Breeds Yorkies

Yorkshire Terrier Lifespan: How Long Do Yorkies Live?

What Is A Yorkie?

Yorkie is a dog which is small in size but big in personality. It is a loving companion and the most popular toy breed in the U.S. Yorkies are purebred dogs, you can find them easily in rescue groups. These dogs are playful but they can be easily injured by children due to their small size. If you provide them love, care and attention, you’ll have an adorable companion.

How Long Do Yorkies Live?

The life expectancy of a Yorkie is between 13 to 16 years. One average, female Yorkies live 1.5 years longer than males. Yorkies live longer than other dogs because they are a healthy breed. The reason is that common health problems of these dogs are not fatal. Moreover, smaller breeds live a lifespan longer than larger breeds. If you take care of your Yorkie, it should be around the time.

Common Health Problems That Reduce Yorkies lifespan:

Yorkies are a healthy and energetic breed that can live longer than other breeds. But there are some health problems that cause early death of these dogs. These health problems are easily treatable, they can be fatal when not treated at time.


Distemper is an infection of the gastrointestinal tract or respiratory tract. The early symptoms of distemper are coughing, vomiting, fever, nasal discharge, seizures, convulsions, paralysis and weakness that leads to diarrhea. Then, infection will spread to the spinal cord and brain that causes death of the Yorkie.

cute yorkie is waiting for her owner.


Parvovirus affects the gastrointestinal tract and also attacks the immune system. Your dog can experience severe diarrhea and vomiting that lead to sudden fatal dehydration. It is very contagious for any unvaccinated Yorkie.


Leptospirosis is considered a deadly disease in the world of canine. It is caused by a spirochete bacterium that is found in mud or standing water. Yorkies become infected by this bacterium when drinking contaminated water. There are many types of leptospirosis but Lethal strains are severe form and can lead to liver and kidney damage of the dog.

Respiratory disease

Respiratory disease is the leading cause of yorkie’s death, approximately 16% adult yorkies die due to respiratory disease. The main three types that are found in yorkies are pulmonary fibrosis, collapsed trachea and brachycephalic airway syndrome. Yorkies are very prone to collapsed trachea.


Hypoglycemia is very common in yorkies under 5 months old. In this condition, the dog’s blood sugar level drops very low and it can become easily distressed. It can be life threatening if not treated on time.


Lymphoma, bone cancer, mammary tumors and skin cancers are common cancers in yorkies. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in yorkie. These cancers can often catch late and cause death of the yorkie. Moreover, you have to make sure that your female yorkie is spayed, if you want to reduce the risk of mammary cancer in her.

Tips To Help Your Yorkies Live Longer

There are some tips that can ensure a long, happy life of your yorkie.

Healthy diet

Dogs who were raised with a restricted diet lived an average 2 years longer than those dogs who were fed more. Maintenance of healthy weight in yorkies is necessary because obese yorkies are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases and joints problems.

The quality of food also affects their lifespan. Sugars, excess sodium, meat byproducts and fillers can badly affect a yorkie’s life. So, it is important to avoid these things from the diet.

Dental care

Dental hygiene is an overlooked aspect of yorkie care. Poor dental care can lead to plaque, bad breath, gingivitis and also periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the mouth that can lead to heart diseases and organ damage in yorkies.

You can prevent your yorkie from these diseases by brushing 3-4 times a week and giving safe chew toys. Cleaning can remove all the tartar from the teeth and also extend the life of your yorkie.


Exercising your yorkie is an essential part of his life. Combination of a healthy, nutritious diet with proper exercise helps to increase the lifespan of your yorkie. Yorkies need to get their heart muscles pumped properly which is done by regular exercise. Exercise helps to lower the stress, increase endorphins, balance the mood and emotions in yorkies.

Moreover, exercise can help to maintain healthy weight, muscle mass and also provide a healthy cardiovascular system. The prolonged life of a yorkie is related to prolonged evening walks. It can also socialize your yorkie with other dogs that can reduce the stress and improve his life quality.


Infections are the number 1 cause of death in yorkies. Yorkies require vaccination in their first few weeks. You can prevent early death by properly continuing with vaccination. Also, you have to visit your yorkie to the veterinarian for regular checkups.

Manage hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is commonly seen in yorkies and it normally occurs in the first 4 months. An adult yorkie can also develop hypoglycemia as a result of liver disease, Addison’s disease, sepsis or pregnancy complications. It is recommended that you should rub honey on the yorkie’s gum. Then, you should also place a warm heating pad to increase the body temperature. These steps can stabilize your yorkie, now you can take him to the vet.

Final Words on Yorkie Life Expectancy

It is extremely hard to accept that your yorkie is getting old and reaching the last stage of his lifespan. But if you know the yorkie’s old age then it is easy for you to take care of them in the right way. This means that more regularly visit to veterinarian, more care at home and spend more quality time with them. It also includes paying attention to their quality of food and water.

The leading causes of death in yorkie are difficult for yorkie owners to read but it is important to be aware of these conditions. With this knowledge, you can catch things early and spend more quality time with your yorkie. The best thing you can do for your yorkie is to make his life happy. 

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About the author

Walter Perez

My name is Walter, and I'm a huge dog lover, I have made this blog to share my experience and help dog owners make better decisions in term of improving the quality of their pet's life. I have shared my life with pets since childhood, and I currently own a golden retriever named Bailey.

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