There is no doubt that since bringing your Yorkshire terrier (Yorkie) home, you have fallen in love with the playfulness and overall cuteness of this breed. But if you've noticed that they are beginning to scratch themselves more often, you might be wondering what's causing it. As Yorkies get older, they can acquire allergies to food, suffer from dry skin or have loose hair resting on their skin among attached hair. This guide explains the symptoms of allergies, how to get rid of them, and how to combat dry skin and loose hair.
Signs of Yorkie Allergies
When any dog itches occasionally, it usually isn't a big cause for concern. But if your Yorkie tends to itch one or two spots repeatedly, they may have an allergy. Additionally, their scratching methods may be so intense that you wonder if they are injuring their skin. Common areas where Yorkies itch when they have allergies include:
Usually a Yorkie focuses on one spot on any of the above body sites when scratching, if they are experiencing an allergic reaction. But itching is not the only sign of allergies. Here are some other clues to look for:
- eye discharge
- runny nose
Change Your Yorkie's Food and Water
Even though most dogs do not suffer from a true food allergy, it could still happen. Change your dog's food for several weeks to see if this helps the problem. It might seem like a long time to do a food trial, but you'll find that during this phase, if the previous food was the culprit, your dog will gradually stop itching so much.
If you don't notice a change after the food trial, switch from tap water to filtered water. Watch your Yorkie's scratching behavior over the next three weeks to see if this might be the problem. Sometimes the chemicals in tap water can dry out a Yorkie's skin, and this is an easy fix.
To help promote healthy and hydrated skin, add some Omega 3 to your Yorkie's food. Ask your vet how much to add according to the dog's size.
Bathe and Groom Your Yorkie Properly
Yorkie's need a bath every three weeks or so, but if they're experiencing dry skin or allergies, you'll need to bathe them more often. When you bathe your pooch, place them in the tub or sink and wet their coat with cool water from the sprayer. The sprayer helps to loosen dead hairs stuck near the body, which can cause itchiness.
Once your Yorkie is wet, use a high-quality dog shampoo and lather your dog's coat as you gently rub the shampoo on their skin. Rinse it out with cool water, but make sure you use the sprayer instead of just pouring the water over their skin. This way, you'll remove all the shampoo and eliminate any residue from the skin. Use a high-quality conditioner as well, using the same method as the shampoo.
Brush your Yorkie's hair at least every three days using a wire brush. Apply some pressure, but not so much that it irritates your dog.
You may notice a few loose hairs in the brush around the areas that are itching. If so, then you have found the cause, so you should notice fewer itching episodes.
If none of these steps seems to relieve your Yorkie's itching problem, take them to the animal hospital so that they can run some tests. Ask the vet for other remedies that you can use to provide some itching relief while you're waiting for the test results to come in.