If you are thinking of opening your heart and your house to a fluffy Pomeranian, but you are a bit concerned about the shedding side of things, this guide will be an eye-opener for you. If you already have a little Pom in your life, by the end of this article you will have all the knowledge you need to keep her coat in good care.
Like most dog breeds, Pomeranians shed twice a year, in spring and in autumn, in order to be ready for the hot and cold seasons. The first shedding of the year usually starts around April\May and continues until the beginning of summer. The second shedding is in October\November and is usually less noticeable than the spring one. During these periods you will see hairs flying all over the place and you’d better have a good vacuum cleaner on hand.
Pomeranians and their special coat
What makes a Pomeranian shedding different from most other dog breeds is the fact that these little fluff balls have a double coat. Most dogs have a single coat since they originated in places that are not very cold. Pomeranians instead were bred in Germany and Poland, where the winters are very harsh, so they wouldn’t have survived with just one coat. Pomeranians were originally larger in size and used as labor dogs; they would often live on farms and it was not unusual to see them spending a lot of time in the snow.
This is why like other dog breeds that originated in northern Europe, such as Siberian Huskies and Samoyeds, Pomeranians have an undercoat that is very warm and similar to wool and a topcoat that is longer and protects the skin from getting scratched. When you pat a Pomeranian it feels like you are touching a soft toy and that is thanks to the double coat. This type of coat is not only important in the wintertime to protect from the cold, but it is also a safeguard against the heat of the summer since it is a very good thermal insulator. For this reason, you can never shave down a Pomeranian, because by doing that you would remove this fundamental protection, and in the hotter months, this could lead to heat strokes.
Brushing a Pomeranian
Of course, the downside of having a beautiful double-coated Pomeranian is that he will shed much more than a dog with a single coat. While for a standard dog being brushed once a week could be fine, for a Pomeranian this won’t be enough. It is very important to groom a Pomeranian frequently, especially during the shedding seasons. A daily brushing session would be ideal and three times a week an absolute minimum. Since a Pomeranian is such a tiny dog, it won’t take very long to brush him; 5-10 minutes a day can be sufficient if you have the right equipment.
The reason why it is so vital to groom a Pomeranian every day during the shedding periods is that otherwise the undercoat will get tangled onto the topcoat and it will form knots. In fact, the first layer of fur even though it detaches from the skin, doesn’t automatically blow away by itself. Mats could start showing up and that would be very painful for your pooch because they can be hard to remove and could even lead to sores and infections. In these extreme cases, the only solution would be to remove the sections of the coat where the knots are.
The right tools for a Pomeranian
There are many different brushes available for grooming dogs, but not all of them are suitable for a Pomeranian. The best brush to remove the undercoat from a Pomeranian is a slicker with tips in the bristles. This kind of brush is ideal for taking away tangles and loose fur and it won’t hurt your pooch. A normal bristle brush is not recommended, since it cannot capture the dead hairs in the undercoat, but it only works on the top layer.
The slicker brush is easy to use and if it has the tips you’ll be sure that it won’t hurt your Pomeranian. You just need to brush your pooch gently starting from the head and going through to the tail. After you have done this 5 or 6 times you can do it the reverse way, from the tail to the head, so that you will remove as many dead hairs as possible. It is important to brush behind the ears of a Pomeranian because that is one of the most common places for knots to develop. The same thing goes with the armpits and the underbelly part, which are sensitive and prone to knotting.
Some extra tools
Another tool that will help your Pomeranian maintain a healthy and beautiful coat, is a stainless steel comb to be used before the slicker to soften the undercoat. By doing this, the hairs of your pooch will separate easily and it will help prevent mats. There are plenty of dog combs on the market, but be sure to get one that is 100% stainless steel, since this one won’t fizz the hairs of your Pomeranian. Be also sure to get one that has bristles with different distancing between them, since you will be using the ones with the larger spacing for the body of your pooch and the ones with the lesser spacing for the hairs on her face.
A conditioner for dogs can also be used before brushing the coat if you have difficulty passing through the hairs with the comb. This will make the fur much smoother and it will make your brushing job a lot easier. By the end of the grooming session, your Pomeranian will have a shiny and soft coat you will be proud of.
Shedding is a good thing
As we have discussed up to now, shedding is normal and healthy for a Pomeranian. To some degree, the shedding will always happen when you have any dog since their fur is much like human hair and it falls out so that it can regrow stronger. So be ready to always have hairs flying around when you have a Pomeranian with you.
Apart from seasonality, shedding can occur to a Pomeranian even for other reasons. The first circumstance in which a Pomeranian will shed is when he is a puppy. In fact, in the first months of his life, your pooch will have a temporary coat that he will change when he is around 10-12 months old. The puppy coat is made of just one layer of hair which is usually short and soft.
When the pooch is about 5 months old he will start to lose this coat and will begin to put on the adult one. It can take up to 6 months to build up an adult coat and during this period it is not unusual to see hairs growing in patches and having some bald parts as well. This is absolutely normal. During this shedding period, a Pomeranian can also change the color of the fur. A puppy that was white with a bit of cream, could easily turn out totally cream in his adult coat.
Shedding for malnutrition
Another reason for shedding in a Pomeranian can be caused by malnutrition. If your pooch isn’t getting the right diet or he’s lacking important nutrients, this eventually will show on his coat. Hairs will start to fall out and especially the outer layer will be affected. So remember to always buy quality food for your Pomeranian and to integrate her diet regularly with omega 3 and 6 supplements. This will make the coat thick, shiny and healthy.
Females more than males
Female Pomeranians tend to shed more than males. They have some hair loss after every heat cycle, so extra brushing will be needed during these periods. All hormonal changes will influence the loss of hairs in a Pomeranian, so if your pooch is pregnant that will also have an effect on the shedding. It is normal for a female Pomeranian to shed completely after having given birth to the puppies. It can take up to 3 months for her to build a new double-layer coat, so don’t worry if you see this happening. Your vet will probably provide supplements that will help her put on a new shiny fur.
Pomeranians are easy to keep clean
After reading this guide you might have second thoughts about getting a lovely Pomeranian since it might need a little more attention than a single-layer coat dog. This would be though a mistake. You must remember that a Pomeranian is a small dog and it will really take very little of your time to groom him properly. You can put him on your legs and just brush him while watching TV and you would be finished in 10 minutes max.
Another good thing about the coat of a Pomeranian is that it is very easy to keep clean. Pomeranians, in fact, don’t have oily skin like other dogs. Their coat doesn’t get greasy as quickly as other breeds, so she won’t need to be washed as frequently. Brushing your Pomeranian regularly will help remove the dirt in the fur and will keep her nice and clean for months.
A wet wipe for dogs can be used on her coat daily and that will be enough. The odor of the Pomeranian is not as strong as it is with other dogs. Even when they get wet with rain, you won’t have that pungent smell of wet dog to deal with. It is recommended to not bathe your Pomeranian too often, since this could damage her skin and lead to dermatitis.
When to wash
You can wash your pooch once every 6 weeks at most and you can either do it yourself at home or go to a professional groomer. Pomeranians don’t always like to get wet and having a bath can be stressful for some of them. If your Pomeranian gets too hyper when going to the groomer, you could just put her in a little sink at home and clean her yourself. She will be thankful!
In case you decide to do so, remember to use specific shampoos for dogs made from natural ingredients and without extra perfume. Natural oatmeal shampoo is a very good choice since it is great on normal and sensitive skin. Never use on your Pomeranian a human shampoo, because dog skin has a different PH to ours and it could easily get irritated.
What if you have allergies?
The hairs of a Pomeranian are not hypoallergenic, like the ones of other dog breeds. If you suffer from allergies, the shedding of a Pomeranian could give you some kind of reaction. In this case, you would be better with another kind of dog, such as a poodle, a schnauzer, or a Maltese. These dog breeds are all hypoallergenic, which means that they stimulate fewer allergic reactions if compared to other dogs.
This doesn’t mean that they are 100% allergen-free, because no dog breed has this guarantee. What gives allergies to people, is not the hair of the dog, but the dander. This substance is on the skin of the dog and when a dog sheds, it will fly off the coat and it can cause a reaction. All dogs have dander to some extent, but this is especially true if a dog has a double-layered coat, such as the Pomeranian.
Now that you know a bit more about the shedding of a Pomeranian and how to treat her coat, you can make an informed decision about this lovely dog breed. We know that any discomfort due to the shedding of this pooch will be highly compensated by her lively personality that will never let you get bored. Pomeranian dogs make great companions for families, children, and the elderly.
They are the perfect size for small children to play with and they love being cuddled while lying on the owner’s lap. They are very communicative and tend to bark quite a bit, so if you live in an apartment and you have neighbors this is an aspect you should consider before bringing a Pomeranian home.
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