Yorkshire terriers are dogs that come in a small package, but inside, they can pride themselves on big personalities and an even bigger heart.
They are the perfect example that not everything is according to size.
Another thing that is an absolute eye-catcher is their long hair. Yes, we mean hair, not coat, because Yorkies have hair that is similar to we humans. Since a Yorkie’s coat is actually not a coat, you may ask yourself: ˝How often should I bathe a Yorkie?˝
Well, we are here to help you with your dilemma. There are a couple of things you need to know because they are a bit different from other breeds when it comes to bathing. But, no worries – we made a list of things in order to show you how to properly bathe your Yorkie.
How Often Should You Bathe A Yorkie Puppy?
We need to emphasize that it is not a good idea to bathe your Yorkie puppy as soon as it arrives at its new home. We understand that you want the best for your dog, and want to clean your puppy so that it feels all nice and comfortable. But, you are doing more harm than good.
These small dogs, which can also come in a teacup size, are resilient, but at the beginning stages of their life, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Yorkie puppies should not have their first bath before 10 weeks of age. If, until then, they get dirty or smelly, you can use baby wipes that have no fragrance.
When they get to the 10-week mark, the bathing process can start. It is important to slowly and calmly introduce your puppy to baths. You want to make sure they enjoy it and start loving the process. It is for sure going to make your life easier, and it can make bathtime a good one-on-one bonding process.
Below, you can read how to bathe your Yorkshire terrier, which also applies to Yorkie puppies.
The frequency of bathing a puppy shouldn’t be more than once every two weeks. They are still developing natural oils that prevent them from having extremely dry skin in the future.
The only difference between puppy and adult bathing is that with puppies, you need to use shampoo intended for puppies. Since they have human-like hair, you can also use baby shampoo. But, the suggestion is to water it down a bit.
Puppies don’t usually need the brushing part before a bath since their hair doesn’t get that tangly when they are young. But, we do recommend getting them used to brushing for the future.
Can I Bathe My Yorkie Puppy After Vaccination?
After a vaccination, your puppy’s body is weakened. Its immune system is battling the effects that the vaccine can cause. Right after a bath, your dog’s skin and hair are deprived of a natural lipid protective layer and natural bacterial flora.
Because of that, your dog’s skin can get irritated and can harm your puppy, especially in that weakened condition. Cold temperature can also affect your puppy’s health.
Vets recommend waiting at least a week after a vaccination for your puppy to get a bath.
How Often Should You Bathe A Yorkshire Terrier?
There are a couple of factors that can affect the frequency of your dog’s bath schedule, such as coat length, skin conditions, and even environmental conditions. All in all, whatever the case is, the frequency and the process are pretty much the same, with just a few differences.
But, we are here to go through everything with you and make you fully prepared for any situation.
Is Coat Length Important?
Yorkie’s hair comes in various lengths. It depends on whether you decide for your doggy to have short hair, puppy-like hair, or if your doggy is going to be a show dog with long, mesmerizing hair.
If you decide on short hair, you can give your dog a bath once a week or once every two weeks. Depending on other factors, short-haired dogs can have a bath once every four to five weeks.
On the other hand, if your Yorkie is a show dog and has long hair, you might make the bathing schedule tighter. It might confuse you since a lot of other dog breeds get their baths once every month or two.
But, you need to remember – Yorkie hair is silky and really human-like. Frequent bathing keeps your dog’s hair silky and smooth. It even helps with matting.
A longer coat also gets dirtier quicker, so for Yorkshire Terriers with long coats, once a week should be the regular bathing schedule.
A Yorkie’s Skin: A Potential Problem?
It is a known fact that a Yorkie’s skin is prone to being sensitive. When you get your puppy, during one of the vet appointments, you will find out if your dog has sensitive skin and is prone to inflammation.
Their skin can get dry, which means that they lack natural oils that are important for hair quality, and also for their body temperature.
If your vet tells you that your dog’s skin is on the more sensitive side, your bath schedule should be once every two weeks or even less.
Dogs that have healthy skin can have a bath once a week.
Depending on the owner’s lifestyle, bathing schedules can vary from dog to dog. Dogs that live in apartments, and therefore, spend a lot of time indoors usually need baths less often, which is once every two weeks.
Of course, indoor, couch potato dogs can get dirty over time, and this can usually be fixed with odorless wipes.
Dogs that live on farms, or whose owner loves to spend a lot of time outdoors, tend to get dirty faster, especially if they have long hair. These dogs can use a bath once a week.
Try not to overdo it and just bathe them a couple of times a week. It might happen from time to time, but try to avoid it as much as possible. You can also try the odorless wipes with an outdoor Yorkie Terrier.
Too Often Or Too Few Baths: Is That Possible?
Of course, there is such a thing as too often or too few bathing. Don’t go to the extremes one way or the other because it can harm your Yorkie.
What can be considered giving your dog a bath too often? Well, every day is way too often. Two to three times a week is also a lot for a Yorkie.
Baths taken with short time spans between them can cause your dog’s skin to react badly. It can get even on the dry side by taking away all the natural oils that usually protect the skin. A lack of natural oils can also affect the regulation of body temperature, which Yorkies need for protection from the cold weather.
Another thing that can happen is damage to the dog’s hair. The hair can also get dry, which makes it prone to matting.
The first thing that is a result of fewer baths is a bad smell. The bad smell doesn’t affect your dog that much, it is more of a problem for the owner, but it certainly reduces the dog’s comfort.
Another thing is the matting problem, and sometimes dirt can be stuck in a Yorkie’s hair.
When talking time-wise, what is considered too few depends on a couple of things. For example, if dogs with long hair that usually get baths once a week go without one for two or three weeks, it can cause some of the mentioned problems.
Dogs with short hair can sometimes go without a bath for a month, but in some cases, for example, if your dog is very active and spends a lot of time outdoors, that can be considered too few.
So, when it comes to you and your dog, decisions that you made regarding the life of your dog can affect the answer to the question, what is too few. Monitor your dog’s hair and we are sure you will know when bathtime is due.
How To Successfully Bathe Your Yorkshire Terrier
We prepared a list for you that is a step-by-step guide on how to bathe your Yorkie without any inconvenience.
1. Preparation Is Key
Before starting a bath, we suggest that you prepare all the things you will need during the bath. Towels, treats, pet shampoo, brushes, cotton balls, a hairdryer, detangling spray, conditioner, and a sponge.
Everything should be in your reach so bathtime can go smoothly. The floor should be free of stuff, so it doesn’t get in your way.
Make sure to wear something that is comfortable, and that you don’t mind getting wet and dirty.
Water temperature should be juuust right. Lukewarm water is perfect for your dog (36 – 40 C). Another important thing is to make sure the room temperature is set accordingly. In the wintertime, it is crucial that the room is warm so your dog doesn’t get cold and catch the flu or pneumonia.
When you bring your dog into the bathroom, we suggest you shut the door. Sometimes, even if the dog usually enjoys baths, they tend to escape or play catch with you. The closed door will make your life easier.
2. Brush Before Wash
This step serves to detangle any matts that a Yorkie’s long and fine hair might have. If these mats get wet, they are usually harder and even more painful for the dog to remove.
It is also good to remove any hair that has started to shed, but hasn’t fallen off the dog yet. The hair left behind can clog your drain and make your bathtime a bit harder.
3. Try Calming Your Dog By Setting The Mood
Of course, we don’t mean lighting candles – we are referring to treats.
As already said, dogs tend to get fussy before bathtime and when put into a bath. Treats can be used as a reward for your dog’s good behavior, and also serve to calm your dog down a bit.
This is sometimes the only way your dog will calmly enter the bathtub.
A good trick we found is to use peanut butter – put some on the wall so your dog licks it while you are giving him a bath.
If you and your dog enjoy some music, why not play your favorite songs and have a small party in the bathroom?
4. Cotton Ball To The Rescue
Before starting the bath, you need to give special attention to your Yorkie’s ears. Water and ears are not a good combination. Yorkies are prone to ear infections that can be caused by wet ears.
If your puppy isn’t happy about cotton balls in its ears, you need to make sure that no water gets in the ear canals. After the bath, dry them with a small cloth and even ear sticks.
Also, make sure that the dog’s eyes don’t get soaked. That can irritate and startle him.
5. Lather The Dog Shampoo
When talking about Yorkies, this step needs to be done gently because of their delicate body and hair. Lathering the shampoo starts from the neck, working your way down to the rest of the body.
You need to pay special attention to the paws, the belly, the poop extractor – a.k.a. the bum, the private parts, and under its mouth. These areas tend to get the dirtiest.
Distribute the shampoo by running your fingers from his back down to his feet, using firm downward strokes. Up-down and circular motions can cause your Yorkie’s coat to tangle.
When you get his body all bubbly, it is time for his face. When dealing with the face, use a sponge and carefully lather the soap on top of the head. You can use a small cloth to remove any eye discharge.
Best Shampoo Choice
It is important to buy your Yorkie a high-quality shampoo since they tend to have sensitive skin. These shampoos get your pup cleaner, and they are gentler on a Yorkie’s skin. They reduce dryness and irritation, and they leave the coat softer and healthier looking.
Even though they have human-like hair, don’t use human shampoo. It can cause an imbalance in their skin Ph.
Quality shampoos tend to be more expensive, but there are cheaper options you can find on Amazon. If you are not sure of what shampoo to use, you can always ask your groomer or vet for help.
After applying the shampoo, you need to thoroughly rinse it, and make sure you get all the crevices.
After that, you can lather the conditioner for your Yorkie’s hair to become even softer than before. You can leave it for a while and rinse it. It is important to rinse it all the way because any leftover can make your dog’s hair greasy.
7. Dry Your Yorkie
First, use the towel and try to collect as much water as possible. After that, make sure you check the heat settings on your hairdryer. Start easy so the dog doesn’t get scared. Later, you can raise the intensity of the drier.
But, don’t raise it too much since they are small dogs and it can get overwhelming for them – it can also damage the dog’s hair and skin.
8. Leave-In Spray – Optional
After your doggo is all dry, you can use a leave-in spray that can prevent any tangles, or help you remove any tangles that occurred during the drying process.
To Sum It All Up
There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to bathing your Yorkie. It might be a bit overwhelming, but the reward at the end is one cute and clean Yorkshire Terrier.
We hope we answered the question, ˝How often should you bathe a Yorkie?˝ and made your bath times easier and more relaxing with this step-by-step guide.