How Much Food Should I Feed My Yorkshire Terrier?

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Generally, most yorkie owners wonder how much should a yorkie eat. 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 dog’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.

Yorkshire terrier having fun running

To find out how much food perfectly fits your Yorkie Puppy, there are some factors you should consider. Keep reading to clearly understand how much yorkies eat and how often


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, yorkie 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. 

Gradually, the mother will allow less time for nursing and become less patient with the yorkie puppies. 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

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.

At this stage, free-feeding is encouraged and so you should ensure that you leave kibble 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. However, since yorkies have small stomachs you should avoid feeding them too much food at once. 

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, you should establish a feeding schedule to know how much food should a yorkie eat and when to avoid overfeeding your dog 

With your vet’s guidance, it is advisable that a puppy yorkie eat 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 5 meals per day. The largest meal served to your dog should be in the morning and the smallest in the early evening and not within two hours of bedtime.

Adult Yorkies

Your Yorkshire terrier’s appetite will slowly stabilize as it approaches adulthood. Usually, an adult yorkie weighs between 5 and 7 lbs. It will consume between 150 and 175 calories of food per day.

It is advisable that an adult yorkie eat ½ to 3/4 cups of dry food each day and you can split this amount between 2 or 3 meals. However, you must check dog food labels for accurate serving sizes. This is because various food brands have different calorie counts.

If you opt to prepare homemade meals for your adult yorkie, consider giving the dog less than the stated amount of dry food since this food has more calories. Also, you will need to adjust your adult yorkie’s diet depending on its activity level to avoid issues of hypoglycemia or obesity.

Senior Yorkies

It is advisable to continue feeding your senior dog on a balanced diet to keep it physically fit. However, keeping in mind that activity level and metabolism slows down as the senior dog ages, you might need to feed your senior yorkie fewer calories than an adult dog to avoid obesity problems. 

Also, some senior dogs lose teeth as they age, making chewing dry food more challenging. Due to this, it is advisable to switch to wet food that they enjoy most.

Activity Level

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. I recommend more food rich in fats 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.

Yorkshire terrier sitting on the grass

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 weight is lower.


Although they may not be readily noticeable, there are many physiological signs of stress displayed by Yorkies. Alertness and responsiveness are usually enhanced at low levels of stress. Some of the indicators of high levels of stress include;

  • Maladjustment
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Apathy
  • 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 foods have different nutritional values. You must understand some of the factors you should consider before buying dog food. Some of the main factors include;

Energy Content

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. However, considering that yorkie pups require more calories in their growth and development stage dry food is recommended. Therefore, you will need to compensate for this by providing more water if your Yorkie mainly eats dry food.

Types of Food to Feed a Yorkie Puppy

Young Yorkie puppies require a well-balanced and nutrient-dense diet that meets the intense energy requirements of a growing puppy. Your dog feeding schedule should incorporate the right balance of water, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.

Proteins are a muscle-building block that is important for physical fitness in an adult Yorkie and growth and development in young pups. 

Fewer nutrients lead to an underweight dog, while overabundance leads to obesity. You can also feed your Yorkie on homemade meals such as brown and white rice, boiled chicken, fish, and kidneys. 

Kinds of Foods to Avoid Feeding a Yorkie

What can’t yorkies eat is a frequent question that most pet owners ask. Some types of food may contain harmful ingredients. Also, generic meats and by-products have detrimental effects on your Yorkie. The following are some harmful foods to avoid feeding your Yorkie:


Unlike humans, caffeine has adverse effects when ingested by pets. Caffeine raises your Yorkies’ blood pressure which might result in vomiting, agitation, restlessness, hyperactivity, and panting. As the toxicity progresses, your pet might start losing control and getting seizures or tremors.

Your pet may also develop a rapid and irregular heartbeat which can be felt beneath its fur. If you realize that your small pet has consumed caffeine without your knowledge, consider getting your vet’s intervention, as the rapid heartbeat may lead to death.

Close-up shot of Yorkshire terrier while biting a piece of branch tree

Early intervention is key to successful treatment as the vet can induce vomiting to help get rid of the poison before it is absorbed in your pet’s system. However, you should not induce vomiting yourself as it can result in aspiration pneumonia if not done properly. 

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia is a fatty food that you should avoid feeding your Yorkie. If your dog has ingested these nuts, it may start exhibiting several signs, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • High fever
  • Tremors
  • Inability to walk

If you suspect that your dog has consumed macadamia nuts, it’s advisable to consult your veterinarian immediately, who may recommend close-at-home observation using activated charcoal to help speed up the nut’s digestion under less serious cases or induce vomiting at a veterinary hospital if the effects are severe.


Avocado is another toxic food that you should avoid feeding your Yorkie as it contains persin, a fungicidal toxin that can lead to serious health conditions for your Yorkie or other dogs. Persin is present in high amounts in the plant’s leaves, pits, and skin and in the avocado flesh in less concentrated amounts. 

If consumed in large amounts, it can result in gastrointestinal upsets, diarrhea, vomiting, and myocardial damage. Its high-fat content flesh can lead to abnormal weight gain and pancreatitis. The stone or the pit of an avocado can potentially cause an obstruction in the gut or pose a choking hazard.

Yorkie Conditions That Require Special Diets

Unlike larger dogs, small Yorkie bodies are at risk of health conditions if fed on poor diets. Some health issues that can arise due to malnutrition include:

Heart Disease

One of the main causes of heart problems is too much sodium as a result of feeding your Yorkie table scraps. Typically, most human foods contain table salt, translating to high sodium levels in Yorkies if fed on table scraps.

High intake of sodium results in high circulation of sodium in Yorkies’ bloodstream, which causes water retention in the vessels, resulting in high blood pressure. Feeding your pup a balanced diet is recommended to avoid increasing its blood pressure which causes heart problems.


Yorkshire terriers are small-bodied and playful in nature. However, puppy and teacup Yorkies are at a higher risk of suffering from hypoglycemia when they engage in daily physical activities that make them burn too much energy without feeding on a well-balanced diet to replenish.

It is, therefore, advisable to monitor how much food your Yorkie eats and find out whether it is getting enough to cater to its energy requirements. Add a teaspoon of corn syrup or a high-calorie dietary supplement gel to your dog’s food to counteract hypoglycemia effects.

Related Questions

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.

Do Yorkies Need Vitamins?

Although vitamins do not provide calories, they help in breaking down fats, protein and carbohydrates as well as maintain the normal body functioning of your dog.


Knowing how much to feed your dog ensures that your yorkie remains healthy from puppyhood to adulthood. Before feeding your Yorkie, you should first understand its energy requirements. Most dogs require different amounts of food depending on their age, weight, and lifestyle. You should also set feeding timelines to promote healthy growth.