Yorkshire Terriers make adorable pets. Not only are they tiny, but their personalities are often much larger than their actual size.
Since they’re so tiny, many owners assume Yorkies are sensitive creatures and may begin worrying if they start sleeping more than usual.
It’s entirely normal for Yorkies to sleep a lot. However, if they are sleeping more than usual, it could be due to health conditions like hormonal imbalances, anxiety, or depression, or simply because they’re getting older.
The amount of time each Yorkie spends sleeping can vary from dog to dog, although a good rule of thumb to go by is that Yorkie puppies will sleep for between 16 and 22 hours each day.
A healthy adult Yorkie will sleep for around 13 to 18 hours each day. If you’re not home, this may end up being much longer.
It’s also perfectly normal for Yorkies to nap through much of the day. Typically other dog breeds will sleep for around 14 hours a day, so adult Yorkies aren’t that far off the general average.
This article covers the eight main reasons why Yorkies may be sleeping a lot or more than usual. It also describes what you can do to assess if your Yorkie’s sleeping patterns are becoming harmful to their health or if an underlying condition may have caused them.
The Top 9 Reasons Yorkies Sleep So Much?
1. They’re Just Yorkies
Being tiny is difficult. Your legs have to work extra hard to cover distances, and if you want something, you have to take double the effort to get your human’s attention.
Being a Yorkie is time and energy-consuming, and it’s good enough to make anyone tired, nonetheless a hyperactive ball of fur and fury that loves playing and getting zoomies more than anything.
If your Yorkie is sleeping a lot, it may just be because it’s been more active than usual or had extra exercise that’s tired it out.
Within the 18 hour sleep time limit of adult Yorkies, there shouldn’t be much worry that something is wrong with your pet.
2. Hormonal Disorders
Dogs, especially Yorkies, with hormonal imbalances or thyroid problems could sleep for unusually long. If you notice your pet is sleeping more than usual, check for any of the following symptoms that may indicate your Yorkie has a hormonal disorder: [Source]
- Unexplained hair loss
- Drinking lots of water
- Urinating more often
If you suspect your Yorkie may have a hormonal disorder, take them to the vet for blood tests.
Once the imbalance is fixed, your pup should be back to their usual, excitable selves.
If your Yorkie has diabetes, an iron deficiency (anemia), or an infection (viral or bacterial), it may sleep for much longer than expected.
Yorkies do this to try to reduce the pain they may be experiencing due to their illness.
If you suspect your Yorkie may be sick and sleeping more than usual because of it, take them to the vet to be checked. Many illnesses in dogs are difficult to identify without a blood test simply because your dog can’t tell you what’s wrong.
If your Yorkie is missing a family member or close friend, has become bored, or has experienced a sudden lifestyle change, they may be suffering from depression, leaving them sleeping for longer than normal.
Other symptoms of depression in dogs include lethargy and inactivity accompanied by changes in their eating and sleeping habits [Source].
Thankfully, depression in dogs isn’t usually severe or long-lasting, as long as they are treated positively and given enough time to recover. If your Yorkie is depressed for an extended period, you may need to take it to the vet for medication.
5. Change in Their Environment
If you’ve recently moved to a new house or apartment, your Yorkie may respond by taking more frequent and longer naps.
This reaction could be caused by anxiety or depression triggered by the move and, although these symptoms are not usually serious or life-threatening, they should be monitored in case they become worse.
6. Aging Factors
Older Yorkies, especially those over ten or twelve, may sleep longer than their younger counterparts.
This is simply because energy levels drop as dogs age but could also result from a chronic illness that makes them less willing to be active.
Providing your aging Yorkie with the right diet, regular vet checkups, and lots of love and attention may help them get back some of their energy again.
If you notice your Yorkie is sleeping much more during the winter months, there’s usually nothing to worry about.
Many dog breeds, including Yorkies, sleep for longer in winter than in the warm summer season.
Sleeping helps Yorkies conserve energy to raise their body temperatures and stay warm and snug despite the freezing weather.
Yorkies may also sleep much less during sweltering summers as raised temperatures could make them uncomfortable.
8. Lack of Attention
We all know Yorkies love being the centers of attention.
If you’ve been working a lot and not playing or cuddling with your pet as often as usual, they may be sulking and sleeping a lot more to try to get your attention and sympathy.
9. They’re Bored
Yorkies are very intelligent, active animals. If they don’t have enough time to play, exercise, or interact with humans or other dogs, Yorkies will get bored pretty quickly.
A bored Yorkie may see sleep as a simple way to while away the hours with nothing to do.
Do Yorkies Sleep a Lot During the Day?
It depends on your Yorkie’s personality and the activities they have available during the day. A bored Yorkie may go to sleep if they have nothing better to do.
Dogs rely heavily on humans for entertainment, so if you’re not playing with them, they may choose to sleep until you are free to shower them with affection again.
Symptoms That Often Accompany Increased Sleep in Yorkies
Other symptoms to watch out for if your Yorkie is sleeping unusually long include:
- Unwillingness to walk or run: This could indicate an injury or illness
- Limping: Also a sign of injury
- Blank staring: This could be a sign of cognitive dysfunction, especially in older dogs
- Symptoms of anxiety and fear: Increased sleep could be due to stress or depression
- Falling asleep at random times, even while eating or playing: This could be a sign of narcolepsy, in which case you should take them to the vet immediately.
What Should I Do If My Yorkie Sleeps a Lot?
If you’re worried your Yorkie’s excessive sleeping habits may be negatively affecting their health, there are a variety of ways to try getting them awake and active again, including:
- Providing fun toys and games for your pup to play
- Using stimulating toys to keep their minds active and engaged
- Offering ample physical exercise and a healthy, balanced diet to make sure they have all they need to stay active
- Avoiding overfeeding your Yorkie, which could make it sleepy
- A vet exam, especially if after trying all the other options on the list doesn’t seem to help
How Many Hours Does A Yorkie Sleep?
The only thing Yorkies love more than playing, toys, and eating is sleeping. Most Yorkies will sleep for around 12 hours a night. They can also take naps throughout the day, adding up to an extra four to six hours.
Yorkie puppies sleep even more, getting up to 20 hours of snooze time a day! That may explain why they have so much energy; they’re spending 20 hours of energy build-up in just four hours of their day.
Yorkies are super active little dogs. They adore playtime and love spending hours with their owners, cuddling, or simply being spoken to.
If your Yorkie suddenly stops taking an interest in its favorite activities or is sleeping much more than usual, a simple diet or lifestyle change may be enough to help. If else, a vet can offer the right treatment options and assistance.