Proper diet is vital to keeping Yorkshire Terriers healthy. However, you must keep in mind their small size and specific nutritional needs while choosing the best dog food for Yorkies. Feed Yorkshire Terriers a few calories daily, but that should be enough to nourish their silky, exotic coat. The breed has a sensitive stomach, and you must consider this factor while selecting the right kind of food for your pooch.
The Calorie Amount in Yorkie Food
The small physique of a Yorkie requires fewer calories compared to other dogs. However, based on their age and activity level, the calorie requirements vary from one Yorkie to another. The National Research Council of the Natural Academies suggests feeding Yorkshire Terriers about 200 calories of food daily when the dog is active. Inactive dogs should not be fed more than 150 calories a day.
However, the best dog food for Yorkies aged below 12 months is something that can provide him with 400 calories daily. Puppies need more energy to sustain their growth and development. If you have a senior dog, reduce the daily intake to 100 calories.
Timetable for Feeding Yorkshire Terriers
Plan a schedule considering the calorie and nutritional needs of your dog. Yorkies have a delicate stomach, and the digestive system often fails to absorb the food quickly. If your dog overeats or has no gap between the eating and exercise time, he is vulnerable to stomach disorders and gastrointestinal problems.
Considering the digestive issues with Yorkies, you should serve small portions of meat and ensure at least an hour-long gap between eating and playing. While feeding Yorkshire Terriers, spread his daily calorie needs over several small meals. Puppies may have four meals while an adult dog should be given food three times a day.
Best Dog Food for Yorkies: Nutritional Components
The best dog food for Yorkies is the one that is healthy and fortified with the breed-specific nutritional requirements. Consult with your vet to know about the nutritional needs of the dog and check if their present diet has the required amount of essential nutrients.
- Proteins: They provide energy and strength. A Yorkie’s diet must have 30-40% of protein sourced from meat and grain products. Plant protein or supplements are not good for dogs.
- Fats: Provide your Yorkshire Terrier with the required amount of good fat to keep its coat silky and shiny. Any dog food for Yorkies must have Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. However, more than the required fat intake may result in obesity and pancreatitis.
- Vitamins and Minerals: These are essential to keep your dog healthy, with stronger bones, so that he remains immune to acquired diseases. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of such nutrients.
- Carbohydrates: Carbs have a limited benefit for Yorkies with a sensitive stomach. Softer carb sources, such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and barley, are good for your dog. However, try to avoid corn and complex carbs.
Dehydration is a major threat to the life of small dogs, such as Yorkies. Ensure that the dog drinks about a cup of water daily. Water is good for skin health and digestion of Yorkshire Terriers.
If your Yorkie is refusing to eat, you must find out the reason and address it immediately. Small dogs are at the increased risk of health problems when not eating properly.
Best Dog Food for Yorkies: Home Cooking
If you have time to cook, home-made food is the best for toy dogs. Commercial dog food with flavors, colors, and fillings often leads to digestive problems in Yorkies. However, by cooking dog food at home, you can prevent these problems.
Use lean meat, veggies, whole grains, eggs, yogurt, and regular potato while cooking dog food at home. Make sure you adhere to the right calorie composition and food varieties in each meal as recommended by your vet.
You should be judicious while serving treats and snacks to your Yorkie. Excessive indulgence in snacks is not good for your dog. Occasional treats are fine, but the quality of food must be given due consideration.
A Word of Caution
- Avoid foods with too many preservatives, colors, and flavors and purchase only food labeled as suitable for toy breeds. Check the list of ingredients before buying commercial dog food. Make a list of breed-specific harmful ingredients and avoid them.
- Pay attention to the digestive system of your Yorkshire Terrier and plan the meals accordingly. Include more protein in the food of your puppy if he has hypoglycemia. Puppies less than 5 months, pregnant dogs, and adult dogs with liver disorders often have an abnormally low level of sugar. Incessant low-energy levels and drowsiness indicate the disorder.
- Byproducts are not the best food for Yorkies. Most meat byproducts do not meet healthy standards, as they may be sourced from diseased or dead animals.
- Use only metal bowls for feeding a Yorkshire Terrier.
- Avoid diet foods available for dogs. These are filled with carbs and Yorkies do not need them in a higher amount.
- If your Yorkie has a collapsed windpipe, a congenital defect, you should avoid giving him dry foods, as it may result in causing a respiratory blockage.
- Always choose easy-to-digest dog food so that the dog does not have any digestive issue.