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Yorkie Puppy Care Guide

Yorkie Pup Care Guide Feature Image

As small dogs, Yorkshire Terriers are known for their independence, intelligence, and high activity level. No wonder, many people want to bring these toy breeds home. The minimum age to bring a Yorkie puppy home is 8 weeks old. In some areas like the United States, it's illegal to sell a puppy under 8 weeks old.

But if you're planning on having one and finally brought a Yorkie pup home, there are a lot of things to know to get started like how to take care of Yorkie puppies. 

This comprehensive 8-week-old Yorkie puppy care guide covers the essentials of taking care of your pet including Yorkie care tips for grooming, ear care, nail care, medical needs, behavior training for Yorkie puppies, and more. 

So keep reading to learn how to take care of a Yorkie puppy at home.

What Food Should I Give?

The first stage of Yorkies care is proper nutrition. When feeding your Yorkie, there are some general tips to keep in mind.

A Yorkie puppy needs to start out with a well-balanced diet. Make sure you feed your Yorkie nutritious dog food that is specifically designed for its growing needs.

Keep in mind that Yorkie puppies are prone to health issues such as pancreatitis, hypoglycemia, collapsed trachea, and several other health problems–all of these health issues occur more often in overweight Yorkies.

Once your puppy had settled in its new home, then you can gradually make a switch to different dog food as you please. Over the course of 3-4 weeks, it is recommended to mix your pup's ‘old' and ‘new' food.

Make a gradual transition to the type of food you chose for your Yorkie. Up until the age of 3 months old, Yorkie puppies should be free-fed. This method helps in continuously leaving out fresh food and helps prevent your puppy from having hypoglycemia or a drop in blood sugar levels.

For your Yorkies' feeding schedule, you will want to feed your Yorkie pup 3 times a day at a minimum (or 4 times a day) consistently. As a general rule, between 2 and 4 pounds, Yorkie puppies will need 1/3 to 1/2 cup of kibble per day.

Small adult dogs will eat the same quantity but larger adult Yorkies up to 8 pounds may need up to 2/3 cup of dog food every day. Keep in mind that Yorkie puppies will not eat very much so it's best to distribute their meal from morning till evening.

Also, you may need to remind your new puppy where its water and food dishes are for the first few weeks.

How to Care for Your Yorkie Pup

How Do I Groom My Puppy?

If you want to know how to care for a Yorkie puppy, you will definitely need to know how to handle grooming. Yorkshire Terriers are known to have very high maintenance when it comes to grooming.

So you might need to spend some time grooming your dog and providing its general daily health care needs. This will include brushing, bath time (which can begin at the age of 8 weeks old), nail care, ear care, trimmings, and more. It is also recommended to utilize grooming time to inspect any early signs of health issues with your dog.

Bathing

About every 3 weeks, your Yorkie puppy should have a gentle bath to remove natural dirt and oils. Use a high-quality dog shampoo with a pH balance between 6.5 to 7.5 that will help remove tangles ad nourish your Yorkie's hair without irritating his skin.

During the bath, make sure to clean areas that may be splashed with urine and tiny bits of feces that may cling to fine hairs. But before addressing trouble parts like the rear end and underbelly, you could rather clean your Yorkie's entire body as a good strategy.

Between baths, you can use hypoallergenic dog grooming wipes around the underbelly, rear, legs, and genitals.

Brushing

All Yorkshire Terriers are required to be brushed regularly, including Yorkies with a short coat. Brushing helps remove debris, clear away dead hair, and detangle that are covered in body oil and get stuck in the coat. Frequent brushing also spreads oils to give your pup's coat a healthy sheen.

If he has a moderately long coat, it is recommended as well to brush his coat every day. To easily detangle your Yorkie's hair, use a professional pin brush. On the other hand, you can use a soft bristle brush for Yorkies with a short coat.

Teeth Cleaning

When taking care of a Yorkie puppy, you should also need to know how care for a Yorkshire Terrier’s oral health. Teeth brushing may not be fun for you and your dog but it is a fundamental part of how to care for Yorkies considering their high risk of dental issues.

Yorkies are prone to oral health problems like gum disease, early tooth loss, and double teeth which makes Yorkie dental care essential. It is also a good idea to have your dog's teeth cleaned annually by a professional.

You may need to clean their teeth as well at home daily–or as frequently as your pup lets you. Use dog-safe toothpaste and dog toothbrushes to preserve the oral health of your puppy and gently remove tartar.

Dog Foods for Yorkie Pup Balanced Diet

What Do I Need to Prepare My Home?

As you continue to learn how to take care of a Yorkie pup, you'll also want to have some important items on hand.

Dog Crate and Bed

It may be very tempting to have your new puppy sleep in your bed or in your room. However, to initiate puppy training the proper way, your Yorkshire Terrier puppy will need a place to call his own. From day one, it's a good idea to have one available, so include that at the top of your Yorkie gear list.

A dog crate will be a valuable asset for keeping your puppy safe from small kids and other pets and especially for house training. Make sure to choose a crate that is going to be big enough for your new puppy when he is fully-grown and ideally, one that is large enough to create space for both a pee pad and a dog bed. This will make his potty training easier.

It is also wise to provide your Yorkie puppy with a high-quality dog bed. His crate won't be very comfortable without a bed inside. Thus, you need to look for a stuffed and comfy one or that will provide them a good place to nap or sleep.

It's understandable that your little one will fit into his bowl due to his small size right now. But a puppy grows fast so make sure you purchase a dog bed that will accommodate him when he's full-grown.

Playpen

It is essential to note that very small dog breeds like Yorkies can be easily injured. Therefore, along with a dog bed and a crate for crate training, having a puppy playpen is also helpful. Puppy pens offer a bit more space to play and roam while still keeping your pup in a safe enclosed spot. They are perfect for times when you're busy and can't keep a close eye on your Yorkie puppy.

Chew Toys

The most fun part of caring for a Yorkie puppy is selecting a variety of toys. All dogs tend to chew. So if you don't want your puppy to chew on your brand new shoes, provide an alternative outlet for chewing. And make sure to have a collection of toys available.

It's also a good idea to supply your puppy with a mix of age-appropriate toys that include teethers and treat release toys. A treat release toy helps relieve separation anxiety and helps your Yorkie puppy stay occupied.

Teething toys, on the other hand, help massage the gums of your puppy to remove the tartar while easing discomfort as the primary teeth of your puppy come.

Dog Dish or Water Bottle

Your puppy will also need a dish to eat from and freshwater available. You could use a ceramic set of dog dishes that are dishwasher safe and won't easily tip over. Stainless steel dishes also work but avoid plastic ones as their surface can harbor bacteria that can lead to infection.

Training your Yorkie pup to look for his meal in his dish from day one will help discourage begging at the table and help get him into a regular eating schedule.

Guide on How to Raise A Yorkie Pup

Dog Bell

Being stepped on is one of the most common causes of injury among Yorkshire Terriers. A great way to lessen the chance of this happening is a dog bell. It also helps you keep track of your Yorkie pup in his early potty training days and as he tries to move about.

Yorkie Vaccinations

One of the crucial elements of Yorkie care is protecting the health of your puppy. Yorkshire Terriers are prone to a variety of health conditions. While others may be prevented, some can be managed. To avoid any potential health issues, make sure you stay on top of your pup's vaccinations.

During the first year of their life, Yorkie puppies need to schedule regular vet visits three to six times for vaccinations and then one to two times per year after that.

Puppies, specifically, are vulnerable to infectious diseases. That's why it's imperative not to take your puppy out until he receives all his puppy shots. Generally, by the time a puppy is about 4 to 5 months old, it will be done with its initial shots–and it will be then safe to take the pup outside for public excursions, exercise, or get some fresh air.

Once your Yorkie dog is an adult, he will need to have an annual wellness checkup. Every 6 months, plan for a check-up after your pup reaches the age of 8 or 9.

Since early detection can provide your puppy the best prognosis, your vet will check for signs of health problems during the wellness exam. Your Yorkie puppy will receive booster shots as well to protect him against contagious diseases like kennel cough and rabies.

Tips for Training a Yorkie Puppy

Another essential element to consider when knowing how to take care of a Yorkie puppy is training. While your puppy is still young, it is a good idea to think about training strategies that will help you deal with potential behavioral issues as your dog gets older.

Housebreaking

Another significant component of how to care for Yorkie puppy breeds is to devote a lot of time to teach your dog house rules, particularly where you want him to do his potty business.

At around 12 weeks of age, puppies commonly have enough bladder control to start housebreaking. However, it is recommended to begin as soon as the puppy steps into your home, as long as you keep realistic expectations.

There are several strong opinions about housebreaking, with some suggesting crate training Yorkies while others insist this practice is unethical, instead give the puppy free range of the house or advocating for pen training. You will need to decide as well if you want to train your dog to use pee pads, go outside, or both.

Yorkshire Terrier Pup Care Tips

But it is recommended to use something in between these approaches. The most important points of housebreaking a puppy are constant supervision, frequent potty breaks, and plenty of positive reinforcement for good behavior.

In addition to this approach, a couple of tools will come in handy. A good crate is a must, particularly for sleeping at night and day naps. A dog yard or playpen is a handy instrument as well, offering a room for playing without giving your puppy too much space to roam around of sight.

Even if you plan to train your dog outdoors, pee pads are advised as well since your pup will have to eliminate at night. To reward your dog good behavior every chance you get, healthy training treats should also be kept close at hand.

When house training your puppy, there are some things you should never do. You may have heard about this from old-timers, but never rub your pup's face in feces or urine after an accident.

Dog trainers and behaviorists universally agree: this practice inhibits the housebreaking process and actually doesn't help your dog learn. The only behavior this insists will be hiding when a potty break is required. Plus, a puppy disciplined in this manner will simply associate fear with elimination. Never hit or yell at your pup for an indoor accident.

Like the previous explanation, this action will only cause your puppy to associate negative consequences with using the bathroom, regardless of where it happened, and will only confuse your dog. For unwanted behavior, positive reinforcement will be greatly more effective than negative consequences.

Lastly, be consistent. If you implemented a start-stop approach to housebreak your puppy, it simply will not work. Inconsistent expectations will just lead to inconsistent results. Find an arrangement and pattern that works for your schedule and your puppy and stick to it.

Patience and consistency are key. Housebreaking rarely occurs very fast, and some Yorkie puppies can be especially slow in this part so expect this procedure to take time. Your patience will be rewarded and your puppy will be well-trained and happy in the end.

What to Feed Your Yorkie Pet

Behavioral Training

When a Yorkie puppy is 2 and 3 months old, this time is very impressionable. Your puppy will look to you to show him the way around the world, what behavior is expected, and how to react to things.

In the eyes of your new puppy, you are more than just a cuddle time and a source of food. You are his new pack and as pack leader, you have a number of big responsibilities.

It's a big and scary world out there, and your pup will look to you for guidance on all kinds of behaviors. The things you set will save your dogs' life. So it is imperative to begin training your pup early and often with feedback, modeling, and habit setting where the behavior of your pup is concerned.

Besides training, puppies need proper socialization as well. Going out of the house for a walk is much different than bouncing around the house. It's healthy for your puppy to get fresh air and socially beneficial to become accustomed to other people, sidewalks, other dogs, and to see new things.

Let your puppy slowly become used to these things, best done one at a time. Taking time to train your pup how to heel on a leash will thrive in establishing yourself as his leader, which aids a Yorkie pup to mature into a well-behaved dog.

How to Treat a Puppy Yorkie

Chewing

Puppies need to chew quite a lot. This is part of a natural behavior so it should be anticipated to a degree. But it should not be allowed to go unchecked. It's a sheer fact: Canines are going to nibble something. They explore the world around them through scent and taste.

Some breeds are more prolific gnawers than others, but any puppy is likely to destroy just about any household object if they think it needs good chewing.

Counter chewing by supplying your pup with alternative chew toys that are also interesting to them. It's advisable to pile up a basket of toys and placing half of them away for a week or two and then rotate the available stuff to keep things interesting.

Every time you caught your puppy engaging in destructive chewing, give him a stern “No,” get rid of the tempting object from their sight, and immediately offer the alternative chew toy. Once he starts nibbling the new item, encourage him with tons of positive praise for the improved behavior [1].

Barking

It's a common trait for Yorkies to bark excessively. Your puppy may bark when someone comes to the door or at what he sees out the window. If barking occurs when you leave, it could be a sign of separation anxiety.

The hardest to combat is when the barking is territorial once it develops. It's imperative to determine the reason for your dog's excessive barking. Territorial barking can be worked out by moving your pup's independent area as far from the front door and yard as possible.

Offer your puppy positive reinforcement to bark just once or twice at a stranger through rewards when he uses more appropriate behavior. Nuisance barking caused by boredom or stress may be corrected with more frequent walks and playtime.

How to Take Care of a Yorkie

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Yorkie puppies be left alone?

A Yorkie puppy can go outside at the age of 6 to 16 weeks but this can still vary. As mentioned above, unless the puppy received all his shots, it is not advisable to bring him outdoors and socialized in an area where dogs gather as they are susceptible to several health conditions. That's why regular vet visits are vital for your pup's vaccinations and early diagnosis. 

At what age can a Yorkie puppy go outside?

A Yorkie puppy can go outside at the age of 6 to 16 weeks but this can still vary. As mentioned above, unless the puppy received all his shots, it is not advisable to bring him outdoors and socialized in an area where dogs gather as they are susceptible to several health conditions. That's why regular vet visits are vital for your pup's vaccinations and early diagnosis.

How often should you walk a Yorkie?

A Yorkie should be taken for a walk at least one time per day. But it's also best to take him two walks per day with one in during the day and one in the early evening. It doesn't matter at what time in the morning you chose to do this. However, it's recommended if his walks are taken at the same time every day.

Do Yorkies like to be held?

Yes, Yorkies like to be held and cuddled. As a breed, a Yorkshire Terrier is known for being tenacious and playful, and they equally have a loving and affectionate character. If you have a Yorkie puppy at home, you know how much they love to be offered with tons of attention.

Conclusion

You learned how to take care of Yorkie puppy breeds through our Yorkie Puppies care guide. The real question is: how do you provide the ultimate Yorkie puppy care? The answer is simple. By providing all of their basic needs, plus extra attention and love.

Moreover, one must keep in mind that the world essentially is a new place of learning, discovery, and exploration. Some of this must be kept at bay until your puppy is old enough. Puppies need to learn more important skills and it is part of your responsibility to be their teacher.