Keeping the Yorkshire Terrier's Coat Healthy

By PetMD Editorial on Mar. 7, 2013

The Yorkshire Terrier, commonly referred to as a Yorkie, is one of the most popular dog breeds in the America today. Despite their small stature, the Yorkie is known for a larger-than-life personality and loving companionship. They are also recognized for a beautiful coat.

Traditional or Puppy Cut?

Yorkshire Terrier puppies are born black and tan in color. As time progresses, the Yorkie’s coat gradually lightens up and becomes steel-blue and golden-tan. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), this process can take up to three years. 

The Yorkie’s coat is very luxurious with a fine and silky texture. Their traditional long coat is high maintenance requiring frequent grooming and brushing to achieve an elegant look. It is, however, a personal preference how to groom the coat of a Yorkie, as several grooming styles exist. A simple grooming option is to trim the fur short. This will save you hours of styling. If you wish to keep the coat long, the AKC recommends applying coat oil and wrapping the fur in rice paper, tissue paper, or plastic to prevent breakage. For the best results, the oil should be washed out of the coat once a month. 

The Food Factor

A balanced nutrition is another important part of maintaining a healthy Yorkshire Terrier coat. For instance, essential fatty acids (EFAs) help determine play an important role in skin and coat health for dogs. A Yorkie on a diet that has an adequate amount and correct balance between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids will have an added shine to their coat. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) not only affect the health of a dog's coat but its skin too.

Essential fatty acids moisturize the dog’s skin and proves to be beneficial for dog’s suffering from inflammatory skin disorders. EFAs work to improve the skin’s ability to act as a barrier to allergic triggers and other irritants. It is recommended for dog owners to modify your dog’s EFA intake if they suffer from chronic itchy or flaky skin, or excess shedding. Additionally, some experts are touting the benefits of vitamin A and Biotin — benefits such as better hair growth and healthier skin.

It is, however, important to consult your veterinarian before making changes to your Yorkie’s diet. The intake levels of fats and oils, for example, can have a drastic impact on their health. High levels can cause the dog to be overweight or obese, while fat deficiencies can lead to dry, itchy skin and a dull coat.  

So the next time you look at that lush and luxurious coat of a Yorkshire Terrier don't just think of regular grooming it requires. Proper nutrition is another vital component for a healthy dog coat.


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