Yorkshire Terriers are such cute bundles of energy and personality. They make great family dogs because they’re so well-mannered, yet have a lot of spunk.
Even though they’re full of vigor, and love to play all the time, they know when it’s time to behave and listen. That’s why Yorkies make the best travel companions and therapy dogs.
But there are times when you’ll find your Yorkie shedding way too much. This could be a sign of a health problem or malnutrition.
Keep reading to find out more about how and why Yorkies shed.
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Do Yorkies Shed?
Yorkies don’t shed all that often. In fact, they’re classified as non-shedding hypoallergenic dogs.
Yorkies Have Hair, Not Fur
Run your hands through your Yorkie’s coat. You’ll notice it feels different than other dogs.
Yorkies don’t have a fur coat, like that of a Labrador Retriever. Instead, they’re blessed with a silky hair coat.
The main difference is that a fur coat is thicker because it’s layered with double coats. There’s an undercoat and a top coat, which means a denser texture and more shedding.
Hair, on the other hand, is only one coat. So its texture is more delicate and smoother. It also means you’ll get less shedding.
Slow Shedding Rate
Yorkshire Terriers are non-shedding dogs. Yet, they still have a shedding cycle all the same. It’s just slower than most other types of dogs.
Getting a Coat Change
All puppies are born with one coat. They then go through a puppy phase, shed their baby coat, and get a brand new adult coat.
This usually happens when your Yorkie puppy is around four or six months old. Some Yorkies don’t shed at all during this time. Others go through a moderate shedding phase until their adult hair coat has fully grown.
Top Reasons Why Yorkies May Shed Excessively
Here are several reasons to watch out for if you notice your Yorkie shedding more than he should.
A Poor Diet
There have been cases where Yorkies have shown signs of extreme shedding after their adult coat has developed. This is the first sign of a dog in poor health.
Malnutrition is the number one reason for unnatural shedding in all dogs, not just in Yorkies. Even though dogs are carnivores, they need six essential nutrients:
However, many dog food products available on the market don’t come close to providing enough of these nutrients.
It’s always best to buy high-quality dog food, which doesn’t have to be the most expensive. Vets recommend that, on average, top-quality dog food should cost around $4 per pound.
Yorkshire Terriers are known for their sensitive skin. They’re highly prone to skin allergies, which can easily lead to skin infections.
One of the most common symptoms of these infections is hair loss. You’ll notice sudden shedding of significant amounts of hair. Sometimes, whole patches of hair fall out at once.
The reason for these allergies can be several external factors. Yorkies can suffer from allergies brought on by dust mites, fleas, lawn grass, or even the shampoo you’re using.
Not only do Yorkies have sensitive skin, but they’re also natural worriers. Neurodermatitis can be a result of extreme licking of their coat. Yorkies do this when they’re stressed or in pain.
This excessive licking causes skin irritation. It also damages the follicle. Both these result in extreme shedding.
The Best Way to Take Care of a Yorkie’s Coat
Yorkies have hair texture similar to humans with a glossy shine to it. But, those lustrous curls won’t brush themselves.
Taking care of a Yorkie’s silky coat is a daily process. It must be brushed carefully, so it doesn’t tangle.
Maintaining your Yorkie’s hair is easy compared with other dog breeds. Yet, it still requires three main steps: bathing, brushing, and trimming.
Since Yorkies have only one coat, they don’t need frequent baths. Once a month is about right for lap dogs and those who regularly stay indoors.
If your Yorkie engages in frequent outdoor activities, he should be getting baths more often. Once per week should be fine, especially in warmer months.
Remember that too many baths can strip away his coat’s natural oils. This reduces his hair’s glossy shine. Plus, it makes him vulnerable to skin infections.
Make sure you use an all-natural shampoo. It cleans well without being too harsh on the skin.
The best way to keep those curls sleek and healthy is to brush them daily. This prevents any matting or tangling of your Yorkie’s coat. It also reduces the risk of skin allergies.
Also, if you have an energetic Yorkie who loves playing outside, he’ll probably have dirt, pebbles, and grass stuck in his hair.
Owners of single-coated dogs find slicker brushes more effective. They have long, thin bristles that can easily untangle knots.
The bristles can also reach the skin to remove any trapped debris. These brushes are also quite easy to clean.
Most breeders prefer giving their Yorkies a ‘puppy cut’ to keep it short, bouncy, and easy to care for.
You can trim his hair at home every six to eight weeks. Just make sure you’re using a reliable clipper.
If you notice your Yorkie shedding a bit now and then, it’s nothing to worry about. Minimal shedding is one of the reasons why we love Yorkies so much.
Yet, if you see significant shedding, it’s likely a cause of one or two external factors. Take your Yorkie to the vet to get him checked out.
It’s also a good idea to avoid health problems by trying the tips mentioned here. They’ll keep your Yorkie healthy and happy, and, best of all, keep his coat looking gorgeous.