Yorkies are known for their small size and adorable faces. They’re also popular breeds in the United States, ranking second behind only the Labrador Retriever.
But did you know that Yorkies can take up to six months to gestate? It’s true! The gestation period is typically 63 days long (or six months), but it can be longer or shorter depending on the dog.
So exactly, just how long are Yorkies pregnant? Typically, Yorkies are pregnant for about 58 to 68 days. The exact gestation period (you can get an estimate on the delivery date with our dog pregnancy calendar) can be influenced by several factors, which we will cover later in this article.
Do note that if a Yorkie has not been delivered by the 67th day, you will need to consult your veterinarian. Hence, it is essential to determine, as early as possible, when her pregnancy started.
Let’s go through the telltale signs of a Yorkie in pregnancy.
How Can I Tell If My Yorkie Is Pregnant?
Pregnancy is a particularly delicate time for dogs and is one of the periods in their lives where they are the most vulnerable in terms of health.
This is particularly the case with Yorkies, as their small stature increases their pregnancy complications risks due to musculoskeletal issues. There will also be an increased risk of common health conditions among Yorkies like obesity, hypoglycemia, and stomach upsets. Skin problems may also aggravate during this delicate period.
This is especially the case for Teacup Yorkies. Their small body size makes pregnancy an extremely tough, even potentially lethal ordeal for your pooch.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can tell if your pooch is pregnant so you can get them the help they need as early as possible. Some of the signs you could look out for include:
Yorkies are generally ravenous and love to eat. If you notice your pooch suddenly getting pickier than usual, this might be a sign they are pregnant. Later on in the pregnancy, they may start to eat a lot more than they used to. The increase or decrease in appetite generally varies from dog to dog.
Reduced Physical Activity
Yorkies are also known for their hyperactive personalities, which explains to a certain extent why they stink often. This is more often than not the first thing to change when they get pregnant.
At first, you will observe things like lethargy, less barking, and issues like vomiting. Later on, the weight gain makes them less agile and generally less playful.
Larger And Darker Nipples
This is common with all dog breeds. The nipple changes result from hormonal changes and can be seen as early as the first few weeks of pregnancy. Later on, towards delivery, you may even notice milk from the nipples.
Weight Gain Especially Around The Belly Area
Yorkies are small dogs, and so weight gain is usually very easy to spot. If you notice the gain specifically around the torso area, then you might be dealing with a pregnant furry buddy. Your spidey senses should tingle more if the weight gain seems rapid, as all this happens within two months.
It is in the instincts of a pregnant Yorkie to create the best possible home for their beloved litter. You may observe odd behavior like your doggy gathering and piling pieces of cloth or even shredding material. This is referred to as nesting and is a late sign of pregnancy as your furry friend prepares a safe and warm place for the little ones.
Sometimes, you may miss these signs and only find out your dog is pregnant when they are in labor. In this case, here are some clues that the puppies are coming:
- Restless behavior including pacing, scratching, and digging
- Tremors and shivering
- Fluid discharge from the vulva could be clear, bloody, or greenish
- Visible abdominal contractions lasting seconds
Best Food For Pregnant Yorkie
The key secret to a successful Yorkie pregnancy is proper nutrition.
These dogs require all the help they can get in terms of nourishment not only to deliver healthy pups but also to survive the entire process. You need to find a dog food option with something for both the mom and the unborn puppies.
What makes the best dog food for a pregnant Yorkie is the ideal combination of essential nutrients like carbs and proteins and special growth-promoting compounds, including rare vitamins and minerals.
The Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini Starter Dry Dog Food is one of the best options on the market in this case. The unique formula is designed for optimum nutrition of the mother during their pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is rich in proteins and fats needed for the survival of the mom and the growth of the fetuses. It also has fiber-rich ingredients, which come in handy with inevitable constipation the Yorkie suffers.
- Royal Canin's BIRTH PROGRAM is a unique nutritional solution which meets the needs of the bitch and her puppies during...
- Nutritional profile specifically adapted for the bitch’s high energy needs at the end of gestation and during...
- Nutritional response helps to facilitate the transition from mother’s milk to solid food.
The best part is that the formula can be fed to the newborn pups as they are being weaned off breast milk. The kibbles are rehydratable and, when mixed with some water, form a nice porridge-like consistency that the little ones can handle.
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is another brand you should stock up on if you have a pregnant Yorkie. The dog food is designed for young puppies. What stands out the most about it is the fact that it contains DHA, which is a compound useful in the brain and eye development.
- This dry puppy food supports the developmental needs of puppies in a small kibble and delicious chicken flavor
- This dry food for small-breed puppies provides DHA from fish oil for healthy brain & eye development
- Provides your growing little dog with high-quality protein for building lean muscle
Nutritional supplements will also come in useful for the mother Yorkie. You can feed them as treats in-between meal times as they tend to be hungrier due to the extra mouths in their stomach that they have to feed.
How Much Do Yorkies Puppies Cost?
The purchase price for Yorkies varies a lot based on certain factors, including the purity of the breed, the age, certification, and, most importantly, where you get the little furry buddy from. The most affordable option is to get the dog from a shelter.
This would cost you between $50 to $100 and may even be free if you are lucky. Unfortunately, Yorkies do not give birth to many puppies in their lifetime, and getting them in a shelter is a matter of lucky timing.
This brings you to the next option, which is buying from a breeder. While you are pretty much guaranteed you will find one, you have to fork out a bit more. If you want accompanying certification papers detailing information like bloodline and breed history, you may end up paying between $1,000 and $1,500. If the papers do not mean that much to you, the price tag is usually between $300 to $800.
Prices also differ for Biewer and Parti Yorkies due to their difference in rarity. Not to forget, Teacup Yorkies, due to their extra cuteness with their petite size and teddy bear appearance, may fetch a higher price.
Finally, you could spend up to $10,000 on a traditional Yorkie puppy if you want the purest and most elite of bloodlines. This is usually done for show dog purposes.
In addition to the initial purchase, you have to factor in the cost of maintenance for your Yorkie. Small dog breeds like these are often more expensive to maintain. A Yorkie would cost you between $900 and $1,500 annually to take good care of.
This includes the cost of training, grooming, tail docking (if you only need to), and of course, vet visits. That very last one costs the most with the Yorkie’s unique set of diseases ranging from puppy teeth retention to tracheal collapse.
Don’t forget the damage they may cause to your home when you are out, whether is potty accidents or damaged furniture. This translates to cost as well, in monetary terms as well as time.
How Many Puppies Can A Yorkies Have?
Yorkshire Terriers are unique when it comes to childbearing. They are super fertile and have been known to get pregnant with their first mating trial.
As a result, they can get even up to 5 litters per year if mating is not controlled. Given the birth complications suffered by Yorkie moms, it is advised that you keep the pregnancies to one per year and at most 2 to give the little one enough time to recover.
Despite their impressive fertility, they do not deliver as many puppies as the normal dog average of 6 to 10 puppies per pregnancy. Instead, their average ranges from 3 to 5. In fact, it is not uncommon to find a Yorkie that only delivers one puppy per pregnancy.
There are also a few outliers who can have up to 10 puppies per litter, but this is very rare.
The number of Yorkie pregnancies per year and puppies per pregnancy is determined by several factors. The three main ones are:
Bigger Yorkie females have been shown to have larger sizes of litters with as many as 4 to 6 puppies per pregnancy. Smaller Yorkies can usually only handle 1 to 2.
Yorkies typically reach their fertility prime at two years of age. The number of puppies per pregnancy and pregnancies per year reduces with age.
In human terms, we call this stress. The mental health of the mother Yorkie also plays a critical but subtle role in determining how often she can have babies in a year and the health of the newborn puppies. This has a lot to do with their diet, sleeping cycle, and daily interaction.
This is determined by nutrition, fitness, and the presence of other health issues commonly associated with Yorkies. A healthy doggy is more likely to give birth to many healthy puppies and many litters over their lifespan.
How Many Times Can A Yorkie Get Pregnant?
When it comes to how many times a Yorkie can get pregnant, there is no limit. Remember that this is one very fertile breed and will get pregnant very easily as long as there is uncontrolled mating going on. They are usually on heat cycles between their 2nd and 5th year, but some are fertile up to the age of 7.
In fact, it is advised that a Yorkshire Terrier should not have more than 4 litters in their entire lifetime. This is because pregnancy and delivery carry several long-term risks for the breed.
A great example here is the overall reduction in health and vitality that the mother suffers from each pregnancy. This leaves them prone to all sorts of issues, from infections to worsening of bone and joint issues.
In addition to the low quality of life, a Yorkie that falls pregnant too often suffers a shortened lifespan. More often than not, this can be linked to specific complications like birth trauma, eclampsia, and mastitis. However, there isn’t always a direct link with the overall toll of carrying the pregnancy, delivering, and breastfeeding too often, just inexplicably shaving years off your dog’s life.
One of the best ways to control this breeding is by getting the dog spayed. In addition to sparing the pooch with all the side effects of numerous pregnancies, it protects from conditions like hormone-sensitive cancers.
How Long Are Yorkies In Heat? The Yorkie heat cycle has a frequency of every 6 to 8 months, depending on age, health status, and genetics. The cycle typically lasts two weeks, and you may notice vulva swelling and discharge in addition to behavioral changes. The cycles, in general, begin anywhere between 6 and 18 months, with the peak of their fertility and heat at two years of age.
How Long Do Yorkies Live In Human Years? The average lifespan range for Yorkies is 13 to 16 years, making them among the longest-living dog breeds. This translates, in human years, to about 72 and 90 years old. Yorkies are different from small breed dogs as here, and ten dog years are about 56 human years, whereas, with larger breeds, the ten translates to around 66.
How Big Do Yorkies Get? The average height of a Yorkie is 9 inches, and they typically weigh 4 to 6 lbs. Most variations from the normal ranges mentioned are in terms of weight, with the breed being very prone to obesity. For the record, there are Yorkies reported to be weighing up to 16 lbs.