From puppyhood to adulthood, nutrition is especially important for the delicate digestive system of the Yorkshire terrier. With more and more pet food options available, knowing what to feed your terrier, how much, and at what age can be overwhelming.
This concise article breaks down everything you would want to know as a responsible pet owner when it comes to keeping your Yorkshire terrier healthy and ensuring it has the best chance for a long, happy, and active life.
How to Keep Your Yorkshire Terrier Healthy from Birth to Adulthood
While individual nutritional needs will vary slightly per dog, the following guidelines are general. If your terrier is used to another feed or diet, it’s best to consult your veterinarian before suddenly switching to another feed, or at least introduce the new dog food in small increments.
Birth and Weaning
Like most puppies, Yorkshire terriers rely on their mother for their nutrition during the first four weeks. The nutrition of the dam is vital for ensuring the puppies have healthy milk, so make sure her diet is high in quality with plenty of water.
Begin introducing solids at around 4 weeks, keeping a constant supply available. When it comes time to introduce solids, you have a couple different options available.
Making your Yorkie dog food from scratch is best for their health if you have a little time. Yorkies need plenty of healthy fats to maintain their shining, silky coat, so include fish oil, coconut oil, and olive oil in their diet.
Brown rice, sweet potatoes, yams, and winter squash provide an easy-to-digest source of carbohydrates. Protein options are plentiful; fish, chicken, lamb, beef, or turkey should make up the bulk of a Yorkie’s protein diet. Cottage cheese is also acceptable, but avoid hard cheeses, they’re too difficult for a Yorkie’s pancreas and digestive system to process.
If it is within your budget, ensure that the protein and fat portion of a Yorkie’s diet is high in quality, preferably from free range and grass fed animals. Just like for humans, meat from poorly treated animals that have been loaded with steroids is less than healthy. According to TheNest.com, “Thoroughly-cooked meat, chicken and turkey are better, especially if they come from antibiotic-free, organic or grass-fed animals.”
Storebought Kibble or Dry Dog Food
With an increasing awareness of the importance of holistic pet health care, storebought dog food options are plentiful. It goes without saying that it’s important to avoid brands that utilize cheap byproducts of meat.
Corn and soy are often difficult for a Yorkie’s digestive systems, so look for brands free of those ingredients. Look for dog food with omega 3’s added to help your Yorkie keep that long silky coat.
So what’s the best choice for you? It depends on a variety of factors. As mentioned, homemade is usually better and less expensive than the high-quality brands available. Many Yorkies though may also benefit dental-wise from the hard, crunchy kibble, so varying it up and mixing homemade with storebought is always a possibility too.
Keep in mind also that choosing quality over cheapness made pay off in the long run and save you in a boat load of vet bills, not to mention it will provide your Yorkie with a better quality of life.
Next we will cover some common questions from this Yorkie food FAQ. It’s a great resource if you have any other questions that are not listed here.
Yorkie Food FAQs
When is the best time to introduce solids?
3-4 weeks is the typical timeframe. It will vary slightly from Yorkie to Yorkie.
Are there any foods to avoid giving your Yorkie?
Avoid chocolate, onions, garlic in moderate to large quantities, xylitol, artificial sweeteners, hard cheeses, mushrooms, difficult to digestive foods such as fatty sausages, raw eggs, and moldy or decaying food. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t feed it to your dog, they aren’t garbage disposals.
How much should I feed my Yorkie?
Puppies need around 400 calories daily due to the fact they need more energy to grow and develop. After your Yorkshire terrier has reached adulthood, caloric needs range from 150-200 per day. Senior dogs may need only 100 calories to maintain a healthy weight.
What protein and carbohydrate ratios are best for homemade dog food?
About 65 % carbohydrates, 5-10 % fats, and 25-30 % protein is the appropriate ratio for a Yorkshire terrier.
Many health issues Yorkies commonly suffer from can be eliminated if you feed them small amounts frequently. Due to their fast metabolisms and small stomachs, hypoglycemia is a common problem amongst Yorkshire terriers. If you maintain their silky coat through frequent grooming and a healthy diet, a Yorkie is a delightful dog to care for, with a wonderful, spunky, and devoted personality.