How Long Do Yorkies Live? Average Lifespan And Tips To Prolong It

Aryan Khanna
Feb 21, 2023 By Aryan Khanna
Originally Published on Nov 12, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Standing Yorkie Puppy.

Yorkies are small in size but they have a big personality and, lately, can be seen in almost every other American household.

Yorkies are most renowned for their coat and are easily distinguishable in a crowd. The floor-length fur of steel color and golden tan make this dog a go-to for all the ladies leading a lavish urban lifestyle.

The compact size and striking features of this dog breed make it one of the best toy breeds in the United States in particular and the whole world in general.

It has been seen over the years that Yorkies are also one of the best dog breeds to adopt if the owner lives in an apartment.

Unlike various other dogs, especially the ones which are large in size, a Yorkie doesn't need a lot of space to roam around. If you chat with a person who already owns a Yorkshire Terrier, you will realize how it can become a center of attraction when there's a crowd due to its elegant looks and beauty features.

However, do not mistake a Yorkie to be only a show dog as on numerous occasions they have been spotted being brave and even bossing around fellow dogs.

A Yorkshire Terrier can potentially turn into a great companion if it is trained properly right from the first day.

It has been seen that Yorkies do not respond well when living in a very hot or cold terrain. You might have heard of various toy breeds with one of them being a Teacup Yorkie.

A Yorkie is also known for its high energy levels and playful nature, it gets along with new people very quickly although it may not be the smartest dog breed out there.

Let us now turn our attention towards how long our Yorkies can stay with us and what is its life expectancy in general.

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about how long do pugs live and how long do boxers live here on Kidadl?

The Average Lifespan Of Yorkies

When we look at the average lifespan of all dogs it is around 10-12 years, but Yorkies owing to their small body size have a better average lifespan.

It is very well known that a small dog lives longer than a relatively larger dog as small dogs like a Yorkshire Terrier age at a slower rate than large dogs like a German Shepherd.

This condition holds true only if the dogs are not affected by a life-threatening disease or health issues that have a grave impact on the life expectancy of the dog.

From studies conducted all over America, it has been found out that Yorkshire Terriers have an average lifespan of 12.6-14.5 years but a Yorkie's life expectancy can increase if they are taken care of properly with special emphasis on their dental health.

In certain cases, it was seen that Yorkie live for as long as 17 or 18 years; well, don't be astonished, this is possible thanks to the advanced health care system. This is usually the maximum they can live, it isn't quite possible for them to live for 20 years or around that mark.

Lately, there have been instances where Yorkies were affected by certain life-threatening diseases but with proper vet visits, they were cured in no time and had a long lifespan on their hands once again.

The lifespan of a Yorkie is calculated assuming that the Yorkie at hand hasn't inherited any genetic diseases.

Additionally, it must be kept on a healthy nutritious diet accompanied by an exercise routine as this helps the Yorkie to stay healthy and live the entirety of its lifespan.

Interestingly, researchers have concluded that female Yorkshire Terriers tend to have a slightly longer lifespan than their male counterparts. Although the duration is of one year at tops, there have been practical instances proving this phenomenon.

The high energy and intensity a Yorkie exhibits seem to have a positive impact on its lifespan.

The more active a dog stays, the higher are its chances of living its entire lifespan.

There is an exception here in the form of Teacup Yorkie, which is even smaller in size than a Yorkshire Terrier but has a life expectancy of only 7-10 years.

Owing to their extremely small body size, they are vulnerable to various kinds of diseases and at the same time and can suffer from a life-threatening injury if they fall from the bed or accidentally get stepped upon just a bit.

One must be extra careful while petting such dog breeds.

How To Improve The Life Expectancy Of Yorkies

Even though Yorkies live for a longer lifespan than other dogs, Yorkie puppies can actually live longer if they are taken care of properly from the very beginning.

It is known that an average Yorkie can live for 12.6-14.5 years, but if you ask a fellow dog parent who owns a Yorkie, there are high chances that they have had experiences of a Yorkie living for around 17 or 18 odd years.

There are thus a number of steps you can follow to potentially increase the Yorkie life expectancy.

It is a known fact that Yorkshire Terriers are one of the healthiest toy breeds to exist but timely vet visits are never bad.

If an owner can minimize the risk of their Yorkie getting infected by a life-threatening disease, it can play a pivotal role in improving its life expectancy.

The best way to minimize this risk is to get a Yorkshire Terrier vaccinated according to the vet-recommended immunization schedule. Some of the most common vaccinations for Yorkie puppies include canine hepatitis, parvovirus, and rabies.

Additionally, when you adopt a Yorkie puppy, it is the best time to stay in touch with a vet and get all the necessary vaccinations, as well as, health checkups done.

Avoid mixing your Yorkshire Terrier with other unvaccinated dogs until it is fully vaccinated in order to avoid your pet from getting any sort of infection.

It has been seen that trauma is a leading cause of death among Yorkies, so if you can control the trauma your Yorkie might suffer due to some incident, you can improve its lifespan.

Some effective ways to avoid Yorkshire Terriers from getting traumatized include, training children properly how to handle a Yorkie, and making sure that your Yorkie doesn't jump off from a high point.

It has been seen that what might be considered a fine height to jump from for a large dog is potentially dangerous to jump from for Yorkies.

They might hurt themselves in the process, placing pet cushions in the necessary places is a good solution to this. Moreover, be extra careful when you are around your Yorkie because if you accidentally step on it, it can be a painful and traumatizing experience for your dog.

Neutering a Yorkie is also a method adopted by some Yorkie owners to avoid their pet from contracting infectious diseases in the future but timing is critical in this case.

Consult with your vet about when is it best to sterilize your Yorkie, keeping in mind whether it is a male or female.

Now we move on to arguably the most important yet the most commonsensical point.

The diet of your Yorkie. This is a valid way of keeping not only a Yorkie but any dog or animal healthy.

A healthy diet keeps a Yorkie in a healthy condition, as well as, reduces the chances of it suffering from one of the life-threatening diseases which often develop to be a potential cause of death.

A healthy diet holds the key in regulating the blood sugar levels of a Yorkie. Feed your Yorkies protein-rich food such as chicken or beef or plant-based protein too along with carbohydrates from greens and fruits.

Avoid feeding Yorkies food that you eat, it can contain fats and carbohydrates in an excess amount which isn't required by Yorkies.

Along with proteins and carbohydrates, Yorkies require some amount of healthy fats too as they are the major sources of their energy.

Meat, nuts, grains and vegetables are the best source of healthy fats for Yorkies. Some Yorkie owners prefer to give commercialized dog food to their pets but at times the market available dog food doesn't contain all the required vitamins and minerals and is instead contains a lot of filler ingredients.

However, at the same time, it is important to ensure that a Yorkie doesn't consume an excess of fat as excessive fat can be harmful to dogs.

It has been observed that healthy dogs have outlived overweighed dogs by almost a duration of two to three years. Keeping a check on your Yorkie's dental care is another way to potentially expand its lifespan, good oral hygiene ensures that there is no plaque in its mouth.

Brushing or using dental wipes is a good way to prevent gum decay and other eventual diseases which could affect all the internal organs of a dog.

Daily exercise of a dog is an effective method of keeping dogs healthy and improving their quality of life. Dogs are meant to run, jump and stay active, it is thus the duty of an owner to take their dog for a walk in the park.

It also helps dogs in their regular bowel movement, healthy metabolism and the socialization which takes place improves their mental health.

What do Yorkies usually die from?

The Yorkshire Terrier lifespan is one of the longest among all dogs if they do not die from a genetic disease or an accident such as being hit by a car. There are still are a number of diseases that lead to the death of numerous Yorkies year after year.

Interestingly, the leading causes of death are different for young Yorkies and adult ones. There are some causes of death which are the same for the adult Yorkies as well as the older ones.

Some of the common leading causes of death for both age groups of Yorkies include trauma. Trauma is a leading cause of death, especially among the young Yorkies.

People need to keep in mind how fragile and delicate young Yorkie puppies are, they weigh up to 7 lb (3 kg).

Yorkies can suffer from trauma at the slightest of causes, whether it is due to jumping from a height or being swung too wildly or being stepped upon by mistake even by the least possible pressure.

It is their small size which although makes them cute, also acts as a curse at times as people don't seem to notice them and there are accidents every now and then.

Some of the causes of death that are usually seen only in young Yorkies include infectious diseases such as parvovirus, distemper, and leptospirosis. Parvovirus is a disease caused when a Yorkie comes in direct contact with a dog suffering from this disease.

The common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. It is a life-threatening disease that usually affects puppies who are six months old or younger.

Although there are treatments available, and you must not waste any time in contacting a vet.

Canine distemper is another contagious disease that threatens to significantly cut short the lifespan of a Yorkie by affecting its respiratory and nervous systems. Even after being treated, this disease can lead to permanent damage to the nervous system.

Moving on to the common causes of death among adult Yorkies, collapsed trachea and cancer are some of the most common reasons here. Collapsed trachea usually occurs when you attach a leash on the collar of your Yorkie rather than on its leash.

It can narrow the cartilage rings which causes difficulty in breathing. This health is condition is quite common among toy breeds but it is easily avoidable if enough attention is paid.

Cancer in Yorkies is usually caused due to untimely and undisciplined vaccination, but luckily, it is curable if detected at an early stage. Other than these causes, respiratory diseases of various kinds are known to take a toll on the health of a Yorkie.

Yorkies Lifespan Compared To Similar Breeds

The Yorkshire Terrier, one of the smallest breeds of dog, is usually domesticated by people all over the world. Some of the similar breeds include Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Poodle, Pug and many more.

A Yorkie's lifespan is obviously more than that of a large dog due to its body size and the reasons that follow such as the rate of aging.

The average life expectancy of a Yorkshire Terrier is 13-15 years but nowadays there are many who continue to live till they are 17 or 18 years old and this isn't unusual. Every Yorkie can live till this age if they do not suffer from any genetic disease and are taken care of properly.

A Pomeranian, just like a Yorkie, has a lifespan of around 12-16 years and the range is quite similar to that of a Toy Poodle which lives for 12-15 years on average.

The life span of a Yorkie is relatively more than that of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or a Shih Tzu who live for 9-14 years and 10-15 years, respectively. At the same time, there are certain dog breeds that live longer than a Yorkshire Terrier.

One such breed is Chihuahua which lives for 14-18 years on average, almost two to three years more than that of a Yorkie.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how long do Yorkies live then why not take a look at how long do German Shepherds live or Yorkshire Terrier facts?

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Written by Aryan Khanna

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

Aryan Khanna picture

Aryan KhannaBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

A dedicated and hardworking content writer currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Management Studies from St. Xavier's University, Kolkata. Aryan aims to gain corporate exposure and enhance his skills while creating well-researched and engaging content that is SEO-friendly. Aryan is a talented individual who puts in the effort to overcome any obstacle in his way.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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