It is very important that your Yorkie's diet is of the highest quality. The Yorkshire Terrier's diet needs are a bit different from other dogs due to their size and long coat. These little dogs are full of energy and will burn calories rapidly. Your Yorkie dog has a small stomach so it will need to eat several small meals throughout the day. Yorkies need a good balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates to prevent hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar, which is a common problem in Yorkshire Terriers. Therefore, it's not just important that they get enough food, but that they get the proper nutrition, no different from people.
Reading the Dog Food Label: Not every dog food is good for your Yorkie. They need high quality, energy rich, highly digestible food. Foods come in all shapes, sizes, colors and consistencies (dry, moist, semi-moist, canned). Note that dry foods will reduce plaque and tartar accumulation. The best way to select a premium high quality dog food is to consult your veterinarian or a Yorkshire Terrier breeder. You can also try your hand at studying dog food labels but this is no easy chore. First you can read the list of ingredients, which are in descending order on the label. This will tell you what's in the product, but it doesn't address the quality of the product. You may have to contact the manufacturer directly for this data. You are looking for food with the following features:
High in Protein: Quality Food that is high in protein is needed for muscle, bones, growth, immunity against diseases and to grow that lucious coat. Animal proteins are better than plant proteins. They are more digestible and produce less fecal material and gas. Look for the terms meat, meal and by-products. You want more meat and less meal and by-products.
Fats are also important: Fats add flavor, provide energy and aid in digestion and assimilation of fat-soluble vitamins. The various fatty oils (vegetable, olive and fish) are necessary for skin health and hair growth. This is especially important for Yorkie Terriers due to their long hair. Vitamins and Minerals are important for skin and coat health, as well as skeletal growth and muscle nerve function. Any of these in excess can lead to serious medical problems so you must make sure they are correctly balanced.
Carbohydrates: Carbs are an inexpensive source of energy, but researchers have not yet determined the exact amount required in a dogs diet. Dogs cannot digest fiber so it primarily gives the dog a full feeling. This could be useful if they are on a weight reduction diet. Carbohydrates will produce greater stool volume.
Additives and Preservatives: Don't be alarmed if the food you purchase for your Yorkie have additives and preservatives. You want to differentiate healthy additives such as vitamins and minerals from junk food fillers. Non-premium dog foods tend to have significant amounts of filler, which will fill up your dog, but not give them any nutrients. Unless you are purchasing refrigerated dog food, preservatives are necessary to keep the fat in the food from spoiling plus they slow down bacterial and fungal growth.
Bottom line, if you feed your Yorkie Terrier a premium dog food, you may pay a little more, but you'll receive a well balanced quality product that will keep your dog happy and healthy for years to come.
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