Yorkies are loyal and loving dog breed – with a little bit of care they turn out to be excellent companions. Being a dog parent not only includes owning one but to properly take care of them. Just imagine that little guy on your lap all cuddly, cute and happy. That’s enough to make your day!
Proper food and nutrition is an essential part of that care. So, if you’re wondering what’s the best dog food for Yorkies – you’ve come to the right place.
Feedfond is here with a complete buyer’s guide with a list of recommended products to ease your worries.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Recommended Best Dog Food for Yorkies
- #1. Merrick Grain Free – Best Dog Food for Yorkie Puppy
- #2. Natural Balance Original Ultra – Best Dog Food for Adult Yorkies
- #3. Canidae All Life Stages – Best Dog Food for Senior Yorkies
- #4. Hill’s Science Diet – Best Dog Food for Miniature/Toy/Teacup Yorkies
- #5. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley – Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
- #6. Wellness Simple Natural – Best Dog Food for Skin Allergies
- #7. Wellness Complete Health
- #8. Wellness Core Natural
- #9. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural
- #10. Royal Canin Breed Yorkshire Terrier – Best Dog Food for Yorkies
- Nutritional Requirements for Yorkies
- How Much Should You Feed Your Yorkie Daily?
- Common Health Problems for Yorkies
- Best Dog Food Ingredients for Yorkies
- Best Dog Food for Yorkies – Buying Guide
- Dog Food Glossary
Recommended Best Dog Food for Yorkies
It’s easy to get lost with the thousands of options presented when looking for the best food your little pup. Scouring the supermarket shelves and browsing the internet to find the best dog food for Yorkies can be time-consuming and confusing. The food that you see down below have been tried and tested for you by experts, vets, and countless dog owners.
Hopefully, this will help you make an informed decision on getting the best dog food for Yorkies.
#1. Merrick Grain Free – Best Dog Food for Yorkie Puppy
Merrick Grain Free is an excellent choice for Yorkies. It’s specially prepared puppy formula has all the nutrients your puppy needs for healthy growth. It’s loaded with DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid, a natural Omega-3 fatty acid) that promotes healthy brain development. The recipe uses premium quality organic ingredients sourced from local farmers.
The main ingredients include deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. The recipe ensures that 55% of its protein comes from poultry or fish. The leftover 45% contains additional carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals from fresh vegetables and produce.
What We Love About It:
Merrick’s kibble size is small and easy to chew – perfect for Yorkies. Their products also come in various package sizes which is really handy!
#2. Natural Balance Original Ultra – Best Dog Food for Adult Yorkies
Natural Balance is a relatively inexpensive formula designed for small breed dogs. It’s one of the best dog food for Yorkies, especially for adult dogs. It contains essential fats like Omega-3 and Omega-6 which promotes a healthy coat as well as taurine for healthy eyes and heart.
The main ingredient of Natural Balance Original is chicken and chicken meal which is loved by dogs. It also contains peas, potatoes, and brown rice so that it’s not only healthy and nutritious but also easy on your Yorkie’s small stomach.
What We Love About It:
The recipe contains high-quality carbohydrates, proteins enriched with phosphorus, and calcium that ensures ideal weight management in small dogs. It also helps keep their bones and teeth healthy.
#3. Canidae All Life Stages – Best Dog Food for Senior Yorkies
Senior dogs need extra-special care and Canidae All Life is designed to do just that. The formula contains less protein and fats than other adult dog foods. This is because senior dogs are prone to becoming overweight and have slower metabolisms. The recipe also adds various antibiotics and probiotics to ensure a healthy immune system.
The main ingredients in the formula contain chicken meal, brown rice, rice bran, white rice, and peas. Their strict recipe avoids any wheat, soy or corn which can be difficult for senior dogs to digest. The small, easy to chew kibbles are an added bonus.
What We Love About It:
Canidae All Life comes in various flavors so you can be sure that your dog will never be bored of the same food.
#4. Hill’s Science Diet – Best Dog Food for Miniature/Toy/Teacup Yorkies
Hill Science prides itself on providing a complete and balanced diet for your Yorkies. Their formula contains ample amounts of antioxidants, as well as vitamins C and E which promotes a healthy immune system in your dog. The kibble size is small and doesn’t contain any sort of flavoring, preservatives or coloring.
The recipe uses high-quality chicken and chicken meal as the main ingredients. It also uses whole grains, rice, carrots, spinach and other supplements which makes it a well-rounded meal for your Yorkie. The dog food is made in the USA and maintains very high manufacturing standards.
What We Love About It:
Hill Science diet is very popular amongst veterinarians and comes highly recommended. The brand also provides several options in selecting kibble size, flavors, ages, and package sizes.
#5. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley – Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
Yorkies are prone to stomach sensitivity. That means some foods may not always agree with them. At times like these, Taste of the Wild can be an excellent alternative as it’s formulated with highly digestible proteins. It also includes probiotics and prebiotic fibers designed to keep Yorkie stomachs healthy.
With venison and lamb as the main ingredients, Appalachian Valley includes egg, duck and ocean fish in their recipe. Besides making the food really tasty, it also makes it safe for dogs who have sensitive stomachs.
What We Love About It:
The smell of the food is meaty and very appealing to dogs.
#6. Wellness Simple Natural – Best Dog Food for Skin Allergies
Wellness is an excellent dog food brand and makes each of their products with a purpose. The Simple Natural has a basic recipe with a single source of protein, excellent for dogs with skin allergies. It also contains easily digestible carbohydrates and fats with no added dyes or flavors.
Wellness uses a simple salmon and potato formula with fresh fruits and vegetables. It includes flaxseed, chicory root, and vitamin supplements that are great for dry skin, itchy paws and a sensitive stomach. It doesn’t contain any soy, dairy, wheat/gluten or meat byproducts.
What We Love About It:
The simple formula is completely balanced and provides a well-rounded diet for the dog.
Wellness Complete Health is specially designed for small breeds like Yorkies. It’s not only loaded with nutrition but also Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, prebiotics, and probiotics. Wellness prides itself in providing a balanced meal for dogs and the Complete formula doesn’t disappoint.
With turkey as the main source of protein, the formula also contains brown rice and barley as quality carbohydrates. The food is tasty and the kibble is small and easy for Yorkies to chew. A healthy amount of fiber also helps with good digestion.
What We Love About It:
The complete recipe not only gives essential nutrients but also helps to keep your Yorkie’s weight under control.
Wellness Core is a premium quality dog food that’s loved by countless pets and pet owners alike. The formula includes chondroitin, glucosamine, vitamins, and minerals that promote healthy joints. It’s easy on the stomach as it contains live prebiotics and probiotics as well.
Designed for small breeds, Wellness Core uses deboned turkey, turkey meal and chicken meal as the main sources of protein. It also contains potatoes, tomato, pomace, and ground flaxseed. As it supplements the high-energy needs of this small breed, it’s one of the best dog food options for Yorkies.
What We Love About It:
The taste is great and owners can rest assured that the dog food contains the good fats and calories a Yorkshire Terrier needs.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness is packed with high-quality proteins and fats that are great for your Yorkie. Sourced from all-natural ingredients, the formula contains calcium, glucosamine, and phosphorus in the mix for healthy joint and bone growth.
Deboned chicken, chicken meal and fish meal act as the primary sources of protein for the Wilderness recipe. For healthy carbohydrates, peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are added. In addition, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables like berries and carrots are added to balance out the meal.
What We Love About It:
Blue Buffalo uses a LifeSource Bits Technology that ensures that your dog gets the optimal nutrition they deserve.
#10. Royal Canin Breed Yorkshire Terrier – Best Dog Food for Yorkies
Royal Canin makes their products a little differently. They focus on specific dog breeds rather than sizes. That’s why we had to include Yorkshire Terrier special in our list. It’s a fantastic formula that will tend to every nutritional need an adult Yorkie may have. It’s undoubtedly one of the best dog food options for Yorkies available on the market.
The main ingredients used in the recipe are chicken, chicken meal, brewers rice, and brown rice. These provide a complete and balanced diet for your Yorkie that helps with healthy growth. Various vitamins, minerals, and supplements are also added to the mix.
What We Love About It:
Not only does this food help with fussy eaters, but it’s also good for senior Yorkies. The kibbles are also tailor-made for Yorkies and can be fed to all pups over 10 months old.
Nutritional Requirements for Yorkies
Ideally, the best dog food for Yorkies are made from natural ingredients with all the necessary vitamins and minerals essential for healthy growth. Any fillers and byproducts should be avoided.
Yorkies have different nutritional needs from other dog breeds. They are small with small stomachs which means their feeding schedule is a bit more complicated. Unlike medium or large dog breeds, you need to ensure the food they are getting is suitable for their body and health.
We will be discussing the nutritional requirements Yorkies need at the critical early stages of life. Remember, the numbers given here are an estimated value and may vary from one dog to another.
Weaning Stages – 3 months
During the early stages of weaning your puppy off breastmilk, your dog will need additional food as well as milk. At this stage, it’s important to offer food throughout the day. This needs to be done to make the dog gain weight so they can handle a more structured diet. It’ll also help your dog adjust to proper food.
3 Months – 1 Year
When your dog is more adjusted to the food, you’ll need to create a proper feeding schedule for your puppy – which means no more constant feeding. The feeding schedule will provide a measure of control over your dog and enable you to introduce potty and socialization training. Feeding your dog three times a day should be more than enough. Always make sure you feed them a few hours before bedtime.
1 Year and Above
At 12 months old, Yorkies are considered adults. You should do a few more adjustments to their feeding schedule. It’s best to feed your Yorkie one big meal and one small meal each day. Remember to give them a large portion during breakfast and as the day goes by, reduce the quantity of the food.
In general, the daily intake should be average around 200 calories for Yorkshire puppies, 150 for adults and 120 for senior dogs.
Important Read: Complete Puppy Development & Care Guide With Puppy Growth Chart
How Much Should You Feed Your Yorkie Daily?
This is an age-old question that many pet owners ask. However, you must understand that there is no right answer to this. Every dog will have different dietary needs, according to their age, breed, health, and size. Even puppies from the same litter can have different nutritional requirements.
Puppies need more calories growing up, even more than an adult or an elderly Yorkie. Their calorie needs even out when they reach adulthood. However, active adult dogs need more energy and therefore may require a little more than most.
The calorie intake for a Yorkie puppy should be, on average, between 45 and 55 calories/pound. Meanwhile, adults need fewer calories per pound.
Bear in mind that not all foods have the same nutritional levels. Pay attention to the ingredients and adjust the servings or you could risk over or underfeeding your dog.
A combination diet is when your dog is fed both store-bought food mixed with homemade foods. Some owners also combine wet and dry food to make it more appealing. Feeding your dog a combination diet is perfectly fine if, and only if. you know that the nutrient and calorie balance is right. You might have to do a little research before you attempt this.
Important Read: Best Dog Food: Complete Guide to What is Right for Your Dog
Common Health Problems for Yorkies
Just like large dogs, small dogs like Yorkshire Terriers also have their own breed-specific health problems. Generally, they live long and healthy lives, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore any conditions they might be predisposed to.
Knowing certain health problems will help you understand and take care of your dog better. Yorkies are prone to the following health conditions:
A collapsing trachea is a common health problem seen in Yorkies. As the name suggests, the cartilage rings in the trachea collapses and makes it hard for the dog to breathe. Incomplete formation of the trachea is the most likely reason for this disease, however, experts say that it’s a congenital abnormality.
Symptoms of collapsing trachea include shortness of breath, barking cough and blue colored gums. Dog food containing MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), chondroitin, and glucosamine can help develop the cartilage cells and lower the risk of a collapsing trachea.
Yorkies are also known to have very sensitive teeth and suffer from tooth decay due to the tartar and plaque build-up. The decay can easily lead to gum infections and in turn, makes your pet vulnerable to many other diseases including developing a heart condition.
The best way to combat any dental issues is to take care of your Yorkie’s teeth and use a decent dog-friendly toothpaste. You should also give them plenty of dry, small-sized kibbles to relieve pressure as they chew.
As Yorkies are a small breed, they have small stomachs. Unfortunately, this can lead to sensitive and upset stomachs. As a responsible pet owner, you have to carefully regulate the amount of food you feed your dog.
Common symptoms of an upset stomach include diarrhea and vomiting. However, with a proper diet, this condition can be carefully controlled.
In layman terms, Hypothyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid gland. The thyroid is the source of producing a hormone called ’thyroxine’ which is responsible for maintaining a good metabolism. An underactive thyroid can create an imbalance which can lead to weight problems in Yorkies.
If you’re a diabetic, then the term hypoglycemia shouldn’t come as a surprise. In both dogs and humans, it refers to low glucose/sugar levels in the blood. This makes the dog lethargic and dizzy.
The easiest way to manage hypoglycemia is to provide frequent meals to your Yorkie to keep up their sugar levels and prevent unexpected energy crashes.
Luxating Patellas occurs when a dog’s knee becomes misaligned. The ‘patella’ or kneecap that lies within the groove of the femur moves out of alignment, resulting in irregular movement, limping, and lameness in the legs. It’s a condition quite common in small breed dogs like Yorkshire Terriers.
The primary reason for this condition can be chalked up to genetics. Dogs often need surgery to correct the condition. After surgery, a healthy amount of protein in their diet is required to repair the tissues surrounding the affected area.
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD)
LCDP occurs when the blood supply in the rear legs is reduced, causing the bones to deteriorate over time. This is a serious condition and can even occur in six-month-old puppies. Common symptoms include a bad limp and irregular hind leg movement.
Contact your vet as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms in your dog.
Important Read: Understanding Allergies In Dogs: Types, Causes & Treatments
Best Dog Food Ingredients for Yorkies
The best dog food for Yorkies should contain the best ingredients. These ingredients have a profound impact on the dog’s overall health and depending on the quality, it can make them healthy or ill. You should always have an idea of what are you feeding your dog and why certain ingredients are good for them.
Here are a few must-have ingredients you should look for in the food you’re giving your Yorkie:
Tip: Did you know that ingredients on the dog food labels are listed by weight? That means the largest weighted ingredients are mentioned first. Based on your priority, it can make your selection process much easier.
As an energetic breed, Yorkies need plenty of high-quality protein to sustain an active lifestyle. It also helps them build and maintain good muscles and tissues. Proteins are also an excellent source of energy.
So, whenever you are selecting dog food, pay attention to the source of protein. Chicken, lamb, fish, beef, and turkey are the most commonly used ingredients. As one of the most important ingredients, the best dog food for Yorkies should have 28% – 34% protein content.
On the label, you’ll find terms like “real meat” and “real lamb” which can be confusing to buyers. The latter is the better choice which means the protein comes from an actual animal. Good protein can be found in the muscles of the animals and those should always be your first pick.
Not all fats are bad. Healthy fats will not only give your Yorkie a long and shiny coat, but they will also promote brain and eye development. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are great examples of healthy fats. Fish oil, flaxseed, and various oils are also great.
If you get confused, remember to look for the five essential fatty acids (EFAs) for dogs. These are all polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) that the dog cannot produce in their body and must be included in their diet.
They are – Linoleic Acid (LA), Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA), Arachidonic Acid (AA), Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). Ideally, the best dog food for Yorkies should have a minimum of 12% to 18% fat in their diet.
Carbohydrates are the type of food that burns slowly. For dogs, only high-quality carbs must be selected so that they don’t cause any stomach problems. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products are excellent examples of healthy carbs.
Remember, there are several types of carbs and some can cause harm to dogs. You should always avoid soy and corn-based carbohydrates and only the cheapest dog foods contain them. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, then look out for sweet potatoes and brown rice as they’re healthier carbs.
There is a controversy amongst pet owners about whether nutrients taken from animal byproducts are good for dogs. It’s best to avoid them if you are confused. However, using the bones, blood, and internal organs are perfectly safe to use if they are processed correctly.
Best Dog Food for Yorkies – Buying Guide
Before you decide on buying the best dog food for Yorkies, there are a few things to consider. Remember that Yorkies are a type of breed that needs careful care when it comes to nutrition. As a responsible pet parent, you should ensure that your dog gets the very best possible food to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Age of your Yorkie
As stated before, nutrition levels vary from puppies to adults and elderly dogs. A puppy will need a higher protein diet than that of a senior dog. The amount also varies in terms of fats and carbohydrate levels. Unless there is a specific health problem, you should always select an age-appropriate food for your dog.
Energy Levels of your Yorkie
Although Yorkshire Terriers are an energetic breed, not all Yorkies are the same. If your dog is very active they will need calorie-rich dog food to sustain their active lifestyle. A vet can calculate the baseline amount of calories required for your dog. On the other hand, if your dog is less active, their diet should contain fewer calories.
Health Conditions of your Yorkie
As you know, Yorkies are susceptible to certain health conditions such as sensitive stomachs, hypoglycemia, etc. These health conditions will also affect their dietary and nutritional needs. Always be careful when you select foods for lactating and pregnant dogs.
Dog Food Flavor
Different dog food brands have different flavors and it might be difficult to choose what’s right for your dog. Don’t be discouraged if you have to try out a few different flavors and brands to find the perfect fit. However, don’t sacrifice the quality of the nutrients in favor of the flavor. Bear in mind that the use of artificial flavors and colorings are bad for dogs and should be avoided.
Wet and Dry Dog Food
When buying the best dog food for your Yorkies, you’ll have to choose between wet and dry dog food. In general, dry dog food is the most preferred kind. However, both types have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Wet dog food is more appealing to dogs as it has more flavor and smell. However, it contains very little goodness and you’ll need to feed more of it for a balanced meal. This will be more expensive. What’s more, wet dog food is more likely to contain animal byproducts.
On the other hand, dry dog food is easy to measure and you’ll get more for your money. It’s easy to buy in bulk and it lasts a long time. Most importantly, it’s more nutritious than wet dog food and the kibbles are good for your dog’s teeth.
Additional Read: How Much Should I Feed My Dog?- Puppy to Senior Feeding Guides
Dog Food Glossary
There are many so many unclear and scientific terms on dog food labels that can be hard to understand for the average pet owner. We hope that this glossary will clear up any confusion so you can select the best dog food for Yorkies.
The term “open formula” means that the dog food will not have any specific ingredients listed in the label. It might tell you that protein is used, but not the type of protein.
It’s the safest choice of formula when purchasing the best dog food for Yorkies. A “fixed formula” will state each and every individual ingredient used in the food. You will know exactly what you are buying.
A “complete” dog food includes all the essential ingredients a dog needs. It will contain balanced portions of protein, carbs, fat, supplements, water, vitamins and minerals.
A “mixer” is a filler food. It is not balanced and sometimes even excludes essential ingredients. It’s mostly made up of cereals that make up the bulk of any dog food. Mixers are mixed with high-quality dog food and made into a balanced meal. It’s a great way to lower dog food costs if you know how to mix them properly.
The term “animal derivatives” is included on the label but sometimes they don’t specify the type of animal it came from. It also means that it can contain animal byproducts in the recipe.
Important Read: Dog Vaccination Guide: The Right Vaccination & Schedule
The first rule of being a dog parent is to be patient and careful. You are now responsible for not one life but two. So, make the smart decision, because the time you spend with your dog is precious. Yorkies, if properly cared for with proper food, nutrition, exercise can live up to 16 years.
Make them memorable by providing the best dog food for Yorkies and other required necessities. In exchange for all the love and loyalty, this is the least we can do.
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