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Yorkie Lifespan: How Long Do Yorkies Live? – Causes & Tips (2024)

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yorkie lifespanAs a Yorkshire Terrier owner, you understand the delights of having such a delightful companion.

However, it’s important to be aware that some health issues common in Yorkie breeds could put an end to your pup’s life sooner than expected if not addressed early on.

In this article, we will discuss everything from leading causes of death for both puppies and adults alike; tips for helping your beloved pet reach maximum longevity; genetic predispositions specific breed-wide; and more.

So, making sure you know all there is about keeping your fur baby safe – read on now for all the answers about Yorkie Lifespan: How Long Do They Live? Causes & Tips.

Key Takeaways

  • Average Yorkie lifespan is 12-15 years, with the oldest recorded lifespan being 25 years.
  • Respiratory issues, cancer, trauma, and birth defects are common causes of death in Yorkies.
  • Liver shunts account for 10.5% of deaths in Yorkies, with females being more prone to this condition.
  • Preventive care measures such as vaccinations, spaying/neutering, annual vet exams, and parasite prevention are important for promoting a longer lifespan in Yorkies.

How Long Do Yorkies Live?

How Long Do Yorkies Live
You may wonder how long your Yorkie can live, and the answer is generally 12 to 15 years, with females typically having slightly longer lifespans.

Leading causes of death in these endearing little dogs include respiratory issues, cancer, and trauma, as well as birth defects like liver shunts. Vaccinations are important for preventing infections, which can be fatal for puppies.

A quality diet that avoids obesity also helps promote longevity, along with regular exercise.

Bred from small terriers in 19th-century Yorkshire, England, originally for hunting but later refined into its now-recognizable form, common health problems today include dental disease, bacterial or viral infections, and eye problems such as cataracts or dry eye.

Other ailments to watch out for are Cushing’s disease (especially if not spayed before 6 months), joint/bone issues like luxating patellas and disc disease, plus kidney stones and diabetes in older dogs too.

Proactive care by providing annual veterinarian exams – biannual ones after 8+ – screening potential diseases combined with proper nutrition & exercise will help ensure the optimal lifespan of your beloved pup!

Leading Causes of Death in Yorkie Puppies

Leading Causes of Death in Yorkie Puppies
Are you concerned about the health and lifespan of your Yorkshire Terrier? It is important to be aware of the leading causes of death in Yorkie puppies, such as distemper, leptospirosis, and parvovirus.

These infections can be prevented with vaccinations and a proper diet, but if left untreated, they can lead to serious illness or even death.


Distemper is a major puppy killer that can be prevented with vaccinations. It affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of Yorkie puppies. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, fever, and diarrhea, as well as seizures or paralysis in more serious cases.

Left untreated, it can lead to tracheal collapse or heart disease, which reduce the lifespan of a Yorkie dramatically depending on the severity when contracted by an adult dog.


Leptospirosis can be a devastating illness for your pup, so make sure to stay vigilant and take all necessary precautions. This bacterial disease is transmitted through contact with contaminated urine or soil.

It affects the kidneys and liver of young Yorkies, weakening their immune system and leading to organ failure in severe cases.

An infection with a fatal strain of leptospirosis can result in sudden death due to hepatic shunts, even without any symptoms appearing first.

Additionally, ensure clean water sources are readily available at home. Never let them drink out of puddles when outdoors or other potentially infected areas that could contain bacteria-filled fluids, like those coming from wildlife such as rodents or raccoons.

With proper care, you can help reduce the risk of exposure for your beloved pet while also increasing their chances of having an enjoyable, long life full of love!


Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, Parvovirus can be a major puppy killer too. This virus affects the gastrointestinal tract and weakens the immune system of puppies in their first year of life.

Vaccination is key to prevention, but if contracted, early symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea leading to dehydration or death.

It’s especially common among Yorkshire Terriers due to their small size. However, proper vaccination at 8-9 weeks will help ward off this deadly disease as well as leptospirosis – another respiratory infection found in puppies that can lead to serious health complications or death.

So make sure your pup has been vaccinated before bringing them home!

Leading Cause of Death in Older Yorkies

Leading Cause of Death in Older Yorkies
As a Yorkie owner, it’s important to understand the leading causes of death in older Yorkies. Respiratory issues, cancer, trauma, and birth defects are all common culprits that can decrease their lifespan.

Taking proactive measures such as regular vet check-ups and providing adequate nutrition will help ensure your pup lives a long and healthy life.

Respiratory Issues

Respiratory issues can take a toll on your pup’s health, causing 16% of adult Yorkie deaths. To prevent it, vaccinate against infections like distemper and leptospirosis. Exercise to keep the cardiovascular system healthy.

Monitor for signs of respiratory disease – coughing, sneezing, or labored breathing.

Yorkies are prone to serious respiratory diseases such as tracheal collapse and hypoglycemia in young dogs that need immediate treatment options if detected early enough for successful outcomes.


Cancer can be a devastating diagnosis for older Yorkies, so it’s important to stay vigilant and proactive with preventative care. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among this breed, but other cancers such as lymphoma or gastrointestinal tract tumors are also present in some cases.

Birth defects that increase the risk of certain types of cancer must be taken into consideration when evaluating overall health and lifespan.

Trauma from accidents or falls may also cause internal damage that increases chances for tumor development later on in life. Regular vet exams are essential to detect any signs early enough for successful treatment.


Trauma can be a leading cause of death in older Yorkies, so it’s important to take steps to prevent it. Accidents such as falls or being hit by cars are common causes of trauma in these little dogs. As they age, their bones become more brittle and susceptible to fractures from even minor injuries.

Other hereditary diseases like von Willebrand’s disease may also increase the risk for traumatic injury due to blood clotting issues.

Birth Defects

Enjoy a longer life with your pup by keeping an eye out for birth defects like liver shunts, which account for 10.5% of yorkie deaths. Heart murmurs and von Willebrand’s disease are other possible issues that can affect the lifespan of Yorkies.

Regular checkups at the vet to monitor weight loss or gain can also help catch these problems early on before they become serious health risks in later years. Keep tabs on their dietary intake as overeating can lead to obesity, while underfeeding may cause malnutrition and health complications such as muscle wasting and organ failure if left untreated for too long.

Proper exercise is also essential to keep them active so they don’t succumb easily to illnesses due to age-related weariness in older years.

How to Help Your Yorkie Live Longer?

How to Help Your Yorkie Live Longer
You have taken the first step in ensuring your Yorkie’s longevity by bringing them home. To help your pup live as long and healthy a life as possible, you should stay on top of their vaccinations to prevent infections, avoid potential hazards around your house that can be dangerous for smaller dogs, develop a diet plan with quality food tailored to their age and activity level, provide regular dental care through brushing or chews, and encourage daily exercise.

Doing these things will ensure that you are doing all you can to keep your beloved pet safe from harm.

Stay on Top of Vaccinations

Stay on top of your Yorkie’s vaccinations to help keep them healthy and prevent infections, which can be a major puppy killer. Vaccines shield against distemper, leptospirosis, and parvovirus – all three of which are deadly for unvaccinated Yorkies.

Birth defects like liver shunts account for 10.5% of deaths in older dogs, according to the Guinness Book Of World Records, while trauma makes up 5%.

Avoid Potential Hazards in Your Home

Be sure to secure potential hazards around your home, such as electrical cords and small objects that could be swallowed, to help keep your Yorkie safe. Good genetics play a role in longevity, but environmental factors are just as important.

Make sure woodland creatures and outdoor predators can’t enter the yard. Control airborne pollutants inside by using an air purifier or changing filters regularly on HVAC systems. Keep up with vaccinations so your pup is protected from deadly diseases like distemper or parvovirus; ask the vet for advice on which ones are best for Yorkies at any stage of life.

By following these simple steps, you’ll ensure that you’re doing all you can to prolong their lifespan!

Diet Plan

Feed your pup a high-quality diet to keep them energized and their body healthy for years to come. Avoid people food, as many human foods can be toxic or unhealthy for dogs, even those of the same size.

Look out for weight control; obesity is a common issue in smaller breeds like Yorkies and it can lead to other health issues down the road.

Research dog breed-specific diets that are developed with their unique needs in mind so they get all the nutrients needed throughout life stages. Proper care includes feeding amounts at regular times each day so you’ll know when something may be off balance with your pup’s dietary habits, as well as providing fresh water daily.

Don’t forget – quality nutrition contributes significantly towards ensuring longevity!


Regularly brushing your Yorkie’s teeth and providing them with dental chews helps keep their mouth healthy, which in turn can help extend their life. Dental care is essential for maintaining a pet’s quality of life, as well as preventing painful issues like bad breath, gum disease, and stunted growth due to tartar buildup.

Veterinary dental cleanings are also important to remove calculus buildup on the surface of the teeth that regular brushing can’t remove.


Encourage your Yorkie to stay active and have fun with plenty of exercise! Regular physical activity can help promote a longer life for individual Yorkshire Terriers, as well as reduce the risk of diseases associated with old age.

Play games like fetch or take them on walks around the neighborhood; this helps keep their muscles strong, heart healthy, and joints limber. Don’t overexert your pup – adjust intensity according to their breed size and age so they don’t overdo it.

Your Yorkshire Terrier’s Health

Your Yorkshire Terrier
It’s important to understand how you can help your Yorkshire Terrier live a long and healthy life. Dental disease, infections, obesity, parasites, spaying or neutering are all factors that can significantly impact the lifespan of your Yorkie.

Dental Disease

It’s important to brush your pup’s teeth daily, as dental disease is a major contributor to premature Yorkie death – like an invisible thief stealing away precious years.

Dental issues can range from bad breath and plaque build-up to periodontal disease, which reduces blood supply needed for healthy gums and bones.

Signs of dental problems include difficulty chewing or drooling, weight loss, pawing the face/mouth area, and discolored or broken teeth in breeds such as Dandie Dinmonts.

Prevention through regular brushing helps maintain good oral health throughout your pet’s life, so they live longer, healthier lives with less pain!


Be sure to vaccinate your Yorkie against infections, as they’re a major puppy killer. Distemper, leptospirosis, and parvovirus are common causes of death in young Yorkshire Terriers. As they age, their risk increases for heart valve disease and respiratory illness, which account for 16% of adult deaths.

Birth defects like liver shunts can also be fatal at 10.5%. Trauma is another leading cause – take care when walking or playing with your pup! It’s important to keep up regular vet visits throughout their life so you’re able to spot any illnesses early on and provide the best possible care for them into old age.


Feed your pup a portion-controlled diet and provide plenty of exercise to help prevent obesity. Yorkies are prone to this common condition, especially if they don’t get enough activity.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Measure food portions carefully.
  2. Take them on daily walks or play with toys.
  3. Monitor for signs like excessive eating, hair loss, or lethargy by the time they reach 6 months of age.

Making sure their environment is healthy and active can keep your yorkie feeling energetic throughout their lifespan! Regular vet checkups will also ensure any issues relating to weight gain can be addressed quickly and efficiently, giving you peace of mind that your pet is happy and healthy over the years ahead!


Regularly check your pup for signs of parasites, as these can be a major cause of illness in Yorkies. Parasites like fleas, ticks, and worms are common nuisances that can lead to infection and anemia if left untreated.

Examine your pet’s fur for pests after walks or playtime outside, then clean their coat with a specialized shampoo or grooming wipe. Also, look out for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy – all possible indicators of infestation.

Spay or Neuter

Schedule a spay or neuter appointment for your pup and give them the gift of longer, healthier years! Neutering has health benefits like reducing the risk of certain cancers, infections, and illnesses.

Yorkies have mini yorkie lifespans from 12-15 years, but neutering can help increase life expectancy. It also reduces aggression in male dogs, which can lead to injuries or death due to fights with other animals.

Here are five key points about spaying/neutering:

  • Reduces risks of cancer & infection
  • Can enhance lifespan up to 2+ years
  • Prevents unplanned litters & overpopulation
  • Decreases aggressive behavior
  • Improves overall pet wellness & quality of life

With proper care such as regular vet checkups and vaccinations, plus proactive lifestyle choices like dieting/exercising, you’re giving your pooch the best chance at a long healthy Yorkshire Terrier lifespan!

Genetic Predispositions for Yorkshire Terriers

Genetic Predispositions for Yorkshire Terriers
Greeting! It is important to be aware of the common genetic predispositions for Yorkshire Terriers, such as Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s), Eye Problems, Liver Problems, Heart Disease, and Bone and Joint Issues.

By understanding these potential health issues in advance, you can take proactive steps to increase your Yorkie’s lifespan through preventative care. In this discussion, we will go over each condition in detail so that you are informed about their symptoms and treatment options available.

Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s)

Monitor your Yorkie for signs of hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s), like increased drinking and urination, reduced activity levels, and thinning hair. Cushing’s is a genetic predisposition unique to the Yorkshire Terrier breed due to their smaller size and luxurious coat.

If left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications that may affect the Yorkie’s lifespan.

Vaccinations are important in preventing infections, which could complicate existing conditions such as Cushing’s. Maintaining a quality diet, including regular exercise for cardiovascular health, and providing regular dental care, including brushing or using chews available on the market today, are all key components of preventive care that will increase life expectancy in Yorkies with this condition.

Eye Problems

Pay attention to your yorkie’s eyes, as common health issues such as cataracts and dry eye can cloud their vision like a fog. Yorkies have an average lifespan of 12-15 years, but the oldest recorded Yorkshire Terrier lived to 25 years old, with respiratory issues being the leading cause of death.

Poor air quality due to airborne pollutants can exacerbate eye problems in these small dogs.

Dental care is also important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, which supports overall wellbeing throughout a yorkie’s life. Regular vet checkups are best practice when it comes to catching early signs of disease that may impact longevity.

  • Watch for symptoms such as redness, itching, or discharge from their eyes.
  • Average lifespan: 12-15 years, with the oldest living up to 25.
  • Respiratory illness accounts for 16% of adult Yorkie deaths, making it the leading cause of death.
  • Quality diet and regular exercise help maintain good health.

Liver Problems

Be aware of potential liver problems in your Yorkie, such as shunts or other disorders, which may shorten their lifespan. Females are more prone to these than males, and older Yorkies tend to be affected more severely.

Liver issues account for 10.5% of deaths among Yorkshire Terriers and can cause severe diarrhea if left untreated.

As a leading cause of mortality in the breed, regular vet checkups should include screening tests for any indication that your pet has an underlying problem with their liver health or functioning.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is a common health issue in Yorkies, so it’s important to keep an eye on your pup for any signs or symptoms of cardiovascular problems.

  • Exercise regularly to maintain good heart health.
  • Provide quality food that meets all nutritional requirements.
  • Visit the vet annually and biannually for seniors 8+.

Yorkie lifespan ranges from 12 – 15 years, but older dogs have been known to live up to 25 years old. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death, along with respiratory issues, cancer, trauma, and birth defects like liver shunts.

Bone and Joint Problems

It’s essential to be proactive in managing joint and bone issues for your pup, as they can lead to discomfort or even disability. Luxating patellas are common in Yorkies, where the kneecap pops out of place, causing pain and lameness.

Disc disease is another problem caused by herniated discs that cause severe back spasms, leading to paralysis or death if not treated early on. Other conditions include hip dysplasia, elbow arthritis, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), fractures due to weak bones, and spinal defects.

These conditions can all have potentially fatal outcomes if left untreated. Regular check-ups with a vet should help prevent these problems while helping diagnose any possible issues before they become life-threatening.

How to Extend the Yorkie Lifespan

How to Extend the Yorkie Lifespan
Staying on top of vet visits and vaccinations, minimizing the chance of trauma, spaying or neutering your Yorkie, feeding them a nutritious diet, and keeping them active are all key ways to help extend the lifespan of your beloved pet.

Regular veterinarian check-ups will ensure any potential health issues can be spotted early enough to be treated effectively.

Trauma can also have serious consequences, so it’s important that you keep an eye out for hazards in their environment, such as pools or roads with heavy traffic.

Lastly, making sure they stick to a balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients, along with plenty of exercise, will provide many lasting benefits throughout their lifespan.

Stay on Top of Vet Visits and Vaccinations

Regularly visiting the vet and keeping vaccinations up to date are essential in helping your Yorkie stay healthy and prolong their life. So why not proactively take care of your pup? Vaccinations protect against infections, while regular exercise helps maintain cardiovascular health – both important for lengthening a Yorkshire Terrier’s lifespan.

The oldest ever recorded lived 25 years old! With proper diet and dental care (e.g., brushing teeth), you can help prevent obesity and common issues like tracheal collapse or heart disease that lead to early death in this popular breed.

Proactive care is key to extending your Yorkie’s life. Annual checkups, plus biannual exams after 8 years, will ensure early detection and treatment of any potential problems before they become fatal.

Minimize the Chance of Trauma

Take precautions to reduce the risk of trauma for your Yorkie and ensure a longer, healthier life.

  • Keep up with vaccinations – distemper, leptospirosis, parvovirus.
  • Provide quality food and exercise – avoid obesity.
  • Inspect all toys before use – no small parts that can be swallowed.
  • Monitor activity levels to prevent overexertion or injury.
  • Keep an eye out for other animals when outdoors.

Be proactive about protecting your teacup yorkie lifespan or parti yorkie lifespan and watch closely for any signs of illness. Consider regular vet visits; this will help catch health problems early so they can be treated promptly and allow you to monitor changes in behavior which may indicate potential risks such as trauma from external sources like fights with other animals/people or accidents caused by falls, etc.

Spay or Neuter Your Yorkie

Spay or neuter your Yorkie to help them live a longer, healthier life. Research has shown that neutering and spaying can increase the average lifespan of small breeds by up to two years. Neutering eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and reduces aggressive tendencies in males, while spaying prevents uterine infections and mammary tumors in females.

It also decreases their desire for roaming outside, which helps protect them from possible accidents or fights with other animals. For teacup Yorkies, who have a shorter lifespan than larger breeds, these precautionary steps are even more important for ensuring their safety and longevity.

Even if they aren’t intended as breeding dogs, it’s still crucial to be proactive about their healthcare needs so they can enjoy long lives full of energy and playtime!

Feed Your Dog a Nutritious Diet

Feeding your pup a nutritious diet helps to keep them healthy, happy, and extend their lifespan. Yorkies require a balanced diet of high-quality proteins, vegetables, grains, and fats that cater to their small size.

Avoid overfeeding as it can lead to obesity, which places stress on the puppy’s spinal cord or contributes to health issues in older Yorkies.

Providing food tailored towards the current breed is important for maintaining energy levels needed for breeding Yorkies or playing games with your pup.

Supplementing meals with specially formulated treats designed for Yorkie lifespan maximizes their benefits, providing an enjoyable experience while also promoting longevity within this unique pet species!

Keep Your Dog Active

Exercising your Yorkie regularly can help keep their heart healthy and extend their life expectancy. A consistent walking or running routine is great for small breeds, as it bolsters cardiovascular health and keeps them lean.

Keeping your pup active also helps maintain bone strength, joint flexibility, mental alertness, and encourages socialization – all elements necessary for a happy, long life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between male and female Yorkie lifespans?

The average lifespan of a Yorkie is 12-15 years, with females living 5 years longer than males. Take proactive steps to ensure your pup lives as long as possible by giving them regular vet exams and preventative care, a quality diet, exercise for heart health, and dental care.

What is the best type of food for a Yorkie?

Feed your Yorkie a high-quality diet for optimal health. Choose one specifically designed for small breeds that contains omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, biotin, vitamins C, EPA, and DHA; avoid obesity.

How often should a Yorkie have vet checkups?

You should take your Yorkie to the vet at least once a year for regular checkups. Biannual visits are recommended for seniors 8+ to screen for diseases and discuss any concerns.

What are the signs of health problems in a Yorkie?

Signs of health problems in a Yorkie include coughing, sneezing, weight loss or gain, poor appetite, and energy levels. Look out for signs of eye and ear infections too. Other warning signs can be changes in behavior such as aggression or depression and excessive licking or scratching.

Are there any special precautions to take for a Yorkie living in a warmer climate?

If your Yorkie lives in a warmer climate, take special precautions to ensure their health and safety. Provide them with adequate shade and access to fresh water at all times. Regularly groom them for signs of overheating or skin irritation, and limit exposure to hot surfaces such as pavements or sand.

Take breaks during walks if the temperature is high, avoiding midday heat whenever possible.


Your Yorkshire Terrier is a beloved companion and a source of joy and comfort. Yorkies are one of the longest-living breeds, with an average lifespan of 12-15 years. But, with the right care, diet, and lifestyle, you can help your pup live a long and healthy life.

Vaccinations are essential to protect against infections and parasites, while a quality diet and regular exercise can help keep your pup’s weight in check and prevent obesity-related health issues. Make sure to provide proper dental care, such as brushing and chews, to help prevent dental disease.

Be on the lookout for early signs of common health issues like eye problems, kidney or bladder stones, and skin allergies. With proactive care, you can help extend your Yorkie’s lifespan and ensure your furry friend enjoys a lifetime of love and companionship.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.