The Yorkshire Terrier is a popular breed of small terrier. It has proven very popular with senior owners because although they are bright and lively, they do not require too much exercise and, although they are somewhat stubborn and can be difficult to train, their diminutive stature means that they will not physically rule the roost at home.
Their popularity and purebred status mean that buying one cat cost upwards of a thousand dollars, while the annual cost of keeping this breed is $1,800. These figures add up to mean that your Yorkie will cost an average of $25,000 over its life.
To most owners, they are worth every cent, but it is important to know what to expect and how much to budget to keep your new pet healthy, happy, and fulfilled. Read on to see how the costs stack up.
Bringing Home a New Yorkshire Terrier: One-Time Costs
The biggest single initial cost when buying a Yorkie is the dog itself. Keep costs down by adopting, rather than buying, and if you do buy a puppy from a breeder, consider whether you need an exhibition quality Yorkie with registry papers, or whether a pet quality pup will be good enough – pet quality puppies cost considerably less than show quality.
Free Yorkies tend to come from friends or family that can no longer look after the dog, or from close friends and family willing to part with one of their latest litter. Ideally, the puppy should still come from parents that are free from genetic conditions and health problems, otherwise, you run the risk that your puppy will suffer similar problems.
Many owners prefer adopting over buying. Dogs are surrendered to rescues and shelters for a variety of different reasons. Because of their popularity with senior owners, Yorkies tend to be put up for adoption because of the death of their owner, and while some are very well trained and perfectly well behaved, you should meet the dog before adopting to ensure that this is the case.
Adoption fees are lower than purchase costs but they do vary by shelter and you do not have the same freedom of choice or guarantee of screening and health checks.
There is a very big variance in price when buying a Yorkie from a breeder. At the lower end of the scale, expect to pay between $500 and $800 for a companion or pet quality puppy. It will not have kennel club papers but its parents should still have undergone screening and health checks.
For exhibition quality show dogs, expect to pay upwards of $1,000.
Those with the best pedigree, boasting award winners throughout their family tree, you may have to pay fees of $2,000 or more.
On average, this breed costs around $1,200 per puppy.
Initial Setup and Supplies
The next biggest cost of owning a dog will be the supplies. Some items should last the lifetime of your dog, while others may need to be replaced every few years, and some more often than this. It will depend on the quality of the items as well as your puppy’s tendencies to chew things and even how well toilet trained it is.
List of Yorkshire Terrier Care Supplies and Costs
Below is an example of what you can expect to pay in the first year of ownership, and these costs can vary.
|Spay/Neuter||$150 – $700|
|X-Ray Cost||$100 – $300|
|Ultrasound Cost||$250 – $500|
|Teeth Cleaning||$150 – $300|
|Nail Clipper (optional)||$7|
|Leash and Harness||$40|
|Food and Water Bowls||$20|
How Much Does a Yorkshire Terrier Cost Per Month?
It is very unlikely that your monthly costs will come out at the top end of this scale because it assumes that you are paying for daily walks and that your dog requires emergency medical treatment and some pet sitting. On average, you should expect to pay about $150 per month in costs.
Health care not only includes ensuring that your Yorkie is healthy and free from illness but providing the food and nutrition that it requires. You will also need to maintain physical factors like nails while ensuring that their ears and eyes are clean and healthy. Age is the biggest determining factor when it comes to cost. Puppies have a high cost, and so too do old dogs.
The Yorkie is only a small dog and obviously has less of an appetite than a Huskie or a St. Bernard. However, it does require good quality food. This ensures that your Yorkshire Terrier gets the nutrition it requires without consuming too many calories. Treats can prove especially beneficial for training, too. The total cost of food will depend on the brand, rather than the amount, that you feed.
It is possible to keep your Yorkie well-groomed and in top condition yourself. This means keeping their nails trim, checking their ears, cleaning their eyes, and, of course, cutting their hair and ensuring that it doesn’t get in their eyes. Those that use a professional groomer will do so roughly every month to two months and this means a typical cost of $30 per month. Show quality grooming will cost more.
Medications and Vet Visits
Some months you won’t have to take your Yorkie to the vet at all. Other months it will feel like you live there. You can pay for wellness plans, although these do not usually offer big savings compared to paying when you require specific services. You can also shop around to find affordable vets, but do consider ease of access, opening hours, and other factors, as well as just the cost of the vets.
Pet insurance is one way to prepare for veterinary bills. It usually covers emergency costs, although some policies require that you pay the fees and have the cost reimbursed later. Policies usually have an excess, which is the amount that you need to pay before the insurance company recovers the rest, and they typically have a maximum payment per treatment, per annum, and per policy, so check these before you buy.
Training and Behaviour
Although the Yorkie is a small breed, it can be mischievous and while it is usually friendly, if it does not have early socialization, it can be nervous and yappy around strangers. Ensure some training, and remember that you will have to have somebody care for your dog if you go away or are unable to provide the care and attention that it needs, so budget for this too.
Whether you intend to train them yourself, attend professional classes, or have a behaviorist visit your home, you will need to provide training for your dog. Yorkies are clever but they can be stubborn and taking them to training classes, costing approximately $25 per month, is a good idea. Costs vary but are lower than having a behaviorist visit your home. If you train at home, yourself, you will likely still have to pay for treats and other training accessories to assist in the process.
Pet Sitting and Boarding
The cost of pet-sitting will vary wildly from one month to the next, obviously according to whether you are spending time away, have to make any hospital visits, or need your pup to visit the sitter or have them come to your home. Some months, the cost will be nothing, and if you have sympathetic neighbors or family members, you could benefit from nominal costs whenever required. Otherwise, it is a good idea to include pet sitting in your vacation budget, and bear in mind that sitters cost a lot more than paying for a boarding kennel.
Entertainment is important because an entertained Yorkie is better behaved, fitter, and tends to be friendlier and more sociable. Ensure that yours has a decent supply of toys and regular walks. If you are unable to walk your dog every day, you may have to pay for a professional walking service to take up the mantle, and this is where costs can really rack up.
Consider a subscription box for toys if your dog regularly goes through them or gets bored of old toys. Alternatively, you will need a steady and regular supply to ensure that your Yorkie does not get bored. A bored Yorkie is a destructive one and the cost of a decent quality toy is a lot lower than the cost of a new chair or sofa.
$500 may sound like a lot, but that assumes that you need a professional dog walker to come in and walk your puppy every day: the cost of which can equal $20 per walk. If you can walk your dog yourself, the cost is nothing.
Additional Costs to Factor In
You will need to have some money put aside for incidentals and unexpected costs. For example, some exclusions are not included in insurance policies and, if your dog chews or wees on furniture, you will need to buy replacements. Products like pet insurance and wellness plans can help you budget and plan, and they ensure that you are not caught out by unexpected costs too badly, but there will always be some unexpected events.
Owning a Yorkshire Terrier On a Budget
The best way to keep a Yorkie on a budget is to take a hands-on approach to ownership. This means getting out and walking him every day to avoid having to pay for a walker. It means training and socializing your dog yourself, maybe with a monthly training class visit, and it means utilizing insurance and plans that are cost-effective and minimize the amount you have to pay out each month.
Saving Money on Yorkshire Terrier Care
Check with your vets to see if they offer any kind of plan for inoculations or flea treatments. These can save you money in the long run, although they may require an up-front payment. Get a suitable insurance policy that includes what you need and is tailored to the toy breed, and make sure when you adopt or buy, that your Yorkie is healthy and has a lower chance of hereditary and genetic conditions.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a very popular pet. It is small, energetic enough that owners can enjoy taking it or regular walks, and it enjoys time with its owner. It can be stubborn and is prone to some health conditions, especially related to the eyes. Expect to pay approximately $1,000 to $1,500 for the puppy itself, additional costs of $1,000 to $2,000 when you first buy the dog, and monthly costs of $150 to $200, but bear in mind that such costs can vary greatly from these figures according to circumstances.
Featured Image Credit: Mr. SUTTIPON YAKHAM, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.