How Long Do Yorkies Live? The Lifespan of Yorkshire Terriers

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Yorkshire Terriers, also known as Yorkies, are small dogs that are full of personality and charm. These pint-sized pups have been popular pets for over a century, and for good reason. They are affectionate, playful, and loyal companions that make great family pets. However, as with all living beings, the question of how long do Yorkies live is an important one for any prospective owner to consider.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the average lifespan of Yorkies, what factors can affect their longevity, and what you can do to help your furry friend live a long and healthy life. So, let’s dive in!

How Long Do Yorkies Live? The Average Lifespan

On average, Yorkies can live anywhere from 12 to 15 years. However, with proper care and attention, some Yorkies have been known to live well into their late teens or even early twenties.

It’s important to note that the lifespan of a Yorkie can vary greatly depending on various factors, including:

  • Genetics: Just like with humans, genetics play a large role in determining the lifespan of a Yorkie. Some dogs may be predisposed to certain health conditions that can shorten their lifespan, while others may be relatively healthy throughout their entire lives.
  • Diet: What your Yorkie eats can have a big impact on their overall health and longevity. Feeding your furry friend a well-balanced, nutritious diet can help them maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health issues that can arise from poor nutrition.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise is essential for keeping your Yorkie healthy and happy. Not only does exercise help your dog maintain a healthy weight, but it also helps keep their heart and lungs strong, improves their mental health, and can even help prevent certain health conditions.
  • Healthcare: Regular visits to the veterinarian for check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative care are essential for keeping your Yorkie healthy and detecting any potential health issues early on. Early detection and treatment can often make all the difference when it comes to extending your dog’s lifespan.
  • Environment: The environment your Yorkie lives in can also play a role in their longevity. Exposure to toxins, pollution, and other environmental factors can have negative effects on your dog’s health and shorten their lifespan.

Factors That Can Affect the Lifespan of Yorkies

In addition to the factors listed above, there are other things that can impact the lifespan of a Yorkie. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Size: Yorkies are small dogs, which means they are more vulnerable to certain health issues than larger breeds. For example, they may be more prone to dental problems, hypoglycemia, and tracheal collapse.
  2. Gender: Female Yorkies tend to live longer than males, although the difference is not significant.
  3. Health: Yorkies that are born with or develop health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer may have a shorter lifespan than healthy dogs.
  4. Lifestyle: Dogs that are exposed to secondhand smoke, have poor nutrition, or live in stressful environments may have shorter lifespans than those with healthier lifestyles.

Tips for Extending Your Yorkie’s Lifespan

While there’s no guarantee that your Yorkie will live a long and healthy life, there are things you can do to increase their chances. Here are some tips for extending your furry friend’s lifespan:

  1. Feed them a well-balanced: Your Yorkie’s diet should consist of high-quality, nutritious food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Avoid feeding them table scraps or low-quality food that can lead to health problems.
  2. Provide regular exercise: Yorkies may be small, but they still need exercise to stay healthy and happy. Take them for daily walks, play with them in the yard, or enroll them in agility classes to keep them active and stimulated.
  3. Regular vet check-ups: Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help detect any potential health issues early on, when they are easier to treat. Vaccinations, parasite prevention, and dental cleanings are all important aspects of preventative care that can help extend your Yorkie’s lifespan.
  4. Keep them mentally stimulated: Yorkies are intelligent dogs that need mental stimulation to thrive. Provide them with puzzle toys, interactive games, and obedience training to keep their minds sharp and engaged.
  5. Maintain a safe environment: Keep your home and yard free of hazards that could harm your Yorkie, such as toxic plants, chemicals, and small objects that they could choke on. Also, keep an eye on your dog when they’re outside to prevent them from wandering off or getting into dangerous situations.
  6. Provide proper grooming: Yorkies have a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming to prevent mats and tangles. Regular brushing, bathing, and trimming can help keep their coat and skin healthy, which can in turn help extend their lifespan.

FAQs about Yorkie Lifespan

What is the life expectancy of a yorkie?

Yorkie puppies can live anywhere from 12 to 15 years on average, although some may live longer or shorter depending on various factors.

How can I extend my Yorkie’s lifespan?

You can extend your Yorkie’s lifespan by providing them with a healthy diet, regular exercise, preventative care from a veterinarian, mental stimulation, a safe environment, and proper grooming.

What health issues are common in Yorkies?

Yorkies may be prone to certain health issues, including dental problems, hypoglycemia, tracheal collapse, and patellar luxation.

What should I do if my Yorkie shows signs of illness?

If your Yorkie shows signs of illness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite, you should take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for evaluation and treatment.


The average lifespan of a Yorkies is 12 to 15 years, but with proper care and attention, they can live longer and healthier lives. Factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, healthcare, and environment can all impact their longevity, so it’s important to provide them with the best possible care. By following the tips outlined in this guide and staying proactive about your Yorkie’s health, you can help ensure that they live a happy and healthy life for years to come.

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