What Is the Lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier?

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Finally! You came back to your apartment with your dream dog in your arms—a cute and cuddly Yorkie! Surely, you cannot wait to spend the rest of your years beside your beloved pet, until you ask yourself, what is the lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier? Well, I have just the right answer for you!

What Is the Lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier?

Yorkshire Terriers generally live 13-16 years which is equivalent to 60-80 in human life. Some of them can make it up to 20 years or more and that’s about 96 human years! 

An image of a Yorkshire terrier standing near a blue and white ball.

Dog’s age differently compared to humans. One of the greatest factors of a dog’s aging process is its size. Since Yorkshire Terriers are known for their small size, their aging process is far more unique than medium or large dogs.

Factors that Affects Yorkshire Terriers’ Lifespan

There are various factors that can affect Yorkshire Terrier’s life expectancy.  The most notable reason is their health. Yorkies can live up to 16 years, but they can deal with various health problems just like humans and other dog breeds.

In fact, there are some illnesses that only Yorkies could have. Here’s a list of their most common health problems:

  • Dental Problems – retention of puppy teeth, and cavities
  • Gut Problems – chronic  diarrhea, ulcer, and vomiting
  • Genetic Problems – hormonal abnormalities, and skeletal malformation
  • Meningitis
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Respiratory Deterioration
  • Trauma and injuries from accidents and mishandling

How to Increase Yorkies’ Lifespan

While Yorkies can suffer from various illnesses that might cause their lifespan to shorten, keeping your Yorkshire Terrier for years can now be attainable.

Thanks to the advancement of technology and continuous efforts of animal health practitioners, most of these illnesses can be treated and cured.

In addition to frequent visits to a trusted veterinary clinic, there are a lot of ways to help them have a longer, healthier, and fuller life.

Create Healthy and Specific Diet

Feed your Yorkies a balanced and well-prepared meal plan specifically aimed to supply their needs.  Research and learn about various foods and diets that can be beneficial and helpful for your dog. Of course, you should also learn about foods that you would want to avoid for your Yorkies.

Setting up a regular mealtime in healthy quantities and intervals will prevent various health issues such as obesity, which can help your Yorkies to live longer.

Keep Their Cardio Going

Yorkshire Terriers, and dogs in general, need to have regular exercise in order to keep a healthy body. Exercise is extremely beneficial for their bones to properly develop.

It will also strengthen their metabolism and bodily system and prevent them from having respiratory issues and improve their skeletal structure.

It will also help them to lose weight if they are overweight, which can lead to various health complications if not addressed immediately.

Two Yorkshire terrier listening to commands

Help Them Familiarize Their Surroundings

Proper house training and discipline training should be a must when taking care of Yorkshire Terriers. Since they are small size dogs, they are more likely to suffer from trauma and injuries caused by unwanted falls and accidents even at home.

Familiarizing them with their typical terrain will help them prevent accidents that can lead to serious injuries.

Here are a few tips to keep your home safe for Yorkies:

  • Always keep any small objects off the floor since Yorkies might chew or accidentally swallow them.
  • Invest in a high-quality play pen and crate for your Yorkies. Make sure that they are not left unattended, particularly in play pens since they can chew on dangerous items, such as small wood particles.
  • Buy a baby gate. This will limit their access inside the house.
  • Do not leave them unattended, especially in vulnerable areas where they can fall or injure themselves.

In addition to this, discipline training which includes potty training and food training can also help them maintain their health. Potty training can improve their hygiene and food training can help them distinguish unhealthy food especially if they are left unattended in your home.

Keep Their Teeth Healthy

Dental problems are one of the things to look out for for Yorkshire Terriers. Teeth problems can lead to more severe complications if neglected. The pain of having an infected tooth can be excruciating for Yorkies.

Dental health problems can lead to poor eating habits and activity levels. It can also cause a foul smell especially when there is tooth decay left unattended. Have their gums and teeth checked during check-ups and veterinary visitations to prevent this from happening.

Exercise Your Yorkie’s Mind

Memory training can help exercise Yorkshire Terrier’s mind. Providing mental stimulation is equally important to their physical health since they can also suffer from dementia and memory loss as they get older.

Keeping a healthy mind can prevent these things from happening and it can also have a positive impact on Yorkie’s overall mood and health.

An image of two Yorkshire terrier

What Do Yorkshire Terriers Usually Die From?

Yorkshire Terriers usually die from illnesses such as cancer, trauma, and respiratory deterioration. Cancers in skin and bone, as well as lymphomas and mammary tumors, are the most common in Yorkies.

Trauma is also one of the most common causes of Yorkshire Terrier’s death due to their small size and poor reflexes that can lead to severe injuries from accidents and mishandling.

Respiratory deterioration, on the other hand, is the leading cause of death of many small dog breeds. With this, Lung Fibrosis and tracheal collapse is the most usual respiratory complication among Yorkshire Terrier breeds.

How Old Is the World’s Oldest Yorkshire Terrier?

The oldest Yorkshire Terrier lived up to 26 human years equivalent to 117 dog years. The Yorkie’s name is Jack and he’s one of the oldest of all the dogs in Great Britain.

Unfortunately, Jack died in 2016 in a tragic death. He was mauled to death after being attacked by another pet which was a black Lakeland Terrier.

Jack’s owners’ tried to take him to the veterinary clinic after the attack but he died of his injuries even before they even arrived which devastates his owners as he was treated as a part of the family.


Yorkshire Terriers can live a long lifespan of 13-16 years with the proper care and maintenance. Yorkie’s health should be prioritized in order for them to live a long and happy life.

Common health complications like dental, gut and genetic problems in addition to illnesses like cancer, trauma, and respiratory deterioration can be prevented with proper diet, exercise, and veterinary supervision.