You just adopted an adorable Yorkie puppy. You want to support them as much as you can, and that means ensuring they are both happy and healthy. While properly exercising your Yorkshire Terrier is important, another crucial factor into their health is their diet.

Avoid kibble

yorkie eating from bowl

Carnivores have special dietary needs in that their protein intake must be right to promote healthy joints, organs, bones and coat. A raw diet is best, and I NO LONGER RECOMMEND KIBBLE OR CANNED FOOD OF ANY KIND. After learning the great importance of ensuring that your pet gets the bulk of its moisture requirements from his food, I realized that there could never be a kibble that would meet that requirement.

The point of kibble is to create hard pellets that are devoid of moisture (the semi-soft ones are a chemical nightmare that do even more damage to your pets). They are designed not to take on moisture, so they’ll have a longer shelf-life, and even soaking them in water is typically a waste of time. Kibble is always laced with synthetic vitamins as well, which is reason enough to avoid it, because every single illness, disease and condition, up to and including cancer, can be traced back to the damage done by consuming synthetic vitamins or otherwise “fortified” foods. I don’t allow those in my home, and certainly wouldn’t subject my precious pets to them.

So, after lots of research, and following a Certified Carnivore Nutritionist, I determined that raw foods, whether homemade or from good, responsible commercial processors, were the only way to go. I recommend homemade raw as the first choice, but it takes extensive research and knowledge to create a balanced diet for your pet. You must achieve a balance of 80% muscle meat protein / 5% liver / 5% other secreting organs / 10% bone to create the balanced diet (according to the PMR – Prey Model Raw — model) your pet needs, or a slightly altered ratio of 70 – 75% muscle meat protein / 5% liver / 5% other secreting organs / 10% bone / 5-10% non-starchy vegetables (matching the BARF – Biologically Appropriate Raw Feeding — model). 

How much and how often should you feed your Yorkie?

You should be good with about 1/3 to 1/2 cup daily, split into 2 to 3  meals. You can adjust to a little more or less as needed, and if your pup is really high energy then they may require more than recommended.

The recommended amount is 3 to 4% of expected adult weight. This is the same amount they will require as an adult. I do find that sometimes Yorkies require more than the recommended amount if active. 

I feed at 9:30 and 5:30. you do not want more than 8 hours in between daytime feedings

Learn to use the Rib Test

The easiest way to keep tabs on their weight is by observing your pet. There should be a clear difference between the stomach area and ribs when you look at them from the side. The stomach should be indented a bit where the rib cage joins the rest of the body. In other words, they should have a clearly defined “waist.” If they have more of a barrel shape, they’re overweight, and certainly if they have a bloated-looking belly that nearly drags the ground, they’re obese. Then, feel their ribs. You should be able to easily feel them, but not see them. If you can see them, they’re underweight; if you can’t feel them, they’re overweight. Their ribs should have just a small amount of fat and tissue covering them, but not enough to make it difficult to feel them.

What about treats?

And don’t forget treats! If you’re giving them lots of treats per day, and they’re not healthy, single-ingredient raw options made in the US, you’re risking undoing the good of the raw diet and possibly exposing them to dangerous ingredients from China, and/or contributing to unnecessary weight gain. A treat is just that and should be used for training only. It should be just a tiny bite of something – not a snack between meals! Please don’t allow your “human conditioning” to such unnecessary eating spill over to how you feed your pets. They can’t make those choices themselves, so please act responsibly for them! Pets in the wild sometimes go for days without eating – they kill and eat and then rest for the next hunt. While it’s fine to put them on a daily schedule (more of a human thing), it’s not absolutely necessary, and “snacks” certainly are not necessary, or a part of a pet’s natural diet. Treats should be for training purposes only. 

If you have further questions on how best to feed your newly adopted Yorkie, or if you’re looking to adopt a Yorkie puppy, contact Wendy’s Yorkies today!