PROTEINS AND AMINO ACIDS: All dogs, including Yorkshire Terriers cannot survive without protein in their diets. Dietary protein contains 10 specific amino acids that dogs cannot make on their own. Known as essential amino acids, they provide the building blocks for many important biologically active compounds and proteins. In addition, they donate the carbon chains needed to make glucose for energy. High-quality proteins have a good balance of all of the essential amino acids. Studies show that dogs can tell when their food lacks a single amino acid and will avoid such a meal.
FATS AND FATTY ACIDS: Dietary fats, mainly derived from animal fats and the seed oils of various plants, provide the most concentrated source of energy in the diet. They supply essential fatty acids that cannot be synthesized in the body and serve as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins. Fatty acids play a role in cell structure and function. Food fats tend to enhance the taste and texture of the dog’s food as well. Essential fatty acids are necessary to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Puppies fed ultralow-fat diets develop dry, coarse hair and skin lesions that become increasingly vulnerable to infections. Deficiencies in the so-called “omega-3″ family of essential fatty acids may be associated with vision problems and impaired learning ability. Another family of essential fatty acids called â€œomega-6â€ has been shown to have important physiologic effects in the body.
MINERALS: Some minerals are found in all foods, but no single food contains everything needed in the proper balance for good nutrition. Mineral needs for dogs include calcium, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, magnesium. sulfur and in trace elements, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, iodine, cobalt, and selenium. These make up less than 2% of any formulated diet, and yet they are the most critical of nutrients. A dog can manufacture some vitamins on its own, but he cannot make minerals.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I FEED MY YORKIE EACH DAY?
The chart below is a general guideline for your dog’s calorie requirements. Dogs, on average, need about 30 calories per pound of body weight per day to maintain their current weight. Small active dogs, weighing less than 20 lbs. can use up to 40 calories per pound per day. Large dogs, over 50 lbs., can use as little as 20 calories per pound per day. Daily calorie requirements may be less for inactive or neutered dogs in hot climates. Conversely, and as you might expect, the requirements will increase for a working dog, a herding dog, and a dog that spends most of his time outdoors. Individual metabolism, exercise, age, environment and overall health will determine what your dog really needs to remain lean and healthy. If your Yorkie is overweight, increase his exercise, and feed him smaller meals, totaling about 60% of the typical calories required for its ideal weight. Since your dog can only have so many calories every day, it is important to pack lots of nutrition, bulk and appeal into those calories. If you make your Yorkies food at home, you will have to do some calculating to determine the caloric content of meals. You can feed those calories in several meals rather than in one large daily meal. It can be much easier on a hungry Yorkie to have 2-3 meals a day rather than waiting 24 hours in between meals. You can always add low-calorie vegetables or treats in between meals. Remember, a healthy dog is ready to eat at any time. Some dogs can eat while flat on their side and more or less asleep. Therefore, it is pointless to use your dog’s begging behavior as any indicator of how much to feed him. Knowing how many calories your Yorkie needs and how that translates into food will help keep him trim and healthy.
|TARGET WEIGHT||DAILY CALORIES|
|5.5 lbs (2.5kg)||250|
Energy needs for the dog change throughout his life, increasing the more active he becomes, and obviously decreasing as the dog reaches his senior years. Factors That Affect Your Yorkies nutritional needs, male and female sex hormones affect metabolism. When these hormones are reduced, through neutering, for example, many dogs develop a tendency to become overweight. After a dog is neutered, you will need to reduce his intake by perhaps as much as 20%. The goal is to maintain the pre-surgical weight. If he starts to lose weight, gradually increase the amount until you meet his needs. Pregnant dogs require very little increase in food until late in their pregnancy. Increase her food by 10% only during the last four weeks of the nine week pregnancy. Post-birth and while lactating, she may need up to three times her normal daily food consumption. Lactation needs are greatest by the third week after birth, and increase with the size of the litter. Dogs that are confined to small areas and get little exercise need fewer calories than those that are exercised regularly or allowed access to large yards. On the other hand, energy requirements increase by as much as 300% over a typical maintenance diet for hard-working dogs, such as those that hunt, race or herd. Variations in temperature influence a dog’s diet. The colder the temperature, the more energy a dog requires to maintain his body temperature. If your dog spends at least half his time outdoors during the cold winter months, for example, the amount of food he needs may double compared to what he normally eats during the summer. As dogs mature, their metabolism and physical activity slow down. To help prevent your older dog from becoming obese, you will want to decrease the amount of food offered.
How Can I Tell If My Yorkie Is At The Correct Weight?
Your Yorkie is not getting enough to eat if you can easily see its ribs, vertebrae, and pelvic bones, feel no fat on the bones, and possibly notice some loss of muscle mass. If chronically underfed, adult Yorkies may experience impaired ability to nurse young and perform work, and increased susceptibility to bacterial infections and parasites; Yorkie puppies may be stunted in their growth; adult Yorkies may develop osteoporosis.
Your Yorkie is at an ideal weight if you can easily feel its ribs. The waist should be easily observed behind the ribs when viewed from above. An abdominal tuck is evident when viewed from the side.
Your Yorkie is overweight if you cannot feel its ribs, see fat deposits over its back and the base of its tail, discern no waist behind the ribs when viewed from above, and see no abdominal tuck in profile. Obesity occurs in one out of four dogs in western societies. Its incidence increases with age and is more common in neutered animals. Health risks include diabetes and osteoarthritis.