If you’re looking to add a Yorkshire Terrier puppy to your household, it is important to be in the know regarding Yorkie feeding. Learning how much to feed a Yorkie will go a long way in maintaining its health and happiness.
In general, how much to feed a Yorkie will depend on the dog’s age. Generally, Yorkie puppies need between ½ and ¾ cups of puppy food daily, while adults need roughly the same serving size of adult-formulated dry kibble. Finally, senior Yorkshire Terriers do best with just ½ cup of dog food daily.
In this guide, we will explore everything about Yorkie feeding. From factors impacting a Yorkie’s diet to feeding frequency — it’s all here.
What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Yorkshire Terrier?
There are a handful of factors that influence how much to feed a Yorkie. These factors must be taken into consideration when creating a feeding plan for your dog.
Below are some of the factors that impact how much to feed a Yorkshire Terrier:
- Weight: The amount of food a Yorkie needs will depend on its weight. Naturally, heavier Yorkies will need more calories than Yorkies with a lower body weight. On the flip side, an underweight Yorkie might need a specialized diet that has more volume of food compared to an obese Yorkie. Overall, a dog’s weight is an important consideration in feeding portions.
- Age: As Yorkies age, their nutritional requirements change, and the amount of food they need will differ. Yorkie puppies, for example, require more calorie-dense foods to fuel their growth and development. On the other hand, a senior Yorkie will need fewer calories to complement its slower metabolism and aging body.
- Activity Level: A dog with a high activity level will naturally need more calories to support its lifestyle. If your Yorkshire Terrier is very active, it will need more food compared to a sedentary Yorkie. This is especially true for Yorkie puppies who join AKC agility competitions.
These are just three of the many factors affecting how much to feed a Yorkie. On top of these, gender, genetics, and environment may also play a role in determining the portions of these small dogs.
How Much to Feed Your Yorkshire Terrier?
It is important to keep in mind that the recommendations in this guide are tailored for standard-sized Yorkies. Smaller Yorkies, such as teacup Yorkies, may need a different serving size.
Additionally, the serving sizes you will see below are tailored to healthy Yorkshire Terriers with no specialized dietary requirements.
Yorkshire Terrier Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)
The nutritional requirements of a Yorkie change as it grows from birth to about a year old.
As with most dogs, Yorkies will do best when breastfed by their mother from birth to two months old. That said, it is recommended to solely feed your Yorkie with its mother’s milk until about eight weeks old.
If this is not possible, ensure that your Yorkie is given the right kind of milk replacement as an alternative.
Once your Yorkie puppy is weaned, it can now transition to eating wet dog food, canned food, or other variations of Yorkie puppy food.
Below is a feeding chart you can refer to should you decide to feed your Yorkie puppy with dry puppy food:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity (Cups)||Kilocalories (Per day)|
|2 – 3 months||½ – ¾||210 – 313|
|4 – 5 months||½||197 – 270|
|6 – 7 months||½ – ¾||261 – 303|
|8 – 12 months||¾||295 – 351|
Keep in mind that this chart only works for dry dog food. If your Yorkie eats wet food or a homemade meal, such as a chicken meal, the food portions above will not hold true.
For best results, you may consult a pet nutritionist or a veterinarian to learn more about feeding portions for a Yorkie that has a diet other than dry kibble.
Adult Yorkshire Terrier Feeding Chart (1 to 7 years)
As Yorkies reach their adult stage, their nutritional needs and food portions change greatly. This change accounts for their increased body weight, slower growth rate, and new routine as adult dogs.
Use the feeding chart below as a reference on how much to feed an adult Yorkie:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity (Cups)||Kilocalories (Per day)|
|1 – 7 years||½ – ¾||249 – 280|
Keep in mind that the feeding portions in the table above are suitable for adult Yorkies that have a dry dog food diet. If you are feeding canned food, raw food, or homemade food, the portions above will not work optimally.
On a different note, when selecting food for your adult dog, be sure to pick adult-formulated dog foods. Feeding puppy dog food to your adult Yorkie is not recommended.
Senior Yorkshire Terrier Feeding Chart (7 years and above)
Once your Yorkshire Terrier steps into its senior years, it will require a more delicate diet. In general, senior Yorkies have reduced activity levels and slower metabolisms.
In other words, this means your Yorkie will not expend energy as much as it used to and will not digest food as well as it did. This calls for a change in diet as well as a slight change in food portions.
Refer to the table below for the recommended serving size of dry dog food for senior Yorkies:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity (Cups)||Kilocalories (Per day)|
|7 years and above||½||199 – 224|
You may continue feeding your senior Yorkie with adult dog food; however, its portion size must be adjusted accordingly. On the flip side, you may also change your dog’s diet to a kind of food that is best tailored for seniors.
How Often Should You Feed Your Yorkshire Terrier?
The frequency of feeding a Yorkie depends mainly on age. Generally, Yorkie puppies should eat three to four small meals per day. Meanwhile, adult Yorkies need two meals daily until seniorhood. Finally, senior Yorkies aged seven years and older can suffice with either one or two meals daily.
Here’s a table summarizing the optimal feeding frequency for a Yorkshire Terrier:
|2 – 6 months||Three to four times a day|
|6 – 12 months||Thrice a day|
|1 – 7 years||Twice a day|
|7 years and above||Once or twice a day|
Keep in mind that while the feeding frequencies above will work for most Yorkshire Terriers, they will not be optimal for all.
For instance, Yorkies that are more active may need a slightly different feeding frequency. The same is true for Yorkies suffering from health conditions or Yorkies who need specialized diets.
In some cases, some owners may also choose to free-feed their Yorkshire Terriers. This is acceptable if the pup just began eating puppy food, especially shortly after weaning.
To get the best feeding frequency for your Yorkie, consider consulting a pet nutritionist or a licensed veterinarian.
How to Transition Your Yorkshire Terrier to a New Food
Changing what your Yorkie eats is not as simple as swapping out the old food with new food. In fact, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has a suggested process for how to perform the transition.
The idea is to introduce the new dog food to your Yorkie by mixing a small amount with its old diet. Afterward, the portion of the new food must be increased gradually.
Here is a table summarizing the suggested feeding portions when transitioning your Yorkshire Terrier to a new food:
|Day||New Diet||Old Diet|
|1 – 2||25%||75%|
|3 – 4||50%||50%|
|4 – 5||75%||25%|
|7 – 10||100%||0%|
During the transition process, you must keep an eye on your dog’s eating habits and overall response to the change. As Yorkies can be picky eaters, the transition process may not go as smoothly as planned.
When this happens, you may backtrack the portions a little bit and stick with it for a few more days. When in doubt, you can always consult a licensed veterinarian for more advice about Yorkie food transitioning.
Tips on Feeding an Overweight Yorkshire Terrier
Sadly, no matter how much owners pay attention to a healthy Yorkie diet, the chance of obesity still lingers. If your dog becomes overweight, you must employ feeding techniques to bring its weight down.
For starters, a full-grown Yorkie weighs 4 to 7 pounds. Anything over this range is already considered overweight.
Here are some tips on feeding an overweight Yorkshire Terrier:
- Reduce food intake: Reducing how much food your Yorkie eats is a surefire way to cut down its weight. Instead of feeding your dog the prescribed portions on a dog food label, consider a smaller serving size. If your Yorkie is on a raw food diet or other kinds of diet, consult a pet nutritionist to figure out the appropriate amount to give.
- Figure out the right kind of food: According to some, grain-free food is the best diet for dogs. However, this still depends on the kind of nutritional value a dog needs and its overall health. As a rule of thumb, consider swapping out your dog’s diet for a high-quality diet. As much as possible, avoid dry food with lots of filler contents or empty calories. Consult a vet to know what kind of diet suits your dog best.
- Switch to healthier treats: Treats add extra calories to your Yorkie’s food intake. If possible, eliminate treats in the meantime or switch to healthier ones. Green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and other healthy solid foods can be fed to dogs. However, despite being healthy, these alternative treats must only be given in moderation.
- Increase exercise: Exercise is a crucial part of weight loss. This goes hand-in-hand with proper feeding. Fortunately, Yorkies tend to be fond of exercise; hence, engaging your Yorkie in an extra hour of physical activities each day should not be a problem.
As Yorkie owners, you must keep in mind that having excess weight affects your Yorkie’s joint health, blood sugar levels, internal bodily functions, and even coat health.
Usually, abnormal weight gain in the Yorkie breed is caused by free feeding or lack of exercise. However, in some instances, obesity may also be caused by an underlying health condition.
That said, the tips mentioned above must go hand-in-hand with proper veterinary consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Yorkshire Terrier Enough?
One way to know if you’re feeding your Yorkie enough is by monitoring its weight and energy level. Usually, a well-fed Yorkie will fall within the ideal weight range for its age. Likewise, it will also have enough energy to play.
If your Yorkie feels lethargic most of the time or does not meet its ideal weight, then it might be a sign that your Yorkie’s nutritional needs are not met.
Why Is My Yorkshire Terrier Not Eating?
Your Yorkie may stop eating for a number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons include health issues, dental problems, injuries, routine changes, gut problems, or aging.
Usually, if the underlying cause is not serious, your dog will regain its appetite in a day or two. However, if there are symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, or sudden weight loss, it is best to seek a vet immediately.
Can I Feed My Yorkshire Terrier With Human Food?
There are human foods that are safe for dogs to eat. Some of these include lean meat, green beans, cucumbers, and carrots, among others.
Meanwhile, some human foods are unsafe for dogs. Chocolate, caffeine, grapes, and raisins are at the top of the list of foods to avoid feeding a Yorkie. Manufactured food that has certain chemical preservatives must also be avoided.
Do Yorkshire Terriers Eat a Lot?
In general, small dog breeds tend to have a knack for eating a lot, and the Yorkshire Terrier is not an exception. However, while other Yorkies are big eaters, others can be moderate or timid eaters.
Activity level, environment, and genetics may play a role in how much your Yorkie eats. Likewise, the palatability of its food will also affect how drawn it is to eat.
Can Yorkshire Terriers Eat Bones?
Yorkies, like other dog breeds, can chew on bones, but they must not ingest them. Chewing on bones has many benefits for dogs. Aside from making their teeth strong, chewing bones also help plaque buildup.
When feeding bones to your Yorkie, ensure that the bone is uncooked and large enough that your dog will not be able to swallow it. Cooked bones tend to splinter and may cause harm when ingested.