Everyone assumes one thing about small dogs: that they don’t need to eat very much.
While it’s trust that small dogs eat less than their larger counterparts, that doesn’t mean that their nutrition is any less complicated!
Many small dogs and Yorkies, in particular, are prone to certain types of nutritional defects including stomach problems, so you have to be smart about what you choose to feed them.
The facts in this guide will lead you to the best dog food for Yorkies – trust me!
Quick Reference: Best Dog Food For Yorkies
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The table above gives you the quick reference information that you need to know about the best dog food for Yorkies that will be covered in this guide. If you need to make a quick decision right now, use this table. Be sure to come back and read up on the ingredients in our full reviews.
All five of these options are quality options that we would recommend feeding your Yorkie.
What’s the Best Dog Food For Yorkies?
It’s hard to know where to start when choosing a dog food, so we’re going to break down two things you should consider when deciding on a dog food for Yorkies.
The Best Ingredients For Yorkies
Let’s start with protein.
Why? Because the number one ingredient you need to consider while choosing dog food for Yorkies is the protein source used in the food. Like all dogs, Yorkies need protein!
When choosing a protein, try to choose one that fits the following requirements:
- Protein is taken from the muscles of animals
- Animals you know: chicken, lamb, fish, turkey, beef
- Avoid super-processed proteins that aren’t from the muscles
Another important aspect of dog food for Yorkies is the carb source.
Since Yorkies are prone to having sensitive stomachs, you will want to avoid harder to digest carbohydrates such as soy, corn, and white rice.
Instead, seek foods that use more energy-rich and safe carbohydrate sources such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and vegetable sources of carbohydrates that agree with your Yorkie.
Finally, consider the fat composition.
While it may sound weird that your dog needs fat, they really do! Yorkies use good fats to keep their coats shiny, and the fats also help their body absorb necessary vitamins and minerals.
The best fats for Yorkies are fish oil or other pure, healthy fats that are added to the best dog food, such as the five that we will review at the end of this guide.
Wet Or Dry?
Many people seem to be under the false impression that small dogs like Yorkies need to eat wet food for easier digestion.
In the case of Yorkies, the opposite is actually true! Yorkies are at risk for dental problems, and dry food will actually help to strengthen their teeth and maintain dental health for your dog.
It does all of this naturally!
Of course, you will still want to regularly brush your dog’s teeth, but feeding dry food is a great supplement. Some Yorkie owners feed their pups wet food for special occasions as a treat!
Feeding Practices Perfect For Your Yorkie
Now, let’s get to the actual act of feeding your dog!
You will want to feed your dog the right amount of food, and this is going to depend on the size, age, activity level, and more of your dog. Rather than relying on a certain portion size in terms of weight, focus on feeding a specific caloric amount to your dog.
Here are our base recommendations:
*REMEMBER! Every dog is different. Only you and your vet can come to the conclusion of what your dog needs, so be sure to review your feeding routine with the vet regularly.
If your dog is more active, bump them up to a higher caloric amount. If your pup is a lazy couch potato, bump them down.
Additionally, consider that your dog has a very small stomach, so they need a food that is dense enough in calories that they won’t overeat. Split their meals into four daily portions for the best feeding success.
Puppy Problems: Changes In Food
There’s more that you should know about feeding Yorkie puppies before we move on.
Because their bodies are still growing, Yorkie puppies need to be fed more than an adult dog of the same weight or size. And when I say more, I mean a LOT more!
Yorkie puppies need about double the food that they will end up eating as an adult to get enough nutrients to help their body grow appropriately.
This means that you might need to feed your dog up to six times a day since they cannot eat too much in any single feeding.
If you’re not able to stop by and feed your puppy this many times a day, you can leave the food out all at once, but this can be bad because some dogs will overeat and make themselves sick when given the opportunity.
Potential Yorkie Health Problems
While we are talking about feeding your Yorkie, there are a few nutrition-related health problems that are common in Yorkies that we should talk about so you have an understanding of what risks there are.
Small dogs like Yorkies are prone to having sugar crashes that are associated with hypoglycemia.
Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to avoid this problem.
The key is to make sure that your dog is eating regularly, and that their meals are well balanced. If they are eating every few hours, there shouldn’t be a risk of sugar crashes.
Keep healthy treats on hand to feed to your dog between meals to reduce the risk of any hypoglycemic episodes from occurring.
As mentioned, Yorkies are known for having sensitive stomachs! While the exact reason for this is unknown, it is clear that some foods simply make Yorkies need to poop all the time.
To avoid this problem, try following these helpful tips:
- Make sure your dog is eating in a few small meals per day rather than one large meal.
- Cut soy out of their diet. They may be allergic.
- Cut corn out of their diet. It’s not good for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
- Test if your dog is allergic to the main protein in their food. Remove this protein from their diet if they are.
The Best Dog Food For Yorkies: Reviewed
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If you’re a Yorkie owner looking for the best deal while still buying the best food, this is definitely the food for you. But let’s be real, who isn’t looking for the best value?
Unlike other popular dog foods, this formula uses more rare sources of protein that are healthier for your dog and also less likely to cause any allergy problems. The source in this food is a mixture of natural bison and venison.
This food also has a crazy amount of omega fatty acids in it, and the source is fish oil. This isn’t easy to find in affordable dog foods, so this is a nice feature to see.
The food doesn’t contain any soy or corn. Additionally, the carbohydrate source is chicory root. While uncommon, this is still a better alternative than soy or corn, so you can consider it a win.
The only real drawback with this food is the size of the pellets, but most Yorkies have a big enough mouth that this will not be an issue!
Blue Buffalo is a favorite for many dog owners, and I have to say that I am one of those owners! Everything about their food screams “quality” to me, and this is a great food for any age Yorkie.
The most important thing, as I mentioned before, is the protein source. The protein here comes from all pure chicken and no chicken by products, so you can be sure of the protein quality.
Your Yorkie’s sensitive stomach is sure to like the food, too. There is no soy or corn in the food, and Blue Buffalo prioritizes the use of natural ingredients as much as they can!
Finally, this food has a great boost of omega fatty acids that will keep your Yorkie looking ready for the nearest red carpet. Flaxseed provides this fatty boost!
Next up is a formula that is specifically made for small breeds, and that means it’s catered to your Yorkie’s potential nutrient deficiencies perfectly!
This food has a few interesting things to note:
- The main source of carbohydrates is sweet potato rather than corn or soy.
- A great source of omega fatty acids thanks to included flaxseed.
- Three sources of animal protein.
- Protein-to-fat ratio higher than some other foods; can be good for some dogs.
There is one drawback to this formula that not every owner will overcome. There’s a higher number of ingredients in it that I can’t even pronounce than in some other foods. Still, upon closer examination, none of these ingredients give me cause for alarm, so I still recommend this food.
This food from Natural Balance is part of their Limited Ingredients line which was specifically created for dogs (like your Yorkie!) that have or are at risk of developing the symptoms of a sensitive stomach.
By feeding a dog food with fewer ingredients, it is easier to avoid any potential problem ingredients!
This particular formula features the following:
- Protein from chicken and chicken meal, no chicken by products
- Carbs from sweet potato, no corn or soy
- Shape and size of kibble is good for small dogs and helps to keep teeth clean
Overall, this is a great food for your Yorkie. One potential drawback is that the first ingredient is a carbohydrate, not a protein, but this could be ideal for some dogs that need less concentrated protein.
The final food I would like to introduce today is another formula from the reliable brand Wellness.
This food has more protein than the other Wellness product that we introduced, and there’a few other things we’d like to note about it! This food is grain-free and contains no animal by products.
The source of fatty acid in this food is a little different from the others. This food features salmon oil, and this helps your dog love the taste of the food more while also boosting shine in their coat. Additionally, this food has added glucosamine and chondroitin. Both of these ingredients protect your dog’s joints as they age.
Be Smart And Keep Your Yorkie’s Food Safe
There you have it! Those are the top five dog food for Yorkies that every Yorkie owner should know about. Every food on our list is a great choice; the final decision simply depends on exactly what you’re looking for!
We want to give you one more tip before you go. There are a few foods we really don’t think are good choices for Yorkies. Hill’s Science Diet and Pedigree foods both contain corn as the first ingredient, so it’s probably best to steer clear of these dog foods until they are updated!