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Puppy Care

Yorkie Puppy Care


8 weeks old is the minimum age that you should bring a Yorkie puppy into your home. In the majority of areas, including the United States, it is illegal to sell a puppy that is less than 8 weeks old. A breeder may decide to hold on to a puppy for a bit longer, if they determine that the pup is a bit underweight or needs more time to develop proper eating skills.

This is in the best interest of the puppy and to have a happy, healthy and well socialized Yorkie...A person should never “push” to obtain a pup any younger than the breeder suggests. To do so, will endanger the pup and will most likely lead to big veterinarian bills .

If you are thinking about buying a Yorkie puppy or have just brought one home, this section will guide you through the care that is involved.

How to Care for Yorkie Puppies

How do you provide the absolute best Yorkie puppy care? By providing all of the basic needs, plus extra love and attention. One must remember that the world essentially is a new place for discovery, learning and exploration. Some of this must be held at bay until he or she is old enough...Other, important skills must be learned...And you will be the teacher.
6 month old Yorkie puppy under blanket
Pierre Love, 6 months old
Photo courtesy of Shannon Graves & Lovey McIntosh
Yorkie puppy eating from small bowl

Yorkie puppies require a well balanced diet, as this is the foundation for good health. Though should be put into exactly which type of food you will feed your pup. While you choice will most likely differ from that which the puppy has been eating since transitioning to solid food, you will want to have both the 'old' food and the 'new' food on hand. This is because a fast changeover can cause upset stomach problems and other issues. 

It is recommended to mix the two foods and over the course of 3 to 4 weeks, make a gradual change to the one of your choosing.

Yorkie puppies up until the age of 3 months old should be free-fed. This is the method of leaving out fresh food at all times. This helps to prevent the puppy from going too long without sustenance which can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).

You may need to remind a young puppy where his food and water dishes are for the first few weeks. 
Once a Yorkie reaches the 12 week mark, you will want to start giving him scheduled meals 3 times per day. A Yorkie puppy will not eat very much and it really is best to spread the food out from morning til evening. You can also give some small snacks, but it is recommended to reserve these as rewards for housebreaking since they will mean more if the puppy is hungry for it.  You may wish to read more in the feeding section.

When a Yorkie is 2 and 3 months old, this is a very impressionable time. Your pup will look to you to show them the way around the world, how to react to things and what behavior is expected. A pup should be exposed to normal household noises; however a very noisy home is not best for the Yorkshire Terrier until they are accustomed to all that is going on. Do not blast a stereo or have lots of foot traffic coming in and out of your home. Allow your pup to slowly become used to other people, best done one at a time.

Until all puppy shots are given, do not bring your Yorkie out to public places where there are any dogs or even where any dogs may have been. There are windows of vulnerability in which the antibodies passed down from the dam are weak but the full protection from the inoculations are not at full strength. 

Time spent touching the puppy is very important. While many puppies will want to romp around and it may be difficult to get him or her to stay still, you can try to do so right after a good spell of exercise when pent up energy has been released and he or she is more calm. Touch the entire body to help a pup become accustomed to what will soon be full grooming and brushing and touch the mouth and milk teeth to prepare him for what will soon be at-home dental cleanings with a canine toothbrush sized for toy breeds and a quality toothpaste. 

Young puppies sleep a lot. On average, a puppy will sleep 15 hours per day. However even 18 hours is not abnormal. You will want your new Yorkie puppy to be as comfortable as possible. Investing in a high quality puppy dog bed is recommended. It is also recommend to place down baby blankets in the bed, so that if your puppy has an accident, you can wash the blanket and put another one down in its place. See also: Yorkie sleeping habits

Veterinary Puppy Care

If you purchased your puppy from a reputable breeder he or she will most likely have had the basic vaccinations required for her age.

If you got a free puppy, or pet-shop puppy (not recommend, as mos  of those puppies come from Puppy Mills) it is best to assume that no shots have been given (unless you were given shot records) and start at the very beginning. Never assume that rescues will be up-to-date without proof on paper. Correct puppy care will include a full vet check up and any vaccinations your new baby needs. 
Yorkie puppy 2 months old
Ragamuffin, 2 months old
Photo courtesy of Noel Johnson
While this will vary from vet to vet, a typical schedule for puppy vaccinations is as follows -

 6 - 8 weeks old - 1st DHLPP + Corona
11 - 12 weeks old - 2nd DHLPP + Corona
15 - 16 weeks old - 3rd DHLPP + Corona
16+ weeks - Rabies

It's very important that your puppy get all the above shots to protect him or her from possible fatal diseases. He or she will not be ready to take walks in the park or to be brought to any area (stores, etc) that other dogs may have been until all puppy shots have been given (and we suggest waiting 1-2 weeks afterward). 
really cute Yorkie puppy 7 months old
Geno, 7 months old
Photo courtes of Lisa Cucunato
It's always a good idea to take a new puppy to the veterinarian you've chosen as soon as you can after getting them home.

The vet can do a thorough examination and check for any potential problems. If purchasing from a reputable breeder, you will usually be asked to bring your new Yorkie puppy to the vet within a certain amount of time (usually 24 to 72 hours) to confirm that the pup is healthy...This is normally a requirement of your agreement to the health guarantee at the time of purchase. 

Part of each of your day should consist of grooming and general daily health care needs. This will include bath time (which can begin at the age of 8 weeks) , brushing, combing (to keep the coat tangle free) ear care, nail care, trimmings and more. It is also suggested to use grooming time to check for any early signs of health issues with your puppy. You may wish to read our Grooming section.

Yorkie puppy care includes being sensitive to a pup’s teething and providing all you can to help them through this time. 
This will include giving the puppy ice cubes and special teething toys which can be put in the freezer to make cold; a nice relief on the pup’s gums. To keep a puppy happy and entertained, rotating dog toys can be very helpful. It is suggested to have at least 3 sets of toys and allow your pup to have 1 set every week or so.
A Safe Home

Puppy-proofing your home is very important. Little pups are giant explorers! Curiosity is almost endless. It is a good idea to make sure that there are no electrical cords on the floor or any place that can be reached. These can usually be tied up and hidden behind appliances, too high for a puppy to reach. No small objects on the floor should be an enforced rule. In addition, beware of toxic substances. The most commonly found items right at the level at which a young pup can reach are cigarettes (which when ingested can cause fatal nicotine poisoning) and socks (believe it or not, a puppy can begin chewing on and then choke on ripped fabric). Be careful where you place things; something as innocent as putting down a candy bar can result in a Yorkie eating chocolate in that one moment when an owner looks away. 

When one is preparing their home, this should be done as if you were child-proofing your home for a baby. Regularly check for anything that could be mouthed: keys, remotes, shoes (and their laces), coins, hair pins, etc. Cabinets should be locked, liquids put up high, etc.
It is important to note that very small dog breeds such as the Yorkie can be easily injured when jumping off of furniture. It is suggested to have doggie steps or ramps from bed & sofa to the floor if your little one has a habit of jumping up and then down. If not, you will want to be sure train your puppy to not jump or climb onto objects that leaping down from may be harmful to the knees and/or hips.

Have a family meeting so that everyone in the home understands the importance of always being aware of what is underfoot. It is surprising how many little dogs are injury (sometimes severely) when an owner accidental steps or trips over them. Trauma, including being dropped or stepped on, is one of the leading causes of death for puppies of any breed.

Be sure to read our exercise section, as running around the home may not be enough especially when the pup reaches the 4 and 5 month old stage.

There is a fine line between providing enough activity for good health...without over exercising a pup which can lead to health issues and problems with growth plate development.

Puppies need to walk on a regular basis to release pent-up energy. A 15 to 20 minute walk twice per day is perfect. 
tiny Yorkie puppy
Photo courtesy of The Stewards, Bonnie Auld Scotland 
Getting out of the house to purposefully walk at a brisk pace is much different than bouncing around the house. It is healthy to get fresh air and socially beneficial to see new things and become accustomed to sidewalks, other people, other dogs. Taking time to teach your puppy how to heel on leash will go a long way in establishing yourself as leader, which helps a Yorkie mature into a well-behaved dog. 

It is suggested to stop any walking or play activity 1 hour before bedtime to allow him or her to enter a more relaxed state which will aid in more uninterrupted sleep.
More Puppy Information
  • What you must know about the downside to vaccinations to keep your Yorkie safe
  • Introduction to Home, Family & Other Dogs -Make sure you do this correctly
  • Fixing the 9 Reasons a puppy barks, understood & resolved
  • Odd Eating Habits
  • 24 Behavioral Issues
  • 34 Yorkshire Terrier Health Issues....And so Much More
  • The only Yorkie book you'll ever need. Now in both Print & eBook.
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