Yorkies are fantastic companions, easily adaptable, and friendly dogs. Given their beauty and popularity, it’s only natural that people ask if Yorkies shed.
The short answer is yes, Yorkies do shed. However, they have a distinguishing shedding cycle which makes them unique pets.
Continue reading to find out how Yorkies shed and what that means for you as a pet owner.
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Understanding the Yorkie Shedding Cycle
Yorkies do shed some just like many other dog breeds, in the same volume that humans shed hair. They shed less than other dog breeds. There are a few things that set them apart from your average breed.
The “Typical” Shedding Cycle
To understand Yorkies’ shedding habits, let’s first explore how other dog breeds shed. Many breeds have short, thick, and coarse strands of fur. These dogs’ bodies occasionally shed the fur coat and grow a new coat, causing intense shedding.
This fur loss may be more intense in some seasons than others. For example, these other dog breeds lose their insulating undercoat after winter and regrow it when the cold season resumes. The double coat causes more frequent shedding.
The Yorkie Shedding Cycle
So how are Yorkshire Terriers different? Yorkies have hair strands instead of fur. The strands are long and silkier than the usual dog fur and grow over long periods, much like human hair.
If you run your hand through a Yorkie and another dog’s fur, you’ll immediately notice the difference. Yorkies have a single coat of fine hair, which is soft to the touch. However, most dog breeds have short fur strands and a double coat, which feels rougher.
When shedding occurs, the strands may settle back into the Yorkie’s hair coat. As such, you may only notice the shedding when brushing the dog’s hair. As you can imagine, a Yorkie’s shedding cycle is appealing to pet owners who don’t like lots of pet fur around them.
If you own a Yorkshire pet, the hair may not fall off until you cut it. Your little dog can retain long strands of hair for extended periods, and you can enjoy less pet dander around the house. Consequently, less shedding means less discomfort for people that are sensitive to pet fur.
Prepare for Occasional Shedding
While it’s true that Yorkies don’t shed as much as other dog breeds, they still shed. The shedding happens slowly over time, which means you’ll still find a few strands of hair on your furniture and home from time to time. However, as far as cleaning routines go, cleaning Yorkie pet hair is significantly easier.
Regular grooming through brushing also helps you prevent unwanted pet hair around the home. Brushing your Yorkie a couple of times during the week removes dead hair and prevents flyaways. A proper grooming schedule is essential, especially if there are conditions that may cause more shedding.
Do Yorkie Pups Lose Their Fur Coat?
Most pups lose their first layer of hair, and a new one forms, especially around the sixth month. However, some puppies barely shed their hair around this period. The results may vary per pup. Yorkie pups also undergo a color change in their long strands as they grow older.
A majority of pups have black and tan hair within their first year. Over time, the color of the strands may change into gold and blue strands. It’s common for the hair to be darker at the roots and lighter and blue along the ends of the strands.
Why Is My Yorkie Losing Hair?
There are several reasons why your Yorkshire Terrier may be losing hair more than usual. If your pet is shedding unusually, it’s best to visit your vet for an inspection.
Normally, your Yorkie will lose hair during moments of rapid climate change. Just as you, Yorkies may experience hair loss due to environmental factors. Consult your vet to check for unusual hair loss and vitamins if necessary.
It’s not unusual for Yorkies to lose hair when they undergo hormonal changes. Dogs that are pregnant, lactating, and in heat may experience hair loss. You may have to wait the period out.
Other conditions such as hypothyroidism cause hormone imbalances, which affect hair growth and loss. However, always consult your vet for advice and give your pet the best food for hypothyroidism.
Your Yorkie may suffer hair loss due to allergies. The allergies may be from food, medications, cleaning products, or insect bites. If you suspect that your pet has an allergic reaction, avoid exposing your pet further to the allergen and take your pet for a check-up.
Some diseases cause hair loss in Yorkies. For example, Cushing’s disease or hyperadrenocorticism is a common endocrine disorder among dogs. The disease causes excess cortisone in the blood and consequential hair loss.
Parasites (or things like fleas) on and inside the body can cause skin irritation and hair loss. External parasites cause your dog to scratch, bite and lick the skin frequently to reduce irritation. Over time, the excessive scratching and itching cause the hair to fall off. Internal parasites cause malnutrition, which reduces nutrient circulation to the hair follicles and hair loss.
Feeding your Yorkie a balanced diet ensures proper health and hair growth. Of course, if their diet does not include the right balance of vitamins and minerals, your Yorkie may experience increased hair loss.
It’s important to care for your pet with pet-friendly shampoos, conditioners, and grooming tools. Bathing and conditioning your pet with products they are allergic to may cause skin irritation and hair loss.
Also, bathing your pet too frequently strips the skin of important oils and nutrients, which causes the hair to become brittle and fall off. Instead, wash your pet according to the season and needs.
How to Prevent Excessive Yorkshire Terrier Shedding
There are several measures you can take to prevent unusual pet shedding. Overall, maintaining proper pet health prevents infections that cause hair loss in Yorkies.
Providing proper nutrition for your Yorkie is the first step in maintaining pet immunity. Yorkies need a balanced diet of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin B7, and zinc to promote healthy hair growth. Your Yorkie will be less susceptible to infections and issues that cause hair loss with a strong immune system.
Hair grows from the skin. Therefore, maintaining proper skin health is crucial for a smooth and silky Yorkie. Parasites on or inside the pet’s body cause infection and inflammation of the skin.
A simple visit to the vet can clear skin infections and pests before they cause further hair loss. Allergic reactions can also cause hair loss. As you feed your pet, take note of any allergic reactions, such as skin inflammation.
Regular grooming removes dead hair and keeps your pet’s coat shiny and beautiful. Frequent baths remove dirt, oils, and sweat that build up over time. We recommend using a pet-friendly shampoo and using a leave-in conditioner to balance the skin pH and maintain the shine.
You can wash your pet once every week or every two weeks, depending on your pet’s hair needs. Remember also to comb the pet’s hair to remove dead hair.
Giving your Yorkie regular hair cuts is an essential part of grooming. Yorkie hair can grow long and drag on the floors, causing matting and hiding spots for dirt. Trimming the hair short reduces maintenance and also keeps the pet cool and comfortable in hot weather.
Daily physical exercise is an important part of maintaining your Yorkie’s mental and physical health. Dogs that receive regular exercise are far less likely to engage in self-harming behavior or fall sick. In addition, daily runs and plenty of play keep Yorkshire’s healthy and ready to fight diseases that cause hair loss.
Are Yorkshire Terriers Hypoallergenic?
Due to the slow shedding, many people often refer to Yorkies as hypoallergenic dogs. However, the pets still shed, and a person allergic to pet hair, skin, and saliva may still experience allergic reactions.
No, Yorkies are not completely hypoallergenic. They tend to trigger less reaction than other dogs – but they are not truly hypoallergenic.
Are You Worried About Your Yorkshire Terrier Shedding?
If you think that your Yorkie is shedding more than usual, book an appointment with your veterinarian. A check-up can confirm if your pet is losing hair due to illness, parasites, allergies, skin infections, or natural reasons.
If you’re considering a pet that doesn’t shed a lot, Yorkies should be at the top of your list. They are friendly, portable, and easy to clean after.