BFF Puppies (Best Friends Fur-ever)and Prayer Paw Puppies
© created by BFF Puppies and Prayer Paw Puppies
A Pomeranian Paradise
I have wondered about many things through the years about the different varieties of Pom coats. Here are a few of the questions I've had, and the answer I've concluded. Not all answers may be correct, but this has been my experience with my dogs; it makes sense to me... :)
1. Can color affect the quality of the coat?
Yes, some color varieties do not have as full of a coat. As always, there are exceptions to every rule.
A.) Some say that the parti factor may affect the quality of the dog's coat (fullness factor). With me, it depends on the dog. I have some VERY full coated partis... and then I have some with not as good of a coat.
B.) I haven't had very many blue colored dogs, and the ones I've had have just as nice of a coat as any of my other dogs. However, I've heard from several people who have handled dogs for a very long time that the blue dog doesn't always have as full of a coat.
2. What makes some dog coats flat versus full?
A dog's coat quality is based on genetics, health, and hormone levels. Some dogs are blessed with a thick, heavy coat with an abundance of undercoat. (The undercoat is a thick, dense, shorter coat that helps the longer top coat stand up.) Without this denseness of undercoat, the outer coat can be full and long but will not stand up. It will give the dog a "flat" appearance.
Some Pomeranians do not have a thick undercoat. It may be mediocre to thin. Many have a mid-level undercoats, and others have a thick, dense undercoat. It is just the luck of the draw on genetics. To get a hint of whether your puppy will have a thick undercoat,I suggest looking at the parents. You also might want to ask the time of year the pictures of the parents were taken. Most dogs have a wonderful coat in the winter, but in the summer, their bodies try to protect the dog from overheating and will blow the undercoat. (So the dog may appear to have less undercoat when in fact, they have a good undercoat).
3. What are Pomeranian "Uglies"?
Pom "Uglies" occur when young dogs are leaving puppyhood. Their bodies are going through many changes while preparing to become an adult. Their skin is stretching and growing. Their bones are extending and getting denser. Their teeth are coming in and pushing out baby canines. Their hormone levels fluctuate, and their caloric needs increase to provide enough energy to carry out all these changes.
The puppy's coat is affected while the dog is going through all these changes. The coat begins to get clumpy, short, and... well... ugly. The baby usually begins to hit the "uglies" as early as three and a half to four months and may be in it as late as nine months. The coat at this point in time is more like an undercoat. It will fall out as the new coat comes in. I find that even immediately after grooming a puppy in his/her ugly stage, five minutes later, their coat will have the "clumpy look" again.
In most Poms, the new coat coming in will take a few months to be pretty and full. Usually by ten months, your baby will look more typical to the breed.
4. What makes a Pom blow their coat?
Each dog will have varying degrees of coat quality within a year's time. The weather and temperature can be a factor to when a dog "blows" its coat. (This is when the undercoat comes out and the outer coat may decrease as well). It is important to groom more frequently during this time because matts can form daily.
Females will begin to blow their coat during pregnancy and will continue to lose it after whelping. I believe it due to the hormone fluctuations and the dam's body focusing more intently on producing milk rather than on hair. I am kind of embarrassed when someone comes to see one of my cute little fluffy puppies, and they see their ugly, clumpy-haired (nearly bald-in-the-summer) mothers. Ha! Ha! After explanation, my clients always understand that this is not the mother's normal look. This is another reason I like to post pictures of my stock.
A Pom female, to a degree, will also have some hair loss a little while after a heat cycle (even if not bred). I think this is due to the hormone fluctuations. Again, it depends on the dog. Some will have more hair loss than others. Males don't blow their coat like females do, but they also will (usually) shed their undercoat in the summer.
I also believe when a "new coat" is coming in (say prep for winter), then the old coat will fall out as the new coat comes in - resulting in a "blown coat" look.
A dog's health also affects it's coat quality. Please see question #8.
5. Does shaving my dog affect its coat?
I do shave my dogs in the summer - probably leaving an inch and a half or so of coat (except my house babies and my dogs I intend to show.) I do this to help keep them cool, clean, and free from mats.
Some Pom owners say that shaving DOES affect the quality of the coat that comes back in... it won't be as full or as nice of quality. In my experience, I've never had a dog's coat not look good again once the coat is back in fully. To me, it is like the dog blowing the coat. However, it does take FOREVER (or it seems like it) for the hair to be back to full, long, and fluffy. (All the dogs pictured above have been shaved at one time except for three of them - Panda, Snow White, and King - and this is their coat after it's grown back.
If you want to show, I do not recommend shaving or a "Boo" do. Otherwise, I think shaving is perfectly fine, can be fun, and helps the dog be more comfortable.
One should use caution if you decide to shave a Pom. My vet acknowledges (and there is other documentation out there) that a dog can get a type of alopecia (lack of hair regrowth) when shaved too closely. One should never shave a dog to the skin unless a surgical procedure requires it or you shave a belly for nursing puppies.
6. Does putting clothes on my Pom affect his/her hair coat?
It depends. If a person has their pet sport adorable clothing on a regular basis? Definitely. The dog's body will adjust to the increase of warmth, and accommodate the dog's temperature. This might mean the dog's body sees no need to grow fur since the extra warmth is already provided. Many dogs who regularly wear clothing have a very thin coat as a norm without their accessories.
On the other hand, if a dog only wears clothes on occasion, I do not believe it would affect the quality of the animal's coat.
7. How do I get a Pom's coat to come back in - faster and to a more full degree?
It takes a lot of time, effort, and care, but one can improve their dog's coat quality to a degree. I recommend brushing out the coat frequently (three times a week minimum). I bathe my dogs weekly in a conditioning shampoo and use rinse-out conditioners afterwards to make their coat easier to comb. Then I dry the coat completely as I brush it out.
Constant and proper grooming (combing and regular bathing) stimulate the dog's skin and promote hair growth. I also believe in supplements. I think the best supplements are natural. I will feed my dogs a "snack" reward for enduring the grooming techniques of plain or vanilla yogurt mixed with canned fish such as salmon or sardines (high in Omega Oils). If I really want to improve the dog's coat quality even more quickly, I will buy fish oil pills, puncture the capsule, and put it in the sardine/salmon and yogurt mixture. They love it, and it is great for their skin and coat!
8. What causes Pomeranians to lose hair in a certain spots or have overall poor coat quality?
Genetics is a huge factor to coat quality. If your dog doesn't have a thick undercoat gene, you can improve it as much as possible, but your dog will never have the coat of a show canine. This concept is very similar to issues people have with human hair. There are supplements one can take to improve one's hair quality, but a person can't change what is in their genetic make up.
If the dog's health is not up to par, then it will be reflected in the dog's coat quality. There are many things that can tax a dog's health - whelping, an injury, illness, poor food quality, infestations of parasites, lack of dental care, etc.
If the dog develops allergies or has sensitive skin, they will dig and scratch, and they can lose patches of fur in those places. The skin is usually injured, and it can affect hair regrowth if left untreated. A remedy for this is to provide an appropriate treatment - but first, one must determine the cause... Is it fleas? Ticks? Worms? Mites? Poor food quality (and a reaction to the fillers)?
Owners have to kill off the parasite infestation (on the dog and the environment), wash the coat in soothing shampoos and conditioners, and apply medications as suggested by a vet. I also suggest dietary supplements to stimulate healthy skin and coat.
A common allergy I fight, especially with my house pets, is a reaction to fleas. Fleas are everywhere. Squirrels, rodents, etc., carry them into the yard. One must treat their yard and use preventative medicines to keep infestations under control. One flea on a dog can cause an allergic reaction that lasts for weeks. Diligence is your best weapon! Treat before flea season. I usually try to treat my yard in early to mid March (depending on the weather).
My recommendations to better health and coat quality in our beloved Poms:
REGULAR preventative treatments are the best ways to help your dogs' health and coat quality. A variety of worms, fleas, ticks, and more can strike against your pets' wellbeing. Scheduled quality applications can be the most beneficial thing for your pet. It is expensive (but well worth it... and less expensive in the long run). One must be certain to keep records of treatment schedules up-to-date to prevent overdose or infestations.
Buying a more expensive end, quality food and taking your pet in for regular vet visits also contribute to promoting over all good health and will intensify the quality of the dogs' coat.
Grooming is very important to Pom health. It is especially important in the thicker coated dogs. When a dog is not groomed regularly, their undercoat will become matted, and it doesn't allow for the skin to "breathe". This causes unhealthy skin and coat conditions to develop in addition to all the other things I've mentioned on this page. I've seen dogs with severe dandruff to allergies developing when the dense undercoat becomes too matted. The skin MUST be able to breath for it to remain healthy and to continue producing more thick, beautiful hair.
I hope this helps! If you have any more questions, answers, or know something I don't, please let me know! I love to update my information! Thank you! Sincerely, Sheri <3
Sugar Snow White Georgina Co-Co