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Information About Yorkies: Everything You Need to Know About This Tiny Terrier

Consider a Yorkie if you desire a compact dog with a large personality. Yorkies, also known as Yorkshire Terriers, are one of the world's most popular dog breeds. They are adorable, obedient, and playful canines that can bring joy to any home.

However, do you know all there is to know about this diminutive terrier? BestForPets explains everything you need to know about Yorkies, from their characteristics to their care and health, in this article.

Whether you already own a Yorkie or are considering getting one, this article will help you comprehend and appreciate this remarkable breed.

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icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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Characteristics of Yorkies

Yorkies are among the smallest dog breeds, standing 7 to 10 inches tall and weighing no more than seven pounds as adults. They have a long, silky coat that can reach up to two feet in length, but it requires regular trimming to prevent tripping and walking difficulties. Typically, their fur is black and gold, black and tan, blue and gold, or blue and tan.

One of the benefits of owning a Yorkie is that they are hypoallergenic. This means that their coat resembles human hair more than animal fur, and they shed very little. This makes them suitable for people with allergies or asthma.

However, despite their small size and delicate appearance, Yorkies have a big personality that matches their terrier ancestry. They are friendly, spirited, mischievous, intelligent, vocal, protective, and devoted.

They enjoy cuddling with their owners and being active and adventurous. They are highly curious and alert, which makes them excellent watch dogs. They will growl at anything unusual or unfamiliar, and they will bravely defend their territory and family.

Nevertheless, Yorkies can present some challenges in terms of temperament and behavior. They can be stubborn, possessive, and demanding. They require early socialization and training to learn acceptable behavior around humans and other dogs.

They need constant care, attention, and supervision since they cannot fend for themselves. They may develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long.

Care of Yorkies

Yorkies are not low-maintenance dogs and require regular grooming to maintain a healthy and attractive coat. They need daily combing to prevent matting and tangling. Additionally, they require a weekly or as-needed bath with a gentle cleanser and conditioner. You can maintain their hair long or short based on your preferences and lifestyle.

Care of Yorkies

If you keep it long, you must trim around their eyes, ears, mouth, feet, and anus for hygiene purposes. If you keep your Yorkie’s coat short, you will need to visit a professional groomer every 4 to 6 weeks.

To maintain your Yorkie’s coat, you will need:

  • A slicker brush or a pin brush
  • A metal comb
  • A pair of scissors
  • A nail clipper
  • A toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • A towel or a hairdryer

Yorkies require exercise for fitness and happiness. They are highly active, athletic dogs that can run fast and jump high. They need at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day, such as walks, playtime, games, or training sessions. You can use toys and rewards to motivate and entertain them.

Some toys and activities your Yorkie will enjoy are:

Care of Yorkies 1

  • Balls
  • Squeaky toys
  • Puzzles
  • Fetch
  • Hide and seek
  • Tug of war

Yorkies also need a nutritious and balanced diet for optimal growth and health. They require high-quality food that is appropriate for their size, age, and level of activity. You can feed them dry, wet, or raw food, depending on your preference and the recommendation of your veterinarian.

Avoid giving them human food, especially chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and anything spicy or fatty. Additionally, you should always provide them with clean water.

For those seeking more information on the best food options for their Yorkies, the article Best Dog Foods For Yorkies by BestForPets can provide some helpful insights.

Health of Yorkies

Yorkies are generally healthy dogs that, with proper care, can live for at least 15 years. However, they are susceptible to certain health issues that you should be aware of. Among the most common health problems affecting Yorkies are:

  • Dental problems: Due to their small mouths and teeth, Yorkies are prone to crowding, decay, and infection. They may also experience gum disease, tooth loss, and bad breath. You should brush their teeth daily and take them to the veterinarian for regular dental cleanings and check-ups.
  • Hypoglycemia: Because of their fast metabolism and low body fat percentage, Yorkies are prone to low blood sugar levels. This can result in coma, paralysis, lethargy, trembling, and even seizures. They should be given small meals throughout the day, and their blood sugar levels should be monitored. Honey or corn syrup should also be on hand in case of an emergency.
  • Luxating patella: Yorkies have a tendency to have loose kneecaps that can dislocate, causing pain and disability. This may be caused by genetics, trauma, or obesity. You should maintain a healthy weight for your Yorkie and avoid jumping and rough play. Additionally, you should consult your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment options.
  • Collapsed trachea: The Yorkie’s narrow windpipe can collapse under pressure, causing difficulty breathing, coughing, gagging, or collapsing. This can be caused by leash pulling, excitement, stress, or allergies. You should avoid exposing your Yorkie to irritants or allergens and use a harness instead of a collar for them. Additionally, you should seek veterinary care if you observe signs of respiratory distress.

To prevent or treat these health problems, you should take your Yorkie for regular check-ups and vaccinations to the veterinarian. If necessary, you should also follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for medications, supplements, or surgery.

Diet of Yorkies

Yorkies are small dogs with a healthy appetite. They require a nutritious and balanced diet to support their growth, health, and vitality. However, not all foods are suitable for Yorkies. Some foods can trigger allergic reactions, digestive problems, and obesity. Therefore, you must be mindful of what and how much you feed your Yorkie.

Diet of Yorkies

1. What to Feed Your Yorkie

The Yorkie’s diet should include three essential food groups: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. There should be a balance between the three in the appropriate proportion.

Protein:

Protein is the most important nutrient for Yorkies, as it aids in the development and maintenance of muscles, skin, hair, and organs. Yorkies require high-quality animal protein from poultry, turkey, beef, lamb, seafood, or eggs.

You should avoid feeding your dog plant-based protein because it is not as digestible or complete. Avoid low-quality protein derived from byproducts, fillers, or additives. Protein should comprise between 40 and 50 percent of your Yorkie’s diet.

Carbohydrates:

Yorkies obtain energy and fiber from carbohydrates. However, Yorkies do not require a large amount of carbohydrates, as they are prone to obesity and diabetes.

Choose carbohydrates from sources such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, cereals, and quinoa. Simple carbohydrates such as corn, wheat, soy, and sugar should be avoided. Carbohydrates should comprise between 10 and 20 percent of your Yorkie’s diet.

Fat:

Yorkies obtain additional energy and essential fatty acids from fat. Additionally, fat helps them absorb vitamins and minerals and maintains a healthy, glossy coat. Yorkies require nutritious fats such as poultry fat, fish oil, flaxseed oil, and coconut oil.

You should avoid consuming unhealthy fats such as tallow, vegetable oil, and artificial flavors. Approximately 30% to 40% of your Yorkie’s diet should consist of fat.

Your Yorkie also requires vitamins and minerals to support their immune system, metabolism, and overall health. These nutrients can be found in fruits and vegetables, including apples, carrots, blueberries, spinach, and asparagus.

If recommended by your veterinarian, you can also supplement your Yorkie’s diet with a multivitamin or probiotic.

2. What Not to Feed Your Yorkie

Certain foods are poisonous or harmful to Yorkies and should be avoided at all costs. These include:

  • Chocolate: The theobromine and caffeine in chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, convulsions, and even death in dogs.
  • Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.
  • Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic can cause anemia and damage red blood cells in dogs.
  • Xylitol: Some candies, gums, and baked goods contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener. It can lead to hypoglycemia and liver failure in dogs.
  • Macadamia nuts: Macadamia nuts can induce weakness, tremors, and even paralysis in dogs.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol can induce intoxication, coma, and even death in dogs.

Other non-toxic substances that can cause allergies or digestive problems in Yorkies include:

  • Dairy products: Some dogs are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products.
  • Eggs: Eggs can induce allergies or salmonella poisoning in some dogs.
  • Raw meat and bones: Some dogs can contract bacterial infections or suffocate on raw meat and bones.
  • Spicy or fatty foods: Some dogs may develop inflammation or pancreatitis after consuming spicy or fatty foods.

Conclusion

Yorkies are remarkable dogs with much to offer their owners. They are devoted, courageous, and endearing canines that will make you smile and love them without reservation. In addition to being hypoallergenic, intelligent, and athletic, they will keep you entertained and physically active.

However, Yorkies present some challenges for which you must be prepared. They require routine grooming, exercise, training, and care to remain healthy and content. They also have some health problems that you must be aware of and avoid.

If you are looking for a small but spunky companion, consider adopting a Yorkie today! They will bring joy and excitement to your life like no other dog can. If you already have a Yorkie at home, share your stories and tips with us in the comments below! BestForPets would love to hear from you.

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Dr. Linda Wilson

Dr. Wilson has devoted her professional life to the treatment of cancer in dogs, cats, horses, ferrets, rabbits, and other exotic species. She has more than 15 years of expertise in the area and is dedicated to giving her patients the best treatment possible.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Linda Wilson

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2023-08-30

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