Why Is Your Yorkie Refusing To Eat?

Know why your Yorkie refusing to eat

Photo by 825545/Pixabay

There could be many reasons for your Yorkie refusing to eat. It may range from the lack of appetite to stomach disorders to change in food brands. A decreased appetite may turn out to be a serious issue in the long term, as low weight could have grave consequences for small dogs like Yorkshire Terriers. Find out why your Yorkie is not eating before his loss of appetite spirals into major health problems. Here is a detailed guide to help you know the reason for your Yorkie refusing to eat and how to resolve them.

Yorkie Refusing To Eat: The Problem

Many owners often perceive Yorkshire Terriers as finicky eaters. They too have a choice and often develop dislike for some food. However, if your dog is consistently refusing food, the problem is a cause for concern. An owner should be worried over his Yorkie refusing to eat when the dog,
  • Does not eat at all
  • Refuses to eat only dog food
  • Experiences frequent loss of appetite
  • Is no longer tempted by food
  • Has a reduced appetite
  • Turns into a fussy eater
The refusal to eat may be a sudden affair or gradual with decreased food intake.  In both cases, the health of your Yorkshire Terrier takes a hit. The problem leads to weight loss in puppies, affecting their growth. Adult Yorkies exhibit behavioral and health issues in the absence of proper nutrition in their body. Without proper intake of food, senior Yorkies soon turn frail with reduced immunity, which may adversely affect their aging body and longevity.

Health Problems Behind Yorkie Refusing To Eat

There may be various health issues with your Yorkie that are responsible for a loss of appetite in the dog. The most common health issues behind your Yorkie refusing to eat may include the following.
  • Upset Stomach: Yorkies with an upset stomach may refuse to take food for one or two days. They prefer to remain alone and take rest. They may experience diarrhea or vomiting. Give your dog plenty of water and liquids.
  • Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis: A severe form of stomach problem, it accompanies diarrhea and leads to quick dehydration. It can cause additional complications in smaller dogs unless treated early.
  • Pancreatitis: High level of fat in the blood may lead to inflammation of your Yorkie’s pancreas. With abnormality in the secretion of digestive enzymes, loss of appetite is common in dogs with pancreatitis.
  • Toxicity: Increased toxicity in the body may be another reason for your Yorkie refusing to eat.
  • Fever: Often dogs with fever do not eat properly.
  • Medications: Certain medications, including corticosteroids, impact the appetite of Yorkies.
Some other problems include digestive problems, tooth infection, vomiting, and physical pain or discomfort. When your Yorkie suffers from weight loss, physical weakness, dizziness, or sleepiness after his refusal to eat, he may need urgent medical attention. Retreating to seclusion is another sign that all is not well.

Dietary Issues Behind Yorkie Refusing To Eat

Your Yorkie may refuse to eat if he had fatty food the previous day. Allow him more time to rest and put his digestive process on the right track. Yorkshire Terriers are picky eaters, and this may be the reason for your Yorkie refusing to eat. Often they prefer a particular food and do not eat at all until you serve them their favorite diet. Adolescent Yorkies are more prone to exhibiting such behavior. They develop a perceived taste with various flavors and food texture just like humans. This makes them selective in their eating habits. Old dogs often try to avoid hard kibble, coarse grain, pellets, or bones too often to prevent discomfort arising out of tooth loss. It is not uncommon to see a Yorkie refusing to eat following a sudden change in the food. When owners change to a different brand of food to ensure better nutrition or due to the unavailability of the one their pooch is used to eating, Yorkshire Terriers may not accept it readily. They may abhor the new flavor, fillers, preservatives, or even ingredients. Therefore, such a change must be gradual to help them and their digestive system adjust to it. In case you recently changed food, you will want to get your Yorkie used to it by making small changes. According to the Yorkie Information Center, you can blend old and new food together. Here are the amounts during the four weeks of switching:
  • Week #1- 3/4 old food, 1/4 new food
  • Week #2 – 1/2 old food, 1/2 new food
  • Week #3 – 3/4 new food, 1/4 old food
  • Week #4 -feed only the new food
Yorkshire Terriers are very sensitive and often make a thorough investigation before eating their food. They may pick some ingredients, such as meat to eat while leaving others, such as vegetables. Such picking and sorting habit may become a nutritional issue unless you address it effectively. Their exposure to table scraps may be a reason for your Yorkie refusing to eat his meals. Dogs have a greater inclination toward human food than dog food. With a strong smell, they find human food more tempting, flavored, textured, and tasty. Once they have a chance to eat human food, they refuse to eat dog food for a few days. You must ensure that your Yorkie does not have access to table scraps. If the refusal persists for too long, you should switch to home-cooked food for your dog.

Non-Health, Non-Dietary Issues Behind Yorkie Refusing To Eat

Hot weather often causes a loss of appetite in Yorkies. They consume less food than they normally have or even skip day meals. Keep your dog in a cool ambiance and let him drink more fluids than eating solid food. The decrease in the activity level too could be a reason for your Yorkie refusing to eat. Without regular activities, the digestion process turns slow and your dog lacks hunger. Make a point to take him for morning and evening walks. Your Yorkie may eat less if not positioned comfortably. A disturbed eating environment impacts his appetite. The appetite also varies with the types of food served to him. Protein amount in the food may also be a reason for their refusal to eat. Yorkshire Terriers have their tummy filled quickly with the intake of excessive protein and carbs even if they eat less than their normal amount of food. You may have recently brought your dog home. Often it takes a while for the Yorkie or other dogs to get used to his new environment. He is recently adopted and is refusing to eat? call the breeder and find out what he has been previously fed. Sometimes your Yorkie may be struggling with their new surroundings and will not eat. She may be afraid of the bowl or china dish; put the food on a paper plate or on the floor. She may have been fed in a group and the new surroundings are very different.

Final recommendations

Yorkies are usually picky eaters, and you might need to keep an eye on them to make sure he/she is eating less or not eating at all.
After doing much research and based on personal experience, these are the recommendations I make:
  • Try to keep your dog in places with mildly cold temperatures.
  • Avoid changing the food station; remember that they don’t like changing their habits.
  • Make sure you give the proper amount of food, not less, and not more. With time, you will get to know how much food your Yorkie eats every day and serve him/her based on that.
  • Take him/her out twice a day; we’re so busy nowadays that sometimes we forget that our friend needs to go out and explore. If you can’t do two walks every day, at least take him outside once.
  • Be patient, as we humans, dogs don’t always have an appetite.
  • If you see any alarming sign like:
    • Weight loss
    • Dizziness
    • Not drinking any water
    • Weakness
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Sign of physical or localized pain
Take your Yorkie to the vet for evaluation and treatment.
Marcelle Landestoy
Latest posts by Marcelle Landestoy (see all)