As one of the smallest breeds, Yorkshire Terriers have some unique challenges. Their diminutive size means their stomachs can’t hold as much food as larger dogs. These furbabies also have a high metabolism and energy level.
We reviewed 25 products available on the market to help you find the best dog food for your Yorkie.
What are you looking for?
Veterinary Formulated Diets
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Recipe
Made in the USA using trusted global sources, this dry kibble for small and miniature pups includes a prebiotic fiber to support digestion. It uses easy-to-digest natural ingredients including chicken, which appears first on the label. The formula has vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat. There are no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives in this food. You can select from 4, 15, or 30 lb options.
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe
Using flaxseed and fish oil as a source of Omega 3 fatty acids, this kibble is specially formulated for small-breed puppies. It uses chicken meal as the main protein source and has a balanced blend of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. The product is manufactured in the USA and has ingredients from globally trusted partners. There are no artificial ingredients in the kibble. You can purchase this in 4 or 15.5-pound bags.
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Yorkshire Terrier Puppy Dry Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe with Chicken & Turkey Dry Dog Food
Solid Gold Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food with Real Protein
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Adult Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meal Recipe
With probiotics from live yogurt cultures and prebiotic fiber, Holistic Select is formulated to support your pup’s digestion. It’s grain-free and uses quality ingredients to meet the nutritional needs of small and mini breed dogs. This product uses anchovy, chicken, and sardine meal to provide protein and omega fatty acids for your pal. There’s no grain or artificial ingredients in the kibble, and it’s made in the USA.
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food Turkey & Oatmeal
NUTRO ULTRA Small & Toy Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
Merrick Lil' Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Small Breed Dry Puppy Food
Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier
Eukanuba Senior Dry Dog Food
Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food Variety Packs
NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Natural Wet Dog Food
Nature's Recipe Easy to Digest Wet Dog Food
PEDIGREE Choice Cuts in Gravy Regular & High Protein
Bil-Jac Small Dog Liver Treats
Charlee Bear Crunch Chicken, Pumpkin & Apple Flavor Dog Treat
Fruitables All Natural Vegetarian Pumpkin Baked Crunchy Dog Treats
This variety pack of Fruitables dog treats has five 7-ounce pouches of crunch goodies. Your pal can sample different flavors of oven-baked yummies with pumpkin or sweet potato and fruit or nut ingredients. The product is made in the USA and has a flower shape that’s designed to easily break into smaller pieces.
GREENIES Grain Free Natural Dental Dog Treats
Zesty Paws Omega 3 Alaskan Fish Oil Chew Treats for Dogs
Zesty Paws Allergy Immune Supplement for Dogs
Zesty Paws Probiotic for Dogs - with Natural Digestive Enzymes + Prebiotics & Pumpkin
Zesty Paws Turmeric Curcumin for Dogs
Before we dig into how to feed your Yorkie and more, a word of reminder: It’s always wise to consult with your veterinarian. Your pup’s doctor has firsthand knowledge about his health and nutritional needs.
Understanding Yorkie Diet Requirements
So what do Yorkies need to thrive? Finding the right food is key to keeping your pup healthy. It’s important to give your furbaby a readily digestible diet that’s easy to eat. Pick brands with:
- Tiny kibble that’s easy to eat
- Natural preservatives, including tocopherols or vitamin blends
- No artificial ingredients
- Traditional protein sources
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids for joints and hips
Puppy Yorkie diet:
- New puppies, up to about 3 months old (or 2.5 pounds), will need their kibble free choice. In this phase, these dogs are growing rapidly, and their nutritional needs are changing all the time. With their tiny tummies, they can only ingest small quantities at a time. Don’t make them wait for the next meal or your furbaby may become hypoglycemic.
- After 3 months to about 1 year, you can start feeding on a schedule. Your pooch will need 3-4 meals a day. If he needs it, supplement his meals with nutritious snacks.
Adult Yorkie diet:
Senior Yorkie diet:
Teacup or Miniature Yorkie diet
Yorkie Feeding Chart
Puppies up to ~ 3 months
- Feedings per day: Free choice
- Amount per day:-
- Calories per day:-
Puppies 3 months to 1 year
- Feedings per day: 3-4 meals
- Amount per day: ⅓-½ cup
- Calories per day: 200
- Feedings per day: 3 meals
- Amount per day: ⅓ – ⅔ cup*
- Calories per day: 150
*The amount to give an adult Yorkie is dependent on the pup’s weight. Those weighing 3-4 pounds will only need a ⅓-½ cup a day. Larger pooches (7-8 pounds) may need ⅔ cup.
Seniors (up to 8-12 years)
- Feedings per day: 3 meals
- Amount per day: Same as adult
- Calories per day: 120
- Feedings per day: 3-4 meals
- Amount per day: ⅓-½ cup
- Calories per day: 120
When Should I Change My Yorkie's Food?
When Yorkies reach a year of age, you can transition from puppy formula to adult food.
For adults, some pups do well if you rotate to a new food about every three months to avoid boredom. Remember to make a gradual change over a few weeks. These picky eaters don’t respond well to sudden changes.
Changing to a senior food is not necessary as your furbaby ages. Their energy needs will only show slight changes, and there’s also a modest decrease in appetite in the senior years.
5 Essential Ingredients to Look for When Choosing the Best Food for Your Yorkie
- Protein – You want wholesome, high-quality protein from a traditional source to provide essential amino acids for your pup. Look for meat like chicken, fish, lamb, or beef as the first ingredient.
- Fats – Essential Fatty Acids, including Omega 3 fats from meats and seed oils, help to support healthy joints, skin, and coat. They’re also the main energy source and add flavor to the food.
- LID formulation – Digestibility and flavor are key for Yorkies. Providing a limited ingredient diet that doesn’t have fillers or by-products may keep a finicky furbaby interested in his food. It can also help minimize problems if your pal has a sensitive stomach. Look for a short ingredient list with one protein source on the label.
- Fiber – Whole foods and ingredients rich in prebiotic fiber help to support a healthy digestive system. These important ingredients can prevent constipation and water build-up in the colon.
- Vitamins and Minerals – Vitamins and minerals support growth, immunity, and overall nutritional health. Look for a balanced blend that includes key nutrients like Vitamins A-E, and the minerals calcium, copper, iron, and phosphorus.
What Health Issues Do You Need to Watch for With Your Yorkie?
- Sensitive Stomach – Yorkies are known for a sensitive digestive system. It’s best to avoid feeding table scraps that could trigger vomiting or diarrhea. Keep your pal on a regular, limited ingredient diet that’s gentle on the stomach. If you change food brands, make a gradual shift over two or more weeks.
- Hypoglycemia – These dogs have a high metabolism and can easily suffer from low blood sugar. Stress or waiting too long between meals can cause sudden drops in blood glucose, and this can be life-threatening. Feed your pal frequent, smaller meals with high-quality fats and proteins. Also provide nutritious, between-meal snacks to boost their available energy stores.
- Hypothyroidism – As some Yorkies age, their thyroid gland can become less active. This condition, known as hypothyroidism, can lead to a lack of energy, poor hair coat, skin problems, and other symptoms. Pups suffering from low thyroid levels may require dietary restrictions, including lower fat content, in conjunction with medications.
- Dental Disease – Yorkies have tiny mouths, and their teeth can be crowded together. This sets these pooches up for plaque and tartar buildup, lost teeth, and gum disease. Take preventative measures by feeding a dry kibble and brushing your furry friend’s teeth.
- Collapsing Trachea – Small breeds like Yorkies can suffer from a collapsing trachea. The condition occurs when cartilage rings in the air pipe become weak. As a result, the passageway will narrow, and the lining in the trachea becomes inflamed. Dogs with a collapsing trachea often have a dry cough and may gag, wheeze, or have difficulty breathing. You can help prevent the condition by using a harness to avoid putting pressure on the throat area, maintaining a healthy weight, and supplementing Fido’s diet with glucosamine.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease – This genetic disease affects the hip joint. Inadequate blood flow to the head of the femur causes the ball joint to die and become necrotic. Puppies with the condition will show signs of lameness around 4-12 months in age. The best course of treatment is surgery to remove the femoral head. With this disease, it’s important to manage your pup’s weight with proper nutrition. That way, Fido won’t be placing extra stress on his joints.
- Luxating Patellas – Some canines are born with luxating patellas while others develop the condition after an injury. In either case, the kneecap slips out of place causing a non-weight bearing lameness. Management of the condition includes keeping your pup fit and trim by feeding a well-balanced diet.
Supplement Recommendations for Yorkies
Some important supplements that you may want to consider for your furbaby’s diet include:
- Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM to support the joints
- Brewer’s yeast and Vitamin A to help keep the skin moist and healthy
- Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and B vitamins for the joints, skin, and coat
- Probiotics to support healthy digestion
The Complete Guide to Yorkshire Terriers: Learn Everything about How to Find, Train, Raise, Feed, Groom, and Love your new Yorkie Puppy by D. Caroline Coile Ph.D.
This guide walks current and prospective masters through the decision-making process of choosing the right pooch. It provides insights about caring for these diminutive furbabies including training, nutrition, the senior years and more.
Can I add water to soften the kibble?
If your pal is having a hard time chewing hard kibble, you can soak it in water for a few seconds to make it softer. Be careful that you don’t overdo it and make it too spongy. This will interfere with the teeth-cleaning benefits of crunchy food.
How long will a bag of food last?
The answer will vary based on your furbaby and the size of your bag. Some owners report that a 4-pound bag lasts about 2 months for a full-grown (7-8 pounds) Yorkie.
Is there a difference between formulations for very small dogs and regular kibble?
Kibble for miniature dogs should be smaller to fit the tiny mouths. There are also differences in energy and nutrient content to fit the nutritional needs of these breeds.
And The Winner is...
After reviewing the above products and comparing them to our criteria for the best dog food for Yorkies, we chose Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food as our top pick.
This food has prebiotic fiber and probiotics to support healthy digestion. It is also grain-free and has no grains or artificial ingredients.
The kibble is sized and shaped for Yorkie mouths, and it is crunchy to help keep the teeth and gums healthy.
With omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals, this food has the ingredients your dog needs for healthy skin and coat. There’s also glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support.
We conclude tashis product provides the best all-around qualities to support your Yorkie’s health and nutrition.