Yorkies have tiny stomachs.
As a result, they need to eat multiple small meals per day.
They also burn a lot of energy, which they need to constantly replenish.
This means that missing meals can turn into a serious problem quickly.
This is even more true for Yorkshire terrier puppies. Their stomachs are even smaller.
If your Yorkie puppy won’t eat, you need to figure out the problem and fix it quickly.
Or get your pup to a vet.
Keep reading to learn the most common reasons a Yorkie puppy might stop eating and how you can determine which is the cause in your puppy’s case.
Yorkie Puppy Won’t Eat
The first thing you need to do is figure out is why your Yorkie puppy isn’t eating. It could be due to a number of different reasons, like stress, not liking its puppy food, or your pup could have an infection.
Let’s take a closer look at the most common reasons a puppy might start refusing food. Hopefully, this will help you figure out why your Yorkie won’t eat, and you’ll be able to fix the issue.
Switching Puppy Foods
One of the main reasons your puppy may stop eating is if you’ve switched food brands and it does not like its new food. Maybe you simply chose to buy a different type of puppy food, because it was on sale and cost much less then the brand your puppy usually eats.
If the two brands taste completely different, your puppy may simply be put off by the new food. One way to tell for sure if this is the issue is to give your pup some of its old food, assuming you still have some. Does it eat that food?
If so, you may have to throw out the new food and go back to the old. Or try a third brand. I know it sucks to throw out food, but you don’t want your Yorkie puppy going hungry! And believe me, this has happened to me a few times.
That said, switching food is often a gradual process. If can take a while for your dog to accept the new food, so you may just need some patience.
But you also can’t let your dog starve while it is taking its time accepting the new food brand. The right way to switch brands is to start by mixing a small amount of the new food into the current brand and then gradually increase the amount of the new brand, while decreasing the amount of the old brand.
A stressed Yorkie may also begin refusing food. Have there been any changes in your dog’s daily life that could have brought about stress? This can be anything from nearby construction, to a new baby, to a visitor to your home, to a change in its usual daily routine.
The best way to determine if stress is the issue is to look for other signs of stress. This could include your pup seeming more lethargic and depressed or hair loss. Your pup might also shake, in addition to not eating.
A puppy refusing food could also be the result of a health condition. Issues like a tooth condition, an upset stomach, or digestive problems can all cause a dog to lose its appetite and refuse to eat.
If your Yorkie is throwing up or you notice it has diarrhoea, it may have a food intolerance. Other signs of food intolerance could include stomach pain. Try touching your Yorkie’s stomach. If it yelps in pain, or otherwise indicates it is feeling pain, this could be a sign it has an intolerance.
To work out the exact food intolerance, you may want to try cutting out foods like wheat or dairy and keep a close observation on your Yorkie for any improvements.
A refusal to eat could also indicate a more serious condition that may require treatment from your vet. Your Yorkie may have pancreatitis, for instance. This is when the pancreas secretes digestive juices into the small intestine and results in the pancreas becoming inflamed.
The main symptoms of pancreatitis are pain and a loss of appetite. If you suspect this is the reason your puppy has stopped eating, you should take it to the vet as soon as possible.
Depending on how bad the pancreatitis is, your Yorkie may have to stay with the vet for a few nights to ensure it can make a full recovery. The treatment may involve antibiotics to treat the infection, plus rehydration with an IV, so that your Yorkie does not have to eat solid foods and the pancreas can rest.
No Food Or A Decreased Appetite?
Is your puppy flat-out refusing to eat anything, or does it just have a decreased appetite? If your Yorkie has a decreased appetite, then it is most likely a temporary problem. There are many possible reasons for a decreased appetite.
It could be the result of a sudden change in the weather. If the weather has suddenly become hotter, maybe due to a heatwave, your Yorkie puppy may eat less. You could be looking at 10% to 20% less food consumed.
This is perfectly normal. All dogs eat less in hotter weather. It is not something you need to worry about, unless it continues after the hot spell.
Another thing to consider is how much food you give your pup. You may think your Yorkie puppy is not eating enough, when the truth is, you are just feeding it far too much.
You need to remember that Yorkies are a tiny dog breed and Yorkie puppies are even smaller! If you want to know the correct amount to feed your puppy, follow the instructions on the food packaging. Even better, talk to your vet. We also have an article on what and how much to feed a Yorkie puppy here.
How Long Can A Yorkie Puppy Go Without Eating
A Yorkie puppy can only go around 5 hours without eating, before it will start to suffer ill effects. If your pup has missed one meal already and is showing no interest in the next one, take it to see a vet immediately.
Puppies do not have fat reserves, they have small stomachs, and they burn a lot of energy. This means they need to eat a lot. It also means they can die very quickly if they do not eat.
If you have a picky eater that refuses anything you give it, this article lists 8 foods to feed a picky Yorkie. They are all healthy optons that most dogs love and we give you recipes and serving suggestions or each one.
My Yorkie Puppy Won’t Eat: Final Thoughts
If you can figure out what is wrong after your Yorkie puppy misses its first meal, you may be able to fix the issue yourself and get your pup eating again. The list of common causes of a puppy not eating above should help with that.
But it is important to understand that a Yorkie puppy not eating can become very serious, very fast. Due to their small size, they can not eat much food in one sitting and they do not have fat reserves to draw from. They also burn a lot of energy.
All of this means that missing a single meal can begin to affect their health. Missing more meals is serious and you’ll want to take your pup to the vet immediately.