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The Best Shampoo for Pomeranians

Overview

If any dog breed is known for his coat, it's the Pomeranian. The thick undercoat and longer overcoat will not look proper without the right grooming techniques and using the right products.

Any product that you use on the coat will either benefit it, or be detrimental.

This includes shampoo, conditioner, and any leave-in product such as a conditioning spritz. 

The wrong products can strip off the protective cuticle from the hair shafts and leave fur exposed. This will lead to breakage, static, and dry fur that can make a Pom's coat look just terrible.

How Inferior or Human Shampoo Can Ruin the Coat

Inferior shampoos can be very abrasive and have improper pH balance. And most human products also have the wrong pH balance for canines.

If a dog shampoo is of poor quality, it will be abrasive on the skin and coat due to missing important ingredients such as aloe, oatmeal, green tea, almond, and other elements that nourish and keep a dog's skin and coat properly moisturized.  

In addition, it often does contain ingredients such as parabens, phosphates, synthetic dyes, and/or or heavy perfumes which can lead to a drying of the skin and coat, or even an allergic reaction. 
Pomeranian with nice coat and fur
Pumba | Owner: Regina | 1 year old
Human shampoo is not much better, and as much as it sounds backward, the better the human shampoo, the worse it can be for your Pomeranian.

The skin and hair of a human, and the skin and fur of a dog have different pH balance. Humans have a slightly acidic pH, fluctuating between 4.5 and 5.5. Therefore, most shampoos are made to meet that need. 

But, canines are have more delicate skin; they are very close to a neutral pH, and have significantly more alkaline than humans. They need a pH shampoo and coat products with a pH of close to 7.

With any sort of wrong shampoo and bathing products, this can damage the coat, leaving hairs essentially raw. It is then vulnerable to the sun, the wind, dry air, cold air, static, and contact damage. This can all lead to damaged, dry, brittle hair and/or split ends. 

Once damaged fur has a split end, it will run up the length of the shaft.

It will then either break off as it travels up or the fur will snap off at the root. The coat will not only look dry, it will also have clearly visible frizzed fur. 
nice fluffy Pomeranians
Ellie | Owners: Randy and Kathy Parker | 4 years old

Elements of a Great Shampoo for Pomeranians

A great shampoo will do its job when maintaining the integrity of the coat. It will work in many ways:

1) Gently remove dirt and debris.

2) Gently remove body oils that have accumulated on the coat since the last bath.
3) Properly moisturize the skin and coat, via correct pH balance, and soothing ingredients, without leaving a heaviness that can block skin pores. 

4) Moisturize the fur without weighing the coat down, which can make a Pomeranian's fur lie flat and he loses the puffed out appearance.

5) Effectively prep the coat for the next product, which is the canine conditioner. Part of this prep is that it should rinse off well without leaving a residue behind so that the Pom's skin and fur can soak in the nutrients and moisture of the conditioner.

While providing these benefits, it will of course not contain any soap agents that are drying or damaging to the skin and coat, or that can cause a bad reaction. 

The Conditioner

Choose your Pomeranian's conditioner with as much care as you chose the shampoo. 

If the product is inferior, it will slip and slide around the hairs, but not really affect them.

Or it will be so thick and overpowering that it will cling heavily, which can really weigh the coat down, causing the coat to look oily within just a few days and to lie flat.

You'll want something that is fortified with moisturizing ingredients that soak into the outer cuticle to really add softness and health to the coat, while being able to be rinsed out well so that guard hairs will stand out as they are meant to. 
Pomeranian nicely groomed
Poppy, at 2 years old
Photo courtesy of Brenda Rogers

The Leave-in Spray

Aside from the shampoo which is really the foundation of a healthy coat, and the conditioner that comes after it, a good leave-in spray is needed for several reasons.

1) To use any time that you brush the coat. The coat should never be dry-brushed. When grooming, you'll want to comb, brush, comb, and do so with a light spritzing of a chosen leave-in spray. This helps prevent split ends and keeps the hairs healthy.

2) To use on a regular basis to protect the coat from:
  • Contact friction
  • Split ends
  • Damaging rays of the sun in the summer (which can cause dryness and even discoloration)
  • Drying effects during the wintertime
  • To help repel dirt and debris
  • As an added bonus, to help keep your Pomeranian smelling great
Be sure that the product is effective, yet light since you will use it many times in-between baths and you do not want it to be a product that ends up clogging pores and making the coat oily with heaviness.

Recommended Products

For both shampoo and conditioner, it's hard to beat the Earthbath line. They really put a lot of thought and care into creating products that really benefit dogs, and while their products will work for just about any breed, we find that what they offer really fits the needs of thick coated breeds like the Pomeranian. 

You'll get an effective yet gentle cleaning, and a luscious conditioning, while leaving the coat light and free to fluff out as it should. 

They make all of their products in California, and are adamant that everything involved is 100% pet-friendly. All of their high-quality ingredients are human-grade, and they use NO ingredients that are first tested on animals. This sort of stance is important to combat the terrible animal lab testing that occurs with so many other companies. 

Since Poms tend to develop dry skin, Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe, Vanilla & Almond Shampoo is a great pick. 

But, they also have some other great formulas as well including eucalyptus & peppermint (which offers a cooling relief for dogs with skin issues), a coat brightener (for white or cream coats), and a tea tree oil formula that is really great for dogs that are suffering from hot spots and very irritated skin. 
For a leave-in, one of our favorites is Chris Christensen Ice on Ice; it's a really great conditioning and strengthening leave-in spray that also includes a sunscreen to prevent summer sun damage and discoloring. It smells super nice, and also works to keep tangles at bay. 
And, you can't go wrong with The Stuff
; it's super effective as a de-tangler and conditioner. It's lightweight, smells really nice, and keeps the coat shiny and healthy. While it does not contain a direct sunscreen, the product itself adds a layer of protection that works all-year round. 
Pomeranians with very nice coats
Timon (orange sable parti) and Pumba (tri merle)
Photo courtesy of Laura Montanez

Tips for Shampooing Your Pom

1) Keep a bathing schedule. Shampoo and condition your Pomeranian once every 3 weeks. This time frame is for a good reason.

Even with very good products, if baths are given too frequently, this does not allow the body to replenish natural body oils. So, it can lead to dry skin.

And if you wait much longer than this, the opposite happens. There is an accumulation of body oils. These stay close to the skin, trapping small dead hairs and blocking off healthy air circulation.

In addition, a Pomeranian can start to smell. 
2) Have all your needed items right by your side, so that you don't need to leave your Pom alone.

3) Your kitchen sink is the best spot for Pomeranian puppies, small adults, or any Pom that is skittish of baths. 
4) Do not be shy when using the bathing products. The coat is very thick, so you'll want to use enough that it reaches deep down through the layers. 

5) Scrub deep, so that the shampoo can effectively clean right down to the skin, and the conditioner is soaked in from root to tip. 
6) Rinsing is very important. Even with a terrific shampoo, soap residue left behind will cake on the skin. It will then mix with body oils and begin to clump. Using a nozzle works well to reach down through the thick fur to make sure all products are properly rinsed out.

Specialty Shampoos

If your Pomeranian has exceedingly dry skin, dandruff, hot spots, irritated skin due to allergies, fleas, yeast infection, is trying to regrow his coat, or has other issues, it may be time to use a specialty shampoo.

If you are not sure what sort of condition your Pom has, do please bring him to the vet for an examination. If you treat your Pom for fleas when he has mites, or bath him with shampoo for allergies when his dry skin is actually due to a hormonal imbalance, this will only delay important diagnosis and treatment. 

In addition, while a really good specialty shampoo can be a vital tool in treating certain conditions, for many issues it is just one part of care. 

This all said, these are our recommendations:

For dry skin, and slight irritation, we recommend the Earthbath line of products as talked about above. It really is great for both a maintenance shampoo and as a corrector if a previous product was inferior.
For severe dry skin, allergies, and intense itching, a medicated shampoo like Nootie's Medicated Shampoo which contains colloidal oatmeal and 1% Lidocaine HCL and 1% Pramoxine HCL (for itching) can help. 
For skin infections including yeast, fungal, or bacterial infections, and for issues such as scaling, SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical shampoo is a good choice.
To help re-grow the coat, once your Pomeranian has had the underlying issue diagnosed and has received all recommended veterinary treatment, if you are dedicated to working to bring the coat back, it can be done in many cases. 

The DerMagic line of products has produced very good results for some Pomeranians suffering from black skin disease, and balding coats due to alopecia. 
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Top Ten Pomeranian Care Tips - A great guideline for offering optimal care.
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