Having a healthy skin of your Yorkshire Terrier means that it should be light pink in color, free of any kind of irritation, performing good elasticity and it should be smooth, without any red bumps or cracking.
Yorkshire Terriers have really sensitive skin and even a small issue can turn into a serious problem. When there are for example just a couple of areas of irritation, this could spread quickly on the whole body and cause lots of other symptoms as well.
The good news concerning skin condition is that there are lots of ways that you can treat a certain problem with the skin of your Yorkshire Terrier and you can do it even at home. There are a few signs that can show you if your Yokie has dry skin: redness, swelling, obvious signs of peeling, areas of white skin, falling lakes, the dog has the habit to chew or nibble certain sports.
What are the reasons for Yorkie skin problems
One of the basic causes that your Yorkshire Terrier can have a skin problem is because of the long coat. When there is presence of both, sensitive skin and long coat hairstyle, this usually leads to problems. And the reason is really simple – when the hairs of the coat are so long they block the normal flow of the air to the skin. When the skin gets unhealthy due to this reason you can do two things – groom the coat routinely or try a puppy cut hairstyle.
The dog needs to be carefully groomed because sometimes there are dead hairs that can remain in the coat, close to the base of the skin and when they are at that place, the air flow is not proper again. And when you do not want to cut down the coat of the dog then the coat should be carefully brushed and checked so that there are no dead hairs left close to the skin. This can be done with the help of a soft slicker brush, moving from top to down, until the end of the coat hair. When making this motion, you need to feel that you are reaching the skin of the dog. When you switch it off, you need to look at the brush and check if you were able to get the dead hairs. If you were not successful, you need to try again and start brushing deeper so that you remove all those hairs that can cause problems with the skin.
The owner should not let more time passes between grooming, so the best is to use the brush about every three days. The healthy skin of the dog needs proper floating of the air. When this is neglected for some reason, it will finally lead to complications and uncomfortable skin problems.
Another thing that concerns Yorkshire terrier grooming a lot is bathing. For this you need to pay attention to two things – what type of shampoo to use and what temperature of the water you should set.
For the first condition, there are two things that the owner should keep in mind – what is the kind of the shampoo used for the bathing and how it is rinsed out. When having such a dog, you need to know that you should always use a high quality canine shampoo. This shampoo is specially made for dogs, because the pH of the dog`s skin is a bit different from the human skin, and you can cause dryness if using a shampoo, different from the dog shampoo. You can see our article about yorkie shampoos HERE.
Another thing, even if it may sound a bit simple, is the suds. You may think that his is something that is easy to maintain, but you also need to check it carefully, because if the residues are not properly and fully rinsed, this can cause unpleasant problems with the dog`s skin.
For taking a proper care about this issue, the best is to use a spray nozzle. And this is not so hard due to the dog`s size. Because it is so small, you can bathe the dog in the kitchen sink where you have and easy access to spray nozzle.
The other important factor is the temperature of the water that you use for bathing the dog. You may think that the temperature of the water is fine, but it could be hot for your little dog. Your aim is to bathe it with warm water. It should not be too cold either, so do not compensate so much with the cold water. You can check how the temperature is by using the inside of your wrist. When you are doing that, think about the case when you have sunburn. How would you like to feel the water then. Cool water will bring you the relief you need, and hot water will make your irritated skin feel even worse.
The average period between baths when your Yorkshire Terrier is with healthy coat and healthy skin is every three weeks. But when there is a problem, then one time per week should be the time for bathing. And if your little dog has dry skin, you should leave the coat to get dry normally without using a blow dryer for the purpose.
Other Reasons for Irritated and Dry Skin in Yorkshire terrier
One of the most common reasons is allergies. The irritation sometimes can be so intense that your dog starts chewing the affected spot. And there are other symptoms accompanying this irritation – runny nose, tears from the dog`s eyes, problems with digestive system.
Just like the allergies at people, dogs are not necessarily born with an allergy. It could be obtained at any age and any time, and the dog can develop such a reaction to a specific trigger. Such trigger is usually dust, mold, pollen.
It could be surprising, but the most common trigger for the allergies is the saliva of fleas. Most of the times when owners are trying to find out what is the cause of this irritation, are quite surprised to find out that this is the saliva of the fleas, especially when they keep their home clean, as well as they groom their dog quite often, using special and expensive products for that purpose. But it is a fact that fleas can jump from a really long distance – up to 6 feet, which is really amazing, having in mind how small they actually are.
So for just a blink of the eye, no matter how well groomed your Yorkie is, it could find itself with fleas on its coat. And the allergic reaction can appear only after one bite.
Another trigger of the allergies are quite often the compounds that can be found in different cleaning products like cleaners, laundry detergents, softeners, etc.
Not only causing allergies, but making damage on the overall health is the commercial food. More and more often preservatives and artificial coloring consisting in foods are the reason for skin irritation and many other serious problems. And the worst thing of all these foods are snacks, which are full of awful orange and red chemicals. So it is strongly recommended to count on home cooking and if you want to get any commercial treats for your dog, then you can get of those which are colourd in cream or white.
It could sound simple or strange, but sometimes irritation of the skin can be caused by tap water. And because of the size of the dog of this breed, and the amount of food and drink that it consumes, it is not so expensive to change the intake of water and start buying water in bottles.
When knowing all those things that can cause irritation and skin problems, you can start with eliminating them one by one so that you are able to get rid of the cause of the problem. The best is to begin with an examination to the vet so that you can find out if you have a problem with fleas.
For washing products, the best is to start using hypo-allergenic laundry detergents and cleaners. When doing this, you will eliminate this type of cause for having irritating skin problems. Washing and cleaning the floor with hypo-allergenic products, you will have a clean surface that your dog can touch without getting any allergic reaction.
If you are worried about the food, you can do some special test to find out if any particular food causes the dry skin of your dog.
When your dog suffers a serious case of skin irritation, your veterinarian can prescribe antihistamines or corticosteroids. And depending on the case, antibiotics might also be needed.
What are the things that an owner of a Yorkshire Terrier can do to prevent skin issues?
The first thing, as it has already been described above in the article is regular bathing. The other is switching on using hypo-allergenic detergents for washing and cleaning. Regular check-ups to the veterinarian, which includes inspection for fleas, and for the severe cases that need a medication, the owner should seek for a veterinarian, without trying to cure the dog by himself.
Other things that could be done is removing bad food from the dog`s diet, which includes all colored food and especially snacks. Changing tap water with bottled water for drinking.
For achieving relief for the dry skin condition of your dog, you can give Omega 3 every day for a period of three weeks. If you wish you can also add olive oil to meals. And rubbing the coat with Aloe Vera gel can help a lot for reducing irritation and itching.