The Yorkshire Terrier is a pint-sized powerhouse of personality and requires nutrition to match.
- 1 How to choose the best dog food for Yorkies
- 1.1 Our top pick for best adult dog food for yorkshire terriers:
- 1.2 Our second pick for best adult dog food for Yorkshire terriers:
- 1.3 Our third pick for best adult dog food for Yorkshire terriers:
- 1.4 Our top pick for best senior dog food for Yorkshire terriers:
- 1.5 Our top pick for best puppy dog food for Yorkshire terriers:
- 1.6 A discerning palate: Food flavors Yorkshire terriers prefer
- 1.8 Feeding your Yorkshire Terrier: FAQs
- 1.9 Common health issues in Yorkshire terriers
- 1.10 Small dogs, small meals: How much to feed your Yorkie?
- 1.11 Never underestimate a Yorkie
How to choose the best dog food for Yorkies
A Yorkie’s food should be specifically formulated for toy or small breeds and made of wholesome, recognizable ingredients. With meat as the primary protein. Avoid artificial colors, flavors, and chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin. Kibble size matters if your Yorkie is missing teeth, or inhales their food. For the tiniest dry food options, purchase food labeled specifically for toy breeds. For dogs with a slightly larger bite, small-breed formulas are best.
Look for a food with a label that says the food meets the AAFCO nutrient profile for your Yorkie’s life stage, and that, ideally, has been researched through feeding trials.
If your Yorkie has a medical condition, ask your veterinarian for diet recommendations.
We have reviewed many premium dog foods and compiled a guide to the best dog food for Yorkies. But remember that no single food is perfect, and each dog is unique. No matter what the label says, the best dog food may not agree with your Yorkie. Listen to your dog and feed them what works best!
Our top pick for best adult dog food for yorkshire terriers:
Royal Canin has the time-tested research to back their tailored dog nutrition, and the result is an incredibly enticing wet and dry dog food rich with high-quality protein sources and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
While popular opinion may deter you from a label without meat as the first listed ingredient. You should know that dry dog food labels are measured on a weight basis. Meat is mostly water, and when the water is removed, the true amount of meat in your dog’s food ranks lower.
Royal Canin has customized this adult dry dog food specific to the Yorkshire terrier’s needs, with fatty acids and biotin for joint, skin, and coat health. EPA and DHA are added to minimize the negative effects of aging in this long-lived breed.
WHAT WE LIKE: The kibble’s shape, smell, and flavor have been custom-designed to please the pickiest eaters and the tiniest jaws. This dog food also comes in wet food preparation.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: Royal Canin regularly experiences shortages due to stringent quality control of dog food ingredients and popularity, so stocking up is necessary. Also, this food is rather pricey.
Our second pick for best adult dog food for Yorkshire terriers:
Wellness is a complete and balanced natural food with turkey, boneless chicken, and salmon in the top ingredients. This provides your Yorkie with an adequate amount of high-quality protein essential for the maintenance and repair of every cell, tissue, and organ.
It also contains no artificial or GMO ingredients and is naturally preserved. Added omega-3 fatty acids support the Yorkie’s joint, skin, and coat health, and powerful antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, and vitamins feed a healthy immune system.
WHAT WE LIKE: The tiny bites are perfect for a Yorkie’s small mouth but large enough to encourage chewing.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: This meat- and produce-heavy formula has reportedly caused gas and intestinal upset in some small-breed dogs.
Our third pick for best adult dog food for Yorkshire terriers:
This Hill’s product is the best dog food for Yorkies with a sensitive stomach. Quality nutrition gives your little guy optimal digestive health without skimping on real meat protein, immune system-boosting natural antioxidants, and multiple fatty acid sources.
Hill’s pays careful attention to pet gut health, and this food is packed with specialized prebiotics and fiber to enhance your Yorkie’s sensitive system, and to allow digestion and absorption of this nutrient-dense food.
WHAT WE LIKE: A reduced fat content makes this food easier on the Yorkie’s gastrointestinal system than other brands.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: This dog food contains chicken, and is therefore inappropriate for Yorkies sensitive to this protein.
Our top pick for best senior dog food for Yorkshire terriers:
Yorkies have incredible longevity, so keep them strong and healthy with a senior food that contains glucosamine and chondroitin for their joints. Blue Buffalo’s high-quality protein source, deboned chicken, maintains your Yorkshire terrier’s healthy body function and lean muscle mass throughout the aging process.
Wholesome whole grains provide steady, usable energy, to keep the pep in your elderly Yorkie’s step, while natural antioxidants from Blue Buffalo’s trademark Life Source Bits give the immune system a powerful defense.
WHAT WE LIKE: Blue Buffalo adds calcium and phosphorus to support bone and dental health, which is great for Yorkies with orthopedic or dental disease.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: Dogs commonly refuse to eat the tiny, dark pieces that contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Our top pick for best puppy dog food for Yorkshire terriers:
Puppies need immune system support and easily digestible food to sustain appropriate growth, and we found that in Royal Canin’s Yorkshire terrier puppy food.
This recipe contains a healthy ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrates for bone, muscle, and organ development, and an exclusive probiotic and antioxidant blend to encourage healthy digestion and immunity.
WHAT WE LIKE: Like the adult formula, custom pieces promote chewing for dental health and improved nutrient absorption.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: Yorkie puppies may not eat a lot, but this food comes with a hefty price tag.
A discerning palate: Food flavors Yorkshire terriers prefer
Yorkshire terriers may look like a toy, but these real dogs still prefer meat-based flavors. Yorkie favorites include:
Minimize the risk of creating a fussy eater by giving your Yorkie a timed meal. Offer food for 15 minutes, remove their bowl, and try again later. Leaving food out throughout the day or offering multiple foods at once encourages picky eating.
Feeding your Yorkshire Terrier: FAQs
Question: Grain-free food, or grain inclusive?
Answer: Dog food fads often follow human ones—hence the demand for grain-free dog foods. Although some dogs can be sensitive to grain sources, most canine allergies are related to protein, not grain. Whole grains, such as rice, oats, and corn are not merely “fillers,” but provide easily digestible and bioavailable sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber.
Grain-free and “boutique” pet diets with exotic ingredients are potentially linked to dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. Talk to your veterinarian and do your research before switching to a grain-free diet.
Question: Dry food versus wet food?
Answer: Owners often want to feed toy-breed dogs such as Yorkies canned or wet food formulas. A well-balanced wet food is perfectly healthy, but not required. Some facts about each food:
- Dry food is the best choice for most healthy Yorkies. Dry dog food promotes dental health, since chewing the kibble can help break down plaque and prevent tartar formation.
- Dog food that’s dry is often more economical, with a longer shelf life.
- Wet food is beneficial for ensuring your Yorkie is adequately hydrated.
- Wet food can be used as an appetite stimulant for reluctant eaters.
- Not all wet foods are formulated as complete and balanced diets. Some are simply flavorings or gravy that top dry food, with no nutritional value, so always read the label.
Question: Can I home cook for my Yorkie?
Answer: Home cooking can be successful but requires time, effort, and an extremely accurate balance of vitamins, minerals, and major nutrients. Speak to your veterinarian before attempting a home-cooked diet.
Question: Can my Yorkie with missing teeth still eat dry dog food?
Answer: Yes, contrary to popular belief! As long as your Yorkie has a healthy jaw—which can be determined by dental X-rays—they are fully capable of chowing down on dry food.
Question: What should I feed my Yorkie who has a medical condition?
Medical conditions require highly specific nutritional needs. Always consult your veterinarian for dietary guidance for all medical conditions.
Common health issues in Yorkshire terriers
These little angels are unfortunately susceptible to many medical conditions, and they should see the veterinarian not only when they seem unwell, but also twice a year for preventive examinations. The medical conditions include:
- Hypoglycemia (i.e., low blood sugar) — Yorkies need regular small meals to prevent this dangerous condition.
- Skin allergies — They will have a beautiful silky coat only if they have healthy skin.
- Dental disease — Tiny mouths can be big trouble.
- Luxating patellas — This problem (i.e., trick knee, or floating knee cap) is a hereditary orthopedic issue.
- Pancreatitis — Some Yorkies are prone to painful digestive problems triggered by inappropriate foods.
- Collapsing trachea — Yorkies may have trouble breathing, because of weakened airway cartilage.
- Liver shunt — This is a congenital impairment of blood flow to the liver.
- Obesity — Yorkies can be masterful beggars. If you cannot feel your Yorkie’s ribs, it’s time for a trip to the veterinarian for an exam and weight loss plan.
Small dogs, small meals: How much to feed your Yorkie?
The precise amount of food to feed your Yorkie is based on multiple factors, such as age, reproductive status, body size, energy level, health, and the food calorie content. Your veterinarian is the best resource for calculating the daily calories your Yorkie needs.
One thing is for certain—Yorkies should be fed their required calories over multiple small meals throughout the day. Regular feeding ensures stable blood sugar levels and prevents hypoglycemia (i.e., low blood sugar), which, untreated, can lead to tremors, collapse, seizures, and death.
Never underestimate a Yorkie
Anyone who knows and loves a Yorkie understands that their teddy bear good looks hide a terrier’s heart, and these endearing little dogs can be tenacious.
When you look at a small-breed or toy-breed dog food package, you may get the same impression—but, don’t be fooled by the cute packaging. Ensure you check the label, and shop carefully for nutrient-dense food that supports the total health of your mighty mini.