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.

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)