Yorkshire Terriers are tiny decorative dogs that require a lot of attention and care. Long-term selection and miniature size made the dogs vulnerable to certain hereditary diseases that shorten their short life. We will find out how long Yorkies live and how to extend their lifespan.
Yorkshire Terrier lifespan
The average life expectancy of Yorkies at home is 12-16 years. Females die 1.5-2 years earlier than males. This dependence of the life span of the Yorkshire Terrier on its sex is explained by the fact that the female’s body is more depleted during the gestation and feeding of the offspring.
The period allotted to the representatives of this breed is also influenced by the variety they belong to. So, mini Yorkies live less than their standard counterparts. They often die at the age of 4-7 years.
Facts! Among these dogs, there are real centenarians. It is a well-known fact that a Yorkshire Terrier dog named Jack lived for 25 years.
The main causes of death of Yorkies
Not all Yorkshire Terrier dogs live to a ripe old age. Some animals die young. The most common causes of reduced life expectancy and premature death of Yorkies include:
- Infections (parvovirus enteritis, plague, leptospirosis). These diseases are transmitted from sick animals to healthy ones and often kill puppies under 12 months of age.
- Injuries. Very often, through an oversight of the owners, pets receive fractures that are incompatible with life. Usually, miniature dogs are injured as a result of jumping from a height, falling under the wheels of vehicles, or in a fight with larger relatives.
- Respiratory diseases. The lungs of older dogs become more vulnerable to viruses and environmental pollution. As a result, they develop respiratory diseases that shorten their lifespan.
- The collapse of the trachea. This condition develops as a result of neck injury caused by wearing a collar. To prevent its appearance and increase the life span of Yorkies, it is recommended to walk in a harness.
- Oncological diseases. The life span of Yorkies is greatly shortened by malignant tumors of the bone and lymphatic system.
- Congenital pathologies. Very often, diseases such as hydrocephalus, hepatic shunt or dislocated patella are the cause of premature death of tiny terriers. They significantly reduce the quality and life expectancy of dogs.
How to prolong the life of a pet?
The number of years that Yorkshire terriers live at home depends not only on genetics but also on the conditions of detention. The representatives of the breed do not have an undercoat and, in order to avoid hypothermia, they need to be kept at home, and not on the street.
During walks in cold and damp weather, Yorkies are not only dressed up in warm clothes but also put on shoes.
To keep dogs healthy and to increase their lifespan, pets are provided with nutritious nutrition, proper care, preventive vaccinations, and quality veterinary services.
Proper nutrition and care
To increase the life span of a Yorkie, it needs to be provided with a balanced diet. The dog can be fed with both industrial and natural food.
The first option is convenient because the owners do not have to spend time cooking for the pet. When feeding commercial food, Yorkies are better off buying quality premium or super-premium pet food that does not contain any questionable additives like corn, soy, or preservatives.
Important! If a Yorkie has chronic diseases, special medicated feed is bought for it to improve the quality and increase the life span of the pet.
With age, decorative dogs become less active. To prevent older Yorkshire Terriers from developing obesity, which shortens their lifespan, it is better to transfer them to diet drying for sedentary animals.
With natural feeding, you need to ensure that the following foods are present in the dog’s diet:
- Raw lean meat (rabbit, veal, or turkey)
- offal (scar, heart, and liver);
- vegetables (carrots, pumpkin, and zucchini);
- cereals (rice, buckwheat, and oatmeal);
- sea or ocean fish (boneless);
- quail eggs (no more than 2 times a week);
- fermented milk products (cottage cheese, yogurt, and kefir).
In order not to reduce the life span of the Yorkshire Terrier, bones, potatoes, onions, pastries, river fish, and any leftovers from the master’s table are completely excluded from its diet. Regular consumption of these foods is bad for the dog’s health and leads to early death.
To increase the life span of the Yorkshire Terrier, it is subjected to regular hygiene procedures:
- The dog’s hair is combed out several times a week with a special comb, having previously disassembled or cut off the tangles. Long matted hair is not only unattractive but also an ideal breeding ground for pathogens. Often, bald spots form under it and dermatological diseases develop, which shorten the life span of the Yorkshire Terrier.
- Bathe the dog monthly using shampoos for long-haired breeds. After bath procedures, the pet is carefully wiped off with a towel and must be dried with a hairdryer. Even the slightest draft is enough for a wet Yorkie to catch a cold.
- The nails of the decorative dog are trimmed as needed. If this is not done, the regrown claws will interfere with walking and can provoke diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
- To prevent dental diseases, the teeth of the Yorkshire Terrier are cleaned 2-3 times a week with a silicone nozzle with a small amount of non-foaming paste.
- The dog’s ears and eyes are regularly wiped with a cotton swab soaked in a special agent and examined for infections. If an uncharacteristic discharge is found, the Yorkie is shown to the veterinarian.
Vaccinations and timely treatment
To increase the life expectancy of the Yorkshire Terrier, they are regularly vaccinated with a complex preparation that stimulates the development of stable immunity to leptospirosis, rabies, parvovirosis, hepatitis, and distemper.
The first vaccination of a puppy is done at the age of 8-9 weeks with a mandatory repeat after 21 days. Subsequently, the dog is vaccinated annually.
Important! Before the scheduled vaccination, the Yorkshire Terrier is subjected to antiparasitic treatment. To combat fleas, use special collars, shampoos or drops. And to remove worms, the dog is given anthelmintic drugs, the dosage of which is calculated strictly by weight.
Many serious, but timely diagnosed diseases have favorable prognoses. In order to extend the life span of the Yorkshire Terrier, it is best to have the dog shown to the veterinarian if any suspicious symptoms appear.
Yorkshire Terriers are beautiful decorative dogs with an active temperament and a perky disposition. On average, they live longer than their larger counterparts, and proper nutrition, moderate exercise, and quality care will help to extend the time allotted to them.