Pet Brands. It was later sold to H. J. Heinz and then Del Monte.

Today, it is the 5th largest dry dog food brand in the USA, churning out about 1.7 million pounds a day or almost HALF A BILLION pounds a year!

Here’s the ingredient list, exactly as it appears on the package of Kibbles ‘n Bits:

Ingredients:

Corn, soybean meal, beef & bone meal, whole wheat, animal fat (BHA used as preservative), corn syrup, wheat middlings, water sufficient for processing, animal digest (source of chicken flavor), propylene glycol, salt, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, peas, caramel color, sorbic acid (used as a preservative), choline chloride, sodium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin), dl-methionine, calcium sulfate, carrots, green beans, wheat flour, titanium dioxide (color), yellow 5, yellow 6, red 40, BHA (used as a preservative), blue 1.

Experts say the first five ingredients tell the story:

  1. corn
  2. soybean meal
  3. beef & bone meal
  4. whole wheat
  5. animal fat (BHA used as preservative)
  6. corn syrup

Corn? Corn? How is corn dog food? (And I’ve shown item #6 since it is corn syrup; yes, that syrupy sweet stuff they used to pour on our toast at camp!)

And it gets worse…

Kibbles ‘n Bits was recalled

by the FDA in February, 2018*

Sodium Pentobarbital was found in Kibbles ‘n Bits. Sodium Pentobarbital is a drug used to euthanize pets and small animals. It is NOT used to slaughter cows, sheep, pigs or any other food you’d expect your dog to eat.

The amount found is negligible as far as health goes, but that’s not the point.

Where and how in the supply chain does this drug get into dog food? 

Many pet food companies buy raw goods from rendering facilities that process animals euthanized at animal shelters.

That means that some pet food is made from a variety of meats that humans wouldn’t eat, including diseased livestock and cats and dogs containing lethal doses of sodium pentobarbital.

In other words, the body of a stray dog killed in a shelter may be ground up into dog food. Whether the Kibbles ‘n Bits recall is related to this practice is unknown. But logic says, there can’t be any other way it got there. 

* see the story in Newsweek magazine, or here on CBS

If we can’t trust a major, internationally-popular brand

like Kibbles ‘n Bits, where do we turn?

We read the labels ourselves. Very carefully.

In the meantime, here are some choices I've checked out for you.

What is the best dog food? Here are some healthy dog food brands.

There are many good, reputable dog food manufacturers out there. I’ve picked a very small sample to show you.

DRY FOOD – KIBBLE

Acana Heritage Free Run Poultry, Red Meat, Meadowland –  all Acana is good for your dog.

Go! Daily Defence

Horizon Complete or Horizon Legacy

Merrick Backcountry

Origen Original

Wellness Complete Health

Here’s the kind of ingredients you want to see

Acana Heritage Dog Food

Fresh chicken meat (12%), chicken meal (12%), turkey meal (12%), red lentils, whole green peas, field beans, chicken fat (5%), fresh chicken giblets (liver, heart, kidney) (4%), herring meal (4%), fresh whole eggs (4%), fresh whole flounder (4%), herring oil (2%), sun-cured alfalfa (2%), green lentils (2%), whole yellow peas, pea fiber, fresh chicken cartilage (1%), dried brown kelp, fresh whole pumpkin, fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole parsnips, fresh kale, fresh spinach, fresh mustard greens, fresh turnip greens, fresh whole carrots, fresh red delicious apples, fresh bartlett pears, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, fresh whole cranberries, fresh whole blueberries, chicory root, turmeric, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rose hips, Enterococcus faecium, supplements: zinc chelate, vitamin E (preservative)

WET FOOD – CANNED

Fromm Grain Free varieties, including grain free chicken and duck pate; shredded beef in gravy, etc.

Go! Fit + Free variety of flavours that sound pretty darned good – turkey and trout stew anyone?

Holistics Select Grain Free Beef Pate, Chicken Pate, etc.

Merrick Grain Free and Chunky Grain Free canned foods including flavours like Pappy’s Pot Roast Dinner, Cowboy Cookout and more.

Nature’s Variety Instinct – chicken and beef formulas are available.

Wellness Core canned products including homestyle grain free beef stew with carrots and potatoes.

A good canned food

sample label, from

Go! Fit + Free

Chicken, chicken broth, turkey broth, chicken liver, turkey, turkey liver, potatoes, dried egg whites, potato starch, carrots, peas, trout, sweet potatoes, salmon, herring, red peppers, guar gum, flaxseed, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, apples, calcium carbonate, minerals (zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, potassium iodide), salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement), choline chloride, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tricalcium phosphate, Yucca schidigera extract

be a label reader and save yourself some grief

What I want my dog to be for Halloween

What I want my dog to be for Halloween

morkie-halloween-costumeThere are lots of great costumes for small dogs, and if yours is game, it can be fun to dress him or her up.

Maybe a little bit of neighbourhood “trick or biscuit” or an afternoon get-together. Website BuzzFeed features the 57 Greatest Pet Costumes, from an Rob-Bun the rabbit Robin Hood to an actual Chia Pet.

But when it comes to costumes for dogs, it seems you just can’t beat the old standby: the hotdog – #1 in retail sales for the past 8 years.



hot-dog-costumes

A close second to hotdogs… the pumpkin!

dog pumpkin costumes

But Halloween can also be a stressful time for pets

morkie dog wig for halloweenThe ASPCA has made a list of some precautionary pet safety tips for all pet parents to heed so that there are no scaredy cats this Halloween.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.

  • Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Symptoms of significant chocolate ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination and heart rate—and even seizures.
  • Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur.
  • Ingesting tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.
Morkie dressed as a Ty Tou

Here’s a really fun costume: make a big TY tag and attach it to your Morkie’s collar.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, yet they can produce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them. Intestinal blockage could even occur if large pieces are swallowed.

3. Keep wires and cords away from pets; these wires from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4.  A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.




So more than anything, this is what

I want MY dog to be at Halloween:

 

calm

 

 

Best last-minute small dog costume

Best last-minute small dog costume

Morkie dressed as a Ty Toy

Here’s a really fun costume: make a big TY tag and attach it to your Morkie’s collar.

Here’s the best small dog Halloween costume – and it’s fast, easy and do-it-yourself! Another big plus  – even if your Morkie is costume-phobic this shouldn’t bother.  Enjoy!

Here are a couple of ways to make YOUR Morkie an adorable toy… complete with free templates to download.

First, big shout-out to Pugdemonium.com for this pattern for a large Ty ticket pattern. Just download, and add your own words and output it — or simply trace it, at the appropriate size for your Morkie.   Take a look at it by clicking here: Pugdemonium.

What you’ll need:

-the template (download at Pugdemonium)
-red paper

-gold or tan paper

-white paper
-ribbon
-glue
-a pencil
-a hole punch (don’t have one? a large darning needle can work)
real-live-ty-toys

ANOTHER WAY TO MAKE YOUR TY TAGS

Here is another set of diagrams and directions – this one from an earlier AboutMorkies post. Enjoy!
(To print or download, just click the arrow at the top, far right)
No tricks, no treats this Halloween

No tricks, no treats this Halloween

small dog halloween costumeThe ASPCA has made a list of some precautionary pet safety tips for all pet parents to heed so that there are no scaredy cats this Halloween.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.

Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. If your Morkie is suddenly vomiting or showing signs of hyperactivity, increased thirst and urination, be sure he hasn’t eaten any chocolate. If he has, CONTACT YOUR VET OR POISON CONTROL CENTER right away.

Candies that are artificially sweetened usually contain xylitol which is also poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur.

Eating even a bit of tin foil or cellophane wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.

 

pumpkin2. Beware Popular Halloween plants!

Plants like pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic – but if your Morkie chews on them at all, digestive woes will probably follow. [Canned, pure pumpkin, on the other hand, is very good for your Morkie – a tablespoon per day can ease both diarrhea AND constipation!]

 

3. Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets.

Yikes! Your Morkie could damage his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or get a possibly life-threatening electrical zap.

 

battery powered candle

A battery powered tealite or candle is much safer with pets around.

4. Use a battery powered candle in your pumpkin.

Even small dogs like Morkies can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

 

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets.

The ASPCA says: “Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.”

Don't force your Morkie to wear a costume if he fusses.

Adorable as these guys are, don’t force your Morkie to wear a costume if he fusses.

Halloween safety tips

Halloween safety tips

dog-halloween-costumes

Halloween can be great fun – we really get into the spirit here in North American, where millions of us adults dress up, and dress up our pets too. But here are some tips to keep it safe for your pets.

Some of the top dangers specific to Halloween are:

  • toxic Halloween candy – chocolate especially is deadly for small dogs like Morkies, and tinfoil and cellophane wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. Be sure to keep your children’s haul out of the dog’s way.
  • don’t forget raisins – just a few can cause serious health problems for your Morkie including kidney failure, so keep these treats securely out of the way too.
  • lit candles – your Morkie could accidentally knock over a lit candle – consider using a no flame, no mess alternative to light up your jack-o-lantern.
  • wires and cords could harm your dog – dogs love to chew and Morkies are no exception. Make sure all wires and cords from temporary displays and decorations are properly secured and out of reach.
  • constant door bells and strangers – can be very stressful for your Morkie. Sometimes accidents happen and your Morkie might make a run for it when you’re opening the door. Be sure to keep his I.D. on, and ideally keep him quiet and comfortable in another room during the peak of activity.  Like the 4th of July, Halloween is a peak time for runaways according to the ASPCA.

Should dogs wear costumes?

Everyone loves to see dogs in costumes – in fact, most people have dressed up their pooches at some point in their lives.

However, if your Morkie is really resistant to the idea, this much stress might be a bad idea.

Start small – a little hat or a bandana, to get your Morkie used to the idea. Then try a T-shirt. Don’t rush — make it fun.

If your Morkie is anxious or upset in her costume, take it off right away and try later.

Should I take my Morkie trick or treating with us?

If you’re taking both children and a dog on your own that can be a real handful. As small dogs, Morkies can become frightened, and aren’t always as well socialized as large dogs.  My advice – if your kids are older and don’t need constant supervision, or if another adult can come with you, then give it a try.  But be prepared to take your Morkie home when he’s tired or overwrought.

Keeping your Morkie safe

Stick to your dog’s routine

So how do you protect your dog, short of canceling Halloween altogether? First, try your best to stick to the dog’s routine, especially regular walks. An exercised dog is a better behaved dog all round, so grab a walk whenever you can. The bonus – it will help reduce your own stress levels too.

Give your dog some time outs

You may want to remove your dog from the party central action if things get too hectic. A quiet room or his crate, is a far better solution than a stressed-out dog. Don’t assume your partner or someone else is watching the dog; be explicit about who’s in charge and plan ahead for the dog’s needs (a walk in the middle of trick or treating time?  Better reschedule that one).

Plan ahead

For an ounce or two of prevention, make sure your dog has his tag on at all times, with your current phone number on it. Check out which emergency vets will be open in your area that nigiht and stick that number up on the fridge.

One more tip – pumpkin!

Pure, canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) is a great thing to keep on hand for your dog-in pumpkinn costumeMorkie. Believe it or not, it’s great for both diarrhea AND constipation. Plus it’s loaded with betacarotene which your Morkie’s system converts to Vitamin A. One or two teaspoons a day (no more!) can be very helpful to your little Morkie’s digestion.

Remember however – DO NOT feed:

  • pumpkin seeds
  • raw pumpkin
  • pulp from your raw pumpkin
  • pumpkin pie or pumpkin pie filling

Happy haunting!

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