Yorkies and Hot Weather: Yorkie Summer Care

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It is the middle of summer and even though where I live it doesn’t get so hot like in other places of the world, sometimes the air starts boiling. Like in June we had over 86º F. My Yorkie Boss couldn’t stay outside much, kept panting and I kept offering him water out of worry maybe even too often (most of the times he gladly accepted it). Not just Boss, we both were spending more time inside than outside. I guess this was the most natural way to protect ourselves. However, heat was everywhere. So I was occupied of how to take care of Boss and myself. You have the chance to read the results I found out about yorkie and hot weather. Learn more how to take care of Yorkie in summer.

Yorkshire terriers are especially vulnerable to excessive heat. They might face such problems as sunburns, overheating, dehydration, heat stroke, dry hair, skin cancer, bug bites. That is why the dog needs to be observed all the time and not left alone outside. Despite all the dangers, there are ways how to prevent them by taking particular actions. 

I don’t like dealing problems and better to not have them. But the world is never perfect. The only thing we can do is to be aware of the dangers and be prepared for them. It is hard to put everything down in few words so I will do my best in giving you the picture in following sections.  

What problems Yorkies face in hot weather?

Yorkshire Terrier and hot weather
Yorkshire Terrier and hot weather

We know that a lot of people in the world live in hot weather. It is not necessarily the cause of instant death: most of them are doing fine because they have adjusted to heat. However, the ones who have adjusted less, might experience health problems. Dogs are no different, especially Yorkies. I will present issues that Yorkies might have while exposed to the sun for too long.

Those issues are not much different to people’s. It’s sunburns, overheating, dehydration, heat stroke, dry hair, skin cancer, bug bites. Some of the problems are more common while others happen in extreme cases.  

Issues that hot weather causes to Yorkies

Yorkie skin problems

Yorkie’s hair gives little protection from the sun rays and in this way the sun gets the skin faster than of other dogs. The most vulnerable parts of the body skin are on the belly and the paws.  Even if the sun is not aiming directly to the belly, the skin still absorbs the sun rays. If the dog gets sunburned, the skin turns dry, itchy, starts peeling, the hair turns coarse, dark spots on the stomach might appear (the spots are not dangerous). In the worst case the sun rays might cause a skin cancer. The paws might get burnt immediately or in time from the pavement which in 87 F air temperature can heat up to 140 F while the dog’s limit is 125 F. Asphalt gets really hot in summertime, so I strongly suggest using paw protection. One of my favorite is this Pawtection

Yorkie overheating problems

Other dangers might start with overheating and end up with a heat stroke. Normally dog’s temperature is between 101 and 102.5 F. When it rises up to 103 F, the dog experiences heat stress. If he is unattended, he might have a heat stroke when the temperature goes up to 106 F and is dangerous to his health.  The symptoms that your dog is in danger include heavy panting, drooling, red gums, vomiting and/or decreased urination. And if the dog can’t cool down, confused behavior might appear: trouble walking and/or fast heartbeat.

Yorkie bug bites

In summer bugs are the most active. There are three kinds which might harm your dog: mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. Mosquitoes can spread heartworm disease and many dogs are allergic to them. Fleas are probably the most annoying bugs for dogs and it needs a lot of efforts to exterminate them once they appear. Ticks might find your dog in any green areas and they carry such diseases like Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis. This is probably the most dangerous bug of all three. In summer they all start threatening your dog. 

You can use flea & tick collars like:

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Or you can use drops:

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I will describe the ways how to avoid these kind of problems in another section. 

Prevention of health problems that excessive heat might cause

You can guess that here we will be talking about prevention. I will divide the paragraphs according to the health problems and describe what actions you can take to help your dog to avoid them. In other words, how to take care of your Yorkie in summer. 

Sunburns, skin problems

 Dogs, as humans, have some cosmetic means to protect themselves from sun. So you can buy for your Yorkie a leave-in conditioner which contains sunscreen. One more preparation is a canine sunblock (it mustn’t be for humans because that one is harmful for dogs). Paws can be protected either by putting on shoes or applying canine paw wax. You can just wait for the pavement to cool down, too, and take your dog for a walk then. Whenever you are able to keep your hand on the pavement, your dog will be able to walk on it, too. 

Overheating and heat stroke

Common sense tells us to not take the dog out for a walk when it is deadly hot outside and pick some cooler part of the day. Give him the pleasure to be carried on the arms in such exceptional conditions. Let him have a break each 15-20 minutes in his activities, rest in the shade and drink some water. Make sure that your dog has a place out of sun where to stay when you are, let’s say, not at home. Set a little pool for Yorkie to have where to cool down in the water. Give him some fruits or ice cubes to refresh himself. 

Dehydration

In hot weather your Yorkie should drink more water. If usually the recommended amount is 1 to 1.5 ounces for each pound of body weight, in summers it should be 2 ounces for each pound of body weight. Even slight deficiency of water can lead to worse health condition and make overheating more possible.  So whenever you go out with your dog for a longer period of time than 20 minutes, bring with yourself some water. Encourage your dog to drink or try to make him interested in drinking. Fruits are also a good option to provide your pet’s organism with liquids. It is recommended to give filtered water.  

Bug bites

 The main way to protect your Yorkie from bugs is to buy some protection: heartworm medication, dog-friendly bug spray, lavender essential oil is a natural way to help your dog out. Of course, also you can avoid going with your dog to forests or parks and keep him away from other animals, but this is probably hardly possible.  

 

Some other useful tips to keep your Yorkie safe in summer

I have described the main problems Yorkie can face in summer and how to prevent them. However, there are more important tips which must be taken into consideration when you have a Yorkie.

  • Don’t ever leave your dog in a car alone, no matter for how short it would be. When the temperature outside is high, the temperature in the car rises up significantly and a dog, a cat or a baby left alone in the car can suffer heat exhaustion or even a heat stroke and die. It is valid even if the car stands in the shade;
  • Even if you are not at home but your pet is, keep the air conditioning on or the windows open: don’t forget your loved ones;
  • Don’t forget to groom your dog. Mats and tangles in his hair will make the dog feel hotter;
  • We all know that hair makes us feel warmer. So does the dog feels hot if he has too much hair. You might shorten it, especially for summer, but not too much – don’t let the dog’s skin to be wholly exposed to the sun;
  • Keep an eye on your dog while he is in the water.

Conclusions

I think that now I have shared all my knowledge about Yorkie summer care. Whether it is a bug bite or a heat stroke. Going to a vet requires a lot of money and time and what is the most important – your pet needs to suffer. If you consider him as a family member, I assume you want to be as much responsible as you would be having a child. But why I am mentioning it. If you are reading this article, it goes without saying that that’s who you are – a responsible parent. 

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