Causes and Cures: Do Yorkies Shed and What You Can Do?

yorkshire-terriers-sitting-basket-outdoors-no-shedding

Whether you have a Yorkie, plan to get one, or are just curious, you may ponder, do Yorkies shed? The answer is more complicated than one may think. So if you’ve noticed some hair falling off your Yorkie, it isn’t necessarily a cause for concern, but it could be a problem in excess. 

My little Yorkie was leaving silky strands of hair all around the house. I was worried and unsure if this was normal, so I did some research to find the answer. 

Read on to learn about Yorkie hair and what to do if your Yorkie sheds.

Do Yorkshire Terriers Shed?

Technically, Yorkshire terriers do not shed because they have hair rather than fur. Some dog breeds have hair, which grows similarly to human hair and requires trimming, so it doesn’t overgrow. 

Other breeds, usually those native to colder climates, have fur. Fur goes through a cycle in which dogs grow new hair, and the old hair falls out naturally once it reaches a certain length. 

So Yorkies do not meet the exact definition of shedding, but that doesn’t mean they won’t lose hair, just like humans do. When particular strands become weak, they will break off, leaving Yorkie hair around your house. 

Why Is My Yorkie Shedding So Much?

Do Yorkies shed for any particular reason? There are a handful of causes for your Yorkie losing a lot of hair. These are reasons for excessive shedding, not an average amount of hair loss. 

Poor Diet

If your dog is not getting the proper nutrients and vitamins to be healthy, its hair may start to fall out. A poor diet is a severe problem, so make sure you use dog food recommended by your veterinarian and consider incorporating puppy supplements into their diet to round out their consumption. 

Heat

If your dog has been exposed to excessive heat for a whole day or longer, it may start to lose some of its hair. This response is a natural way to make them feel cooler. But it is not a good thing. 

It often means your dog is in extreme discomfort, and you should remove them from the hot situation or area. Also, make sure your dog is always well hydrated when the hot summer days roll around or on long walks in the sun. 

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a common reason for a Yorkie shedding hair more than usual. The hormones present in their body during pregnancy can cause hair loss. This hair loss is normal and not cause for immediate concern. 

After your Yorkie gives birth, she will return to normal hormone levels, and her hair should return to its normal cycle. Humans can also experience differences in hair growth when they are pregnant, so this is not unusual. 

Anxiety or Stress

Anxiety or stress placed on your dog can cause them to begin to lose their hair. The hair loss will not occur after a stressful afternoon or short event, but it can happen when your dog is under extended stress due to a constant stressor.

It could be the smell of a neighbor’s dog that scares them, the constant sound of traffic, or the presence of someone they are uncomfortable with within their home. 

Many things could put your dog under stress, leading to hair loss. If you think this is a possibility, monitor your dog to try and pinpoint the source of their anxiety so you can remedy it. 

There are medications that veterinarians can prescribe to naturally stressed and anxious dogs. But you should try to survey your dog’s environment before resorting to pills. 

Skin Infection

Your dog may be suffering from a skin infection if they lose significant hair. If this is the case, you will likely be able to identify irritated or red spots and patches on their body. These spots could just be discolored or dry and inflamed, depending on the type of infection. 

If you notice these patches on your dog’s skin in conjunction with hair loss, you should make a veterinary appointment. Usually, these are not life-threatening conditions and require some temporary medication, whether oral or topical. 

Do Yorkies Shed a Lot?

No, a healthy and happy Yorkshire terrier should not shed a lot. You may know other dogs with fur and notice their home has lots of dog hair. Sometimes you can easily get a small clump of hair from scratching their back. This hair loss is standard in some breeds, but Yorkies should not shed significantly.

But a human with more hair will lose more hair naturally, while humans with less hair won’t notice their hair loss as much. Most people with long hair know the struggle of a clogged shower drain. 

Well, it’s no different with your Yorkie’s luscious locks. Strands fall out, and Yorkies have a lot of hair, so they may shed more than other dogs with hair. 

Grooming Tips for Shedding Yorkies

Dogs that have hair coats instead of fur coats will need grooming to maintain their hair. Dogs with fur coats will naturally shed their hair once it reaches a certain length. But Yorkies and other dogs with hair do not. So their hair will grow and grow, which can become uncomfortable for them. 

Practice these grooming tips below to maintain their coat and make sure they are comfortable. 

Frequency

Take your Yorkshire terrier to the groomer every four to six weeks to maintain its coat. Taking your dog to the groomer is not just for aesthetic reasons, but it ensures they can see and walk comfortably without their hair getting in the way. 

Length

You can decide at what length you want to cut your Yorkie’s hair. Some people leave it long and luscious, while other people prefer a shortcut so you can see your Yorkie’s face better. The length comes down to the owner’s preference, but you should consider what your dog seems comfortable with. 

Season

If you don’t care about the coat length, many Yorkie owners keep their hair long in the winter for warmth and short in the summer to keep them from overheating. 

Taking Care of a Yorkie’s Coat

You can do some things to maintain your Yorkie’s coat, keeping it healthy and soft. Make sure you do these things even if your Yorkie’s coat seems perfectly healthy, as these actions will keep it in excellent condition. 

  • Brushing: Brushing your Yorkie’s coat once a week can help keep it healthy and luxurious. Brushing stimulates hair growth and increases blood circulation, making for a healthy and happy dog. Grooming is also an excellent bonding experience between pets and their owners.
  • Shampoo: Using the right shampoo and giving your Yorkshire Terrier regular baths can help maintain their coat’s texture and thickness. Try to wash your dog’s coat about once every two months to keep it thick and healthy. 
  • Diet: Your dog’s diet is incredibly important to their coat’s health and overall wellbeing. Make sure your veterinarian approves of their dog food and do your own research on the type of food your Yorkie eats. Dog food brands typically have specialized food that helps maintain a healthy coat and skin. 
  • Supplements: If you stand by your dog food, and so does your vet, but your Yorkie still sheds quite a bit, you may want to consider adding supplements, such as essential fatty acids, to their diet. Consult your vet before doing this, but it likely will not harm your pup. 

When To Call Your Vet About Shedding

Yorkies don’t shed much, and some hair loss is normal. However, if your pup is excessively shedding and losing a significant amount of hair, you may want to reach out to your vet. 

If you pet your Yorkie and clumps of hair fall out into your hand, or you find large clusters around your home, your Yorkie may have an underlying health problem that you need to address. 

Excessive shedding could mean your dog suffers from a skin infection, lack of nutrients, or chronic stress. If you struggle to determine the source of the substantial shedding, your vet will likely be able to help you remedy the situation. 

So, Do Yorkies Shed?

Lucky for me and my pup, he was losing an average amount of hair, and I had no reason to worry! But I felt much better having this information, so I know what to look for if his hair loss ever increases. While Yorkies lose some hair, there might be cause for concern if it’s excessive.

A small thing like hair loss could indicate health problems, so monitor any changes in your dog’s body or behavior. Our dogs can’t tell us when something is wrong, so it’s up to us to pay attention and keep them healthy!