The best food nutrition for Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers have a variety of characteristics that are particular to the breed, not least their flowing, silky coats. So we believe they need a diet created to meet their specific nutritional requirements.
Yorkshire Terrier eating from a bowl

Tailoring nutrition to your dog’s individual needs

A Yorkshire Terrier (or "Yorkie") like all dogs, needs much more from their diet than energy alone. The food you provide needs to help build and maintain their body and protect against digestive, joint and age-related problems and more.

Each dog’s dietary needs can vary significantly, according to their size, age, lifestyle and activity. But we take nutritional tailoring a step further. By working closely with vets, breeders and other pet experts, we’ve developed carefully crafted, breed-specific formulas, including a range specifically for Yorkshire Terriers.

Our precise formulations take into account the breed’s morphology, physiology, eating behaviours and health sensitivities. And provide targeted support for areas of the body including the digestive and immune systems, skin, coat, joints, heart and urinary tract.

Black and white Yorkshire Terrier standing next to Royal Canin products

We create unique products for Yorkshire Terriers

Breed Health Nutrition products by Royal Canin contain formulas tailored to meet the precise nutritional requirements of Yorkshire Terriers. Featuring both wet and dry products, we’ve made sure there’s a diet suitable for your dog.

View Yorkshire Terrier products

Important factors to consider in a Yorkshire Terrier’s diet

Yorkies have dietary needs that set them apart from other dogs; these are some of the key things to be aware of.

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Small jaws

If your dog finds it difficult to grasp their food, they may reject it, so it’s much better to give them kibbles tailored to their size. Not only are Yorkies small dogs, but they also have a relatively short muzzle and their teeth meet in a level bite. Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier kibbles are designed with these characteristics in mind. They’re the optimal size, shape and texture for adult Yorkshire Terriers. 

Illustration of dog's teeth

Dental issues

Another issue related to their small size is that they can suffer from dental issues and are inclined to get a build-up of tartar. As well as regular toothbrushing, foods that encourage your dog to crunch can help. They stimulate saliva production to keep bacteria at bay, and repeated contact between kibbles and your dog’s teeth helps to keep them clean. We also add calcium binders to our Yorkshire Terrier kibbles which helps slow down tartar formation and combat plaque.

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Energy needs

A Yorkshire Terrier’s energy requirements are very different from those of a large-breed dog. While they need less energy in total, bigger dogs need less energy per kilogram of bodyweight. This means their diet should have a higher concentration of energy so they can get all the energy they need from a small portion of food suited to their digestive capabilities. This does need to be balanced carefully, however. Small-breed dogs often have less active lifestyles and so can be at risk of becoming overweight with the wrong diet.

Illustration of a bowl of dog food

A fussy appetite

Yorkies are known to be fussy eaters. Which is why our formulas are designed to be very palatable with a combination of exceptionally appealing aromas. Be careful not to give your dog lots of treats or dietary supplements as this may increase their pickiness.

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Skin problems and coat health

Their signature coat grows constantly in single silky strands, similar to human hair, and they don’t have a furry undercoat. This means they don’t moult, which can be appealing to owners. But it also means that, without the protection of an undercoat, their skin can suffer from sensitivities and be vulnerable to cold, heat, rain, urban pollution and more.

Our Yorkshire Terrier formulas are designed to maintain the health of your dog’s skin and beautiful coat. They’re enriched with high-quality omega 3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA, plus omega 6 fatty acids, borage oil and biotin.

To learn more about their unique coat, read our article on grooming and coat care, where we explain how creating a regular routine can support their health and wellbeing.


Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier adult dry packshot

Feed your dog Breed Health Adult Dry

Designed with the physical characteristics of your dog in mind. Royal Canin Breed Health kibbles are the optimal size, shape and texture for adult Yorkshire Terriers, and contain the essential nutrients needed to support and help protect your dog throughout their adult life.

Try our Breed Health Adult Dry product

Or would your dog prefer Breed Health Adult Wet?

Perfect if your dog prefers wet over dry products, or if they’re on a mixed diet. Created for Yorkshire Terriers between 8 months and 10 years old, our adult wet food provides a nutritionally complete and balanced diet for your dog.

Make the switch
Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier adult wet packshot

Special nutrition for Yorkshire Terrier puppies

Yorkies not only have specific nutritional needs as a breed, but also at different ages. A Yorkshire Terrier puppy’s diet needs to take into account the following factors:

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To support growth, your puppy needs an even higher density of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals from their food than an adult.

Digestion illustration


Like all puppies, Yorkshire Terriers have sensitive digestive systems. During this stage, they need highly digestible proteins to support their digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Our Yorkshire Terrier Puppy formula also contains prebiotics to encourage balance in the intestinal flora, which contributes to good stool quality.

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A puppy’s immune system develops gradually, so our Yorkshire Terrier Puppy formula has a complex mix of antioxidants to support their natural defences.

Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier puppy packshot

Protect your puppy with Royal Canin nutrition

Give your Yorkshire Terrier puppy the best start in life with food tailored to their individual needs as they grow and develop. Royal Canin Breed Health Puppy food contains important nutrients required to support and boost their delicate immune system as they begin to explore their surroundings.

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Support your Yorkshire Terrier as they age

Yorkshire Terriers are known to have a long life span and can live for over 15 years. As they reach the midpoint of their life, the signs of ageing begin but may not yet be visible. This is the stage at which feeding a formula adapted for mature dogs can help them keep their vitality and protect against the effects of ageing.

Yorkshire Terrier standing outside

The right nutrition can help to alleviate a range of age-related conditions. In our Yorkshire Terrier Adult 8+ formula, for example, a precise level of phosphorus content cares for kidney health. Vitamins E and C, taurine, lutein and beta-carotene support a mature dog’s natural immune defences. And essential fatty acids help to preserve your Yorkie’s sensitive skin and silky coat into old age.

Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier adult 8 packshot

Protect against the effects of ageing

As your dog matures, make sure they are supported through nutrition against the effects of age-related conditions by feeding Royal Canin Breed Health Senior 8+ food.

Buy Senior 8+ product

Ask your vet

Whatever your dog’s age, it’s important to remember that they’re individuals. If you have any concerns or questions about their nutritional needs, it’s always best to consult your vet.

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