fluffy yorkie

How Long Do Yorkies Live

Do you have a house pet? Or do you want to adopt one? If you are looking for your first one, you’d probably want a small, friendly, fluffy, and kind of docile dog. The best options for you might be a Pomeranian, a Chihuahua, a Papillon, or maybe a Yorkshire Terrier. 

Humans generally enjoy a friend they can cuddle, play with, and who can love them back just as much. But keeping such pets is a huge responsibility, and you create an emotional attachment with them once they become a regular being in your life.

baby yorkie
Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

So the first question you might ask before you adopt a Yorkie is, “How long do Yorkies live?”.

Yorkies have a comparatively longer life cycle than most breeds, and you can enjoy their companionship for 13 to 15 years, and some may be more than others. All this depends on the lifestyle and the quality of life you offer to any pet, in this case, a Yorkie.

So how can you get an idea of how long your Yorkie can live? It all depends on you and your relationship with your pup and the care you give.

The Oldest Yorkie Ever to Live 

the oldest yorkie ever to live
Photo by Sarah Chai from Pexels

In the case of Yorkies, stats suggest they live longer than most advanced dog breeds. All you need to do is take good care of your Yorkie and hope that your dog has an excellent genetic line.

You’d be surprised to know that the longest Yorkshire Terrier to live was a female named Bonny. When her owners adopted her, Bonny was a three-year-old from Leeds, England. She is known to have died of natural causes and old age at 28 whopping years of happy and healthy life.

But there is another reported case of Jack, a 25-year-old Yorkie who died back in 2016 when attacked by another dog. Who knows long could he have lived? 

However, females usually live longer than others.

If you adopt a Yorkshire Terrier, you might want to know every fact on how to take care of them. Furthermore, you might want to know every precautionary measure to ensure a long and healthy life for your pup.

Common Causes of Death in Yorkies

yorkie with poor health
Image by Liza on Pixabay

Yorkies tend to live longer than most domestic dog breeds; however, some issues might arise. Most of these problems are treatable diseases if caught early, while some can be psychological. Animals can also have poor health if they don’t have mental and emotional stability.

Moreover, there are different causes of death in adult Yorkies and Yorkie Puppies. Puppies, especially Yorkie Puppies, need our attentive care the most. Like any other baby animal, Yorkie puppies are prone to many infectious diseases. Here is a concise list of infections for you to look out for.

Here are some of these problems and diseases you need to look out for.


It is a bacterial infection caused by Spirochete bacteria. This is a common bacteria found widely in damp areas, like ponds or wet quicksands, and it is easily transmitted through rodents and even domestic animals.

Dogs are more prone to such infections as they have a habit of sniffing around or drinking contaminated water.

Not all dogs have the same reactions to the same bacteria. But most unvaccinated puppies under six months can acquire this bacteria, so you should keep a keen eye on their outdoor activities.

The easiest way to avoid this infection is to get your Yorkie vaccinated. The vaccinations and their strength can vary with your dog’s activities and age, so share their routine with your veterinarian. 


If your puppy has severe dehydration, diarrhea, weight loss, or violent vomiting, it is most probably suffering from Parvovirus infection.

It spreads mainly by contact with already infected dogs or their feces. If caught early with the symptoms, you can treat 90% of dogs, but you should remain keen on any unusual symptoms.

It would help if you got your Yorkie vaccinated when they are 14 to 16 weeks old. The virus doesn’t usually affect adult Yorkies, but there is a chance for them to catch it too.


The most common infection and similar to rabies – the most well-known viral disease in dogs – is the Canine Distemper.

It is a very rapidly progressing virus that attacks the nervous system. In some cases, it can also make it hard for your puppy to breathe and maybe defecate.

You should look out for any seizures, convulsions, uncontrollable spasms, or paralysis. Above all, avoid contact with wild animals and clean their water and feeding bowls properly. There is no cure for Distemper, but you can get a vaccine to prevent them from having it in the first place. 

The Distemper surviving Yorkies usually end up with a severely affected nervous system.


Although we would like our children to bond with the puppy at an early age, we should be vigilant when children show too much affection towards the puppies. 

Toddlers can’t differentiate between a fluff toy and your newest little furry member of the family. Although, who can blame them since these cute tiny Yorkies just seem to invite cuddles.

However, believe it or not, this is one of the most common causes of death in Yorkie puppies. Although you might not see it, even a little pressure can be challenging for them to handle. Even a minor fall as high as a foot may harm their fragile little bodies. Therefore, you need to be more aware of the things that could inflict such trauma on the animal.

So here are some precautions to consider. When carrying them in your car, use a stroller or a soft cage to avoid bumps when applying the brakes. Secondly, put them in a secure bed or fence to keep them in at night. Moreover, you should keep an open eye when walking around the house or sitting on your sofa.

Congenital Diseases

A study done by some students from the University of Georgia found that 10.5% of Yorkies die of many diseases or conditions present from birth. Meanwhile, this study included many congenital conditions like neurologic defects, skeletal muscle defects, hip and paw abnormalities, and many more.

However, the study found that Yorkies mostly suffer from Liver Shunts. In layman’s terms, your dog’s blood cannot reach its liver, and hence the liver cannot detox the blood, resulting in many complications.

These are all the top reasons your Yorkie may have a relatively small life, but is there anything you can do to make sure they live a long, happy life?

Steps You Can Take to Extend the Yorkie Lifespan

newly-spayed yorkie
Image by StockSnap on Pixabay

Many things come to mind when guiding people about dog care, but the most important ones can be:

Visit your vet at least once a month.

You need to stay in touch with your vet to monitor your dog’s health and stay on top of all the vaccinations you can get to ensure your Yorkie doesn’t contract any viral diseases. 

Moreover, your vet can keep a close eye on your dog’s vitals if anything odd seems to appear. For instance, if your dog is going through any small changes in hormones or behavior, a vet would be the first person to diagnose the underlying causes.

Besides, You can also look into some pet insurance policies or health sharing plans like Lemonade, Wagmo, Eusoh, PetAssure, and others.

Spay or Neuter your Yorkie 

Research proves that spaying or neutering your dog can be a vital step towards increasing its life and quality of living. Sterilizing your Yorkies can help them fight infections more effectively.

Although there is no fixed time or age to get them neutered, you should have them neutered once they reach sexual maturity.

Avoid any trauma and maintain a nutritious diet

You should be vigilant when you let your infants around Yorkies. You should also minimize any jumping distance for your Yorkie pups.

In addition, attach a small bell to their collar so that you know when they go running through the door or towards you when you are not looking.

Along with all these cautions, you should also look out for any fungus in any corner of the house where your Yorkie might go for a sniff. Don’t leave any buttons lying around on the floor. Keep your Yorkie away from any chocolate treats, raisins, grapes. And last but not least, don’t stick any chewing gum under any surface when you have a Yorkie walking around.


Yorkies are wonderful animals to have as pets regardless of how long you will get to call them your own. They usually survive for about 13 to 15 years, which could be longer. Like any other animal, they will die at some point, but you can avoid any premature death with the information in the article. Pets can be as fragile as humans and need all the care and attention we can give.

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