Whether your Yorkie needs to shed a few ounces or you want to improve his diet, he'll benefit from green beans in his meals. Canned or fresh, these veggies are a safe choice for Yorkshire Terriers and a healthy treat to boot.
Yorkie Calorie Requirements
Though small, Yorkies are high-energy dogs requiring a diet that can maintain with their energy level. Like other small, active dogs, Yorkshire terriers can burn up to 40 calories per pound per day in their prime. Older dogs require fewer calories. As a rule of thumb, an active Yorkie weighing 5.5 pounds requires about 250 calories per day.
Green Beans Any Way
You can have greater control over your buddy's diet if you cook for him yourself. Raw or cooked, fresh or canned or frozen -- but not seasoned -- green beans make a healthy addition to a pup's diet. If you decide to serve up fresh beans, wash them. Thoroughly rinse canned green beans to get rid of excess salt or other seasonings that Buster doesn't need. The Artistry Yorkshire Terriers website has a number of recipes for appropriate diets for Yorkies, including a few with green beans.
Balance Those Beans
Buster requires a balanced diet to get the nutrition he requires. Feeding him just green beans or all veggies isn't good for him; nor is it healthy to feed him meat exclusively. Whether you're feeding him commercial or home-cooked food, you can use green beans. There's no set rule about how many he should or shouldn't eat, particularly if you're giving them as treats. If green beans are included in his main meal, the amount of green beans you add will vary according to how much meat, grain and other vegetables you add in the mix. Introduce them slowly no matter how much you eventually allow in his diet.
A Little Off the Middle
All older dogs are prone to gaining weight as they slow down and become less active. Since Yorkies are little guys, it's easy for them to pack on extra ounces. Green beans can be part of a diet solution, mixed into his food as a low-calorie, nutritious filler. Artistry Yorkshire Terriers recommends feeding your pooch 60 percent of his normal caloric requirements until he reaches his desired weight. If you cook for Buster, you'll have to calculate his caloric intake; if you feed him commercial food, look at the Dodge County Canine website, which has a handy chart listing caloric data for a variety of dog foods.
Green Bean Diet
Whether you cook for Buster yourself or use commercial food, you can incorporate green beans into his weight loss plan, with caution. The green bean diet works by gradually supplementing the dog's meal with rinsed, canned green beans until he's eating a meal composed of half dog food and half green beans. After the dog reaches his goal weight, he can be slowly transitioned back to his regular diet, adjusted to maintain his new svelte figure. Use caution with this or any other weight-loss program; all dogs are at risk of serious medical problems if they shed weight too quickly.
- petMD: The Green Bean Diet
- Liz Palika, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Yorkshire Terriers
- Modern Dog Magazine: 10 “People” Foods for Dogs
- Organic Pet Digest: Raw Natural Dog Food: Top 3 & Whether They're Right for Your Dog
- ASPCA: Healthy People Food for Pets
- Artistry Yorkshire Terriers: Yorkshire Terriers Nutritional Information
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images