yorkshire terrier eating food

Feeding a Yorkie

The York does not need many calories a day. However, this small dog has its own nutritional requirements, so first of all the diet should be of high quality. In order for our pet to be healthy and have loads of energy, we must provide him with the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

How many calories does a Yorkshire terrier need?

Low active dogs need about 150 calories a day. Those that have more physical activity around 200 calories. As the stomach of this breed is small, food should be divided into several meals a day. At puppy age Yorkies need more food, here we can assume that it is about 400 calories per day. Of course, Yorkies also vary in weight and size, so in order to accurately determine the amount of food per day, calculations must be made to suit the individual dog. There are also easier ways, which will be discussed later.

How often should I feed my Yorkie?

It is worth planning a suitable feeding schedule. A Yorkie puppy up to 3 months can have constant access to food. However, the food should be changed regularly so that old leftovers do not accumulate at the bottom of the bowl.
Yorkie in the age range from 3 months to a year should already have planned meals – 4 a day. Dry dog treats are allowed between meals.

Dogs over one year old should eat 3 times a day. This is the optimum frequency, but if he gets treats in between, feeding 2 times a day is acceptable. The size of meals can vary – depending on your Yorkie’s preferences.

How much food does a Yorkie need per day?

The most effective way to determine the daily amount of food is to relate your Yorkie’s weight to the guidelines on the packaging of the food in question. The process is as follows:

  1. We determine your Yorkie’s weight
  2. We take down the daily requirement from the label of the ready-made dog food and then divide it by the number of meals. This way, we get the result (how many grams of food should the Yorkie get during one meal).
  3. Measure the amount of food with a kitchen scale. We do not do it “by eye”, because in this way it is very easy to cheat and disrupt the dog’s diet.

We also don’t have to worry about your dog’s age in this case. Adult and puppy dog foods have the calculations adjusted accordingly to the age of the dog. It’s also worth noting that these instructions take treats between meals into account. If you don’t feed your Yorkie in this way, it’s worth making small adjustments and slightly increasing the amount of food.

Following the guidelines, it appears that the portions are very small – but this is how it should be. The Yorkie is a small breed and doesn’t need more. If an adult dog maintains his weight, it means that the diet is adequate.

Wet or dry food for the Yorkie?

The best solution is to use only dry food for your Yorkie, which provides all the necessary ingredients in the diet. It also has a beneficial effect on teeth and gums. It’s often the case, however, that a dog is already used to wet food and this is the only food that appeals to him. There are also special cases where it is difficult to use dry food alone. An example would be the loss of teeth in a Yorkie.

To solve these problems we can try to make the meal more attractive by mixing dry food with wet food or sprinkling the dry food with broth. For dogs with incomplete teeth, the solution may be to soak the food in warm water or heat the meal. Of course, be careful not to give your Yorkie hot food. This can be dangerous to his health.

What food ingredients can cause problems in Yorkies?

The most common cause related to Yorkies’ diet is food allergies. Cereals are a popular allergen. The best solution is to avoid this ingredient in foods. However, it should be borne in mind that a diet completely devoid of cereals can lead to dilated cardiomyopathy. Yorkies are rarely susceptible to this condition, but a few cases have been reported with a grain-free diet. Therefore, it is also worth considering feeds with gluten-free cereals (rice, oatmeal, quinoa). It often turns out that it is gluten that causes allergies in dogs. Chemical preservatives, flavours, artificial colourings and fillers can also cause allergy problems.

What ingredients in Yorkie food should you look for on labels?

  • fruit and vegetables
  • natural preservatives (vitamin and herbal mixtures)
  • healthy meat (chicken or chicken meal, turkey, goose, duck, rabbit, lamb, beef, fish)
  • omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, linseed)

Home-cooked food for Yorkies

As with any homemade diet for your dog, there is a lot to gain. The biggest benefit is the elimination of harmful additives, preservatives and colourings added to food. By cooking dog food at home, we know exactly what will be in it.

Home-cooked meals for your Yorkie may include:

  • Meat, which is a source of protein. This can be white meat from chicken or turkey, lamb, fish, lean beef, veal. Pork should not be the main source of protein, but can complement a meal,
  • Vegetables – e.g. carrots, peas, spinach. Here, when choosing, it’s worth checking which vegetables your dog can eat,
  • Fruit – e.g. pears, raspberries, apples (without seeds). As with vegetables, it’s worth checking which fruit your dog can eat,
  • Cereals – if you choose cereal supplements, these can be e.g. rice, oatmeal, pasta. When choosing, check whether your dog has a food allergy,
  • Supplements – e.g. yoghurt, cottage cheese, eggs or ready-made supplements for Yorkies.