As a Yorkshire terrier owner, you might be wondering how much food you should feed your dog. It is vital to understand that each Yorkshire terrier is an individual with unique nutritional requirements. A mix of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fats is the proper foundation for your pet’s diet.
How Much Food Should I Feed My Yorkshire Terrier?
Generally, small dogs have higher energy requirements than larger breeds. Therefore, they require a diet comprising high-quality ingredients. However, no single food can meet the needs of each dog.
To find a diet that perfectly fits your Yorkie, there are some factors you should consider.
You need to pay special attention to your Yorkie’s current age life-stage nutritional needs. The calories must change as the dog transitions from the puppy stage to the senior years. For example, puppies require more protein in their diet compared to fully-matured dogs.
Newborn to 6 Weeks
It is not advisable to feed newborns any solid foods. Newborn Yorkies go through intense growth, which the milk produced by their mother should exclusively fuel. The mother may begin to display early signs of weaning at around five weeks.
Gradually, she will allow less time for nursing and become less patient with the puppies. This is the perfect stage to introduce solid foods.
You can mix a small quantity of kibble softened by water with high-quality wet puppy food. Although your puppy may seem disinterested in this new food at first, it will grow accustomed with time.
2 to 4 Months Old
Typically, a Yorkie puppy should be fully or nearly weaned from its mother’s milk by the 8th week. It should survive on solid foods alone even though it will still nurse if given the opportunity.
Ensure that kibble is free-fed in the puppy’s pen at all times. Small breeds such as Yorkshire terriers often fight hypoglycemia and blood-sugar swings between feedings.
Due to rapid growth and lack of nursing, a daily diet of 175 and 200 calories is recommended. It is also vital to keep track of your puppy’s body weight and growth through regular checkups during this first year.
5 to 9 Months Old
The majority of a puppy’s growth spurts are behind it at this stage. By nine months old, it will be at or nearing full-grown. However, it will continue to gain muscle mass and fill out in the chest slowly.
Since each dog is unique, its growth rate and size are determined by genetics and not the amount of food they consume. As a dog parent, avoid overfeeding your dog as it may cause life-threatening obesity.
With your vet’s guidance, gradually introduce an adult formula food to replace the puppy formula kibble. The recommended amount of food at this stage is around 200 calories spread over 3 to 4 meals per day.
Your Yorkshire terrier’s appetite will slowly stabilize as it approaches adulthood. Usually, an adult Yorkshire terrier weighs between 5 and 7 lbs. It will consume between 150 and 175 calories of food per day.
This means that roughly half a cup of dry dog food each day is enough. However, you must check dog food labels for accurate serving sizes. This is because various food brands have different calorie counts.
There are no set guidelines to determine the activity levels for a dog accurately. However, working or sporting dogs are considered high-activity dogs. On the other hand, pets usually do not engage in the same activity levels since they are sedentary.
If your Yorkie engages in higher-intensity activities such as sprinting, then he may need a specialized diet. This will help your dog maintain appropriate muscle mass. We recommend a diet higher in fat for dogs who exercise longer than 30 minutes.
Body Weight and Composition
The base level of energy required by any animal is primarily determined by its mass. You can accurately determine the number of calories you should feed your Yorkie using mathematical formulas.
Body composition is vital in calculating the amount of fat tissue your dog carries. Fat utilizes energy, unlike any other muscle tissue. Therefore if the ratio of fat to muscle mass is higher, the amount of calories needed per pound of bodyweight is lower.
Although they may not be readily noticeable, there are many physiological signs of stress displayed by Yorkshire terriers. Alertness and responsiveness are usually enhanced at low levels of stress. Some of the indicators of high levels of stress include;
- Reluctance to eat
- Unsocial behavior
One of the main effects of prolonged high-stress levels is a higher demand for protein. This is because protein reserves are rapidly used during stress, thus needing replacement. Stress directly links to anemia.
Ensure that you feed your Yorkie food rich in Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Potassium, and Zinc.
What to Look For in Dog Food
Different types of dog food have different nutritional values. You must understand some of the factors you should consider before buying dog food. Some of the main factors include;
The energy content of the food is dependent on the number of nutrients it contains. You must check the food packaging to check the energy density. The primary sources of energy are fat, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Research individual ingredients in the food, or cook the food yourself.
Dry or Wet Food
Typically a Yorkshire terrier can eat up to four times more wet food at once than dry food. Therefore, you will need to compensate for this by providing more water if your Yorkie mainly eats dry food.
What Kinds of Food Should You Avoid?
Some types of food may contain harmful ingredients. Avoid any dog food that has artificial coloring or flavoring and chemical preservatives. Also, generic meats and by-products have detrimental effects on your Yorkie.
Will Change of Coat Affect How Much Food My Dog Eats?
Yes, it does. The process is physically demanding for the dog. You should increase the amount of essential fatty acids to support coat and skin generation.
Before feeding your Yorkie, you should first understand its energy requirements. Different dogs require different amounts of food depending on their age, weight, and lifestyle. You should also set feeding timelines to promote healthy growth.