Best Dog Food For Yorkies
Yorkies or Yorkshire Terriers are toy breed dogs that have a lot of hair. These fluffy animals can weigh between 12-15 pounds and can grow to be 8-9 inches tall.
Small as Yorkies may be, they pack a ton of personality into their little bodies and they make wonderful companion pets. Just like any dog, however, Yorkies have specific nutritional needs that, as a dog owner, it is your job to meet.
Keep reading to learn more about your Yorkie’s nutritional needs and how to meet them by choosing a high-quality dog food formula. You’ll also receive our top 5 picks for the best dog food for Yorkies.
Quick Look at Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: Natural Balance Original Ultra
- Best Puppy Food for Yorkies: Merrick Grain Free Puppy Recipe
- Best Senior Dog Food for Yorkies: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
- Best For Allergies: Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin
- Best For Weight Loss: Nutro Lite and Weight Management Adult Dry Dog Food
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We try to use the criteria recommended by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association when choosing the best dog foods for Lhasa Apsos. We look for foods that meet the following criteria as much as possible:
- Foods that are AAFCO-approved, preferably with food trials.
- We give great consideration to nutritional research done by the company.
- We prefer dog foods that have been formulated by veterinary nutritionists.
- Good quality control is essential.
- Nutrition is more important than ingredients that sound good to the dog’s owner. Clever marketing should not be the deciding factor in choosing the food you buy for your dog. You will not be eating the dog food – your dog will. You must choose the food that is best for him even if the ingredients don’t sound appealing to you.
We also consider the recent warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which advised that there could be a link between grain free dog foods and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. The FDA continues to investigate at this time.
The foods we are recommending are what we believe are the best dog foods for Lhasa Apsos.
These foods are healthy, nutritious, formulated by veterinary nutritionists, made with strict quality control standards, and backed up with solid nutritional research.
Best Rated Dog Food For Yorkies Reviewed
The epitome of a large dog in a small dog’s body, the Yorkies has a spark and a zest for life that goes unmatched in most dog breeds. If you want to sustain your Yorkie’s vitality for the duration of his its life, make feeding him it a high-quality diet a top priority. Here are our top picks for the best dog food for Yorkies that you should consider:
Key Considerations When Buying Dog Food For Yorkies
Yorkies are small in size and they have a lot of hair. They need proper nutrition so that they can steer clear of allergies and diseases. This is why they need a highly nutritious diet. Although the market is bundled with different dog foods for toy breeds, not all can be trusted. To help this process, we have made a list of some features that can determine if the brand you’re eyeing for is good or not.
- Size Of Kibbles – Yorkies have a very small mouth. Their teeth are unable to grind hard kibbles. Thus, avoid all food brands that manufacture hard or large kibbles. Besides this, ensure that you oversee the size and softness of the kibbles even if the brand mentions that the food is perfect for all breeds.
- Low Glycemic Index Diet – Food items with a high glycemic index can lead to accumulation of sugar in the body. Since Yorkies are small, they require a low glycemic index diet. Furthermore, choose food items that derive nutrients only from healthy sources.
- Age – Yorkies have different energy levels at different stages of life. Puppies are the fastest and most active in comparison to adult and senior Yorkies. Thus, feed these dogs with food that does not supply unnecessary calories.
- Health Status – There are many brands that manufacture food for healthy pets. However, not all those foods are fit for overweight dogs suffering from food allergies. Thus, if your pet has any health condition, buy only foods that cater to the special requirement of the dog.
A balanced diet is a mixture of proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fibers, fats, antioxidants, and water. All these nutrients contain calories, and calorie requirement of Yorkies depends on their weight and age.
- Puppy Yorkies – You should let your pet live on mother’s milk for the first 4 weeks. All puppies below the age of 8-10 months will require about 200 calories a day to stay healthy and active throughout the day.
- Adult Yorkies – Adult Yorkies have a lot of energy. However, they are less energetic when compared to puppies. This is why about 150 calories per day are sufficient for Yorkies between the age of 1-6 years.
- Senior Yorkies – Senior Yorkies are playful as well. It’s just that their needs change dramatically with age. A senior Yorkie needs no more than 120 calories a day. Overfeeding senior Yorkies can lead to obesity, cutting down on some precious years from their lives.
The first most important nutrient for all animals is protein. It certainly holds true for Yorkies too. Muscles need to stay in shape throughout the passing years so that the dog can enjoy a healthy life in the later stages of its life. The one thing of primary importance when it comes to feeding protein to a pet is the source of the nutrient. The best sources of protein for dogs are lamb, turkey, chicken, salmon, beef, and duck. You should avoid protein from animal by-products and soy if your pet has a sensitive stomach. A diet that contains anywhere 28-34 percent protein is considered healthy for Yorkies.
Fat is as necessary as any other nutrient. As long as the fat is coming from clean sources like chicken or pork, it is good for the dog’s health. Easy-to-digest fat is required in order to keep the dog’s immune system strong. In fact, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids improve digestion and soften hard stools. Moreover, a balanced diet for a healthy Yorkie should contain no more than 18% fat. Depending upon the age, the fat amount can vary between 12-18%.
Prebiotic and water insoluble fibers coming from fresh vegetables and boneless meat are absolutely necessary ingredients of a perfectly balanced diet for dogs. Without them, no diet is a balanced diet. This becomes even more important if your dog has a sensitive stomach. For the record, fibers can reduce constipation, bloating, and acidity. They can soften hard stools as well. Regardless, their excessive consumption can cause troubles. For this reason, an ideal diet for Yorkies should not contain more than 6% fiber. You can vary the amount to 2-6% depending on the age and health status of your pet.
Carbohydrates are the warehouse of energy that your pet needs every hour of its life. Against the fact that people believe all carbs are fattening, there are healthy carbs as well. Healthy carbs are the ones that can be easily burned down to release energy. In fact, it is in the complete absence of carbohydrates that your dog is left more prone to gaining weight. Carbohydrates coming from healthy food sources like sweet potatoes are easy-to-digest and offer instant energy. Having said that, sometimes some dogs can be allergic to potatoes. So, if your dog has any kind of food allergy, you must consult a vet before feeding your pet.
Feeding A Yorkie By Age
Yorkies are delicate little dogs that need a lot of attention. They are extremely playful and adorable, especially as puppies. You have to be more of a parent and less of an owner to raise all pets with love. This, in particular, is most necessary when handling a puppy. Yorkies, as puppies, have special requirements because they have a very small mouth. Moreover, they can easily choke on almost all food items.
- Below 1 Month – You should not feed a Yorkie puppy with anything solid below the age of 1 month.
- Between 1-3 Months – Puppies between 1-3 months should be given properly mashed kibbles, in a very low quantity with lots of milk
- Between 3-6 Months – Puppies between 3-6 months should be given a half milk and half kibble diet.
- 6 Months And Above – Yorkies over the age of 6 months can handle dry dog food as long as the kibbles aren’t too hard.
Hypoallergenic Food Diet For Yorkies
The chances that Yorkies are hypoallergenic are much less than many other dog breeds. That being said, they aren’t a hundred percent allergy-proof. A hypoallergenic dog mostly has a sensitive stomach and it can develop skin infections. If your pet suffers from this condition too, a hypoallergenic diet is what you must consider. However, the first thing to consider is knowing the ingredients that the dog can be allergic to. We have a list of such ingredients that are most common allergy-causing culprits in dogs.
- Dairy products
- Animal by-products
Whilst these are the most common allergy-causing ingredients, Yorkies can sometimes be allergic to certain carbohydrates as well. Remember, only after you’ve found out what ingredients your dog is allergic to that you can find out a true hypoallergenic diet. We have listed a few best hypoallergenic diets for Yorkies that will let your pet live a trouble-free life.
- Novel Protein – Novel protein is actually a term used to specify a new protein that your dog hasn’t had before.
- Hydrolyzed Protein – Hydrolyzed protein is actually a broken form of larger proteins. Since these are small molecules, they are easily digestible.
- Limited Ingredient Diet – Limited-ingredient diets derive protein from a single source. This diet is suitable for dogs that are allergic to multiple ingredients.
Food Allergy And Food-Related Health Issues In Yorkies
Yorkies that have a food allergy can exhibit different symptoms like, dandruff, vomiting upon consumption of food, hair fall, loose stools, and diarrhea. If you recognize any of these symptoms in your pet, you might want to take it to a vet and find out what the troubling allergens are. However, whatever the allergens be, food allergy can lead to a lot of health troubles. Whilst there are many, we have made a list of most common food-related health troubles in Yorkies.
- Hypoglycemia – Hypoglycemia or low sugar level mostly affects overweight Yorkies. Dividing your dog’s diet into low-fat multiple smaller meals will ensure that the blood has enough sugar at all times.
- Luxating Patella – It can be caused by a trauma. This bone and a joint condition can sometimes be hereditary as well. Feeding your dog with premium-quality protein is one solution.
- Tracheal Collapse – This condition happens if the cartilage around the tracheal rings is not fully formed. Since glucosamine is the ingredient that can repair cartilage, it is a natural cure for tracheal collapse.
- Bloating And Indigestion – Indigestion and bloating lead to stomach upset, cramps, acidity, and constipation. Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, fibers, and prebiotics are the items that help in these conditions.
In the end, Yorkies make lovely family pets. They are loyal, intelligent, and playful. These well-mannered dogs are good with children. In reality, Yorkies are low-maintenance pets that need less food than big dog breeds. Also, they have a thin coat that is covered with long hair. This is yet another reason why these pets are so popular. Having said that, despite low-maintenance, Yorkies have specific needs, especially as puppies. You must take special care while feeding them.