Selecting a Food for Your Yorkie
Choosing a food for your Yorkie is a big decision. There are a lot of things to take in to consideration when making your selection, to include quality, acceptance by your dog and cost. Your Yorkie's main diet should be dry kibble. Because Yorkies are prone to tooth decay, I do not recommend feeding wet or canned food on a regular basis. However, if you do choose to feed wet food to your Yorkie, make sure to brush his teeth after eating. Check the labels on the canned food and you will find that it is basically the same as dry food with more water. Always check the labels on everything you feed your Yorkie, including canned food, dry food, treats, supplements, etc.
As far as choosing a dry food, there are a lot of quality products out there, many of which would be a good choice. Premium dog foods are not inexpensive but in the case of dog and puppy foods, you do get what you pay for. By purchasing a premium dog food, your dog will get less fillers and more nutrition from each and every bite. Less fillers, also, means that the dog will not need to eat as much to get the same nutrition, meaning less goes in, so less comes out.
Yorkie puppies should be eating a puppy food until they are 8 - 10 months old. After that, you can transition to an adult kibble. There are a lot of different brands available, and that choice is up to you. We feed our puppies Small Breed Puppy Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe from Blue Buffalo.
For our adult Yorkies, we feed them Blue Buffalo’s Small Breed Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe. We also supplement the dry kibble with a couple of heaping tablespoon of Blue Buffalo’s Homestyle Recipes Beef and Chicken flavors from a can.
Some things you should look for in a dry kibble for your Yorkie:
•Choose high-quality puppy food that has 25 to 30 percent protein content.
•A recognizable meat as the main ingredient (not something that says "meat" - look for "chicken" or "turkey," etc.)
•A manageable shape for your Yorkie (large pieces are not a good idea for small mouths)
•"Small Breed" formula (can give you an all around indication that the food is likely the right size and has the right nutrition - but, check the labels)
•You also want to make sure that the dog food does not contain by-products, such as "beef by-product," or meal, such as "meat meal."
Not to call out a few brands, but Beneful, although it looks health and inviting, really isn't. The first few ingredients are a grain or filler. Kibbles and Bits, Alpo, and Puppy Chow, are all along the same or similar tract.
Avoid Dog Food With High Content of the Following Ingredients:
What if you wish to switch and purchase a different brand?
It is best to feed your puppy the food your breeder recommends for at least two weeks. If you want to feed your puppy a higher grade or natural grade of dog food start by mixing the new dog food with the present dog food at a 3 to 1 ratio for 5 days. Then mix the dog foods at a 1 to 1 ratio for another 5 days. Next mix the dog foods at a 1 to 3 ratio and feed for 5 days. Now you can feed your puppy the new dog food without mixing in the old dog food.
How Much to Feed Your Yorkie
Every Yorkie is different, and every Yorkie goes through changes during different stages of growth and development so it is difficult to answer the question of “How much should I feed my Yorkie?”. Each brand of food has a "recommended feeding guidelines" section on the bag, but, these are just rough guidelines.
I generally put out about Ľ of kibble per adult Yorkie. Jinx receives a bit more, Pixie eats a bit less.
How often should I feed my Yorkie?
For the puppies, many breeders recommend scheduled feedings. Scheduled feeding involves your placing a food bowl out for your puppy and then taking it away after a period of time. Feed your puppy on the same schedule every day, and also place his food in the same location. Don’t make him/her guess as to where he/she will find her next meal. Small puppies should eat at least 3-4 times per day. Fresh water should be available at all times. This is an easy way to allow your puppy frequent smaller meals which will help to control how often your puppy will need to go outside for bathroom use.
For older Yorkies, many breeders suggest that you let your Yorkie free feed, or self-feed. In this case, you leave food out and available at all times. Yorkies will not overeat like some other breeds. Unless your Yorkie has a medical issue and you discuss a diet with your veterinarian, typically a healthy Yorkie will maintain a proper weight while free feeding. Free feeding greatly reduces the risk for a hypoglycemic attack because your Yorkie will eat only when he's hungry.
All dogs have a tendency to "beg" at the dinner table, but it's important to not feed them this type of food since it contains condiments that could cause gastrointestinal problems. Another thing that must never be fed to a puppy is bird bones because they are dangerous. Bones in general, especially fish and all types of bird bones can perforate the puppies or dogs intestine causing serious peritonitis. This is because bones often times crack and splinter.
When Your Yorkie Doesn't Want to Eat
If you puppy is not eating, try adding a bit of warm water to the kibble to soften it up. Also, if you puppy gets a bit stressed, add a teaspoon of hone to his/her fresh drinking water. Nutrical or Pedialyte works as well.
For older Yorkies, you can also try canned food or some dry kibble soaked in a little beef broth or beef liver broth or even mixed and soaked in warm water. However, if your Yorkie is refusing to eat a food that he previously ate, then you need to investigate the reason. Sometimes, a Yorkie will hit a growth stage and change his tastes. The solution may just be to try a different food. However, there are a number of illnesses that can cause a Yorkie to refuse to eat. Most commonly refusal to eat is caused by internal parasites. You will need to ask your veterinarian to find out why your Yorkie doesn't want to eat. In the mean time, your Yorkie needs to be eating something in order to avoid hypoglycemia. Even a scrap of turkey breast cold cut from the deli mixed with cottage cheese will help in a pinch.
Specific information on Blue Buffalo
As I mentioned before, I feed my puppies and adult Yorkies wet and dry food selections from Blue Buffalo. Click here to link to the official Blue Buffalo web site to view their products and see if it is right for you and your new Yorkie.