How to Care for a Pomeranian

By Jane Meggitt

Pomeranians are 3 to 7 pounds of lovable fur. Caring for that furball involves providing good nutrition and regular exercise, and keeping him current on vaccinations and flea, tick and heartworm preventives. Good care means your Pom puppy might share your life for the next 15 years.

Feeding the Pomeranian

Feed your pet a high quality dog food. While a tiny dog doesn't require a great deal of food -- your vet can recommend the exact amount -- he should receive his daily rations in two to three servings. It doesn't take much overfeeding or excessive treats to make a toy dog fat, so keep an eye on his weight.

Grooming Your Pom

Your little friend requires a fair amount of grooming, but even though he sports a lot of hair, he's so tiny that your sessions shouldn't take long. Use a slicker brush to groom him and head off potential matting a few times a week. Because he's a double-coated breed, he will blow his undercoat each spring and fall, but regular grooming prevents excessive amounts of Pom hair from overtaking your home. Unless he's dirty, your Pom probably doesn't require bathing more than three or four times annually.

Training and Exercise

For such a little pooch, he's surprisingly athletic. If you want to compete in obedience, agility and other canine sports suitable for toy breeds, he's up for it. Poms also love to learn and show off their tricks. One caveat: They aren't the easiest dogs to housebreak. Be patient and consistent in your training, and your dog will eventually become reliable. Still, in inclement weather, prepare for the possibility of an "accident." While Poms don't need a lot of exercise and make good apartment and city dogs, they also like to accompany their owners on long walks.

Health Issues

Like many toy breeds, Poms often suffer from dental problems, the result of 42 adult dog teeth in a tiny mouth. Start brushing your Pom's teeth in puppyhood and have his teeth cleaned professionally as per your vet's recommendation. Other health issues affecting Poms include coat loss, also known as black skin disease. Older Pomeranians are vulnerable to hypothyroidism, or lack of sufficient thyroid hormone. Once diagnosed, a daily thyroid supplement usually resolves the problem. Orthopedic issues include slipped kneecaps, hip dysplasia and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, all of which may require surgical correction. Always walk your Pom with a harness and leash, rather than attaching the leash to his collar. This helps prevent tracheal collapse, a common problem in middle-aged and older Poms. The weakened cartilage in the trachea causes the dog to make honking noises and experience breathing issues. Severely affected dogs must undergo surgery to correct the condition.

Because Pom puppies are so tiny, they may suffer from hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Although they eventually outgrow this, for the first three months of life you must ensure that your puppy eats every few hours. Missing a meal by even an hour can cause him to become listless and cold, or even die. If your puppy experiences a hypoglycemic episode, take him to the vet immediately.