Feeding & Caring for a Yorkie Puppy

by Carlye Jones, Demand Media
    Yorkie puppies require a lot of care.

    Yorkie puppies require a lot of care.

    Giving love and attention is the easy part of caring for a Yorkie puppy. While they're not quite as fragile as they appear, young Yorkies need special care to grow up into healthy, happy, well-behaved dogs.

    Food and Water

    Growing Yorkie puppies need a lot of food, or a lot of food when you consider their size. Until your puppy reaches 3 or 4 months old, he should have food available at all times. Water should always be available as well. As the puppy passes his third month, feedings should be scheduled regularly, with at least three small meals per day. Food should be high quality and made especially for puppies. Even though your puppy is tiny, he is growing quickly and needs the right nutrition for muscle and bone development. Dry food is best to help strengthen his teeth and avoid diarrhea, although a small amount of canned food may be given along with dry food.

    Health

    Miniature size combined with rapid growth sets Yorkie puppies up for hypoglycemia, or low blood-sugar, one of the biggest dangers for young Yorkies. Frequent feedings help prevent hypoglycemia, but responsible owners will keep Karo syrup or Nutrical on hand to rub on the puppy's gums in case of an emergency. Vaccinations will help prevent most other common puppy ailments. Yorkie puppies should receive vaccinations between six and eight weeks, again between 11 and 12 weeks, and one more time between 15 and 16 weeks. They should also be immunized against rabies once they are 16 weeks or older.

    Safety

    They like to act tough, but Yorkie puppies can be easily injured if left unsupervised. Falls from couches and beds, or even intentional jumps, can hurt growing muscles and tendons. Small children's toys, rawhide chews and loose buttons or thread on stuffed dog toys can pose a choking hazard. Human food dropped on the kitchen floor can cause vomiting or diarrhea. Electrical cords are a chewing temptation. Yorkie puppies should be treated similar to human babies in regard to safety. They require constant supervision to stay out of trouble. Fortunately, they will eventually grow up and learn to behave, but in the meantime the world is a dangerous place for a puppy.

    Grooming

    Loads of fluffy fur makes Yorkie puppies irresistibly cute, but also mean they need extra grooming care. They need brushed regularly, and fur around the genitals should be clipped to keep them clean. Toenails need clipped to keep them from getting tangled in the fur and from scratching you. Regular grooming also helps prepare a Yorkie puppy for the grooming he will need for the rest of his life.

    Discipline

    While Yorkie puppies thrive on love and attention, it's important to remember to say "no" to unwanted behaviors right from the start. Young puppies may not understand at first, but they will catch on eventually. Also, you won't have to undo bad behaviors when they become an adult. It may look cute when they're little, but jumping on people, chewing on your things, excessive barking and nipping should be stopped right away or it will continue into adulthood and be even more difficult to stop.

    About the Author

    Carlye Jones is a journalist, writer, photographer, novelist and artisan jeweler with more than 20 years of experience. She enjoys sharing her expertise on home improvements, photography, crafting, business and travel. Her work has appeared both in print and on numerous websites.

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