The Best Dog Food for Yorkies 2021

Best Dog Food for Yorkies

What’s the best dog food for a Yorkie?

The answer to that important question should be based on the AGE and LIFE STAGE of YOUR particular dog.

That’s because…

Yorkie puppiesadults… and seniors… EACH have different nutritional needs… to deliver the best long-term health for similar small breeds.

For example…

A dog food designed for an adult Yorkie may contain too little calcium for a growing puppy.1 Or it may contain too little protein… and too many calories for a less active older dog.2

And there are other nutritional differences, too.

For example…

A Yorkie puppy needs 1.29% leucine (one of 12 essential amino acids)… while an adult requires just 0.68% of the exact same nutrient.3

In comparison…

A senior Yorkie benefits from a dog food that contains more protein… and fewer calories per serving.

The Bottom Line

Since there are no official nutrient guidelines for ANY particular breed, including Yorkies… and to achieve optimal long-term health

It’s important to choose a dog food that’s designed to match the nutrient profile that best suits your Yorkie’s age.

The 3 Critical Life Stages of a Yorkie

Since dogs age at different rates, life stage ranges for any breed are never exact.

The age data found in the following table were obtained from multiple sources and should be used to help you find the best possible food for your Yorkshire Terrier.

Life Stage Age
Puppy Under 9-12 months4
Adult Over 9-12 months5
Senior 11+ years6

Our Top Picks by Life Stage

On the list below…

You’ll find The Dog Food Advisor’s best dog and puppy foods for Yorkies based on the life stage of your pet.

You’ll also learn the answer to each of the 6 most frequently asked questions we get about feeding this super-popular toy breed terrier.

The following dog foods are listed in random order. Each was chosen because it meets or exceeds our selection criteria. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a referral fee. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

Editors Choice - Best Dog Food for Yorkies

Best Dog Food for Yorkies
October 2021

Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s best dog food brands for Yorkies for October 2021.



Canidae All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula Dog Food

Canidae Multi-Protein Formula Dog Food

Rating:

Canidae Multi-Protein is one of 5 dry recipes rated in our review of the Canidae product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, white rice
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown and white rice)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Yorkie puppies and adults

This particular Canidae formula derives the bulk of its animal protein from chicken meal, turkey meal, and lamb meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 16% fat and 49% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

An all life stages, protein-rich, grain-inclusive dog food that boasts no fewer than 3 meat “concentrates” within its first 5 ingredients. A super-popular recipe that’s nutrient balanced for both adults as well as puppies. An easy pick, for sure. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “My dog scarfs this down so no complaints. Her tummy is regular and I was able to easily get her off the half and half wet dry situation the rescue shelter had her on. I think she’s just glad to have food honestly but for me it was a priority to buy this brand due to the minimal processed ingredients and whole food based formula”

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The Farmers Dog Fresh

The Farmers Dog

Rating:

The Farmers Dog Pork Recipe is one of 4 fresh recipes covered in our review of the Farmer’s Dog human-grade product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: USDA pork, sweet potato, potato, green beans, cauliflower
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Yorkie puppies and adults

The Farmers Dog gets most of its meat protein from fresh pork. Dry matter label analysis shows the recipe contains 36% protein, 28% fat and 28% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 78%.

If you’ve ever wished you could prepare a fresh, home-cooked meal for your Yorkie… without all the mess and hard work… then The Farmer’s Dog may be the perfect choice.

Loaded with top level, human-grade ingredients… wrapped in a fully balanced recipe that’s suitable for both puppies and adults.

Expertly designed by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist (DACVN). Not cheap. Enthusiastically recommended.

Sample buyer review… “Maggie loves the food and acts like a puppy! She had a lot of GI issues…which have greatly improved. She looks forward to the food and is excited whenever she sees the box! I would like to express my gratitude to you. The change in Maggie is unbelievable and makes my family, myself and her so happy. ”

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Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed

Rating:

Small Breed Adult is one of 14 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Wellness Complete Health product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal, oatmeal, ground brown rice
  • Type: Grain-Inclusive (oatmeal, brown rice)
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult Yorkies only

This small breed formula gets the bulk of its animal protein from fresh deboned turkey, chicken meal, and salmon meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 31% protein, 17% fat and 44% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed is formulated with 3 animal protein sources for high energy and strong muscles. The recipe includes a balanced blend of high-quality protein, healthy fat and grain-inclusive carbohydrates to deliver peak energy and optimal performance.

Added fiber and probiotics are included to aid in digestion and antioxidants to help resist disease and infection.

Sample buyer review… “I have a Rat Terrier/Chihuahua mix that is a picky eater (like a lot of little breeds are). I recently switched to the Wellness brand after reading a lot of reviews and seeing the ingredient list is pretty solid. The kibble is very small and easy for her to eat, which is a plus. Once she starts eating, she eats the entire bowl. Overall I am very happy with my purchase and glad to have found a wholesome food my dog enjoys eating.”

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Merrick Lil Plates Beef Wet Dog Food

Merrick ‘Lil Plates Small Breed Dog Food

Rating:

Merricks ‘Lil Plates Beef Recipe is one of 10 wet recipes included in our review of the Merrick product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, beef broth, venison broth, beef liver, dried egg whites
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for: Adult Yorkies only

Merrick ‘Lil Plates gets the major portion of its meat protein from fresh beef. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 44% protein, 17% fat and 31% estimated carbs… delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 38%.

It’s 100% nutritionally complete and balanced design with added vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients. Contains no grain, GMOs, corn, wheat, or soy. Also free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. A quality wet diet for Yorkies and smaller dogs.

Recommended with confidence.

Sample buyer review… “We have a very small senior dog with a light appetite. Portion size is perfect for her. I mix one of these bowls with a handful of dry kibble. She happily eats her food.”

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Senior Kibble

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Senior

Rating:

This Small Breed Senior formula is one of 23 dry recipes included in our review of the Blue Buffalo product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, barley, oatmeal)
  • Profile: Maintenance
  • Best for: Senior Yorkies

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Senior obtains most of its meat protein from deboned chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 26% protein, 14% fat and 52% estimated carbs… delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

With just 371 calories per cup and only 14% dry matter fat, this recipe makes an excellent food for a senior Yorkie. Reasonably priced. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “My dogs skin, coat and overall health is top-notch! This is the best quality dog food at a reasonable price that always is consistently great!”

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Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dog Food

Rating:

Grain Free Chicken and Turkey is one of 9 dry recipes covered in our review of the Whole Earth Farms product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, potatoes, canola meal, peas, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Yorkie puppies and adults

This Whole Earth Farms recipe draws the major part of its meat protein from chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 30% protein, 16% fat and 46% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

It’s also worth noting this formula contains zinc amino acid complex and 3 other chelated minerals for superior absorption and nutrition. Costly chelated minerals like these are usually found in better quality brands. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “My dog is allergic to rice, brewers yeast, and fish, and unfortunately, prescription science diet is like $80 for a small bag that only lasts him a week and a half. I was so glad to have found Whole Earth Farms, which is totally reasonably priced and truly seems like a great quality dog food. I have it on autoship and my dog seems to love it too!”

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Health Extension Little Bites Dry Kibble

Health Extension Little Bites Dog Food

Rating:

Little Bites is one of 6 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Health Extension product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Organic deboned chicken, chicken meal, ground brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), lamb meal
  • Type: Grain-Inclusive (brown rice)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Yorkie puppies and adults

Health Extension Little Bites gets the lions share of its animal protein from fresh deboned organic chicken, chicken meal, and lamb meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 20% fat and 45% estimated carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 75%.

This small breed formula delivers a highly digestible design with no artificial flavors, coloring agents or preservatives. A nutrient rich, balanced recipe that’s loaded with antioxidants for a healthy immune system. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “We love all of Health Extension Little Bites. The bites are very, very small…so perfect for our Yorkie rescues that have no teeth, and those that do have teeth. And we love all the healthy ingredients in it…this is our favorite dog food!”

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Orijen Regional Red Dog Food

Orijen Regional Red

Rating:

Regional Red is one of 9 dry recipes included in our review of the Orijen product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, wild boar, goat, lamb, lamb liver
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Yorkie puppies and adults

Orijen Regional Red acquires the bulk of its animal protein from fresh beef, fresh wild boar, fresh goat, and fresh lamb. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 43% protein, 20% fat and 28% estimated carbs… delivering a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

From its beginnings, Champion Petfoods, the legendary maker of Orijen, has always been a staunch apostle for a meat-based, “biologically appropriate” diet… a time-proven design which makes this food a top choice for both puppies and adults. A top choice. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “We love this food! Ever since we started feeding this, we have noticed our dog has needed to eat less, has more energy and sheds less. We are halfway through our second 13lbs bag and our dog still stands over his bowl, licking his lips while we scoop his favorite food ever!”

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American Journey Active Life Grain Free Kibble

American Journey Active Life Formula

Rating:

Chicken and Brown Rice is one of 9 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the American Journey product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, rice bran, peas
  • Type: Grain-Inclusive (brown rice, rice bran)
  • Profile: All Life Stages
  • Best for: Yorkie puppies and adults

This particular American Journey formula derives most of its animal protein from fresh deboned chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 17% fat and 48% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

A quality, budget-friendly, grain-inclusive kibble, ideal for Yorkies of all ages. Excellent nutrition, especially for the price. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “I have a picky Siberian Husky and she loves this food. It is one of a handful that does not use preservatives, artificial coloring, or artificial flavors. Uses real protein products, and no corn, wheat or soy. Also has probiotics and Omega 3 & 6. Also fortified with vitamins but no filler products. And best of all the price is very affordable.”

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Best Food for Yorkie Puppies Editors Choice

Best Food for a Yorkie Puppy
October 2021

Here are The Dog Food Advisor’s best foods for Yorkie puppies for October 2021.


Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Food

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy Food

Rating:

Small Breed Puppy is one of 13 dry recipes evaluated in our review of the Diamond Naturals product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, ground white rice, chicken fat, cracked pearled barley
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (white rice, barley)
  • Profile: All Life-Stages
  • Best for: Yorkie puppies and adults

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy acquires the majority of its animal protein from fresh chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 24% fat and 32% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 69%.

Contains no corn, wheat or soy for a fully-balanced, nutrient-rich formula. Because it qualifies as an all life stages design, this small breed puppy recipe can also be fed to adult Yorkies, too.

An excellent value. Enthusiastically recommended.

Sample buyer review… “Our puppy is very active and had a rough life before we got him. He was dropping weight and needed something different. We tried 5 different kinds and this was the only one he gobbled down. It has small kibble and honestly even smells good not like other food. Higher protein and fat content to maintain his weight.”

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Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Puppy Food

Wellness Small Breed Puppy Food

Rating:

Small Breed Complete Health Puppy is one of 14 dry recipes analyzed in our review of the Wellness product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, oatmeal, salmon meal, barley
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (oatmeal, barley)
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best for: Yorkie puppies

This dedicated small breed puppy formula receives the bulk of its meat protein from fresh deboned turkey, chicken meal, and salmon meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 31% protein, 21% fat and 40% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 68%.

For years, Wellness Complete Health Small Breed has been one of the most popular puppy foods on The Advisor website. It makes an ideal, balanced fit for Yorkies and other smaller breeds. Highly recommended with confidence.

Sample buyer review… “I was skeptical about switching my puppy to a new flavor and brand of food, a recent switch to a Lamb food from another maker didn’t go too well with my boy’s digestion. However this Wellness Turkey was very easy on my puppy’s digestion, I slowly added the new food over a week’s time and he showed no signs of digestive issues. He likes this food and is eager to eat, when he is happy, I am happy too!”

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Hills Science Diet Small Paws Food for Puppies

Hills Science Diet Small Paws Puppy

Rating:

Small Paws is one of 6 dry recipes analyzed in our review of the Hills Science Diet product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, whole grain wheat, whole grain sorghum, chicken fat, whole grain corn
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (wheat, sorghum, and corn)
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best for: Yorkie puppies

This Hills Science Diet formula derives much of its animal protein from chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 17% fat and 48% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.

A classic, grain-inclusive puppy recipe containing omega-rich fish for healthy coat and joints. Easy on the pocketbook, too. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “My dog has a sensitive tummy and is very picky. This is one of the only foods that works for her. I had gone through many different food brands and she just could not handle them. Royal Canin small puppy worked amazing, but just isn’t very affordable. This is a kibble I would recommend for sensitive picky eaters and for families who enjoy Royal Canin , but are looking for something more budget friendly.”

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Royal Canin Yorkie Puppy Food

Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Puppy Food

Rating:

Yorkshire Terrier Puppy is one of 16 dry recipes studied in our review of the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition product line.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, chicken fat, corn, dried plain beet pulp
  • Type: Grain-Inclusive (rice, corn)
  • Profile: Growth
  • Best for: Yorkie puppies

This Royal Canin Breed Health recipe derives the majority of its meat protein from chicken by-product meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe includes 30% protein, 20% fat and 42% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

Formulated to meet the precise nutritional needs of purebred Yorkie puppies. Featuring a specialized kibble size that’s optimized for a smaller muzzle and bite. Enthusiastically recommended.

Sample buyer review… “I have a 4.5 month old adorable, but extremely skinny, Yorkie puppy! With oversight from her vet, we have tried and she has rejected FOUR brands of puppy chow, as well as supermarket canned and frozen dog food. Overriding my vet’s advice to NOT use Royal Canin puppy chow because of some of its less than stellar contents, in desperation I ordered it and it just arrived this morning. I mixed some with Science Diet and Victors and gave it to her. She TURNED THE BOWL OVER and happily picked out the Royal Canin. Now I can quit feeding her home cooked chicken, close my eyes to Royal Canin’s content list, and rely on the other Yorkie parents’ glowing reviews! Should have made this decision months ago…”

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More Top Picks

To view more top recipes for your Yorkie… click the link below that best meets your personal feeding needs.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions we get about feeding Yorkies.


How can I switch to a new food… without making my Yorkie sick?

In the following video

Dr. Gary Richter shares a simple feeding tip that can help reduce your Yorkie’s risk of getting sick when you switch to a new dog food.


Do Yorkies need special dog food?

There are no official pet food industry or FDA nutrient standards established specifically for Yorkshire Terriers. However, because Yorkie puppies, adults and seniors EACH have different nutritional requirements, it’s important to select a food that’s designed to match the life stage of YOUR particular dog.


How much food should I feed my Yorkie?

A landmark 2002 study discovered that dogs fed an amount of food to maintain them at ideal body condition lived 1.8 years longer… than other dogs.7

Since every Yorkie is different, it’s impossible to predict the exact serving size that’s “ideal” for every animal. So, start with the feeding amount printed on the package. Or your results from using our dog food calculator. Then, over time, adjust that amount up or down… to reach and maintain your Yorkie at ideal body weight.


What’s the best food for a Yorkie puppy?

Since they’re considered small breed dogs, Yorkie benefit from eating foods that contain the right balance of calcium and other nutrients specifically designed for puppies. So, until he (or she) reaches 9 to 12 months, your Yorkie should be eating a dog food that meets AAFCO nutrient guidelines… and labeled “for Growth” or “for All life stages”.

In addition to the Royal Canin Yorkie Puppy Food above, you’ll find a complete list of The Dog Food Advisor’s Best Small Breed Puppy Foods here.


When should I switch my Yorkie puppy to adult dog food?

Yorkie puppies don’t stop growing and aren’t ready for adult food until they reach 9 to 12 months of age.8 9 That’s because adult dog foods can be deficient in protein as well as leucine and other essential nutrients. And why it’s SO important not to switch to regular dog food too soon.


What’s the best dog food for a senior Yorkie?

According to VCA Hospitals, small breed dogs tend to live longer than large breeds. Yorkies aren’t considered “senior” until they reach 11 years of age. So, if your Yorkie is 11 years (or older), you may wish to visit The Dog Food Advisor’s Best Senior Dog Foods page here.


A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

References

  1. AAFCO Nutrient Profiles Based on Dry Matter, 2017 Official Publication, Association of American Feed Control Officials, p. 153
  2. Williams K, Downing R, Feeding Mature and Senior Dogs, VCA Hospitals
  3. AAFCO Nutrient Profiles Based on Dry Matter, 2017 Official Publication, Association of American Feed Control Officials, pp. 152-153
  4. IAMS: Is Your Puppy Ready for Adult Food?
  5. IAMS: Is Your Puppy Ready for Adult Food? ibid
  6. Buzhardt L, VCA Hospitals, How Old Is Old? Comparing Dog Age to Human Age
  7. 14-Year Lifespan Study in Dogs
  8. Royal Canine: When does my puppy become an adult dog?
  9. IAMS: How to Transition Your Puppy to Adult Food, IAMS