Choosing a dog food that can provide your canine’s nutritional needs is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make as a dog owner.
And you might be wondering which is the best dog food for Yorkies because diet can impact everything from their skin, coat, to how long they’ll live.
Yorkies are small dogs and they have specific dietary requirements to keep them healthy and happy. Plus, they have magnificent hair!
Want to know the brands that made the list for the best dog food for Yorkies? Stay with us and keep scrolling!
Table of Contents
Top 6 Picks for Best Dog Food for Yorkies in 2021
|Dog Food Recipes||Our Rating|
|Best for Yorkie puppies||
Best for Adult Yorkies
|Best for Senior Yorkies||
|Best for Teacup and Miniature Yorkies||
|Best Budget Food for Yorkies||
The best dog food brands for Yorkies by stage
While you can probably get away with feeding your puppy adult food, it’s best to pick something that’s made specifically for your fido’s age, weight, metabolism, and health.
Senior dogs need a different mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrates than active adults. Puppies need a unique blend, as well.
Luckily, most manufacturers make dog foods targeted at the different life stages and energy levels to take the guesswork out of it for you.
The Best puppy foods for Yorkies
Giving your Yorkie puppy the right dog food will help her grow and develop properly while ensuring that she has strong bones.
And like with humans, sticking to a good diet can also help your pooch avoid illnesses later in her life.
Yorkie puppies require a special diet for their tiny, growing bodies.
They need more protein than adults to support growth, and high-quality ingredients to support their forming joints, brains, and organs.
A recipe or formula with 22 to 32% of protein is ideal. It should also have a good amount of fat and a smaller amount of carbohydrates.
1. Merrick Lil’ Plates Pint-Sized Puppy Plate Wet Food
Our Rating: 4
Top ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken broth, turkey broth, chicken liver, deboned turkey
This tasty food features deboned poultry and lots of omega fatty acids, which helps keep your dog’s coat healthy, and glucosamine to help with joint health.
It has no corn, wheat, or soy fillers, and made specifically for the needs of extra small and toy breeds.
- Packages are pre-portioned to make feeding easy.
- Contains prebiotics and probiotics for gut health.
- Contains a high amount of salt.
- Contains xanthan gum, which can irritate some dogs’ stomachs and can cause diarrhea.
2. Orijen Puppy High-Protein Dry Dog Food
Our Rating: 5
Top ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, yellowtail flounder, whole eggs, whole Atlantic mackerel
Type: Dry, raw
Orijen’s dry kibble for puppies is packed with protein along with crude fat and crude fiber, so it provides a lot of energy in each bite.
It’s made of high-quality protein sources, like poultry, eggs, and fish. The company says that all of their chicken is free-run and the fish is wild-caught, and the eggs are from cage-free hens.
The food is at least two-thirds fresh or raw and nutrient-dense. Plus, the kibble included contains free-dried liver to appeal to even the pickiest eaters.
It contains ingredients like lactobacillus acidophilus to help support digestion and improve gut health.
- The food is formulated so that 85 percent is animal ingredients.
- No cheap grain fillers.
- Contains a high ratio of legumes to animal protein
- Contains an above-average ratio of fat, which isn’t ideal for puppies prone to being overweight.
3. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food
Our Rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Deboned beef, sweet potatoes, peas, lamb meal, potatoes
Merrick makes this tasty food with the goal of keeping small breed puppies healthy as they grow.
The kibble is infused with DHA, which has been shown to potentially help with brain development. It also has glucosamine and chondroitin to help with joints.
On top of that, it contains healthy fats like omega fatty acids to improve your pup’s coat and skin.
The kibble is small enough for puppy mouths and it doesn’t contain any grain, which some companies use as cheap fillers.
- Beef is the first ingredient.
- Contains DHA, glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega fatty acids.
- Fillers like sweet potatoes, potatoes, and alfalfa meals appear high on the ingredient list.
- Kibble might be too large for tiny Yorkie puppies.
Best dog food for Yorkie adults
Dogs between 1 to 6 years old should be given adult dog food. There are lots of options out there, from grain and gluten-free choices to wet food packed with lots of fruits and veggies.
You might need to try a few different recipes to find one that both you and your pet like best. Here are some of our top picks for adult Yorkies.
1. Castor & Pollux Pristine Small-Breed Free-Range Chicken Stew
Our Rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, water, organic chicken liver, dried egg whites
This dog food from Castor & Pollux has meat as its first ingredient and there is no grain in the food. The Small Breed Free-Range Chicken Stew is made with small dogs like Yorkies in mind.
The chicken used in this food is free-range, and the fruits and veggies, like carrots, peas, and apples, are all organic and grown without synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides.
This formula has 9 percent protein, which is a little on the lower end for the needs of an adult dog. Remember, most adult dogs need around 18 percent minimum.
This is a limited-ingredient food, which means it doesn’t contain a bunch of fillers or chemicals.
- No corn, soy, wheat, gluten, or artificial preservatives, flavors or colors
- Responsibly-sourced organic ingredients
- The food is mostly water at 81 percent
- Low amount of protein, fat, and fiber compared to other foods
- Contains xanthan gum, which could irritate some dogs’ stomachs or cause diarrhea
2. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Food
Our Rating: 5
Top ingredients: Venison, lamb meal, garbanzo beans, peas, lentils
The first ingredient in Taste of the Wild’s Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Food is pasture-raised venison, which is a rich source of protein.
The kibble is small in size, so it’s perfect for toys and small breeds.
Taste of the Wild has created a dog-specific probiotics mixture to help support a healthy digestive system and immune system in your pup.
It’s added after the food is cooked so that it doesn’t kill the active cultures.
It also has ingredients that contain lots of healthy antioxidants, like peas, lentils, tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries.
- Has high-quality meat ingredients.
- No grains like corn, soy, or wheat.
- Nutrient-dense food, so you get more for what you pay for.
- Higher amount of protein is usually recommended for adult dogs.
- Peas make up a high amount of food content. Peas and pea protein are often used as fillers.
- Low level of Omega 3 fatty acids.
3. Solid Gold Mighty Mini Chicken, Chickpea & Pumpkin Recipe in Gravy Grain-Free Toy & Small Breed Dog Food Cups
Our Rating: 4
Top ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, water, chicken liver, dried egg whites
This food is both gluten- and grain-free, featuring chicken as the top ingredient and packed with chickpeas and pumpkin, which may aid in digestion which makes it great for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
It’s pre-portioned into just the right size for mini, toy, and small dogs. It doesn’t have any fillers like corn or wheat, and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- Chicken makes up the top ingredients.
- Pre-portioned to make feeding time easy.
- Contains pre and probiotics.
- Lower protein content at just 7.5 percent and low fat at just 3 percent.
- High amount of salt.
- High amount of moisture at 82 percent, so your dog isn’t getting a dense form of nutrition.
4. Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Adult Dry Food
Our Rating: 4
Top ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, ground brown rice, rice
This Wellness Core series food is formulated specifically for toy breeds, which have a higher metabolic rate and so higher caloric needs per bite than larger dogs.
The food is made with small kibble so it’s just right for tiny mouths. It has 30% protein and 17% fat to give your pup lots of energy.
- Contains fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed.
- Has antioxidants, probiotics, and glucosamine.
- Contains fillers like peas, rice, and oatmeal.
- Contains tomato pomace, which is a by-product of tomatoes used to make soup and juice.
- Some ingredients are sourced outside of the US, which is a concern for some dog owners.
5. Instinct Original Small Breed Grain-Free Canned Food
Our Rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Beef, beef broth, beef liver, ground dried peas, cod
Instinct’s Original Small Breed Grain-Free Real Beef Recipe Canned Wet Dog Food has real beef and beef liver in the top ingredients to give your small breed dog a healthy source of nutrition.
It doesn’t have any grains or other fillers like corn, potato, soy, and by-product meal. If your pup doesn’t like beef, they also have a chicken flavor option.
- Contains lots of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
- No artificial colors or preservatives
- Has artichokes, cranberries, pumpkin, tomato, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and parsley
- Low in protein at 8.5% and low in fat at 4.5%.
- Contains xanthan gum and guar gum additives as a thickening agent
6. Nutro Natural Choice Toy Breed Adult Dry Food
Our Rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, split peas, brewers rice, whole brown rice
Nutro Wholesome Essentials is a popular brand of dog foods. The Toy Breed recipe is perfect for tiny pups like Yorkies with itty-bitty kibble bits.
It has farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient, though keep in mind that the term “farm-raised” really doesn’t mean anything in terms of how the chickens were raised.
- Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
- Kibble is just the right size for small dogs
- Has no GMO ingredients and no chicken by-products
- Contains fillers like oatmeal, rice, and barley high on the list of ingredients
- Contains preservatives like tocopherols and citric acid
7. Instinct Raw Boost Toy Breed Recipe Dry Food
Our Rating: 5
Top ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, chickpeas, tapioca, chicken fat
Type: dry with raw
Instinct Raw Boost has freeze-dried raw bits added to the dry kibble to give your pet the health of raw food with the convenience of dry food. It’s grain-free and made with the unique needs of toy breeds in mind.
The food contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints, along with calcium and phosphorus to support strong teeth and bones.
- Real chicken is the first ingredient
- Minimally processed with no corn, potato, corn, wheat, soy, artificial color or preservatives.
- High ratio of meat to non-meat ingredients
- Contains a high level of protein at 35% and high fat at 2%, which might not be ideal for all dogs.
8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Small Breed Dry Dog Food
Our Rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, pea protein, tapioca starch
This food is formulated just for smaller canines, who not only have specific energy needs but may suffer from health concerns that don’t happen as often in larger breeds.
Blue Buffalo formulates their foods to more closely echo the diet of a dog’s wild cousin, the wolf. This recipe is grain-free, protein-rich, and just the right size for your tiny pal.
- No grains and high protein for high energy pups
- Complex carbohydrates come from sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, and peas
- With 34% protein and 15% fat, it may irritate some sensitive stomachs
9. Wellness Natural Pet Food for Small Breeds
Our Rating: 4
Top ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal, oatmeal, ground brown rice
Wellness Natural Pet Food for Small Breeds contains whole grains, chicken, and salmon to give small dogs the energy and nutrition they need to be healthy and happy.
It also contains antioxidants and Omega Fatty Acids for a shiny coat, skin, and healthy digestion.
- Has wholesome grains and premium proteins
- Non-GMO ingredients
- Ingredients sourced outside of the USA
10. Blue Buffalo Small Breed Wet Dog Food
Our Rating: 4
Top ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, carrots, peas, brown rice
Blue Buffalo has gained a reputation for making healthy options for dogs of all sizes.
Their wet small breed dog food has a healthy balance of protein, fat, and fiber, along with ingredients such as chicken, eggs, blueberries, salmon, and flaxseed for Omega Fatty Acids.
- Packed with natural ingredients including meat and produce
- No by-product meals
- No corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives
- High level of sodium, which is common with wet foods
For Teacup and Miniature Yorkies:
Tiny teacup dogs can have special food needs. Not only do they need a higher nutritional value from each bite than a larger dog, but they need tiny kibble and additional nutrients. These foods fit the bill.
1. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Our Rating: 4
Top ingredients: Chicken meal, brewers rice, whole grain wheat, soybean meal
You often see Hill’s Science Diet in the offices of veterinarians because they trust it to keep your dogs healthy.
This adult food is made specifically for the unique needs of tiny pups. It has high-quality protein to help dogs maintain their weight and lean muscle.
It has antioxidants to keep tiny and toy dogs healthy and has natural ingredients. It’s also made in the USA with ingredients sourced in New Zealand, Europe, and North America.
One of the things that makes it so good for your dogs is what it doesn’t contain. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Plus your purchase helps shelter pets find homes.
- Contains Flaxseed for Omega Fatty Acids
- Healthy balance of protein, fat, and fiber
- Features produce like cranberries, broccoli, green peas, and apples
- Rice features high on the list of ingredients and isn’t very nutritional for dogs
- Wheat is also high on the list and is also of modest nutritional value for canines
2. Diamond Naturals Small Breed Dog Real Chicken Recipe
Our Rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, ground white rice, chicken fat, cracked pearled barley
Made with cage-free chicken, you can feel good about feeding this food to your tiny friend.
It has amino acids and “superfoods” like chia seed, yucca, and quinoa, along with probiotics to keep your pup’s digestion in good shape.
Even better, probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bacillus subtilis are live and naturally occurring, so your dog’s body can use them.
The kibble is shaped to help your dog crunch away any tartar build-up on their teeth.
- Contains probiotics
- Meat is the first ingredient
- Contains superfoods to keep your dog healthy
- White rice is the third ingredient, which can be an issue for dogs that have trouble with their blood sugar levels
3. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small & Mini Breed Chicken Recipe
Our Rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken, brewer’s rice, chicken meal, yellow peas
Tiny dogs can sometimes have sensitive stomachs, so this food is particularly good for teacup Yorkies who have tummy issues.
Hill’s Science Diet is also the top-recommended brand by veterinarians, so you can take comfort in that.
- Contains prebiotics to help fuel beneficial gut bacteria
- Contains vitamin E and Omega 6 fatty acids for healthy skin
- Brewer’s rice is the second ingredient. Rice doesn’t have a high nutritional value for dogs.
Best dog food for Yorkie seniors
As your Yorkie ages, she’s going to need a different combination of ingredients and nutrients to support her as she enters her golden years.
1. Nutro Ultra Small Breed Senior Dry Food
Our Rating: 5
Top ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice
Nutro is made not only to make sure that your senior dog gets the nutrition it needs but that the food tastes so good your Yorkie won’t turn up its nose at dinner time.
Chicken is the first ingredient, followed by a chicken meal, which provides glucosamine for healthy joints. That’s important as dog’s age.
- Contains salmon meal, coconut, chia, kale, and blueberries
- High-quality ingredients sourced from trusted farmers
- No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- Medium-sized kibble may be hard for teacup dogs to eat
2. CANIDAE All Life Stages Less Active Formula Dry Dog Food
Our Rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, peas
Canidae is packed with whole grains and tons of protein for your aging pup. The company works with veterinarians to formulate a recipe that is beneficial for less active dogs.
This food is made specifically for people who have several dogs of varying sizes and ages, so you don’t have to fuss with multiple different foods at mealtime.
- Contains chicken, turkey, lamb, and salmon
- Contains probiotics for gut health
- Has Omega fatty acids and amino acids
- The second through eighth ingredients aren’t a dense nutritional source for dogs.
Best dog food for Yorkies with health issues
Food is an important part of maintaining your dog’s health. There are lots of foods out there that are made to suit dogs with special health issues.
Choosing a dog food for Yorkies with health problems
Choosing the best dog food for your Yorkie may be able to help prevent illnesses such as cancer and heart diseases.
On top of that, small breeds like Yorkies are prone to health issues like hypoglycemia because of their extremely small bodies.
Feeding them a nutrient-dense food made for small breeds will help keep their blood sugar stable.
Yorkies may also have allergies. You’ll know your dog is suffering if she is scratching at her ears or face a lot, has flaky skin, or hot, red pads on her paws.
Best for Weight Management
Do you have a Yorkie who loves to gobble up her food? Or maybe you just want your pup to stay fit?
1. Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Healthy Dry Dog Food
Our Rating: 5
Top ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, peas, potatoes
This gluten-free food is made with high-quality ingredients and was formulated after working with dog health experts.
It contains ingredients to support brain function, hip and joint health, all while maintaining your dog’s healthy weight.
- Contains antioxidants and has oat fiber that aids digestions
- Chicken is the first ingredient
- Some dogs became sick and gassy when switched to this diet
Best for Sensitive Stomachs
Regardless of size, some dogs aren’t just picky, but they have digestive issues. If so, it’s best to take it into consideration.
1. Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food
Our Rating: 4.5
Top ingredients: Brewer’s rice, brown rice, chicken by-product meal, chicken fat, wheat gluten
Royal Canin makes foods formulated specifically for different dog breeds.
Their Yorkshire Terrier recipe is made for small adult dogs with long, silky coats. It’s also made for dogs that are known as picky eaters, which Yorkies are.
This food is made to maintain your dog’s appropriate body weight and is perfect for the small breed adult dog. It contains real meat, including chicken and fish oil.
- Will encourage fussy eaters with its easy-to-chew size and highly palatable flavor
- Selected nutrients for maintaining the health of mature dogs
- Some owners complained about their dog having digestive and skin problems after eating this food.
The Buyer’s Guide: How to shop food for your Yorkie
Unlike humans, who usually eat a wide range of foods from different sources, dogs get all of their nutrition from the kibble you give them.
That means you need to be careful about what you choose. Don’t feed dogs food that contains a bunch of fillers like corn and soy, because their bodies don’t get much nutrition from that.
Look for foods that have meat as the first ingredient, but keep in mind that while the first ingredients in the food are listed by the amount when wet, after an ingredient is dehydrated, it takes up a much smaller portion of the food.
That means that if a dog food lists the beef as the first ingredient, once that beef is dehydrated or dried to put in the food, it likely won’t be the most abundant ingredient anymore.
That’s why it’s important to check out the first five-ten ingredients to get a more accurate picture.
Nutritional Requirements: How to choose the best dog food for Yorkies
The right food for your dog will have the correct ratio of fat, protein, and fiber for your dog’s age.
Senior Yorkies, for instance, need a lower ratio of protein than a puppy does. There are Yorkie foods out there made just for small and toy breeds and this helps make the choice easy.
Your dog also needs vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy. Most foods have these built-in, so you don’t have to worry about giving them supplements.
What should I not feed my Yorkie?
Anything that contains chemical preservatives is a no-no. These can cause cancer or allergic reactions like hot spots and itching.
Avoid artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and by-products too. Also avoid fillers like corn, soy, and wheat.
Is grain-free diet options preferable for Yorkies?
Be careful when feeding a completely grain-free diet to your Yorkie. There have been some reports that grain-free diets can lead to a heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy.
There is currently research going on to determine what impact grain-free has on a dog’s health.
Keep in mind that the FDA is researching the link between grain-free diets and possible heart issues in dogs.
Should you give your Yorkie dry kibbles, wet food, raw diet, or homemade?
Remember that while many dogs prefer wet food, it isn’t always the best choice for your friend. It often contains a lot of salt and water.
If your dog is particularly picky, you could feed them dry kibble and mix in a little wet food or top with some tasty toppers like ground beef.
Raw food is a good option for dogs who struggle with kibble or wet food.
A good freeze-dried raw food can be expensive, but you don’t have to feed your dog very much and you might notice that they’ll have more energy and a shinier, healthier coat.
This video goes over the basics of a raw diet for a Yorkie.
Fruits and vegetables your Yorkie can and cannot eat
Don’t ever feed dogs onions, garlic, avocado, cherries, grapes, asparagus, or mushrooms.
For fruits and veggies, they can eat, check out the recipe below. Remember, not all human foods should be given to your canine friend.
A homemade recipe you can try for your Yorkie
If you feel like none of the foods recommended above are quite what your dog needs, you might want to try making your own recipe. Even the pickiest eaters can’t resist real meat and veggies.
Consider feeding white chicken meat, turkey, lean beef, fish, lamb, veal, pork. Supplement that with peas, carrots, spinach, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, or squash.
Add a few fruits, like blueberries, raspberries, banana, melon, mango, pear, or apple. Then toss in a little bit of egg, cheese, or unsweetened yogurt.
Feel free to put in a little bit of rice, flaxseed, chia seed, or cooked beans. Try this recipe and see what your pupper thinks!
1 cup cooked white chicken meat
2 tablespoons apples
1 tablespoon unsweetened yogurt
1 teaspoon flaxseed
Yorkie Feeding Chart
There are a few feeding rules you can follow when feeding your dog. For one, note that growing puppies generally need more food than adults.
You also want to be careful to feed your dog the right amount. Portion control is essential to avoid obesity.
Puppies need about 55 calories per pound of weight, while adults need about 40 pounds per pound. Seniors need about 37 calories per pound.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, since food can vary.
Try to feed your dogs at least twice a day, with three times being preferable. This helps keep your dog’s blood sugar level stable to avoid hypoglycemia and keep their energy up.
That means for the average Yorkie, you’ll want to split up a half cup of food into two or three meals each day. That’s a half cup per day, not per meal.
You’ll know your dog is getting enough food if they have a good amount of energy and you can just feel their last rib or two. If you can’t feel any of their ribs, they are overweight.
Transition: How to switch from puppy to adult dog food?
When your dog is about eight months old, it’s time to slowly switch them over to adult food. You want your dog to be at its full size and weight, or at least close. Transition them gradually over a few weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are Yorkshire Terriers fussy eaters?
Yorkie are notorious for being picky eaters, though this may be in part because their humans are eager to make them as happy as possible (and who can blame them).
For a picky eater, you can buy food toppers or put a whole, lean meat chopped up into their food. Think lean ground beef heated up and mixed into kibble. Hardly any dog will turn up their nose to that!
Don’t give in and let them eat unhealthy food just because they like it. This can cause health problems down the road.
What can I feed my Yorkie besides dog food?
Everyone wants to give their dogs a little bit of human food, and that’s totally okay so long as it doesn’t happen too often.
A little teaspoon of peanut butter or a piece of carrot is a welcome treat.
Feel free to give your dog a tiny piece of meat from your plate now and then (but don’t give it to them if they beg!), so long as it doesn’t have sauce or a lot of fat and salt in it.
Fruit like blueberries and strawberries is also welcome.
Should I consult With My Vet Before Introducing New Food to My Dog?
You don’t necessarily need to check with a vet to introduce new food to your dog unless they are having health issues like vomiting, dry, flaky skin, or chronic diarrhea.
Otherise, just be sure to mix a bit of old food with the new food for a while to ensure that you don’t irritate your dog’s stomach.
Do Yorkies need supplements?
With the right kind of food, you don’t need to supplement your Yorkie’s food. If you’re in doubt, check with your veterinarian for recommendations.
What makes dog food good for Yorkies?
The best food for your Yorkie is the one that they’ll love to dig into, but it should also have the nutrients they require based on their age, weight, metabolism, and health.
You may not find the perfect food on your first try, so don’t be afraid to check out other options.
Look for a healthy coat, bright eyes, clean teeth, and healthy skin. Also, watch to see if your dog is excited to dig in or tends to ignore their food.
You also need to consider budget while looking for food that has a high level of protein and fat and is lower in carbs. Meat should be the first few ingredients, and the food shouldn’t contain fillers.
What’s the best dog food for Yorkies based on what your doggo eats? Share it with us by commenting below!