Perhaps Yorkshire Terriers are the cute and cuddly dogs you’ve always dreamed of having. While they are a newer breed, they are one of the most popular for families. Yorkies are kid-friendly for many reasons.
Allergies are on the rise, particularly pet allergies. Around 30% of the population in the United States are allergic to household pets. Therefore, many people can become hesitant about owning a dog.
For that reason, you might be wondering: are Yorkies hypoallergenic? Have no fear. Below I will talk about shedding, proper grooming, what to look for, and how to enjoy your living space comfortably with your new hypoallergenic Yorkie.
Do Yorkies Shed?
Yorkies can be an excellent option for dog lovers, even ones who suffer from allergies. While Yorkies are technically hypoallergenic, unlike other dog breeds, they do shed, even if it’s not as often.
Hair is composed of different-sized strands. The Yorkshire Terrier’s coat is unique due to having long, silky hair instead of having fur. In addition, the Yorkie dog hair resembles human hair rather than dog fur, so they shed less.
Yorkies also have just one coat.
Typically, Yorkies shed once or twice a year as seasons change. As a result, their hair tends to be thinner as they lose older hair strands during these times.
The natural shedding cycle is a perk of having a Yorkshire Terrier because hair typically falls back into its coat due to the nature of its hair.
When Yorkie Shedding Is an Issue
Minor shedding is nothing to worry about, but it can be concerning when it becomes excessive.
Important traits to look for include:
- Hair loss all over
- Lack of appetite, weight loss
- Bald patches, scabs
- Bumps or lumps
Reasons for Shedding
There are many reasons for excessive shedding, but if your dog experiences more hair loss than expected, there could be an underlying cause.
Causes for significant shedding include:
- Lack of grooming
- Poor nutrition
Grooming is essential for your Yorkie, which helps natural oils, stimulates glands, and removes dead hair. It’s beneficial for their health and growth stimulation and minimizes the potential for more shedding. Keeping hair short is ideal.
If grooming is a potential hazard, hiring a professional to care for your dog thoroughly is essential. It’s a win-win while minimizing allergens for you and your pup.
A lack of essential nutrients your Yorkie needs may also cause hair loss. A balanced diet can fight this, especially Vitamin B and Vitamin E. The first signs of malnutrition are patches of hair loss, additional weight loss, and muscle weakness.
Hair loss can also be a sign of stress. Changes in routine or environment can raise cortisone levels and affect hair follicles. In addition, Yorkies can become emotional, primarily when separation anxiety occurs.
A condition called neurodermatitis can also arise due to stress and anxiety. Dogs repeatedly lick their coats to the extreme when this occurs, causing patchy hair loss.
Hair loss in a single area, even without other symptoms, could indicate potential parasite invaders. Examples of parasites include pyoderma, which is a bacterial infection. Another possibility is ringworm; both can cause hair loss and skin infections.
Yorkies are susceptible to fungal infections and ticks, leading to more shedding and a vicious cycle.
Like you, Yorkies can have allergies, which can affect shedding. In addition, atopic dermatitis can affect these little guys due to pollen, dust, mold, and bacteria. Symptoms include licking, biting, and skin inflammation that ultimately leads to hair loss.
Sometimes hair loss is a symptom of an illness, such as alopecia. Alopecia is common with Yorkies and can cause hair loss without other symptoms. The good news is that hair can grow back.
Hypothyroidism can occur and cause poor health and can cause hair breakage. Other symptoms include weight changes, increased metabolism, thickening of the skin, and lethargy.
Another prevalent condition is Cushing’s disease. The disease is typical with hair loss since it’s a hormone disorder.
Hair loss in pregnancy is common for dogs due to hormone fluctuations. Luckily, hair will return to normal after delivery. Other symptoms may include fatigue and weight gain.
Frequent vet checkups are essential, especially if you are concerned or notice anything unusual. Symptoms, even shedding, can indicate further health issues.
Maintaining overall good health will, in turn, help your Yorkies coat.
How to Groom Yorkies?
There are vital tips to remember when grooming your Yorkie:
- Frequent haircut trims.
- Brushing your Yorkie regularly with proper tools is crucial for proper grooming. It’s easy for their coats to get tangled or matted and will keep them looking fresh.
- Brush before bathing.
- Remember to bathe your Yorkie routinely, generally around once a week if it’s outside often. If not, once every few weeks will work.
- Keep an eye out for ear infections and redness.
- Monthly nail trims.
- Daily toothbrushing when possible.
It’s important to note that bathing too much can do more harm than good and lead to more hair loss. Itchy, dry skin is also a concern. In addition, the coat will weaken due to excessive rubbing and can cause natural oils to strip.
On the contrary, if you don’t bathe your Yorkie enough, they can smell like sweat, dead hair, and dirt continues to build. Therefore, proper grooming is essential before an accumulation occurs.
Grooming Tools for Your Yorkie
Here are essential grooming tools to take the best care of your Yorkie. While they are low-maintained dogs, the type of brush used depends on hair length.
- Body and face comb.
- A bristle brush, great for short coats.
- Pin brush for medium and long coats.
- Tool for hair matting or tangle removal for longer hair.
A coat spray can also benefit your Yorkie but is not a requirement.
However, the spray does come with its own set of benefits which include:
- Extra shine by locking moisture.
- It helps fight dirt, chemicals, and even allergens.
- Protectant against the sun.
- Protects against hair breakage.
- It can help with odor.
Use caution with the coat spray for allergy sufferers, as it may have a strong scent.
What Are Common Reactions?
Common allergic reactions include respiratory and skin. Luckily, Yorkies have a low level of causing either one.
For starters, smaller dogs produce less dander. So tiny Yorkies have a considerable benefit in that department.
If you have a skin reaction, you probably react to the proteins or dander. For example, it’s possible to have irritation from a lick on your hand because there are proteins in the saliva.
Also, be aware of hidden allergens such as urine and feces. For Yorkies that are housebroken, this isn’t a huge issue. However, for unexpected accidents indoors, it’s essential to clean the area well.
Wearing gloves can always help.
A simple rule of thumb is hand washing. Wash your hands after touching your beloved pooch and wash your Yorkies dog toys. Cleaning toys can help prevent saliva buildup, which can decrease triggers.
Other ways to reduce allergies include:
- Dog training to minimize the spread.
- Avoid sleeping with your dog.
- Avoid rugs and carpeted furniture altogether.
Your environment at home can make all the difference in owning a Yorkie.
Yorkie Tips for Your Home
While it’s essential to take proper care of your dog, it’s just as important to take care of your home. There are ways to provide an allergy-free home environment.
It’s a great idea to get an air purifier, especially to run at night while sleeping. Allergies are everywhere, indoor and outdoor, and can leach onto your Yorkie’s hair. Even if you may not be allergic to your dog, you could be allergic to particles they attract on their sleek coat.
Air purifiers promote airflow in your home and will soothe potential allergens. However, dander can also sink into clothing and carpet. Therefore, dusting, vacuuming, and moping are recommended for deep cleaning at least once a week.
Other valuable tips include:
- Removing and washing fabrics that contain hair.
- Cover surfaces with blankets, anti-dust.
- Keep your Yorkie in particular rooms.
- Keep lint brushes handy.
- Purchase a HEPA filtered vacuum.
- Use products that reduce dander, such as natural solutions like apple cider vinegar or lime juice.
Whether you have indoor or outdoor allergies or are concerned you perhaps could be allergic to your Yorkie, there are ways to combat allergies as best as you can.
Are Yorkies Hypoallergenic?
While there isn’t a perfect hypoallergenic dog, Yorkies come relatively close. All dogs secrete F1 and F2 proteins in their dander, saliva, and even urine. All can potentially cause reactions, but the chances are lower with the Yorkshire Terriers.
Yorkies have minimal dander compared to other dog breeds and are considered hypoallergenic. However, taking good care of your dog is also an essential component of good health. Providing a clean environment will benefit everyone and decrease triggers, especially for allergy sufferers.
Yorkies are one of the best options if you want a four-legged furry friend due to their small size, low shedding potential, and minimal drooling. I hope this eases your mind as you embark on this exciting new journey.