The Best Dog Food for Yorkies: Top 5 Picks for 2017
Your dog is a part of the family. As such, you want to feed him the best food possible so that they can be happy and healthy.
After all, you wouldn't feed your kids garbage, so why would you settle for dog food that is subpar? For most people, generic dog food will do just fine, as long as the price is right and their pet doesn't get sick immediately.
However, if you have a pure breed, then you want to take the extra steps to ensure that your furry baby is getting the best nutrition.
Because different breeds have different metabolisms, body types, and nutrient requirements, you have to make sure that the food you use will meet all the needs for your dog.
In this case, let's talk about Yorkies. These little bundles of joy are well known for their spirited demeanor and beautiful, long fur coats.
Although Yorkies may conjure up images of high-class women carrying them in their purses, the fact is that this breed is as lovable and friendly.
If you have a Yorkie, then you want what's best for it. That means that you don't want food that will work for any old dog, which is why you like to do your research.
In this article, I will offer you some of the best dog foods you can get for your pooch, as well as explain to you why Yorkies are unique and what they need to consume to be as healthy as possible.
- 1 Best Dog Food for Yorkies: Our Top 5 Picks
- 1.1 Why Our Review Matters?
- 1.2 What Should You Feed Yorkies?
- 1.3 Nutritional Facts About Yorkies Food
- 1.4 Yorkies Feeding Schedule
- 1.5 1. Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Adult - Dry Dog Food Review
- 1.6 2. Hill's Science Diet Small & Toy Breed - Dry Dog Food Review
- 1.7 3. EUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult - Dry Dog Food Review
- 1.8 4. NUTRO ULTRA Puppy - Dry Dog Food Review
- 1.9 5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection - Dry Adult Dog Food Review
- 2 Dry vs. Wet Food
- 3 Common Food Problems with Yorkies
- 4 Final Verdict:
Best Dog Food for Yorkies: Our Top 5 Picks
**You'll find more detailed reviews on each product below. You can also click the links above to check prices or read customer reviews on Amazon**
Why Our Review Matters?
So why should you listen to me? What credentials do I have? Well, I'm not a vet, so I can't say that I have years of schooling and experience, but I do have Yorkies (two of them), and I've tried a lot of different foods.
Yorkies are notoriously picky eaters, meaning that I have spent more money on food that went to the garbage than I ever thought I would.
Also, I did my research. After about the third trial run that ended up in the garbage once again, I decided that I would search for the best stuff and find out why my dogs were so finicky about what went into their bodies.
So, you should pay attention to this review, unless you want to spend hours on the internet like I did. Save time (and money) by seeing what I've found first.
Even if you don't get any of the brands I've listed, this article should help you understand better food for your dog's needs and why you should care.
What Should You Feed Yorkies?
On some intellectual level, you know that different dog breeds need different formulations of food. Not only does size come into play, but bone structure, skin type, fur type, and other factors are all important when deciding what to feed your dog.
Assuming that you have purebred Yorkies, you may be wondering how their dietary restrictions differ from other dogs. Here are some things to consider.
With smaller breeds, it's harder to tell when they are full grown, but Yorkies are classified as adults after only ten months. That means that you will be feeding them adult mixtures for much of their life span.
You have to worry about their tooth decay, because this breed will lose their teeth as it gets older.
So, you should be looking for the following markers in your dog's food.
- 30% or more protein
- Tartar control
- Natural ingredients
- Chicken or Beef as the main ingredient
- Small breed formula (if you don't get breed-specific food)
- Fatty acids for a shinier coat
- Complete and Balanced" (this phrase is regulated and has a particular meaning)
- Small shaped kibble for easier eating
Because your Yorkie will only be a puppy for such a short amount of time, there is little difference between the two.
However, you should still look for a brand that says "for puppies" as it will have more protein and complex carbohydrates to maintain energy levels.
Nutritional Facts About Yorkies Food
For this breed, there are some important things that you should know. The more you can understand your dogs, the easier it will be to feed them as you will instinctively know what to feed them.
I made the mistake of doing everything trial by error, and I would strongly suggest that you avoid that route. With that in mind, here are some nutritional guidelines for your Yorkie.
- As with all dogs, they need a good balance of protein. Try to make sure that it comes from lean meat like chicken or fish.
- Carbohydrates are good, but not if they are too complex. Corn and soy can be hard on their stomach, so go for other veggie options like sweet potato or brown rice.
- Because Yorkies don't have an undercoat and because their fur is so thick, you need to make sure that it is getting enough fat in its diet. They don't eat much anyway, so don't worry about weight gain. Fatty acids are best for a shiny coat. Fish oil is also great.
- To make sure that they are getting a complete set of vitamins, feel free to drop a dog multivitamin in his food every couple of days, or get treats that will add extra nutrients to his diet.
- Adult Yorkies only need about 150 calories a day. Pups may need as many as 200. That's not a lot, so be careful about overfeeding.
Yorkies Feeding Schedule
Yorkies are very small, so that they don't need a lot of food to survive. Thus, one meal a day is fine for adults, but during the puppy stage, you should feed him twice a day.
What's interesting about Yorkies is that most of them won't overeat, meaning that they have perfected the self-feeding process.
That means you should be able to leave food out all day and they will nibble when they get hungry.
For puppies, however, you should control their eating habits until they mature. The potential downside of this, however, is that if your dog does overeat, then it will get sick immediately.
If you notice your pooch throwing up after switching to self-feeding, then you will want to monitor his diet to avoid further messes.
If you like, you can take his regular portion and split it in half to feed him twice a day. Otherwise, single feedings are best for this breed. The main reason to feed your dog twice a day is to prevent bile build up.
Thus, if you notice your dog acting hungry, give him food. So, for best results, start with feedings two times a day and then adjust based upon individual dog’s dietary needs.
Yorkies have very sensitive stomachs, which can lead to a lot of messes. On the one hand, you'll know instantly if a brand of food doesn't agree with your dog, but then you still have to clean up afterwards.
Thus, I would recommend buying small bags of different brands to find the one that works best.
If you want to switch brands, then transition slowly over about a week. Start with a little bit of the new brand on the bottom of the old, and then add a bit more each day until you can take away the old version.
It will make it much easier for his stomach to make the transition smoothly.
1. Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Adult - Dry Dog Food Review
We're starting off our list with Royal Canin yorkie food. What I like most about this brand is that they pay extra attention to breeds, meaning that if you have a purebred dog (like a Yorkie), then the food will be designed for that breed specifically.
In this case, adult Yorkies will benefit from Omega 3 and six fatty acids, Biotin, and lots of clean protein.
I don't like the fact that this isn't grain free, but it doesn't seem to affect my dogs, so it hasn't been a problem thus far. One thing that I do like, though, is that the kibble is shaped for a Yorkie's mouth, meaning that my dogs go nuts for it.
Finally, this blend comes with ingredients to help prevent plaque and tartar, which is necessary for this breed. Unless you want to brush your dog's teeth every other day, this blend will help you out.
- Reduces dental plaque and tartar
- Prevents new tartar from forming
- Helps protect coat
- Nourishes fur
- Delectable taste mixture
- Satisfies fussy appetites
- Unique formula for Yorkies
- Kibble shape is designed for Yorkies
- Supports healthy aging
- Not grain free
- Corn is a primary ingredient
- In rare cases, food may cause indigestion
2. Hill's Science Diet Small & Toy Breed - Dry Dog Food Review
Much like Royal Canin, Hill's Science Diet pays attention to breed like no other. Using 220 veterinarians, food scientists, technicians, and Ph.Ds and nutritionists, this company makes food that is scientifically formulated to be the best for your dog.
While my Yorkies aren't crazy about the flavor, I do know that this blend is top notch nutrition-wise.
The other thing that I like most about this product is that it only has natural ingredients. There are no dyes, preservatives, or other human-made parts, meaning that you can give your dogs the best food possible.
In fact, this company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, which is a fantastic bonus. Considering how picky Yorkies are, this is a great thing to take advantage of if you can.
- Boosts immunity
- All natural ingredients
- Provides antioxidants
- No artificial flavors or colors
- Shaped for a Yorkie's mouth
- Specially formulated for max nutrition
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Made in the USA
- Not grain free
- Some ingredients may cause allergic reaction in your dog
- Some dogs may not like the flavor
3. EUKANUBA Breed Specific Adult - Dry Dog Food Review
As far a dog food brands go, Eukanuba is one of the tops. Before I got my Yorkies, I had a couple of mixed breeds, and I fed them Eukanuba with no problems.
For the most part, this brand doesn't create any issues, but because Yorkies have such refined tastes, your dog may not like this food. Also, it's not specially formulated for the breed, so you will need an additional vitamin supplement if you use this food.
What I do like of this product is that it helps reduce tartar, it's high in fiber (for dry poops), and it is formulated for better digestion. Since Yorkies have such troublesome stomachs, this could help alleviate some problems for your dog.
- Proprietary formula reduces tartar
- High in fiber
- Specialized to help with nutrient absorption
- best food for yorkies with sensitive stomachs
- Omega acids contribute to improving coat
- Uses high-quality animal proteins
- Shaped for easier consumption
- Made in the USA
- More expensive than other similar products
- In rare cases, your dog may get sick
- May not improve coat shine in all dogs
4. NUTRO ULTRA Puppy - Dry Dog Food Review
I have had limited experience with Nutro Ultra, but I know that this another great brand. In this case, we have a generic "small breed" formula, which may or may not work for your Yorkies.
I would recommend using a vitamin supplement with this food. Also, buy a small pack to make sure that it will jive with your dog's taste buds.
Things I like about this product are that it has antioxidants, it uses alternatives to corn and soy, and that it helps with brain development in puppies. If your dog doesn't snub this food, it can be ideal for a Yorkshire Puppy.
- Supports healthy immune system
- Full of antioxidants
- Blend of three proteins for better results
- Helps with cognitive development
- Optimized calcium levels for better bones and teeth
- Fatty acids improve coat sheen
- Not specific to Yorkies
- Not grain free
- Some dogs may not like taste
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection - Dry Adult Dog Food Review
Our last stop is Blue Buffalo Dog Food. It is another general breed formula, but I find that Blue Buffalo has a lot of great qualities that can help your Yorkie thrive.
As with all generic foods, be sure to give your dog a vitamin supplement, as well as something to help prevent tooth decay. This particular formula doesn't help with tartar, so you will have to watch out for that.
I like that this food comes with extra nutrients and that it has all natural ingredients.
The veggies used are grain free which is good, and it comes with extra protein and amino acids for your growing dog. This mixture is ideal for adults, but it can work for puppies too.
- Increased protein and carb levels
- Full of essential amino acids
- Mix of three nutrient-rich veggies
- Full of antioxidants
- Kibble is formed a cold temp to preserve nutrients
- All natural ingredients
- Made in the USA
- Not specific to Yorkies
- Kibble shape may be too large
- In rare cases, it may cause diarrhea
Dry vs. Wet Food
One of the biggest questions that people have about their dogs is whether wet food is preferable to dry food. In almost every case, dry food is much better, as it helps strengthen teeth and reduces plaque and tartar buildup.
For Yorkies, because their teeth are so susceptible already, I would strongly recommend that you avoid wet food at all costs.
The added water will make the decaying process happen much sooner. The other thing to look at with dry food is to make sure that it is small enough for your dog.
Yorkies' mouths are so small that they won't be able to eat if the kibble is too big. That was a big problem that my dogs had, which is why I had to throw out so much food in the beginning.
Common Food Problems with Yorkies
Their stomachs are so sensitive, which is why you have to watch out for a lot of different digestion problems. Most of the time, if something creates an adverse reaction, you will see vomit.
However, in other cases, diarrhea may be a result. Fortunately, the breed is so small so that cleanups will be less of a hassle.
Unfortunately, it could continue for longer than you expect, as indigestion may last for several meals.
As I mentioned above, bile buildup can also be a problem, so make sure that you don't go too long between feedings.
If your dog can self-feed without overeating, then that's the best route to take, as it removes all the guesswork from your end.
Overall, avoid soy and corn, and make sure that your dog doesn't eat too much. If you can do that, it should be okay.
While generic "small breed" food can work fine for most of the dog owner, if you want the best then you have to get a specific formula.
When comparing the different dog food brands, I have to say that my favorite is Yorkshire Terrier Royal Canin Adult because the company really cares about breeds more than anything.
If your dog doesn't like that brand, however, then Hill's Science Diet Small & Toy Breed would be my second choice.