What do you think of when you hear the word Morkie? An alien? No one will blame you for thinking that way. However, “Morkie” is actually the term given to a mixed dog breed. It is a designer or a hybrid dog obtained by crossing the Yorkshire terrier and Maltese dog breeds. At one point, people actually called this cute mixed dog breed ‘Yorktese’ but the name Morkie is more popular now.
Morkies are one of the best dog breeds to own – they are small, smart, cute, and friendly. They make great companion pets and do not need too much exercise. For this reason, they are ideal for older people, apartment dwellers, and especially for people who are super busy.
If you have your heart set on a Morkie and are planning to bring one home soon, then this guide has invaluable tips for you.
Here we will discuss the exact cost of a Morkie puppy, the first-year cost of owning one, and also the monthly and annual costs of Morkie ownership. After all, it is important for every potential Morkie owner to make sure that they can financially support it. Not only must you think of the price of a Morkie puppy but also its ongoing costs for food, medical costs, grooming, and other expenses.
Just in case you’re in a hurry, here is a quick summary of the important costs of a Morkie:
The cost of a Morkie puppy is between $600 and $3000. This depends on the breeder and the puppy’s size. A teacup Morkie is priced higher than standard Morkies. In the first year, you can expect to pay between $600 and $3500 on your Morkie. In the subsequent years, the annual costs will be about $1000. Most Morkies live between 10-15 years of age and some live even longer. So, over its lifetime, the cost of owning a Morkie can be almost $15,000.
How Much Does a Morkie Puppy Cost?
One of the most important initial costs of your Morkie will be its purchase price. This greatly depends on the breeder, so the first thing you need to consider is where to buy your Morkie from. When you search for Morkie puppies for sale, you will come across many Morkie breeders in the country. Since this is a hybrid dog, you must not pay purebred dog prices, so be wary of breeders that overcharge for their pups and make your selection carefully.
On average, most breeders charge between $700 and $3000 for a Morkie puppy. A regular-sized Morkie will cost slightly less than teacup Morkies. This is due to the smaller litter sizes and higher demand for small designer dogs.
The best place to find reputed breeders for Morkies is the American Morkshire Terrier Club of USA website. Here, you will find a state-wise listing of top Morkie breeders in the United States. Here is a table showing the average price range of Morkie pups:
|The minimum cost of a Morkie||$600|
|The maximum cost of Morkie||$3000|
|The average price of Morkie pups||$700|
You can also consider adopting a rescued Morkie. Most adoption centers charge up to $300 in adoption fees for Morkies.
Factors That Affect a Morkie’s Price
Contrary to the popular belief, teacup dogs are not runts. Breeders selectively breed smaller dogs and spend weeks taking care of the small-sized pups to ensure they get the nourishment the mother dog usually cannot provide. Moreover, small-sized mother dogs give birth to just 1-3 pups. For these reasons, teacup Morkies cost more than the regular-sized Morkies.
Good breeders will ensure that the parent dogs – the Yorkshire terrier and the Maltese – are healthy, prior to breeding them. This also means passing them through several health checks. You also get health guarantee records once the puppies arrive. Also, your Morkie puppy will live with the breeder for up to 8 weeks during which they will receive the primary vaccinations and de-worming, etc. All these can significantly increase your pet’s costs. In case your Morkie breeder lives in another state, you’d need to factor in shipping charges as well.
Morkie Basic Supplies and Costs
Before your Morkie arrives home, you’d want to buy a few basic supplies that will make its stay more comfortable. Here are the basic Morkie supplies to keep on hand:
One of the first things you will do as a Morkie owner is to house-train it. A crate can come in very handy during this phase since dogs usually do not soil their sleeping quarters. Since this is a small dog, you’d only need a small crate with some blankets and crate pads. The cost of these items is about $30.
Your Morkie will use the food and water bowls every day. So, invest in sturdy ones. The best food and water bowls for dogs are made of stainless steel or ceramic. Also, add skid-proof mats under them to contain the mess. The average cost of sturdy dog food/water bowls is about $20.
Toys and accessories
A selection of sturdy toys will keep your Morkie busy. You can also invest in a pair of sturdy collars and leashes with ID tags. The average cost of these items should be about $50.
Grooming tools and supplies
On top of these basic supplies above, you also need some grooming tools like brushes, shampoos, etc. These will help you maintain your Morkie’s silky coat. A wide-toothed comb and a wire-pin brush for daily brushing are some tools to invest in. You’d also need some dog clippers or nail trimmers. The cost of these supplies can vary based on their quality but you can set aside $50 for them.
Here is a table showing basic dog supplies and their average costs.
|Collar-leash set, harness||$20-$50|
|Baby gates to limit your pet’s entry in parts of your house||$40|
|Treat dispenser toys||$10|
|Plush bed||From $30|
|Mats for containing food messes||$10|
|Grooming tools –wipes, brush, comb, dental supplies, shampoo, nail clippers etc.||$75|
|Potty pads for indoor training||$10|
Costs of Training your Morkie
You can choose to train your Morkie at home or hire a private trainer. You also have the option of enrolling your dog in group training classes. These all have different prices.
The average cost of training a dog is between $20 and $50 per session depending on your area and the time of each training session. Some reputed private trainers even charge as high as $120 per session for obedience training. The average cost of dog training for private lessons is $50. Dog obedience training group classes can cost between $30 and $50 per class. Boot camps or advanced obedience training schools sometimes charge $35 to $75 per day.
Service or therapy dog training is very expensive and can cost $120 per hour or almost $10,000 for an entire year of training.
If you’re on a budget, you can use free resources online to learn how to train your dog.
|Type of training||Average cost|
|Group training (cost per class)||$30 to $50 per class|
|Service dog training costs||More than $10,000 for the entire duration|
|Private training (cost per session)||$20.00 to $120|
|Board-and-train||$1250.00 per week|
Cost of Food for your Maltese Yorkie
One of the most significant monthly costs you will incur is on your Morkie’s food. Because this is a small dog, you will not spend too much on food, compared to some of the larger breeds. However, it is still very important that you only feed your Morkie high-quality food.
In the first few days, your puppy will still be adjusting to its new life. So, it is best not to feed it anything new, but rather give it the same food that the breeder was feeding it.
As your pet grows, you can discuss its diet with your vet. They can direct you to the right feeding guidelines.
In general, the height and weight of standard Morkies is about 10 lb. Here are some rules to remember about feeding:
- Feed about ½ to ¾ cup of dry dog food or kibble per day. You can divide this into 2-3 smaller meals.
- If you feed canned food, feed one can of 10 oz. per day – you can divide this into 2- smaller portions and feed it multiple times a day.
The following table shows how much food per month to buy and its approximate costs:
|Type of food||Amount per month||Cost per month|
|Dry dog food/kibble||About 10 lb.||$30|
|Canned or wet food||5 lb.||$50|
|Freeze-dried foods||4 lb.||$50-$75|
|Raw food||3 lb.||$20-$30|
Comparison of Dog Food Brands for Morkies
Many new dog owners think that finding the best dog food for their pets is as easy as walking into a store and picking a bag off the shelf. While this may work for some dogs, it certainly won’t work for your Morkie. The Maltese Yorkshire terrier mix dog breed needs food that is specially formulated for small dogs.
Today, you will find a wide variety of dog foods for small dog breeds like Morkies. Being small dogs, they need frequent meals to maintain their energy levels. So, look for high-quality food that is rich in proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats that will meet their calorie needs.
Some Morkies are allergic to grains and tend to suffer from food intolerances. For such dogs, you need to feed them grain-free foods. Some Morkies are also allergic to certain proteins like fish and chicken. If that is the case, you can opt to feed novel proteins like duck, bison, rabbit, etc.
Here is a table showing different dog food brands suitable for Morkies and their prices:
|Name||Features||Price per lb.|
|Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws for Small Breed Dogs||Highly digestible, small kibble size, contains Omega and vitamin E for healthy coat, made in the USA, vet-recommended||$3.78/lb.|
|Rachel Ray Nutrish Beef||No by-products, suitable for Morkies that cannot tolerate poultry, natural dog food fortified with vitamins and minerals||$0.89/lb|
|Purina Beneful Small Breed, Canned food||Highprotein food without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.||$3.35/lb.|
|Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small & Mini Breeds, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe||Best vet-recommended small dog food for dogs with food sensitivities||$4.37/lb.|
Morkie Medical Costs
When your Morkie is born, it will get all the antibodies it needs from its dam’s milk to protect it against common canine disease. As it grows, you will need to reinforce its immunity through vaccinations in the first year followed by a number of booster shots in the subsequent years.
Most veterinary practices charge between $45 and $100 for basic vaccinations, deworming, and flea and tick preventive treatments. Some low-cost clinics charge a lot less – sometimes as low as $20 for most vaccinations.
After your puppy has received all its first-year vaccinations, it will need routine veterinary checkups twice a year. A single veterinary visit can cost about $40 for a routine checkup. Emergency visits for illness, injury, or accidents can, however, cost thousands of dollars.
The following tables show you the common vaccinations, costs, and puppy age for administering them. We have also included tables showing you the costs of emergency procedures and diagnostic tests:
|Recommended age of puppy||Type||Cost|
|6-8 weeks||Canine parvovirus – core vaccine|
Distemper – core vaccine
Canine hepatitis – core vaccine
|$40 to $100.00|
|16 to 18 weeks and a booster at 12-16 months and repeat as per state law||Rabies – core vaccine||$15.00|
|6-8 weeks||Bordetella bronchiseptica – non-core vaccine||$25.00|
|9-12 weeks to be repeated 2 to 4 weeks later||Borrelia burgdorferi – non-core vaccine||$25.00|
|10-12 weeks to be repeated every 4 weeks until the puppy is 1 year old||Leptospira bacteria – non-core vaccine||$50.00|
Average Veterinary Price for Common Ailments
|Item||Average cost annually|
|Flea and tick prevention||$40 to $200|
|Heartworm test and prevention 7+ months||$70|
|Neutering||$50 to $100|
|Dental cleaning||$50 to $300|
|Allergy tests||$195 to $300 for a skin test and $80-$200 for a blood test|
|Ear infection||$40 to $150|
|Diarrhea/stomach upset||$100 to $300|
Inherited Diseases in Morkies
Morkies, like most designer dog breeds, are generally hardy and healthy and have a life span of over 13 years. If you purchase your Morkie from a reputed breeder, chances are that they will screen their Yorkies and Maltese prior to breeding. This can further reduce the inherited diseases in the Morkie offsprings. Having said that, there are some genetic issues commonly seen in Morkie dogs:
Like all small dog breeds, Morkies tend to get food stuck in their small teeth. This often goes unnoticed and, over time, tends to decay. Without regular brushing and oral care, this can lead to dental disease or periodontal disease. Brushing and regular dental checks up can prevent these problems. The cost of X-ray, extractions and dental scaling can cost anywhere between $1000 and $3000.
Like its Yorkie parent, Morkies could develop a collapsed trachea which can result in pain and a coughing, wheezing sound while breathing. Stent surgery to rectify the collapsed trachea can cost owners thousands of dollars.
Like in humans, canine glaucoma causes intense pressure buildup in the dog’s eyes. This can need medicines and surgery for draining. This costly treatment can set you back by almost $1800 for operating both the eyes.
Pet Insurance for Morkies
As you can see, treating medical issues in a Morkie can be very expensive and could cost thousands of dollars. You may not want to think of it but you must also be prepared just in case your Morkie needs treatment -should it meet with an accident, get injured, or is diagnosed with an inherited disease.
Good pet insurance can cover costs associated with certain treatments. By selecting the right plan, you can make many expensive veterinary treatments more affordable. Moreover, many insurance plans also cover routine and preventative treatments.
Here are some types of coverages you can expect from top pet insurance plans:
- Accidents – includes swallowed objects
- Some diagnostic tests like X-rays
- Certain hospitalizations
- Most non-pre-existing conditions
- Most dental issues
- Cancer cover
The best part is that you can also visit any licensed veterinary professional and get almost 90% of the bills reimbursed.
The following table shows the pros and cons of some of the top pet insurance companies and their starting monthly plans:
|Geico||Meets different types of budgets, offers great discounts||Doesn’t offer unlimited annual benefits||Accident plans start from $11 per month.|
|Healthy Paws||No.1 rated insurance company between 2010 to 2020 by customers, great for alternative therapies||Only one available plan||Plans start from about $34 per month – depending on the pet’s age, etc.|
|MetLife/Pet First Insurance||Competitive rates with discounts, no initial vet exam/records needed for enrolling your Morkie||Low annual limits||Plans as low as $7 per month|
Additional Costs of Morkie Ownership
In addition to food and medical costs, the following are some costs of owning a dog:
Microchipping and registration
Having your Morkie microchipped is not compulsory but it can be beneficial in the event it gets stolen or lost. The procedure takes a few minutes and most vets charge between $30 and $50 for it. Some even include registration with it.
Morkies are small dogs so it is easy to travel with them. You can easily take your pet along on car journeys or even in the flight. Airlines require you to carry your pet in special approved carriers. The cost of one-way airfare is between $125 and $250.
Pet boarding/pet-sitting services
In case you cannot travel with your Morkie, you can enlist the services of a pet-sitter. Most sitters charge between $25 and $75 per day. Alternatively, you can opt for pet boarding at a dog hostel facility. Most dog boarding facilities charge between $30 and $50 per night – the average price being $40.
Dog walking service
Morkies do not need too much exercise but that does not mean that they should sit on the couch all day. If you are unable to walk your little dog, you can choose to hire a dog walker. Most dog walkers charge between $10 and $30 for a 30-minute walk depending on your location.
Final Recommendations – How Much Does a Morkie Cost?
When you first start thinking of buying or adopting your Morkie, you will see a wide range of prices. Breeders charge between $600 and $3000 for their pups and teacup Morkies usually cost more than the regular sized Morkies. The cost of adopting a Morkie is about $300.
In the first year, you will also spend on basic dog supplies like crates, beds, food and water bowls, toys and accessories, grooming tools, etc. Based on all these costs including Morkie’s purchase/adoption price, expect to pay between $1000 to $3000 in its first year.
The monthly cost of owning a Morkie includes all of the recurring costs per month and these mainly include food and treats, grooming, flea-tick prevention, and other medical costs. Expect to spend about $100 per month on all these costs. You can also set aside some money for unexpected costs like those incurred on replacing a broken collar or cleaning supplies, special treats, etc.
After the first year, the cost of dog ownership usually reduces. Some dog owners find that the cost is usually half that of the first-year cost. So, you could set aside between $500 and $1500 per year for your Morkie’s care. This can increase or decrease based on your style of dog parenting. Many pet parents buy pet insurance or choose to set aside $10 each month to plan for emergencies.
The life expectancy of Morkies is between 10 and 15 years and some even live longer. If you spend an average cost of $1000 each year on it, then over its lifetime, the cost of owning a Morkie can be between $10,000 and $15000. In the event your pet develops some serious health issue, the costs could go up to $20000.
We hope this guide gives you an overview of the initial costs as well as the recurring costs of Morkie ownership.