You can expect your Yorkshire Terrier, or the Yorkie, to live between 13 and 16 years. The median life expectancy is 13.5 years. Male Yorkies tend to die a bit younger than females. The national average of canine’s longevity in the United States is 12.6 years. That makes the Yorkie have a life expectancy greater than the national average.
There are a few reasons why the Yorkies (aka Yorkshire Terriers) live longer than other breeds. The first is that it’s a toy size. This size of pup lives longer than most medium and large breeds.
One of the reasons why toy breeds live longer than larger breeds may have to do with the rate of development. According to some studies, it was indicated that because larger dogs grow faster, they’re also more at risk of developing genetic errors. Those errors may eventually lead to cancer or other life-threatening conditions.
Research still needs to be done, however, on determining why certain growth genes accelerate in the first place.
Another reason Yorkies tend to outlive larger breeds is because of their genetic background. When purebreds are created, there are often a lot of diseases and genetic problems that are passed into the gene pool. This is because breeders are attempting to achieve a certain look with the dog. They’re not breeding for its health.
The Yorkie is lucky in that it doesn’t inherently have any genetic problems or diseases that can be passed on to its offspring. The biggest threat to their livelihood is infections.
Table of Contents
- How Long Do Yorkies Live in Human Years?
- What Do Yorkies Usually Die From?
- Can A Yorkie Live 20 Years?
- How Do I Know If My Yorkie Is Dying?
- 9 Ways To Make Your Yorkie Live Longer
- 1. Give Them Vaccinations
- 2. Prevent Trauma-Related Injuries
- 3. Keep Their Teeth Clean
- 4. Neuter Your Dogs
- 5. Keep Them on a Healthy Diet
- 6. Maintain Regular Exercise
- 7. Keep Up With Vet Visits
- 8. Be Aware of Your Dog’s Age
- 9. Offer Stimulating Games
How Long Do Yorkies Live in Human Years?
On average Yorkies live for 14.4 years, so they are the same as a 75-year-old in human years.
What Do Yorkies Usually Die From?
During the study, they discovered that the leading causes of death for Yorkshire puppies were:
There are a few different infections that may plague a Yorkie puppy. One of the most troubling is Parvovirus. This is a disease that attacks the gastrointestinal tract. It causes the puppy to vomit a great deal. Another problem is that it suffers from diarrhea.
Diarrhea can be so bad that it may cause the puppy to die from dehydration, similar to dysentery. Another scary feature of Parvo is that it’s infectious. It can be spread from puppy to puppy and infect an entire litter.
Luckily, there is a vaccine available that can keep your puppy safe.
Distemper is another infection that can kill Yorkie puppies. It’s an infection that attacks the respiratory system of the puppy. The puppy may cough or show certain signs of weakness. It then progresses to diarrhea which can dehydrate the puppy. Eventually, the disease will work its way to the puppy’s spine and brain.
There’s also a vaccine that can keep your puppy safe from picking up this infection.
In adults, the leading causes of death are:
* Respiratory diseases
* Congenital disease
As dogs become older, they’re more vulnerable to respiratory diseases. Their lungs start to change which can make them pick up certain illnesses easier.
It’s also common for collapsed tracheas to occur. It’s a problem that affects most toy breeds. The reasons are not yet known.
Adult Yorkies are also prone to developing cancer. It isn’t as common for other toy breeds, but the Yorkie has a high prevalence of developing cancer. It’s the second-highest cause of death for adults.
Many Yorkies, unfortunately, also suffer from death due to trauma. This involves being stepped on, being hit by a car, or other accidents that can cause a lot of damage to the dog. Due to its small size, it doesn’t take much to lethally injure these dogs.
Can A Yorkie Live 20 Years?
It is always possible that a Yorkie may live as long as 20 years. It’s not likely, but it is possible. Helping your dog live a healthy lifestyle and taking the necessary precautions can help extend the lifespan of your Yorkie.
How Do I Know If My Yorkie Is Dying?
There are a few signs that your Yorkie is dying. The first is that their breathing may become more labored. You may notice that they breathe oddly or that it takes considerable effort to breathe.
Another sign is a total lack of energy or attention. They may no longer have an interest in chasing after their toys or playing. They may not even show any interest in food or water.
Finally, they may be unable to stop their bladder or bowel movements. They’re unable to control when they need to use the bathroom.
9 Ways To Make Your Yorkie Live Longer
Here are a few ways you can help your Yorkie live as long as possible.
1. Give Them Vaccinations
There are a few vaccines that your dog should always receive. These vaccines can ensure your dog doesn’t receive a life-threatening disease that can end its life prematurely.
2. Prevent Trauma-Related Injuries
Because of its small size, the Yorkie isn’t always easy to see. You can prevent trauma-related injuries and death by taking a few precautions. One of them should be to tell anyone who enters your home that there’s a small dog in the area. They need to tread carefully.
It may also be worth it to place bells or lights on your dog’s collar. This will make everyone immediately aware of where the dog is located.
Finally, you should organize your home to ensure heavy objects are unable to fall and hurt your dog should they play around it.
3. Keep Their Teeth Clean
Oral care is more important for your dog than you may realize. When a tooth becomes infected and starts to decay, that infection can spread elsewhere through the Yorkie. It can quickly become sick and may even die.
Brushing your dog’s teeth or giving them certain dental chewies can help fight plaque and keep your dog’s teeth healthy.
4. Neuter Your Dogs
While there is some conflicting evidence, several studies suggest that neutering your dog can also increase its lifespan. You also won’t have to worry about unexpected puppies.
5. Keep Them on a Healthy Diet
Just like a human, Yorkies require a specific diet to maintain their health. To avoid cancer, you should always check that the food doesn’t contain preservatives that are carcinogens. Giving them the correct amount of food also helps prevent obesity which can also lead to diabetes.
6. Maintain Regular Exercise
Dogs require plenty of fresh air and exercise. Although toy breeds may require less exercise than larger breeds, you should still ensure that your Yorkie can run around and play. They should receive at least 20 minutes per day of exercise.
7. Keep Up With Vet Visits
Regular doctor visits can make you aware of certain preventative measures you can take to maintain your health. The same goes for your Yorkie. Visiting the vet can help you steer down the right path of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your dog.
8. Be Aware of Your Dog’s Age
Dogs may not be too aware of their age, but you need to be. Older dogs may not be able to perform the same kind of activities that they did when they were younger. Scaling back certain activities as they grow older can prevent them from injuring themselves.
9. Offer Stimulating Games
The body isn’t the only thing that needs exercise. You should introduce puzzles and other mind games to your Yorkie. By keeping their mind sharp, you may be able to keep them living longer.