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Giving your dog a treat is a win-win for everybody involved. You get to make your dog happy. They get a snack. And if anyone else is watching, they probably got to see your pup giving paw, speaking, or spinning in a circle.
But when it comes to what you give your dog, it gets a little more complicated. If your dog is anything like mine, they’ll probably eat anything you throw at them. But you need to take care when choosing what treats to feed your pup—especially when it comes to Yorkies.
Yorkies are prone to hypoglycemia and dental disease, which means you need to think through what treats are good for Yorkies before you reward your pup. We’ll cover the best Yorkie treats in this review, so you can find a choice that makes everybody happy.
In this review:
- Yorkie treats: at a glance
- 6 best dog treats for Yorkies (reviews)
- What to look for when choosing treats for Yorkies
- Ideas for homemade Yorkie treats
Yorkie treats: At a glance
6 best dog treats for Yorkies
Overall best dog treats for Yorkies
- Made with cage-free, hormone-free, naturally fed chickens raised in the USA
- No grain, glycerin, or artificial flavors & preservatives
- Beef option also available
What we like
We’re over the moon for Full Moon Chicken Jerky treats. This is one of the rare dog treat companies that actually makes human-grade treats. Their “if it’s not good enough for us, it’s not good enough for our dogs” philosophy is one we can get on board with, and their list of ingredients is the proof. They use only simple, USA-raised meats, natural preservatives like rosemary extract, and no fillers. We love that. So does our pup Max.
What we’d change
The only little gripe we can find with Full Moon is they tend to add a bit of sugar to their treats. It is organic sugar (not corn syrup) and is a minor ingredient, but we hope they’ll drop that ingredient in the future.
Either way, their commitment to simple, filler-free recipes and safely sourced ingredients has our attention and we’ll keep buying their great products.
Best treats for Yorkie puppies
- Alternate option for dogs who are allergic to traditional meats
- Sustainably sourced to reduce your carbon pawprint
- High in protein and probiotics to support a growing pup and healthy gut
Growing puppies need lots of protein, omegas, vitamins, and iron. Finding all of that in one healthy treat can be kind of tough, which is why we love Jiminy’s Cricket Protein Sweet Potato and Pea treats.
What we like
These unusual treats are made with sustainably raised cricket protein, in addition to other all-natural ingredients. As weird as it sounds, the movement to use crickets as a healthy, low-fat, high-protein, low-carbon-footprint food source for dogs and humans alike has been growing in recent years.
These treats not only provide more protein than chicken ounce-for-ounce, but they are also high in omega-3, vitamin B12, and iron, making it one of the best Yorkie puppy treats. And at 2.9 kcal/treat, they are also a relatively low-calorie treat that won’t overload your Yorkie puppy’s diet.
What we’d change
While it is a minor ingredient, we’d prefer to see the ingredients list drop canola oil in favor of coconut oil or another minimally processed oil.
Best training treats for Yorkies
- Simple, single-ingredient recipe is perfect for extended training sessions
- Freeze drying maintains nutritional value and reduces need for preservatives
- Chicken, liver, and salmon recipes also available
One of the tricky aspects of training a Yorkie is how fast those training treat calories add up. Dogs need to be rewarded repeatedly in order to reaffirm positive behavior. And—let’s be honest—a little Yorkie making puppy eyes at you usually results in a couple of extra treats.
But with an average diet of just 150–175 calories per day, being a small dog in a big-treat world is tough. Before you know it, your pup is way over on the treat budget, and you’re feeling like a bad pet parent.
Most treats are way too large and need to be divided into half or smaller in order to prevent blowing through your Yorkie’s recommended calorie count for the day. At less than 1 kcal per treat, Pupford freeze-dried sweet potato training treats are the perfect compromise.
What we like
Low calorie counts and delicious natural ingredients mean keeping your pup’s attention without feeling bad about feeding them multiple treats. These single-ingredient treats have, literally, one ingredient: sweet potatoes. We feel good about the extra vitamins, low fat, and total lack of preservatives.
What we’d change
Not much. You can’t go wrong with a single-ingredient vegetable treat!
>> Read more: Can Dogs Eat Jalapenos?
Longest-lasting Yorkie treats for heavy chewers
- Made from an ancient recipe with simple ingredients: yak and cows milk, salt & lime juice
- Gluten-free, wheat-free, lactose-free, preservative-free
- They don't stink like many dog treats
Himalayan Dog Chews are easily the best long-lasting Yorkie dog treat we have found. Made from simple ingredients that you can actually read (and eat), these hard chews provide hours of low-calorie snacking and mental stimulation. You are going to have a hard time finding a better chew treat than this one.
What we like
Honestly, what is not to love about these treats? Made from milk (cow and yak), lime juice, and a bit of salt, these simple treats are naturally preserved using ancient methods that have been around for centuries.
In addition to being simple and nutritious, these treats last a very, very long time, even with aggressive little chewers. The treats have a hard consistency but will not splinter, so they are much safer than antler or rawhide treats. And unlike many other chew treats, these sticks have almost no odor to stink up your home or dog’s breath during snack time.
The hardness of these treats encourages lots of chewing and scraping, which has the side benefit of cleaning your pup’s teeth as they snack.
Best of all, the Himilayan Pet Supply company donates a portion of profits to benefit childhood literacy in the Nepalese farming communities that they partner with.
What we’d change
We usually prefer treats with ingredients sourced locally. However, the unique nature and manufacturing process of this treat necessitates its place of origin, and Himalayan Pet Supply has done a great job of building partnerships and quality control into their supply chain.
Best dog treat for Yorkies with bad breath
- Shape and texture formulated to help small dogs remove plaque while they chew
- Contains no soy, wheat, or corn
- Made in the USA
Dental treats are an excellent way to give your pup a treat while simultaneously helping them clean their teeth and freshen their bad breath, an issue Yorkies, in particular, need help with. We like VetIQ’s Minties for a number of reasons.
What we like
Unlike most of the dental treats out there, Minties are wheat, corn, and soy-free. Also, they come in a “tiny/small” breed size that is perfect for Yorkies, although we still tend to split a single treat in half, to keep our dog’s calorie intake under control.
We’ve tried a number of dental treats with our Yorkie, Max, and Minties were by far his favorite, so these get the “Max stamp of approval.”
What we’d change
We’re not huge fans of having vegetable glycerin in the ingredients list, but as this is definitely not a daily treat, we’re not too hung up on it. In general, any daily treats we recommend will have simpler, more natural ingredients.
Best dog treat for cleaning your Yorkie’s teeth
- Pair with your favorite dog toothpaste to treat your pup while cleaning their teeth
- No bad-smelling treats or added calories to throw off your dog's diet
- Made for small- and medium-sized dogs
A toothbrush stick is not really a treat at all, but once you hide some organic canine toothpaste inside, your dog will think it is. The toothbrush stick is designed with a hollow center and openings lined with hundreds of tiny nubs that clean your dog’s teeth while they chew.
If you have a Yorkie who hates teeth brushing as much as ours, this is your ace-in-the-hole. Your pup will have no idea they are brushing and you get to sit back and let them do all the hard work.
What we like
This is an awesome way to clean your Yorkie’s teeth, provide mental stimulation, and avoid sticking your vulnerable fingers into an angry Yorkies mouth—win-win!
What we’d change
Not much—this is a great design and a perfect way to keep those puppy teeth clean and healthy.
What to look for when choosing treats for Yorkies
With so many options, flavors, and ingredients, trying to choose a healthy Yorkie treat can be overwhelming. So many treat manufacturers use unhealthy fillers and questionable preservatives. To make matters worse, some companies source their ingredients from countries with little or no quality requirements, making the true content of the treat a potentially dangerous mystery.
In addition to quality, Yorkie parents have to worry about things like hypoglycemia, calorie counts, and ensuring their picky little eaters are getting sufficient nutrition.
All of this makes choosing the best dog treats for Yorkies a little daunting. We’ve broken down the key factors to consider and some things to avoid in our guide to Yorkie treats, below.
>> Read more: Best Dog Food for IBD & IBS
Size & calorie count
When it comes to Yorkies, portions are very important. Many dog treats are made with larger dogs in mind, but your little Yorkie doesn’t need a treat that is designed for a full-sized lab. A Yorkie’s tiny body dictates that treats should be small, both so they can eat it physically and to help keep their daily calorie intake at healthy levels.
Many Yorkies require a diet of just 150–175 calories per day. Too many treats will put such a small pup way over budget on their daily calorie count and may also discourage them from eating more healthy foods at mealtime.
It can be tricky to know how much to feed a Yorkie, especially if you’ve had larger breeds in the past. Make sure you look at the k/cal count per treat and divide a full-sized treat by half or fourths, depending on how many calories you want to give your pup at that time.
Country of origin
Pay special attention to where treats are manufactured next time you are shopping for your pup. The FDA does not require that treat manufacturers list ingredient countries of origin, and many countries are very lax or completely unregulated where dog food and treats are concerned.
In recent years, the FDA has received thousands of contaminated treat reports, many involving serious illness or the death of a pet. While investigations continue, patterns have emerged concerning treat ingredients originating from certain countries—especially China.
The FDA tests for bacteria, illegal dyes, molds, metals, pesticides, and other unwanted ingredients. Special alerts from the FDA as recently as 2018 indicated that some Chinese-made treats also contained unwanted antibiotics and antivirals.
To be safe, look for brands that voluntarily list their country of origin or source of individual ingredients. That is certainly not to say that you should avoid all treats manufactured outside of the US, but be vigilant when reading those ingredient labels and pass on anything that looks suspicious.
It is a good idea to avoid treats that use artificial sweeteners entirely. The effect of artificial sweeteners on dogs is not well understood and there have been very few long-term studies conducted on the subject.
Certain sweeteners, such as sucralose and saccharin, can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues. Other sweeteners, like xylitol, are severely toxic to dogs and even small amounts are potentially fatal.
The effect of sweeteners is especially concerning for Yorkshire Terriers and other small breeds, which have more volatile blood-sugar levels and a tendency to develop hypoglycemia.
>> Read more: Most Common Yorkie Health Issues
Artificial coloring and preservatives
In a recent report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the risks of frequently used food dyes were cited, many of which often make their way into dog treats. Among the dyes studied, Red 40, Blue 2, and Yellow 6 were all found to cause tumors in animal subjects, raising concerns that these common dyes are adding major health risks to your pup’s treats.
In addition to dyes, unnecessary preservatives are often present in dog treats. Chemical preservatives like butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), tert-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), and ethoxyquin commonly find their way into your dog’s diet. Like dyes and sweeteners, the long-term effect of these preservatives is poorly understood, and some preliminary studies show various levels of risk, particularly for dogs.
Look for treats that contain no dyes and that use natural, safer preservatives, such as rosemary extract, tocopherols (vitamin E), and citric acid (vitamin C).
Crunchy or chewy treats should be at the top of your list when shopping for a new snack for your four-legged friend. While soft treats may be best for older dogs who have dental issues, it is good to look for treats that require some chewing to consume for most Yorkies.
Yorkies tend to fight dental disease throughout their lifetimes, and these tough treats help clean hard-to-reach places. Teeth-cleaning treats are an especially important factor for Yorkies who are fed a wet-food diet and rarely consume abrasive or dry food.
Always supervise your pup as they are consuming chewy or tough treats as there is an increased risk an overzealous Yorkie can choke while snacking.
>> Read more: Best Soft Dog Food for Dogs with Bad Teeth
The best treats for Yorkies are those that are durable and harder to consume while still keeping their interest. Most treats entertain your pup for a bit, but never seem to last quite long enough. Even tough treats seem to disappear quickly when most determined pups dig in, so what can you do to provide longer-lasting snacking?
There’s a special category of dog treats that we like to call “marathon treats.” These are the treats that last for multiple snack sessions with even the most aggressive chewers.
As with any treat—and especially with harder treats that can potentially break into pieces—your pup should be supervised throughout snacktime to prevent any risk of choking.
A special word of warning where long-lasting treats are concerned: Historically, things like pig’s feet, rawhide, and even kitchen bone scraps have been very popular dog treats. While they do last quite a while, these treats (especially bone scraps) often splinter and cause serious digestive harm for your pup. This risk is increased for Yorkies and other small breeds, so choose carefully and avoid anything that can present a digestive risk.
Ideas for homemade Yorkie treats
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, homemade treats for your dog can be among the healthiest and cheapest. With a little work and experimentation, you can find the perfect made-at-home treat to keep on hand. Read on to see a few of our favorites.
>> Read more: Yorkie Foods: What Do They Eat & What to Avoid
Frozen fruits and vegetables
Some dogs love fruits and vegetables, and some dogs don’t. If you’re lucky enough to have the former, then these frozen morsels are a perfect homemade treat. Apples, cantaloupe, strawberries, bananas, peas, carrots, and green beans all make great frozen treats. Freezing them until solid will add a little extra chew time to the treat session and you can feel good about the extra vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants your pup is getting.
Peanut butter and yogurt cubes
This high-protein-and-calcium treat is a simple favorite that is very easy to make. Blend together a one-to-one mixture of natural peanut butter (make sure it has no sugar or artificial sweetener added) and plain yogurt. Using an ice cube tray, drop tablespoon-sized dollops into the tray and freeze overnight. Silicone ice cube trays work best since these treats don’t pop out quite as easily as normal ice cubes.
Simply pop out the treats one cube at a time and watch your pup’s eyes light up. Peanut butter is calorie-dense, so don’t overfeed with this treat. And always supervise in case of choking, especially if your dog is a fast eater.
>> Read more: Can Dogs Eat Nutella?
Sweet potato bites
This easy, single-ingredient treat is so simple to make and very nutritious.
Slice one or two sweet potatoes into ¼-inch rounds. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 2 ¼-to-3 hours at 250º F.
Check periodically to make sure they don’t burn. At that temperature, the potatoes should dry out and shrivel down to about half of their original size, leaving golden, slightly chewy, slightly crispy treats your pup will love.
We’ve also recommended a freeze-dried sweet potato dog treat above (Pupford’s) if you don’t want to go through this process yourself.
>> Read more: Can Dogs Eat Fish Bones?
Jello joint bites
If your dog is aging and displaying signs of arthritis, or if you just want to proactively want to nourish healthy joints, check out our home remedy for dog joint pain.
>> Read more: Purina Pet Food Recalls