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My Yorkie Is Constipated: 8 Reasons Why & How To Help

Dealing with a constipated Yorkshire Terrier can be distressing for both you and your furry friend.

We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of this issue, detailing why it happens, what you can do at home to help, and when it might be time to pay a visit to the vet.

yorkie is constipated

Is It Normal For Yorkies To Be Constipated?

While no pet parent wants to see their furry friend uncomfortable, it’s crucial to understand that occasional constipation can be a part of their normal digestive process.

Just like humans, our canine companions can sometimes have difficulty with their bowel movements.

The occasional bout of constipation isn’t necessarily cause for concern.

However, if your Yorkie is frequently constipated, or if the constipation persists for more than a day or two, it’s worth taking more seriously.

Persistent or recurring constipation could be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed.

So while occasional constipation can be normal, frequent or persistent constipation is not and should be checked out by a vet.

How To Know If Your Yorkie Is Constipated

How do you know if your Yorkie really is constipated?

Most healthy Yorkies will try to poop accordingly to the number of feedings they have. If they’re fed twice per day then its normal for them to poop twice.

If they’re constipated, they might try to poop several times per day without success.

Additionally, there are seven major signs to be aware of below.

  • Infrequent Bowel Movements: If your Yorkie is going less often than usual, it could be a sign of constipation. While it varies from dog to dog, most dogs generally have at least one bowel movement per day.
  • Straining or Difficulty Defecating: If your Yorkie appears to be straining, or if they’re taking a long time and having difficulty when trying to poop, they may be constipated.
  • Hard, Dry Stools: Another sign of constipation is small, hard, and dry stools. This can indicate that your dog isn’t getting enough water, or that their food isn’t being digested properly.
  • Lack of Appetite: A constipated Yorkie might not feel like eating. This lack of appetite can be a sign of discomfort.
  • Lethargy or Decreased Activity: If your Yorkie seems unusually tired or less interested in activities they usually enjoy, it could be due to constipation.
  • Showing Signs of Discomfort or Pain: This could include whimpering, pacing, or showing changes in behavior. If your Yorkie appears uncomfortable, especially around the abdominal area or when trying to defecate, they might be constipated.
  • Presence of Mucus or Blood in Stool: If you notice mucus or blood in your Yorkie’s poop, this could be a sign of a serious health issue and you should consult your vet immediately.

Remember, if your Yorkie is displaying any of these signs and symptoms, especially for more than a day or two, it’s important to seek veterinary care. It’s better to address constipation early, as it can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

8 Reasons Why Yorkies Get Constipated

There are several possible reasons why your Yorkie might be having trouble with constipation.

Identifying which of the causes is behind your Yorkie’s constipation will involve thinking about recent events, changes in your Yorkie’s routine, diet, general health, or exercise levels.

➡️ Dietary Issues:

One of the most common reasons for constipation in Yorkies is dietary issues.

A diet lacking in fiber or hydration can often lead to constipation.

Similarly, if your Yorkie has consumed something that’s hard for them to digest – like human food, trash, or even a non-food item – it could lead to constipation.

➡️ Lack of Exercise:

Just like in humans, a lack of physical activity can slow down a Yorkie’s digestive system and lead to constipation.

Regular exercise helps stimulate the natural contraction of intestinal muscles, aiding digestion.

➡️ Age:

As dogs age, they can become more prone to constipation.

Their metabolism slows down, and their bodies become less efficient at processing food and eliminating waste.

➡️ Anal Sac Issues:

Dogs have small glands located on either side of their rectum called anal sacs.

These sacs secrete a fluid that helps lubricate the passage of stool.

However, if these sacs become infected, impacted, or inflamed, it can lead to discomfort and difficulty passing stool.

Additional info Petmd

➡️ Obstructions:

Sometimes, foreign objects can be ingested and cause a blockage in your Yorkie’s digestive tract.

This could be a toy, a piece of clothing, bones, or even clumps of hair from excessive grooming.

These obstructions can lead to constipation and may require veterinary intervention.

➡️ Stress and Anxiety:

Yes, even emotional factors like stress and anxiety can lead to constipation in Yorkies.

Changes in their environment, such as moving to a new house, adding a new pet or family member, or changes in their routine can lead to stress-induced constipation.

➡️ Dehydration:

While mentioned briefly before, it’s worth repeating that dehydration is a significant cause of constipation in dogs.

If your Yorkie isn’t drinking enough water, their body may pull moisture from their stool, making it harder and more difficult to pass. This could be the case if you’re experiencing a hot summer.

➡️ Health Conditions or medication:

Various health conditions can also cause constipation in Yorkies.

These include neurological disorders, metabolic diseases, prostate disease, or even certain types of injuries.

If your Yorkie is frequently constipated, it might be a symptom of a more serious underlying health condition.

Certain medications can cause constipation in dogs. If your Yorkie has recently started a new medication, this could be the culprit.

Knowing The Cause For Your Yorkie

As explained above, it can be difficult identifying which of the above will be the cause for your Yorkie.

All cases of constipation are different.

The only way you’ll know is to consider the recent events that have happened, dietary changes, routine changes, health changes…

Anything that has been different from when your Yorkie wasn’t constipated is a potential clue.

What To Try at Home

If your Yorkie is constipated, there are several things you can try at home before reaching out to the vet.

➡️ Hydration:
Ensure that your Yorkie has plenty of water. Proper hydration can often help soften stools and alleviate constipation. If your Yorkie is resistant to drinking more water, you can try adding some low-sodium chicken broth to make it more appealing. You could also incorporate wet dog food to their diet which is known to increase hydration.

➡️ Dietary Changes:
Increasing the amount of fiber in your Yorkie’s diet can help with constipation. This can be done by adding a spoonful of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) or a small amount of a fiber supplement to their food. However, any dietary changes should be introduced gradually to avoid upsetting your Yorkie’s stomach.

➡️ Exercise:
If your Yorkie isn’t getting much exercise, try to increase their physical activity. Regular walks, playtime, or even a game of fetch can get their digestive system moving.

➡️ Over-the-Counter Medications:
There are several over-the-counter medications and supplements available that can help alleviate constipation in dogs. However, it’s crucial to talk to your vet before introducing any new medications or supplements into your Yorkie’s routine.

Remember, these at-home remedies are suitable for mild cases of constipation. If your Yorkie’s constipation is severe or persistent, it’s time to consult with a vet.

Additional info Petmd

When To See a Vet

If your Yorkie’s constipation lasts for more than a couple of days, or if it’s accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite, or lethargy, it’s time to see a vet.

  • Lasts for more than a couple of days
  • Is accompanied by other symptoms
  • Is often dealing with bouts of constipation

These could be signs of a more serious underlying condition that needs to be addressed.

Similarly, if your Yorkie is frequently constipated, a visit to the vet is also in order. Frequent constipation can indicate an ongoing issue that might not be resolved with simple dietary changes or increased exercise.

How often is too often?

The easier way to answer this is that your Yorkie shouldn’t be constipated as a regular occurrence. Once a year would indicate a one-off bout, but if your Yorkie is constipated every month, this could indicate an issue.

A vet can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for your Yorkie’s constipation, ensuring that they’re comfortable and healthy.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health and well-being of your furry friend.


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.