Nutritional Requirements For Yorkies
If you want your Yorkie to lead a healthy and happy life then you must provide him with the nutrition that your pooch needs. While it may not eat as much as a Labrador, your small Yorkie still needs healthy carbs, fats, and protein in its system.
Here’s a breakdown of a Yorkie’s essential nutrition:
Small Food Bits
Perhaps due to their small stature, Yorkshire Terriers tend to have small mouths and teeth, which means they enjoy food that comes in small bites. They also like it when their food has a soft texture, but this doesn’t mean that you should feed them canned food as it may not meet its nutritional needs.
Alternatively, you can purchase average-sized kibble that’s packed with high-quality ingredients and then soften it up with water too so that it’s easier to break down.
Also, small food bits are also easier to carry around when you are packing for travels. Your Yorkie will fit comfortably in a carrier purse, airline-approved pet carrier, or a dog backpack carrier.
Calories & Proteins
Yorkies are always running around and bristling with energy. On average, they need about 150 kilocalories per day to thrive but this doesn’t always work for all dogs. Some pups are so energetic that they require up to 200 kilocalories a day.
If you are not sure how much to feed your pooch every day, consult with a vet and they’ll make an assessment based on your dog’s needs as well as its age. Of course, you should also allow your intuition to guide you because if you notice that your small dog is using up more energy, then you should give it more food. You can consider treats such as dental chews or healthy dog snacks.
Another vital point to make is that Yorkshire Terriers tend to do exceptionally well when following a high-protein and high-fat diet. That’s because it provides them with the sustainable energy that they need to keep going for the whole day. Plus, protein is essential in building muscle tissue that will enable your pet to continue enjoying an active lifestyle for years to come. You must keep in mind that some of these fats and proteins are converted into energy so you need the right amount of carbs as well to facilitate this process while eliminating the risk of blood sugar problems and hypoglycemia.
Easily Digestible Food
As with their small mouths, Yorkies have small stomachs as well. That’s why they prefer food that’s easy to consume and digest. You can achieve this by feeding them small meals throughout the day instead of one or two big meals. Also, focus on providing your dog with food that’s made from high-quality ingredients with no harmful chemicals, preservatives, or allergens.
Potential Health Issues to Be Aware Of
The following are some of the most common health issues facing the Yorkshire terrier dog breed. As you’ll see below, it’s possible to overcome and even prevent these issues through proper nutrition.
Hypoglycemia is caused by low sugar levels in the blood which makes your Yorkie constantly feel tired and weak. The best way to overcome this issue is by feeding your dog small meals frequently so that its blood glucose levels have no chance of dropping. This is where an automated dog feeder will come in handy, as you can schedule the feeder to dispense food at selected intervals.
The floating kneecap is known as luxating patella and subluxation in scientific circles and it’s quite common among Yorkshire Terriers. This condition is usually passed down through genes but can also be caused by unexpected trauma. The most effective way to eliminate this problem is surgery but providing your dog with good quality protein sources can help to speed up recovery by supporting tissue repair with multivitamins.
Tracheal collapse refers to weakened cartilage. Foods with glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin can help to alleviate this condition by allowing cartilage cells to perform better.
Yorkies tend to have a sensitive stomach which is why most of their dog food comes with probiotics to promote healthy digestion. You’ll also do well to refrain from giving them allergenic foods as that will only serve to aggravate their tummy.
Related: Best Dog Food For Sensitive Tummies