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Yorkies, formally known as Yorkshire Terriers, are a toy breed that is generally very active.
With your Yorkie’s fast metabolism and its small size, it is likely to get hypoglycemia if it does not get sufficient calories.
After spending days and weeks reviewing the various dog foods available in the market, I have finally concluded that the Halo Natural Dry Dog Food For Small Breeds is the best dog food for Yorkies overall.
The kibbles are small and will fit easily into your Yorkie’s tiny mouth. They provide three different flavors containing non-GMO ingredients with no questionable ingredients like animal ‘meals’. Their nutritional content is also very suitable for Yorkies, with sufficient proteins, fats, and calories to support your Yorkie’s active lifestyle and fast metabolism.
However, no food can meet every single Yorkie’s needs. Read on to find out our recommended best dog food for Yorkies, depending on your specific situation!
Our Best Dog Food For Yorkies
- Best dog food for Yorkies overall: Halo Natural Dry Dog Food For Small Breeds
- Best food for Yorkie puppies: Canidae Pure Puppy Recipe
- Best food for Yorkie seniors: Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food For Senior Dogs
- Best wet food for Yorkies: Tiki Dog Taste of The World
- Best grain-free topping for Yorkies on homemade diet: Dr. Harvey’s Raw Vibrance Dehydrated Base Mix for Dogs
- Best dog food for Yorkies with sensitive stomachs: Portland Pet Food Company Human-Grade Dog Food
- Best breed-specific dog food for Yorkies: Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food
- Best low-budget Yorkie Dog food: Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dogs
8 Best Dog Food For Yorkies Reviewed
All dog treats reviewed here have at least an 80% positive rating, and the information provided is accurate at the time of review.
- Key feature: Non-GMO dry dog food for small breeds
- First 5 ingredients: Varies depending on the flavor
- Caloric content: 383 kcal/cup
- Guaranteed analysis: Min 28% protein, Min 17% fats, Max 5.6% fiber
- Best for: Adult Yorkies
The Halo brands are made from non-GMO ingredients with no questionable animal ‘meals’. It comes in three different flavors – Game Bird Medeley (grain-free), Chicken & Chicken Liver, and Salmon & Whitefish (grain-free).
There are at least 28% protein and 17% fat in the dry matter, which are sufficient for most Yorkies with extras for the more active ones. The caloric content also falls within the healthy range for Yorkies.
Owners praise the wholesome and non-GMO ingredients used to make the dog food. They are tiny enough that multiple kibbles can fit onto the coin, making them suitable for both teacups and normal-sized Yorkies to enjoy. A couple of owners also mentioned how the price is justified with the quality of the food.
Some owners reported having digestive issues with their dogs, but these reviews were mainly left behind a few years back when there was a change in formula. Some finicky dogs also did not like the taste and smell of these kibbles.
- Key feature: Grain-free, antioxidant-rich dry dog food for puppies
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Menhaden fish meal, Lentils, Peas, and Potatoes
- Caloric content: 4,070 kcal/kg or 520 kcal/cup
- Guaranteed analysis: Min 32% crude protein, Min 16% crude fat, Max 4% crude fiber
- Best for: Yorkie puppies
The Canidae Pure Puppy Recipe, which only has 9 main ingredients, is grain-free and uses potatoes to provide carbohydrates. The lentils and peas included are also rich in antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.
This brand of puppy food provides at least 32% protein and 16% fat, which is an excellent choice for puppies who need the proteins for cell building and the fats for energy and skin health. However, they also provide higher calories (at 520 kcal/cup) than the average puppy food (348 kcal/cup).
Generally, many owners reported that switching to this food had led to better skin and bowel health. Owners with dogs with food allergies and sensitive stomachs also found this limited ingredients diet suitable for them.
However, puppies with chicken allergies cannot take this as they only provide chicken flavor for puppies. Reviewers have also compared the food bought online and from stores and found them different, possibly due to being manufactured in different factories.
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- Key feature: High-quality protein, easily digestible wet dog food for seniors
- First 5 ingredients: Water, Chicken, Cracked pearled barley, Pork liver, and Whole grained corn
- Caloric content: 1005 kcal/kg or 166 kcal/can
- Guarenteed analysis: Min 3.5% crude protein, Min 2.2% crude fat, Max 2.0% crude fiber, Max 82.0% moisture
- Best for: Senior Yorkies
The Hill’s pet food is developed by veterinarians, food scientists, and nutritionists to ensure that your senior Yorkie is getting all the nutrition that it requires in this easily digestible wet dog food.
This formula for senior dogs has a minimum of 3.5% crude protein and 2.2% crude fat. The percentage is lower than regular adult formulas, so you may need to supplement proteins and fats through treats.
Owners said that their most picky dogs loved this food, and issues with stomach upsets were gone after switching to this. The senior dogs were also observed to be much more active than before after consumption of this brand.
However, Hill’s food can be pretty pricy due to the quality it provides. Also, as this is wet food, there are cases whereby cans and packets were damaged during the transportation process, leading to moldy food. Therefore, please check the food quality before feeding them to your Yorkie.
- Key feature: Appetizing wet dog food made with non-GMO ingredients
- First 5 ingredients: Varies depending on the flavor
- Caloric content: Ranges from 813 kcal/kg to 1055 kcal/kg or 69 kcal/cup to 90 kcal/cup
- Guaranteed analysis: Min 8% crude protein, Min. 3% crude fat, Max 2% crude fiber, Max 82% moisture
- Best for: Picky Yorkies that do not like kibbles
The Tiki Dog wet food is made of 100% non-GMO ingredients without artificial flavors. They aim to replicate the ethnic flavors into a dog-friendly food for owners who wished to share the yummy food with their dogs.
These yummy packets contain a minimum of 8% crude protein and 3% crude fat, slightly lower than average but still within the acceptable range.
Owners loved that they could share human-taste food with their little pups. Picky dogs also loved at least 1-2 of the available flavors, which looked and smelled almost like the actual human food product.
However, there are a few cases whereby dogs have been reported to feel sick after consuming this food. Therefore, do monitor your dog if you are trying this food out for the first couple of days to see if there are any adverse effects.
- Key feature: Human-grade, grain-free toppings for raw diet
- First 5 ingredients: Broccoli, Green beans, Squash, Carrots, and Celery
- Caloric content: 70 calories/scoop
- Guaranteed analysis: NIL
- Best for: Yorkies that are allergic to grains and/or on a homemade diet
Dr. Harvey created this human-grade, grain-free topping so owners that want to feed their dogs a homemade diet can do so quickly and hassle-free. Add the raw or cooked meat of your choice to this topping, and you can serve the mix directly to your Yorkie.
As this is a topping that contains no meat products, the nutritional content is measured by 70 calories per scoop.
The majority of the users mentioned that their dogs loved these toppings. After feeding these toppings (with their choice of meat) to their pups, they saw a better turn in health. Also, Dr. Harvey responded personally to some of the owners’ calls when they had queries.
However, the price is relatively high for a topping without any meats included. Also, some finicky dogs that didn’t like vegetables would turn their noses away.
- Key feature: Human-grade, limited ingredients wet dog food
- First 5 ingredients: Varies depending on the flavor
- Caloric content: Ranges from 1120 kcal/kg to 1550 kcal/kg or 286 kcal/pouch to 395 kcal/pouch
- Guaranteed analysis: Min 8-13% crude protein, Min. 4-10% crude fat, Max 1-5% crude fiber, Max 64-76% moisture depending on the flavor
- Best for: Very active Yorkies or Yorkies with sensitive stomachs
The Portland Pet Food creates this human-grade wet dog food from 11 or fewer whole ingredients. With the limited ingredients used, they are a suitable choice for reducing food allergy-related incidents.
Depending on the flavors, the nutritional content can range from 8-13% crude protein and 4-10% crude fat, which is in the normal range. The calorie content is also considered within the average range, although it is leaning slightly on the higher end.
Although it is listed for rotational or supplementary feeding, owners have fed it as the primary meal, and both the dogs and their owners loved the results.
However, some owners feel that this brand is overpriced. There are also quite a few that mentioned their picky pups not being interested in this food.
- Key feature: Tailor-made for adult Yorkies
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, Brewers rice, Brown rice, Chicken fat, and Chicken
- Caloric content: 3798 kcal/kg or 338 kcal/cup
- Guaranteed analysis: Min 26% protein, Min 16% fat, Max 5.3% fiber
- Best for: Adult Yorkies
Breed-specific food is rare, and the Royal Canin is one of the brands that offer breed-specific food.
The dry matter has at least 26% protein and 16% fat, which meets the minimum with some extras for Yorkies. The amount of calories this brand contains also falls under the average and healthy range for Yorkies.
Reviewers mentioned this brand of food is recommended by veterinarians for their Yorkies. They also reported their Yorkies having shiner coats and looking healthier than when they were given a different diet.
A small percentage of reviewers said that their Yorkies became ill after eating the food, but there were few details beyond the mentions. Also, a couple of other reviewers were dissatisfied with the price, or their Yorkies were dissatisfied with the taste.
- Key feature: Affordable and healthy dry dog food
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken meal, Whole grain brown rice, Cracked pearled barley, and Chicken fat
- Caloric content: 3708 kcal/kg or 368 kcal/cup
- Guaranteed analysis: Min 26% protein, Min 16% fat, Max 2.5% fiber
- Best for: Adult Yorkies
When the review is written, this brand of food has the best value for the price. In addition to meats, they also contain some vegetables and fruits that provide antioxidants for immunity support and fiber for better digestion.
This brand of dog food has a minimum of 26% protein and 16% fat in its dry matter, which is very suitable for Yorkies. The amount of calories the food contains is also sufficient for Yorkies, who are generally an active and energetic breed.
Many owners stated that this brand of dog food is affordable while still containing relatively healthy ingredients for their pups. Many dogs have seen an improvement in coat health, and many others have reported no allergy issues.
However, some owners reported that the bags were delivered torn or tampered with, and the dog food inside the bag did not look fresh. Therefore, we advise checking each bag you buy carefully and looking out for any abnormalities before feeding them to your Yorkie.
The Nutrition Your Yorkie Needs
Providing a balanced diet for your Yorkie is vital for its health and for it to thrive. The information listed here is meant to be used as a guide for reference.
If you have any doubts or confusion, it will be better to consult a veterinarian. They will be able to assess your dog’s needs based on its age and current condition to provide a better answer for you.
Protein is required to develop strong muscle tissues that keep your Yorkie active and healthy. The Association of American Feed Control (AAFCO) suggests that adult Yorkies should consume food with at least 18% protein.
While that is the minimum required, it will be better to provide your Yorkie with food that contains a higher protein percentage. About 21% and higher will be suitable for the less active Yorkies, and 28% and higher will be ideal for Yorkies that run about all day long.
Many people have a misconception about fats, thinking that consuming them will make their pups overweight. However, healthy fats are an essential source of energy and are helpful in certain aspects of health. For example, omega fatty acids usually found in fish help keep the dogs’ coats shiny.
As opposed to large and giant breeds, small breeds like Yorkies need at least 10% healthy fats in their meals. Together with the proteins, they will be converted into energy to support Yorkie’s active lifestyle.
Toy breeds like Yorkies cannot store a lot of carbohydrates in their body. Therefore, they need regular consumption to maintain their blood sugar levels to prevent hypoglycemia.
Whole grains are the usual and mains source of carbohydrates. However, if your Yorkie is allergic to grains, other nutritious grain-free options (such as sweet potatoes and peas) are available.
An average dog requires about 30 calories per pound. However, small breeds like Yorkies have a higher metabolism rate than average and will need about 10 more calories per pound to maintain their weight, so a total of 40 calories per pound.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the average adult Yorkie weighs from 4 to 7 pounds.
|Weight (lbs)||Calories (per day)||Calories (per serving for 3 meals a day)||Calories (per serving for 4 meals a day)|
If you feed treats to your Yorkie regularly, you should account for the number of calories it will get from the treats and make changes to the recommended serving amounts.
Ideally, the number of calories your Yorkie gets from treats should not exceed 10% of the total calorie consumption in the day.
Puppies up to 3 months old have just weaned off milk and are growing rapidly. They have very tiny tummies, so they can only consume small quantities at any one time. The amount that they eat is not enough to sustain them for more than a couple of hours. Hence, they will require multiple feedings a day and whenever they feel hungry.
You can start planning a schedule for your Yorkie puppy once it turns about 4 months old. A good gauge will be 4 times a day if possible, or 3 times a day with healthy snack supplements between the meals.
Yorkies about 8 years old and above can be considered seniors. For some Yorkies, their activity and appetite might slow down slightly, but the changes are not enough to justify a complete change in diet.
If your Yorkie is not putting on weight, you can continue feeding it as you have done in the past. However, if it is getting heavier, you might want to consider reducing the amount of food you provide per session while still keeping the number of feeding sessions the same.
Also, this will be an excellent time to check in with the local veterinarian to understand if there are any supplements that your Yorkie should take to maintain its overall health.
Common Yorkie Health Issues
Yorkies are small breeds, so they are prone to complications that plague all small breed dogs, such as obesity and hypoglycemia.
In addition, The Complete Guide to Yorkshire Terriers discussed the genetic composition that makes them more susceptible to eye, liver, and lung issues, which will be explained in detail below.
Small breeds are prone to obesity as it is much easier to overfeed them, and Yorkies are no exception.
Obesity is an issue because it brings about other health issues such as joint issues, digestive disorders, and heart problems.
Ensure that you do not overfeed your dog by providing it with the recommended amount of calories that it should consume. Only feed more than the recommended amount to your Yorkie if it is losing weight, and the veterinarian recommends feeding more.
Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, will usually happen when your Yorkie’s routine has been disrupted.
Some examples include a sudden increase in exercise, delayed meals or consuming lesser than usual, eating artificial sweeteners, and experiencing stress.
To prevent hypoglycemia from happening, plan a fixed schedule on when you will feed your Yorkie every day. Also, feeding 3-4 small meals a day will help to ensure that the amount of blood sugar in your Yorkie does not fluctuate in large amounts throughout the day.
Most Yorkies have a delicate digestive system that does not respond well to frequent dietary changes. Therefore, if your Yorkie has any health complications, consult a veterinarian for their opinions and suggestions before making any changes to the current diet.
By feeding your Yorkie a limited ingredient diet, you can find out if intolerant to a particular type of food.
The floating kneecap is known formally as luxating patella, which means that your Yorkie’s kneecap is dislocated (not at the standard location).
While this condition is usually a result of genetics, trauma, especially those that impact the knees, can result in this issue too .
Surgery will be required to cure your dog, but providing it with quality proteins and multivitamins will help speed up the recovery process.
Tracheal collapse is a genetic disease that impacts Yorkies the most . The collapse causes airway obstruction, leading to breathing difficulties.
While tracheal collapse can be treated with surgery, the consumption of glucosamine and chondroitin can help to avoid this condition to a certain extent.
What To Look Out For When Buying Yorkie Food
There are several factors you should look out for when you select the best dog food for Yorkies.
The number and type of ingredients used, the kibble size, and the nutrient content are all important factors that should not be overlooked.
You might have come across the phrase LID Formulation, which is the short form for Limited Ingredient Diet Formulation.
Dog food labeled with this phrase uses minimal ingredients to provide the required nutrition to limit the potential development of new allergies. Such dog food usually only has one protein source and does not include fillers or artificial additives.
For dogs with many allergies or Yorkies with sensitive stomachs, choosing food with limited ingredients is the best to prevent allergies or digestive issues from happening.
Kibble size is especially applicable if you are buying dry food for your Yorkie.
Your Yorkie has a small mouth, and it only makes sense if the food is small enough for your Yorkie to chew and digest easily.
Most standard-sized kibbles are hard for Yorkies to chew and digest. They can easily cause choking as they are hard for your Yorkie to swallow. Even if your Yorkie manages to swallow them, unchewed food is harder to digest and will lead to nutrient deficiencies, even if the diet seemed to be balanced.
Fiber helps in maintaining bowel health as it passes through the body undigested.
For Yorkies with constipation, fiber helps increase the weight and size of the stool while softening it so that the stool can be passed out easier.
For Yorkies with watery stools, fiber helps to solidify the stool by absorbing water and adding solids to it.
Also, prebiotic fibers help the good bacteria grow in the gut, supporting your Yorkie’s digestive system. These bacteria will help break down food, making the digestion process better and ensuring proper nutrient absorption for your Yorkie.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants
Having various vitamins and minerals that can support your Yorkie’s growth and immunity is essential to having a healthy pup.
Ideally, good dog food should include Vitamins A-E. Minerals like calcium and phosphorous are essential for bone health, while copper and iron are essential for producing and maintaining healthy red blood cells.
Antioxidants are also important for maintaining immunity health and reducing the chances of having cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Feeding Yorkies
Yorkie owners have asked these questions before, and we want to share the answers with you in case you are wondering about the same question.
If you have a question that is not listed here, you can always contact us, and we will give you a reply.
At what age is a Yorkie considered an adult?
Yorkies typically stop growing by 2 years old, so you can start feeding them on an adult schedule about 3 months before that.
By this age, your Yorkie’s weight should not fluctuate much if you feed it a balanced, consistent diet.
How often should I feed my Yorkie?
It is recommended to feed adult Yorkies at least 3 times a day, spaced out throughout the entire day. Such arrangement reduces the chances of your Yorkie experiencing hypoglycemia.
For young puppies, feed them whenever they feel hungry, as they are growing fast and their tummies are tiny. Therefore, the number of sessions that they need will differ significantly from older puppies and adult Yorkies.
Is there a difference between regular and miniature formulations?
Yes. Kibbles manufactured for small dogs are specifically made smaller in size with slight alternations to the nutrient content to ensure that they are suitable for small dogs.
Therefore, if the brand you like has a formula for small dogs, try it out to see if it is suitable for your Yorkie!
Should I feed my Yorkie wet or dry food?
Both wet and dry food have their pros and cons.
Wet food is superior in moisture content, easier digestion, and tastiness. Dry food is convenient, economical, and good for dental health.
Generally, I will suggest dry food for Yorkies without digestion or chewing issues for the economical price and the teeth-cleaning properties.
However, if your Yorkie faces digestive issues, or has trouble chewing the kibbles properly, then wet food will be a better choice. Puppies should also be given wet food at first as they are still growing their teeth.
Check out this post for a comprehensive comparison between wet and dry dog food.
Should I add water to soften the kibble?
If your Yorkie is having a hard time chewing, you can try soaking the kibbles for just a few seconds to make it slightly softer. Any longer, and the kibbles are likely to turn spongy, losing the teeth-cleaning properties of dry kibbles.
If, after soaking, your Yorkie still has a problem chewing, then it may mean that kibbles are not suitable for your pup, and you should consider looking for wet food brands.
What human foods can I give my Yorkie?
There are many human foods that you can feed your dog, and it will be impossible to list them all down here.
You can refer to the posts on fruits and vegetables to understand what you can and should not feed your dog, as well as some precautionary measures. Cooked eggs and fish are also healthy choices when given in moderation.
Just ensure that you do not feed your dog any cocoa-related products, grapes, alcohol, Allium plants (like onions and garlic), xylitol (an artificial sweetener), and macadamia nuts. For more information about them, check out this post.
Also, note that it is harder to calculate the calorie content of the human foods you feed your Yorkie. As such, you might be overwhelming your Yorkie with too many calories than it should consume per day.
How do I know if my Yorkie has an allergic reaction?
It is easy to spot severe allergy cases as you will see your Yorkie having difficulty breathing and with the tongue and the gums turning blue.
In minor cases, some allergy symptoms include inflammation, bald patches on the fur, itchiness, excessive drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, and watery eyes.
Should I put my Yorkie on a grain-free diet?
Grains are the primary source of fiber and carbohydrates. Therefore, unless your Yorkie has an allergy to grains, it is acceptable to feed your Yorkie a diet with grains.
If you prefer to feed a grain-free diet, your Yorkie will not miss out on anything, as long as the food provides adequate calories, fibers, and plant proteins.
A misconception to clear up for some owners: grain-free products contain carbohydrates from alternative sources – just not from grains.
Help! What should I do if my Yorkie is a picky eater?
Humans have preferences, and dogs are no exception.
Usually, picky dogs are more receptive to wet food. Therefore, if you have been giving your Yorkie kibbles, you can try to switch to a wet food diet or mix kibbles in wet food.
Alternatively, keeping your Yorkie on a rotational diet for a few months can help improve its appetite.
If you did not know before, it tastes differently for your dog when you mix two different dog foods. So when you feed Brand A to your dog and mix Brands A and B when rotating towards a Brand B diet, your dog is getting 3 different ‘flavors’.
Yorkies are small, active dogs with a fast metabolism. They need small kibbles packed with high-quality nutrients to live a healthy life.
The Halo Natural Dry Dog Food For Small Breeds is one of the best dog food for Yorkies, made with high-quality ingredients for nutrient-dense kibbles.
Nevertheless, every Yorkie is different, and it is always advisable to check with your local veterinarian to decide on a suitable diet for your Yorkie.