Friday, February 8, 2008

Health Issues In Yorkie Dogs – Digestive Problems

Yorkie dogs have a history of being notoriously finicky eaters. In reality these toy dogs are no more challenging to feed than any other small breed of dog. According to most Yorkie breeders the digestive problems and the finicky eating problems associated with the breed are more likely a direct result of owners feeding their Yorkshire Terriers only what the dog wants to eat.

It is highly recommended for Yorkie dogs to eat a high quality small dog kibble that is nutritionally balanced and good for the dog. Yorkie breeders will typically recommend a kibble or food that they use in their kennel, which is often the best possible choice for the new Yorkie puppy owner to continue to use.

Yorkie dogs are known to have more sensitive digestion than other dogs, so they should be fed a minimal amount of human food or dog treats. Keep garbage and other tempting items away from your Yorkie dog's reach, as they are keen hunters and can quickly track down food that they should not have access to.

The natural terrier traits of Yorkie dogs means that cupboards, shelves and even containers with lids are all fair game for the Yorkie to try to get into, especially when left on their own. It is important to store all foods well above the shelves and cupboards that Yorkie dogs could possibly access.

Overall well-bred Yorkshire Terriers are typically very healthy dogs, even with their diminutive size. However often Teacup Yorkies, which are very small version of the standard and toy Yorkshire Terriers are more likely to have digestive problems.

All sizes of Yorkie dogs can develop digestive problems, many which are similar to other small, medium and even large breeds of dogs. Working with reputable Yorkie breeders is the best possible way to minimize the risk of disease or genetic problems with Yorkie dogs.

It is still important for all owners to ensure that their Yorkie dogs have routine yearly vet checks and vaccinations to ensure they are healthy and detect any medical conditions at an early stage.

Feeding your Yorkie dog is important in keeping them in good health.

Going to the pet store to pick a brand and type of dog food can seem particularly overwhelming when you walk down the aisle and see the dozens upon dozens of varieties of foods available. If you take the time to read the labels and understand the basic needs of your dog, you will find that there are only a few feeds that meet your dog’s needs.

During a Yorkie’s lifetime, the feeding requirements will change. A puppy should be fed at least three times a day until it is four months old. A young puppy must be fed more often, because it has a smaller stomach and is growing at a very fast pace.

After four months of age it is recommended to decrease feeding to twice a day. Some adult Yorkie dogs only require feeding once a day, or may be given free choice food if they are outdoors or are not over-eaters.

Any changes in feeding should be closely monitored to determine the effect that they are having on the overall health of the dog. Fresh water should always be available for all Yorkie dogs and puppies.

Regularly scheduled feeding will help with housetraining as well. A schedule of feeding means a schedule for toileting. This will be helpful when Yorkie dogs are being left alone in the house or even when you are traveling.

Yorkie breeders do recommend twice a day feedings on a schedule to help with any digestive problems or conditions that may occur with these tiny dogs. Teacup Yorkies will often benefit from two or three smaller feedings per day rather than just one large meal.

If Yorkie dogs or any age begin to exhibit any unusual behaviors in eating or eliminating waste, check for any changes that have occurred in the environment or in the dog’s schedule.

Sudden changes in food, even in the brand of food, can cause stomach disorders and may lead to diarrhea or stomach pains and excessive gas in Yorkie dogs. Usually changing food gradually will solve this problem, but a vet should confirm that there are not any other issues causing the problems.

Please visit our Yorkshire Terrier web site that includes comprehensive information on all aspects of Yorkie dogs.