Best dog food for Yorkies with allergies are free from common allergens like wheat, soy, and corn, and generally contain limited number of ingredients.
Yorkies or Yorkshire Terriers are small cuddly dogs with big personalities. Your small pet needs just 150 to 200 calories per day but it is your responsibility to ensure feeding it a nutritionally sound diet.
Unfortunately, some Yorkies are prone to health issues like hypoglycemia, dental issues, as well as food and skin allergies.
In case you suspect your little fella to have a food-related allergy, then you can try switching to one of the 5 best dog foods for Yorkies with allergies listed below
We have hand-picked these foods based on real reviews from Yorkie parents as well as vet recommendations.
Just in case you are in a hurry, click on our short summary below to view our top 5 reviewed products for the best dog food for Yorkies with allergies:
- Our Editor’s Pick: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small & Mini Breeds Sensitive Stomach & Skin
- Best Overall: Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Small Breed Bites Salmon & Sweet Potato Food
- Best Budget: Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Small Breed Dog Food
- Best Wet/Canned Dog Food for Yorkies with Allergies: CANIDAE PETITE Small Breed Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
- Best Dog Food for Yorkie Puppies with Allergies: Nulo Grain-Free Dry Dog Food with Probiotics
Best Dog Food for Yorkies with Allergies – 2021 Top 5 Picks
1. Our Editor’s Pick: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small & Mini Breeds Sensitive Stomach & Skin
We trust Hill’s Science Diet for our Yorkie because vets recommend it. It also happens to be the No.1 vet recommended food in US.
Hill’s Small and Mini Breed Sensitive Stomach and Skin dog food contains prebiotic elements that enhance your pet’s digestion.
This food also contains vitamin E and Omegas for nourishing your Yorkie’s skin and hair.
Last but definitely not the least, it contains chicken as the number one ingredient which most Yorkies can safely and easily digest.
What we like about it
- Made with natural ingredients in the USA itself
- Vet-recommended for small dog breeds like Yorkies
- Smaller kibble size is easy for pick up
- Prebiotics ease stool pick up while improving digestion
- Optimally balanced nutrition with high calories for small energetic dogs
What we don’t like
- Recent kibble size changes.
- This dry dog food uses prebiotic fiber to feed your small dog's microbiome for optimal digestive health
- Vitamin E, omega 6 fatty acids and other nutrients in smaller kibble help nourish skin & promote a lustrous coat
- Dog food formulated with little dogs in mind to provide an optimal balance of nutrients specifically for miniature and toy breed dogs. Calorie content: 3734 kcal/kg (392 kcal/cup)
- Precise balance and highly digestible ingredients for sensitive stomachs and for dogs with sensitive skin
- Made with natural ingredients
Natural Balance L.I.D is nutritionally balanced for small dog breeds. It contains limited protein and carbohydrate sources making it ideal for sensitive Yorkies.
Salmon provides novel protein for dogs that are allergic to traditional proteins like poultry. Sweet potato provides plenty of fiber for easy digestion.
This brand of dog food sources the finest ingredients from all over the world and makes the kibble in US facilities. There are no fillers or poultry by-products but only real nutrition.
Omegas in this food also nourish your Yorkie’s coat and skin making it ideal for skin issues like dryness, itching, etc.
What we like about it
- Small kibble with crunchy texture – good for teeth
- Complete balanced nutrition for your pet
- Formulated by animal science experts.
What we don’t like
- Made some dogs poop a lot.
- Contains (1) 12 Pound Bag of Dry Dog Food
- Salmon is the main ingredient
- Supported by Natural Balance’s ‘Buy With Confidence’ guarantee, ensuring quality, safety, and nutrition in every bite
3. Best Budget: Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Small Breed Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach dog food is specially formulated with real salmon and easy-to-digest rice as the first two ingredients.
It also contains oatmeal which provides fiber and complex carbohydrates for your energetic pet.
These ingredients make Purina Pro Plan sensitive skin and stomach dog food highly digestible for sensitive Yorkies.
Also, it is rich in omegas for healthy skin and coat and contains prebiotics for enhanced digestion.
It is also available as wet or canned food for sensitive skin and stomach in case your Yorkie prefers gravy-based food.
What we like about it
- Made without corn, wheat, and soy
- Small kibble size, easy to chew for small jaws
- Highly digestible salmon, oatmeal, and rice
- Healthy omegas for softer, shinier coats.
What we don’t like
- The food has a strong odor due to its salmon content.
- One (1) 5 lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Sensitive Stomach Small Breed Dog Food, Salmon & Rice Formula
- Formulated high in protein to meet the needs of highly active small dogs
- High protein formula, with real salmon as the first ingredient
- Fortified with guaranteed live probiotics for digestive and immune health
- Used to be known as FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon
4. Best Wet/Canned Dog Food for Yorkies with Allergies: CANIDAE PETITE Small Breed Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
We love this canned food from CANIDAE for our sensitive Yorkies because of its simple duck-based recipe. Duck is a novel protein source which you can try out if your pet has recently been diagnosed with a food allergy.
Another great feature about CANIDAE wet food is that it uses very few ingredients without any fillers. It also cuts out colors, preservatives, flavors, etc. which could cause food allergies in sensitive dogs.
CANIDAE is specially formulated for small dog breeds and is easy to eat for your pet’s tiny jaws. It contains real protein as the first ingredient without any corn, wheat, soy, and other grains.
What we like about it
- Limited ingredients, zero fillers, no grains
- Pumpkin provides fiber for enhanced digestion
- Real duck, novel protein
- Nutrient dense to meet your small dog’s energy needs
What we don’t like
- Messy packaging.
- WHOLESOME WET DOG FOOD FOR SMALL DOGS: Canidae uses simple wholesome recipes specifically formulated for small dogs with various sensitivities.
- LIMITED INGREDIENTS, 0% FILLERS: With Petite Pure containing only 10 simple ingredients or less and No Carrageenan added, Canidae cuts out any fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives leaving only the perfect wet dog food for your small dog
- REAL MEAT, HIGH QUALITY PROTEIN & VEGETABLES: Always real meat first! We never use meat bi-products and all our recipes have whole food vegetables like pumpkin and carrots.
- GRAIN FREE: Made Without the addition of Corn, Wheat, or Soy
- FLAVORS & TYPES (12 pack of 3.5oz cans or 24 pack of 5.5oz cans): Choose from Minced, Morsels, Pâté, or Gravy across 12 different flavors and 2 different can sizes. With options like this we are sure there is a Canidae Petite product that will satisfy your pampered pooch.
5. Best Dog Food for Yorkie Puppies with Allergies: Nulo Grain-Free Dry Dog Food with Probiotics
If your young Yorkie has been diagnosed with food allergies, then you are going to love Nulo Small Breed Grain-Free Dog Food for the following reasons:
One, it is free from grains like corn, wheat, and soy. Additionally, you won’t find any fillers, tapioca starch, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives in it.
Secondly, it contains 84% animal protein from de-boned salmon and is free from eggs and chicken. This makes it ideal for Yorkies sensitive to poultry.
Thirdly, it contains miscanthus grass which provides fiber for easier digestion and better stools. Nulo grain free food also has a small kibble size ideal for small Yorkie pups.
Since there are very few carbs in it, it aids in weight management. Also, its probiotic content improves immunity and digestive health as well.
What we like about it
- Grain-free kibble for Yorkie pups and adults
- Contains salmon instead of poultry with nearly 84% protein
- Enhances digestion and contains fiber for more satiety
- Probiotics for enhanced immunity
What we don’t like
- Strong odor
- Very expensive
- GRAIN-FREE recipe contains no corn; wheat; soy; white potatoes; tapioca; artificial colors, flavorings or preservatives. Based in Austin, TX and proudly made in the USA.
- HIGH MEAT/LOW CARB proprietary formula 84% animal-based protein for more amino acids and better flavor. Nulo FreeStyle also uses fewer carbs and low glycemic ingredients like lentils, sweet potato and chickpeas.
- SMALLER KIBBLE SIZE promotes proper chewing, less choking and better digestion. Miscanthus grass provides natural fiber to satisfy the faster small breed appetite without overfilling the smaller stomach.
- PROMOTES WEIGHT MANAGEMENT through reduced carbohydrate intake and L-Carnitine supplementation. Dogs that maintain an ideal body weight live almost 2 years longer than overweight dogs.
- PATENTED BC30 PROBIOTIC supports healthy gut flora to aid tiny tummies in food digestion. This lactic-acid producing bacteria also helps regulate metabolism, which runs faster in smaller dog breeds.
How to Select the Best Dog Food for Yorkies with Allergies?
The best dog food for Yorkies with allergies should ideally have the following features:
1. Has Limited Ingredients
The best dog food for Yorkies with allergies should ideally contain a single protein source with single or limited carbohydrates.
The proteins most Yorkies can tolerate with ease are: chicken, salmon, lamb, turkey, and beef.
Look for foods having less than or up to 10 ingredients.
This will eliminate common allergens and will be easier to digest for your little pet. Ideally, the food should be free from artificial colors, flavors, dyes, and preservatives as well.
2. Is Grain-Free
Grain-free dog food is a great choice for Yorkies only if they are allergic to wheat, soy, corn, and other grains.
Before you jump on the grain-free bandwagon, please speak to your vet about whether your pet really needs grain-free food. This is because many dogs placed on grain-free diets are known to develop heart-related issues.
Most dogs, our Yorkies included, are known to digest ancient grains like spelt, sorghum, pearl millet, spelt, and oats with ease. If that is the case, you can look for such grains in your dog’s food.
As always, it is best to check with your vet first, if grains are the cause of your Yorkie’s allergies.
3. Try Novel Proteins
Many Yorkies diagnosed with food allergies tend to do well with novel protein sources.
Novel proteins are those proteins that replace traditional proteins like chicken, beef, etc.
These include duck, venison, bison, elk, rabbit, salmon, lamb, wild-caught anchovies, etc. Do check with your vet if these proteins may be better for your sensitive pet.
4. Has Small Kibble Size/Palatable Chunks-in-Gravy
Finally you must always remember that your small Yorkie has small jaws. Hence, it needs small kibble pieces that are easy to pick and chew for its small muzzle.
In case your pet likes wet or canned food, you can opt for smaller meat chunks in gravy or easy-to-eat minced foods.
How Can You Tell if Your Yorkie has a Food Allergy? Signs and Symptoms of Food Allergies in Yorkies
Up to 1/3rd of food allergy cases in Yorkies occur in dogs under the age of 1 year.
However, it is not uncommon for allergies to suddenly manifest after a dog has been eating the same food for 1-2 years.
Thankfully for us Yorkie owners, food allergies are not too common in the breed. In the few Yorkies that develop food allergies, common signs and symptoms include:
1. Skin pruritis or severe itching
This sign appears a couple of hours after your pet has eaten the offending food. Yorkies fed in the morning will scratch intensely by afternoon while those fed in early evening might scratch all night.
Pruritis or skin itching is seen in the armpits, feet, face, rump and ears. About 25% of Yorkies will only have extremely itchy ears.
2. Swollen face/hives
Food anaphylaxis is also a common reaction to indigestion of food. This includes facial swelling in eyes, lips, eyelids, ears, and tongue.
Hives can also occur within minutes of ingesting the offending food.
3. Gastrointestinal symptoms
Food allergies in Yorkies can impact different segments of your Yorkie’s GI tract: stomach, intestine, etc. This can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
How Common is it for Yorkies to Have Allergies? What are Common Allergens for Yorkies?
Yorkies aren’t as prone to food allergies as other small or toy breeds.
However, allergies in the breed aren’t entirely unheard of. In fact, they are known to have a proclivity to developing skin allergies.
Allergies in Yorkies can stem from many different sources like food, environment, parasitic bites, etc.
If your yorkie is allergic to one thing, then it is possible that it is allergic to many other things too.
In most Yorkies, allergies start becoming apparent between the ages of one and three years. Itchy skin is the main symptom.
Your vet will diagnose an allergy in your Yorkie by using elimination process. First, s/he will rule out external parasites. (You will need to use a monthly parasitic prevention treatment as well).
Secondly, they will rule out food allergies by performing a food trial.
During this period, your Yorkie will be placed on a hypoallergenic diet.
This includes a novel protein sources or hydrolyzed protein that your dog’s body will not recognize. Food trials last for about 4-6 weeks and you may not feed anything but the prescribed food during this period.
In case your pet still suffers from allergy symptoms, then we can assume that the allergy is due to something in the environment.
You might want to avoid household cleaners, grass, pollen, essential oils, and harsh detergents etc. to prevent such allergies.
How to Manage Food Allergies in Your Yorkie? 3 Simple Tips!
1. Educate yourself
Whether your Yorkie has a food allergy, environmental allergy, or parasite-related allergy, it is important that you learn all about it.
This way, you will make it a point to read product and food labels and avoid those allergens.
Have an in-depth discussion with your vet. Discuss the dos and don’ts of allergy management.
If needed, have your vet perform a blood test and complete physical exam. This will rule out other issues.
2. Feed it right!
You must also place your pet on a food trial with hydrolyzed/novel proteins or the best dog food for Yorkies with allergies. Select one of the foods above or go in for a prescription diet under your vet’s guidance.
3. Be patient
Remember: symptoms of dog food allergies will take at least 4 weeks to go away. So you must allow the new diet/regime to work for at least 4-6 weeks.
Do not feed anything else to your pet during this period, other than the elimination diet/best dog food for Yorkies with allergies. (That means strictly no table scraps, treats, etc.!)
FAQs on Best Dog Food for Yorkies with Allergies
1. What foods are Yorkies allergic to?
Many Yorkies are allergic to dairy, poultry, seafood, soy, wheat, pork, beef, rabbit, etc.
2. Are Yorkies good pets for people with allergies?
Yes, Yorkies make good pets for people with allergies because they shed very little and have human-like hair without double coats like most dog breeds.
Consequently, they produce very little dander which is the main cause of allergies in humans.
3. What food is best for Yorkshire terriers?
There are excellent options in dog food for Yorkies available in the market today. Check out our guide on Best Dog Food for Yorkies where we have discussed many great choices.
Also read: Best Dog Food for Yorkie Puppies
4. Why is my Yorkie so itchy? What can I give it for itching?
As explained above, three sources of allergies in Yorkies are parasites, food, and environmental allergens.
To curb itching, apply some aloe vera gel on the itchy spots. If its skin is oozing, blistered, or bleeding, you might have to treat it with antibiotics.
Conclusion – Best Dog Food for Yorkies with Allergies
The best dog food for Yorkies with allergies contain limited ingredients and gentle/easy-to-digest protein sources. They are also free from fillers, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial flavors and preservatives.
We recommend Hill’s Science Diet Small and Mini Breed Sensitive Skin & Stomach . It is formulated by vets, gentle, and has small kibble pieces as well.
Do check out our other recommendations as well.