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Yorkie Constipation

Causes of Constipation

A Yorkie, as with any dog breed, can become constipated. This can happen for many reasons, including:
  • A change in their dog food diet
  • Eating spicy food or food with too much fat
  • Experiencing stress
  • Having ingested a non-food, such as a toy, paper clip..anything that the dog may have swallowed and should not have
  • Eating bones - even little pieces of bone can block the digestive track and cause serious harm to a dog
  • Not ingesting enough fiber
  • Not having enough exercise
  • Not meeting the requirements for how much water is needed each day
The symptoms are what would be expected. However, it should be noted that these symptoms can often be the same as when a dog has a bowel infection or other medical issue. Therefore, it is highly recommended to bring your Yorkie to the veterinarian if you see that your dog has:
  • Not had a bowel movement for 3 days
  • Strains when eliminating
  • There is blood or mucus in the dog's feces
Constipation in your Yorkie can cause many health issues for your dog. The build up of bowel movements can cause toxins to build up in the dog's body. This can sometimes be seen as the dog:
  • Has bloating
  • Has a decreased appetite
  • Appears to have tummy pains

The Cure for Mild Cases

Once your Yorkie's veterinarian has ruled out any other medical causes for the symptoms, you can then begin to treat the constipation.
  • If your dog is not on a high quality dog food, it is highly recommended to switch to one right away. Inexpensive dog food is often difficult for dog's to process and digest. High quality dog food is easily digestible and help with many more health issues beside from the constipation.
  • Be sure to always keep fresh water available at all times.
  • Do not "free feed" your Yorkie. Dogs do best when on a feeding schedule. Puppies will eat 3 to 4 times per day and adult Yorkies will usually eat 2 or 3 meal per day. Occasional snacks are fine. Allowing your dog to have time periods of having no food enter the body, will allow the dog to process what he or she has previously eaten.
  • Adding fiber to your Yorkie's diet will help. This can be done by adding 1 teaspoon of oat bran to each meal or by adding 1 teaspoon of 100% pure pumpkin (real pumpkin, not the pie filling) to each meal.

Treatment of Serious Cases

In severe cases of canine constipation, your veterinarian may:
  • Prescribe a laxative
  • Perform an enema
  • If a foreign object is obstructing the bowels or digestive tract, surgery may need to be done


High quality dog food and a constant supply of water are the best steps to avoid this canine heath issue. Encourage your Yorkshire Terrier to drink.  This can be done by pointing out the water dish when at home and by bringing water along when you're out of the home.  Be sure to take a travel container with you for walks and stop at the halfway point for a quick break and some water.

Having enough fiber in the diet can help quite a bit. It should be noted, however that too much fiber or a diet high in fiber can cause gas...Often not harmful but it can be...well, unpleasant.

One human food that is high in fiber and safe for dogs to eat, including this toy breed, is Grape Nuts Flake cereal. For puppies, 1/2 teaspoon into each meal should be the starting dose. You can work up to 1 teaspoon for each meal after 1-2 weeks. It takes a dog's body anywhere from 1 day to 1 week to react to the change.

For a constipated Yorkie that is an adult, you may begin with 1 teaspoon in each meal. If he or she only eats 1 big meal per day, after 1 week you may work up to 2 tablespoons. 
Yorkshire Terrier on table
We highly recommend not going above this amount for either puppy or adult.

Another option is canned pumpkin. If you opt for this, it would be instead of the Grape Nuts and NOT in addition to. It, as with the cereal, has a nice sweet flavor and most Yorkies love either option. For this fruit, you will want to add 1 teaspoon for a puppy or 2 teaspoons for an adult into each meal OR your particular Yorkie may enjoy simply eating this by itself....

We have found that ours have been very happy to lick it right off of the spoon as they found it to be very tasty.

Canned pumpkin (pure pumpkin, the kind used in pies) is an excellent source of fiber that can make your dog regular again, plus most dogs seem to really enjoy it. Try mixing a a teaspoon or two into your dog's food, or just let her lick it off the spoon.
See Also : Yorkie Diarrhea . The steps to take if your Yorkie has runny stools. Treatments you can do from home and signs that it is time to bring your Yorkie to the vet.
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