Can Yorkies Swim?

Yes, Yorkshire Terriers can swim. Just like most other dogs, the Yorkshire will do the doggie paddle when introduced to a body of water.

Yorkies are not naturally buoyant like some other breeds. This means that they will sink when in water that is deep enough for them to completely submerge their heads, which can be very dangerous if they panic and don’t know how to swim!

These dogs won’t be bringing home the gold anytime soon but they can still have a good time with the right training.


Kiddie Pool for your Yorkie

As with most things that are new, a gradual introduction can help prevent your dog from getting spooked. Kiddie pools are an easy way to keep the Yorkies cool on hot summer days while being fairly simple to set up and maintain.

Start off by keeping water at just a few inches deep; add in toys so it’s not too boring! Make sure you’re close by for supervision or join your Yorkie for a dip.

Once your dog starts gaining confidence you can increase the water level and see how the dog reacts.

Make sure to drain the pool after use every time to avoid accidents if your dog manages to sneak outside without your notice.


Supervise your Yorkies Swimming Sessions

Always supervise your Yorkie when they are in the pool, regardless of whether or not they can swim on their own.

Even if you know your dog is a natural swimmer, it doesn’t hurt to monitor them just in case something happens. An unfamiliar situation could cause them some angst and they might panic without realizing they were in a place where they could escape.


Never Throw Your Dog in the Water

You should never just toss your Yorkie in the pool and expect them to be able to figure it out. This can be extremely traumatic to a dog and can lead to a lifetime fear of water.

Instead, introduce them slowly; it doesn’t matter if they’re a natural swimmer or need some assistance learning how to doggie paddle – you should always take precautions when taking an animal into a new environment.


Make sure to Check Water Temperature

Coldwater can cause hypothermia. This can lead to shock and possibly death if they don’t receive immediate veterinary care.

Water that is cold enough to pose a threat is generally under 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most pools become dangerous when they reach 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, but this will vary depending on your dog’s fur type and condition.

A proper pool will keep the temperature between 78 degrees F (25.5 C) and 84 degrees F (29.4 C). This is necessary for your pet’s health and comfort.  You can monitor the temperature of the water with a pool thermometer- they are relatively inexpensive and readily available at any home improvement store.


Have Fresh Drinking Water

Always ensure that there is clean, fresh drinking water available for your dog when he/she is in the pool. This will help to prevent your pet from becoming dehydrated.

Remember Yorkies are very small dogs and because of that, they can become dehydrated rather fast if not provided with clean drinking water. You don’t want them drinking the pool water as it can make them very sick.


A Life Vest can be a Good Option

If your Yorkie is a natural swimmer, then by all means this won’t be necessary. However, if you’re not 100% sure about whether or not they can naturally support themselves in the water without drowning, consider placing a life vest on them. These are commonly available at any pet goods store and will help to ensure your Yorkie’s safety.

There are a lot of vests out there, and it’s important to make sure your Yorkie can move easily and has full access to his/her underarms and belly. It should also be made from a material that will not be potentially toxic if chewed on by the dog.


Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

This is an often-forgotten part of summer safety! Dogs can get sunburned just like people, so it’s important to protect your Yorkie from the harmful rays of the sun.

Generally speaking, you should apply sunscreen on all white or light-colored dogs at least once a day during sunny days. You will need to apply more if your dog swims a lot, or is outside for prolonged periods of time.

There are a few things to note when it comes to using sunscreen on dogs:

Be careful not to get it in their eyes, nose, and ears. If you do, make sure you wash it off right away with soap and water.

Make sure you test it out on a small area of your dog’s skin first, as some dogs might have reactions to certain kinds of sunscreen.

If you decide to purchase human sunscreen for your Yorkie, make sure it is at least SPF 30 or higher.


Always Rinse your Yorkie after Swimming

You should rinse your dog down after swimming, especially if they have come into contact with chemicals found in the pool.

If you’re just letting them splash around and wade, this probably isn’t as important- but after your Yorkie has gone for a swim or jumped into the pool to retrieve toys or balls, it’s best to give them a quick rinse to remove any lingering chemicals.

It’s also important to make sure you dry your Yorkie off after swimming, too.

Do not scrub vigorously or use any shampoo on your dog to get them clean – this will only cause irritation and discomfort. It’s best to leave the skin alone if it doesn’t need treatment.


Take Care With Your Yorkie With Lakes or other Bodies of Water

If you decide to take your Yorkie swimming in a lake or other body of water, beware of algae. Algae can cause serious problems for your dog if they ingest any – and not just because it tastes bad! The microorganisms that make up the aquatic plant can cause a number of gastrointestinal upsets that might require a trip to the veterinarian.

Keep your eyes open for alligators and other predators in the water.

Alligators aren’t just in Florida – they can be found in many rivers, lakes and ponds in the United States, so you should never rule them out if you’re looking for a place to take your Yorkie swimming at your local pond or lake.

Other predators, such as owls and hawks, can be found close to water sources- these are birds of prey that will consume small animals if they get the chance.


Avoid Stagnant Bodies of Water

Although your Yorkie might love to get in and cool down on a hot day If you come across a body of still water while out with your dog, it’s best to steer clear unless you know what the area has been like for contamination concerns.

It is very dangerous for dogs to drink stagnant water because it can contain parasitic organisms, harmful bacteria and chemical pollutants that are hazardous to your dog’s health.

Stagnant pools of water are also an ideal place for mosquitoes to breed, which means you might be putting your Yorkie at risk of serious diseases like heartworm if they regularly drink from these types of water sources.



It might be cute to see your Yorkie frolicking in the water, but it’s important to take all safety precautions before you let them engage with the water. Yorkies can become great swimmers with some persistence.

Don’t forget – not only can dogs get sunburned, but they can also get chilly! Always err on the side of caution when giving your Yorkie access to water.

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