Yorkies, or Yorkshire Terriers, are some of the cutest and smallest dogs – and a great addition to your family. But how long do Yorkies live for?
These dogs are affectionate dogs who adore running around and playing with others. Despite the long hair on Yorkies, they love to spend their time rolling around outside. This dog breed doesn’t have a problem getting dirty from outdoor play.
Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs that only grow about eight inches tall and weigh no more than seven pounds. Although small, Yorkies have big hearts and want to spend every ounce of their energy on their owners. This dog is perfect for families with young children who also love to play.
A Yorkshire Terrier will get easily worn out and thrive on time spent cuddling in its owners’ lap. This dog loves meeting new people and will welcome every stranger they pass. Yorkshire Terriers enjoy keeping a watchful eye on their home and are adaptable to the world around them.
But for all their perks, you might ask yourself asking one important question, “how long do Yorkies live?
What Is the Maximum Age for a Yorkie?
Yorkies usually live anywhere from 11 to 15 years old. 13.5 years is considered the average lifespan, and female Yorkies typically live 1.5 years longer than their male counterparts. If you take proper care of your Yorkie, they can live even longer. Most dogs, notably small breeds, don’t usually live much longer than their expected lifespan.
Yorkies are one of the longest-living dog breeds, alongside Chihuahuas and Dachshunds.
Can a Yorkie Live to be 20 Years Old?
When you take good care of your Yorkie, they can live for much longer than their lifespan. Some Yorkies are known to make it past 15 years when residing in loving, happy, and lively homes. Your Yorkie will need plenty of care to ensure they live a long and happy life, but this care comes in simple improvements.
With patience and effort, your Yorkie can make it to 20 years. However, it is unlikely that your Yorkie will live more than 20 years.
The oldest Yorkie recorded was called “Bonny”, from Leeds in the UK. The owners estimated she died at 28 years old – but this was never officially verified.
Signs of Old Age in Yorkies
Yorkies and other small dogs will have clear signs of their growing age. Some symptoms to look out for include the following:
- Declining Vision
- Smelly Breath
- Trouble Walking
- Lumps and Bumps
- Weight Loss or Gain
- Unexpected Potty Accidents
Your dog may have more eye discharge when they are older and may experience cloudy vision. Eye problems, bone problems, and slower movement are clear signs that your dog is starting to get older.
Usually, old age signs are not distressing. However, your dog may be seeing a significant health decline if they can no longer get up to use the bathroom on their own. See your local veterinarian or emergency animal care location when you spot distressing behavior.
Common Health Problems in Yorkies
Yorkies are prone to some health conditions that can crop up as they grow older and need more medical care and attention. Hypoglycemia, gum disease, and pancreatitis are common in Yorkies and may require a veterinarian to prescribe medications to assist.
As Yorkies get older, they may have a buildup of fluid in their lungs, which will also put more pressure on their hearts. This condition is called PDA, or Patent Ductus Arteriosus. The first signs of PDA usually crop up in puppies right after birth. However, this can be diagnosed by carefully listening to their breathing.
Monitor your Yorkie for signs of lung issues or heart conditions, and discuss concerns with your veterinarian.
How to Help Your Yorkie Live Longer
Your Yorkie may live a long, healthy life when they have all their basic needs met and receive proper care. Some small steps can help you take care of your Yorkie’s health and help them lengthen their lifespan by several years.
Consider taking them to their routine vet visits and monitoring them for signs and symptoms of old age. When your Yorkie has all of its basic needs met, it will likely last longer, feel rejuvenated, and enjoy more of its life.
Here are a few small things you can do to help your Yorkie.
Routine Vet Visits
Consistently visit your dog’s veterinarian. Your Yorkie will need many visits as a puppy. However, as time passes, your Yorkie will need fewer and fewer visits. Remember to bring your Yorkie for their annual check-up to ensure they grow healthy and remain in the best shape possible.
As your Yorkie enters their senior years and develops any medical conditions, they may need to see the veterinarian more often. Your veterinarian can provide prescriptions to help your Yorkshire Terrier be more comfortable and navigate through health conditions they experience.
Begin with a routine visit and follow a recommended schedule of visits to keep your Yorkie in the best health possible.
Use High-Quality Food
Yorkies are resilient dogs, but low-quality food can cause a lot of damage to even the most resilient dogs. Yorkshire Terriers, like all dogs, should have access to food without by-products, fillers, or artificial dyes. Foods with artificial ingredients can be challenging to a dog’s stomach and may cause poor health conditions.
Some artificial dyes like Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 can have carcinogens and cause cancer. Other artificial dyes can cause hypersensitivity and have an impact on the way your dog behaves, leading to hyperactivity and mischievous behaviors.
Feeding your Yorkie the highest quality food possible can help them remain happy and healthy while forgoing behavioral issues. You can also remove any potential risk of your dog ingesting carcinogens and developing diseases.
Give Them Proper Dental Care
Taking care of your Yorkie’s teeth is another vital part of ensuring that your Yorkie lives a long and happy life. Your dog can develop plenty of terrifying problems if you are not brushing its teeth properly.
Without proper dental care, your Yorkie may suffer from a compromised immune system, inflammation of the gums, and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Inflammation problems can target a dog’s heart and liver as a result of neglected teeth since this neglected area breeds bacteria that attack the gums and heart.
A simple teeth cleaning and brushing can have a positive impact on your dog’s health and help keep them healthy well into their elderly years.
Your Yorkie will need plenty of consistent exercises to keep them healthy and lengthen their lifespan. This may mean taking them for a long walk daily, if possible. Understandably, you may not be able to take your Yorkie out everyday for a long walk, but even a small walk up and down the block can help their overall health.
Allow them 30 minutes to run around a fenced-in backyard to help with their health, as well. Your Yorkie can chase other animals or run alongside children to keep their socialization up and get their exercise at the same time.
Monitor Behavior and Age
Dogs present differently than humans when they develop old age symptoms. Write down your Yorkie’s symptoms and log any new developments as they occur. These symptoms can be discussed with your veterinarian.
Keep a running log of each new symptom you notice to help you and your veterinarian decide the best course of action for your Yorkie going forward.
Make Time For Play
Playtime is one of the best ways that your dog receives exercise. Without adequate and plentiful play, your dog may not be getting enough exercise. Going for long walks or visiting a dog park will help your dog get exercise, but may not allow your dog quality time filled with fun. Happier dogs will be more inclined to socialize with others and embrace more of what life has to offer.
As your Yorkie gets older, they may lose some of the energy they had to play, especially if they get annoyed with loud noises or rambunctious children. Use toys with treats inside to awaken their desire to play.
Final Thoughts – How Long Do Yorkies Live?
Yorkies are an ideal dog for families who want a small dog who loves non-stop play and enjoys meeting new people. This dog breed is rough and tough, enjoying the outdoors and never afraid to get dirty.
But how long do Yorkies live? It can be anywhere between 11 and 15 years. Although Yorkies don’t typically live to 20 years, some have made it to this ripe, old age.
Fortunately, there are many signs for you to look for and monitor in your Yorkie. Your Yorkie may show signs of old age with graying hair and trouble standing up. You can aid in your Yorkie’s health by offering them high-quality food, plenty of playtimes, and engaging in proper dental care.
Routinely check your dog’s mental and physical health to keep them in the best shape possible and help them live a long, happy life. Although most Yorkies only live to around 15 years, your Yorkie can live up to 20 with all the proper care.