Teacup yorkies are even cuter than regular-sized ones.
But, sadly, they usually don’t stick around as long.
Their small size puts them at higher risk for all sorts of health problems. And also injury from accidents.
The risk of complication during medical procedures is higher, too.
All of this adds up to a much shorter life expectancy.
So what is the average teacup yorkie lifespan?
Keep reading to find out just how long you can expect your mini yorkie to live, along with a closer look at the reasons they do not live as long. We’ll also give you some tips on what you can do to help your little pup survive as long as possible.
- 1 How Long Do Teacup Yorkies Live?
- 2 Lifespan Of A Yorkie: Teacup Vs Mini Vs Toy
- 3 Mini Yorkie Lifespan: Reasons It Is Shorter
- 4 Teacup Yorkie Life Expectancy: What You Can Do To Maximize It
- 5 Teacup Yorkie Lifespan: Conclusion
How Long Do Teacup Yorkies Live?
The average life expectancy of a micro yorkie is around 7 to 9 fruitful years. This is significantly shorter than the life expectancy of a regular-sized yorkie, due to increased health risks and potential for trauma.
This article will feature the life expectancy of a micro yorkie and what you can expect from adopting one. It will also discuss some healthy grooming tips that can prolong the life expectancy of your precious pet and make the most of its days with you and your family.
Lifespan Of A Yorkie: Teacup Vs Mini Vs Toy
You will see the terms mini, toy, teacup and micro used with regard to yorkies and you are probably wondering what the difference is. Well, despite what many other sites would have you believe, there is no difference.
All yorkies are toy dogs, so when you see the phrase “toy yorkie”, it is just referring to any yorkie. That includes micro, mini and teacup. As for those three terms, they are all the same. They basically just refer to a yorkie that is much smaller than the average size.
Now that we know there are basically just two yorkie sizes, regular-sized Yorkshire terriers and teacup (aka mini or micro) yorkies, we also know there are only two different average lifespans to talk about.
We already mentioned above that the life expectancy of a mini yorkie is 7 to 9 years. That is considerably shorter than the life expectancy of a regular-sized yorkie, for a number of reason.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at the reasons the teacup yorkie life expectancy is so much shorter than that of a regular-sized Yorkshire terrier.
Mini Yorkie Lifespan: Reasons It Is Shorter
Mini yorkies require more care than regular-sized ones and they are more prone to health problems. You will need to be more vigilant about providing proper care (we’ll go into some details on this below) and you will need to take your pup for more frequent check-ups at the vet.
But even if you do everything right, the life expectancy of a teacup yorkie will always be significantly lower.
Of course, that does not mean that your three-pound yorkie won’t live just as long as a standard-sized one. It happens. It just means the average is lower and you should be ready for your dog to die younger.
That’s just part of the deal when you own a teacup Yorkshire terrier. Or any teacup dog, for that matter.
There is a large variation in how long any dog breed lives. It depends on many different factors, like genetics, the care they receive, luck (accidents are a common cause of death), and more.
As mentioned, we’ll go a little bit into caring for a mini yorkie below. First, let’s look at genetics. Because most of the health issues that affect teacup yorkies are congenital or they are due to their small size. And both have to do with their genes.
Tiny dogs have tiny stomachs. And that means you can’t feed them one or two big meals a day. They simply don’t have the room to hold that much food.
And you can’t feed them one or two smaller meals, because then they won’t get enough food each day which leads to the next problem on this list below.
So you have to feed your mini Yorkshire terrier 3 or 4 smaller meals throughout the day, so that it gets all the calories its needs and can fit it all into its stomach.
Hypoglycemia means low blood sugar, which results from insufficient food. A teacup yorkie’s small size means their blood sugar can drop to dangerous levels very quickly. If it does, you will notice your dog becoming lethargic, starts shivering, and it might be tilting its head. Any of these signs mean you need to get some food in it right away or it could slip into a coma.
Liver shunts are a congenital disease that result in the dog’s liver being unable to flush toxins out of the blood. The resulting build up of toxins in the bloods means they get deposited in other organs, like the heart. This can ultimately be fatal.
All yorkies are at higher risk of liver shunts than most other breeds, but micro yorkies are at especially high risk.
Hydrocephalus is also known as “water on the brain”. It is a condition where cerebrospinal fluid leaks inside the dog’s skull. The result is brain swelling, which causes increased pressure in the skull. This can lead to permanent brain damage and can eventually cause death.
Smaller dogs are also more predisposed to various issues with their teeth and gums. A common problem is that baby teeth don’t come out correctly and end up having to be removed entirely.
All yorkies are at higher risk of a collapsed trachea than other dogs, but teacup yorkies are at an even higher risk. A tracheal collapse makes it difficult to breathe and leaves your pet having sudden coughing fits, especially when getting exercise.
There are a number of factors that contribute to this issue and you can’t do anything about most of them. But you can avoid using a collar, which puts pressure on the trachea. Use a harness to attach a leash for walks, instead.
The smaller the dog, the easier it is to overlook and the more brittle the bones. That means a higher risk of suffering trauma due to an accident. Tiny teacup yorkies are commonly stepped on, hit by cars or bikes, etc. All of these can do serious damage to such a small, fragile body.
Higher Risk Of Complications During Surgery
The fact that these dogs’ blood sugar levels can drop so quickly puts them at much higher risk when under anesthesia. Doctors often have to give them some type of drip to keep their blood sugar levels up, or they could die on the operating table.
Their tiny bodies make it harder for them to keep up their body temperature too. When they are out cold, it can drop to dangerous levels quickly. All of this means a higher risk of death from any type of surgery when compared to larger dogs.
Teacup Yorkie Life Expectancy: What You Can Do To Maximize It
When you have a dog, you have the responsibility to give it love and care every day, regardless of their size. What does depend on size is how much work this can be.
With little dogs, providing the care they need can be double the work, because their small size makes it much easier for them to suffer accidental injuries. You need to take steps to protect them.
Prepare Your Home
Before you even bring your dog home, you should prepare your home for its arrival. In addition to buying all the things your yorkie puppy needs, this means ensuring your home is as safe as possible.
Go through your entire home and look for potentially dangerous things. This could be anything that could possibly fall on your pet or otherwise cause it harm. Secure cabinets, standing TVs, etc, so that they can not fall onto your pet if it bumps them.
During the first two weeks, check in on your yorkie constantly to make sure it is doing well. Of course, you also need to make sure it always has sufficient food, clean water and gets regular bathroom visits.
You should also make sure you have plenty of playtime with your new pup. Not only is this good exercise, but it also helps build to build trust and camaraderie between the two of you.
Provide A Comfortable Bed
One of the most important things to help your puppy adjust to its new surroundings is a cozy dog bed. Do not try to skimp on the cheapest bed possible. Teacup yorkies are expensive and the bed is just a small part of that cost.
How much are teacup yorkies? Read that post to find out, since the price can range quite a bit. But suffice it to say that spending a little more on a nice comfy bed is a tiny fraction of the total cost.
Of course, your dog might be hesitant to get out of its comfy bed, but that is normal. Just monitor it closely and make sure that your pet always knows it is not alone. And be available when he or she wants to come snuggle.
Pay Attention To Your Furniture
We already mentioned this above, but wanted to dedicate an entire section here. Something falling on your dog is one of the main reasons mini yorkies have a shorter life expectancy.
Make sure anything that could potentially fall onto your dog is fasted to the fall, or otherwise held in place to prevent it from falling. Even things like ironing boards can cause a fatal injury, so make sure they are either secure or inaccessible.
You also need to be aware of your feet at all times. This takes some getting used to if you have ever had a small pet, but they find ways to always be underfoot.
This is one time when it might be a good thing that teacup Yorkies bark so much. At least you will usually know where it is at any given time.
Groom Your Mini Yorkie
Proper grooming is not just important to keep your toy yorkie looking its best, it is also important to keep it healthy and extend your miniature yorkie lifespan as much as possible.
All yorkies need grooming due to their luscious coat. Mini yorkies need even more attention. But it’s not just the hair, it is also things like brushing teeth and clipping nails. The first step is getting the proper grooming tools for your yorkie.
Shampoo And Conditioner
The first thing you will need for your micro yorkies is a specially formulated shampoo. You need something with a neutral pH so that it does not irritate your pup’s delicate skin. This is not the place to skimp. Get the best shampoo for yorkies you can find.
A quality shampoo will ensure your dog’s hair stays silky and well-nourished. You should also get a moisturizing conditioner to further help the hair look its best. Read our reviews of the best yorkie conditioners to find a good one.
Brushing And Combing
Brushing and combing is just as important for a yorkie as it is for us humans. That makes sense, since their hair is very similar to ours.
You should brush your teacup yorkie daily. If it has short hair, a quick brushing is fine, but long-haired pups need extra special care. And make sure you use a quality dog brush for your yorkie.
It is essential to rinse everything out of your dog’s hair when it is taking a bath. Leave-in products are an exception, but all other products should be rinsed off properly. Use plenty of water to ensure your dog’s hair is free from all the products you applied.
Use A Bath Brush
A bath brush is a helpful tool when doing all the grooming by yourself. It is great for helping your teacup yorkie relax during the bathing procedure.
Brushing your yorkie while it is in the bath can be pretty calming and has a pleasing effect on its skin. It can help protect it from drying, dullness, and even irritation.
Use Wet Wipes
Wet wipes are hugely useful when it comes to your teacup yorkie’s grooming. Make sure you buy ones that are made specifically for delicate dog skin.
Yorkies are prone to tearing and tend to get tear stains. Gentle wet wipes can be used in the eye area to help remove the tear stains.
Teacup Yorkie Lifespan: Conclusion
Mini yorkies are growing in popularity, but they tend to have a lot of issues that result in a shorter lifespan.
The teacup yorkie life expectancy is so much shorter due to both health issues and their small size making them more vulnerable to injuries from accidents and complications during medical procedures.
There is not much you can do about things like congenital illness, but you can do your part in extending your teacup yorkie’s lifespan by providing the best possible care and always being mindful to not accidentally injure your tiny little pup.