8 of the Best Dog Food For Yorkies (Complete Buying Guide in 2021)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall for Yorkies: Wellness Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
“This dog food is formulated for small breed dogs who are prone to allergies. It’s made from a premium quality protein source that is rich in amino acids such as taurine, which is essential in keeping your yorkie’s heart strong and healthy.”

Best Value for Money: Diamond Naturals Small Breed Dry Dog Food
“This lamb and rice formula is excellent for dogs like your yorkie who have extra sensitive stomachs. Aside from containing easily digestible ingredients, it also contains a good amount of taurine which supports cardiovascular health.”

Best Raw Option: Stella & Chewy's Raw Dog Food Toppers
“This amazing blend of raw chicken and raw superfoods add flavor and texture to your dog’s usual dog food. It has added probiotics which aid in digestion and significant amount of taurine for your dog’s heart.”

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Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are naturally smart dogs and are quite easy to train. Their tiny size makes them more physically vulnerable compared to other dog breeds. They are genetically predisposed to some health issues. Aside from having delicate digestive system, yorkies are extremely susceptible to heart-related issues, which are naturally the leading cause of deaths in this particular breed.

Giving your yorkshire terrier a dog food that’s rich in taurine, on top of the essential nutrients that a small breed dog needs, is your best chance at keeping their heart strong and healthy. To help you find the best dog food for yorkies, we rounded up a few products that contain everything your dog needs and more.

Product Name
Best Overall for Yorkies
Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Dry Limited Ingredient Small Breed Dog Food, Salmon & Potato, 10.5-Pound Bag
Diamond Naturals Small Breed Dog Real Lamb Recipe Premium Dry Dog food, 18 lb
Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Cage-Free Chicken Meal Mixer Lil' SuperBlends Dog Food Topper, 8 oz. Bag
Rating
Our Rating 91 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Premium protein source with amazing amino acid blend including taurine which is essential for heart health
Budget-friendly dog food that uses pasture-raised lamb as its main protein source
Raw dog food formula that locks in essential nutrients your dog needs
Pro 2
Fewer ingredients mean minimized risk of food allergies
Highly digestible ingredients with proprietary probiotics for extra sensitive stomachs
Premium quality protein combined with fresh superfood ingredients to deliver maximum nutrition
Best Overall for Yorkies
Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Dry Limited Ingredient Small Breed Dog Food, Salmon & Potato, 10.5-Pound Bag
Rating
Our Rating 91 / 100
Pro 1
Premium protein source with amazing amino acid blend including taurine which is essential for heart health
Pro 2
Fewer ingredients mean minimized risk of food allergies
Custom Button
Best Value For Money
Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Diamond Naturals Small Breed Dog Real Lamb Recipe Premium Dry Dog food, 18 lb
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Budget-friendly dog food that uses pasture-raised lamb as its main protein source
Pro 2
Highly digestible ingredients with proprietary probiotics for extra sensitive stomachs
Custom Button
Best Raw Option
Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Cage-Free Chicken Meal Mixer Lil' SuperBlends Dog Food Topper, 8 oz. Bag
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Raw dog food formula that locks in essential nutrients your dog needs
Pro 2
Premium quality protein combined with fresh superfood ingredients to deliver maximum nutrition
Custom Button
Sources researched
19
Sources researched
Customer reviews
19,840
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
18
Hours spent testing
Products tested
8
Products tested

Best Dog Food For Yorkies

Here are our top recommendations for the best food for yorkshire terriers:

  1. Best Overall for Yorkies: Wellness Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
  2. Best Value for Money: Diamond Naturals Small Breed Dry Dog Food
  3. Best Raw Option: Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dog Food Toppers
  4. Best High Protein Food: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Dry Dog Food
  5. Best for Yorkie Puppies: Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food
  6. Best for Hypoglycemia: Enercal High Calorie Nutritional Supplement Gel
  7. Best Wet Food Option: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Wet Dog Food
  8. Best for Yorkie Seniors: Merrick Grain Free Senior Dry Dog Food

1. Wellness Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Best Overall for Yorkies: Limited ingredient dry dog food for single protein source rich in amino acids that keeps your yorkie’s heart healthy

Wellness Simple Natural Grain Free Dry Limited Ingredient Small Breed Dog Food, Salmon & Potato, 10.5-Pound Bag
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PROS

  • Premium protein source with amazing amino acid blend including taurine which is essential for heart health
  • Fewer ingredients mean minimized risk of food allergies
  • Very good healthy fat sources & Omega fatty acids
  • Includes natural prebiotics for a healthy digestive system

CONS

  • Slightly pricey dog food

Yorkies who struggle with food allergies or a sensitive stomach would highly benefit from a limited ingredient dog food like the Wellness Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food which reduces the risk of allergies and digestive upset.

It is made from a single source of high-quality protein which contains an amazing blend of amino acids that boost the immune system and support other functions in your dog’s body. It has a significant amount of taurine, a specific amino acid that is essential in keeping your dog’s heart healthy and strong.

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Salmon As Both Protein & Fat 

Salmon is a fantastic source of premium quality protein and fat. The Omega fatty acids in this food is present in great amounts, keeping your Yorkie’s fluffy coat sleek and shiny. The crude fat in this dry dog food is at 14%, which is enough to fuel your active pooch throughout the day. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also included in this dog food which helps prevent hip and knee dysplasia later in life.

2. Diamond Naturals Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Best Value For Money: Highly concentrated protein from pasture-raised animal source all packed in incredibly affordable dry dog food

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Dog Real Lamb Recipe Premium Dry Dog food, 18 lb
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PROS

  • Budget-friendly dog food that uses pasture-raised lamb as its main protein source
  • Contains L-carnitine which helps regulate your yorkie’s metabolized energy
  • Excellent blend of fatty acids to help boost skin and coat health
  • Highly digestible ingredients with proprietary probiotics for extra sensitive stomachs

CONS

  • Not much flavor variety unlike other dog food products
  • Doesn’t contain glucosamine, which is essential for yorkshire terrier dogs

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Dry Dog Food is made for small breed pups like Yorkshire and Boston terriers. The protein and fat content is exactly what you’ll expect in the best dog food for yorkies. It uses high quality, pasture-raised lamb as it main protein source which does not just contribute an amazing blend of amino acids, it’s also easily digestible.

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This dog food contains easily digestible grains like barley and brown rice expertly blended with high-quality fruits and veggies which contain vitamins and minerals that help boost your dog’s immune system.  

Whole grains like brown rice are also great sources of fiber which provides extra support in digestion. The Omega fatty acids are present in great amounts, keeping your little one’s coat soft and sleek and their skin supple and well-nourished. This dry dog food also has L-carnitine, which helps your pup’s metabolism run smoothly and use up energy sources.

3. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dog Food Toppers

Best Raw Option: Amazing combination of raw protein and fresh ingredients preserved to keep its flavor, texture, and nutrient integrity

Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Cage-Free Chicken Meal Mixer Lil' SuperBlends Dog Food Topper, 8 oz. Bag
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PROS

  • Premium quality protein combined with fresh superfood ingredients to deliver maximum nutrition
  • High protein, low calorie dog food for yorkies
  • Added probiotics for healthy and easier digestion
  • Raw dog food formula that locks in essential nutrients your dog needs

CONS

  • This dog food is raw, so if your yorkshire terrier doesn’t like raw food this may not be for them

Yorkies tend to be fussy about what they eat, or get bored if they eat the same thing for too long. When they start to get selective about what they eat, a kibble topper is a great idea to compel them to to finish their meals.

Stella & Chewy's Raw Dog Food Toppers is a minimally processed raw food formula that’s absolutely packed with nutrients. At 60 calories a scoop, you can add this to your pup’s dry dog food for a flavor and texture boost without adding too much calories.

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This dog food is preserved by freeze-drying raw bits of chicken, blueberries, strawberries, and banana. The raw ingredients have been proven to improve dogs’ health, digestion, allergy tolerance, and immune system. The reduced processing means that the nutrients are locked in and nothing is lost in the preparation process. If you’re keen to try raw feeding, this is the best dog food to transition and get your pup’s tummy used to raw food. 

Because it’s raw dog food, there’s no need for artificial preservatives, colors and flavoring. 

4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Best High Protein Food: Protein-rich food with a precise blend of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants that boost your yorkie’s immune system

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken 11-lb
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PROS

  • Premium quality animal source with a concentrated blend of amino acids for muscle maintenance
  • Grain free formula with smaller kibble size to accommodate smaller jaws
  • Great Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids content for healthier skin and shinier coat
  • Contains glucosamine to provide added support for your little one’s hip and joints

CONS

  • It’s pricey in comparison to other dog foods for yorkshire terrier dogs

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed Dry Dog Food is easily one of the best grain free dry food for yorkies. The quality of the ingredients is unbeatable, and it contains a great balance of proteins, fats, and healthy, easy-to-digest carbohydrates. Omega fatty acids are present in great amounts, promoting a great coat and well-nourished skin. The added glucosamine will keep your pup’s little joints tough.

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Blue Buffalo has a unique kibble shape that looks like little triangles. This is the only pellet around this shape, and they’re made this way to help promote tartar removal as your Yorkshire Terrier chews on it. They’re also specially made to be easy for tiny jaws to eat.

5. Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food

Best For Yorkie Puppies: Ideal combination of protein and fat to help yorkies maintain optimal weight and fuel their day to day activities

Merrick 38569 Grain Free Dry Puppy Food Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe - 22.0 Lb Bag
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PROS

  • Kibble size is perfect for Yorkie puppies, at about the size of a pencil eraser
  • Various flavors available, which is great if your Yorkie is sensitive to chicken or other specific ingredients
  • Contains DHA, which supports healthy brain development in growing yorkie puppies

CONS

  • It’s a little more pricey than other food products
  • It isn’t geared specifically to small and toy breeds like your yorkshire terrier

Merrick Grain Free Dry Puppy Food is made specifically for puppies. Growing and developing yorkies will get amazing nutrients and immune-building supplements out of this dog food.

It is made using high quality ingredients that make up the protein and fat counts (28% and 12%) which are within recommended amounts for yorkie puppies. The fat content comes from good sources, such as salmon, chicken fat, and flaxseed oil. It contains great supplements like DHA for healthy brain development and joint-fortifying nutrients that provide support for your yorkie’s developing bone structure.

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The Kibble Size Difference 

The size of the kibble you’re feeding your Yorkie can make a huge difference to whether mealtimes are a happy or uncomfortable time for them. These puppy pellets are around the size of a pencil eraser, which is small enough for your Yorkie to crunch easily and happily. 

Another reason this makes a difference is that paying attention to your Yorkshire terrier’s oral health from when they’re a puppy helps reduce chances of them suffering from dental issues later in life.

6. Enercal High Calorie Nutritional Supplement Gel

Best for Hypoglycemia: High Calorie food supplement that helps regulate your yorkies blood sugar

EnerCal High Calorie Nutrition Suppliment For Cats and Dogs 5oz Tube (3 Pack)
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PROS

  • Great for regulating your dog’s blood sugar and preventing hypoglycemia
  • Can be used to help rouse your pet from a hypoglycemic episode
  • Made from premium quality ingredients that provide additional nourishment for your yorkie
  • A tube lasts a long time if used only when necessary

CONS

  • Too high-calorie to feed your yorkshire terrier too much of it

Yorkies are prone to hypoglycemic episodes and a food supplement like Enercal High Calorie Nutritional Supplement Gel can be handy when they’re having episodes that require to get their blood sugar back up. 

If your Yorkie is having a low blood sugar moment and is lethargic, disoriented, or abnormally weak, simply rubbing a little of this on your small breed’s gums should help perk them up a little until they can get a proper meal in.

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Best For Acute Hypoglycemic Attacks 

Because of the high calorie content of this supplement, it’s not recommended to feed this to your Yorkie daily. It is, however, great for very specific moments when your pup is suffering an acute, sudden low blood sugar episode. In these cases, they may not be able to crunch some kibble, especially if they are drowsy and disoriented. This gel is super easy to administer, and gives them a little boost in blood sugar which should help them recover quicker. 

Nutritional Information 

There are 26 calories in a teaspoon of this gel, so slipping just a little into your pup’s mouth should add between 5 and 10 calories, which isn’t too bad. There’s 0.5% protein and 17.9% fat in this supplement. It’s a nice dose of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, so in addition to perking your pup up when they’re feeling a bit woozy, they’ll get a bit of a fatty acid boost too. 

7. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Wet Dog Food

Best Wet Food Option:  Go-to canned food that boosts your yorkie’s meal by adding exciting flavor and texture

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Dog Food, Chicken & Sweet Potato Formula, 13 Ounce Can (Pack of 12)
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PROS

  • Low calorie food, which is great for little pups who are gaining additional weight
  • Limited ingredient formulation and single source protein that’s safe for extra sensitive dogs
  • Formula developed by nutrition experts and approved by vets to ensure your dog’s welfare
  • Added supplements for digestive health and skin & coat boost

CONS

  • Contains carrageenan, which can be considered a low-quality ingredient and may cause allergies in yorkshire terrier dogs

This limited ingredient option is our best dog food choice if you want to add more flavor, texture, and nutrients to your dog’s usual kibble. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Wet Dog Food is filled with quality ingredients, a single source protein (chicken), contains no grains or unnecessary fillers, and is available in a variety of flavours.

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Benefits Of Using Canned Food 

A canned food is great for feeding pups who are ill, injured, or too old and fragile to chow down crunchy kibble. While it’s not recommended to feed them only canned food (unless they really can’t handle dry food), it’s great to add a little on top of their kibble as a treat, extra calories (if needed), or to help your pup eat if they’re a little more fussy, by giving them a bit of a tasty, texturey treat. 

Low Calorie 

Many canned foods out there have similar, if not higher, calorie counts to dry foods. This is great for pups who need extra calories, but when you have a tiny fluff who needs to be careful not to overeat, it can be tough to find something suitable. This wet food has only 190 calories per can which is around half of what most do. Considering you’re unlikely to be feeding your Yorkie a whole can anyway, this calorie count is perfect for the size of your little guy or girl.

8. Merrick Grain Free Senior Dry Dog Food

Best For Yorkie Seniors: Loaded with highly digestible ingredients with added joint-fortifying supplements for seniors with sensitive tummies

Merrick Grain Free Senior Dry Dog Food Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe - 22.0 lb Bag
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PROS

  • Contains no grains, which helps seniors’ with sensitive tummies
  • A little high in calories and protein if your senior is not very active
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Contains L-carnitine to promote healthy weight

CONS

  • A little pricey for a food for yorkshire terrier dogs

If you have an older Yorkie, you should consider feeding them a senior specific dog food like this one. As pups grow older, their dietary requirements need to be adjusted to accommodate their aging bodies and degrading immune system.

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Seniors’ Nutrition Requirements 

As pups get older, their joints begin to take a bit more strain (yes, even a small breed!). This means that they need a food that helps with joint and bone support, as well as something that caters for less active pups. A lower calorie option is usually great, and glucosamine helps a lot with keeping joints supple. 

L-carnitine helps keep energy levels up and maintain a healthy weight, which is super for dogs who are older, less active, and need to keep their weight from ballooning. It keeps the metabolism working smoothly, and also assists in liver function and brain health.


How to Choose the Best Food for Yorkshire Terriers

1) Calorie Count & Feeding Guidelines

Because these fluffs are tiny and need fewer calories than most other dogs, this is an important factor in choosing the best food. Remember, you’ll need to feed your small breed three or four meals a day, which equates to between 50 and 65 calories per meal. 

Although most of the foods that are specified for toy breeds are still fairly high-calorie per cup, they usually have feeding guidelines on the packaging. Pay attention to these – often, they’ll call for a quarter of a cup of food or less, so getting this wrong will result in feeding your pup far too much.

2) Protein Quality

Animal protein is always the best option in dog foods. We’ve looked for real meat as the first ingredient on the list, although meat meal is not a bad option, especially for easy digestibility. 

Although it’s not a bad thing to have multiple different protein sources in one food, for dogs with sensitive stomachs can benefit from foods that contain a single source. This means that a food can contain more than source but must be from the same animal, for example, chicken, chicken meal, and chicken liver are all the same source. 

3) Healthy Fats

Fat converts into energy, so it’s essential to have healthy, great quality fats in your pet’s food. These include animal fat (as long as the animal is identified – if it says something vague such as “animal fat’, avoid it). Other great sources include flaxseed and canola oil, which also add great Omega fatty acids.

Fats not only provide energy, but they also help to lubricate joints, moisturize the skin, and keep your pet’s coat smooth and sleek. Your Yorkie’s food should have 15% fat or more, provided he’s an active little thing. Inactive pups would benefit more from a slightly lower fat count.

4) Kibble Size

A Yorkie mouth is way smaller than a Labrador mouth, so it makes perfect sense that one kibble size does not fit all. Yorkshire terriers are also prone to dental disease later in life, so doing what you can early on in your Yorkie’s life to prevent worse issues later is a great idea. 

While foods that specify large breed on them may be quite appropriate for your small breed in terms of nutrition, this is the area that makes the biggest difference when it comes to shopping for dog foods by the size of your pooch.


Questions & Answers

What are the nutritional requirements for Yorkshire terriers?

The best dog foods need 22% protein minimum for puppies, when they’re growing. Adult dog foods should contain between 25 and 30% protein, and a minimum of 15% fat. Animal proteins and good quality fat sources are essential. 

Senior Yorkshire Terriers will naturally have a slower metabolism, so it would be a good idea to switch to a small breed senior recipe that’s formulated for weight management and joint support. These will usually have lower calorie counts and some added vitamins and minerals. 

What ingredients are great to see in the best food for Yorkshire Terriers?

Yorkshire Terriers thrive on all-natural ingredients in dog foods. Because their stomachs can be sensitive, artificial ingredients can wreak havoc on their little systems. 

Animal proteins are best for a Yorkie’s body, as are fresh, wholesome carb sources such as fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and leafy greens. Healthy fats are also essential. Whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal can be all right for some, but other Yorkshire Terriers may have digestive trouble when it comes to any grains. 

Of course, pups are also as individual as humans, so in addition to making sure that your pooch gets great nutrients in his or her diet, you’ll also need to pay some attention to your pet to see if there’s a particular flavour your pet prefers more.

Which is better for Yorkies to eat: wet or dry food?

Dry kibble is always the best dog kibble to choose. Wet dog foods, while a great kibble-topper and treat, should not be fed to Yorkshire Terriers as their whole diet. 

Dry dog foods contain a significant amount more protein than wet dog foods, as well as other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that wet food doesn’t usually contain. In addition to this, wet dog foods are usually high in calories which may push their meal over the recommended calories per pound.

The only time a wet food diet is recommended is for seniors who cannot adequately chew dry food anymore, and then the food should be carefully monitored to make sure your pup doesn’t overdo it on the calories.

How much food should I feed my Yorkie on a daily basis?

How much food you feed your Yorkie will depend on the calorie count of the food you choose. The average active Yorkie should be eating around 200 calories a day, and because their tummies are so tiny, this will need to be split into three or four meals in a day. 

As an example, dog foods containing 50 calories a scoop could be split between four meals a day. If it’s slightly more, you can feed three meals a day. A 100 calorie meal twice a day may be too big a meal in one go for your small breed, so you might need to observe and see how much your pup is comfortable eating in one sitting. 

If your little guy or girl is an active one, 200 calories should be great. If they’re the couch potato type, 150 calories is more appropriate. You’ll need to be discerning here, as your pooch may be super bouncy and need 250 calories, or older and inactive and need 100. Do some experimenting and see what works for your fluff, but 200 is the average for a chipper Yorkie. 

What are some common health problems that Yorkies have that I should watch out for?

Certain health problems can pop up in Yorkshire Terriers, and it’s worth familiarizing yourself with them so you can notice immediately if your small breed pooch displays any symptoms. 

Is a grain free food or a food containing grains best for a Yorkie?

It’s not totally necessary to feed your Yorkshire Terrier a grain free diet, but it’s recommended to do so to lessen the chances of your pup having digestive issues. 

The best dog foods avoid corn, wheat, and soy, as these are indigestible to all dogs, not just a small breed. Whole grains like oatmeal, millet, barley, and brown rice are good grain options that are gluten-free, and should be okay for your small breed to eat

Mike Powell

Mike is an avid dog lover and writer. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up in a household surrounded by pets. He’s been a dog owner all his life and he uses this extensive experience of having dogs as part of his family to share valuable, practical tips to improve other people’s dog parenting experience.