The Best Dog Foods for Yorkies

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It’s no secret that high-quality foods are incredibly important when it comes to the health of our dogs. You don’t want to be feeding your furry friend foods with too many preservatives or carbs if they’re not doing too much exercise or mainly a house dog. As a general rule of thumb, you should be feeding your dog a natural balance of omega-3s, fish oil, and fatty acids to ensure they’re getting all of the nutrients they need.

In this post, we’ll be going over all of the best dry dog food and wet dog food for Yorkies or Yorkshire Terriers. Not too many pet owners know that small breed dogs require completely different dry food and wet food when compared to larger breeds, so we’ll go over a little bit about that in this post too. If you own a toy breed like a Yorkie, the best food for you is always going to be smaller kibble as larger will be a little too large for them to eat! You don’t want to be stuck with a puppy that’s having trouble to digest large lumps of high protein kibble that they’ve swallowed whole. 

Take a look below at all of the things you need to know when feeding your Yorkie puppy. 

Recommended Dog Food for Yorkies –

Hills Science Diet

As mentioned above, we suggest opting for Hills kibble if you own a miniature Yorkie since this food is going to be very easily digestible for all Yorkies, and its small size means there’s going to be no trouble when dinner time comes around. 

Portion Sizes

Up first we’ll take a look at the amount of food you’re feeding your Yorkie. Far too many Yorkie owners seem to overfeed their dogs or wonder why their Yorkie hasn’t eaten all of the food they’ve been given, and the simple answer is that you’ve given them too much!

Here are our rough guides for feeding small dogs like Yorkies, when they’re puppies, adults and senior dogs: 

Yorkie Puppies: Do your best to stick to around 200 calories a day for Yorkie puppies as there’s a good chance they’re doing a whole lot of running about the house. They’re not yet adult dogs, so providing enough food to help them when they’re growing is essential. Consider your own puppy’s activity level though, if you have a rather underactive pup it’s best not to give them too much in this case. Remember, puppy food is essential here too as it needs to be easier to break down, but also calorie dense enough to supper high energy levels. 

Adult Yorkies: For Yorkie owners with adult Yorkies, you’ll be better off feeding your adult Yorkie a little less than what you were feeding them as a puppy. Stick to around 150 calories a day or quality ingredient foods and you’ll be supporting healthy digestion whilst also keeping nutritional value at a high. Most adult Yorkies aren’t too rambunctious, so just a few whole grains here and there, and a few snacks should do just fine throughout the day. Keep in mind that adult Yorkies are more aware of their full tummies, so you don’t have to worry about too much food as they’ll just walk away when they’ve had enough to eat.

Senior Yorkies: When it comes to senior Yorkies or any older dog breeds, you’ll need to cut back on food intake once more. We suggest dropping daily calorie intake to around 120 calories in the older years and really pushing up your food’s healthy fats, natural grains and veggies as you’ll want to support their nutritional needs in old age. Keep in mind that protein sources should continue to come from natural ingredients, however, such as chicken meal so that their immune system is kept strong and the body is able to health itself in the event of any issues or accidents.

Now that we’ve gone over how much food your Yorkie actually needs, we’ll take a look at the main ingredients and nutritional value that your Yorkie needs. Most science diets tout that picky-eaters such as Yorkies do best when provided plenty of grain-free foods and are given a diet more tilted to vegetables like sweet potatoes, fish oil and beef.

The Most Important Ingredients

As you’ll already know, straying from meat by-products and al by-products, in general, is crucial to keeping your Yorkie healthy and ready to keep playing with you and the family. Kick the artificial flavors, artificial colors and high sugar foods of decades ago and keep your puppy or adult Yorkie on a more healthy diet. You’ll see great results when it comes to infrequent or non-existent health problems and low blood sugar! 

Fats and Oils

We’ll start off with fats and oils. If you own a Yorkie, it’s crucial that you provide them with plenty of healthy fats and oils! Find these ingredients in fish oil-based foods and other small meals with high nutritional value. Stray far from high fat, unhealthy human snacks when it comes to fats and oils, as these are going to do far more harm than good, so trout and tuna flavors are your best bet here. You could also try adding flaxseeds to your kibble mix or wet foods and see how well your Yorkie takes to them. 

Proteins

As with all dogs, high-quality protein in diets is non-negotiable. As dogs are primarily meat eaters, a high protein diet is essential and so plenty of beef, chicken, lamb and other meats should be in the food bowl every night! In dogs, like humans, protein is the backbone of a strong immune system and you’ll, of course, want your Yorkie to be able to fight off any bugs or viruses with ease. It’s also important that you don’t lean too close to meat by-products as these are often low quality, unhealthy and contain nearly no nutritional value in any sense. 

Carbs

On to carbs now, and this is where you’ll need to tailor your dog’s nutritional needs to their lifestyle or activity level. You don’t want to feed your Yorkie too many carbs if they’re not doing a whole lot as you’ll find they start to stack on the pounds! Try your hand at adding blueberries, grains, and other light carbs and see how your Yorkie likes them. We adamantly stand against giving your Yorkie corn or soy as these are going to wreak havoc on sensitive stomachs and cause a lot of trouble as far as health issues go. Again, sweet potatoes and even brown rice are a far better alternative.

Now that we have some information on the most ideal ingredients, let’s take a look below at how best to get these nutrients into your dog’s diet, either via wet or dry foods. Also, kibble size is a major factor here as you’ll want to choose a food size that’s easily eaten and digestible by your puppy. 

Wet or Dry Foods?

Take a quick look in any pet food store or supermarket and you’ll notice that there are two food types to choose from, wet food and dry food. Now, as many dog owners forget, wet and dry foods will affect your dog’s dental health. Most small dogs should be kept almost exclusively on dry food diets as you don’t want to be dealing with tartar build up that wet foods can cause. 

We suggest that you keep your Yorkie on an all-dry food diet as this will reduce their risk of having dental issues in the future, but the dry kibble will also help to scrape any impurities are plaque off their teeth as they’re eating it – saving you from having to clean their teeth. 

If you’re not too keen on forcing your Yorkie into a dry food diet exclusively, you can always try to mix in dry kibble with wet food to spice things up and also to help them with keeping their teeth clean. 

Choosing a Brand

You might be the type of dog owner who routinely chooses what’s cheapest at the moment when you head out to the supermarket, and there’s nothing wrong with this, though it’s best to stick to a brand that you can trust. If you come across brands that are naturally grain free, don’t contain preservatives and also boast real meat rather than by-products then you’re on to a winner! We’ve outlined our favorite dog food brands below with a few pieces of information you might want to know to help you choose one. 

Wellness CORE

As one of our favorite brands, Wellness CORE offers fantastic grain-free dry kibble that contains chondroitin as well as glucosamine! Both of these ingredients are essential for joint health but also to ensure you Yorkie has a nice shiny coat of fur. You’ll often find that the Wellness CORE brand has plenty of prebiotic and probiotic-focused foods available which is also essential when it comes to digestion and tummy health.

Merrick’s Small Breed Foods

Another incredible dry dog food brand is Merrick, with their small breed kibble and amino acid focused foods. You’ll have no trouble with feeding your Yorkie Merrick branded foods as everything within the kibble has been carefully curated and is healthy enough to ensure your Yorkie’s immune system is getting all of the nutrition it needs to fight off any and all issues – it even has DHA for brain health. You’ll find deboned chicken, vegetables and other great ingredients in here.

Unlike a number of other brands, Merrick strays from directly putting cereals and other grains in their foods for their amino acid content, but rather directly integrates amino acids into the food. That means your dog will be getting optimal nutrition without the potential tummy aches.

CANIDAE All Life Stages

Our top choice for older dogs is undoubtedly the Canidae. Although the kibble is for dogs of all ages, the reduced protein and fat ensure that your older Yorkie is still getting the nutrients they need, just at a lower level to help with weight regulation. Again, this brand has plenty of vegetable-based nutrients rather than grain-based ones, keeping older dogs from suffering any sore tummies after eating their breakfast or dinner. 

The kibble size in this food is also quite small, making it super easy for your Yorkie to eat and digest it. However, if you have a senior miniature Yorkie, then a Hills brand might be more suited to you and your dog’s needs. 

Hills Science Diet

As mentioned above, we suggest opting for Hills kibble if you own a miniature Yorkie since this food is going to be very easily digestible for all Yorkies, and its small size means there’s going to be no trouble when dinner time comes around. 

One area where this brand really stands out is their addition of added antioxidants and others nutritional perks that make sure your dog has the best chance at slowing their aging process and reducing their likelihood of weight gain, joint pains and more. However, one area where Hills may cause an issue is in their inclusion of grains which may cause minor stomach issues in older dogs with stomach sensitivity. 

Health Issues to Look Out For

To cap off our best foods for Yorkies, we’ll take a look into some Yorkie-specific issues that can come from incorrect feeding, or simply genetics. As unfortunate as it is, Yorkshire Terriers really as predisposed to a number of ailments that may make life harder for them than other dogs, even if they are fed the correct foods and taken care of. Below we’ll take a look at a few of these issues and what you can do to reduce their chances of occurring in your Yorkie. 

Dental Issues and Tartar Build Up

Without a doubt, one of the most common issues that Yorkies suffer from is teeth sensitivity and tartar build up. You’ll notice that your Yorkie may be in pain when they eat or chew on things and this comes as a result of being predisposed to teeth soreness and sensitivity in their genetics. You can do your best to reduce their issues here by taking wet food out of their diet, as these foods often coat all of the teeth in a hard to clean material that will sit and promote plaque build up. 

If you’re looking to be a little more hands-on, you can opt to brush your Yorkies teeth after they have a wet meal to reduce the chance of plaque or tartar build up. It’s suggested that you really do brush their teeth or you might be looking at minor to severe issues down the line. Dog food brands like Blue Buffalo offer triangle-shaped kibble that Yorkies enjoy chewing on which helps to clean their teeth, so adding this to their diet might be a good idea.

Hypothyroidism or Sporadic Weight Gain

Another ailment that your Yorkie might be predisposed to is hyperthyroidism. This essentially occurs when their thyroxine hormone acts ineffectively and prevents the body from maintaining its weight and results in weight loss and gain. You can however dramatically help your Yorkie deal with this by keeping their diet matched to their issue. It’s best to keep them on a lower carb diet as well as a diet that is suited to their activity level and ailment. 

We suggest that you keep carbs low and focus primarily on high protein and low-fat diets as this will prevent their body from gaining weight out of nowhere. Kibble brands like Taste of the Wild offer an incredible venison-based food that is high in protein and low in fats and carbs, which make keeping your Yorkie at a healthy weight extremely simple. 

Sensitive Stomach and Soft or Watery Stool

As we’ve mentioned routinely above, Yorkies can suffer from stomach sensitivity issues on a rather massive scale. Just about all Yorkies will have some sort of stomach issue in their lifetime, and it’s always best that as a Yorkie owner you keep them away from heavy grains and other tummy-hurting foods like corn and soy. It’s a good idea to routinely monitor your dog’s bathroom habits as you might notice that food you’re giving them is causing diarrhea or watery stools, which means your dog might be suffering from stomach pains all day long. 

We can suggest that you try Wellness Complete Health’s dog food as their brand is completely free of all stomach irritants, which means there should be no trouble at all coming from your dog’s feeding time. They’ll be able to eat freely and not have to worry about a sore stomach, regardless of how sensitive it may be. The formula does, however, contain grains, though if your Yorkie isn’t sensitive to grains, there shouldn’t be too much of an issue here. 

The Takeaway

And there you have it. Although you may have a Yorkie with just a few predisposed ailments and a rather strict set of dietary requirements, our guide above will ensure you’re providing them with the best nutrients and sensitive-stomach-friendly foods that keep them happy and healthy for the decades to come. 

Keep in mind that although your Yorkie might not like one or two grain-free brands, or a low carb kibble, there are still plenty of varities that they’re sure to love, no matter how fussy they are!

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By Dejan