Owning a pet is a huge responsibility. When you adopt a dog, you’ll need to be their playmate, personal chef, cleaning service, groomer, and to some extent — their doctor. Pomeranians are extremely popular family dogs, but are they healthy dogs? What kind of health issues can a Pom owner expect to deal with? Keep reading to learn about all the health concerns you might need to be aware of with this breed.
Unfortunately, Poms are prone to developing several different types of heart disease, including birth defects as well as malfunctions that can develop later in life.
You can recognize symptoms of heart issues in your Pomeranian if they cough regularly, struggle with exercise, suddenly start losing weight, or are often short of breath and panting excessively. Keeping an eye out for these symptoms is essential so that you can catch any potential issues as early as possible.
Depending on the nature of your Pom’s health problems, there are a few different ways they can be treated and managed, including surgery, medication, weight control, and lifestyle changes. If you suspect a heart issue, make sure to speak directly to your vet before making any decisions.
Joint and Bone Health
These little dogs are also known for struggling with their mobility, and this typically comes down to their joint and bone health. Issues are most typically seen in their knees and spine.
Sometimes, a Pomeranian’s kneecaps will slip out of place (known as patellar luxation), and they’re prone to struggling with arthritis. If the symptoms are mild and your pup doesn't appear to be in too much pain, your vet should be able to treat them with medication. More severe cases may require surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
Poms are also predisposed to a disease that causes instability in their vertebrae — making them extremely susceptible to spinal-cord injuries. If you notice that your pup is experiencing sudden pain or can’t move in the way they usually do, get in touch with your vet ASAP.
Another common issue faced by Pomeranians is respiratory problems. These pooches often struggle with weak or underdeveloped tracheal structures, meaning that the trachea is prone to collapse.
Similarly to the previously mentioned heart conditions, this can manifest as coughing, shortness of breath, excessive panting, extreme fatigue, struggle exercising, and other breathing struggles.
Fortunately, a collapse of the trachea is typically a mild issue that can be treated and easily managed with medication. In some rarer, most severe cases, you could consult your vet about whether or not surgery might help the problem.
However, because Poms are prone to these types of problems, making sure not to overexercise your dog is a crucial consideration for owners. Pay attention to their energy levels and how much activity they can comfortably handle without running out of breath.
Brushing your dog’s teeth is more important than you might have thought! Dental disease is one of the most common problems faced by all pets, and Poms, in particular, are known for struggling with various teeth and gum problems.
These dogs have very small mouths and a lot of teeth they need to keep in there — which can lead to overcrowding in their mouths and quite a bit of pain from the resulting issues. It can also result in excessive plaque buildup in their teeth, which needs to be cleaned regularly.
Failure to deal with plaque in a timely manner can lead to gum disease, tooth loss, and general pain and discomfort for your pup. Purchasing a proper toothbrush for your dog (no matter their breed) is essential and their dental hygiene should form a strict part of their grooming routine.
Some Pomeranians can also struggle with sensitive tummies and might need to eat a little more carefully than other dogs. However, this is, fortunately, not usually indicative of anything more serious, and digestive issues can typically be treated at home or by some quick-fix meds from your vet.
If your Pom struggles often with diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, or other digestive troubles, chat to your vet about a special diet, and try experimenting until you find something that they tolerate well. You can also use a multi-strain probiotic for your Pom, or test out digestive enzymes.
Every pup is different and will respond differently to certain foods and supplements, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t get it right straight away. Your Pom also needs plenty of water to stay hydrated and regular, so make sure they have a fresh, clean bowl accessible to them at all times.
Obesity and Nutrition
Despite being seemingly picky eaters, Pomeranians are also infamous for their amazing ability to get very fat very quickly if their diets aren’t carefully monitored!
It might be that adorable face that makes it impossible to resist giving them all the treats their hearts desire, but either way, keep in mind that obesity is a serious health problem in dogs and should be avoided. Obesity can contribute to other issues we’ve already discussed, including arthritis and heart disease.
Fortunately, keeping an eye on your Pom’s lifestyle should help you ensure that this doesn’t become an issue. Make sure they’re eating enough (but not too much) of a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet. Avoid feeding them from your own plate and kitchen, and limit dog treats too. Finally, make sure they’re active and moving each and every day in order to manage their weight and overall health.
Pomeranians also have relatively sensitive skin. They tend to dry out, so be aware of this and be careful when it comes to grooming.
Take care not to bathe your Pom too often and opt for more natural or gentle shampoos and other grooming products rather than the types that have too many harsh chemicals in them.
Your pup might also struggle with a condition called pododermatitis, which causes blisters on their toes. This can be extremely painful for your Pom and should be treated with antibiotics as soon as possible. Watch out for limping or excessive paw licking.