According to a pair of studies conducted in the UK and Japan, Yorkies live from 12.6-14.5 on average. This suggests that their lifespan is much longer than most other dog breeds.
They’re especially long-lived compared to most larger dog breeds. German Shepherds, for instance, may only live around 9-10 years by comparison.
That being said, Yorkies are prone to developing certain types of congenital conditions. They’re also known for having weak immune systems.
As a result, only around a quarter of all domestic Yorkshire terriers actually die from old age. Most perish as a result of diseases or accidents well before this.
Making sure that your Yorkshire terrier gets the right food and enough exercise should help them live a good long life. Socializing them properly and bonding with them helps a lot too.
Table of Contents
- What Do Yorkshire Terriers Usually Die From?
- Can a Yorkshire Terrier Live 20 Years?
- How Do I Know if My Yorkshire Terrier is Dying?
- 9 Ways to Make Your Yorkshire Terrier Live Longer
- 1. Feed Them a Healthy Diet
- 2. Walk Your Yorkie Regularly
- 3. Inoculate Them
- 4. Be Gentle
- 5. Brush Their Teeth
- 6. Check Their Skin
- 7. Spay Female Yorkies
- 8. Add Supplements Over Time
- 9. Entertain Your Dog
What Do Yorkshire Terriers Usually Die From?
Bacterial infections and various types of cancers are among the leading causes of death for Yorkshire terriers. According to Humane Society statistics, a sizable number of Yorkies are put down before they die a natural death.
Considering their relatively long lifespans, the amount of Yorkshire terriers who actually die of natural causes are comparatively low. A fair number of sedentary Yorkies die of cardiovascular disorders, which are associated with being overweight.
Hypoglycemia is somewhat rare in dogs, but it’s actually among the more common causes of death for Yorkies. Due to their small size, these terriers can develop blood sugar problems just like humans can.
The fact that they’re small unfortunately increases the risk of death from accidents as well as attacks by other dogs. Yorkies need to be carefully watched while they’re outside to prevent anything unfortunate from happening.
While it’s a good idea to let your dog play with others, keeping Yorkies away from larger animals usually contributes to their lifespans.
Can a Yorkshire Terrier Live 20 Years?
Yorkshire terriers can live to 20 years old or even beyond that. Specialists from The Daily Telegraph in Great Britain believe that a Yorkie named Jack lived to somewhere around 25-26 years old.
Due to the dog’s unorthodox adoption, it’s difficult to surmise his exact age. That being said, some people have reported that Yorkies fed on a diet of fine lean meats and other natural foods may have exceeded even that age.
Currently, the oldest dog on record was around 29 years old but it’s theoretically possible that a Yorkshire terrier may have lived longer than this. Since most pet owners don’t keep detailed records of their dogs’ lives, it’s difficult for authorities to tell, though it’s clear that Yorkies do tend to live much longer than most other breeds.
How Do I Know if My Yorkshire Terrier is Dying?
Yorkies will often suddenly stop eating properly when they begin the process of dying. They might also seem to have less and less energy, which coincides with their drastically reduced diets.
Decreased water consumption usually follows, which might cause incontinence over time. On the other hand, some pet owners have remarked that their terriers had become increasingly restless before they passed on.
Apathy toward you or any activities that they used to enjoy is often a sign that your dog is getting close to the end, though this could also potentially be a sign of a reversible illness. Dying Yorkies are reported to lose a significant amount of weight while they’re dying, which correlates with this as well as their poor eating habits.
If your dog has been sleeping more and appears to be getting close, then make sure that you provide him or her with a comfortable place to rest. A bit of gentle grooming and some reassuring words might prove quite valuable as well.
9 Ways to Make Your Yorkshire Terrier Live Longer
While Yorkies already tend to live relatively long lives, you’ll want to try out these tips to maximize your companion’s health and lifespan.
1. Feed Them a Healthy Diet
Make sure that your dog eats natural food that doesn’t contain any dyes or preservatives. Yorkshire terriers are really sensitive to nutritional deficiencies, and additives can upset their stomachs.
2. Walk Your Yorkie Regularly
While Yorkies might not like to walk for very long periods of time, you do need to give your dog regular exercise. Yorkies tend to be somewhat listless, which means they can often gain a large amount of weight quickly.
3. Inoculate Them
Yorkies have poor immune systems, so it’s important that they get all of the necessary inoculations on time. Your vet might also recommend addition steps to help protect your dog against possible diseases.
4. Be Gentle
Physical trauma is potentially very dangerous for Yorkshire terriers, so be gentle with yours and never let them go outside alone.
5. Brush Their Teeth
A solid 4-5 minutes of brushing on a regular basis is often necessary for Yorkies since they tend to be prone to dental abscesses and infections.
6. Check Their Skin
Make sure your Yorkie hasn’t picked up fleas or ticks whenever they’ve been through taller grasses or weed growth. Their hair can often hide them, which gives these parasite more time to do their dirty work.
7. Spay Female Yorkies
Female Yorkshire terriers are at an elevated risk of ovarian cancer compared to the general dog population. Spaying your dog can stop her from developing this condition. Neutering males eliminates the possibility of testicular cancer as well.
8. Add Supplements Over Time
As Yorkies age, their nutritional problems tend to get worse. Add supplements to their food in small doses over time to help counteract this problem.
9. Entertain Your Dog
Yorkshire terriers are often seen as very smart dogs, and they need to receive plenty of mental stimulation. Be sure to play with your dog and don’t let them be alone for too long.