Best Dog Food For Yorkies For Optimal Wellness (Top 5)

Your Yorkshire Terrier may come in a teeny-tiny package, but their nutritional needs rival that of large canines. From their elegant coats, sensitive skin, and other common health problems, you have to work pretty hard to keep your pup at their best.

Picking a quality food with the right nutrient profile and ingredients is an easy way to help your Yorkie or Yorkie mix stay healthy. In this article, we’ll talk about what a Yorkie diet needs, how to find quality food and our recommendations of the best dog food for Yorkies.

Best Overall

Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed

Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed

For All Stages

Merrick Lil Plates

Merrick Lil Plates

Runner Up

Wellness Core Small Breed

Wellness Core Small Breed

Best Canned Food

Solid Gold Small Breed Canned

Solid Gold Small Breed Canned

Most Affordable

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed

Reviews of The Best Dog Foods for Yorkies

#1. Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed

Best Overall

Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed
Score: (5/5)
Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed

Buy on Chewy

High-protein kibble with nutrient-dense raw bites to support a Yorkie’s metabolism.

High protein


High in quality animal ingredients



Gets some protein from peas

First up on our list of the best food for Yorkies is a diet that combines nutrient-dense and high quality fresh ingredients with a recipe made to satisfy nutritional needs for small and toy dogs. Instinct’s small and toy breed Raw Boost is the best dog food Yorkies can hope for.

This grain free high quality food comes in three small breed adult dog recipe flavors: chicken, beef, and duck. And as a bonus, this menu is available in a special toy breed recipe with extra small kibbles, which makes this one among the best dog foods for teacup Yorkies.

Both the small and toy dog recipes contain nutrients such as 37% protein and 16% fat to help your pooch stay full and to maintain healthy body weight.

All formulas contain meat ingredients like chicken meal, turkey meal, duck meal, beef, and herring meal. All the animal-sourced ingredients mean that a high percentage of proteins are bioavailable for your pup’s system to utilize.

All flavors contain essential fatty acids and a ratio of omega’s close to six to one, making this a great choice for owners looking to support their Yorkie’s fabulous coat. Those fats are also excellent to maintain joint health.

Our favorite thing about Instinct dog food is their use of freeze-dried raw bites in their kibble diets. These “doggy lucky charms” are packed with rich nutrition in a form that’s more easily digestible for your dog. These Instinct raw bites are really making feeding more fun, especially for dogs who have teeth issues.

With all those high quality nutrients, you can expect that it will cost you. But it is well worth it to feed off the best dry dog foods for Yorkies.

#2. Merrick Lil Plates

For All Stages

Merrick Lil Plates
Score: (5/5)
Merrick Lil Plates

Buy on Chewy

Quality ingredient diet with multiple protein options for Yorkies of all ages.

High Quality ingredients

Different protein options

All life stages diet



Contains potatoes and peas

Gets some protein from plant sources

Our second choice on the list of the best dry dog food your dog will thrive on is one of our favorite tiny dog diets. Merrick’s Lil Plates packs top natural ingredients into all of their different protein options so you can find the right flavor food for your dog, or rotate between them for a little variety!

This small breed of grain-free dry dog food comes in four flavors: lamb, beef and barley, chicken and brown rice, and salmon. These recipes also include brown rice, barley, and quinoa. All flavors contain between 30% and 38% percentage of proteins and around 15% fat.

Healthy ingredients like beef, lamb meal, salmon meal, chicken meal, and turkey all add bioavailability to the overall percentage of proteins in the meals. And, because the red meat recipes don’t contain poultry, this dry dog food is among the best dog foods for Yorkies with allergies to protein.

Like our first choice, this dry food has fatty acids for a healthy fat boost. The ratio of omega-3’s to omega-6’s in this food is a little higher at one to nine, but still excellent compared to most commercial diets.

Another great feature of this dog formula is that it was designed for all life stages. That designation and the calorie-dense kibbles puts this meal among the best dog foods for Yorkie puppies on our list.

This dry dog food is a touch cheaper than our first choice, but still on the higher end of the price spectrum. But well worth it for the number of flavor choices available.

#3. Wellness Core Small Breed

Runner Up

Wellness Core Small Breed
Score: (5/5)
Wellness Core Small Breed

Buy on Chewy

High protein food with healthy fats for Yorkie skin and coat health.

Multiple meat ingredients

High protein

Quality fats



Contains peas and potatoes

Similar to Merrick’s tiny dog recipe, Wellness complete health small breed contains 36% protein and 15% fat. This is a great diet to support your Yorkie’s fast metabolism.

This dry dog food contains some nice meat ingredients, including turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal as the first three listed. These protein-rich ingredients are supported by healthy fats such as ground flaxseed and salmon oil.

Those rich fats mean there are a lot of great essential fatty acids in this food. The ratio of omega-3’s to -6’s is one to six, making this another excellent choice for skin and coat health.

Added vitamin E on top of the omegas makes this one of the best dog products for Yorkie-poos to keep their curly coat looking healthy and in the prime condition of their life.

Like all our recommendations so far, this dry dog food is all-natural and loaded with all the needed nutrients. Kibbles are made just the right size for your Yorkie’s pint-sized mouth. Also as the number one and two choices, this one is grain free.

Like all our recommendations so far, this food is all-natural and loaded with nutrient and calorie-dense kibbles made just the right size for your Yorkie’s pint-sized mouth. Also, like the number one and two choices, this one is grain free.

Grain-free foods are great for sensitive dogs and those with grain allergies, but many use peas and legumes in place of grains. This feed has a high percentage of proteins, but it is not as bioavailable to your dog as meats and they tend to be more starchy than whole grains.

This food is similarly priced to Merrick, near the top of the price spectrum. You need to know It is common for tiny dog diets to cost more pound for pound than all-breed diets.

#4. Solid Gold Small Breed Canned

Best Canned Food

Solid Gold Small Breed Canned
Score: (4.5/5)
Solid Gold Small Breed Canned

Buy on Chewy

Highly-palatable wet food with holistic ingredients and very high protein for active Yorkies.

Very high protein

Very palatable for picky eaters

Quality holistic ingredients


Contains added starch

Some protein from peas

If your dog has picky sensibilities, you may find that a dry kibble diet just isn’t going to cut it for them. Our number four pick on the list of the best dog food for Yorkshire terriers was made for those picky eaters.

Solid Gold’s toy and small breed food has an enticing odor and taste that will keep your Yorkie coming back for more.

As most canned feeds, this one is higher in protein and fat than the standard dry diet. At 41% protein per dry matter, this food is the highest protein formula on our list.

This grain free small breed food packs a lot of extra energy and is perfect for active and young Yorkie’s who need help keeping weight on. Those with weak appetites will also benefit from the high-calorie density of this formula to maintain healthy body weight.

With quality ingredients like chicken, chicken liver, fish oil, egg whites, and pumpkin and brown rice, it’s easy to see why we consider this the best wet dog food for Yorkies. And, like all Solid Gold diets, this one contains holistic ingredients to maintain your Yorkie healthy.

Even if you don’t want to feed wet food exclusively, this small breed chicken meal contains thick, highly-palatable gravy and chunks that can easily be mixed with dry kibble for an extra bit of flavor and some added protein.

This wet food is moderately priced and also comes in lamb, salmon, and turkey flavors.

#5. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed

Most Affordable

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed
Score: (4/5)
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed

Buy on Chewy

Diet with quality meats and grains for Yorkies at an affordable price.


High quality ingredients

Available in toy and small breed


Lower protein

Contains many plant-sourced ingredients

Lower omega ratio

Our final choice was selected for its top small breed-specific formula, and affordable price tag. Nutro’s Wholesome Essentials line always provides top food at a bargain price, and their small and toy diets are no exception. This food is perfect if your pet loves to eat, but you want him to watch his weight!

Like our first choice food, this recipe is available in small breeds or toys for those pups with extra dainty mouths. Both formulas contain around 25% percentage of proteins and 15% fat.

With lower energy percentages than most of our choices, this food is a good option for older Yorkie’s who tend to gain too much weight on higher-calorie products. Because it is less calorie-dense, this would not be a good choice of food for Yorkies prone to hypoglycemia, though.

This food is made of top meat ingredients: chicken, chicken meal, and lamb meal. This diet is not grain free and contains whole grain oats, barley, whole brown rice, brewers rice, and rice bran. Your Yorkie may trigger his grain allergies. It also contains sweet potato, however, it is free from cheap filler ingredients like corn and soy.

This diet has the weakest omega ratio of any food that we reviewed at about one to ten. However, considering many commercial diets contain ratios around one to fifty, we would still consider this a good diet for coat health.

What truly makes Nutro’s small dog diet stand out, though, is the price tag. This food will cost less without sacrificing too much in terms of top ingredients.

What Are Some Common Health Concerns of the Yorkie Breed?

Your tiny Yorkie packs a lot of personality into a little frame. They often appear frisky and fearless. There are, however, many issues that can affect our fragile Yorkshire Terriers. Several inherent conditions may cause problems in our pets no matter what we do. On the other hand, some diseases can be prevented by being careful when picking the right dog food.

Here are some health concerns, every pet parent owning a Yorkshire terrier should be aware of.

Common Small Breed Health Concerns

Like most teeny breeds, Yorkies can suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Episodes of this scary problem include weakness, drowsiness, and fainting, according to Yorkshire Terrier Guide. This issue is most often seen in puppies, teacup Yorkies and full of Energy Yorkshire terriers

Dental disease is an often seen health concern in tiny dog breeds. Almost 80 % of Yorkshire Terriers have a problem with their teeth before they are 2 years old. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain their dental health by regular vet checkups.

When picking the best dog food for Yorkies have in mind a kibble size. Top dry dog food may also keep some of the teeth tartar away.

Health conditions related to Inadequate Nutrition

The Yorkie’s coat, especially when left long, is the most distinguishing feature of them. Low-quality dog food can trigger skin allergies in your dog. Some dogs can react to whole grains such as oats, wheat, and corn. Best dog food for a Yorkie suffering from allergies should be grain free with the addition of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Allergies to food and other environmental factors can also increase the odds of your dog developing a serious medical emergency known as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (or HGE). This frightening problem presents with bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, dehydration, and even death if not treated in time.

Many nutritionists note that the cause of Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis lies in the disturbance of gastrointestinal flora. Their sensitive stomach may benefit from dry dog food that contains hydrolyzed protein as a source of energy.

Best dog food for Yorkie suffering from gastrointestinal issues should have the addition of probiotics and fibers to enrich intestinal flora with good bacteria.

Blue Buffalo brand veterinary diet has created grain free dog food without preservatives. Feed your Yorkie with Blue Buffalo will maintain the health of their sensitive stomachs. Brown rice and boiled chicken is also the best food for Yorkies with sensitive stomachs.

Pancreatitis is another gastrointestinal issue often diagnosed in these breeds because of inadequate nutrition. Low-quality dog food with high levels of fat content can trigger pancreatitis over a long period. The best dog food for Yorkies with pancreatitis is digestible dog food. Deboned chicken meal and brown rice is also a well known natural diet for dogs with pancreatitis.

Hereditary Health Conditions in Yorkshire Terrier

Many Yorkshire Terriers suffer from inherited eye issues known as retinal dysplasia. The reason for this is improper eye development and it can lead to serious vision issues in our Frisky little friends. The best dog food Yorkie with eye problem needs is supplemented with vitamin E, A, selenium, and omega 3 fatty acids to promote retinal health.

Yorkies are prone to a host of joint and bone-related problems including luxating patella and Legg-Perthes disease. Yorkies are less prone to arthritis and other joint inflammation problems, however, due to their light frames. That being said, when picking the best dog food for Yorkies, make sure it has glucosamine and a chondroitin supplement.

Because of issues such as HGE, allergies, and skin and joint problems, it is especially important to find a top diet for your Yorkie to decrease their risk of developing these more often diagnosed health problems.

Is Small Breed Dog Food Important for Yorkies?

Don’t let that tiny mouth fool you! Yorkies and other small dogs require more calories per pound than larger dogs. Best Food for small breeds is a top protein-rich meal. Vitamins and minerals are important and are an important addition to this food for Yorkies.

Tiny dogs’ metabolisms work at a much faster rate than that of large breed dogs, according to This, along with their increased risk of hypoglycemia, means it is important to feed your Yorkie calorie-dense dog food that was made teeny breeds. Keep in mind that puppies and Nursing female toy breeds need more calories, vitamins, and minerals than adult dogs.

Special Nutritional Need of a Small Breeds

The amount of energy from food Yorkshire terriers may need changes throughout its life. If you really want to boost your dog’s eating, here are some additional feeding tips.

Special Nutritional Need For A Yorkie Puppy

A Yorkie puppy may require more calories per day than an adult dog. Yorkshire terrier puppy food needs to contain more protein as well as vitamins and minerals to make them going and growing. Make sure to feed your small breed puppy at least 5 times throughout the day during this sensitive life stage.

Toy breeds can easily fall into hypoglycemia so puppy food for small breed dogs need to contain enough calories per gram. High fiber dog food makes our puppies feel full. There are a number of beneficial things in fiber meals. Most important is that it promotes digestion and absorption of all those proteins to maintain healthy body weight.

Dog owners love Blue Buffalo made Baby blue chicken and oatmeal formula, specially designed to suit the needs of a toy breed puppy. Beside containing natural ingredients, this puppy food has an addition of omega 6 fatty acids and vitamins to ensure the complete health of your pup.

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Prairie Puppy formula took care of our pup’s nutrition. With the balanced nutritional value, we can be sure that our Yorkie puppies will get enough calories per day. And they do require a certain amount of food and energy to thrive! This brand has the addition of fish oil that is an excellent source of healthy fats.

These high fiber puppy formulas include Bison meat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Peas. It is free of grains, corn, wheat, and preservatives. With all this well balanced and much needed nutrients you should really consider this formula for your pup.

Special Nutritional Need For A Senior Yorkie

Senior Yorkie on the other hand don’t need as much protein per pound as adult dogs do. They, however, require optimal content of natural nutrients in their nutrition to keep healthy body weight. Therefore, optimal nutrition for old Yorkshire terriers requires fewer calories per pound.

Don’t forget about their bad teeth. Avoid feeding them with products for all size dogs. To help make eating easier for them, try wet dog food. As they don’t really require as much food, you will still go easy on your budget. Avoid dog food brands that contain high fiber in their meals. While these things promote digestibility in food for puppies, it can cause constipation in seniors.

Blue Buffalo had crafted grain free tiny dog senior dog food. This food chicken recipe with brown rice is among our picks for the best food recipe for seniors.

Wellness Core Natural Dry toy breed Dog food with its Turkey, Peas, and sweet potatoes formula can satisfy all the nutritional needs of a senior Yorkie dog. This food provides fewer calories per day than regular adult dog food, yet its addition of omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids is a huge plus for coat health.

Wellness complete senior Yorkie food has all rights reserved for top picks for the best senior dog food there is. Last but not least reason for this claim is its addition of chondroitin and glucosamine to promote joint health

You should avoid feeding your tiny dog with commercial products throughout his life. Luckily, there are a growing number of small breed-specific foods available on the market. n addition to containing more calories per cup, these feeds usually also have smaller kibbles made for smaller mouths.

If your interested in learning more about small dog diets, this article is for you.

Finding a High Quality Diet for Your Yorkshire Terrier

Are you starting to wonder if your current dog food is good enough to help your Yorkie thrive? If it’s time to look for something better, here are a few things you should know.

Higher fat dog food is perfect for Yorkies of all sizes. Not only will the extra fat content feed their hyperactive metabolism and reduce hypoglycemia risk, but it will also feed their beautiful coats.

According to, diets rich in essential fatty acids like omega 3’and 6’s can help support a healthy coat. But to get the most benefit from these fats, they need to be consumed in the right ratio at around one omega-3 for every four omega-6.

In addition to a high-fat formula, you want to look for food that contains the right protein percentage and top animal ingredients. Dogs get most of their nutrition from protein and very little from carbohydrates like starch and fiber.

Does your dog suffer from red, itchy skin, watery eyes, or frequent digestive upset? They may have a food allergy.

Because of an increased risk of HGE, it is important to find a dog food that soothes your Yorkie’s GI tract and one that is free from any likely allergens, and preservatives. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How many times per day should my Yorkie eat?
Most healthy adult Yorkies should eat twice a day. Very young, very small, and those prone to hypoglycemia may need to eat four to six small meals a day.
My Yorkie is a picky eater, how do I get her to eat?
Pickiness is a distinctive Yorkie trait when it comes to dinner time. Try adding water, broth, or wet dog food to dry kibble to make it more palatable. You can also check out this article to find out more options for picky dogs.
How do I know if my Yorkie’s red skin is due to a food allergy or not?
If you believe your dog has a food allergy, try eliminating allergens from the diet like soy, corn, wheat, chicken, lamb, and beef. If your dog still has issues after a few weeks on the new diet, a trip to the vet is in order.

What is the Best Dog Food for Yorkies?

After comparing all the great small breeds specific dog food formulas out there, we chose Instinct’s Raw Boost small breed recipe as the best dog food for Yorkies. This diet contains a powerful punch of high-protein kibbles and nutrient-dense raw bites to keep your Yorkie thriving for years to come.

With an almost perfect fatty acid ratio and energy ingredients, this dog food outperformed all others we compared it to. And with a variety of flavors and different kibble sizes, you’re sure to find the flavor that works best for your Yorkie.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option or something touch-less calorie-rich, we’ve included some excellent choices for those on our list as well.

1 thought on “Best Dog Food For Yorkies For Optimal Wellness (Top 5)”

  1. How much wet food should I feed my 8 lb Yorkie per day , she eats grain free chicken , turkey with vegetables and fruit. I tried every dry food possible but she would eat it for a month or so then I would switch it got to the point where she ate no dry food . I buy small breed wet food solid gold , natures choice & Blue Buffalo she loves them
    All . But I don’t know how much per day I should be giving her she’s 4 yrs old 8lbs …. thank you hope to hear back

Leave a Comment