Pomeranians are among the cutest dogs in the world. It’s almost impossible not to fall in love with these creatures.
But if you are a Pom owner, you must also be aware of other crucial things apart from his cuteness. One of them is how much he will live and what you can do to improve his health.
How long do Pomeranians usually live? Pomeranians’ lifespan usually ranges from 12 to 16 years. This is due to their small size as smaller breeds usually live longer than larger breeds. Many people consider them one of the longest-living dog breeds in the world. However, if you take adequate care of your dog, you can boost this number even more.
Apart from knowing how much your dog will likely live, it’s crucial to understand other aspects of a dog’s longevity. This process demands attention and time to research.
But I’ve already done most of the job, and I’ll share my conclusions with you in this article.
How Much Do Pomeranians Live on Average?
If you’re a Pom owner or you plan to have one in the future, I’ve got some good news. Pomeranians have an incredibly long lifespan, which commonly ranges from 12 to 16 years!
If you browse the web for a bit, you’ll see that Pomeranians are consistently featured on lists of the top 10 dog breeds with greater longevity. In fact, if you look closely, small to medium-sized breeds are the ones that mostly dominate these rankings.
Yes, smaller breeds tend to live longer than large ones. The reason for this isn’t yet entirely understood by science. Nevertheless, speculations say that this may be due to how large dogs were bred by humans and the way they grow.
Some people say that large dogs are more vulnerable to serious health issues, others claim that they age quicker. Others try to include advanced science, like free-radical activity, on their theory…
At the end of the day, it isn’t worth it for us to speculate exactly why this phenomenon occurs. In fact, it may not occur in some specific cases. However, it happens with Pomeranians, and that’s all we need to hear!
The Oldest Living Pomeranian
The average Pom lifespan doesn’t mean that all dogs are going to live this number of years. Some of them have surpassed this mark and made history. This is the case of Coty, an American Pomeranian that lived for over 21 years after his birth date!
Coty was owned by a couple living in Florida. He was born on June 1, 1994, and died on February 14, 2016, aged 21 years, 8 months, and 13 days.
According to their owners, he had a happy life, albeit experiencing common health issues, such as deaf and blindness, in his final couple of years.
It’s unlikely for any breed or type of dog to live this long. However, if Coty made it, who can say your Pomeranian won’t have the same luck? If you take adequate care of your furry friend, you can skyrocket his chances of achieving a similar mark.
5 Factors That Determine the Lifespan of Your Pomeranian
Although there’s a determined life expectancy, every Pomeranian has a different lifespan.
If you want to estimate how much your furry friend will live, here are some factors you must take into account:
- Inbreeding vs. Cross Breeding
- Veterinarian Care
Inbreeding vs. Cross Breeding
Depending on the way your furry friend was bred, it may influence his lifespan. Inbreeding is defined as the mating of two dogs genetically close to one another (purebred). In some cases, this means the dog copulated with a member of his own family, like a sibling or cousin.
Inbred dogs tend to live less than cross-bred ones. This applies even if the animal’s parents are from different families, but belong to the same breed. You might not have known this before, but yes, cross-bred dogs may be healthier than purebred ones.
That’s simply because of inherited diseases. Purebred Pomeranians are born with a higher probability of carrying genes with illnesses of their breed. If your dog is mixed, there’s a better chance of any disease being lost on mating.
The surgical removal of a dog’s major sexual organs may also boost its health. There are reports that the procedure helps to decrease the chances of cancer development in the ovaries, breasts, or testicles of the animal.
Apart from that, spaying or neutering your Pom will also allow him/her to have a less stressful life. When your furry friend is sexually active, many thoughts can disturb his/her life. Finding a partner, having and looking after puppies, and marking territory, for example, are stressful activities.
In more extreme situations, males may get involved in fights for girls with another dog.
Whatever the case, spayed or neutered dogs won’t ever get stressed with these things. And a calm life is key for living long and happily!
I don’t even know how to start this part! Constant and healthy exercise brings multiple benefits to your Pomeranian’s fitness. It is one of the most important things you must look after to boost your dog’s lifespan.
First of all, it makes him feel happier. Physical activity releases endorphins, a body chemical responsible for relieving stress. In addition to it, dogs love when their owners play with them. Who doesn’t enjoy a good moment for practicing their favorite hobby?
Activity time also improves your pooch’s physical health as well. Apart from helping him to lose weight, it keeps his muscles in good shape and reduces the chances of heart diseases.
By burning fat, your furry friend’s cardiovascular system and his body as a whole will work better. Consequently, he will also feel much better. All of this is crucial to allow him to live longer.
It is elemental to feed your Pomeranian a balanced and fit diet. Obesity is a grave problem among dogs and may drastically reduce your pooch’s lifespan.
Furthermore, it is believed that dogs who eat a slightly restricted diet are likely to live around two years more than dogs that not following this control.
Since there are so many types of foods available, you should research this topic in detail to find the best one for your Pomeranian. However, the basic rule is to use common sense.
Increase the portions of fruits, vegetables, and fatty acids he eats, and lower the number of unhealthy fats and carbs.
Read all labels and be careful when purchasing dog food for him. Just because it’s pet food, it doesn’t mean the product is healthy. Most of them are highly processed foods and may contain harmful preservatives.
Eating an ideal diet is as important for dogs as for humans. A healthy menu prevents multiple diseases and maintains your pooch’s shape fine.
As always, speak to a pet nutritionist or veterinarian to see what they believe will best fit your dog.
How to Improve the Lifespan of Your Pomeranian?
Clearly, the more time you can spend with your dog in your life, the better. So you must make sure you’re following some rules to maximize his lifespan as much as possible.
The first thing you should do is to take appropriate care of your Pomeranian’s health. Keep his vaccines updated, bring him to the vet once or twice a year for check-ups, and always follow their instructions.
Science is here to help you, and it is doing its best to keep him away from any diseases.
Don’t forget to maintain him clean and well-groomed. Hygiene is crucial to block insects, diseases, and germs from attacking your furry friend.
Brush his teeth on a good frequency and always maintain his nails trimmed. Also, let him take a bath when you think he needs it.
Feeding him a suitable diet is crucial, too. Read any product’s label before purchasing it to your Pom. If you want to give him human food, make sure it isn’t harmful to him in the first place, and avoid unhealthy items.
Cut sugars, fats, preservatives, and excessive sodium as much as you can. Instead, opt for more natural products, such as fruits and vegetables.
Last but not least, remember that exercise is fundamental! It’s highly recommended to walk your Pomeranian and play with him for about 30 minutes every day. However, if you have even more time available, it would be even better.
Common Health Problems Among Pomeranians
The most apparent factors that reduce a dog’s lifespan are health issues and diseases. Pomeranians are a highly healthy breed, but there are still some illnesses they may develop.
That doesn’t mean, however, that all poms will get sick the same way, but it’s critical to know what may be ahead in one’s life.
The most common diseases Pomeranians develop are:
- Eye Problems
- Collapsed Trachea
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes abnormal brain activity, seizures, and sometimes even loss of consciousness. You probably have already heard about this disease among various people. However, it isn’t limited only to us. Dogs may develop epilepsy as well.
Epileptic attacks occur randomly and at any time of the day. In most cases, there isn’t a trigger for it. Seizures generally don’t last long. If an attack goes on for more than five minutes, the emergency must be called.
The chances of epilepsy being present on a dog are around 0.75%. Even with an apparent low percentage, this disease is the most common neurological issue among dogs. It is an inherited illness, and symptoms commonly start at around 6 months to 5 years of age.
Epilepsy can be controlled with the supervision of a veterinarian. It may harm your Pom’s life expectancy a bit, in the case of him suffering from an accident. However, with adequate supervision, he will be able to live a normal and happy life.
Pomeranians are prone to severe eye problems over their lives. If your dog develops them, you must take care of them immediately. Some eye diseases can easily turn your furry friend blind.
Cataracts are an example of them. They are imperfections that can appear in your dog’s eye throughout his life, slowly causing it to be opaque.
It starts as a small dot that might be unnoticeable at first, but then the problem evolves until it covers the entirety of his eye.
A cataract is basically like a cloud. The bigger it gets, the harder it is for your Pomeranian to see. At the most advanced stage, it will be extremely tough for him to see, and there’s even a chance of him becoming blind.
Cataracts themselves won’t hurt your pet. However, this disease is often accompanied by inflammations, which will be uncomfortable for him.
In addition to it, this illness can lead to confusion or disorientation. That may potentially drive your Pom to regularly bump into objects, fall from stairs, or even walk dangerously in the middle of the street. These are life-threatening risks for the animal.
There are many other common eye issues your Pom may develop. Glaucoma, dry eye, and tear duct problems are some examples. To prevent or treat them, you must regularly bring your dog to the vet.
The trachea is a tube present in dogs’ and other animals’ bodies that is the way in and out for air in the organism.
It is responsible for bringing air into the lungs and expelling it after breathing is complete. Therefore, it is one of the most vital body parts of your furry friend.
Collapsed tracheas are another relatively common health problem among Poms. This term may sound worrying at first, but if you take care of your furry friend correctly, he will overcome this situation.
Dogs with a collapsed trachea suffer from chronic routine coughing. Activities such as physical exercise, excitement, or even eating may aggravate the situation even more.
The sound of the cough is different from the usual, and many owners report it sounds like a goose honk.
There aren’t official explanations for this problem. Nevertheless, weak tracheal cartilage at birth is believed to be related to the issue.
Collapsed tracheas can also be caused by excessive stress if you pull your dog too hard when walking him.
A high percentage of dogs with the malady also face other serious conditions like obesity, liver enlargement, or even heart diseases!
So this issue can really worsen your Pom’s quality of life, and you should take extra precautions with it.
If you look for more details about these diseases online, please don’t enter “Heartworm” into Google Images. This disease is exactly what the name says.
It is basically a parasite that attacks your dog’s heart, lungs, blood vessels, and other adjacent parts. The result is a total catastrophe.
The worm’s official name is Dirofilaria immitis and can be spread through mosquitoes. Only one larva is enough to wreak havoc.
Once it enters your furry friend’s organism, it can proliferate very quickly, generating massive clusters of worms in his body.
This illness must be treated as soon as you discover it. Heartworms may cause respiratory problems, heart diseases, bleeding, among other severe complications. Without proper care, your Pom can easily die from the parasite.
Although critical, you can take measures to prevent this issue. Since mosquitoes are the transmitters of the disease, the most effective way of maintaining your dog safe is to control them.
Depending on the geographical region you live, the risks of your dog getting heartworms will vary. In more humid and forested areas, it’s easier for mosquitoes to reproduce. However, in drier locations, the danger decreases.
Allergies are common issues among all dogs. But you shouldn’t take that as a reason not to look after yours! Some grave types of allergies may gravely harm your dog’s health and even kill him.
Just like what happens to us, many things can trigger allergies in dogs. Bee stings, food, and remedies are only a few examples. Since there are a vast amount of possibilities, I’m not going to detail them too much here.
Once again, your dog’s veterinarian is the one that will help you the best. Allergies can be identified just by normally bringing your pooch to meetings with the professional.
Although most allergies are common and won’t deeply harm your Pom’s health, anaphylactic reactions are a big problem.
Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction of atypically giant proportions. It is harder than common allergies to control and may lead to grave problems, including death.
My Final Thoughts
By choosing a Pomeranian as your dog, you made an excellent decision! Poms are one of the most long-living breeds in the world, with an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years.
Depending on various factors, this number can vary a lot, though. Diseases, diet, and the way you treat your furry friend are some of the things that can reduce or increase his longevity. Due to that, you should always closely look after your Pom.
If you take care of your pet’s health and offer him an adequate diet and exercise time, his lifespan will be improved. Small attitudes are what make a difference in the first place.
References & Citations
- Mental Floss
- The Spruce Pets
- The Happy Puppy Site
- The Dog People by Rover.com
- Canine Journal
- AKC Canine Health Foundation