The Best Food for Your Yorkie: Part 2

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This is the second in our multi-part series on the best food for your Yorkie. We hope to give you enough information to make an informed choice for yourself, and we hope that the information we provide will lead you to look carefully at the choice you make when it comes to your Yorkie’s food.

As with our last review, we will be looking at 5 quality foods for your Yorkie. We will be reviewing each food in terms of kibble size, ingredients and nutrition, cost, recall information, manufacturing, and, of course, a taste test. In this review we are looking at (in alphabetical order):

Kibble Size

Each of these foods has a great kibble size for Yorkies. The Honest Kitchen has the smallest pieces, with the Froom having the smallest kibble. The NutriSource and California Natural have similar sized pieces and the Canidae has a small-ish, but thick piece. We are providing pictures for your reference, with a piece of kibble on a quarter so you can gauge the size of the pieces for your Yorkie.

California Natural – Grain Free Kangaroo & Red Lentils Formula

Canidae, All Life Stages – Lamb Meal and Rice Formula

Fromm, Four Star- Game Bird

The Honest Kitchen – Verve

NutriSource – Adult Chicken and Rice Formula

Ingredients & Nutrition

The best way to compare the ingredients and nutrition is with the chart provided below.

Here are a few highlights for you that we found the most interesting.

The Honest Kitchen’s food is made with all human-grade ingredients in a human-grade facility. Now that is impressive. Their website also lists where all their ingredients come from, including that their beef is from the Midwest U.S. and is hormone and antibiotic free. The Honest Kitchen’s food is not kibble but is dehydrated food that you rehydrate at home with warm water.

The California Natural kibble’s only protein source is kangaroo, which is an excellent option for dogs who don’t do well on other protein sources.

The California Natural Kangaroo and Fromm Game Bird are grain free.

Of these 5, the Fromm has the highest protein at 29% and the lowest is the Canidae at 21%. The highest calories comes from the Verve and the lowest from the California Natural.

California Natural, Kangaroo
Canidae, Lamb
Fromm, Game Bird
Honest Kitchen – Verve(dry) NutriSource, Chicken
First Ingredient Kangaroo
Lamb meal Duck Dehydrated beef Chicken
Second Ingredient Red Lentils
Brown rice Duck meal Organic oats Chicken meal
Crude Protein (Min) 22.9% 21% 29% 22.5% 26%
Crude Fat (Min) 13.4% 12.5% 17% 8.5% 16%
Calories kcal/kg 3,487 4,022 4,047 4,199 3,968
Serving size per day for smallest weight category 1/2 – 3/4 cup
1/2 – 3/4 cups 1/2 – 1 cups 1/4 – 1/2 cup 1/4 – 3/4 cup

 

Cost

Cost is always a consideration, especially if you have more than one Yorkie. For these foods, the prices do have a wide range – the cheapest being The NutriSource at $2.27 per pound and the most expensive being the Honest Kitchen at $3.95 per pound. To make things simple across our study, we are using current prices listed at K9cuisine.com for our comparisons. We divided the price into the pounds of the smallest bag available to get a cost per pound. Here are the per pound prices from lowest to highest for our current 5 foods.

  • NutriSource – Adult Chicken and Rice Formula – $2.27 / lb
  • Canidae, All Life Stages – Lamb Meal and Rice Formula – $2.42 / lb
  • Fromm, Four Star- Game Bird Recipe – $3.51 / lb
  • California Natural – Grain Free Kangaroo & Red Lentils Formula – $3.71 / lb
  • The Honest Kitchen – Verve – $3.95 / lb when hydrated

Taste Test

Ingredients and cost are great, but will your Yorkie actually eat the food you choose? It’s hard to know until you actually get the food, which can get costly. So, if Catherine will eat a food, we give it a thumbs up! She isn’t too picky and is always hungry!

Just like in our last review, we set out all the food, 10 pieces of each (except the Honest Kitchen, we mixed up a few spoonfuls instead), and let her sniff around and make her choice. Here is Catherine’s ranking of the foods in this review, based on how quickly and in what order she ate the foods.

1. The Honest Kitchen -Verve
2. Fromm – Game Bird
3. NutriSource – Chicken and Rice
4. Canidae – Lamb and Rice
5. California Natural – Kangaroo and Red Lentils

Catherine sniffed each bowl and then commenced to gobble up the Honest Kitchen – Verve. She licked and licked until the bowl was absolutely clean. She sniffed around and then ate the Fromm – Game Bird. She sniffed the rest and didn’t seem to really want any of them, so we put the small bowls of food with her overnight and in the morning she had eaten all of the Nutrisource and some of the Canidae and none of the California Natural (I am thinking she just doesn’t have a taste for Kangaroo, lol).

Ownership

  • California Natural is part of the Natura Pet Products family, owned by Proctor and Gamble, who have their own plant.
  • Canidae outsources some of it’s production to Diamond Pet Foods, as far as I can tell.
  • Fromm is family owned and they have their own plant.
  • The Honest Kitchen is a family owned company who processes their food at a human-grade food facility.
  • NutriSource is part of the Tuffy’s Pet Foods, Inc family and they have their own plant.

Recalls

The recall information I have reviewed goes back to 2009.

  • California Natural – no recalls, ever.
  • Canidae – voluntary recall 5/5/2012 of food made at Diamond South Carolina plant
  • Fromm – no recalls, ever.
  • The Honest Kitchen – no recalls, ever.
  • NutriSource – no recalls, ever.

Our Choice

This time around, hands down our favorite is The Honest Kitchen’s Verve. I can’t imagine a Yorkie who wouldn’t love this food, or an owner who wouldn’t, with it’s amazing quality ingredients. We were more than pleasantly surprised at how much Catherine just loved this food.


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