It is a widespread belief that the Yorkie (or Yorkshire Terrier) is hypoallergenic because its coat resembles human hair more than fur. However, this small pup is NOT hypoallergenic, and that is because when it comes to allergies, there is more than dog hair to blame!
The culprit behind human allergies to dogs lies in the protein that dogs produce. This protein is present in a dog’s saliva, urine, and skin cells, so it is impossible to have a completely hypoallergenic dog. The Yorkie is no exception, although it is human-like long hair.
The Yorkie Coat
The typical Yorkie has a long, silky coat that is single-layered (meaning that there is no undercoat.) There is a small population of Yorkies that have double-layered fur coats. However, according to the United Kennel Club, this double-layered coat is not the accepted standard for the breed.
The human-like hair of the Yorkie sheds like a human’s hair, too – hair is constantly shedding, and new hair grows in its place throughout the year. This growth cycle happens over a period and is constant, so owners tend not to notice as much dog hair in the house because it gets shed over a long period.
The Yorkie also does not experience significant shedding as the season shift – this is a characteristic seen most in double-coated breeds.)
The Yorkie’s silky coat requires considerable maintenance, and when kept long, it requires daily brushing, weekly bathing, and regular grooming to keep the long hair from irritating the Yorkie’s eyes.
What Are Hypoallergenic Dogs
We have established that the Yorkie is not hypoallergenic, but what exactly does “hypoallergenic” mean?
A “hypoallergenic” dog is a dog that is less likely to induce an allergic response in someone who has allergies to dogs.
But what makes some dogs “hypoallergenic”?
Remember those proteins we talked about earlier? Someone allergic to dogs has an immune system that recognizes these proteins as “invaders,” and it launches an immune response to flush the “invaders out of the body. The body achieves this flushing through the symptoms allergy sufferers know too well – running noses, coughing, sneezing, etc.
Are Yorkies Hypoallergenic?
No, Yorkies are not hypoallergenic dogs, although they produce fewer allergens than many other breeds (like the German Shepherd dog.)
What Influences How Hypoallergenic the Yorkie is?
Throughout the year, the Yorkie constantly sheds small amounts of hair. Each time your Yorkshire Terrier does shed like this, there is a possibility of dander releasing into the atmosphere. This dander is just one of the causative factors of allergies.
Some breeds produce more allergy-inducing proteins than others, and while the Yorkie does not top the list for protein production, it does produce these proteins. So, the Yorkie may be a better choice than a German Shepherd for someone with allergies, but the Yorkie is not completely hypoallergenic either!
Limiting Allergy Symptoms When You Own a Yorkie
Suppose you suffer from allergies but cannot live without a Yorkie. In that case, there are a few things that you can do to limit your allergen exposure, including regular grooming, feeding a healthy diet, and providing regular veterinary care.
Regular grooming is necessary for the Yorkie due to the nature of its coat, but it can also be extremely helpful in reducing the level of allergens in your home. For example, regular coat brushing helps to remove dead and loose hair from your Yorkie’s coat. Removing this loose hair means less hair (and less dander) throughout your home!
Your Yorkie’s diet influences every aspect of their health, and skin and coat health directly impact how much your pup sheds! For example, a poor diet that does not provide enough nutrition can cause your pup’s skin to dry and their hair to shed. The more hair your pup sheds, the more dander floats around your home!
Another significant factor influencing your Yorkie sheds is their frequency and caliber of vet care. Without regular vet care, your Yorkie may contract parasites or an infection that causes flaking skin, hair loss, and many other symptoms!
Conclusion / Summary
The Yorkie is not a hypoallergenic dog, and while it is not the worst offender for causing allergic reactions in humans, they still produce the proteins that trigger an allergic response.
Fortunately, a healthy diet, routine vet care, and regular grooming will help keep your Yorkie looking and feeling healthy while reducing the number of allergens floating free throughout your home!