Feeding Your Yorkie
Feeding Your Let's Talk Yorkie Puppy
Let’s Talk Yorkie is proudly sponsored by Royal Canin, the dog food company at the cutting edge of canine nutritional innovation, and we recommend you feed your new puppy Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier PUPPY dry food ONLY!
Please do NOT change your puppy’s food – we have tried them all and have found our puppies do best on this food. Yorkies are fussy eaters with sensitive tummies and this food is formulated to entice them to eat and is easily digestible. It also supports their immune systems, promotes good dental health and beautiful coats.
Just before you bring your puppy home I will email detailed feeding instructions for your puppy but in general I recommend that you leave food out 24 hours a day when your puppy first comes home. Toy breed puppies like Yorkies don’t eat much at one time because they are so tiny but they do eat frequently. Please remember it is NOT enough to just have food available, you MUST make sure your puppy is eating to prevent Hypoglycemia!
If you take care of your Yorkie baby properly now, you will be rewarded with many years of unconditional love from a healthy, happy dog.
As a new Yorkie puppy parent it is important for you to be able to recognize the symptoms of Hypoglycemia and to know how to treat it. Hypoglycemia is easily treatable in the early stages, but can be fatal if allowed to progress. It is in your best interest and the best interest of your puppy for you to read this information and become educated about how to properly care for your new fur-baby BEFORE you bring him/her home.
What is Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia occurs when the blood sugar level drops extremely low usually due to lack of food, or by using up all stored energy without it being replenished. Smaller sized puppies like Yorkies are prone to this because they have such tiny bodies and can only store a little bit of food/energy at a time.
It is important to understand that just because a puppy has an episode of hypoglycemia, does not mean that the puppy is truly ‘hypoglycemic’. True hypoglycemia is a chronic condition caused by overproduction of insulin by the pancreas. Hypoglycemic incidents in Yorkie puppies are always preceded by a stress of some kind, such as: weaning, teething, vaccinations, a change in environment, shipping, over-handling, cold temperatures, intestinal parasites, infections, etc. Many Yorkie puppies simply play too hard and stress their system or just forget to eat.
Signs / Symptoms
Drowsiness or Collapse
If your Yorkie is seems to pass out or stumble around as if it’s drunk, the problem may be drowsiness from hypoglycemia.
When a small dog’s blood sugar wavers, its body has trouble maintaining a constant temperature. A hypoglycemic Yorkie may shiver, which can be a warning sign that something is awry. Provide a protein-rich food and make sure the dog has a warm bed to snuggle after eating. It may take a little while for the nutrients to hit its bloodstream, but the dog should stop shivering within 30 minutes or so.
Listlessness or Depression
A Yorkie that isn’t interested in its favorite toys, isn’t eating, stares off into space, avoids eye contact or generally seems ‘down in the dumps’ may be suffering from hypoglycemia. Bring food to the dog and offer small bites until it has the energy to feed itself. Usually, after a few bites, the dog will perk up and finish the meal.
A Yorkie with weak muscles will sit or lie down more often and will not jump around or climb stairs. For Yorkie owners who are used to seeing their little dogs fly around the house, muscle weakness can be perceived as a personality change. If you suspect that your Yorkie is suffering from weak muscles, offer high protein foods more often and speak with your veterinarian.
Seizures or Tremors
With careful monitoring of a Yorkie’s blood sugar seizures and tremors are unlikely. However, tremors or even full blown seizures can happen if other symptoms are overlooked. If this happens get your dog to a veterinarian immediately!
What To Do!
If hypoglycemia is caught in the early stages, rub Nutri-Cal on the puppy’s gums, under the tongue, and on the roof of the mouth. Use a heating pad to slowly warm the puppy to proper body temperature. When the puppy starts to respond feed canned food or baby food and watch your puppy closely to be sure that the incident is truly over. Be sure to eliminate the stress that caused the episode so that it doesn’t happen again.
If hypoglycemia is caught in the more advanced stages, rub Nutri-Cal as stated above, slowly warm the puppy to normal body temperature and keep him warm. Call your veterinarian immediately and inform him that you have a hypoglycemic Yorkshire Terrier puppy and/or take your puppy to the nearest Animal Hospital. BE SURE TO TELL THE VET WHAT YOU HAVE GIVEN THE PUPPY! Nutri-Cal can and will affect blood test results and this could cause your puppy to be misdiagnosed.
It is always easier to PREVENT hypoglycemia than treat it. You can reduce the risk of having an incident by:
1. Keep food and water available and make sure your Yorkie is eating, even if only a small amount, and even if you have to hand feed him/her. Just having food available is not enough!
2. Give your puppy a small play area. Do not allow him or her to run freely in the house or yard. Too much physical activity can cause your puppy to tire which could cause his or her blood sugar levels to drop. Your puppy may also find him/her self too far away from the food dish and not have the energy to get to it.
3. When your puppy first comes home, allow only fifteen (15) minutes of strenuous play at a time, followed by food AND rest. Do not allow a Yorkie puppy to get overtired and do not wake a sleeping puppy. Supervise children closely to make sure the puppy is not playing too hard and is getting the rest he/she needs.
4. Keep your puppy warm- set up your puppy play yard away from air conditioning vents and drafts.
5. Be sure to keep Nutri-Cal with you at all times. Take it with you every time you take your puppy out of the house even if it’s just a trip to the vet.
Hypoglycemia Can Be Caused by Xylitol
Puppies and dogs can develop severe hypoglycemia after consuming sugar-free food sweetened with Xylitol. In humans, Xylitol has little to no effect on glucose levels, but in dogs Xylitol is a strong promoter of insulin release and can cause severe hypoglycemia with collapse and seizures. With the increased appearance of Xylitol-sweetened products in the US (including most peanut butters), Xylitol toxicosis (systemic poisoning) in dogs is becoming more common.
I am not a Veterinarian and the information here is not intended to replace the advice of your Veterinarian.