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A lot of Yorkies are prone to become overweight and a lot depends on the owners who do not pay attention to the calories their Yorkies consume during the day or what pet food they eat.

If you see that your pet is gaining weight, you need to take certain measures to prevent this health condition as it would be really difficult and stressful for your dog to lose weight.

The number one culprit of the overweight, fat Yorkie, is the caring, loving dog owner (which I am completely guilty of) who loves their dog and believes that feeding table scraps to their dog are a sign of love. It isn’t.  Sharing your food with your Yorkie is the number one problem that can cause your dog to be overweight, BUT, there are other more specific issues at play as it relates to Yorkies more specifically.

How to Encourage Weight Loss in Your Overweight and Possibly Fat Yorkie

You need to know that dogs do not have a feeling of a full stomach and they will eat as much as they see in front of them. There are certain ways to control the weight of your Yorkie and by following certain rules, you prevent your Yorkie from gaining too much weight. Try using small meals for your dog instead of feeding once a day. The stomach will digest all the food at the right speed and the blood sugar level will not increase suddenly.

yorkie fat

This will also prevent the accumulation of too much acid. Decrease the number of treats for your dog if you feed it several times a day, your pet will not feel hungry. You will also have a chance to prepare healthy food for your Yorkie and there are a lot of recipes that may be used to provide your pet with the proper number of calories a day.

Increasing the number of veggies will be really beneficial for your dog. Using carrots and potatoes will be a great choice. Besides, you need to cook rice for your dog twice a week. You should exclude salt or spices when you cook it.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Determining the Right Weight for a Yorkshire Terrier

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Can a Yorkshire Terrier Be Overweight? 

Porky Yorkie

This is a common question we’re asked here. It’s no secret that Yorkies are some of the smallest dogs around, but that doesn’t make them exempt from putting on a bit of excess weight. 

Just like other breeds, your Yorkie can sometimes get a little bit overweight for a few different reasons. In this article, we’ll detail a few ways to prevent this from happening.

What is the Average Weight of a Yorkie?

When it comes to your Yorkie’s overall health, knowing the average weight of the typical Yorkie might help you better understand the benchmarks to look for. If your Yorkie is exceeding the average weight while not exceeding the average height, your dog may be in the overweight category.

So, when you weigh your Yorkie, you should expect the weight to be within the range of 4 and 7 pounds. Because this is technically a large range for dogs of this size, it’s important to take your dog’s height into account as well. 

If your Yorkie is purebred, you can actually expect them to weigh more than the average. In fact, there have been cases where a perfectly healthy purebred Yorkie has weighed up to 15 pounds!

The answer really is that it depends on a few factors what the optimal weight should be for your dog, but you can use this range as a helpful metric. 

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Controlling the Weight of Your Yorkie

How to Tell if Your Yorkie is the Right Weight? 

Again, the “right” weight for your Yorkie is going to vary slightly based on a few factors. Some of these factors are simply genetic predispositions, and others might be products of the lifestyle you give your Yorkie. 

Either way, you might be wondering exactly how to tell if your Yorkie is a healthy weight. So, here we’re going to give you a couple of tips on determining just that.

Just weighing your Yorkie on the scale isn’t going to be enough to tell you if your Yorkie is at a healthy weight, so you’ll want to give them an assessment of your own. Usually, this can be done through a visual examination. 

Visually Assessing your Yorkie’s Weight

Yorkies and Chocolate

For the visual assessment, there are a couple of things to look for when you’re examining your dog from behind. For starters, look at where their ribcage meets their waist. If there is a drastic inward curve, your dog could be underweight. 

Conversely, if there is no curve at all or a convex shape, your dog could be holding excess weight where it shouldn’t. You’re looking for a subtle inward curve to indicate a Yorkie is at its healthiest weight.

Next, look at your dog’s shape from the side. Again, you’ll want to pay close attention to their ribcage, but this time where it meets the stomach. If you’re familiar with a dog’s natural shape, you’ll know that you’re looking for a slight upward curve from the ribcage to the waist. 

If you see that the stomach is fuller than normal, it could be a sign of a fat Yorkie! In this case, you should get a second opinion from the vet on whether your Yorkie naturally has a larger stomach region. Also, a cause for underweight concern is if the stomach’s inward curve is sharp. 

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Watch out for the Weight of Your Yorkie

Other Ways to Assess Healthy Yorkie Weight

Yorkie Dark

The last thing you can do besides the visual assessment is a quick physical one. Make sure your Yorkie is in a comfortable, natural position, and then proceed to put your hands on the sides of their upper body. 

When you’ve placed your hands gently on the sides of the ribcage, you’ll be looking to feel each rib. You shouldn’t be able to see the ribs when you look at your dog, but being able to feel each one slightly is a sign of a healthy weight. 

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Dog Noses: Color Changes, Runny Nose, Health Concerns, and Treatments

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Is a Large Yorkie Still Healthy? 

There are many factors that constitute a healthy Yorkie. Looking at the size of your Yorkie might be a good way to estimate their overall health, but it might not tell the full story.

Whether a large Yorkie is still healthy will depend on more than just one factor. Some Yorkies are genetically predisposed to be larger due to increased muscle mass, height, or even bone structure alone.

That being said, since your Yorkie’s health depends on a lot more than just size alone, it would be a good idea to check with your vet. They will help you determine whether your Yorkie is at a healthy weight or not for its size. 

The Consequences of Being Overweight


If a Yorkie is overweight to any degree, there can be a few consequences you should be aware of. In any case, being overweight can lead to comorbid ailments. 

For example, overweight or fat Yorkie will be at higher risk for conditions such as heart strain, arthritis, canine diabetes, kidney disease, skin or respiratory conditions, and some different types of cancers. 

Overall, being overweight or obese can have a very negative effect on your Yorkie’s health and general mood. Obesity in animals has been known to increase the risk of depression.

So, you’ll want to take all the measures you can to prevent your dog from becoming unhealthily overweight. Below, we will get into some of the ways you can do this.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Yorkie Allergies – Everything You Need to Know, Causes and Treatment

Steps to Help a Yorkshire Terrier Lose Weight

Yorkie harness struggles

By now, you should be able to tell a bit better whether your Yorkie needs to lose weight or not. If they are overweight, one of the first things you should do is take them to the vet for a treatment plan. 

In the meantime, there are lots of things you can do on your own to expedite the weight loss process, potentially making a huge difference in your dog’s life. These processes aren’t super hard to do, but the weight loss journey can be slow at first.

Either way, it’s important to stick with them as they will greatly help the health of your wonderful Yorkie. 

Without further ado, here are the best steps you can take as a Yorkie owner to help your furry friend lose weight:

Help them Increase their Physical Activity

This one should be pretty easy for you to do, as humans need the same exact thing to stay fit! In all mammals, regular calorie burn can help reduce fat and build muscle.

Yorkie Running

If your Yorkie is able to exercise more regularly and build muscle, they will both lose overall weight and look leaner. Muscle can weigh a lot, but it’s more dense than fat, i.e. taking up much less overall space. 

Of course, if your dog has other health problems that impede its ability to work out regularly, you might want to focus more on the next section to help them lose the excess weight. Sometimes when a dog is very overweight, working out can put extra strain on their joints due to the extra pounds they’re carrying. 

Tip: Sync your own workout routine with your Yorkies.

As a dog owner, walking almost every day is an absolute must. Your Yorkie needs regular exercise, and chances are you have your own regimen! If you are able to increase the time spent walking and bring your pet along for the ride, you will both enjoy amazing health benefits. 

Working your own exercise into the weight loss plan for your dog can be a mutually rewarding experience and give you a great opportunity to spend time with him or her!

Tip: Find times during the day when your Yorkie can get some extra steps in.

Apart from their regular walk with you, you should look out for other times in the day where you can give them a bit of extra exercise. 

For example, you can bring your pup out with you when you go running your regular errands. This might not seem like much, but even getting them out of the house will add up to weight loss over long periods of time.

Or, a solution could be as simple as buying them a new toy to chase around the house. If they have a favorite, start playing with them a bit more than usual so they can exert themselves.

If you have other pets or a dog park nearby, this could be a great way to get your Yorkie to work out a bit. Yorkies can be very sociable pups, so they’ll appreciate the socialization and being able to horse around with some canine friends!

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: What Should Yorkie Owners Know About DCM?

Help them Maintain a Healthier Diet

Cutie Patootie Yorkie

Perhaps the most straightforward way to help your Yorkie lose weight other than exercising is improving its diet. There are lots of solutions out there made specifically for the purpose of helping dogs lose weight.

For example, you can incorporate lower-calorie food into their diet, for example, rabbits ears for dogs which are low in fat and high in protein so your dog won’t be hungry and begging for more. If they’re not huge fans at first, you could try adding small amounts into their regular food that get larger over time.

Or, you could consider giving them a weight loss supplement. While these require a bit more research, there are a few brands that are popular among small dog owners for helping their pets lose weight healthily.

Caring for an Underweight Yorkie 

While knowing the risks, treatments, and care for overweight Yorkies, it’s also imperative that you know how to care for an underweight Yorkie. We haven’t touched much on this topic, but if you have a teacup Yorkie or just one of small stature, there are a few things you’ll need to know when it comes to their overall care.

Smaller Yorkies, especially those under 7 pounds, are a bit more prone to injury and strain due to their size. With such small bones and muscles, over time it can become a lot for the Yorkie to support itself comfortably.

A lot of the time, they are most at risk for traumatic events as well as injury from accidents while handling. 

To help avoid injury and discomfort for the smaller Yorkies, you’ll need to have this in mind. Always use a harness instead of a regular collar leash, avoid large, aggressive dogs when outside, and teach children the proper way to handle small dogs.

Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: How to take care of your Yorkie’s Nose


This article covered helpful topics concerning the fat Yorkie and how to care for one. It’s possible, even though they’re super small dogs, to begin with! 

We love our Yorkies a lot, so it’s important to stay up to date on the best ways to manage their weight. It can be a process, but your Yorkie will thank you forever. 

Taking the appropriate steps to mitigate obesity in Yorkies will significantly improve your dog’s quality of life in both the short and long run.

We hope this article helped you out, and for more topics on the best dog breed out there you can subscribe to our newsletter!

Controlling the weight of your Yorkie will help you prevent your pet from numerous diseases such as diabetes and heart conditions.