Do Yorkies Get Cold in the Winter?
Winters don’t get so cold recently. But it is easy to talk for us, humans, who have a different robe for each season. Yorkies are small and their fur is not like dog’s that is to say thick and warm but more like of a human, so they experience troubles when going out in winters. That is why often you can see Yorkies walking in some clothes. Each time when the cold starts getting to the bones I dress up my Boss, too. And there are other ways how to take care of your Yorkie in winter.
Yes, Yorkies do get cold in the winter because they don’t have the undercoat and because of their small size, they lose body heat faster than bigger dogs. When you are preparing to take care of your Yorkie in winter, you should take into consideration these factors: the place where he sleeps and spends most of the time, temperature, surfaces, the air outside, dog’s coat, skin, nutrition, and exercises.
I will present these Yorkie winter care aspects in more detail below.
The well-being inside the house during winters
The bigger part of this article is to help you figure out what actions should you take for the well-being of your Yorkie in the winter when you are taking him outside. Because outside seems to be a more dangerous place than a warm, cozy home. However, let’s start with something less dangerous but not less important, that is to say, what you should bear in mind when it is winter and your dog is inside the house.
The scariest boogeyman inside in winters is a draft. No matter how innocent it might seem, a draft for a small dog, a puppy, or a senior is a dangerous thing, more dangerous than for a normal-sized dog, especially when it is not the cool you want for the refreshment in summers and the wind is pretty cold. So you should bear in mind that the place where your dog was sleeping in summer might not suit him in winter. Check the circulation of wind on the ground with your bare foot: if you feel cold, your Yorkie will do too. Then try to slightly replace the bed of the dog or if it is possible – to seal up the draft. That should do the job.
You can also get your Yorkie a sweater for indoor use. My favorite sweater is this:
Apart from that, I bet your dog will enjoy a cozy spot next to your side on the couch on a cold winter evening.
The well-being outside the house during winters
Now let’s get into what you were expecting and waiting for to read – how to protect a Yorkie when he is just a small helpless creature against the whole element of winter – snow, wind, and low temperature. You might be asking yourself: how cold is too cold for a Yorkshire terrier? When is the right time to go for a walk and when is better to stay inside? Can Yorkies walk in the snow?
When the temperature outside is below 45 F (7 C), Yorkies find it difficult to regulate their body temperature. So that is when you should take precautions against the cold.
The simplest way to see if your dog is cold is to watch his reaction when you take him outside. Is he going outside reluctantly, does he shiver. If you don’t pay attention to these signs, a Yorkie might even develop hypothermia. Other important factors are wind, rain, wet snow – the coat absorbs the water and together with the cold it makes the risk of hypothermia bigger.
The best solution for this problem is good clothing: thick sweaters will hold the body heat, coats and parkas will protect from freezing temperature and cold wind.
Personally, I use this winter coat for my Yorkie, because it’s warm, comfortable, and easy to wash. I’ve tried other coats, but the main problem was with the front legs, where it looked like it’s not comfortable for him to walk. This coat does not cover the legs and it’s much comfortable. Moreover, if you have a boy, the pee does not get on the coat, which was the main problem with other coats that I’ve tried.
The next issue that Yorkie faces outside in winters is cold surfaces. In winter air temperature makes the ground cold even to a deep level, moreover, very often it is covered with ice or snow. Winter snow and salt can cause tiny feet to freeze or get sore.
When you come back home, make sure that you dried the feet and the fur well and there are no lumps of snow left between the toes or in the hair. Other ways are to buy snowshoes or wax the paws. Snowshoes are not for every dog, because my Yorkie does not walk with shoes. He just doesn’t like wearing those. However, the paw wax is totally a game-changer for us in the winter. If you are not using a paw wax, you should definitely try it out. My favorite paw wax is this Musher’s Secret Dog Paw Wax (2.1 Oz): All Season Pet Paw Protection Against Heat, Sand, Snow. with Beeswax
To make the dog accustomed to the shoes you can let him walk in them for a bit inside. And don’t forget to give him praise for that. The prouder he is, the less reluctantly he will walk in his new shoes.
When you buy paw wax, check if it is well absorbed and allows the paw to breathe. Paw wax will not just protect the feet in winters from cold, but in summers from heat, too.
You have been introduced to two main difficulties outside in winters for Yorkies and how to deal with them. Now let’s continue with Yorkie winter coat and skin and how to take care of them.
Winter coat and skincare
In winter air gets dry both inside and outside. Dry air is harmful to both dog’s and human’s hair and skin. When it comes to Yorkies, cold and dry air can cause fly-aways and split ends of the hair which might end up with hair break off; what concerns the skin, the paws, the lips, and the nose usually dry out and the skin might even crack.
But worry no more, because every problem has a solution, as my wise friend used to say.
These are the ways how to protect Yorkie’s coat in winter:
- Put moisture in the coat. For this purpose, the best would be a light, quality leave-in conditioner. Using too much of it might create an oily shine, weight the air, and prevent a healthy airflow, but with the right amount, it should protect the hair both being outside and inside. When you use the conditioner, don’t forget to brush your Yorkie’s hair and give him a bath every 3 weeks. Don’t go out before the dog is completely dry!
- Put moisture in the air. It means using a humidifier in the house. It might be of a big use: it might help to keep the coat healthy, the skin from drying out, and protect the nose and the lips from drying out. And it is super simple!
For the skin of the paws you might buy boots or shoes, and for both paws and nose use a balm. There are two kinds of balms: for protection when you want to prevent skin problems, and for treatment when you want to cure them. Simple as that!
So far it doesn’t seem difficult to take care of a Yorkie in the winter season. Let’s see if it is difficult to keep him fit!
Yorkie nutrition and sports in the winter
Days are shorter in winters. It seems that half of the day is dark and personally in winter I spend a lot more time in my bed eating some snacks and watching movies. So does my dog. Firstly, he can do nothing about it that I am behaving in such a way, and secondly, I guess he feels pretty the same. As do humans, dogs eat 20 % more in winters, and naturally, they exercise less because very often the weather outside is bad. As a result, they might gain weight and feel depressed.
This process is so natural that in winter we become a bit like bears which need to have their winter sleep, that there is no serious solution to this problem, just some little tricks. For example, give your Yorkie some healthy snacks like fruits, berries, vegetables, or yogurt (a good thing would be to eat it together) instead of very nutritious food and try rather prepare well for going out than refuse to do it all. Probably it is important to clear out that there is no need to keep your dog on a diet each winter. More important is to keep things sane.
I don’t know what season do you have now in your town or city or village but personally, I am glad to know how to care of my Yorkie even if the winter is miles away. Now I know that drafts are boogeymen at home, that my dog might find troubles in dealing with cold temperature and surfaces, his coat and skin might get dry and the winter might make us both fat. But with all the preparation which I learned about it won’t happen. I wish you to find your way to have fun in winter and hopefully, this article will help you on the way!