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How to Care for a Morkie: The Complete Guide to Your Pup’s Health

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Morkie

The Morkie is an adorable pocket-size pup from the Maltese and the Yorkshire Terrier dog breeds. These dogs are petite goofballs with some of their parent breeds’ best energy and personality traits. Usually referred to as the Morkie, the Morkshire Terrier can adapt to its bad barking habits if you don’t deter them from barking immediately.

Even though Morkie puppies are considerably tiny, they don’t do great in apartment living. These are high-energy and mostly noisy dogs, so unless you live in a dog hotel, your neighbors might not appreciate the Morkie.

Morkie puppies require a lot of consistency since they are such a high-energy dog breed. They are independent thinkers but will rely on their owner’s presence. Morkies aren’t great in households that haven’t had a full-grown Morkie before, and it’s best for experienced owners to adopt Morkie puppies. New dog owners should try to find a different breed they like or consider hiring a dog trainer.

History

The Morkie is a mixed breed, so it doesn’t come from a traditional breeding group. Chances are the Morkie breed existed naturally over many years, but breeders in the late 1990s started making Morkie puppies popular over North America. Morkies were great pets and perfect sizes for the goals of these breeders.

Size

One reason Morkie puppies are so popular is for their size. Morkie puppies weigh between 7 and 13 pounds and only stand between four and eight inches. Dogs this small require a lot of time with their owners, but usually, their owners can take their dogs with them almost anywhere.

However, because the Morkie is a relatively new mixed breed, potential owners should know these size averages are guidelines, and some Morkies will be larger or smaller than these averages. Morkie puppies are petite and can become easily injured if mishandled. Owners should always make sure any children around their Morkie puppies know not to play too rough with them.

morkie puppy sitting on a deck

Temperament

Morkies are high-energy dogs who love to play around. Morkie puppies require tons of attention, and they would probably do their best in a home where they are the only pet. Don’t let this dissuade you if you’re a family looking for a second dog. But Morkies require a lot of attention to keep them entertained and well-behaved. As long as you believe you can provide that, you can successfully adopt a full-grown Morkie puppy.

Morkies are highly playful dogs, and they have the personality of a dog thrice their size. Morkie dogs are excellent overall, but they do require an experienced and consistent trainer.

Morkies would love to socialize with their people, other pets, or anyone in their free time. Even though Morkie puppies love the attention lavished on them, they would still love to make some other canine pals at the local dog park. These dogs can be somewhat headstrong and stubborn, especially with learning new commands, which is why they are better suited for more experienced owners.

Intelligence

Morkies can be tricky dogs because they are brilliant, but they’re also very stubborn. A well-trained Morkie can learn many tricks whether you want to teach them to perform at competitions or just to teach your dog how to be well-behaved.

The issue with Morkies and training is that they are independent thinkers. Morkie puppies need consistent and repetitive practices to make sure they succeed in their training sessions. Only experienced dog trainers should train a full-grown Morkie because too many inconsistencies or confusing lessons can lead Morkie puppies to be more chaotic than usual.

Anyone who trains their dog should never forget that positive reinforcement is just as important as consistency. Dogs scolded during training sessions will grow to associate training sessions with destructive emotions. You can avoid this by never scolding your Morkie when they don’t complete a task. It’s much better to keep training sessions short and positive by providing rewards and verbal praise when your Morkie does something right.

morkie sitting in the grass

Shedding

Morkies can have a variety of coat colors, including black, brown, white or a mix of all three colors. Sometimes, Morkies will change coat colors as they grow older.

All dogs shed their fur, even hypoallergenic dogs. No dog is genuinely 100% hypoallergenic, and we rarely consider Morkies to be hypoallergenic at all. However, both the Yorkshire Terrier and the Maltese are very low-shedding dogs, and the Morkie took this trait as well. Dog allergies like saliva, fur, or dandruff can irritate. It’s difficult for people with dog allergies to live with animals that release a lot of these irritants, but thanks to the naturally small size of Morkies, they don’t release a lot of these irritants. Morkies could be an excellent fit for someone with dog allergies, as long as they don’t have severe allergies.

All dogs should have heavier shedding sessions during the change in spring and at the end of fall. Brushing your dog daily during these periods will help remove excess fur from their coats. It won’t prevent all the loose hairs from sticking to your clean black clothes, but it can still help.

Morkie’s Overall Health

We expect Morkie puppies to live an average lifespan of anywhere from 10 to 14 years. These dogs are a mixed breed, so their life expectancy won’t be accurate for every dog, and they might live longer than this if they stay healthy.

Morkie dogs are overall very healthy. Many will live their entire lives experiencing no severe health conditions. However, most dogs experience some health conditions at one point in their life. For example, most dogs experience anxiety simply because they get so attached to their owners. Smaller dogs seem to experience anxiety much more than larger dogs because larger dogs are more independent.

Morkies are likely to experience stress and anxiety and might even experience issues like hip dysplasia or other common health issues the dogs have. Owners shouldn’t be worried about their Morkie potentially contracting a condition.

Common Psychological Health Conditions

Stress

Many dogs have stress in their daily lives. Whenever dogs are whining, when they shake their head or maybe shiver, they’re often showing symptoms of stress. Certain events can cause dogs to have stress, such as the mailman arriving or a garbage truck driving past. Every dog is different and will have different reactions based on their histories.

Morkie puppies are likely to experience stress whenever their owners leave them for long periods of time. If Morkie puppies do not get adequately socialized at a young age, they may also experience stress whenever they meet new people.

Often, when owners adopt a full-grown Morkie, they aren’t able to adopt a puppy. Even though you might adopt an older Morkie, you can still help Morkie puppies get used to specific situations, like meeting new people or going to new places by providing positive reinforcement when these situations occur. Some owners provide calming supplements and treats to help the dogs adjust to a new place. Some owners offer tasty treats, so their dog changes his stressful reaction to a positive one.

morkie sitting on a pillow in front of a colorful background

Anxiety

Many small dogs rely on their owners around the clock for near-constant companionship. We’ve bred Morkie dogs for companionship, to bond closely with one person and stick with them throughout their lives. Morkies are very good at bonding like this, but that also means that when this person separates from their Morkie, it can cause massive anxiety.

Morkies might suffer from anxiety attacks if they’re left alone for too long. Often dogs that experience anxiety attacks will destroy the house. If you’ve ever witnessed a couch cushion get demolished by a teacup Yorkie while their owners were away, that Yorkie had an anxiety attack.

Smaller dogs require much more companionship than larger dogs. People that work away from home should consider getting a less needy dog. If you don’t work from home, but you enjoy going out, consider getting a different dog or think about whether you would take your Morkie with you or not.

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Certain things like dog beds or zen treats can help calm an anxious Morkie. Some animals develop a bond with particular objects and scents. Having their own dog bed that smells like them and offers a safe location to relax can turn into a very comforting item for a full-grown Morkie.

Common Physical Health Conditions

Morkies are at risk of contracting several common physical health conditions for which many dog breeds are at risk. Morkies might develop joint issues later on in their life, but typically, if they do, their conditions remain easy to handle. Most health conditions Morkies might experience are not severe, and you can treat them at home with simple pain medication remedies.

Potential owners shouldn’t let the risk of health conditions deter them from adopting a full-grown Morkie puppy, but they should understand that some dogs are at higher risk of some health conditions than other animals.

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Patellar Luxation

These puppies are at risk of patellar luxation. Patellar luxation occurs whenever the kneecap gets displaced. When dogs experience this condition, they often adopt a strange run that might appear now and then. Typically, dogs will move like usual and then will have a peculiar movement where they don’t use one of their hind legs before slipping right back into the normal strides. This is an indicator that their kneecap is falling out of place. However, patellar luxation is usually not severe, and it doesn’t affect their daily lives.

Owners of Morkie puppies with patellar luxation will find that they can treat them with Knee Joint Supplements if they have any pain symptoms. There are plenty of joint supplements out there that provide more nutrients to the cartilage in the joints. Owners can even try to do home physical therapy stretches to help remedy any pain they feel in their movements.

morkie laying in a dog bed

 

 Joint Health Options We Love

  1. VetIQ Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs, Chicken Flavored Soft Chews, 180 Count
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Obesity

Over 50% of adult pet dogs in the United States are obese. A large part of this is because so many dogs do not get their required daily exercise, and many animals eat too much for the small amount of exercise they get every day.

Many people aren’t aware their dogs are obese, but there is a quick and easy way to tell without even leaving your house. Owners need to look at their dogs from above, and they should be able to see a waistline. If the waist is too hard to see, then the dog is obese, but if the waist is wildly exaggerated, the dog is underweight. Owners should also be able to put their hands on their dog’s side and gently push against them to feel their dog’s ribs. If you can see the ribs or feel them with no pressure, that dog is malnourished. If you need to apply more than a bit of pressure, that dog is overweight.

Owners can help their obese Morkies by feeding them less and offering them healthy treat alternatives. Many dogs that have to eat more petite will be hungrier than usual since they are used to more food. Owners can help their dogs curb this hunger by feeding them multiple smaller meals throughout the day that offer healthy supplements for dogs

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar in dogs. Many small dogs suffer from hypoglycemia simply because of how small their bodies are. Small dogs need plenty of sugar to keep their brains healthy, and even though they are much smaller than large dogs, Morkies still need very similar amounts of sugar to keep their brains active. Dogs with hypoglycemia may collapse or lose consciousness, but this condition is typically not life-threatening. You can also offer Hypoglycemia Supplements.

In fact, owners with Morkies that suffer from hypoglycemia should know that often a quick fix is dabbing sugar on your dog’s tongue. This quick fix can help them feel more energetic and be a great way to get them back to healthy sugar levels temporarily. Some owners choose to mix sugar into their dog’s water bowls or provide daily supplements to ensure their dog keeps their blood sugar at a healthy level. No matter the choice, there are many easy ways to ensure your Morkie is digesting the food they should be and staying healthy with these at-home remedies.

morkie puppy sitting in the grass

Oral Health

Many dogs in the United States suffer from gingivitis, the first stage of dental disease. When dogs eat, bacteria and debris get stuck in their teeth, leading to tartar and plaque buildup. This buildup can cause significant health problems down the road and lead to pain and loss of teeth.

Small dogs have overcrowded teeth, meaning their mouths are so small that they don’t fit all of their teeth correctly. Because of this overcrowding, it is much easier for small dogs to get treated for more severe oral health issues than larger dogs.

Morkies will need their teeth brushed daily, and owners must use a dog-safe toothbrush and toothpaste. Many dogs don’t enjoy getting their teeth brushed, but the more often you do it, the more accustomed they get to it.

Dental disease affects a lot of different dogs in various ways. Less severe cases of dental disease will cause a dog’s gums to bleed when they are eating or getting their teeth cleaned—the more severe the disease, the more painful the symptoms.

Dogs with dental disease also risk worsening their overall health. Dental disease can lead to heart disease, respiratory issues, and other problems with their health. This condition can pass bacteria along the digestive tract, leading to internal health conditions.

To help animals with dental disease, owners need to brush their dog’s teeth regularly. For Morkies, it’s essential to provide daily brushing sessions. Some owners find they can’t get around to brushing their dog’s teeth daily but instead give them teeth cleaning treats like dental chews or Greenies Dental Treats.

 Oral Health Options We Love

  1. GREENIES Original TEENIE Natural Dental Care Dog Treats, 12 oz. Pack (43 Treats)
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Breed’s Needs

Exercise

Even though Morkies are small, Morkie puppies have big dog energy. Morkies would do best when they get at least one half-hour walk every day, as well as shorter play sessions. Most dogs tend to act out without enough exercise, and Morkies are no different.

Even though these dogs have incredibly high energy, they don’t need excessive amounts of exercise. Because of their tiny bodies, too much activity can injure them and cause joint issues. Owners should ensure they provide the right amount of exercise while also providing mental stimulation.

It would surprise many people how they can mentally stimulate their dogs. Dogs love playing mind games, and figuring out puzzles they know will reward them. Potential Morkie owners should make sure they know how to teach a full-grown Morkie to play puzzle games that drop food at the end. Some owners simply hide their dog’s treats and send them off sniffing for them as a fun way to distract them.

morkie looking up at the sky

 Exercise Toys We Love

  1. Wobble Wag Giggle Ball, Interactive Dog Toy, Fun Giggle Sounds When Rolled or Shaken, Pets Know Best, As Seen On TV
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  3. Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy Blue/Orange, 16 Inch Compact Blaster with 1 Ball
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Nutrition

Your dog’s diet can vary depending on their overall health, sex, activity levels, and any illnesses or conditions they have. Dogs’ diets also change based on their age.

It’s best to feed a full-grown Morkie dry dog food that is made special for toy size breeds. Morkies will not need more than a cup and a half of food a day, but they may need much less to stay at a healthy weight.

Many owners forget to calculate their dog’s daily treats into their calories, but it is essential to know how many calories you feed your Morkie because it is so easy for them to become obese.

 Dog Food We Love Based On Age

  1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb
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  3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb
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    09/25/2022 12:15 am GMT
  5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-Lb
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Grooming

Morkies have shorter coats that don’t need excessive grooming. Their coats are a mix of their Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier parents’ coats, so they have shorter fur. You should use a dog brush on your Morkie puppies to keep their sensitive hair from matting or getting knotted at least twice a week.

Owners should check their Morkie’s ears at least once a month by inspecting the floppy part of their ears only. Make sure to trim your Morkie’s nails before they get too long, which usually means they need clipping once or twice a month.

Morkies are overly fragile dogs, so a lot of gentle grooming care is necessary. Use a dog shampoo to clean your Morkie. Since Morkie puppies don’t shed too much, they can be great for families with dog allergies, but potential owners should keep in mind that Morkies are not hypoallergenic dogs. 

morkie laying on a blanket

Top Product Picks For This Breed

Morkie puppies benefit from specialty items their owners can purchase from any pet store. Morkies will need specialty diets because of how small they are. These dogs will need different diets based on their age; puppies have puppy food that carries particular nutrients for their age range, whereas elderly dog food has food designed to help their bones and joints as they age.

Owners might want to purchase a crate and bed for their dogs to provide a space for their dogs alone. In times of stress, dogs might appreciate going to a private place, such as a crate, where they might feel comfortable away from loud noises or excessive people.

Crates We Love

Owners will also need to purchase a collar, a leash, and a harness for their dogs. Tiny dogs often have tracheal issues, and you should never walk them without a harness. It’s essential to make sure the harness fits, so you shouldn’t avoid buying one until you have already adopted a full-grown Morkie.

Other products Morkie owners might benefit from are doggie sweaters or jackets for the wintertime. In a colder climate, smaller dogs get colder faster and will require sweaters or jackets to walk outside in the cold below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Owners should also purchase nail clippers to keep their dog’s nails in check. Lastly, be sure to purchase some snacks to train your pup as soon as possible. Training a full-grown Morkie is one of the best ways to ensure that the owner bonds quickly while also helping the adopted dogs adapt to their new environment.

 Harnesses We Love

Other Resources

Additional resources to explore are the American Morkshire Terrier Club, the Morkie Rescue: About Morkies and Local Dog Rescues.