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Morkies can capture your heart with their luxurious flowing hair. A cross between a Yorkshire terrier and a Maltese, it's essential to establish a regular grooming routine to keep their locks looking lovely. Grooming is also an important step to keeping your dog's skin healthy and irritant-free.
The importance of grooming
We all want our pups to look cute, and a Morkie's long hair can start looking bedraggled after a walk in the rain or playtime in the park. But the importance of grooming extends beyond looks alone.
Prioritizing a grooming routine is a vital ingredient to keeping your pet healthy and happy according to the ASPCA. Each time you brush your dog, you remove dirt and other irritants that can become entangled in her fur and set her up for itchy skin. Brushing also spreads natural oils through your dog's coat and prevents tangles.
Although brushing is the most frequent part of your grooming regimen, Morkie grooming should also include attention to nails, skin, eyes, and ears, as well as an occasional bath. You can set the foundation for good grooming behavior by teaching your dog to sit and stay and rewarding him with a small, nutritious treat such as Zuke's Mini Naturals Peanut Butter & Oats Recipe Training Dog Treats.
Brush it out
Brushing your Morkie should be part of your daily routine. It can be a relaxing time of the day for both of you. Bond with your pet by brushing while you watch TV or listen to music, for example, or sit outside under a shady tree or soak up some sunshine.
Grooming a Morkie requires several brushings. Start with a slicker brush to loosen up dirt and debris, advises the ASPCA. Then brush her out with a bristle brush to add luster and smooth the coat. If your Morkie sports a long cut, finish up with combing through the locks with a pin brush or comb. Get everything you need in the Chi Small Dog Detangling Kit that includes appropriate brushes plus detangling spray.
Know Morkie skincare
Both Maltese and Yorkies are prone to dry, flaking skin and other conditions that could snowball into more serious situations should they scratch at the irritation. Grooming is the best way to keep your dog's natural oils distributed throughout the coat and remove allergens and irritants.
The Morkie's long, thick hair can block airflow to the skin, setting the stage for bacteria and yeast to flourish. However, don't use a de-shedding tool on your Morkie advises Furminator, maker of de-shedding grooming products. Instead, use your slicker brush and keep your pet's coat soft and smelling fresh with a pet-friendly product such as BioSilk Therapy Detangling and Shine Dog Spray.
Nourish your dog's skin and coat from the inside out by feeding a proper diet. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Maltese Adult Dry Dog Food will help keep your Morkie's coat silky-smooth with ingredients that include vitamins, chicory, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and biotin. The kibble is easy to pick up in your Morkie's mouth and is specially-formulated for Maltese and Maltese mixes.
Keep eyes bright
Morkies are prone to red tear stains under their eyes, but if you make under-eye cleaning part of your daily grooming ritual, you can keep staining minimal. The stains happen because the tears don't drain completely away, due to shallow eye sockets, tear duct obstruction, or too much hair around the eyes, according to Mayfield School of Pet Grooming.
Clean under your Morkie's eyes each day with a gentle product such as Angel Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes for Dogs. You may need to use a concentrated tear stain remover at first, such as NaturVet Tear Stain Remover Dog & Cat Liquid Topical Formula. Trim extra hair away from around the eye area using a blunt scissors such as Miracle Care 7 1/4" Curved Blunt Tip Shear for Dogs & Cats.
A tear stain supplement can help keep mucous membranes lubricated and draining properly. NaturVet Tear Stain Plus Lutein Supplement contains cranberry extract, grape root, marshmallow root, lutein, and other ingredients designed to keep your dog's eyes healthy.
Listen up for ear care
Morkies have long hair on the underside of their ears that can trap dirt and set the stage for ear infection. Clean away grime by using handy ear wipes such as Earthbath Ear Wipes to remove debris from the ear flap. Don't stick it down the ear canal though — use Burt's Bees Relieving Dog Ear Rinse for a pH-balanced cleanse that contains ingredients like chamomile and rosemary. Should your Morkie have long hair inside the ear canal, you can use blunt-nosed forceps to remove it.
Bathing and less-frequent tasks
Although your Morkie's fur has a lot in common with human hair, you don't want to wash it too often. The ASPCA recommends bathing once every 3 month. Dogs with skin issues might need to bathe a bit more frequently. If your dog has unpleasant odor, breakouts, or itching, first take him to the vet to diagnose any issues.
Take your pet to the groomer every 6 to 8 weeks to get bathed and trimmed. Your groomer will trim long hair around the toes and clip the toenails at this time. This is also a good time to get your Morkie clipped into a seasonal haircut that will help her stay cool or warm as the season demands.