Properly feeding a Yorkie is one of the most important elements to keeping your dog healthy. The food that you offer will directly affect not only your Yorkie's health, but can also many times affect their behavior. The section will give detailed information about:
- The different ages of a Yorkie and food needs
- When to feed
- How much to feed
- What to feed
Answering the "How's"
The amount of food and the feeding times will vary depending on the how old your Yorkie is and your dog’s activity.
When weaning (4-7 weeks old) - 3 months old: A puppy needs to be free-fed. This is the term used when you leave food available at all times. This helps to prevent hypoglycemia and allows the pup to eat as needed during this important growth stage
3 months - 6 months: We highly suggest schedules meals. If you free fed at this age, housebreaking will be much more difficult, as you will not be able to know when your pup needs to go outside. In addition, when a dog has a well scheduled day this equals better behavior. 3-4 meals per day is best. Morning, lunchtime, early evening (if 4 meals) and evening (no later than 2 hours before bedtime)
This is an important growing stage and your little puppy will be eating more now than when an adult. Each meal should be between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of food, however the best method of knowing how much is enough is to allow your pup to eat for 15 minutes and then take away the food - you can save it for the next meal. Pups vary so much depending on size, activity level and metabolism...to follow strict guidelines of measuring food can leave them underfed or overfed.
6 months to 1 year: You can work your way down from 4 to 3 or from 3 to 2 meals.
1 year on: Now your Yorkie can eat just 1 meal per day. Some owners choose to feed two, breakfast and dinner however do keep in mind that a morning meal means that a bowel movement will be imminent not long afterward.
Best Food for the Yorkshire Terrier Breed
Weaning Stage ( 4-7 weeks old): You will want to begin with hypoallergenic ingredients as the best food for the young Yorkie. This will be a bland mix and must be blended well in a food processor. Small pieces of boiled white chicken meat, milk replacer and water, blended into a very soupy mix with the consistency of human baby cereal. As each week goes by, lessen the amount of water and then lessen the amount of milk replacer. By 7-8 weeks you can then begin more solid meals with more ingredients.
8 Weeks on:
You have a choice between manufactured dog food or home cooking. We recommend home cooking. There are many reasons:
- Fillers - Even the highest quality dog food (Blue, Iams, etc) and even those "Natural dog foods" all contain fillers. Yes, all of them. The difference between "pure", "natural" or "high quality" and cheaper brands are the amount of fillers. It is very important to understand what filler are. All commercial dog foods have these. They are empty ingredients with zero calories, and zero nutritional value. Why are these added? To "plump" up the food to make it appear as if there is more and also to fill up your dog's stomach - Your Yorkie will feel full because of those fillers but will be full partially due to zero nutritional value ingredients.
- Home cooking is easy - You do not need to be a "great" cook in order to prepare homemade food for your Yorkie
- It is often less expensive - Many of the ingredients will be foods that you will already be purchasing. In addition, items like fresh carrots and fresh potatoes are inexpensive foods. You can make a large amount and put away servings for later in the week (and can even freeze certain mixtures for up to a year)
- Dogs are carnivores, they need to eat meat...real meat. Think for a moment about why humans would not eat a bowl of dog food... .now, why should anyone expect a precious Yorkie to?
As you can see from the reasons above, we highly recommend this method. If you do choose to offer this, you will want meat to be the main ingredient, followed by vegetables and then starch.
For the meat: De-bonded, boiled white chicken meat, liver, kidney, organs, fish and lean hamburger are perfect
For the vegetables, a mixture of at least 2 of the following, and the more the better:
• White or brown rice
• Cut up green beans
• Cut up carrots
• Sweet potatoes
• Sweet peas
For the starch: White rice, brown rice and pasta. Pasta is very healthy for a small dog and will be greatly appreciated.
The Importance of a Supplement: Whether you offer a high quality manufactured dog food or you home cook, a high quality complete canine vitamin and supplement should be given each day. A powder form can be added a meal if your dog has trouble swallowing pills.
- A dog's digestive system is designed to process large amounts of proteins and wholesome food. Commercial dog food is not digested as it should be. Fillers pass right through the body without being absorbed (there is nothing in them, so the body ignores them and they come right back out of the dog). Many nutrients in manufactured dog food are expelled before they are soaked in by the dog's system. This can lead to malnutrition and the behavioral issues of eating feces and/or grass. (This issues is often caused by a dog’s body screaming out for nutrients)
To read more details about home cooking for your Yorkie and recipes click here
What is this? Organic dog food is based on organic grains and ground free organic chicken meat. It includes whole, raw vegetables and fruits. These fruits and vegetables consist of health promoting nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants. An official organic dog food diet will contain at least 95% of certified organic ingredients.
Sea salt is an ordinary component found in natural foods, containing important nutrients such as chloride and sodium. Severe kidney, heart problems and nervous system problems may develop from a diet that contains zero sodium.
Human Food & Begging
If you choose to give your Yorkshire Terrier manufactured food, your dog may beg for
your dinner. It is important to not give in to those "puppy-dog eyes" and whining. Giving in just one time can be the trigger to constant begging behavior which then needs to be corrected with firm training.
It is also not healthy to offer from your plate. Human food, unless
specifically cooked for a dog, is extremely unhealthy for a dog. It is loaded with fats, chemicals, seasoning, and often can contain ingredients that a dog is allergic to.
- Odd Eating Habits
- Finicky Eaters
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