Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Yorkshire Terrier puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in Yorkshire Terriers, the best dog food diet for feeding Yorkie puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.


11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

Yorkshire Terrier dog breed

Yorkshire Terrier Health Problems and Raising a Yorkshire Terrier Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

The most common health problems in Yorkshire Terriers:

The leading health issue in toy dogs is INJURY. You must keep Yorkshire Terriers under constant surveillance and leash/arm control. Too much can happen to these small creatures in the blink of an eye.

  • Bone fractures or a concussion can occur from jumping off furniture, or falling or leaping from your arms, or being hit on the head by a thrown or falling object, or being stepped on.
  • Yorkies can choke on the tiniest object and it takes very little to overdose them with anything toxic.
  • Yorkies can squeeze through the smallest crack of a door or fence and be gone.
  • If you allow them to act foolishly aggressive toward larger dogs, their neck can be broken with a single grab.
  • If you let them off-leash, their excitable chasing instincts may send them under the wheels of a car.

Moving on to diseases, let's start with liver shunt, which is a very serious problem in Yorkshire Terriers. At one veterinary teaching hospital, a full one-third of their liver shunt patients are Yorkies. Anyone who breeds a Yorkshire Terrier without checking both parents for liver shunt is utterly irresponsible, and anyone who buys a Yorkie puppy without making sure that both parents (and the puppy himself) has been tested, is taking a huge risk.

Eye diseases in Yorkshire Terriers include dry eye, cataracts (often progressing to blindness), retinal dysplasia, and occasionally progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

Heart disease (patent ductus arteriosus, valve disease, and cardiomyopathy) is an increasing concern in the breed.

Orthopedic health problems in Yorkies include luxating patella (very common) and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (much less common, but much more serious). Hip dysplasia does occur in Yorkies, but at a low 2% rate.

Epilepsy and white shaker dog syndrome are neurological diseases that occur in Yorkshire Terriers.

Hormonal/endocrine system diseases include hypothyroidism, Cushing's disease, and diabetes.

Skin diseases include allergies (which cause itchy skin and can lead to pyoderma), demodectic mange in Yorkshire Terrier puppies, and color dilution alopecia.

Other Yorkshire Terrier health issues include hypoglycemia in Yorkie puppies and in adults under 4 pounds, urinary stones, colitis, and collapsing trachea.

Hydrocephalus is occasionally seen in Yorkie puppies.

Yorkshire Terriers are prone to dental disease and harmless episodes of reverse sneezing.


You probably want to know if you can prevent those health issues from happening to YOUR Yorkshire Terrier.

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Yorkshire Terriers today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Yorkshire Terrier puppy who is genetically healthy.
  2. Other health problems are environmental, which means they're caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Yorkshire Terrier puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Yorkshire Terrier puppy or adult dog:

Dog lifespan quiz How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.


Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Yorkshire Terrier lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Yorkshire Terrier
The best diet for feeding your Yorkshire Terrier is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Yorkshire Terrier. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Yorkshire Terrier
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Yorkshire Terrier. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Yorkshire Terrier puppy really need? Does your adult Yorkier need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what some vets aren't telling you....


Information on choosing the best vet for your Yorkshire Terrier. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Information on spaying your Yorkshire Terrier. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Yorkshire Terrier.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.