Finding the best dog food for Yorkies is an important task if you’re an owner of one of these spirited pets.
Not all dog food brands are created equal—nor should they be.
Different dog breeds require different types of nutrients and levels of calorie intake, and the best food for Yorkies is no exception.
This article highlights five top brands of Yorkie dog food on the market today to help your pooch stay in tip-top shape.
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Later in this article, you’ll find our in-depth reviews of each of the above products. But first, it’s important to understand some common behavioral traits among Yorkies.
Yorkshire Terriers pack a big personality into their tiny bodies. With their handsome, dark blue and tan coats, the grand appearance of Yorkies makes them one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States.
It’s not surprising that Yorkie owners commonly tote these “purse dogs” around town as fashion accessories, with manufacturers offering all sorts of fancy dog purses. Besides making their owners look good though, Yorkies make great companions. They are devoted to their owners and love accompanying them on regular outings.
While Yorkies are happy to spend time at home, they don’t like to be left alone for too long. It’s especially important for apartment dwellers living in confined spaces to take their Yorkies out for daily exercise so these pets can burn off their high supply of energy!
Yorkies also can be a bit hard to train and neighbors might not appreciate their yappy nature, but owners can’t help but fall in love with their elegance and feisty yet affectionate disposition.
Yorkies can be particularly feisty when they feel threatened by strange dogs. They also are suspicious of strangers and they do better with older children. However, Yorkies that are well-socialized enjoy cohabiting with other resident pets.
The Yorkshire Terrier is considered a companion dog with a lifespan between 12-15 years.
Typically, Yorkies are 8 to 9 inches in height at the shoulder.
They generally weigh four to six pounds, but the weight of Yorkies varies substantially. It’s not uncommon to have a Yorkie that is 5-6 pounds and another that is 10-12 pounds within the same litter.
Yorkieinfocenter.com recommends that most Yorkies consume 45-55 calories per pound of body weight per day.
Nevertheless, since Yorkies are so small, owners may need to feed their dogs more or less than 45-55 calories depending upon the calorie content of the dog food and activity level of the dog. Some dog food brands are more calorie-dense than others, so it’s important for owners to pay close attention to dog food labels.
Yorkies have tiny stomachs. If you overfeed them, they can become sick.
Also, dry dog food is better for a Yorkie’s teeth than wet food, but it’s okay to feed your Yorkie wet food as an occasional treat. Additionally, Yorkies are finicky eaters, so if you spoil them expect them to quickly become demanding!
The first ingredient in food for Yorkies should be protein from pure chicken, lamb, fish, beef, or turkey.
Also, Yorkies don’t do well with corn or soy products. Instead, sweet potatoes and rice are better carbohydrates for these small dogs.
Avoid feeding your Yorkie other types of human food though and include treats in the calorie count.
Consider incorporating fish oil into your Yorkie’s diet as well. Fish oil keeps a Yorkie’s elegant coat shiny and silky-looking. If the dog food you purchase does not contain fish oil, you can create the same effect by drizzling your own fish oil onto the food.
Yorkies tend to be a relatively healthy breed of dog. Nevertheless, Yorkies do suffer from a few common ailments.
Patellar Luxation. According to dogtime.com, one of the most common problems experienced by Yorkies is patellar luxation, or “slipped stifles,” which causes limping. Patellar luxation occurs when a dog’s thigh bone, kneecap, and calf bone are not properly aligned.
Eye Disorder. Another common problem for Yorkies is PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy which is a degenerative eye disorder that causes photoreceptors at the back of the eyes to deteriorate over time and cause blindness.
Liver Disorder. Some Yorkies also experience problems with abnormal blood flow to the liver, a disease called portosystemic shunt, or PSS. Without proper liver function, Yorkies lose the ability to detoxify their bodies, metabolize nutrients, and eliminate drugs. Yorkies afflicted with PSS may lose their appetite, have urinary tract difficulties, and behave abnormally.
Trachea Collapse. The trachea of Yorkies is also prone to collapsing. A chronic, dry cough that sounds like a goose honking is a sign of a collapsed trachea. This condition usually has to be treated medically or surgically.
Reverse Sneezing. In addition, Yorkies have a unique propensity to a condition called reverse sneezing, which occurs when dogs are excited, eat or drink too fast, or when they experience allergies. Reverse sneezing is caused by nose secretions that drip onto the soft palate and cover the windpipe. Not to worry though! It’s only a temporary condition that resolves itself.
Low Blood Sugar. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is another affliction suffered by Yorkies which causes weakness, confusion, a wobbly gait, and seizures. The fact that Yorkies tend to use up their energy quickly combined with their relatively low food intake can result in a blood sugar deficiency, especially when they are very active or stressed.
A Yorkshire Terrier should eat a ¼ to a ½ cup of food daily.
Puppies need to eat 3-4 times daily and adult dogs 1-2 times daily. Veterinarian Dr. MacKay recommends a special puppy diet for Yorkies under a year old before switching to an adult dog diet at nine months to one year. Dr. MacKay also recommends that owners use these guidelines as a starting point and then adjust them by monitoring their Yorkie’s weight and activity level.
If you are unsure whether your Yorkie is overweight, do a quick visual inspection. Place your hands on your Yorkie’s back with your thumbs on the spine. You should be able to see, but not feel his/her ribs.
Here are our top picks for best dog food for Yorkies currently on the market:
Royal Canin developed a kibble just for Yorkies. This recipe is high in protein and is well-balanced with carbohydrates and fat. Omega 3 fatty acids help maintain a Yorkie’s silky, glossy coat. Yorkies can be picky eaters, so this recipe is designed to stimulate their appetite with a pleasing aroma.
Purina’s recipe contains high-quality chicken as the first ingredient. Bite-sized kibbles allow for easy chewing.
This brand is also fortified with extra calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals to promote strong teeth and bone health.
Eukanuba is made from natural beef pulp and FOS, a nutrient-dense prebiotic that aids in digestion. This dry food’s best feature is its 3D Dentadefense System which is proven to reduce tartar build-up within 28 days. Also, the kibble size is half that of Royal Canin and Purina.
Wellness Complete Health gets protein from turkey and adds oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables for a well-balanced recipe. It’s a great-tasting, natural food with smaller-sized kibble. Fatty acids keep the Yorkie coat shiny. Glucosamine aids in joint health.
This brand of dog food has been specifically created for smaller breeds which makes it a perfect choice for a Yorkie. The small-bite kibble is easy for small mouths. Plus, the shape of the kibble was designed to help remove tartar.
This dog food contains a great mixture of protein from bison, beef, venison, and lamb which are essential to the health of a Yorkie. Additionally, Rocky Mountain Recipe contains no grains, byproducts, or artificial preservatives.
What’s our choice for best dog food for Yorkies?
After reviewing some of the top brands on the market today, we believe Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Dry Dog Food has the strongest advantage over similar products. This dog food is a solid, well-rounded dog choice that aims to address all the needs of Yorkies.
The recipe is rich in protein which is necessary for Yorkies to maintain their high energy, it has fatty acids so they can maintain a silky coat, and it even has an appetizing aroma for the finicky eater. Royal Canin kept the long lifespan of Yorkies in mind when developing this brand.
Give it a try to see how it sizes up!