Yorkshire Terriers are the 6th most popular dog breed in the USA. They are preferred for their compact size, loyalty, fun, tomboy-like temperament, and hypoallergenic coats, among other positive qualities.
But being tiny in size, Yorkies require a more nutrient-dense and high-energy food. This is necessary to keep up with their fast metabolism and to prevent hypoglycemia.
Here are our top handpicked selections for the best dog food for Yorkies and tips for keeping your furbaby healthy, fit, and happy with an appropriate diet.
The Best Dog Foods for Yorkies
Here are the top-rated dog foods for Yorkshire Terriers of all sizes and ages, all of which comply with the AAFCO standards for a complete and balanced diet for pups of this tiny breed.
Best Overall Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Dog Food
- First 5 Ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, ground brown rice, and rice
- Guaranteed Analysis: Protein 30% min, Fat 17% min, and Fiber 3.5% max
- Calories: 462 kcal per cup
- Type of Dog Food: dry dog food for small and toy dog breeds, digestive, skin, coat, immune support, natural, no meat by-products, no corn, wheat, or soy
- Lifestage: Adult
The Complete Health dry dog food for toy breeds by Wellness is the best choice for healthy adult Yorkies.
The kibble size is designed to be comfortable to chew and swallow, even by the tiniest adult Yorkshire terriers.
It provides 462 calories per cup, sufficient for providing the nutrition and fuels your little munchkin needs.
The high-quality food contains 30% protein from real chicken and turkey. It also contains carefully selected fresh plant and animal-based ingredients, including superfoods, which will ensure that your four-legged companion receives the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy omega fatty acids, and probiotics it needs for its overall health.
Thanks to the healthy fats in this dry dog food, your pup’s coat will be even shinier and more stunning.
The food contains flaxseed, sweet potatoes, and other wholesome ingredients for a healthy digestive system. It also has digestible carbs from the oats, ensuring that your furry friend maintains healthy and safe blood sugar levels at all times.
It is low in sodium and is sold in 4-pound bags at an excellent price for the quality offered.
Best For Teacup Yorkies: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
- First 5 Ingredients: chicken meal, brewer’s rice, whole grain wheat, soybean meal, and whole grain sorghum
- Guaranteed Analysis: Protein 20% min, fat 12.5% min, and fiber 4% max
- Calories: 371 kcal per cup
- Type of Dog Food: Veterinarian recommended dry dog food for toy breeds with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- Lifestage: Adult
If you have a Teacup Yorkie, you know how picky it can be, especially regarding kibble size and texture. This dry food from Hill’s Science is made for small dogs and has been approved by vets.
The small morsels are easy to chew and digest, even by the tiniest adult Yorkshire Terriers.
The food relies on high-quality real animal protein and plant sources for the protein, healthy fat, antioxidants, and other micronutrients a tiny Teacup Yorkie needs to stay healthy, bouncy, and happy.
The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids will ensure that the coat of your precious pup is shiny and beautiful, and the antioxidants will help keep its immune system at its best.
You can buy this high-quality dog food in bags of 4.5 and 15.5 lbs. It is also available in a Lamb Meal and Rice flavor option.
Best for Puppies Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Puppy Food
- First 5 Ingredients: chicken by-product meal
- Guaranteed Analysis: Protein 27% min, fat 18% min, and fiber 3.5% max
- Calories: 380 kcal per cup
- Type of Dog Food: breed-specific dry food for Yorkshire Terrier puppies
- Lifestage: puppies aged from 8 weeks to 10 months
This dry dog food eliminates the guesswork for dog parents who have Yorkie babies. It has been designed specifically to meet the size and nutritional, caloric, and energy needs of growing puppies from this toy dog breed.
This top-quality dog food has a high protein content, ensuring that your cute furbaby grows and develops healthy and well.
Thanks to the included balanced ingredients, micronutrients, and wholesome digestive carbs, you can stop worrying about your tiny puppy suffering from malnutrition or hypoglycemia, which is very common among toy-sized pups.
It includes the vitamins and antioxidants your furry baby needs for a strong immune system and enough healthy fat for a shiny coat and healthy skin.
The morsels are sized and shaped to fit the tiny mouths of toy-sized puppies and will encourage your little one to chew and break down the food before swallowing it.
The food is sold in bags of 2.5 or 10 lbs. and is also available in formulas for adult and adult 8+ Yorkshire Terriers.
Best for Senior Yorkies Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Senior Food
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain barley, split beans, and brewers rice
- Guaranteed Analysis: Protein 26% min, fat 14% min, and fiber 4% max
- Calories: 320 kcal per cup
- Type of Dog Food: Dry dog food for small or toy-sized dogs, human-grade, natural, non-GMO, high protein and fiber, sensitive digestion, no molasses, corn, wheat, or soy
- Lifestage: Senior
Although Yorkshire Terriers remain small or toy-sized during their lifetimes, they have different nutritional and calorie needs during their various life stages.
This premium-quality dog food has been formulated to provide a balanced and complete diet for senior pups from small and extra-small dog breeds.
Thanks to its human-grade real chicken and wholesome ingredients, it is highly palatable, even to picky eaters.
It has a high fiber and protein content for lean muscles and a healthy digestive system.
Thanks to the included vitamin E, the immune system and coat and skin health of your senior pup will be boosted too.
Nutro relies only on human-grade ingredients for making this food, but the only downside is that there is no added glucosamine or chondroitin in the kibble, which are key for the joint health of older pups.
You can buy 5- or 13-pound bags, with options for adult or senior dogs.
Best Budget-Friendly Option: Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Food
- First 5 Ingredients: chicken, chicken meal, cracked pearled barley, ground white rice, and grain sorghum
- Guaranteed Analysis: Protein 27% min, fat 16% min, and fiber 3% max
- Calories: 418 kcal per cup
- Type of Dog Food: high caloric dry dog food for small and toy-sized breeds, immune, skin, coat, and digestive health support
- Lifestage: Adult
This top-rated dry dog food by Diamond offers the best value for the price asked. So, you can be sure that you are feeding your four-legged friend a high-quality, complete, balanced diet without having to break the bank for high-end dog food.
It contains real chicken as its primary protein source and number one ingredient. It also includes superfoods like blueberries, pumpkin, kale, and chia. They will provide your Yorkie with the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other micronutrients it needs to be healthy and well.
The affordable kibble also contains healthy natural probiotics for gut health and for a boost to the dog’s immune system.
You can buy this budget-friendly dry dog food in bags of 6, 18, and 2×18 lbs. as well as in a Lamb and Rice flavor.
- First 5 Ingredients: beef, beef broth, water, chicken liver, and carrots
- Guaranteed Analysis: Protein 8% min, fat 3% min, fiber 1.5% max, and moisture 82% max
- Calories: 86 kcal per bowl
- Type of Dog Food: wet grain-free dog food for small breeds, natural, no wheat, grain, or soy
- Lifestage: Adult
If your Yorkie is especially fussy regarding food, you may try out this lip-smacking Divine Delights Prime Rib wet dog food for small breeds by Blue Buffalo.
It is sold in convenient 3.5-oz trays, so you don’t have to worry about storing opened dog food cans for extended periods of time.
The delicious formula includes real beef as its first ingredient and an irresistible prime rib flavor with gravy, which any pup will love eating.
It contains only real animal and plant-based ingredients, and zero grains, making it suitable for pups with sensitivities.
This palatable wet dog food is sold in cases of 12 or 2×12 3.5-oz trays and is also offered in other flavors, including Filet mignon, Roasted chicken, New York Strip, and a variety pack.
Best Grain-Free Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food
- First 5 Ingredients: deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, lentils, and peas
- Guaranteed Analysis: Protein 36% min, fat 16% min, and fiber 5% max
- Calories: 412 kcal per cup
- Type of Dog Food: gluten-free, grain-free dry dog food for small and toy breeds, high-protein, high-energy, natural
- Lifestage: Adult
If your Yorkie has a gluten intolerance, a sensitivity, or an allergy to grains, you should avoid feeding it any foods or treats containing these popular ingredients.
The Wellness Core dry dog food for small breeds has zero grains and is gluten-free.
Its primary protein source is real, deboned turkey, and the kibble has a very high protein content of 36%, which is perfect for active and lively adult Yorkshire Terriers.
The premium dry dog food has small-sized morsels, perfect for small and toy dogs.
It contains healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to make your pup’s coat even shinier and more beautiful. And also has natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are vital for keeping your pet’s bone cartilage and joints healthy and pain-free as it ages.
You can purchase this premium-quality kibble in bags of 4 and 12 lbs.
Best Limited Ingredient: Natural Balance L.I.D Small Breed Bites
- First 5 Ingredients: salmon, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, tapioca starch, and potatoes
- Guaranteed Analysis: Protein 24% min, fat 10% min, and fiber 4% min
- Calories: 380 kcal per cup
- Type of Dog Food: Limited ingredient dry dog food, chicken-free, grain-free, pea-free, for small dogs with sensitive digestion
- Lifestage: Adult
Unfortunately, common ingredients such as chicken, grains, and peas are among the most common allergens in dogs of all breeds, Yorkies included.
If your pet has digestive or other problems from eating one or more of these ingredients, you can ensure it still receives all of the nutrients, calories, and fuel it needs without adverse reactions by feeding it the Limited Ingredient Diet Small Breed Bites dog food from Natural Balance.
Avoiding feeding your pup the foods and ingredients that trigger its allergies or sensitivities is the only way to manage these conditions and prevent adverse reactions.
This kibble doesn’t contain any chicken, peas, or grains but still has 24% protein, enough fat, and digestible carbs and fiber to keep your dog healthy and its digestive system functioning well.
The LID series is also available in chicken and sweet potatoes or Duck and potato recipes and is sold in bags of 4, 12, or 26 lbs.
Best for Skin and Digestive Care: Hill’s Science Mini Breed Sensitive Stomach and Skin Dog Food
- First 5 Ingredients: chicken, brewers rice, chicken meal, yellow peas, and cracked pearled barley
- Guaranteed Analysis: Protein 21% min, fat 12% min, and fiber 4% max
- Calories: 392 kcal per cup
- Type of Dog Food: Veterinary-recommended diet dog food for small dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin
- Lifestage: Adult
Yorkshire Terriers often have sensitive stomachs and suffer from different digestive issues. The dog’s diet is essential for managing such problems.
This veterinary-approved dry dog food by Hill’s Science has been formulated for small dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin issues.
It contains natural, high-quality ingredients that are the sources of protein, healthy fat, carbs, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other essential micronutrients your pup needs every day.
The digestive problems of your pup will be resolved and managed thanks to carefully selected wholesome ingredients, especially the natural prebiotic fibers.
The added sources of healthy vitamin E and omega fatty acids will keep your furbaby’s coat shiny and its skin healthy.
You can buy this excellent dry dog food for Yorkshire terriers with delicate digestive systems and coat and skin problems in bags of 4 or 15 pounds.
Guide To Buying Dog Food For Yorkies
If you still want to research the market for the best food for your Yorkie, here are some of the main features to look for:
The Macronutrients A Yorkie Needs
Your pup needs to intake the right quantity and type of micronutrients from the best ingredients daily to ensure it eats a complete and balanced diet suitable for its breed, age, weight, activity level, health, and metabolism.
Moderate to High Protein
Most Yorkies need to eat dog food with a moderate to a high protein content of at least 21%.
Talk to your vet about the best dog food with the right amount of protein.
High Healthy Fat Content
Yorkies are not as prone to becoming overweight or obese as other dog breeds, and they do need to eat enough healthy omega fatty acids to keep their unique, ever-growing coats so lustrous and beautiful.
So, you can safely choose a dog food that has over 10% fat content from real and healthy ingredients such as fish oil, flaxseed, chicken fat, and others.
Digestible carbohydrates are an essential part of your Yorkie’s diet. The reason is that these digestive carbs from whole grains, sweet potatoes, or other real plant sources will ensure that the blood sugar levels of your furbaby remain stable. This will prevent sudden peaks and drops, which can be dangerous and even fatal in such tiny dogs.
Features to Look for When Choosing the Best Food For Yorkies
Speak to your veterinarian about the best and most suitable dog food for your pup, and choose one according to the recommendations, which will be based on your pet’s size, weight, age, health, metabolism, and activity level.
LID Dog Foods
Limited Ingredient Diets (LID) are the best choice for dogs with allergies or intolerances to particular ingredients and foods.
Usually, these LID dog foods include fewer ingredients than regular ones. They have a single protein source and lack some of the common ingredients used in
normal dog foods.
The best way to prevent allergic or other adverse reactions to particular ingredients is to eliminate them from your dog’s diet.
Healthy fibers ensure healthy digestion in pups. Choose a dog food that contains healthy fiber sources such as beet pulp or oats, which also act as prebiotics to promote the absorption of nutrients by your four-legged companion.
Some dog foods also contain probiotics, which are crucial for your Yorkie’s gut health and immune system.
Vitamins and Minerals
Good-quality dog food that is breed- and age-appropriate and meets the nutrient profile guidelines for dogs established by the AAFCO contains all of the vitamins and minerals your pup needs.
Make sure to feed your pet age-appropriate dog food. This is especially important during puppyhood when your pup needs more specific vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients to grow and develop healthily.
Also, make sure to buy dog food with the micronutrients that your pup needs if it has any health issues such as joint issues, coat and skin issues, digestive issues, or others.
Smaller Kibble Size
Yorkies can vary in size, from small to toy and teacup size, so they need small-sized kibble that they can chew, break down, and swallow comfortably and safely.
Make sure to buy smaller-sized dry dog food, which is made for small and toy-sized breeds to help prevent choking or nutritional deficiency in your pup.
Toy and extra-small dog breeds like Yorkshire Terriers need to consume more calories per pound of body weight than larger-sized canines. This is because of their fast metabolisms, short digestive tracts, and higher risk of blood sugar dips.
The recommended caloric intake for Yorkshire Terriers is about 40 calories per every pound of their body weight.
So, a dog weighing 4 lbs. should eat 160 calories a day, and one that weighs 7 lbs. should eat about 280 calories a day.
In Yorkies, as in all other dogs, the nutritional needs change during the different life stages.
Puppies from this tiny breed need high-protein and high-fat dog foods to grow healthy. It also needs to contain a lot of digestive carbs for energy and to prevent hypoglycemia.
Older dogs require fewer proteins as they become less active, but they still need to eat a complete and balanced diet with added supplements and ingredients to promote joint health.
Common Yorkie Health Issues and How Diet Can Help
Yorkshire Terriers are more prone to some health issues than other breeds. But luckily, most of them can be managed and prevented with responsible breeding and a suitable diet.
Hypoglycemia occurs when the dog’s blood sugar drops suddenly to abnormally low levels. This condition can be very dangerous and even fatal if not treated immediately and appropriately. Unfortunately, it is widespread among extra-small and toy-sized dogs with fast metabolisms and small bodies.
To prevent hypoglycemia, feed your pup with dog food that contains enough carbs, calories, and other micronutrients for its weight, health, age, and activity level.
This condition, commonly known as luxating patella, is a genetic condition prevalent among Yorkies and other small and toy breeds.
A diet that contains sufficient antioxidants, glucosamine, and chondroitin can help relieve the symptoms and pain of this condition.
Yorkshire Terriers are among the dog breeds that are at the biggest risk of tracheal collapse. It is caused by a collapse of the cartilage rings of the dog’s trachea, which can cause obstruction of the airway.
One way to prevent this dangerous condition is to feed your pup dry dog food that is small-sized and made for extra-small and toy dog breeds.
Yorkies often have stomach sensitivities due to food allergies or intolerances. The best way to prevent these problems is to exclude the allergens from your dog’s diet by feeding it limited-ingredient dog food.
Yorkshire Terriers require high-quality dog food that contains all the recommended nutrients by the AAFCO for dogs of such tiny or toy sizes, and that is appropriate for their life stages.
These tiny pups are especially prone to hypoglycemia. This is why feeding them several times a day with nutrient-dense dog food is essential. Choose one that contains sufficient healthy, digestible carbs to ensure their blood sugar levels remain stable throughout the day and night.
Luckily, there are some excellent dog foods created specifically for the breed or for pups of all small and toy dog breeds that are a great choice for Yorkshire Terriers.
Always consult your veterinarian about the most suitable diet and food for your pup, which depends on age, weight, health, metabolism, and activity level.