safety tips



Nothing is worse than having an accident, injury, or health issue occur with our canine family members, knowing that it could have been avoided.

Our pets are like our children, they count on us to keep them safe.

Avoid regrets by implementing as many of these tips as applicable for your cute little guy or gal. 




Safety Tip #1: Never connect the leash to a collar
What happens:
The main reason to avoid this is because small toy breeds like the Yorkie are predisposed to the condition of collapsed trachea. The trachea (windpipe) is surrounded by rings of cartilage. One or more of the rings can weaken over time, ultimately collapsing inward. When this happens, it can be incredibly painful and severely interfere with breathing. Signs include trouble eating and a honking-like cough. Treatment is lengthy (anti-inflammatories, cough medicine, immediate discontinuation of a collar) and many dogs never fully recover. Surgery is an option but it is a very intricate operation with many risks.
If a Yorkie has a leash connect to a collar, this put stress and tension directly on the trachea. This can hasten any predisposed degeneration.
In addition, there are other conditions that are thought to be linked to ongoing pressure to the neck and/or restricted blood flow including thyroid issues, ear damage, eye damage, and issues with the salivary glands.
What to do instead:
Keep your Yorkshire Terrier safe by using a harness. A properly fitting harness displaces tension across the shoulders, chest, and back (much stronger areas with more muscle), leaving the neck free.
You’ll also find that a harness helps you have much better control over your Yorkshire Terrier while on leash letting you more easily keep your little guy or gal in a heeling position. And, should you need to, you can quickly pull your Yorkie to you without any fear of jerking the neck.
If you’re looking for a great harness, there is a couple of fantastic choices for this breed, even the tiniest little Yorkies.

Tip #2: Do not let your Yorkie jump down from heights
What happens:
When a dog 10 lbs. and under leaps down from sofa height, this is an impact equivalent of a human jumping down from a one-story building (10 feet). And dogs love to do this; It’s estimated that active dogs leap on and offer furniture an average of 35 times per day, adding up to 12,000+ daring jumps per year.
With this, knee injury is the top concern; the Yorkshire Terrier breed ranks at #2 for patella (knee) luxation (not a good place to be). And while the knee cap can indeed slip while running (or just all on its own in some cases), jumping from heights certainly can be a trigger.
In addition to this, safety issues include landing the wrong way or landing too hard resulting in a pulled ligament or even a bone fracture.
What to do:
Limit your Yorkie’s jumping. For spots that it’s very common to jump down from, place an ottoman there, if feasible, to create a safer passage. Or, consider placing pet steps or even a small ramp next to the couch, chair, bed, or other area that your Yorkshire Terrier loves to leap off of.

Safety Tip #3: Avoid paw-related accidents and injury
What happens:
Since dogs spend their lives essential barefoot, there are quite a few things that can happen. Let’s take a look at the top safety issues.
Burns – In the summer, cement sidewalks can reach 125 F, red brick can soar up to 135 F, and blacktop pavement can hit a shocking 140 F. Is this too hot for your Yorkie? Yes! A surface temperature of 120 F is the pain threshold for canines. And, with 140 F and above, burns will develop after just one minute.
Slipping – If you have hardwood, tile, or laminate floors in the house, poor paw pad traction can send your little Yorkie slipping and sliding. This can lead to a dog pulling a muscle, bonking into a wall, or even falling down a staircase.

Lacerations on foot pads – Walking on rocks, gravel, or other rough or uneven surfaces can cause abrasions or tears.
Snowballing – This is a winter issue and refers to when snows gets between the toes and paw pads, melts, and refreezes into ice. That ice stretches the sensitive skin at which point it can split (a very painful condition).

Reactions to chemicals – From pesticides and fertilizer applied to park grass, to ice-melt chemicals dragged in by vehicles in the winter, there are a lot of various elements that can either cause chemical burns or allergic reactions. 

What to do:
Protect your Yorkshire Terrier’s paws. While this breed might not be big and strong like sled dogs or other working dogs, you can do the same for your Yorkie as is done with them: apply a quality paw wax.
Paw wax keeps the pads healthy (and thus better able to withstand the elements) and offers a layer of protection from outdoor hazards. It also gives a dog better traction, indoors and out.
The absolute best paw wax is Mushers Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax. This absorbs very quickly, allows the paws to ‘breathe’, and is made of 100% all-natural waxes (yellow and white beeswax, carnauba (palm wax) and candelilla wax).
Do keep in mind, however, that even a great paw wax cannot block all of the heat from searing hot pathways; always use caution when walking your Yorkie in the summer. 

Safety Tip #4: Dog-proof the house and yard
What happens:
Even if your Yorkie has never mouthed anything at all (other than toys), don’t make the mistake of thinking, ‘Oh, my dog won’t ever do that’. Because all it takes is one time.
Since canines don’t have opposable thumbs, they pick objects up with their mouths simply to answer the question of ‘what is this?’ And, that can lead to all kinds of trouble including choking, splinters in the mouth, and toxic poisoning.
Items that dogs have swallowed include sewing needles, Q-tips, Lego pieces, money clips, Playdough, birth control pills, crayons, Band-Aids, small light bulbs, jewelry, coins, toilet paper, Chapstick, and fishing hooks.
Electrical cords pose a huge danger; aside from electrocution which itself can be deadly, secondary issues seen alongside this due to current moving through the body include pulmonary edema, cataracts, and dangerous high blood pressure.
Outside dangers include swallowing rocks, twigs, and plants, leaves, acorns, etc. that can be toxic. 
What to do:

Routinely check over the entire house. Pick up any small objects, even if they do not look ‘chewable’ or interesting. Be sure that all household members know the importance of keeping small things off the floors and any furniture that your Yorkie may get up onto.
Do not allow electrical cords to dangle anywhere that your Yorkie could even possibly reach. Use cord concealers like PetCords Dog and Cat Cord Protector to protect any cords that you can’t place out of reach.
Outside, routinely rake the yard to remove debris and scan the yard for any sharp objects.

Safety Tip #5: Awareness and planned reaction to larger dogs
What to know:
There are countless incidents of small dogs being attacked by larger ones. This happens at dog parks, while taking walks around the neighborhood, and even in owner’s backyards.
And it is from these tragedies that we can learn what not to do and which steps to take to keep our Yorkies safe. As with many of the other safety tips, this is something that you should not assume ‘won’t happen to my dog’.
What to do:
Out in the yard: Under no circumstances should you let your Yorkie out into the yard unsupervised, even if you have a secure fenced-in yard. Dogs running loose can jump fences or find their way in through weak spots in the fence.
Before you exit with your dog, do a visual sweep of the area.
At parks: Socialization at dog parks is always great; but, only bring your Yorkie to park that have separate enclosures for dogs based on size.
When walking your Yorkie: The #1 rule is to keep your Yorkie on leash and harness (safety tip #1). The leash ensures that your dog is always close by to you. The harness allows you to quickly reel your dog in, or even lift him right up by the leash, in an emergency.  
Remain aware of your surroundings.
If you see another dog running loose, pick up your dog and walk away from the area. While tempting, do not look directly at the other dog; but, know where he is.
If a larger dog is barking and baring his teeth, hold your dog close to your body and remain calm. Often, yelling at an aggressive dog only riles him up.
Consider carrying an object like a walking stick or even an umbrella. If an aggressive dog is getting too close, it can help to give a firm and confident ‘No!’, stand tall, and use the object claim your space and maintain distance.
Consider carrying an air horn, or pepper spray or bear spray (depending on what is legal in your city or town).
If a dog is attacking, put anything you can between it and you and your dog, for example, a jacket or bag.

Safety Tip #6: Be aware of seasonal weather-related issues
What to know:
If you live in an area where the weather changes with the seasons, you’ll want to pay particular attention to common problems that can happen during both hot and cold weather.
On hot summer days, dogs can easily overheat and/or become dehydrated. And, on cold winter days, dogs can quickly develop hypothermia and even frostbite.
Some tips:
In the summer:
1. Help your Yorkie stay comfortable via a canine cooling mat. For use both indoors and out, these are a fantastic way to help a dog regulate his body temperature and provide a respite from the heat. 
Considering one like the The Green Pet Shop Self Cooling Pet Pad. Instead of emitting cold, it works by drawing heat away from a dog’s body via a special gel. So, there is no refrigeration needed, it doesn’t plug in, and there is also no possibility of a dog getting too cold. Note that this will not feel cool to the touch; it is activated once a dog sits or lies down on it and then absorbs extra body heat.
2. Encourage your Yorkie to drink water. Bring water along while out on walks or otherwise away from home, taking breaks to let your Yorkie rehydrate. At home, clean the bowl once a day, keep it filled with fresh cool water, lead your little guy or gal to the bowl throughout the day.  

In the winter:
1. If the temperature is 32 F or lower, keep outdoor playtime to 20 minutes or less.
2. Keep your Yorkie’s core body warm via a lined vest or coat like the Onemore Outdoor Fleece-Line Coat. This one is fantastic because as the name implies, it has a warm fleece lining, but it also has a water-resistant outer layer, starts at size extra-small, and has a hole for the leash to slip through if a dog is on a harness.

Safety Tip #7: Limit the risk of falls
What to know:
There are two main ways that toy breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier are injured in falls: Tumbling down staircases and being dropped. With steps, young pups and older seniors are most at risk; though, any dog that speeds down too fast or whose paw pads do not have enough grip can take a slip. In regard to falling from someone’s arms, this happens most often when a young pup is wigglier than anticipated or if someone is holding a Yorkie while trying to multitask.
What to do:
If you have a potentially dangerous staircase, consider adding no-slip runners and if needed, install a safety gate to block the top of the steps. If you have a senior, monitor things as time goes by; decreased vision and mobility is very common with older dogs and adjustments may need to be made over time.
In regard to being accidently dropped, have young children sit when holding or petting your Yorkie and do not try to hold your little guy or gal if your hands will be busy doing other things.

Safety Tip #8: Don’t let your Yorkie ingest additives
What to know:
The amount of chemical preservatives, and artificial coloring and flavoring in kibble and snacks is stunning. Ethoxyquin, carrageenan, propylene glycol, BHT, BHA, and others are packed into dog foods as a cost-saving method for manufacturers. But, these chemicals can cause terrible side effects including allergic reaction (itching, rash, poor skin and coat health) and gastrointestinal distress.
Not to mention the by-products, high grain counts, high levels of corn syrup, a slew of cheap fillers, and other sub-par ingredients in the bags that line the aisles in food stores and pet supply shops. 
A well-known name and photos of healthy food on the bag cause owners to trust a brand that is slowly poisoning our dogs.
What to do:
Know what is in the food that you’re giving to your Yorkshire Terrier. Your goal should be a 100% all-natural kibble that is preserved using a vitamin blend, not chemicals. There should also be no dyes or artificial flavors.
For optimum health, there should be no fillers, soy, corn, by-products, or generic meats or oils.
As an example of a terrific kibble, look to Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free for Small Breeds. This meets all the expectations of what you want your Yorkie to have. There are no chemical preservatives, wheat, corn, soy, meat by-products, or artificial colors or flavors. The base is turkey and chicken, preserved using mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), and has lots of healthy extras including antioxidants, omega-3, and probiotics. It’s sized for small dogs and is made in the USA.

Safety Tip #9: Don’t let your Yorkie drink unfiltered tap water
What to know about water:
How can something as simple as giving water to your Yorkie pose any possible danger? The answer is that if you are offering unfiltered tap water, there are hundreds of chemicals and pollutants swarming in it. Many are unregulated and many are known to cause illness and disease including cancer.
Fluoride and chlorine are purposefully added. The former (created as a pesticide to kill rats) affects thyroid function and weakens bones and the later (used in chemical weapons in WWI) is associated with breast, rectum, and bladder cancer.
In addition, there are a slew of pollutants including arsenic (allowed to be at twice the level that was originally recommended), radium, lead, copper, Trichloroethane 1, 1,2 (linked to liver and kidney disease), and PFOS and PFOA (linked to thyroid disease, colitis and testicular and kidney cancer). Not to mention chromium-6 (a known carcinogen) has been found in tap water stretching across all 50 US states (affecting 200 million Americans).
What to do:
You can keep your Yorkie safe by never giving unfiltered tap water. Easy options are to offer spring water or to use a water filtering device.

Safety Tip #10: Buckle up your Yorkie
What to know:
Do you jump into the car and your Yorkie rides shotgun on someone’s lap? Or does your little guy or gal cuddle up on your lap? If so, you’re placing your canine family member at great risk. If you think you can hold your Yorkie in the case of an accident, think again. A 10-pound dog is thrown with the force of a 300-pound object in a car accident that happens at just 30 MPH. Even if you were to keep a hold of your little one, small pets can be terribly injured by airbags that deploy.
But, maybe this doesn’t apply to you because you stay close to home and are a safe driver? The truth of the matter is most car accidents happen close to home; 3 out of 10 occur less than 1 mile away and more than 1/3 happen between 1 and 5 miles from home. And, even if you have excellent driving skills, statistics say the average driver will be involved in 3 accidents over the course of their life.
What to do:
If you would buckle up a baby or a child, do the same for your canine family member. Just like seatbelts for humans, this cannot entirely stop all possible danger, but it is an important safety measure for your Yorkshire Terrier.
The safest spot for a canine car seat is the rear seat. If you choose to place it on the front passenger seat, be sure to move the seat as far back as it can go and disable the passenger air bags.
Please note that pet car seats have an inner buckle that is meant to be attached to a dog’s harness (Safety tip #1), not a collar; connecting it to a collar can cause serious neck injury.