Do Yorkies get cold?
Yorkies shake and tremble all the time – winter and summer – so it can be difficult for pet parents to know exactly why their Yorkie is shivering.
Is it really cold, or is there some other reason?
Also, how cold is too cold for our Yorkies?
Yorkies can get quite cold because, unlike most dog breeds, they do not have double coats. Their fur is also soft and silky and does not offer much in way of protection from the biting cold and snow.
In this guide, we will discuss:
- Do yorkies get cold?
- How cold is too cold for your Yorkshire terrier?
- How can I know my Yorkie is cold?
- What accessories does my Yorkie need in cold weather?
- Important Tips when using winter accessories for Yorkies
- Some other ways to keep a Yorkie warm and comfortable in peak winters.
Also Read: Do Yorkies Like to Swim
Do Yorkies Get Cold?
Yes, Yorkies do get cold just like humans do.
Unlike other dog breeds that are built for cold weather (think Malamutes, Huskies, and Samoyeds), the Yorkshire terrier breed does not have a double coat.
Instead, they have single coats that are characterized by silky and soft hair. This hair is a lot like human hair and does not offer much in the way of protection against the biting winter elements.
Resultantly, your Yorkie can get extremely cold in freezing temperatures.
Also Read: Do Yorkies Like to Cuddle
How Cold is Too Cold for My Yorkie?
Generally, when the temperatures drop and you start feeling cold, then it is probably also very cold for your Yorkie.
Never allow your Yorkie to be exposed to cold temperatures below 0 degrees C for prolonged periods.
In terms of Fahrenheit, it means temperatures at or below 45 F.
If your yorkie is still a puppy, then it might feel even colder than adult Yorkies and might shiver when the temperature is in the range of 50 F.
Similarly, older Yorkies with joint aches and arthritis-like conditions might seek warmth when the temperatures plummet in the range of 50 F or 60 F.
In general, you must let your Yorkie tell you when it is cold. For example, some Yorkies might even shiver at 60 F – so you must not hesitate to bring out the warm jackets and sweaters if that is the case.
Cold weather also means factoring in the damp, wind chills, and draughts. The icy air can easily cut through your little pet’s thin skin and coat making it very uncomfortable. Icy rain and heavy fog can also aggravate this winter chill further.
How to Tell if your Yorkie is Cold?
It can get challenging for Yorkie owners to know exactly when their pet is cold.
You see, Yorkies tend to shiver and shake for several reasons and they do not always mean that it is cold.
We have covered the various reasons behind a Yorkie’s shaking and trembling in our guide on ‘Why Do Yorkies Shake’. Do check it out!
In addition to feeling cold, some of the reasons behind Yorkie’s shakes and trembles can include fear, anxiety, illness, hypoglycemia, etc. These are different than shakes caused by cold weather.
But if you wish to know if your Yorkie is cold due to the plummeting temperatures, then here are some signs to watch out for:
1. Shivering and shaking
As stated above, shaking and shivering in Yorkies can occur due to myriad reasons.
However, winter-related shivering in a Yorkie generally includes tremors and shuddering throughout the body.
Additionally, your pet will lay in a warm place and might not be too keen to go on its walks.
If your Yorkie is very cold, it might sleep a lot more than usual. It may also be listless and won’t move around too much.
Your pet will also prefer sleeping in its warm bed all the time. Lethargy is more common in senior dogs and younger Yorkie puppies.
Also Read: Best Dog Beds for Yorkies
3. Aggravated arthritis and joint aches in older Yorkies
Cold weather can bring on aches and pains in your Yorkies and these tend to get even more pronounced if your Yorkie is already suffering from Luxating patella, hip or elbow dysplasia, etc.
In older dogs, these can worsen due to the biting cold and your pet might experience a lot of pain, limited mobility, etc.
Also Read: Best Luxating Patella Dog Supplements
4. Whining or crying
When your Yorkie is cold, it might whine, groan, or cry all the time. These may be signs of joint aches in older Yorkies although in younger dogs, it is just an indication of discomfort.
Your pet might even show signs of anxiety and would seek warmth by moving closer to the heating vents. It might demand more attention than usual and could be clingier.
You might find your Yorkie sleeping by the heater or fireplace or might bed to be let on the bed so it can snuggle under the blankets.
5. Slower movements
When your Yorkie is uncomfortable in the cold weather, it might walk slower than usual.
Chances are that the cold is impacting its joints and paws and aggravating aches and pains.
Slower movements are not only common in senior Yorkies but even puppies and young adults may slow down in this extreme weather.
6. Holding up its paws
Some smart Yorkies also hold their paws up to indicate to their owners that ‘sorry, it is too cold for me’. It may be trying to tell you other information like take me to a warmer place or that ‘pick me up and give me body warmth’.
If you see any of these signs, please warm your pet right away.
What Accessories Does My Yorkie Need in Cold Weather?
Your Yorkie has a single coat and its skin is also very thin. There is not much fat underneath its silky hair which can lead to a drop in body temperatures when the external temperatures drop.
Resultantly, your Yorkie will need some external assistance to prevent shivering and even hypothermia in extreme cases.
Here are some winter gear your Yorkie could use to help regulate its body temperature and keep itself warm:
A smart turtleneck sweater like this one is ideal for keeping your Yorkie warm as well as stylish when the temperatures drop.
Alternatively, go in for a reversible down jacket that will keep your small pet warm and dry in cold and wet weather.
Many Yorkie owners think that boots are over-rated.
However, we must remember that Yorkshire terrier breed is not like the larger dog breeds that can withstand cold weather easily.
These larger dogs have an extra layer of padding on their paws. They also have fur in between their toes that further insulates their paws from the icy cold ground.
Yorkies are not equipped with this natural protection.
Consequently, you need to take care of their paws and ensure they are insulated from the cold and wet surfaces.
They also need boots while walking on de-iced or salted roads as the salt can hurt their paws terribly.
Boots for Yorkies are easy to take on and off and come with an adjustable Velcro strap that ensures a snug fit. They also have an anti-slip bottom to provide traction and stability on slippery surfaces.
Socks for indoor and outdoor use
As stated above, small dog breeds like Yorkies do not have too much fur or fat on their tiny paws. Hence they need socks and boots to protect their paws when walking on cold, frozen ground.
The best part about using socks for your Yorkie is that you can even use them indoors to keep your pet’s tiny paws dry and warm and protect them from the cold tiles.
Socks are especially beneficial if your house does not have carpeting as they help insulate your Yorkie’s delicate paws from the cold hardwood floor.
We recommend the EXPAWLORER socks which are adjustable and anti-slip. They can be used on hardwood floors, tiles, and even outdoors.
Neck warmers or snoods
While you can always go in for hoodies for your Yorkie, snoods or dog neck and ear warmers are a fashionable way to keep your pet’s ears and neck warm indoors and outdoors.
They even keep dirt and moisture out of your Yorkie’s ears.
Snoods are available in various styles and shapes including hand-crafted crocheted bull/dinosaur horns, deer antlers, bunny long ears, etc.
Important Tips when Using Winter Accessories to Keep your Yorkie Warm
We love to play dress up and we certainly want our pets to look good and also stay warm. However, there are some important things to bear in mind when using winter accessories to warm your Yorkie:
Your pet’s comfort
Your Yorkie’s comfort is of utmost priority. Make sure it is comfortable in the jacket/coat or sweater.
If your pet is constantly shaking its body or pawing at the accessory, chances are it is uncomfortable or in pain.
Make sure you measure your pet accurately before buying so that the accessory fits perfectly and is neither too loose nor too tight.
Ensure hypoallergenic materials
Many dog winter accessories are made from itchy materials like synthetic wool, linen, etc. These can be uncomfortable for your pet’s skin and sometimes, they even accumulate static charge.
This can cause your Yorkie’s hair to stand up or even get entangled and matted. Please ensure that the material used in the accessories are suitable for your Yorkie’s delicate skin.
Check the design
Make sure the design of the accessory is suitable for your Yorkie’s needs. Avoid jackets with tags and zippers that can get caught in your pet’s fur causing it pain.
When selecting boots or socks, ensure anti-skid materials and securing straps for a snug fit.
Also, always check the item’s return policy in case your pet does not like it.
Some More Tips to Keep a Yorkie Warm and Snug in Winter
In addition to using warm clothing and boots, use the following tips to keep your pet warm and comfortable in winters:
1. Provide it a warm and cozy place to sleep
You can provide a dog bed or simply a thick blanket for your Yorkie to sleep upon. If your pet is allowed in your bed, provide steps so it can climb up and down the bed as it pleases.
2. Limit its time spent outdoors
Yorkies are not exactly made for extremely cold weather. So, try and limit the time it spends outdoors. Its ears, tail, and paws are susceptible to frostbite.
Furthermore, your Yorkie is susceptible to hypothermia wherein its body temperature might drop below normal levels.
3. Keep your pet safe from winter Hazards
Anti-freeze solution is toxic to dogs. Even a few drops of it could cause death in small dogs like Yorkies. So, make sure it is safely locked away and out of reach.
Also, protect your pet from open fireplaces and falling embers.
4. Alter its diet if needed
Winter months could alter your pet’s metabolism.
If your pet is lethargic, then chances are that its metabolism might slow down too.
In such a case, it might not be too hungry, or conversely, it might still continue eating the same amount of food which can cause weight gain.
Do speak to your vet about dietary changes to make, if any.
Also Read: Best Dog Food for Yorkies
FAQs on Do Yorkies Get Cold?
1. What temperature is too cold for a Yorkie?
Yorkies tend to find temperatures below 45F very cold. Older Yorkies and some weak or ill Yorkies might even find temperatures in the range of 60F too cold.
2. Does my Yorkie get cold at night?
It is possible that a Yorkie might get cold at night. It does not have a double coat like most dog breeds and hence, it has trouble regulating its body temperature.
So, Yorkies can get cold at night especially if they sleep on cold floors or do not wear warm sleepwear.
3. Do Yorkies like blankets?
Yes, most Yorkies love blankets as they keep them cozy and warm. Some like to lay over the blankets while others like to snuggle under them.
4. Do yorkies sleep more in winters?
On an average, Yorkies sleep for 14-17 hours a day. This duration might increase during the winter months as most of them get very lethargic and want to avoid the freezing cold temperatures outside.
5. Do yorkies like to wear clothes?
Yes, Yorkies love wearing clothes as they help keep them warm. Being single coated dogs with fine fur, they are not able to regulate their body temperatures like other breeds can. Clothing helps them do so.
Conclusion – Do Yorkies Get Cold?
Do Yorkies get cold? Yes, Yorkies are a single coated dog breed and their fine, silky, almost-human-like hair does not do much in the way of protecting them from cold temperatures.
Most Yorkies might find even temperatures in the range of 45 to 60 F very cold and might shiver or shake and seek warmth.
We hope this guide helps you keep your pet warm in freezing temperatures.