Maybe you already have a Yorkie or you want to adopt one in the near-future. No matter what situation you’re in you know that proper care is vital to maintaining the famous silky coat and good health of your pup.
The foundation of any hygiene routine is cleanliness. Baths should be given between 2-4 weeks, depending on how rough-and-tumble your little one is in the great outdoors. Baths can be given at home, if you’re comfortable, or at a grooming studio. If you’re going to bathe your dog yourself never use human shampoo! Dog shampoo has been formulated for their unique needs and pH levels. Human shampoo can damage the coat and dry out the skin. The only exception is baby shampoo for the face; this can be used on the face only because of the gentle, tear-free formula. Make sure all shampoo and conditioner is rinsed completely out of the coat to prevent irritation and avoid getting water in your dog’s nose, mouth, or ears.
Ears and eyes should be wiped with products specifically for those parts of the body. Never use q-tips in a dog’s ears! You can ask your vet or peruse online pet retailers for reputable products. Bath time is the perfect time to clean the ears and eyes but it’s good to keep products on hand in case of build-up in the ears or for watery eyes. Be careful around these delicate areas to avoid irritation or infection. Ask for a demonstration from your vet or groomer to help ensure you’re doing the right thing at home.
Teeth need to be cleaned daily. You can use dog-specific toothpaste or dental wipes. For the nails a weekly trim should be fine but be careful not to cut too short. Dog’s nails contain a vein known as the “quick” that will bleed and cause a lot of pain if cut. Accidents do happen, though, so be prepared with styptic powder to quickly stop the bleeding if necessary.
The next, and perhaps most noticeable feature, is the haircut. Whether you want short or long, daily brushing is vital to maintaining a knot-free coat. Dampen the coat with a spray-on leave-in conditioner before brushing, which should be done with the proper comb or brush (there are many places to find Yorkie-specific grooming tools). Brush in sections, making sure to reach from bottom to root to work out all the tangles. A short coat will be the easiest to care for but even a long coat can be kept relatively easily with daily care. If hair on the face is kept long then it should be brought up into a top-knot so your Yorkie can see. Typically all dogs will have their fur clipped around the ears and paws.
Most importantly, make grooming sessions a time you and your dog can enjoy together. Start grooming as early as possible, have treats ready, and leave the stress behind when you sit down together for daily brushing sessions or regular baths. These are great bonding opportunities!
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