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Best Dog Food For Yorkies

yorkie dog

This is our review of the best dog food for Yorkies in 2020.

The best dog foods for this toy breed are high energy and nutrient-dense.

Toy dogs are ridiculously cute.

But your Yorkie’s fast metabolism puts them at risk for hyperglycemia if their diet does not provide enough calories.

I’m a former vet tech who researched the best dog foods for Yorkies to help you find the best food for your dog.

And I found that Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Dog Food is the best overall dog food for Yorkies.

Every dog is different. So, I’ve included reviews of the best brands for every category of dog food for Yorkies.

Let’s get started.

Our Best Dog Food for Yorkies

  1. Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Dog Food (Best Dog Food for Yorkies Overall)
  2. Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Puppy Food (Best Food for Yorkie Puppies)
  3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Senior Food (Best Dog Food for Yorkie Seniors)
  4. Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Food (Best Budget Food for Yorkies)
  5. Wellness Core Small Breed Dog Food (Best Premium Food for Yorkies)
  6. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Toy Wet Food (Best Wet Food for Yorkies)
  7. Natural Balance L.I.D Small Breed Bites (Best Dog Food for Yorkies with Allergies)
  8. Taste of The Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Food (Best Dog Food for Yorkies Who Need Extra Energy)
  9. Hill’s Science Mini Breed Sensitive Stomach and Skin Dog Food (Best Dog Food for Sensitive Yorkies)
  10. Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Adult Food (Best Breed-Specific Dog Food for Yorkies)

10 Best Dog Food for Yorkies

All dog foods included on this list meet the standard AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines for dogs. [1] Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet.

Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Dog Food

Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground Rice
  • Key feature: Whole-food based nutrition for toy breeds
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 17% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 502 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Overall

This formula provides innovative nutrition to meet the unique needs of toy breeds. Small kibble pieces boast a high caloric content of 502kcal/cup. This provides adequate energy for the fast metabolisms of small dogs. [2]

These calories come from a high protein, high fat composition of 30% protein and 17% fat. Protein provides energy. And fat helps Yorkies produce the natural oils necessary to keep their unique coats healthy.

These macronutrients come from whole-food ingredients such as chicken, sweet potatoes, and flaxseed. These ingredients help boost digestibility and nutrient absorption in dogs. [3]

The inclusion of whole-grains, such as oats, provides a source of digestible carbohydrates. Carbohydrates help prevent hypoglycemia in Yorkies by reducing low blood sugar risks. [4]

Dog owners appreciate the low sodium levels that make this food suitable for Yorkies with heart problems. But some owners report difficulty feeding this formula to the pickiest eaters.




Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Puppy Food

Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Puppy Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat, Corn, Dried Plain Beet Pulp
  • Key feature: Breed-specific formula exclusively for Yorkie puppies
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 27% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 380 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Breed Specific
  • Life Stage: Growth
  • Best for: Yorkie Puppies

Choosing a food that provides balanced nutrition for puppies is critical while your dog is growing. This formula contains 27% protein, providing an appropriate amount of protein to support healthy growth.

Young Yorkshire Terriers also have a high risk of suffering from hyperglycemia. So puppies should eat a diet that includes easily digestible carbohydrates to manage blood sugar, like rice.

The formula also includes Vitamins E and C. These antioxidants help immature immune defenses in puppies. [4]

And a higher 18% fat content contains omega fatty acids that help maintain your Yorkie puppy’s coat.

Yorkie owners struggling with picky puppies appreciate this Royal Canin formula. Some owners attributed this to the unique kibble shape that encouraged chewing.

But, this formula does contain some common allergens and may not be suitable for sensitive puppies.




Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Senior Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Senior Food Chicken
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Split Peas, Whole Brown Rice
  • Key feature: Non-GMO senior formula for small breeds
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 315 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Non-GMO
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Best for: Yorkie Seniors

Toy dogs may lose their appetite as they age, leading to weight loss. But most Yorkie owners find that their seniors happily eat this formula.

High-fiber ingredients such as beet pulp help keep your elderly Yorkie’s digestive system healthy. [5]

Added vitamin E can also help boost the weakened immune systems of older dogs.

The 25% protein content of this food comes from chicken meat. This non-GMO formula does not contain by-products, corn, wheat, or soy. Older Yorkies have sensitive stomachs that this simple recipe may help manage.

Unfortunately, this dog food does not contain common ingredients in senior dog food that help ease joint discomfort.




Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Food

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Food Chicken
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground White Rice, Chicken Fat, Cracked Pearl Barley
  • Key feature: Budget-friendly formula that contains superfoods
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 27% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 345 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Budget Yorkie Food

This affordable formula contains superfood ingredients with high nutrient densities. Superfoods include kale, pumpkin, blueberries, and chia seeds.

This nutrient-dense formula is ideal for providing the nutrition Yorkies require in a small serving.

A high protein content of 27% comes from real chicken, the first ingredient. Other affordable alternatives often feature meat by-products as their primary ingredient.

A serving of this dog food also contains 80 billion CFUs of a proprietary probiotic with Lactobacillus Acidophilus. This probiotic is proven to improve digestive health when included in dry dog food blends. [6]

Dog owners feeding this formula state it improved their dog’s bowel movements. But, picky eaters may not enjoy the taste of this food.




Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food

Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food Turkey
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
  • Key feature: Premium grain-free formula
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 36% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 396 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, High Protein, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Premium Yorkie Food

This dog food emphasizes the importance of high-quality protein in the canine diet. At 36%, this formula contains the highest protein content on this list, providing Yorkies with the high energy diet they require.

This grain-free food uses high-quality animal protein to provide energy instead of carbohydrates.

Yorkie owners have reported that toy breeds can comfortably eat the small kibble size of this brand. Users have also experienced digestive health improvements in dogs with food sensitivities.

Thoughtful ingredients include omega-3 fatty acids for skin health. And glucosamine helps protect your dog’s joints.

Unfortunately, the premium features come with a higher price tag compared to competitors.




Blue Buffalo Homestyle Toy Wet Food 

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Toy Wet Chicken
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Peas, Pea Flour
  • Key feature: Appealing wet food for fussy eaters
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 9% Crude Protein, 6% Crude Fat, 1.5%  Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 185 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Wet Food for Yorkies

This pate-style food can be served on its own or mixed with dry food. It includes healthy sources of lean protein like chicken.

The 9% crude protein content is deceptively low compared to other dry food due to the high moisture content. This food is still high in protein and includes organs like chicken liver.

Organs are good sources of Vitamin A and other nutrients. [7]

Barley and oatmeal are healthy carbohydrates that act as sources of energy for small dogs with high metabolisms. This food does not contain additional fillers or potentially harmful additives.

Generally, Yorkies and other picky dog breeds prefer wet food. Reviews from owners demonstrate that this food is an excellent choice for the fussiest eaters. But, some report that the food is not moist enough.




Natural Balance L.I.D Small Breed Bites

Natural Balance L.I.D Small Breed Bites Salmon
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Cassava Flour, Potatoes
  • Key feature: Limited ingredient diet based on salmon and sweet potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 380 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Limited Ingredient Diet, Sensitive Digestion, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-Free, Pea-Free, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Yorkies with Allergies

Small dogs can have sensitive stomachs that react to allergens. But, there is no way to cure dogs from allergic reactions altogether. The best way to manage allergies is to feed a simple diet without fillers and additives. [8]

Salmon is the only animal protein in this 24% protein food. A single source of protein is ideal for avoiding potential allergens.

Sweet potatoes provide digestible carbohydrates, making this grain-free food suitable for Yorkies.

But the low 10% fat content may not support the oil production necessary for Yorkies to maintain a healthy coat.

Dog owners appreciate the custom kibble created for small breeds. But reviews also warn potential consumers about a fishy smell.




Taste of The Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Food

Taste of The Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Venison, Lamb Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Lentils
  • Key feature: Limited ingredient diet based on salmon and sweet potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4.0% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 370 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Yorkies Who Need Extra Energy

Your tiny princess may seem very different from her wolf ancestors. But your Yorkie can thrive on a diet that resembles what she evolved to eat.

A blend of venison, lamb, duck, and fish provides 32% crude protein. That combination allows this grain-free option to offer small dogs long-lasting energy.

A high 18% crude fat content provides another source of energy for Yorkie diets. Omega fatty acids from fish ensure that your dog’s unique coat stays healthy. 

Reviews from dog owners rave about the positive effects of this formula on their dog’s appearance. But some owners report that the significant portion of pea protein turned off their dogs.




Hill’s Science Mini Breed Sensitive Stomach and Skin Dog Food

Hill's Science Mini Breed Sensitive Stomach and Skin Chicken
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearl Barley
  • Key feature: Scientifically formulated to help reduce stomach and skin irritation
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 21% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 392 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Limited Ingredient Diet, Sensitive Digestion, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-Free, Pea-Free, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Yorkies With Sensitive Stomachs and Skin

Toy breeds can have notoriously delicate systems. Their beautiful coats can easily suffer from skin sensitivities and food intolerances. But elimination diets often do not include enough fat for skin health.

This is not a limited-ingredient dog food for allergies. But it contains thoughtful ingredients that help manage sensitive stomachs.

Prebiotic fiber from beet pulp is easily digestible by Yorkies. This ingredient helps soothe sensitive digestive systems. While vitamin E and omega fatty acids also help promote healthy skin.

Owners report significant improvements in their dog’s skin when feeding this product. But this formula does contain eggs, a common allergen.




Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Adult Dog Food

Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Adult Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Brewers Rice, Brown Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat, Wheat Gluten
  • Key feature: Scientifically formulated  to help reduce stomach and skin irritation
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 338 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Limited Ingredient Diet, Sensitive Digestion, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-Free, Pea-Free, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Breed-Specific Nutrition for Yorkies

This formula offers a solution to common breed-specific problems. They address issues beyond the higher energy needs of Yorkshire Terriers.

Yorkies often enjoy a long life expectancy. This dog food’s 26% protein content and balanced nutrient ratios help ensure that mature dogs stay healthy as they age.

Your pup’s unique coat will benefit from extra support in this formula’s 16% crude fat content.

Yorkie owners often find their pets readily eat this formula as the kibble is designed specifically for a tiny Yorkie mouth.

If your dog has a gluten allergy, this food may not be ideal. This recipe includes several ingredients that can cause reactions to that sensitivity.




yorkie dog sleeping

Guide To Buying Dog Food For Yorkies

When selecting a balanced dog food for your Yorkie, you’ll need to pay attention to several factors.

Macronutrients Your Yorkie Needs

Eating a balanced diet is critical for your Yorkie’s health. Your pup needs the correct ratio of protein, fats, and carbohydrates to provide the energy he needs to thrive.

Moderate to High Protein 

As omnivores, most dogs need a significant amount of protein from animal sources every day. But the high energy requirements of Yorkies increases the amount of protein they require.

Yorkies should have a diet consisting of at least 21% crude protein to meet their energy requirements. Crude percentages use scientific tests to calculate the amount of protein provided by the food.

High Fats

Fat content in dog food does not always directly translate to your pup packing on the pounds. Healthy fats are essential sources of energy and play a vital role in coat health.

Plus, you usually don’t need to worry about Yorkies becoming overweight. A high-fat diet can help them enhance their overall health.

Look for brands with a fat content higher than 10%. Ingredients that provide omega fatty acids, such as fish oil, will help keep their unique coats shiny.

Carbs

Digestible carbohydrates are an essential aspect of a healthy diet for Yorkies. 

Toy breeds cannot store significant amounts of carbohydrates in their body as glycogen. So they must continually consume them to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Whole grains are excellent sources of this macronutrient. Grain-free options also provide digestible carbohydrates from nutritious ingredients like sweet potatoes.

yorkie dog photo

How To Choose Food For Your Yorkie

After ensuring the food meets basic nutritional needs, select a formula that best meets your Yorkie’s individual needs.

LID formulation

Limited ingredient diets eliminate exposure to common food allergens by using a simple recipe to meet nutrient requirements. 

These formulas generally use a single source of animal protein. Since most allergens are proteins, a single protein source limits the potential development of new allergies.

Elimination diets typically do not include fillers or artificial additives. Many dogs with food intolerances experience digestive upset when they consume these ingredients.

If your Yorkie suffers from a sensitive stomach or food allergies, a limited ingredient diet may be beneficial.

High Fiber

Fibers are essential for healthy digestion. Healthy sources of fiber such as beet pulp act as prebiotics and help improve nutrient absorption from food.

Dogs do not rely on dietary fiber as a primary energy source. But, fiber nourishes beneficial gut bacteria that help breakdown food. And a healthy gut and proper nutrient absorption help your Yorkie digest the energy provided by his diet.

Some dog food formulas also include probiotic blends to boost digestibility further. Probiotics introduce additional good bacteria into your dog’s digestive tract. The sensitive gastrointestinal systems of senior Yorkies and Puppies can benefit from feeding probiotics.

Vitamins & Minerals

A balanced ratio of vitamins and minerals is vital for proper growth and development. Any dog food your purchase should meet AAFCO’s nutrient profile guidelines for dogs.

Proper amounts of vitamins and minerals are especially critical for growing puppies. Essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus contribute to the formation of bones. Chronic skeletal diseases can arise from mineral deficiencies.

Vitamins help boost the health of your Yorkie throughout his life. Some vitamins act as antioxidants. These antioxidants protect damaged tissues against free radicals. They are especially crucial for Yorkies with joint discomfort.

Smaller size bits

Toy dog breeds like Yorkies have tiny mouths and need small pieces of kibble. They can’t appropriately chew and digest standard-sized food.

Yorkies can easily choke on large pieces that they cannot comfortably swallow. If they do manage to consume unchewed food, it is more difficult to digest. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies, even if you feed your dog an appropriately balanced diet.

Caloric Needs

An average dog needs a daily diet that provides around 30 calories per pound of body weight. For example, a medium-sized dog will eat about 800 calories per day. 

Small breeds have faster metabolisms than their larger counterparts. They require higher calories in smaller meals to meet their energy needs.

Generally, toy breeds need to consume ten calories more per pound of body weight than large dogs to maintain their weight. Yorkies also need access to food throughout the day to avoid dips in their blood sugar.

Yorkshire Terrier Daily Calorie Requirements

Weight (lbs)Calories
4160
5200
6240
7280

The average adult Yorkshire Terrier weighs around 4-7 pounds and needs to eat 160-280 calories per day.

Age

Dogs’ nutritional needs can change as they age. Yorkie puppies need higher levels of protein for growth. And digestible carbohydrates help prevent hypoglycemia. 

Adult Yorkies thrive on diets high in fat and protein to support their high metabolism. Carbohydrates also help provide adequate energy for their active lifestyle.

Yorkies seniors do not need as much protein as they age. But they still require balanced nutrition to support their weakened immune systems. Added ingredients that help support aging joints can also benefit elderly dogs.

Common Yorkie Health Issues and How Diet Can Help

Nutrition can have a direct impact on the health of your Yorkie. Here are some common health issues that food can help manage.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a common health problem that results from an abnormally low blood sugar level. Adequate energy levels in the diet help prevent it.

Ensure that your Yorkie’s diet meets his minimum calorie requirements. A balanced ratio of macronutrients will help normalize blood sugar levels to limit the risks of this condition.

Yorkies are predisposed to this ailment because of their small body size. They cannot store adequate amounts of sugar as glycogen effectively. [9]

Symptoms of this issue include shaking, seizures, and weakness. I have a diabetic dog who had hypoglycemic episodes in the past. I know how serious it can be.

Floating kneecap

Otherwise known as a luxating patella, this condition occurs when your dog’s kneecap moves away from its natural position. Yorkies have a genetic predisposition for the disease. [10]

Diets that contain adequate antioxidants help limit damaging inflammation associated with the disease. Added ingredients such as glucosamine can help manage joint pain caused by the condition.

Tracheal collapse

Tracheal collapse causes airway obstruction in dogs when the cartilage rings of the trachea start to collapse. The genetic disease impacts Yorkie the most out of all dog breeds. [11]

The cause of tracheal collapse is unclear, but symptoms can be provoked by eating food that is not appropriate for toy breeds.

Sensitive stomach

Yorkies also frequently suffer from digestive disturbances from a sensitive stomach. Food intolerances often cause this condition.

You can determine if your dog has a food intolerance by feeding a limited ingredient diet. Probiotics also help manage sensitive stomachs by regulating the digestive tract.

yorkie dog playing

FAQ about Yorkie Dog Food

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about feeding Yorkies.

Is dry or wet food better for Yorkies?

Yorkies are notoriously picky eaters. Wet food is generally the safest bet for palatability, but dry food is more convenient.

What should I do if my Yorkie is a picky eater?

If your Yorkie is a picky eater, select a wet food. Most dogs prefer wet food to dry ones, and you can easily mix extra kibble into his meals.

Should I rotate foods or keep serving the same one?

Keeping your dog on a consistent diet isn’t unhealthy. But rotating balanced dog foods every few weeks or months can help improve appetite.

Is grain-free dog food good for Yorkshire terriers?

Most Yorkies thrive on a diet that provides energy from digestible carbohydrates. But they can also benefit from grain-free diets that provide adequate calories from additional fats and protein.

What is a good healthy treat for my Yorkie?

Consider feeding your Yorkie healthy treats like carrots and blueberries. You can view a list of safe human foods for dogs here.

Our Verdict

Yorkshire Terriers need a balanced diet that provides highly digestible energy. If they don’t eat food that meets their nutritional needs, they are susceptible to hypoglycemia.

Yorkies come in a cute, tiny package.

But they need top quality nutrition that packs a punch.

Every Yorkie is different. Work with your vet to determine the best diet for your pet. But Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Dog Food is an excellent choice for a high-energy, nutrient-dense diet for Yorkies.

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