The Yorkshire Terrier, or “Yorkies” as they’re lovingly referred to by enthusiasts, is a toy-size terrier. If you’ve ever watched a dog show, you’ll remember them for their gorgeous, floor-length silky coat.
Weighing no more than 7 pounds, this doggie is known as the “tomboy toy” because of its confidence, bravery, and tenacity well beyond his size.
From athlete to therapy dog, to beloved family member, Yorkies wear many hats — and they do it with panache. The Yorkie has been named the most popular breed in urban cities because of its versatile, well natured, and trainable personalities, all wrapped up in a small package.
The Best Dog Food for Yorkies Are…
|1. Halo Natural for Small Breeds|
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|2. Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier||Check Current Price|
|3. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed||Check Current Price|
|4. Merrick Classic Small Breed Recipe||Check Current Price|
|5. Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Small Breed||Check Current Price|
|6. Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small & Mini Breed||Check Current Price|
|7. Purina Pro Plan Savor Small Breed||Check Current Price|
|8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed||Check Current Price|
|9. Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition||Check Current Price|
|10. Hill's Science Diet Puppy Small Paws||Check Current Price|
1. Halo Natural for Small Breeds — Best Dry Dog Food for Yorkies
A holistic formula, Halo prides itself on sourcing the cleanest of proteins. Cage-free, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free meats and locally sourced non-GMO plant ingredients make this kibble exceptional. You won’t find any corn or soy on the ingredients list, either.
All of the protein ingredients are whole meats, not meals, including chicken liver, eggs, and chicken. This makes for not only a delicious kibble (by Yorkie standards) but easier to digest, too.
Halo Natural also contains a “DreamCoat” supplement in its formula. This proprietary ingredient is specifically designed to provide the essential fatty acids and other nutrients a Yorkie needs for healthy skin and pageant-ready coat.
- SK5 steel blade
- 180-degree rotating hand grip
- Cuts up to 1/2-inch diameter
- Four feet in length
- Non-GMO fruits and veggies deliver vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Protein sources are hormone and antibiotic-free.
- Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
- It’s “DreamCoat” supplement is explicitly tailored to support skin health and a glossy coat.
- Contains no artificial flavorings, dyes, or preservatives
- Some Yorkies weren’t into the chicken and liver flavor.
- Some humans were suspicious of the smell upon opening the bag.
2. Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier
This food is excellent for purebred Yorkshire Terriers because when it was formulated it took into consideration all of the quirks and personality traits that make them loveable (upbeat and energetic!) as well as the physical traits that make a Yorkie a Yorkie, including that gorgeous coat, tiny teeth that require special care, and everything in-between.
The Yorkie’s trademark silky coat is so special, and such a focus for many breeders and dog handlers because it isn’t like the coat you’ll find on most other breeds. It doesn’t have an undercoat, and it grows by strand much like human hair.
Like many small breeds, Yorkies can be finicky with their foods. If it doesn’t smell good, look good, and taste good, they’re out. Creating a formula which they’ll love to eat is a priority. Royal Canin seems to have done an excellent job. (As best as can be expected, anyway…)
- Formulated for adult dogs 10 months or older
- Tailored for the Yorkshire Terrier Breed
- Dry kibble texture
- Comes in dry and canned varieties
- Contains Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat
- Easy to crunch for little teeth
- Some Yorkies reported it’s delicious!
- Optimal nutrition for overall health
- Perfect kibble texture, size, and shape for easy chewing
- Some owners reported digestive issues in their Yorkies after consumption.
- Some Yorkies didn’t love the taste.
- Some owners reported they were unhappy when the formula suddenly changed.
3. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed
The kibble is a great size for toy breeds, which means since it’s easy to eat, your picky little muffin will be less likely to turn up their nose at the bowl. If you’ve ever had a small-breed dog, you know this is a big win because the struggle is real.
This formula consists mainly of brown rice and chicken, but also contains turkey, sweet potato, carrots, spinach, apples, and blueberries.
It also includes nutritional supplements, which are a good addition particularly for smaller dogs. Think of it as a multivitamin to ensure your pup is getting the balanced nutrition she needs.
For all the healthy things this food does have, it doesn’t contain corn or soy. Nor will you find any artificial dyes or flavorings, or preservatives.
- Made for small and toy breeds
- Small dry kibble
- With turkey, oatmeal, and salmon
- Formulated for adult dogs
- Vitamins A and C for immunity
- Chondroitin Sulfate for healthy joints
- Four protein sources for nutrient absorption
- Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
- Some Yorkies reported allergy problems.
- Some Yorkies turned their nose up at the taste.
- Some reported stomach upset.
4. Merrick Classic Small Breed Recipe
Made without artificial colors, flavors, additives, or protein by-products. Merrick Classic Small Breed Recipe contains all the ingredients you want to see, and none you don’t.
This brand is made in the US, ensuring fresher delivery to your door, and that means, among other things, better flavor for your potentially picky Yorkie.
This well-rounded recipe includes veggies and fruits to deliver vitamins and antioxidants. A blend of whole-grains supports a healthy gut and digestion. At the same time, chondroitin, glucosamine, and omega fatty acids take care of joint function as well as skin and coat health.
- This food is formulated for adult dogs.
- Specifically tailored to small-breed dogs.
- Dry kibble, sized for small dogs.
- Contains whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and barley to support digestive health
- Includes high-quality whole meats, including poultry, red meats, and fish
- Blueberries, apples, and carrots support balanced nutrition
- Includes glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints
- Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids support a glossy coat and healthy skin
- Supplemented with naturally sourced vitamins and minerals
- Some owners reported a hike in price.
- Some Yorkies reported tummy problems.
- Again, Yorkies are picky eaters, and some didn’t care for this formula.
5. Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Small Breed
This is another grain-free formula that contains a mix of kibble and whole, freeze-dried meats. Some dogs love it, some hate it, but it’s definitely a good source of whole proteins.
Extra chondroitin and glucosamine added to the formula is excellent for joint health, and it also contains salmon oil, giving the recipe an added punch of omega-3’s. This is great not only for skin and coat health, but is essential for brain development. You want to keep your smarty-pants Yorkie as sharp as you can!
Made in the US, this formula contains no corn, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. The size of this particular kibble is tiny, which is perfect for Yorkshire Terriers. Big flavor in one small package. Kinda like the dog.
***Note: This formula is grain-free, be sure to speak to your vet to determine if it’s the best formula for your fur baby.
- Comes in beef, pork and lamb recipes as well as salmon and whitefish, and chicken and turkey flavors
- Formulated for small breeds
- Formulated for adult dogs
- Grain-free formula
- Contains both kibble and freeze-dried bits
- Includes extra chondroitin and glucosamine
- Contains chicken-flavored kibble and freeze-dried raw turkey, delivering ample protein for building lean muscle
- Lots of flavors from which to choose
- Contains salmon oil for extra omega-3’s for healthy skin and a glowing coat
- This food caused some Yorkies a bellyache.
- Some owners complained their finicky babies ate all around the kibble just to get to the freeze-dried bits!
- Some owners reported the food had way smaller amounts of the freeze-dried bits than depicted on the bag.
6. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small & Mini Breed
Hill’s Science Diet foods bear the name for a reason: they have a team of scientists, veterinarians, and nutritionists who come together to develop their award-winning formulas. It’s no wonder they’re widely recommended by veterinarians, breeders, and professionals.
It’s also widely recommended by fur babies everywhere because Hill’s employs doggos to try out their recipes! (Imagine that — actually feeding the dogs their dog food to make sure they like it!) They measure satisfaction with texture, aroma, and flavor right at their labs. No pun intended.
If that’s not good enough for your picky Yorkie, there’s also a canned turkey and rice stew that is specially blended to support digestion and skin health. Fantastic if you’ve got to mix wet and dry to get your little queen (or king) to eat it.
This particular food sports ingredients like prebiotic fibers to support a healthy digestive system and omega fatty acids to promote a gorgeous coat and healthy skin.
- Formulated for adult dogs
- Intended for small and mini-breeds
- Designed for dogs with tummy and skin conditions
- Chicken flavor recipe
- Includes vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health
- Kibble is tiny, ensuring easy palpability for little guys.
- Contains prebiotic fiber to support your pup’s digestive health
- Made in the US
- No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- Some owners reported the packaging is too similar to the same food only in larger bite-size and was really easy to mix up. No fun to have to turn around and return it!
- Some Yorkies didn’t appreciate the kibble’s hard texture.
- Some owners reported the kibble is too small for their furry besties.
7. Purina Pro Plan Savor Small Breed
Blended with crunchy kibble and tender shredded bits, this texture may be a little easier for some Yorkies to get their tiny teeth into.
This particular blend was formulated with a protein-to-fat ratio that keeps your baby’s tiny body weight and metabolism optimally balanced. This is also essential for brain function.
Omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin A, and linoleic acids promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. The natural prebiotic fiber found in wheat bran teams up with live probiotics to help your little doggy maintain healthy digestion and a happy tummy.
Manufactured in the US, this recipe contains all the vitamins and minerals your dog needs with real chicken as the #1 ingredient.
- Formulated for adult dogs
- Chicken and rice flavor
- Dry kibble/tender, shredded chunk blend
- Formulated for small-breed dogs
- Contains live probiotics for digestive health
- Contains rice as a healthy carbohydrate, contributing to energy and easy digestion
- Quality sources of protein help develop healthy, lean muscle.
- Formulated with a fat-to-protein ratio that supports a healthy weight and metabolism.
- Linoleic acid and vitamin A support healthy skin and a radiant coat
- Kibble seemed to be too large for some dogs
- Some Yorkies just plain didn’t like it.
- Some owners reported their Yorkies had skin problems and digestive issues after eating.
8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed
This food contains a rainbow of nutritious ingredients to help your Yorkie stay healthy and happy. You’ll find real, quality sourced meats, including deboned chicken, as well as fruits and veggies, and whole grains to provide the quality carbs your little ball of fun needs to stay ready to play.
Blue Buffalo’s patented LifeSource bits round out the meal — adding antioxidants and nutrients above the average food for small dogs.
This recipe contains zero meat by-products, no wheat, no soy, and no corn. This amounts to quality nutrition for your morning (and afternoon, probably) walking buddy.
- Formulated for small breeds
- Formulated for adult dogs
- Chicken and brown rice flavor
- Dry kibble consistency
- Contains phosphorus and calcium for strong teeth and bones
- Kibble size is designed to promote tartar removal in small dogs
- Quality proteins promote healthy, lean muscle
- Contains glucosamine for joint health, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to maintain healthy skin and deliver a gorgeous coat
- Contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support immune system health
- Some owners reported the food smelled odd when they opened the bag.
- Some reported their Yorkies became lethargic after eating.
- Some reported inconsistencies between batches of food.
9. Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition
Most dog lovers will know that Pedigree is a huge sponsor of dog shows around the world. Of course, Yorkies are gorgeous little snowflakes, so each has its unique needs, but trainers and vets alike recommend this food pretty widely for show dogs.
Pedigree is a US company, and it prides itself on using quality ingredients from trusted sources. Their foods contain no artificial flavors and no sugars or high-fructose corn syrups.
This particular formula has a consistency that helps your little Yorkie pal keep his teeth clean and his breath fresh. Which is great, because they loooove to give sneaky kisses. It’s also got a nutritionally balanced blend specifically targeted to keep small-breed doggos healthy, happy, and full of energy.
- Formulated for small-breed dogs
- Intended for adult dogs
- Roasted chicken, rice, and vegetable flavor
- Dry kibble consistency
- Small kibble consistency helps clean teeth and remove tartar buildup
- Contains a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to provide complete and balanced nutrition
- Fiber and whole grains support digestive health
- Omega-6 fatty acids nourish the skin to keep that trademark coat healthy and shiny.
- Some dogs reported it tasted icky (to them, anyway).
- Some humans said the product didn’t arrive as advertised, it was missing the veggie bits.
- Reportedly caused some skin allergies in some Yorkies.
10. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Paws — Best Dog Food For Yorkie Puppies
Hill’s Science Diet foods are all manufactured in the US, meeting stringent standards for sourcing their ingredients. This results in a more nutritious, delicious food for your Yorkie puppy.
This particular formula is not only suited to puppies, but it’s also appropriate to feed pregnant and nursing dogs. If you’d like to give your puppy a little more variety, a wet food in this blend is also available. Mix with her kibble and you’ll have one happy Yorkie!
SInce Hill’s Science Diet is one of the top dog foods recommended by vets, you can be confident you’re feeding your tiny snuggle-pup the best.
- Formulated for puppies
- Intended for small-breeds
- Chicken, barley and brown rice recipe
- Contains quality-sourced protein for lean muscle maintenance
- Blend of minerals support healthy teeth and strong bones
- Contains fish oil, great for supporting healthy brain development, healthy skin, and shiny coat.
- Contains a specific blend of antioxidants to support immunity
- Some Yorkies turned their noses up at the taste.
- Some owners reported tummy problems after their Yorkies ate it.
- Some owners reported the kibble was too small for their Yorkie.
Best Dog Food for Yorkies — A Buying Guide
What To Look For Generally In Dog Food
At its simplest, the best food for Yorkies has features that is best for any breed:
This comes in the form of clean meat sources. Ingredients like poultry, red meats, eggs, and fish are healthy proteins, and if they’re not listed as the #1 ingredient on the bag, they should at least be in the top 3.
Fruits and Veggies
There should be a variety of antioxidant-rich, nutritionally dense fruits and vegetables. Think of what humans are encouraged to eat as part of a balanced diet — doggies need a similar spread.
Examples of these are Omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and/or chondroitin. These usually come sourced from fish oil, but can also be delivered through flaxseed oils.
These ingredients help contribute to joint and skin health, as well as brain function and development.
Made in the US or Canada
Some countries have more stringent quality standards for what manufacturers can legally put into dog food. Other countries may have looser standards.
While this isn’t a proclamation that any food not made in the US or Canada is harmful, and that every food manufactured there is stellar — it’s never a bad idea to be cautious. Be sure to read the label and know where your baby’s food came from.
Dog Food Features Specifically for the Yorkie Club
Accommodates Delicate Digestive Systems
As a small breed, Yorkies are prone to gastric distress, so it’s essential to choose a food that is gentle on their tiny tummies. This is also why their humans shouldn’t feed them people food unless a vet recommends a human food diet prepared explicitly for their needs.
Tailored With Dental Support in Mind
Most small breed dogs are prone to dental issues. Since they’ve got such tiny mouths and jaws, their teeth grow in a little closer together. This causes plaque buildup, tooth decay, and even periodontal disease if their teeth aren’t cared for properly.
Support for Lean Muscle Growth and Development
Studies show that Yorkie puppies, in particular, are prone to hypoglycemia. Still, in some cases, tiny Yorkies can carry it on into adulthood.
Foods containing an appropriate proportion of protein helps your doggie build lean muscle mass, needed to store glucose and regulate their blood sugar levels.
Some Things You Don’t Want to See
There are plenty of ingredients that come in pet foods that are detrimental to nutrition, and if you want to choose the best dog food for Yorkies, you’ll need to avoid them.
Chemical Preservatives, Artificial Colorings, Artificial Flavorings
Artificial ingredients in foods have been associated with all kinds of ailments, for doggies and humans alike. Gastrointestinal problems, allergic skin reactions, and even some behavioral issues. When choosing a food for your Yorkie, read the labels carefully to determine if these are present.
These ingredients are generally devoid of nutrition, so when your dog consumes them, he or she isn’t getting the complete nutrition they should be. Their purpose is to promote satiety, but really that’s about it.
Animal by-products are added for protein, but they’re low-quality and usually contain organs and meat or tissue that could be detrimental to your dog.
Some of these have been found to have some pretty unscrupulous sources beyond that, even. Hence, it’s essential to look at the protein source listed in the ingredients. If it doesn’t say real meat, best to pass.
How Much Should I Feed My Yorkie?
How much to feed a Yorkshire Terrier is mostly dependent on his weight rather than age. Of course, up until adulthood, which is considered to be around 1 year old, you’ll need to feed him puppy food exclusively (more on that a little later).
Here’s a simple guide for how much your Yorkie needs at mealtimes based on age and size:
- Yorkie puppies between 2-4 lbs need 1/3-1/2 cups of kibble daily, split between 3-4 feedings each day. Remember, Yorkie puppies are more prone to hypoglycemia than most other breeds, so eating frequently is very important.
- Yorkies, both pups and adults between 4-8 lbs need 2/3 cups per day average, split between 2-3 feedings each day. At this stage, free-feeding isn’t necessarily discouraged — but keep in mind, it’ll make housebreaking more difficult and you’ll have to pick up his bowl before his food goes stale.
- Snacks between meals aren’t discouraged either, they can help stave off that potential hypoglycemia we discussed earlier. As long as they’re nutritious, dry treats, it’s all good. They’re also great training tools for your Yorkie — so huzzah for 2 birds with one stone on the treat front.
Best Dog Food For Yorkie Puppies
Yorkie pups are tiny little fellas, so they’re delicate and need the proper diet to nurture them well as they put on the pounds.
Here’s what to look for when choosing food for your Yorkie Puppy:
- Balanced fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and carbs. Look for foods with “complete nutrition” on the labels.
- Look for a high enough protein content in his food to effectively build strong muscles. Consult your veterinarian to determine the specific protein needs of your Yorkie.
- Look for blends for sensitive tummies. Yorkie puppies are prone to gastrointestinal distress, and they need food that’s easy to eat and digest.
- As mentioned, Yorkies are prone to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, so some breeders and vets advise the addition of nutritional supplements to a Yorkie’s diet. These can come in the form of treats or additions to his regular kibble.
More on Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia can be a severe and even fatal condition for both humans and Yorkies. If your Yorkie burns too much energy too fast, low blood sugar “attacks” can happen suddenly, especially for puppies.
Another contributor to hypoglycemia in Yorkies is stress. Some situations that contribute to stress are if they’re over handled (no matter how much your Auntie Lynn wants to carry him around — maybe have to just say no), if they’re transitioning to a new home or new food, or when they’re cold.
If you suspect your pup is having an episode of hypoglycemia, there are some symptoms you’ll want to look for:
- lethargy and listlessness
- pale gums
- lack of coordination
- vomiting — particularly bile
- loss of consciousness
Some Final Thoughts on this Amazing Dog
Yorkies are a remarkable and surprising breed.
They come from a background where they were employed to catch rodents in underground tunnels (and they’re still darn good at it if you give them a toy they can show off with). A Yorkie was a decorated war hero, and they’re the darlings of the runway at the dog show circuit.
They’re fantastic companions for anyone looking for someone they can travel with, and snuggle on the sofa with. They’ll be right by your side until the very end.
To feed this one-of-a-kind breed, we’ve recommended Halo Natural for Small Breeds as our top pick. It’s got all the balanced, specialized nutrition your noble friend needs to live a long, healthy life.
And that’s important, because once you have a Yorkie, you’ll want all the time you can get for lots of walks, snuggles, and laughs.