Yorkshire terriers are a small breed of ‘toy dogs’ weighing a meager seven pounds as adults. Their size is due to their origins as designated vermin killers. Aside from their teeny size, they are also known for their feisty temperament and beautiful hair.
But despite their cute appearance, Yorkies, as they are lovingly called, can also perform as guard dogs when needed as they tend to bark a lot. These dogs can also tend to have ‘small dog syndrome’ and might need some extra care and protection from bigger animals and sometimes even from itself.
Here are some tips on how to care for Yorkshire terriers.
Raising a Yorkie
As with other dog breeds, it is important to start disciplining your pet Yorkie beginning from its pup stages. Make sure to potty train them effectively and teach them obedience by letting them know that you, the pet owner, is in charge. These little dogs tend to have big egos which may cause you troubles in the future if they are not subdued earlier.
Yorkies should also be socialized with other dogs and animals when they are young so that they can learn how to properly interact with others without being aggressive.
A perk of owning a Yorkie is that they only need a small amount of food daily. A Yorkshire terrier puppy below the age of one year needs around just 400 calories in a day. This caloric goal is usually divided into four meals a day as they have very small stomachs. An adult Yorkie can be fed three meals a day.
Be sure to get high-quality dog food to feed your pet. You can ask your vet which brands they would recommend. But as a general rule, you’d want dog food which has the right amount and portions of various fatty acids, protein and carbohydrates. Remember to be careful with portion control so as to prevent your dog from being overweight. It won’t take much food for the tiny Yorkie to go into the unhealthy weight range.
If you plan on cooking home meals for your Yorkie, ingredients like brown rice, fish, lamb, chicken and sweet potatoes are great sources of needed nutrients for your dog and won’t upset their sensitive stomachs. Avoid ingredients like corn and soy as they are difficult to digest.
Another way for you to ensure that your Yorkie stays at a healthy weight is through giving it the necessary exercise it needs. Given their small build, short walks will be sufficient as long as they are done regularly. Yorkies can be very active and adventurous when faced with new environments so be mindful of staying calm and watchful when walking him or hem outside.
Playing inside the house with your dog will also be great exercise. This playtime could then be used as training time.
Unfortunately, Yorkies, similar to other small breeds, are prone to certain health issues. One common disease that Yorkies suffer from is hypoglycemia. The disease is characterized by fast drops in blood sugar levels and usually manifests during the first four months of a Yorkie’s life. Rubbing honey onto the puppy’s gums can treat this condition. However, when hypoglycemia manifests in adult Yorkies, owners should be more vigilant as cases like this are rare and should be taken seriously.
Some of the common diseases that adult Yorkshire terriers suffer from are Addison’s disease, which results from the underproduction of corticosteroid by the adrenal gland, liver disease, sepsis and pregnancy complications.
Yorkshire terriers need proper caring and training to be the best pets. To maintain their health, every owner should inform themselves with proper nutrition, exercise and other health needs.