Yorkies are one of the most popular dog breeds in America (and across the world). They’re known for their cute little button noses, perky ears, and furry coats. And while they may be small in size, Yorkies have big personalities that will fill your home with love!
Yorkies can eat carbohydrates like brown rice and sweet potatoes, as well as natural protein like chicken or fish. Yorkies can also eat vegetables like cucumbers and carrots, and fruits such as bananas and strawberries. Make sure to cut the food into small pieces to prevent choking.
Let us explain more about the different types of food that are safe for Yorkies to have, as well as any precautions needed when feeding these certain foods.
What Kind Of Foods Are Good For Yorkies?
In order to survive and thrive, Yorkies need a properly balanced diet with animal proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables, and fruits. With the proper nutrition, your Yorkies will be able to live a longer life and make more wonderful memories with you.
Yorkies are constantly jumping around and having a good time and they need muscles that can keep up with the active lifestyle. Proteins are therefore crucial to a healthy diet with these pooches. In this case, the best are those that include whole parts.
Byproducts may have some of the desired amino acids but they are generally not as rich in nutrients. Awesome sources of natural protein for Yorkies would therefore include ingredients like whole fish, lamb, and chicken. These animal meats are rich not only in proteins but also healthy fats and vitamins like B12 that the Yorkie needs to survive.
Yorkie’s generally playful nature also means they will need a lot of carbs in their diet. Having their tails docked may save some energy requirement with less wagging, but Yorkies will still need a substantial amount of this food group to keep their fuel tanks full so that they have all the energy that they need to play, bark, and explore as is their nature.
Some of the most popular sources for Yorkies are starchy roots like sweet potatoes or Irish potatoes. These are not only rich in carbs but also filling so you can control the appetite of these ravenous little beasts.
Whole-grain carbs are another great alternative for this teddy bear dog breed with examples like brown rice and whole grain oats. These offer the additional benefit of providing fiber for improved gut health. Considering how prone to constipation these dogs are, there is no downplaying the value of a fiber-rich diet.
Finally, as with any other dog, Yorkies need their appropriate serving of fruits and veggies. These provide everything from energy and fiber to vitamins and minerals.
Safe options here would include:
- Brussels sprouts
What Kind Of Foods To Avoid For Yorkies?
Yorkies, for the most part, are adventurous eaters. However, this does not mean that you let them chomp down on whatever they get their teeth on. Some foods could cause catastrophic outcomes from something as simple as an upset tummy to serious poisoning and vomiting.
This is especially the case if you got your Yorkie from a breeder that has not gone through a thorough medical checkup with it to verify its innate health problems. If you got your Yorkie from the rescue, you would have gotten a medical record on their health problems. If so, use that to seek advice from your vets on what to feed your Yorkie.
First off, there are foods specifically known to negatively affect the Yorkie breed when consumed. The most notorious example here is the grapes and raisins family. These have been shown to cause serious long-term effects including kidney failure.
Another one that may come as a surprise is dairy. When Yorkies outgrow breastmilk, their production of the enzyme lactase reduces. This leaves them essentially lactose intolerant. So that bowl of milk with dinner or lick of ice cream will leave your pooch in a world of discomfort. And you won’t enjoy the farts either.
Here is a list of more ingredients to avoid in general for your Yorkie for their general health.
- Onions and garlic
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw or undercooked meat
- Alcohol: this should go without saying
- Chocolate (all dogs not just Yorkies)
For a comprehensive list of 27 toxic foods that you should not feed your Yorkies, read more here.
In addition, you should avoid feeding your Yorkies foods that are too large for them to chew. Always get the right kibble size for the little ones to avoid choking. Go for dog food specifically designed for small breed dogs, as their kibble size will be smaller (between 7 to 8 mm).
You should also avoid giving them bones to chew on especially chicken bones. This is because the Yorkie breed does not have very strong jaws and teeth. They will therefore probably not properly break down the bone in their mouths. The splinters they swallow in turn cause damage along the gut tract which is the last thing anyone wants.
How Much Food Do Yorkies Need In A Day?
Due to their active personalities, Yorkies have quite an appetite despite their tiny size. This does not mean that you have to feed them every other hour or whenever they whine for treats. Remember they are vulnerable to obesity so you need to be careful with the quantity as much as the quality.
You should also factor in their increased risk of hypoglycemia. For these reasons, balance is key and you would be better off giving them small portions more frequently.
On the other hand, how much your Yorkie can eat depends mainly on their age. It is also further affected by special requirements like pregnancy, heat, breastfeeding, illness, or weight management needs.
Puppies of less than 3 months survive primarily on their mother’s breastmilk whose frequency is essentially on demand.
When it comes to weaning, the same free-feeding schedule should be adopted with about ⅓ cup of feed daily. Just scatter the kibble where it is accessible to them and let them eat when they are hungry.
For older puppies who are less than a year old or less than 8 lbs in weight, you will have to change from free feeding to a stricter schedule. 3 to 4 meals with a total of ⅓ to ½ cups of food per day.
Older and larger puppies of more than one year of age or 8 lbs of weight requires 2⁄3 cups of food with the same 3 to 4 meals per day.
For special needs, it is best to consult your veterinarian. Whether you are dealing with pregnancy or obesity, the approach will be unique to each terrier so it is best to get a specialized meal plan.
Can Yorkies Eat Fruits?
The answer here is a simple yes.
It is actually one of the most important components of their diets. Fruits are rich in vitamins like vitamin A, C, E, and the B complex.
These serve all kinds of roles from promoting your Yorkie’s immunity and coat health to eradicating skin problems and eliminating odor. They are absolutely necessary for facilitating the healing and overall well-being of your Yorkie. Some of the best fruits you could try introducing include:
Fruits in your Yorkie’s diet will also come in handy if you are dealing with constipation and issues of gut health in general. Here, you want to feed them fiber-rich options. The best fruits for these are mangoes and apples. For this benefit, they are best served as whole fruits and not just ingredients in dog food.
Yorkies can also eat fruits for weight loss. Fruits provide a lot of energy that is required to keep your pooch running. The best part is that they are lower in calories than starchy carbohydrates. So if you are trying to help your pooch watch its weight, substitute sweet potato or rice grain treats for some fruit every now and then.
While fruits, in general, are awesome for your dog’s health, there are a few that should be avoided at all costs. Some like grapes have been shown to cause serious systemic effects including kidney failure. Others cause gut problems with major culprits here including lemons, grapefruit, and persimmons, and should also be avoided.
My Yorkie Overeats, What Should I Do?
Overeating and obesity are all too common with Yorkies. These lovable little fur balls just cannot seem to help themselves. They are generally very playful and it could be this constant consumption of energy that has them seemingly always hungry. Or it could be they are just very used to eating whatever they want whenever they want.
Whatever the case, overeating is not something you want a pooch with this build doing. However active they are, they do not always burn through the calories consumed effectively. This means that if left unchecked, the habit will most likely lead to obesity which itself carries a load of additional problems.
The best way to prevent overeating is by watching what they eat. You want to feed them something rich in nutrients and filling but also low in fattening components. Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dry Dog Food is ideal in this case. This dog food is designed for weight control and features high fiber and filling ingredients like barley, brown rice, and peas in addition to the protein-building chicken.
Do drop by to checkout our recommendation of the best dog foods for Yorkies right here!
On top of that, good sleeping habits and regular meal time are also imperative to prevent overeating in your pooch. It subtly makes your dog’s body get used to the different timings for different activities in the day apart from just eating.
You could also try portion control. Weight control is all about balancing calories taken in and those consumed. So assuming that your dog is every bit as active as any other Yorkie out there, you should do just fine following the age-specific food volume guidelines.
Make sure you Yorkie also have enough hydration every day. Ample water intake can help to induce a filling sensation and reduce their hunger, thereby controlling obesity. Of course, make sure not to over hydrate or your pooch will require a lot of potty breaks.
Finally, you could control your dog’s overeating by training. This is of course easier to do with younger Yorkie puppies. Teach your dog to only expect food 3 to 4 times a day with a couple of small treats during the day. With time, they will get used to the program and stop their constant demands for snacks.
What Human Foods Can Yorkies Eat? As a loving dog parent, the temptation to feed your dog off your plate is always high. Yorkies, however, are particularly sensitive, so you cannot feed them just about anything. Here is a list of safe options in case you want to explore this type of bond:
- Well-cooked meats including beef, chicken, turkey, or fish
- Small portions of carbohydrates like rice and pasta
- Any fruits and vegetables on our safe-for-Yorkies list
Why Is My Yorkie A Picky Eater? Yorkies are generally very agreeable when it comes to trying new foods. If you are dealing with a picky eater, there may be several reasons. Maybe they just don’t like the brand of food you are serving up. This is easy to fix; just switch things up and try something new for them. It could also be that your pooch is ill and generally doesn’t have the appetite for anything. Or maybe they are having problems along the gut, causing them abdominal discomfort. In both cases, it is best to have your Yorkie checked out.
What Dog Food Brands Should I Get For My Yorkie? The best Yorkie dog food brands are those that use high-quality ingredients, have Yorkie-appropriate proportions, and are of safe kibble sizes. This group also includes those who take their time to make something tasty for the sometimes picky little ones. Here are a few alternatives of the best on the market to help you narrow down your search.