What to Feed a Yorkshire Terrier

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Proper nutrition is good for the growth and development of the body; just like me, pets also need proper nutrition. It is vital to know what to feed a Yorkshire Terrier if you recently got one or are aspiring to get one. Without wasting any more time, let me dive in.

What to Feed a Yorkshire Terrier

As a dog owner, you are required to ensure your Yorkshire Terrier is well fed. Yorkshire Terriers are small in size compared to most dogs, and hence their nutritional needs are different.

Yorkshire Terrier sticking its tongue

Yorkshire Nutrition

Your Yorkshire Terrier should always receive a balanced diet. This means their daily meals should consist of Proteins, Vitamins, Carbohydrates, Minerals, and plenty of clean water. You can decide to make your meals at home or buy ready-made dog foods online or at your most convenient store.

What Yorkshire Terriers Should Eat

Yorkshire Nutrition Benefits Food
Protein Body-building, growthChicken, beef
Carbohydrates EnergyOats, brown rice, starchy vegetables, bananas
Fats, Vitamins, and Minerals Cell structure and functionThiamine, riboflavin
Treats Supplementary protein, minerals, and carbohydratesSweet potato, hard cheese chew, dental bones


Protein is a body-building food essential for growth and development. Dogs can take both plant and animal proteins, although the former contains a richer composition of amino acids. Sources of animal protein are beef and chicken.

Adult Yorkie food should not contain less than 18% of protein. In comparison, puppies and lactating mothers should not be less than 22.5 %. This is in accordance with The Association of American Feed Control.


Carbohydrates are energy-giving foods; these are packed with essential calories needed by dogs, especially the young and energetic ones. The carbohydrates are converted to simple sugars that, when absorbed, provide your Yorkshire terrier with enough energy to run around and be playful. Sources of carbohydrates include:

  • Cereal drain like Oats, brown rice, whole wheat, millet, potatoes, and barley.
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Fruits like apples and bananas
  • Healthy fats

Fats, Vitamins, and Minerals

Fat is made up of smaller units called fatty acids necessary for providing the body with calories. These fats contain twice the calories of carbs and proteins, and although they are required, too much fat can cause health issues for your dog.

Vitamins are used to break down protein, fat, and carbs to maintain normal body function. Examples of vitamins are:

  • B1 (thiamine) – used by the brain and other energy organs to function correctly.
  • B2 (riboflavin) – supports the metabolism of amino acids and carbohydrates in the body.
A white Yorkshire Terrier


Dogs love treats, though when it comes to giving out treats, ensure not to overdo this since it may cause dental issues for your dog. Some of the treats you can get for your Yorkshire Terrier include:

  1. Full Moon All-Natural Human-Grade Dog Treats
  2. Jiminy’s Cricket Protein, Sweet Potato, and Pea Dog Training Treats
  3. Pupford Freeze-Dried Sweet Potato Training Treats
  4. Himalayan Dog Chews 100% Natural Hard Cheese Chew
  5. VetIQ Minties Dental Bone Dog Treats

What to Consider When Feeding a Yorkshire Terrier

Before buying food for your Yorkshire Terrier, you should consider some essential factors like:

  • Age
  • Size
  • Allergies
  • Health


Younger pups have a different diet than older dogs. From birth to about three weeks, your Yorkshire Terrier can survive primarily on its mother’s milk; the milk contains essential nutrients the pups need for growth and development.

If the dam cannot feed its young, you can bottle feed them with milk recommended by your veterinarian.

As they grow older and start moving around, they will need more energy-giving foods. At about five months, introduce solid foods, mostly protein, and carbohydrates. Clean water should also always be available and properly covered to prevent it from getting dirty.

Learn more about what to feed a Yorkshire Terrier puppy in my guide.


A dog’s metabolism depends on its body size; the smaller they are, the more calories and nutrients they need. More miniature Yorkies need about 200 calories a day, while adult-sized Terriers need about 150 calories. Older Yorkies may need 150 calories a day.


A healthy dog can follow the regular feeding routine, although feeding can be challenging when your Yorkshire Terrier gets sick. The constant vomiting, stomach upsets, constipation, and lack of appetite prevent it from getting the right nutrients. A bland diet helps relieve some of the symptoms.

  • Upset stomach – For upset stomachs, feed your Yorkshire Terrier rice and chicken. Although white rice is low in nutritional value, its blandness makes it suitable for upset stomachs. The chicken should be plainly boiled, make sure it’s well cooked, and cut into small pieces to avoid choking.
  • Lack of appetite – Bone broth is a delicious and nutritious liquid meal that can encourage your Yorkie to eat. It is made from boiling bones with alot of joints. While serving, make sure to remove all the bones to prevent choking.
  • Constipation – To relieve constipation, foods rich in fiber are encouraged. Pumpkin and sweet potatoes can be given to the dog; these foods should be adequately boiled and left to cool off first. You can mash them together or serve them separately.
Close up shot of a Yorkshire Terrier


For Yorkshire Terriers with allergies finding the right food can be a challenge. Some dog food contains allergens like chicken, egg, beef, dairy that can cause allergic reactions for your dog. Luckily, I have other foods for dogs with allergies; these are available in 2 categories: 

  1. Hypoallergenic dog foods
  2. Limited ingredient diets

Hypoallergenic Dog Foods

These types of dog food are made from hydrolyzed proteins; this means the proteins have been split into their primary amino acid building blocks, making the allergen in them harmless to your Yorkshire Terrier. These foods can prevent allergic reactions in your dog; examples of such foods include:

  • Nom Nom Fresh
  • Prey Angus Beef Recipe
  • Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein 

Limited Ingredient Diets

As the name suggests, this diet contains fewer components that make pinpointing an allergen easier. They are sold over the counter, and you can get them either online or at your nearest dog shop. Examples of Limited ingredient foods include:

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Yorkie

  1. Raisins and grapes – can cause kidney failure.
  2. Alcohol – causes diarrhea and vomiting.
  3. Salty foods – causes excess urination and thirst.
  4. Onions and garlic – damages the red blood cells and causes irritation.
  5. Chocolate – causes diarrhea, seizures, or even death.

How Often Should You Feed a Yorkshire Terrier?

Yorkshire Terrier puppies should be fed three to four times a day, and adults should eat twice a day. The portions vary from ¼ to ½ cups every day.

Feeding should also be in the morning, afternoon, and 2 hours before the puppies’ bedtime, while adults should be fed in the morning and evening.

Related Questions

What Human Food Can Yorkshire Terriers Eat?

Human foods such as carrots, fish, chicken, and peanut butter are generally safe for Yorkshire Terriers. Cucumbers, apples, watermelons, and broccoli also make great treats for Yorkies.

How to Figure Out the Serving Size for a Yorkshire Terrier?

Know how much your Yorkshire Terrier weighs to determine the serving size. It’s also advisable to check the brand’s recommended serving size for your pet’s weight.

What Should Yorkies Not Eat?

Yorkies should not eat grapes, raisins, or coconut as these may cause stomach problems. Onions, garlic, nuts, and yeasted dough can also harm Yorkshire Terriers.


Yorkshire Terriers are cute and tiny, and so to maintain their happy, playful, and healthy state, quality nutrition is a must. Ensure any dog food you purchase meets AAFCO’s nutrient profile guidelines for dogs and also seek your vet’s advice to determine the most suitable nutrition for your pet.