You may not associate shedding, or hair loss, with a Yorkie.
It is often called a hypoallergenic breed and is good for owners with an allergy. However, no breed is truly hypoallergenic.
According to the AKC, regarding the Yorkshire Terrier and their hair, which is not fur:
“The breed’s glory is a long, silky coat of blue and tan that looks and behaves much like human hair.
Lots of brushing and grooming are required to keep the low-shedding coat at its shimmering best; some owners prefer to keep their Yorkie in a clip shorter than the luxurious, flowing version seen at dog shows.
A Yorkie’s dark eyes shine with intelligence and add to the air of self-importance owners find so endearing.”
Even though the coat of the Yorkie is hair, not fur, shedding or hair loss is still possible.
Dogs that have hair still go through the process of it being renewed, with some of the hairs falling out and then new hair growing in.
You are probably now wondering how you can help prevent this hair loss in your Yorkie.
Here are six tips to help keep your dog’s coat beautiful and prevent further hair loss.
Your Yorkie should be brushed daily. Trimming will keep his coat looking good.
Because it is easier to care for, many owners give their Yorkie a “puppy dog cut” as opposed to a “show dog cut”, which is the long-haired version of the Yorkie often seen in show competitions.
With brushing, hairs are pulled up and are prevented from getting tangled.
Dead hairs on the brush are not bad; they just mean that you are making the coat healthier and cleaner.
Hair should not be brushed when it is dry and brittle; it should be moisturized as discussed below.
As far as a technique for brushing, the Yorkie Information Center suggests,
“Using a bubble tipped pin brush, be sure to gently go down into the coat enough so that you are reaching the skin and then sweep down and up, to grab hairs that have shed.”
You may notice additional shedding of hair in a female after pregnancy and heat; this is normal due to hormonal changes.
Moisturize and condition
You should be using a high-quality canine shampoo.
You should not be using human shampoo on your Yorkie. Afterward, you can use a misting leave-in conditioner, which will make hair easier to brush and comb.
Conditioning also offers protection from sun and wind and damage as well as dry hair.
Ensure proper nutrition
The right nutrition and a proper diet of protein, fatty acids and minerals will help keep your dog’s skin in top condition, aiding in the prevention of hair loss.
Include Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty and acids in your dog’s diet, which play a role in protecting your Yorkie from baldness, dermatitis, and eczema.
Omega-3 makes the hair fibers stronger and helps prevent itching, which can cause further loss of hair.
Get medical attention
If your dog is shedding excessively, there might be an underlying problem. To find what may be the issue, take your Yorkie to the vet for an examination.
Hair that is coming out in clumps may require medical attention, so be sure to have your Yorkie examined.
Cushing’s Syndrome and Hypothyroidism can cause a dog to lose their hair.
Hypothyroidism is not common in the breed; however it can cause hair loss, so it is smart to get this checked out with your vet.
Check for allergies and parasites
Fleas, ticks, and mites can cause itching and atopic dermatitis. With long flowing hair, especially, skin is vulnerable to parasites.
Check your dog when it returns from outdoors. Grooming sessions should help you in determining if skin conditions or parasites are causing hair loss and will aid in preventing it.
Skin allergies and allergic reactions to foods or inhalants can be tested at the vet; some Yorkies are prone to skin infections, which could cause loss of hair.
Because the hair follicles do not get enough nutrients from blood if the Yorkshire Terrier is anemic or has lower blood pressure, it is important to enhance circulation.
Your Yorkie’s circulation will improve with daily exercise.
With good circulation, hair follicles receive the nourishment that they need, ensuring the cycle of replacement of new hair as old hair falls out.
Exercise and walking is the best way to get the circulation and blood flowing.
Keep him happy
If your Yorkie is anxious or stressed, he may engage in excessive licking or biting of the skin. According to Veterinary Practice,
“The problem tends to occur in middle-aged to older breeds such as the Doberman, Great Dane, Golden Labrador, Labrador retriever, German shepherd and Boxer, although it may occur in other breeds including crossbreeds.”
This acral lick dermatitis is known to damage the skin as well as hair follicles and hair cover.
Adequate mental and physical stimulation will aid in addressing damage from licking his coat.
Daily walks, a calm home environment and interesting toys can help address this psychological problem and prevent further hair loss.
A little knowledge can help you in preventing hair loss in your Yorkshire Terrier.
Moreover, he will look and feel great, and you will find less hair around.