6 Best Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkies) Dog Foods: Top Puppy & Senior Brands

Our Picks for the Best Yorkie Dog Food

Easily one of the smallest dog breeds around, the Yorkshire Terrier is also one of the most beautiful. Known for his long, silky coat and his spunky personality, these dogs are quite entertaining.

The Yorkshire Terrier is a toy breed that stands 8 to 9 inches tall and weighs between 4 and 7 pounds. Though these dogs may be small, they pack a lot of personality into their tiny bodies and they absolutely love to play. This breed makes a great family pet because they get along with cats and they can hold their own with larger dogs. Just be careful around children because they are quite fragile due to their small size.

Unfortunately, the Yorkshire Terrier is a breed prone to many health problems – it is the curse of small breed dogs. In order to ensure that your dog lives a long and healthy life, feed him a wholesome diet made from high-quality ingredients. You should be buying your dog the best dog food you can consistently afford.

Keep reading to learn more about your Yorkshire Terrier’s dietary requirements and to see our top 15 picks for the best dog food for Yorkshire Terriers.

Understanding a Yorkshire Terrier’s Diet Requirements

The basic dietary requirements of all dogs are the same. Protein is the most important nutrient because it helps your Yorkshire Terrier puppy grow strong muscles and helps him maintain lean muscle mass as an adult. Fat provides a concentrated source of energy which is particularly important for small breeds. Both of these nutrients are best from animal sources because your dog’s body can better digest animal products than plant products.

Your Yorkshire Terrier doesn’t have specific needs for carbohydrates in his diet, but they can provide energy, fiber, and essential nutrients. The key is to make sure that they are highly digestible, so they won’t upset your dog’s stomach. Some Yorkshire Terriers can digest whole grains while others do better on a grain-free diet. You should also look for beneficial supplements like chelated minerals, prebiotic fibers, probiotics, and joint-supporting nutrients.

  • Puppy Yorkshire Terriers Diet – As a puppy, your Yorkshire Terrier needs a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat. More fat is better for puppies of this breed because they need a calorie-dense diet to fuel their growth and development. They also need to eat frequently to prevent hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
  • Adult Yorkshire Terriers Diet – When your Yorkshire Terrier becomes an adult, you can switch to a small-breed adult recipe that provides at least 18% protein and 5% fat. A better range, however, would be 25% to 30% protein and 15% to 20% fat.
  • Senior Yorkshire Terriers Diet – As your Yorkshire Terrier gets older, his metabolism may slow down, and he may be less active. This being the case, you might consider feeding him a little less or switching to a senior dog food recipe to prevent obesity and to provide extra joint-supporting nutrients.

In addition to making sure that your Yorkshire Terrier’s nutritional needs are met, you also need to make sure that his diet stays fairly stable. This breed is prone to sensitive digestion, so changing his diet could lead to several gastrointestinal upset.

Yorkie Diet Requirements

Special Dietary Considerations for Yorkies

The Yorkshire Terrier is a toy breed with a long lifespan of 12 to 16 years. Though these dogs are normally fairly healthy, they are prone to a number of health problems which can impact their lifespan.

Here is a quick list of the health problems to which the Yorkshire Terrier may be prone:

  • Bronchitis
  • Cataracts
  • Collapsed Trachea
  • Dental Problems
  • Distichiasis
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Syndrome
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Portosystemic Shunt
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Let’s take a closer look at some of these health problems.

Many of the Yorkshire Terrier’s problems are related to his small size. For example, the Yorkshire Terrier is highly prone to dental problems due to his very small mouth. Hypoglycemia is another health problem related to the dog’s size. This is particularly common in puppies but can persist into adulthood as well. Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar and it can be very dangerous – making sure your dog eats frequently is the best way to prevent it from becoming a problem.

These dogs are also prone to a number of musculoskeletal problems such as Legg-Calve-Perthes Syndrome and patellar luxation. Legg-Calve-Perthes Syndrome is a condition in which blood supply to the femoral head becomes reduced, resulting in degradation of the bone. Patellar luxation is a condition in which the kneecap slides in and out of place. Both of these can be treated if they are severe enough and making sure your Yorkshire Terrier gets plenty of joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin in his diet may help with management of the condition.

The Yorkshire Terrier also seems to have a propensity for eye problems such as cataracts, distichiasis, and progressive retinal atrophy. Progressive retinal atrophy involves the slow deterioration of the retina and a progressive loss of vision. A cataract is an opacity in the lens of the eye that causes partial or complete obstruction of vision. It isn’t dangerous or painful, but it may require treatment if it luxates. Distichiasis is a condition in which eyelashes grow abnormally, irritating the eye.

In addition to these health conditions, the Yorkshire Terrier also tends to have a sensitive digestive system. This may predispose him to food allergies and sensitivities and it means that keeping his diet consistent is very important. Make sure your Yorkshire Terrier’s diet is comprised of high-quality natural ingredients and formulated for digestibility.

yorkshire terrier feeding

Yorkie Feeding Chart

When it comes to feeding your Yorkshire Terrier, there are several things to think about – the amount of food, the frequency of feeding, and the type of food. First and foremost, know that small breeds have fast metabolisms – your Yorkshire Terrier may need as many as 40 calories per pound of bodyweight daily to sustain his fast metabolism. His fast metabolism combined with his risk for hypoglycemia also means that he needs several small meals throughout the day – three or four should do.

As your Yorkshire Terrier gets older, you may need to adjust his diet. You might need to make his meals a little smaller or switch to a senior diet to prevent obesity. Throughout his life, make sure you are feeding your dog a toy- or small-breed recipe. These are formulated with high protein to maintain lean muscle mass and higher levels of fat to provide for the dog’s high energy requirements. Just follow the feeding recommendations according to your dog’s age and weight to see how much to feed him.

The Best Dog Food for Yorkies: Our Top 15 Picks in 2019

Now that you have a better understanding of your Yorkshire Terrier’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for dog food! Remember, the best Yorkshire Terrier food will be made of wholesome natural ingredients including premium animal proteins, high levels of fat for energy, digestible carbohydrates, and no artificial additives. Here are our top 15 picks:

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Toy Breed Chicken Recipe

Overall Best Food for Yorkshire Terriers: If you want to feed your Yorkshire Terrier the best of the best, try this Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Toy Breed Chicken Recipe. This recipe features high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces, so your dog still gets the dental benefits of dry food with the nutritional benefits of raw food. This recipe is all-natural, made with high-quality ingredients like cage-free chicken, turkey meal, chicken fat, peas, and chickpeas. It contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support as well as dried fermentation products for healthy digestion.

  • Pros: High-quality natural ingredients, premium animal proteins and fats, 37% protein and 16% fat, high-protein kibble and freeze-dried raw bites, probiotics, chelated minerals
  • Cons: Could be higher in fat content, expensive to feed as a staple diet

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe

Most Affordable Food: If you’re looking for an affordable recipe for your Yorkshire Terrier that still offers decent nutritional quality, try this Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe. Naturally grain-free and formulated for small breeds, this recipe features high-quality proteins and other natural ingredients to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. It is fortified with vitamins and minerals for nutritional balance and completely free from corn, wheat, soy, by-products, and artificial additives. All in all, it provides 26% protein and 13% fat. It could be a little higher in both, but it will meet your dog’s basic requirements.

  • Pros: Ideal balance of protein and fat for small breeds, protein-rich main ingredient, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, chelated minerals, probiotics for digestion
  • Cons: Some dogs have trouble with chicken or potato ingredients, could be higher in fat

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe

Most Popular Food: When you’re not sure what to feed your Yorkshire Terrier, going with the same choice that other dog owners make is an option. This Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe is one of the most popular recipes for small breeds on the market and for good reason. It is loaded with premium animal proteins like venison and lamb with an ideal balance of omega fatty acids and antioxidants for immune support. This recipe is made from all-natural ingredients that are sustainably sourced and it is free from artificial additives. All in all, this nutrient-rich recipe provides 32% protein and 18% fat which is more than enough for your Yorkshire Terrier.

  • Pros: Naturally grain-free, several sources of premium animal proteins, rich in essential fatty acids, fresh fruits and vegetables, digestible carbohydrates, probiotics and chelated minerals
  • Cons: May be too high in fat for some dogs, contains some plant protein (pea protein)

Stella & Chewy’s Lil’ SuperBlends Small Breed Chicken Recipe

Super Premium Food: If you’re not worried about sticking to a particular budget, this Stella & Chewy’s Lil’ SuperBlends Small Breed Chicken Recipe is a great option for your Yorkshire Terrier. This recipe is freeze-dried rather than cooked to retain more of the original nutritional integrity of the raw ingredients. It features cage-free chicken as the main ingredient with fresh fruits and vegetables for essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It contains no grains, glutens, or fillers and is completely free from artificial additives. You can choose whether to rehydrate it before feeding or keep it dry for the dental benefits.

  • Pros: Freeze-dried not cooked, all-natural ingredients, cage-free chicken, fresh fruits and vegetables, contains 45% protein and 28% fat, formulated for small breeds
  • Cons: Very expensive as a staple diet, some dogs don’t like the texture

Solid Gold Mighty Mini Chicken, Chickpeas & Pumpkin Toy & Small Breed Recipe  

Best Food for Yorkshire Terriers with Allergies: If your Yorkshire Terrier suffers from food allergies, you need a high-quality recipe free from common allergens that is easy to digest. This Solid Gold Mighty Mini Chicken, Chickpeas & Pumpkin Toy & Small Breed Recipe is a great option and, as a bonus, it is formulated specifically for toy breeds. This recipe is holistic by design, so you can rest easy knowing that it is made with the highest quality ingredients with no grains or glutens. It features fresh chicken and chicken meal as the main ingredients with digestible grain-free carbohydrates like chickpeas and peas. All in all, it provides 30% protein and 20% fat.

  • Pros: Holistic recipe with natural ingredients, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, formulated for toy breeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, probiotics, 30% protein and 20% fat
  • Cons: Contains some plant protein (pea protein)

Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free Small-Breed Salmon & Potato Recipe

Best Food for Yorkshire Terriers with Sensitive Stomachs: If your Yorkshire Terrier has a sensitive stomach, you need to feed him a limited number of ingredients and should consider a grain-free diet. This Wellness Simple LID Grain-Free Small-Breed Salmon & Potato Recipe hits the mark on both, plus it is made from all-natural ingredients. It features a low number of high-quality ingredients such as fresh salmon and salmon meal, green peas, and plenty of beneficial supplements. It is uniquely designed for small breeds and rich in fiber to ensure digestibility. Overall, it provides 29% protein and 14% fat.

  • Pros: Limited number of main ingredients, grain-free, easy to digest, rich in essential fatty acids, beneficial supplements, provides 29% protein and 14% fat
  • Cons: Could be higher in fat, main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

3 more Top Rated (5 Star) Yorkshire Terrier Adult Foods

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Toy Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

If your Yorkshire Terrier can tolerate grains, this Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Toy Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe is an affordable option. It features deboned chicken and chicken meal as the top two ingredients, so you know it is rich in protein. It also contains nutrient-rich chicken fat and menhaden fish meal for a balance of omega fatty acids. Plus, it comes in an adult and senior recipe, so you can keep your dog’s diet consistent through his life.

Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Adult Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meal Recipe

To nourish your dog’s body from the inside out, consider this Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Adult Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meal Recipe. This holistic recipe contains only the highest quality natural ingredients and is formulated to ensure healthy digestion and the optimal absorption of nutrients. It features premium animal proteins, healthy animal fats, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables which provide fiber and natural sources for key nutrients.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Toy Breed Adult Chicken Recipe

If you like the Blue Buffalo brand but your Yorkshire Terrier is prone to food allergies, try this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Toy Breed Adult Chicken Recipe. This recipe is grain-free and made with high-quality animal proteins and fats with digestible grain-free carbohydrates like peas and tapioca. It is also supplemented with a healthy blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for complete nutrition.

3 More Top Rated (5 Star) Yorkie Puppy Foods

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Recipe

If you’re in the market for a recipe uniquely formulated for toy breed puppies, this is it. This Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Turkey, Oatmeal & Salmon Recipe features deboned turkey, oatmeal, and salmon meal in a protein-rich recipe that is highly digestible for puppies. It features quality proteins, healthy fats, and whole-grain carbohydrates with plenty of beneficial supplements.

Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Recipe

When it comes to quality nutrition for puppies, it is hard to beat this Now Fresh Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Recipe. This recipe features 100% fresh turkey, salmon, and duck with plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is grain-free and highly digestible, plus it contains prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion. It also contains both DHA and EPA for healthy brain development.

Canidae Grain-Free PURE Petite Small Breed Puppy Salmon Recipe

If you’re worried about food allergies or sensitivities, why not start your puppy on a limited ingredient diet like this Canidae Grain-Free PURE Petite Small Breed Puppy Salmon Recipe. This formula features a low number of high-quality, natural ingredients in a freeze-dried kibble that is positively packed with healthy nutrients. It is also supplemented with HealthPLUS solutions, a trio of probiotics, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids for healthy digestion, immunity, and coat.

2 More Picks for Senior Yorkie Foods

Nutro Ultra Small Breed Senior Dry Food Recipe

If you’re looking for a simple recipe for your senior Yorkshire Terrier, this Nutro Ultra Small Breed Senior Dry Food Recipe is a good option. It features three lean sources of animal protein with plenty of healthy fats. It is supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints, plus the ideal balance of fiber for healthy digestion and nutrient absorption. All in all, it provides 27% protein and 13% fat.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Small-Breed Senior Recipe

For an easy to digest recipe for your senior Yorkshire Terrier, consider this Nutro Wholesome Essentials Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Small-Breed Senior Recipe. Formulated uniquely for small-breed seniors, this recipe is loaded with wholesome natural ingredients and supplemented with fiber, glucosamine, and chondroitin. Plus, it is uniquely shaped for dental health.

Our FAQ and Yorkie Feeding Guide

When it comes to feeding your Yorkshire Terrier, the quality of his diet is paramount, but you also need to think about keeping your dog food fresh. Once you open the bag, exposure to air will cause the food to start losing some of its nutritional value. Place the open bag in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place to keep it fresh. The inside of the bag is treated to help keep the food fresh which is why you shouldn’t just pour it into a new container.

You should also think about how you’re going to feed your Yorkshire Terrier and that means choosing the right dog bowl. Stainless steel and ceramic are two good options because they are durable, affordable, and easy to clean. Most importantly, however, they will not scratch – scratches can harbor dangerous bacteria that might make your dog sick. You should also clean the bowls regularly for your dog’s safety.

And now, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about feeding a Yorkshire Terrier:

How much food should I feed my Yorkshire Terrier? – Because the Yorkshire Terrier is so small, he will only eat about ½ to ¾ cups of food per day. Keep in mind, however, that the calorie content of every dog food is different so pay attention to the feeding recommendations on the package. You should also remember that these recommendations are for the whole day – you’ll need to divide the amount by your desired number of daily meals.

How many times a day should I feed my Yorkshire Terrier? – As a toy breed, the Yorkshire Terrier has a very fast metabolism which means that he needs a steady influx of energy throughout the day. You should also remember that these dogs are prone to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar which can be very dangerous. Feeding your dog at least three small meals a day should work for most dogs, though puppies may require four meals and dogs that suffer from low blood sugar may also need to eat more frequently.

What kind of food do Yorkshire Terriers eat? – The best type of food for Yorkshire Terriers is a high-quality dry food. Though wet food tends to be higher in protein and moisture, it can get stuck in your dog’s teeth and make his dental problems worse. Dry food, on the other hand, helps scrape plaque and tartar off his teeth. Look for a protein-rich dry food made with wholesome ingredients free from artificial additives.

What vegetables are good in a Yorkshire Terrier food? – Vegetables provide dietary fiber as well as natural sources for vitamins and minerals. As such, they are a valuable addition to any high-quality dog food. Here are some of the best vegetables for Yorkshire Terriers:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Zucchini

Even if the dog food you choose contains fresh vegetables, you might still want to consider supplementing his diet with veggies as a healthy snack. Just make sure they are safe for dogs to eat and that you clean them thoroughly before feeding. You should also feed small amounts to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach from an overload of fiber.

Do Yorkshire Terriers need grain-free dog food? – The Yorkshire Terrier does not seem to be any more prone to food allergies than other breeds, but it is always a possibility. If your dog develops recurrent ear infections or skin problems, it could be an indication of a food allergy. Switching to a limited ingredient diet or grain-free recipe could resolve the problem. If your dog is able to tolerate grains, however, there is no nutritional need to choose a grain-free diet when whole grains are very nutritious.

A Final Word

Now that you know the basics about your Yorkshire Terrier’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for the best Yorkshire Terrier food. Remember to look for a product that is made of wholesome natural ingredients including premium animal proteins, high levels of fat for energy, digestible carbohydrates, and no artificial additives.

If you’re still not sure where to start in choosing the best Yorkshire Terrier dog food, try one of our top 15 picks reviewed above!

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