As pets go a Yorkshire terrier is an adorable dog to have at home. However, before going ahead and getting a Yorkshire terrier there are a few things that ever pet owner needs to know. Read on to learn some essential facts about the Yorkshire Terrier as a pet at home.
Things You Should Know Before Getting a Yorkshire Terrier
Want to adopt a Yorkie but not sure if it’s the right fit for you? This article will give you all the information you need to make that call.
Fondly known as Yorkies, Yorkshire terriers are great dogs, but they are not the type of pet that you can just leave alone with a bowl of food. If you decide to adopt a Yorkie puppy, you need to invest a lot of time in training them and taking care of them. The best part is these dogs don’t take up a lot of space, but there are a few facts that will enable you to be able to provide a much happier and healthier life for your puppy. So read on for some must-know information about bringing home a Yorkshire terrier.
Yorkies Need a Lot of Looking After
One of the attributes that make the Yorkies so attractive is their beautiful and long coats. These coats do need a lot of maintenance, though. For the coats to stay shiny and keep from getting matted, you need to brush them pretty thoroughly daily. Many dogs fret while they are being groomed, so you need to start this activity early on while it is still a puppy so it will get used to the prospect of the grooming that needs to take place daily.
You need to bathe it on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The frequency will depend on how dirty your dog can get itself. You need to use both a shampoo and a conditioner so that the coat is well cleaned and remains untangled. Also, be sure to get the appropriate shampoo and conditioner with the right pH balance for dogs. You also need to trim the coat so that hair problems can be minimized. You can use a professional groomer to help keep the dog looking its best.
They Need a Special Diet
Before you plan on getting a Yorkshire terrier remember they will need a special diet. A Yorkie puppy, like all other puppies, will not eat a lot. They do, however, require a diet that is high in nutrients but low in fat. You need to keep their teeth healthy by mixing soft food with regular dog food. You need to look out for allergic reactions to any food and adjust the diet as required. When picking out food, you need to get high-quality protein sources such as beef, lamb, quinoa, turkey, and chicken. You should also pick superfoods that are dense in nutrients such as apples, flaxseed, and sweet potatoes. Avoid fillers, preservatives, and byproducts of all sorts.
Yorkies Can Have Issues with Low Blood Sugar
Yorkies have a lot of energy, making them very active. They can develop low blood sugar as a result of excessive cold, missing meals, too much stress, or a poor diet. Common symptoms of low blood sugar in Yorkies include drowsiness, staggering, muscle weakness, depression, disorientation, and shivering. Severe cases might cause collapse and seizures.
You must take your puppy to a vet if it shows any symptoms of low blood sugar. The vet might put it on a strict feeding schedule, which could involve feeding your puppy four times a day. The vet might also prescribe a diet that is rich in fat, protein, and carbohydrates. You must take care so that your puppy doesn’t get too cold, or doesn’t exert itself with too much exercise.
They Need Regular Medical Attention
A liver shunt is a major concern for Yorkies, causing the blood that needs to be filtered by the liver to bypass it. This results in the waste products in the blood not getting filtered out, creating toxic effects on the organs and brain. Sometimes all it requires is a careful vet to deal with a mild liver shunt. But occasionally an expensive and tricky surgery is required to treat it.
Toy breeds such as the Yorkie commonly face the issue of kneecaps popping in and out of their sockets, a condition known as luxating patella, meaning dislocating kneecaps. Mild occurrences only cause temporary lameness, while serious ones can be crippling and require expensive surgery. Yorkies also are prone to degenerative hip diseases such as Legg Calve-Perthes disease and hip dysplasia.
Another common issue faced by tiny breeds such as Yorkies is that they genetically have a weak trachea. The trachea is the windpipe used to breathe, and if it becomes weak, it can be prone to collapsing in on itself, limiting the airflow. This causes the dog to gasp and cough, producing a honking sound like a goose. Surgery needs to be done to correct these Yorkie health problems that get worse over time.
Breaking in a Yorkie
Yorkies tend to be stubborn little animals, making house training fairly difficult for pet owners. It is a serious consideration before you plan on getting a Yorkshire terrier. You need to work extra hard to develop a housebreaking routine. Young puppies do not have full control over their bowel muscles or bladder, so you will need to take your puppy outside to do its business every 2 to 3 hours. Always supervise your Yorkie when it is outdoors.
While potty training your Yorkie, try to choose a specific place indoors, as outdoors simply isn’t a good idea. The place you choose needs to be somewhere the puppy can easily access, but it also might change with the time of year. You need to allow your dog to rest for almost 15 minutes after eating before taking it to the spot and allow it to select the right place for it to go.
You need to allow your dog to take time off if it needs it, especially since nature’s call is urgent. With practice, you will be able to recognize the signs of your dog needing to go. If your dog has an immediate need, it will be restless, pacing around, and keep whining. Your puppy may cry or whine at night, but you need to ignore this, especially if you know that your puppy has completed all its schedule for the day. Crying at night might be caused by separation anxiety from being alone, and all they want is a little attention.
They Love to Cuddle
Yorkies can be strong-willed, but they love to be with someone who can show them a lot of love and affection. And you will love to cuddle the Yorkie too, as they are so soft and have silky fur. Yorkies of all ages love being cuddled, but they enjoy it more as they grow older. Young ones are easily distracted by everything going on all around them while the older ones have seen it all and would like nothing more than to cuddle.
As an owner, you will develop a stronger bond with a Yorkie than any other breed. Yorkies are brave and bold, yet they will cling tightly to you because they really enjoy the love and the attention you give to them. They might be accustomed to spending time with just you, but they also warm up quickly to others as well.
To make the bond stronger, you can take training classes with your dog, which will bring you together as a pair. It will also teach your puppy how to socialize with other dogs and help tame the stubborn streak that they commonly have. You can go on regular walks with your puppy and bond over-grooming sessions, as your puppy’s coat requires a lot of grooming.
Yorkies Do Not Like Cold Weather
Yorkies are not particularly fond of the cold weather as they don’t have an undercoat and they lose body heat quickly. There are a few factors that you need to take into consideration when caring for your Yorkie in winter. These include nutrition, exercise, surfaces, the dog’s coat, and skin, the place where it sleeps, and the overall temperature. Be wary of a winter draft indoors. It is particularly dangerous for a small dog like the Yorkie. So be sure to change where your dog sleeps in different seasons.
When it comes to the outdoors, Yorkies have a hard time regulating their body temperature below 45 F. You need to check your dog’s reaction when you take it out. Is it reluctant to go out, or is it shivering? If left unchecked, a Yorkie may develop hypothermia. Also try to avoid rain, snow, and cold wind. If the coat of the Yorkie gets wet, it absorbs the water, making it a bigger risk for hypothermia in the cold. You need to put a thick sweater on your dog so that it can retain its body heat. Parkas and coats are also a good option.
A final word on getting a Yorkshire Terrier
A Yorkshire terrier is certainly a joy to have as a pet. They are loving and adorable little animals that will fill your days with joy. But you need to be aware of what you are getting into before adopting a Yorkie. Hope this article has provided you with the info that you need to make that decision. Best of luck with your new Yorkie!
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