8 Things You Likely Didn’t Know About Why Your Yorkie is Refusing To Eat

Yorkie's face on the floor

Seeing your beautiful Yorkie refusing to eat is very frustrating for you as a parent. However, your little dog may have some good (to them) reasons for refusing their food.

However, many Yorkies are picky eaters. When they totally refuse food, this leaves us feeling helpless.

Here are a few of the reasons and what you can do.

An aging Yorkie who refuses to eat can bring on other problems, so it is important to find out the cause and take steps to alleviate it.

Adjustment Period

You may have recently brought your dog home. Often it takes a while for the Yorkie or other dogs to get used to his new environment.

He is recently adopted and is refusing to eat? call the breeder and find out what he has been previously fed.

Sometimes your Yorkie may be struggling with their new surroundings and will not eat.

She may be afraid of the bowl or china dish; put the food on a paper plate or on the floor. She may have been fed in a group and the new surroundings are very different.

You can read about some different experiences regarding their Yorkie refusing food here.

It was suggested to give the dog some boiled chicken, cheese, yogurt or cottage cheese.

Other dogs will drink coconut water over regular water. Shredded cheese on their regular food often works.

Health Conditions

Often health conditions can be the cause of what seems like the pickiness of your dog and the loss of appetite.

Signs to watch for may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Pain
  • Not drinking water
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Yorkie laid down on the floor

Definitely it is time to take your Yorkie to the vet if you see these issues and think there might be an underlying cause.

It is important to prevent hypoglycemia in puppies if they are not eating. Have some honey available and rub it into their gums; then take them to the vet, once they are stabilized.

You can use a heating pad to warm them up as well.

Picky Eater

Your dog may be refusing store-bought food. It is time to change his diet to one that is home-cooked.

By leaving out the spices, heavily fatty ingredients, and salt and incorporating healthy ingredients, you can make sure his meals are nutritious.

Some people have found that boiled chicken and sweet potatoes, with peas and carrots, are enjoyed by their Yorkie.

Leave out the spices, and make sure water is always available. Treats might be taken by your dog, and nutritious snacks are even better.

Some dogs who eat canned food will only eat it at room temperature or warmer, so if it comes from the refrigerator, warm it up.

Teeth Issues

Having sore gums or a bad tooth is very unpleaseant for your little friend. Make sure his food is cut into small pieces and the kibble is a very small size, appropriate to a small breed.

An older dog may need to be switched to a softer type of food.

Teething puppies may also have problems with eating and sore gums. Hard kibble might be too uncomfortable for them to eat.

Food Changes

In case you recently changed food, you will want to get your Yorkie used to it by making small changes.

According to the Yorkie Information Center, you can blend old and new food together. Here are the amounts during the four weeks of switching:

  • Week #1- 3/4 old food, 1/4 new food
  • Week #2 – 1/2 old food, 1/2 new food
  • Week #3 – 3/4 new food, 1/4 old food
  • Week #4 -feed only the new food


Table Scraps

If you have been giving your dog food from the table, he has a good reason to resist regular dog food.

The dog has an enhanced sense of smell and often desires human food instead of dog food, enjoying such flavors as sweet, salty and sour.

Even though you have rules in place, check with all members of the family, as a child may be feeding him on the side.

If he has been eating human food, you might try switching to home-cooked meals that incorporate his favorite tastes, but without the salt, spices and additional fats.

He may be keen on eating the “people food” and will not realize that it is a healthier version.


Is your food bowl in a high traffic area in your home? Many dogs (like people) prefer a low-stress environment in which to eat. His feeding station should be away from the noise.

Anxiety can cause him to not want to eat.

Privacy is important in the feeding area, so change it if people are walking by or the talking is too loud.

Heat, etc.

Possibly the dog is too hot; in summer dogs can be lethargic, according to Care.com.

Cooling his area as well as taking him outside for brisk walks and fresh air could be the answer. Exercise might just be the key to reviving his appetite.

Additionally, if your Yorkie friend is left home by himself all day, hire a pet sitter to give him some exercise and attention and relieve his anxiety of being alone.

A consistent schedule might help in his anxiety and restore his appetite.

Since pleasing you is important to your little Yorkie, praise him when he eats and give him plenty of love and attention.

His appetite might just come back. If none of the above works, take him to the vet to determine the cause and get his appetite back.

After all, chow time is a fun time!

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