Dog food isn’t the same as it once was, which is definitely a good thing. Historically, dogs used to feed on scraps or the bits of food that humans themselves wouldn’t eat. Nowadays, our pets are part of our family and, thanks to science, we have a good understanding of what kind of nutrients our dogs need. If you are the owner of an adorable little Yorkshire Terrier, then keep reading to find out their dietary needs along with our top recommended dog food.
A Little Bit about Yorkshire Terriers
Pointing out the obvious, Yorkshire Terriers are a small dog breed that actually fits into the “toy breed” category. Yorkies generally only grow to 8 or 9 inches tall, and consequently, they usually weigh around 4 and 7 pounds. They are very popular pets and have a charming personality that’s impossible not to love. Many small breed dogs are prone to health problems and, unfortunately, Yorkshire Terriers are included. The food that is given to Yorkies is obviously vital for their survival, but it can also help to keep your dog healthy and prevent health conditions.
Before we get started at looking into the nutritional needs of Yorkshire Terriers, we are going to cover their health concerns. Knowing what the potential conditions and concerns are will help to better understand why certain ingredients are important and how they can help. As well as allergies, here are the common health problems that Yorkshire Terriers are prone to.
- A type of diabetes where the blood sugar drops dangerously low. Frequently eating helps with this condition although medication may also be needed.
- Dental Problems
- Usually due to their small size.
- Patellar Luxation
- A joint condition which causes the kneecap to slip. With regular movement, the kneecap can fall in and out of place which is extremely painful but also damaging to the bones.
- A dry doggy cough that can get quite nasty. It can sometimes cause retching and gagging.
- This condition affects the eyes and causes them to become extremely irritated and inflamed due to the eyelashes growing abnormally.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Where the retinal atrophy of the eyes slowly deteriorates, gradually causing permanent blindness.
- A type of murky film that covers the lens in the eyes. It can cause vision obstruction and temporary blindness, but it isn’t considered dangerous and can be treated.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Syndrome
- Results in degraded bone due to a lack of blood supply to the femoral head.
- Collapsed Trachea
- Causes airway obstruction as the windpipe narrows following the collapse. Usually happens slowly and begins with a nasty cough which enables owners to get them checked over by a vet.
- Portosystemic Shunt
- Is typically a birth defect and is where the portal vascular system and the systemic circulation have an unnatural connection. A certain number of toxins and nutrients that are absorbed by the intestines are rerouted. Instead of going to the liver they end up getting directed straight into the systemic circulation.
Nutritional Guidelines for Yorkshire Terriers
All dogs need the same foundations when it comes to dog food, but it’s the level or percentages of the nutrients, protein, and fats that differ depending on age and breed. Minerals and vitamins also vary depending on the needs of the particular dog. Even though Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs, they still need protein. It helps them to gain lean muscle mass for adulthood and keeps them growing healthily when they are pups. Going hand in hand with protein is fat content. Fats are very important and are what gives your Yorkie its energy. Fatty acids are also included in the fat content and, with a dog that has so much hair, it’s going to need some generous omega levels.
Unlike some larger breeds of dogs, Yorkshire Terriers don’t really have a need for carbohydrates. However, carbohydrates are a source of energy, essential nutrients, and fiber. Veterinarians recommend using dog food containing easily digestible carbohydrates if you want to include them in your dog’s diet. That way you should be able to avoid stomach upsets. Yorkshire Terriers are a little fussy when it comes to whole grains. Some are able to digest them perfectly fine but others, not so much. So, whether you opt for whole grain or grain-free foods will largely depend on your dog and their digestion.
Ingredient List for Yorkshire Terriers
To make the process of choosing food that’s ideal for your Yorkie, we have written out a list of the minimum recommended diet contents for both puppies and adult Yorkies.
- 8% fat
- 22% protein
- Eating regularly
- 15–20% fat
- 25–30% protein
These figures are suitable for active adult Yorkshire Terriers. For those who aren’t that active, a minimum of 5% fat and 18% protein is advised for your pet.
Recommended Food for Yorkshire Terriers
Whether you are looking for the latest grain-free dry dog food, standard dry food. calorie-dense food, grain-free dog food, wet food, puppy food, or some other high-quality dog food, just what dog food for Yorkshire Terriers is best to ensure a well-balanced diet? Read on to find out our best dog food brands and ensure the health and well-being of your puppy.
Instinct By Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe
Using real, freeze-dried raw meats, this food is high in protein and completely grain-free. Our number one choice as dog food for Yorkies is the Instinct By Nature’s Raw Boost due to its higher level of omega oils (we can’t forget about that shiny hair), its probiotic boost, and the immune system benefits.
- By-product, artificial colorings, and preservative free
- Cage-free chicken
- Generous level of omega-3 and omega-6
- Boosted nutrition
- Raw feeding that helps with oral health, digestion, and allergies
Stella & Chewy’s Lil SuperBlends Small Breed Dog Food
Very similar to the Instinct By Nature’s dog food listed above is the Stella & Chewy’s Lil SuperBlends Small Breed Dog Food. This super premium brand also uses freeze-dried raw meat pieces as well as organic-certified strawberries, blueberries, and bananas.
- Designed for dogs of all ages
- Boosts oral and digestive health
- Includes superfoods
- Free from gluten, grain, artificial coloring, and flavorings
Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Recipe
A very popular grain-free formula that is high in fat with a good balance of omega oils. The Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Recipe is great for Yorkies living an active life. For dogs that have slowed down a bit, just ensure that the fat content isn’t too high for them.
- Protein rich
- Powerful antioxidants and added vitamins
- Includes proprietary K9 strain probiotic
As Yorkies age or are diagnosed with a health condition you may need to change their food. But, if you do, it’s likely that your veterinarian will advise you on which one to switch to for your puppy. Until you get to that point (if you ever do), it’s up to you to choose a nutrient-rich dog food that’s going to do wonders for your puppy.