Have you ever asked the question “how long do Pomeranians live?” If you are thinking of getting a Pomeranian as a pet, you’ll be pleased to know that they live quite a long time as far as breed lifespans are concerned.
It pays to know more about your dog’s breed to ensure that they don’t just live longer, but also have happy and healthy lives. Find out more about the health conditions that commonly affect the breed and the factors that affect how long Pomeranians live.
How Long Do Pomeranians Live?
So how long do Pomeranians live? A generally healthy dog breed, the Pomeranian’s life expectancy is between 12 to 16 years. This average lifespan puts them on the list of dog breeds that live the longest. Female Pomeranians and other breeds are said to live 1.2 years longer than their male counterparts.
Keeping them trim and fit is vital to maintaining good health. As they are very little dogs, gaining excess weight can put too much strain on their little joints and limbs.
Aside from body weight, a lot of factors affect a Pomeranian’s lifespan and overall health. This includes genetic conditions, diet, and exercise among others.
Pomeranian Dog Breed Overview
Group: Toy Group
Height: 6 to 7 inches
Weight: 3 to 7 pounds
Energy level: Medium to active
Life expectancy: 12 to 16 years
History of the Pomeranian Dog Breed
The little fluffballs that we know and love today are descended from much larger Arctic sled dogs. Contrary to the popular belief, Pomeranians did not originate in Pomerania. The breed’s ancestors are the sled dogs of Iceland and Lapland, making the region the origin of the dog breed.
However, it was breeders in Pomerania that started to produce the same dogs but in much smaller sizes. This place in Northwestern Europe was credited for perfecting the breed’s small size and other traits.
The fashionably totable little dogs soon caught the eye of European nobility, and the Pomeranian or the Pom soon found its way into the lap of none other than Queen Victoria. The Queen fell in love with the fluffy little pooches as soon as she saw them in Florence, Italy.
Queen Victoria loved the breed so much that she became the most famous breeder and exhibitor of Pomeranians. The Queen is credited with reducing the dog’s size from small to a toy breed.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) the Queen’s own Pomeranian named Windsor Marco won first place in the breed’s category at the 1891 Crufts dog show. This victory catapulted the Pomeranian’s new toy dog size to mainstream popularity.
How Long Do Pomeranians Live: 6 Factors That Affect Their Lifespan
Genetics plays a significant role in determining a Pomeranian's health as it is responsible for determining the breed's inherited traits, including size, coat color, and texture.
Just like how certain breeds are prone to conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, etc., some genetic conditions are common among Pomeranians and can be inherited by their puppies.
A genetic condition is caused by a specific mutation in a gene or a group of genes that can be inherited from one or both parents, who are also carriers of the same genetic disorder.
It is important to purchase from a responsible breeder who has had their breeding stock tested for genetic conditions and can provide health clearances for the puppy's parents.
Beware of backyard breeders or puppy mills that market their puppies as teacups or miniature Pomeranians. If such a Pomeranian dog truly is much smaller than normal, there’s a big chance it was purposely bred to be tiny using unethical practices. These dogs are known to live shorter lives than the average life expectancy of their breeds.
Furthermore, such breeders not only subject dogs to deplorable living conditions and abuse but they also are known to produce unhealthy dogs.
High-quality food makes a huge difference in how long a Pomeranian lives. Their regular meals should be appropriate for their life stage, breed size, and other dietary requirements.
Toy dog breeds such as the Pomeranian mature much faster than larger dogs. They should be getting enough food that is nutritionally complete and balanced for puppies. Puppy food has all the nutrients that their developing bodies need.
Adult Pomeranians do not need puppy food as their bodies are fully mature. Giving them puppy food may cause excess weight gain which can lead to other health issues.
Giving Pomeranian puppies and adults food that is full of cheap fillers and artificial coloring can lead to excess weight gain. As very small dogs that have an average weight of about 3 to 7 lbs, an extra pound or two can be detrimental to their health and quality of life.
Daily Exercise & Enrichment
Pomeranians should be kept fit to maintain good health. Lack of exercise can lead to obesity and other health problems that can shorten a Pomeranian's life span. Aside from a healthy diet, regular exercise is crucial in keeping the body healthy and promoting a longer life.
Daily walks, active play, and giving them a chance to run in a secure area should give a Pomeranian enough exercise for the day. When indoors, food puzzles loaded with high-quality treats can be a great way to give them mental stimulation.
Veterinary/ Preventive Care
Regular vet check-ups and appropriate care can help prevent or manage health issues that can shorten a Pomeranian's life span. Your vet can help guide you on what is best for your specific dog, including the type of food, how much exercise your Pomeranian needs, etc.
Preventive care such as vaccines, desexing, fleas, ticks, and worm treatments go a long way in preventing your Pomeranian puppies or adults from getting diseases. Not to mention, these preventive parasite treatments that you can easily get from a pet store can save you from out-of-pocket vet costs.
Desexing can greatly reduce the risk of developing cancers of the reproductive organs in both female and male Pomeranians.
Accidents and Injuries
Trauma is one of the leading causes of death in Pomeranians. As a toy breed, they are very small and fragile. As such, they can get injured quite easily. It's essential to keep your Pomeranian safe at all times to avoid broken bones and other injuries.
Children should be supervised when handling such small Pomeranian dogs. Dropping them or handling them roughly can cause them to get seriously injured.
As a tiny dog, a Pomeranian needs its owners to keep them safe and secure at all times. They can be vulnerable at the dog park when playing with large dogs. Not to mention, their small size makes them an easy target for wild predators.
Aside from external threats, a dog parent must make sure that their Pom is protected from the elements. Their fluffy coats mean they can overheat in very hot climates.
Grooming is another aspect of caring for a Pomeranian that is very important. It also allows owners to check for skin issues like fungal infections, wounds, etc. Aside from keeping its coat healthy, dental care should be given priority as well. A lot of dogs suffer from dental infections that are a result of poor dental hygiene.
This leads to being unable to eat or infections that could spread to the bloodstream and cause systemic effects.
Common Pomeranian Health Issues
While considered healthy, the Pomeranian breed is genetically predisposed to having certain health conditions compared to some dog breeds. These conditions can also affect the Pomeranian life span and quality of life.
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can occur in Pomeranians. It commonly affects small dog breeds and puppies under 3 months of age. It is caused by a lack of glucose in the blood, which can be caused by stress, lack of food, a low-quality diet, or an underlying medical condition.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia in Pomeranians include weakness, confusion, seizures, and in severe cases, coma or death.
Tear Duct Issues
Tear duct issues such as epiphora or watering eyes can occur in Pomeranians and other dogs. The tear ducts are responsible for draining tears from the eyes, so when they become blocked or obstructed, tears may overflow onto the face and cause staining or irritation.
Common causes of tear duct issues in Pomeranians include congenital abnormalities, bacterial infections, viral infections, allergies, or trauma.
Symptoms of tear duct issues in most Pomeranians include excessive tearing, staining or discoloration around the eyes, redness, or irritation.
Distichiasis is a condition where a row of eyelashes grows inward toward the eye. These extra lashes can rub against the cornea, which can cause irritation, inflammation, and corneal ulcers.
Symptoms of distichiasis in Pomeranians include excessive tearing, squinting or rubbing of the eyes, redness, inflammation, cloudiness or discharge from the eyes, and/ or light sensitivity.
Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), also known as “dry eye,” is a condition where the eyes do not produce enough tears to keep the eye moist. This can occur in Pomeranians and other breeds of dogs.
Treatment for KCS typically involves administering artificial tears, replacing the missing tear film, and reducing inflammation.
It is important to see a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment as KCS can lead to corneal ulcers when left untreated.
A cataract is a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque. This causes the dog’s vision to be impaired. It can occur at any age but is more common in older adult Pomeranians. This progressive disease is common in the Pomeranian and other breeds.
Treatment involves surgery to remove the diseased lens. We recommend taking your Pomeranian for regular eye exams to detect cataracts early and to seek prompt treatment to preserve vision.
Hip dysplasia is a common disorder that affects the hip joint in dogs, including the Pomeranian. It is caused by a shallow hip socket or a deformed femoral head. This leads to a loose or unstable joint.
Hip dysplasia can cause pain, lameness, and impaired movement. The condition is usually diagnosed with X-rays and can range from mild to severe.
In severe cases, surgery may be needed to correct the hip joint. It is important to have your Pomeranian examined by a veterinarian if you notice any signs of hip dysplasia, such as limping or reluctance to move.
According to PetMD, patellar luxation occurs when a dog's kneecap (patella) shifts sideways away from its normal position at the front of the knee. It is a genetic condition that dogs can inherit, however, trauma can also cause patellar luxation.
Signs of the condition include bowlegged hind limbs, limping, and hunched lower back.
Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease is a condition that affects the hip joint in small dogs such as the Pomeranian. It occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur is disrupted, This causes inflammation and degeneration of the bone.
The cause of the disease is not well understood, but it is believed to be a result of a congenital or developmental abnormality. Symptoms include pain and lameness. Because of the severe pain, dogs that have this disease are often very irritable.
Tracheal collapse is a condition that affects the windpipe or trachea of dogs. It occurs when the tracheal rings weaken and collapse, making it difficult for the dog to breathe. Dogs with this condition commonly have a harsh, dry cough.
According to Fetch by WebMD, the cause of the condition is unknown in most cases. However, it may also be a congenital disorder. Some dogs are born with a trachea that does not have enough tracheal rings, which also causes it to collapse.
Many toy breeds are commonly affected by this disorder. These small breeds and toy breeds include the Pomeranian, Yorkie, Pug, and Chihuahua.
Small breeds like the Pomeranian are more prone to dental disease compared to larger breeds. This is due to their smaller mouths which tend to cause overcrowding of teeth or teeth growing at odd angles. As such, overcrowding leads to food getting trapped in the teeth, especially when not brushed regularly.
Dental disease can affect the Pomeranian lifespan through rotted teeth, infections, or causing the dog to eat less due to pain.
Pomeranians truly are a delight to have. These energetic balls of fluff are great for apartment living as well as for people who love to take their dogs with them everywhere they go.
Many of the qualities that make them great pets is because of their compact size. It is cheaper to buy high-quality food, treats, preventive meds, and pretty much every other dog care product for a Pomeranian because it consumes so little compared to large dogs. In general, its size just makes it easier to care for them as well as control them when outdoors.
However, the size and genetics of the Pomeranian also put it at greater risk of developing certain health conditions. Like with any dog, we recommend researching the breed and history of any dog before getting them. This allows you to prepare for its needs, as well as ask vets the right questions regarding the care and upkeep of such dogs.
With proper care, a Pomeranian can live a long and happy life with its owners. Coty, the oldest Pomeranian ever recorded passed at the old age of 21 years and 8 months old.
These days, very high-quality, nutrient-dense food, supplements, and advanced vet care are widely available for most people. These are things that could contribute greatly to the health and longevity of your Pomeranian.
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