How Many Kcal per Day is Needed for a Yorkshire Terrier

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You need to feed your Yorkshire Terrier with nutrient-dense food to maintain its gorgeous appearance. Giving it a well-balanced diet with the right amount of Kcal will keep it energetic enough for daily exercises. So, how much food should a Yorkie eat a day?

How Many Kcal per Day Is Needed for a Yorkshire Terrier?

An adult Yorkie requires around 150 calories per day, while Yorkie puppies require about 200 calories per day. On the other hand, senior Yorkies require the least kcal per day, typically less than 120 calories.

How much food should yorkies eat per day depends on the level of exercise, health, and weight of the dog. 

Yorkie dog in nature

Keep in mind that Yorkies are generally small, have higher energy requirements, and so do the daily calories per pound. In most cases, how much food should a Yorkie eat daily depends on the following factors:


How much to feed and the feeding schedule of a dog varies depending on its age and how it’s transitioning from one stage to the other. For instance, puppies require higher calories per day due to their rapid growth rate. Yorkie puppies around eight weeks old are fully or nearly weaned and will require even more calories as they do not depend on their mother’s milk.

In most cases, fully weaned Yorkie puppies require around 175 to 200 calories daily. As the Yorkie puppy ages and approaches adulthood, its appetite stabilizes and will need approximately 150 calories per day. However, keeping track of your puppy’s growth and body weight is advisable to avoid obesity. 

On the other hand, senior Yorkies are less active, and their appetite is much lower. There is no more growth and development, and they only need energy to sustain them for the rest of their life. In most cases, these dogs consume less than 120 calories per day.

Body Composition and Weight 

Since the muscles tend to burn more calories than fat, an adult dog with a smaller muscle to fat proportion will have a lower metabolism rate and require less calories per day. However, this means you’ll have fed your dog with calorie-rich food for the body fat to build up. 

Happy dog with tongue out


Like the body composition, sex affects how much food the dog should eat. Most male Yorkies tend to have more lean muscles and low body fats than their female counterparts. Since muscles tend to burn more kcal than fat, male Yorkshire Terriers need more kcal throughout the day than their female counterparts.

Physical Exercises 

A Yorkie that engages in long walks, jogging, and hiking will need more energy than one that stays indoors. Usually, if the adult yorkie burns more kcal than it consumes, it burns the body fats and loses weight. 

You can help your obese dog lose weight by feeding it low-calorie food and engaging it in rigorous physical activities. On the other hand, for dogs with a healthy weight, it’s advisable to feed them foods higher in fat content if they exercise for more than 30 minutes per day.  

Health Status

Yorkies are small dog breeds prone to various health issues depending on their food intake. Considering Yorkies’ body cells require glucose and energy to function correctly, they might lead to hypoglycemia when these levels fall below normal. 

In most Yorkies, hypoglycemia is caused by poor nutrition, immense stress, and low temperatures. If your Yorkie has a low body mass or suffers from this condition due to poor nutrition, it’s advisable to feed your Yorkie high-calorie food. 

For instance, you can add a teaspoon of corn syrup to your dog’s food to counteract hypoglycemia. If your dog is unconscious, rub a small amount of corn syrup on his gums to help it regain consciousness. On the other hand, if your Yorkie is obese, low-calorie food can help your small dog lose weight.

Wet or Dry Food

Newborn Yorkies fully depend on their mother’s milk up to 8-10 weeks, after which you introduce solid foods. You should first introduce your young puppies to dry food as it helps in bone and muscle development and keeps your dog’s teeth healthy.

Although dry food has enough nutrients and calories that your puppy and adult Yorkies require, you should also feed your dog wet food in small amounts. Generally, senior Yorkies lose teeth as they age, making chewing dry kibble challenging.

Therefore, feed your old dog wet foods to avoid other health issues. If you also notice that your senior Yorkie is becoming less active and does not engage in rigorous activity as before, feed it with wet food as it has fewer calories, minimizing the chances of obesity.

Which Homemade High-Calorie Food Can I Feed My Yorkshire Terrier With?

Besides how much food to feed a yorkie, you might find it challenging to feed your dog if you’re on a tight budget and your Yorkie is engaging in rigorous physical exercises or you are weaning it, you can include high-calorie homemade meals in your feeding schedule. 

However, considering that homemade foods have higher calories than wet or dry food, you should feed your dog a smaller amount to avoid obesity issues.Note that the ingredients of the following foods can be blended, broiled, toasted, steamed, baked, or given raw, depending on your dog’s taste and dietary needs.

  • Cottage cheese, whole white yogurt, and eggs 
  • Banana, raspberry, mangoes, and blueberries 
  • Pasta, potatoes, white rice, brown rice and sweet potatoes as the primary source of carbohydrates 
  • Vegetables such as spinach, carrots, sweet peas, and string beans as the primary source of vitamins 
  • All types of meat, including bison, fish, veal, turkey, lamb, lean hamburg, and lean chicken as the main sources of protein 
Yorkshire Terrier close-up photo

What to Avoid Feeding Your Yorkie

Even if the following dog’s food has high calories per pound, it might be toxic and might not be the right choice for these small dogs.


Calorie-dense drinks such as milk should not be free-fed to Yorkies as they might exceed the ideal calorie intake that these smaller dogs require. Although they might not immediately cause health problems, they cause long-term issues like obesity.

Additionally, when Yorkies outgrow their mother’s milk, their ability to produce lactase enzymes reduces, making digesting dairy products such as cow milk or ice cream challenging. Including it in your Yorkie’s food might cause stomach upset, bloating, or even loose stool.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins are poisonous to dogs regardless of age, breed, or sex. When a Yorkie eats a grape, whether dried, seedless or seedless, it is at risk of developing acute kidney failure or even death.

Considering that there is no established cure for grape and raisin toxicity, you should contact your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has ingested a grape. 

However, avoid inducing vomiting if your Yorkie has difficulties breathing or shows other signs of distress. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Frequently Should I Feed My Yorkie?

You will need to feed your Yorkshire Terrier three to four times daily. The main meals include breakfast, lunch, and evening in case of three meals or breakfast, lunch, early evening, and evening in case of four meals. You can also give your furry friend treats in between the main meals. 

Can Meat Provide All the Calories a Yorkie Needs?

Yes, meat can provide the calories a Yorkie needs as it’s rich in proteins and fats. However, an all-meat diet is still unbalanced and will not provide your Yorkie with all nutrients it needs. For instance, even the digestibility of proteins and fats can be an issue without vitamins.

Final Thoughts

The food a dog requires throughout the day mainly depends on age, physical activities, sex, and body weight. It’s advisable to keep track of how you are feeding your dog to ensure it’s not becoming underweight or overweight.