WOOF, trying to find the best human foods for Yorkies? What kind of human food can your Yorkie eat? Sniff out this PAW-bulous list of 20 human foods for Yorkies!
AWOOO! Despite what many dog pawrents believe, not all human or “table” food is “bad” for dogs. A plethora of tasty yet healthy human foods makes the BEST dog treats – much better (and healthier) than the highly processed dog food commonly found in pet supplies stores. Arf course, we all know that dogs love their protein and can consume unseasoned lean meat and fish, but what other toothsome human goodies are on the table for your furry family members? As an active senior Yorkie, I LOVE eating delicious human food to supplement my daily meals. As I lick my chops and wag my tail, I’m telling my human that I wholeheartedly prefer them over any “dog” food sitting in my bowl.
However, there are some very IMPAWTANT things to keep in mind when considering human food for your Yorkie, whether young or old.
WARNINGS a.k.a. BARKS of Caution:
#1 Introduce any new food slowly and carefully to your Yorkie in case of an allergic or adverse reaction. Arf-ter all, Yorkies are known to have ultra-sensitive stomachs and gastrointestinal issues. :/ Give small amounts on the first day and slowly increase the quantity provided that there’s no adverse reaction. Keep in mind that not all dog-safe food is suitable for daily consumption.
#2 Follow the 10% rule: A dog should eat 10% of total daily calories from treats, vegetables, and fruit. Just like any treat, remember to feed human food used as treats or snacks in moderation (again, no more than 10% of daily treat/snack limit), even after safely introduced.
#3 Beware of choking hazards! Always chop, shred, or slice food into bite-sized pieces before feeding it to your Yorkie (accordingly to your dog’s size). And toss out seeds and pits.
#4 Generally barking, many spices and seasonings are harmful to dogs. Although there are exceptions (e.g. basil, ginger, cinnamon, and parsley), it may be best to avoid them entirely for safety reasons.
#5 If your Yorkie has suffered from pancreatitis or any type of GI issue, please consult your veterinarian before feeding human food as a strict diet like Hills ID Low Fat or Royal Canin GI Low Fat may be prescribed.
GRRR, my little Yorkie tummy is growling so let’s grub! Here’s my list of 20 Human Food for Yorkies:
ARF, cucumbers are my FAVORITE treats. They’re crunchy and hydrating – super refreshing on a hot summer day. Make sure they are fresh and lightly chilled before serving. Since they are low-calorie, low-fat, AND packed with vitamins, cucumbers are fantastic snacks for dogs who need to lose weight or fail to consume enough water. Unless you get it organic, don’t forget to peel the pesticide-saturated skin, which can be harmful to your Yorkie. Arf yeah, remove those seeds in case your Yorkie has trouble digesting them. The downside of cucumbers is that too much can cause an upset tummy in Yorkies so remember to limit intake with the 10% rule.
#2 Sweet Potatoes or Yams
PAWS DOWN, sweet potatoes or yams are one of the most delicious human foods for Yorkies. Besides their irresistible taste and texture, these sweet goodies are pawfect for Yorkies with sensitive tummies; high in fiber, sweet potatoes and yams can help aid in digestion. Not to bark, they contain low-fatty content and a wide range of vitamins and minerals like A, B6, C, calcium, potassium, and iron. Wrap them up in aluminum foil and toss them into the oven until the insides become arf-so-soft and juicy. Alternatively, they can be chopped up and boiled, and then mashed – whatever suits your Yorkie’s palate. WARNING: Burning hazard! Allow ample time for these cooked sweet potatoes and yams to cool down before serving.
WOOF, carrots are like a SUPAW food for Yorkies. They improve Yorkies’ vision, coat color, and skin (just pawfect for Yorkies who must maintain their beautiful coat year-round). Besides being low-calorie, carrots provide beta-carotene (vitamin A). Not to bark, they’re crunchy, tasty, and utterly luscious. Such crunchiness can help improve your Yorkie’s teeth, which are prone to decay due to their small jaws.
I’d do any trick to get my paws on them. Or I’ll just stare them down until my human gives in (learn how to train your human to get what you want every single time). Treat your Yorkie to bite-sized raw or unseasoned cooked, soft carrots. Since I only have a few teeth remaining, I prefer them boiled and mushed (although I won’t turn my nose at raw carrot bits).
Like cucumbers, watermelons are hydrating and refreshing (except they’re sweet and taste so much better)! YUM. Watermelons are packed with vitamins and nutrients (like vitamins A, B6, C, and potassium) beneficial to your Yorkie’s health when consumed in moderation. Just a BARK of Caution: As seeds and rinds can cause an upset stomach, please remove them entirely before chopping up the watermelon into small pieces for your Yorkie. Better yet, go with seedless watermelons. Since watermelons are high in sugar (although naturally occurring sugar), they should not be fed regularly due to the risk of obesity and diabetes. For Yorkies, one or two tiny cubes make a mouthwatering, beg-worthy treat!
While raw broccoli is considered safe for dogs, I recommend boiling or steaming these low-fat green goodies until soft, especially if your Yorkie is a senior like me who is losing his teeth. GRR. 🙁 Broccoli is high in both fiber and vitamin C, which makes for a healthy snack.
Again, don’t forget to chop them up into bite-size bits to avoid choking. Because the florets contain isothiocyanates (which can lead to gastrointestinal issues), these delectable veggies should be relished by your Yorkie periodically and in small quantities. Small amounts of broccoli can provide good sources of vitamin K, calcium, and potassium – as long as they are plain and unseasoned. Please note that more than 25% of your dog’s daily intake is considered toxic.
#6 Green Peas
It is indisputable that green peas are one of the best human foods for Yorkies! ARRRF, my little Yorkie heart melts for little GREEN PEAS. I love to steam them so they come out succulent and slightly crunchy. Packed with vitamins A, B, and K, green peas are pawfectly safe for your dog – well, as long as you don’t overfeed. Since they’re so delicious and tiny, they make pawsome training treats. Just make sure that the temperature has cooled down before serving them to your precious Yorkie.
To switch things up, I also like to slurp up some unseasoned steamed edamame, whether at home or a Japanese restaurant. ARF course, it’s best to keep those crunchy pea pods away from your Yorkie’s little mouth to avoid choking or any adverse reaction. Also, keep them unseasoned – no salt, please!
When I left my pawbulous life in Florence, I didn’t just miss the rich Florentine culture, but also my big Italian Yorkie appetite. Aperitivo, Antipasto, Primo, Secondo! Gosh, my love for fresh spaghetti, tagliatelle, fettuccine, penne, and rigatoni grew BIGGER after my departure from Italy (which, btw, is one of the most dog-friendly countries in the world). Luckily, I can still scarf down fresh pasta anywhere I set my furry paws (although never nearly as good).
As long as pasta is cooked and unseasoned, they are safe for Yorkies to devour UNLESS he has wheat allergies. However, because pasta doesn’t offer any real nutrients for dogs, they should not be part of their regular diet. When serving spaghetti to your Yorkie, please make sure you chop up the pieces for easy swallowing. Enhance the dish with some unseasoned colorful veggies or succulent meat, whatever suits your Yorkie’s belly!
As for me, I always lick my chops to broccoli spaghetti!
MMMM, here’s another mouthwatering vegetable that’s perfectly healthy for your dog! Cauliflowers provide a BUTTLOAD of vitamins and nutrients (vitamins K, C, fiber, calcium, potassium, etc.). Although raw cauliflower can be safely consumed, cooked cauliflowers are easier to digest for dogs (not to mention, tastier). TIP: Make a small plate or bowl of steamed broccoli-cauliflower bits mix for your Yorkie!
Whether raw or cooked, zucchini slices are yummy treats. With a much softer and smoother interior (compared to cucumbers), they melt in my mouth flawlessly. A dreamy bite size will give me a host of nutrients and vitamins (ranging from potassium to Vitamin C), antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Plus, bone and cartilage growth and improved skin. WOOF-HOO! Although Yorkies can enjoy zucchini slices raw or cooked, raw zucchini can be hard to digest. Plus, I prefer cooked for a better taste. Like any other human vegetable, be sure to keep the seasoning away. TOP DOG TIP: Cook fresh spaghetti with chopped zucchini and some shredded chicken for one ARF-mazing meal for your Yorkie! Be sure to get organic so your Yorkie can safely consume the skin, which is packed with nutrients.
YUM, it’s banana time! I love slurping tiny mushy pieces of banana into my little Yorkie mouth. In addition to being low calorie, bananas boast potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber, biotin, and copper. Due to its high sugar content (despite naturally occurring), bananas are only good as an occasional fun treat or snack. GRRR. A few small pieces of bananas can be consumed safely by Yorkies (while bigger dogs can chow down bigger portions). Because of its high fiber content, small portions of mashed bananas may also work miracles in helping soothe your Yorkie’s stomach and improve bowel movement! WOOF, how pawsome is that? Don’t forget to remove the peel, which has a bunch of pesticides.
Blueberries are not only considered SUPAW FOOD for humans, but they also provide the same wondrous benefits to dogs! They boast antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a healthy juicy snack (again, as long as a large quantity isn’t consumed). Like in humans, antioxidants can prevent cell damage and fight disease in dogs. As a small or “toy” dog, I sure appreciate their bite-size. There’s no need to chop or slice – just rinse them with cold water a couple of times. And, I’ll start chomping away. If you can, always spend the extra bucks for some organic blueberries because the thin blueberry skin allows chemicals to penetrate the flesh. GRRR.
Mangos on a hot summer day? The thought of it makes me lick my chops repeatedly! My anaconda neck is always ready to go for a lick of mango off the dining table anytime! Toss out the pit (which contains the toxin cyanide), slice off the skin (which can be hard to digest), and chop up a juicy mango into small bits and pieces for your Yorkie to enjoy. Offering vitamins A, B, C, and E, mangos are generally safe for Yorkies – but again, only on occasion due to their sugary content. Mangoes are also high in fiber, which is great to help with digestion; however, too much mango can do the opposite and cause an upset stomach and diarrhea.
A few thin pieces of apples are not only appetizing after a meal, but also help clean my tiny decay-prone teeth and freshen my breath (for which my human is super thankful). Thank goodness these delicious low-fat snacks also offer vitamins A & C, and fiber (especially in the skin, so be sure to get organic). However, apples are also high in sugar, so it’s best to feed only two or three small bits to your Yorkie. CHOKING HAZARD: A BARK of caution – Do NOT forget to toss out the core and the seeds (which include toxic cyanide) before offering these delicious apple bits.
WOOF, although cooked rice doesn’t offer any real nutrients, it can help alleviate a Yorkie’s upset stomach due to its blandness. OK, I’ll bark out the truth – I’m not a huge fan of rice, but I will eat it only when it’s mixed with something irresistible to my wet nose. Hence, be sure to add some unseasoned shredded chicken and veggies to make a real meal for your Yorkie!
As a matter of bark, chicken with rice (which is considered a “bland diet”) can work wonders when your Yorkie is experiencing minor tummy aches and diarrhea. You can also add some hot water during cooking to make the meal more like porridge or stew, which will help your dog hydrate and digest. Just remember to wait til it cools down before serving.
While brown rice is higher in protein and fiber, it can be harder to digest for dogs, especially Yorkies with sensitive tummies. To be on the safe side, I’d stick with white rice for easier digestion unless directed by your veterinarian.
Pears are one of the best human food for Yorkies. Again, toss out the seeds and core (toxic cyanide) and chop the pear into bite-sized pieces for your dog! Offering vitamins A, C, fiber, calcium, and copper, pears make a thirst-quenching, mouthwatering sweet snack for dogs. One or two thin slices or bite-sized pieces of one pear are enough to delight your Yorkie, but anything more can cause an upset tummy. As with other fruit barked above, pears contain high sugar content, so don’t overfeed or feed regularly.
As long as you thoroughly cook the eggs, it is generally safe to feed them to your Yorkie (again, in small amounts). Due to the risk of salmonella, please never feed your Yorkie raw eggs! Grrr, that sounds really gross anyway. Essential fatty acids, vitamins from A to B12 to folic acid, many minerals like calcium and iron, and protein can be found in an entire egg. Heck, that even includes the shell, which I’ll turn up my nose. While I like them scrambled with white rice and veggies (no oil), I know other Yorkies who enjoy them hard boiled.
Woof, this is an interesting one! Yes, Yorkies CAN enjoy one to two small pieces of popcorn at your next movie night. Popcorn can be given as an infrequent snack or treat, but ONLY if it’s completely plain, air-popped, unsalted, unseasoned (so no butter, oil, or sugar). Un-popped kernels are a NO-GO since they can be a choking hazard and lead to intestinal blockage. It’s impawtant to note that popcorn isn’t toxic to Yorkies, but the way it’s commonly prepared can be harmful. Unfortunately, popcorn cannot be a regular treat as it can cause serious gastrointestinal pawblems, if fed long-term.
#18 Peanut Butter
OK, peanut butter is NOT my favorite human food for Yorkies, but I know plenty of dogs who’d do anything for a lick. Generally barking, regular peanut butter is safe as an occasional treat for Yorkies. As a matter of bark, peanut butter treats are found at virtually every pet supply store in the world. However, the main thing to watch out for is an ingredient called Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in sugar-free gum. While pawfectly safe for humans, Xylitol is toxic to dogs and can even cause instantaneous death. GRRR, so be sure to read the label.
Another BARK OF CAUTION: Although peanut butter offers natural protein, it also contains a lot of fatty content, which can create pawblems for Yorkies who are, again, prone to pancreatitis. Hence, moderation is KEY in feeding your Yorkie peanut butter, which means just a tiny lick or two is enough.
As for meat, unseasoned, boiled lean chicken breast is, PAWS DOWN, the best option for Yorkies due to their predisposition to pancreatitis. As long as it’s fully cooked, chicken is a nutritious, low-fat tasty meal for Yorkies. Besides delivering protein, chicken builds muscle mass and offers Omega 6 fatty acids, essential to maintain a Yorkie’s coat. Since Yorkies tend to have sensitive tummies and gastrointestinal issues, boiling the chicken and then shredding it into pieces before serving can aid digestion. Again, chicken with rice can work miracles in curing your Yorkie’s tummy aches. Nevertheless, be sure to consult your veterinarian regarding the ideal diet for Yorkies with health conditions (and allergies) – both pre-existing and current.
Second to chicken, turkey is also a safe bet for Yorkies – BUT only when prepared safely, which means PLAIN -without any seasoning, skin, or bones. Unfortunately, serving plain turkey is very rare for humans, especially on Thanksgiving Day. Plain turkey, boiled or baked, can provide rich nutrients likes protein, phosphorous, and riboflavin to Yorkies. Like chicken, it’s best to shred turkey into pieces (and avoid serving fatty parts) for your Yorkie’s easy digestion. Nonetheless, the real challenge here is preparing it safely for your Yorkie. And yet, this means no table scraps from your Thanksgiving dinner.
BONUS: Can Yorkies eat cheese?
Let me bark the truth – I’ve eaten cheese as an occasional treat, and I arf-solutely love them! However, now that I’m well into my senior years, I stopped eating cheese mainly because its fatty content can trigger pancreatitis, which Yorkies are prone to getting.
Not to bark, since Yorkies (and dogs in general) are born lactose intolerant (lacking the enzyme lactase), they have a more difficult time digesting cheese and dairy products. Therefore, while cheese is technically NOT toxic to Yorkies, it’s best to keep it off the list.
ARF, I hope you enjoyed my list of 20 Human Foods for Yorkies! Remember, any treats or snacks (whether human food or purchased from the pet supply store) should not exceed the 10% daily limits. Moderation is KEY to ensure a healthy diet. Now, sniff out my list of 20 Foods Yorkies Should AVOID.
Get your paws on more dog care tips and sniff out how to potty train your dog without a crate.
Markin’ it up,
Roger Wellington a.k.a. The Doob