The 2012 death of Miley Cyrus’ Yorkie mix prompted me to write about how you can protect your fur baby from the unimaginable. This post was written in 2012 and is republished here today.
The Yorkshire terrier is a toy breed and any owner knows they are small dogs – the typical full-grown Yorkie is smaller than a newborn baby. With their small size comes a big personality and almost no fear, so Yorkie owners need to be especially cautious. Most Yorkie owners already know that they need to keep their fur babies on a “tighter leash” around strange dogs, because Yorkies love to meet new dogs, even much larger and possibly aggressive ones. But, have you considered your Yorkie’s safety with the other larger dogs in your own home?
Our family has a rescued black lab mix, and he is a sweetheart. I know he would never intentionally hurt our 4.5 pound Yorkie, Catherine. But, there are always risks with animals, and it’s up to you to take appropriate precautions to prevent tragic accidents. When I was a child, our family had a small rescued toy poodle, Shadow, along with a mixed dog, about 40 pounds, named Suzie-Q. While playing outside, Suzie-Q sat down right on top of Shadow, breaking her pelvis. Shadow’s internal organs were damaged beyond repair and she died two days later. It was heartbreaking. I don’t know if there is anything we could have done to prevent this accident, but Shadow’s death certainly has made me more aware of safety between large and small dogs.
Here are some tips to keep your Yorkie safe around the other pets in your home:
- Always monitor your pets when they play together – you can intervene when play becomes too rough or you notice the larger dog becoming annoyed.
- Never leave a large dog and small dog together when you are away – make sure the smaller dog is crated or the large dog is left outside in a fenced back yard.
- Feed large and small dogs in separate areas – food can be a catalyst for catastrophe, feed large dogs and small dogs in separate areas. We feed Catherine in her crate, safely away from our larger dog.
- Make sure your pets are spayed or neutered – hormones can cause all sorts of issues, it’s just better to not have those issues come into play.
- Pay extra attention during times of excitement – when there’s someone at the door, when kids are playing loudly, or a thousand other times, excitement leads to bouncy dogs and one misplaced jump can lead to disaster.
If you are living in a home with a large and small dog, let us know your tips for keeping your little dog safe!