Yorkies are one of the most adorable and yet, high-maintenance dog breeds. They have one of the smoothest hair coats, but with this luxurious appearance comes some skin sensitivity. Taking this into consideration, how often should you bathe a Yorkie?
© Photo by Giorgio Trovato on UnsplashIt is recommended to bathe your Yorkie at least once every two to four weeks with a gentle shampoo that is rich in moisture. Due to their fine and silky hair, their skin is more sensitive and delicate than other breeds. This article will review Yorkie’s hair and skin more in-depth, the proper care and guide to bathing this breed, the importance of choosing a high-quality shampoo and cleaning them correctly, what can happen if you don’t wash their hair, and any additional tips to help keep your dog’s coat in a healthy condition.
Yorkie’s Hair and Skin Characteristics
Yorkshire Terrier is most well-known for its silky and distinctive coat, which is one of the main characteristics of this breed.
© Photo by Susana Segovia Barbero on UnsplashTheir unique hair and skin make their care and grooming a little bit more extensive and rigorous with the types of products you use. These high-maintenance dogs require understanding their skin sensitivity and fine hair texture, which heavily influences how often you bathe them. Here are some coat elements to take into consideration:
- Puppy coat: when Yorkies are first born, they tend to have a mixture of black and tan hair strands, making them significantly different from adults. In addition to this, they tend to be thicker and softer in texture which is overall common for most puppies. Their delicate coating acts as a protective barrier that keeps their skin warm and protected until they eventually grow into adulthood, and usually, the prominent highlights tend to fade in after twenty-four months.
- Silky coat or AKC Standard: the majority of terriers tend to have this classification and are best known for being shiny and fine in hair texture. Another thing is that it can easily grow super long and overall straight. However, pet owners’ biggest challenge is to keep the Yokie’s skin moisturized in an appropriate manner due to their hair characteristics; it does not provide adequate protection and is prone to tangling.
- Cotton or Wire Coats: even though Yorkshires tend to have silky consistency, there are some cases in which they have what is often referred to as “cotton coat.” Due to their thickness, they are incapable of growing too long and tend to have a wave curl pattern, making them prone to getting matted. This type of hair in Yorkies makes them more demanding due to constant grooming.
Now that we know the two types of coating of the Yorkshire Terrier, there are some elements to take into consideration, such as:
- Sun exposure
- Dry weather
As a result, the breed may suffer some negative effects, and therefore, they require to use high-quality shampoo, conditioner, and grooming tools that can improve and make a huge difference on their hair. In addition to this, the frequency of grooming and bathing will heavily depend on the breed, and Yorkshire Terriers tend to have drier and more sensitive skin. According to Dr. Robin Downing from DVM, approximately twenty-five percent of dog visits to the vet usually involve issues with the haircoat or skin problems. They tend to suffer from the following:
- Redness or rashes
- Musty odor
How Is This Related To Bathing And Grooming?
Most of these skin sensitivity and potential allergies stem from the lack of proper hair care, which requires more attention.
How Often Should You Bathe Yorkshires?
Various sources recommend Yorkies owners to bathe them at least once every two to four weeks, and beware of washing them too frequently since overwashing your pet can cause their dry and delicate skin to face some irritation and potential health issues.
© Photo by Lui Peng on UnsplashSince bathing is a basic hygiene necessity for your dog, you must accustom to their breed and satisfy their needs. This is why for Yorkies, it is vital to use high-quality shampoos and a proper care routine.
Guide on Properly Bathing Your Yorkie
Here is a simple step by step guide on how to wash your Yorkshire’s haircoat appropriately:
- Start by brushing the tangles: every time you have to wash your dog’s coat, it is best to comb out any knots and tangles that may be found. This is necessary because this breed has a long and fine hair texture that, if it’s left unaddressed, can produce painful matting.
- Check the water temperature: because this breed is prone to dry skin, it is best to opt out for lukewarm water between seventy and eighty degrees Fahrenheit, which would be perfect for your Yorkshire.
- Make bathtime enjoyable: this is perfect if your dog doesn’t love bathing so much. Try to incorporate occasional treats as a way to associate this activity with something positive and rewarding. This will make your Yorkie more excited about taking a bath.
- Protect their ears: it is fundamental to prevent water from getting into their years since it can cause the growth of yeast and bacteria. Many pet owners like to place cotton balls inside their ears to keep them dry, or even pet shower caps might be useful to get the task done.
- Choose the perfect shampoo: it is best to opt for a high-quality hair shampoo that is rich in moisture due to its dry and sensitive skin. Avoid using any hair shampoo that contains irritating or drying chemicals. Make sure your Yorkie’s coat is nice and wet, then distribute the product by running down your fingers through their back and to the feet. Rinse it thoroughly by combing the hair strands to prevent any knots or tangles.
- Apply an oil-based conditioner cream: this is necessary in order to moisturize their coat fully, keep their skin hydrated, and prevent any tangles from forming.
Shampoos for Yorkshire Terriers
As we previously mentioned, it is vital to choose a high-quality shampoo that is high in moisture and natural. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid any harsh chemicals that might dry out their sensitive skin. Also, before we get into which are the best shampoos for Yorkies, it is fundamental to understand that we shouldn’t use human shampoo on this breed. This is because human skin is more acidic, and the pH-balanced levers are usually around 4.5 to 5.5. However, if we use the same hair product on this breed, it can cause some irritation on their skin since they need one with a pH level between 6.5 to 7.5. In other words, they require a shampoo that is more alkaline than human ones. Professional groomers have recommended for Yorkie owners to use Vermont Soap Dog Shampoo, which is USDA-certified and approved to be used on them. This is more on the milder side and is rich in oils. However, we have compiled a brief list of the best shampoos for their sensitive and dry skin:
- 4-Legger USDA Certified Shampoo: this has organic components and has no parabens nor harsh ingredients. The lemongrass and rosemary oils help to give a fresh smell and protect your dog from any infestations.
- Oliver’s Choice Dog Shampoo: this is a hypoallergenic product that helps soothe itchy and dry skin. In addition to this, it has coconut surfactant that helps clean your dog’s coat thoroughly, leaving them with a great smell.
As a result, Yorkies shouldn’t be bathed too often due to their sensitive and itchy skin. However, their fine and silky coat requires neat grooming and constant attention for any matting or tangles. It is best to use high-quality and rich in moisture shampoo, comb out any knots before bathing them and focus on rinsing it thoroughly.
- How Often Should I Bathe My Yorkie (yorkshireterrier.dog)
- How to Bathe a Yorkie (And How Often) | The Dog Tale
- How Often Should You Bathe Your Yorkie? Tips, Tricks and More! – Yorkie Passion
- Yorkie Grooming – How Often to Bathe A Yorkie? – Yorkie Grooming Tips 2019 (yorkieadvice.com)
- How Often Should A Yorkie Be Bathed (Step-By-Step Guide) (activedogsports.com)
- Yorkie skin problems (yorkiemag.com)
- How to Bathe a Yorkie? – Yorkiepage.com
- Bathing Yorkies (thenest.com)
- Yorkie Hair Growth & Care: How to Manage a Healthy Yorkie Coat (thedogtale.com)
- Yorkie Hair Stages – Learn About Yorkie Coats – Yorkie Advice
- The Yorkie Coat – Facts, Care, Grooming, & Haircut Styles – PlayBarkRun