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The Best Shampoo for Pomeranians

Overview of Shampoo

If any dog breed is known for its coat, it's the Pomeranian. That thick undercoat and longer overcoat will not look proper without the right grooming techniques. The product that you use to clean the coat will have a significant impact on the health of the fur and the skin. Shampoo can completely change how a Pom looks (either for the good or for the bad) and his ability to grow out the fur in the future. Choosing your shampoo is a vital part of grooming.

The wrong product will strip off the protective cuticle from the hair shafts and leave the fur exposed. This will lead to breakage, static and dry fur that can make a Pom's coat look just terrible.
The best shampoo for Pomeranians will cleanse the coat of debris without damaging the cuticles of the fur and at the same time, moisturizing. It will also not weigh down the coat. This will give your Pom beautiful, shiny fur in which the guard hairs stand out as they should, creating the wonderful round 'puffy' look that this breed is famous for.

It's important to understand that each strand of hair (both of the undercoat and the overcoat) is made of 3 parts:

1- The inner fibers
2- The middle layer
3- The outer layer called the cuticle
How Cheap Dog Shampoo Ruins the Coat

Picturing the 3 layers of the fur (above), inexpensive, generic shampoos are abrasive with improper PH balance. Human products will also be just as bad as cheap canine products; even if they work great on human hair because a canine's needs are entirely different. 

The ingredients in these will clean so harshly, that the outer layer of the fur strands with be damaged (and vulnerable to be utterly ruined the next time you bathe your Pomeranian) or will be stripped away that first time.

This leaves the hair essentially raw. It is then vulnerable to the sun, the wind, dry air, cold air, static, contact damage and split ends. Once damaged fur has a split end, it will run up the length of the shaft.
Pomeranian with nice coat and fur
Pumba | Owner: Regina | 1 year old
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
Why You Shouldn't Use Human Shampoo

As mentioned above, human shampoo meets the needs of humans. It cleans the hair based on the thickness of human hair shafts. Canine fur is entirely different and therefore, these products will not be good for the coat. 

We have heard that some owners use baby shampoo, thinking that it is gentle. While it may be a tad more gentler, it certainly does not moisturize as a quality canine shampoo can. 

We have also heard about some using dandruff shampoo. This is not good for the Pom because the way it works is to strip the scalp of tiny pollutants (dirt, debris) and then scrubs off the skin flakes. However, a Pomeranian needs a shampoo that is gentle to the skin - since skin health greatly affects fur health - while protecting the integrity of the fur.

The Best Shampoos for Pomeranians

A great shampoo will work in many ways. It will:

1) Gently remove dirt and debris.

2) Gently remove body oils that have accumulated on the coat since the last bath.
3) Moisturize the skin 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. A great shampoo will clean off well without leaving residue behind so that the Pom's fur can soak in the nutrients and moisture of the conditioner.
Tips for How to Shampoo a Pomeranian

1) Have all your needed items right by your side, so that you don't need to leave your Pom alone.

2) Pomeranian puppies and most adults do best in a kitchen sink (be sure to clean it out well beforehand) since this breed can be skittish of running water and can feel safer if in a smaller area with you at their level.

3) Use warm water. Cool water will give your Pomeranian the chills and hot water not only can scald your dog but also triggers the fur cuticles to close, which means that your quality products cannot work as effectively.

4) Do not be shy when using the shampoo. If want to use enough so that every area of the Pom is cleansed in the same way. 

5) Scrub enough so that the shampoo reaches down through both layers of the coat and down to the skin. During the 3 weeks or so that you last gave your Pom a bath, body oils have been slowly accumulating. You will want to scrub those away so that you can 'start fresh'. When they are not removed, this is when pores become blocked and a bad smell can develop.
Pomeranian nicely groomed
Cookie, 4 years old
Photo courtesy of owner: Regina
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 the shampoo is properly rinsed out.
The Conditioner

Choose your Pomeranian's conditioner with as much care as you chose the shampoo. The conditioner will ebb its way around each fur strand, placing down a layer of protection. A great product will do this without clogging the skin and without being heavy. Heavy conditioners will make the fur lie flat and will cause the coat to look greasy within a day or two, once body oils mix with the product. An effective, superior conditioner does it job and is rinsed out, leaving behind only its benefits and nothing else.
The Leave-in Product

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 to spritz the coat each time you are going to brush it and to give it a light misting to protect from the damaging rays of the sun during hot weather and the harmful arid air of wintertime

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.

Special Shampoos

If your Pomeranian has exceedingly dry skin or has dandruff, you'll want to use shampoo that is designed to meet the needs of repairing these issues. Some owners hesitate to give baths when there is a problem or if the coat is not looking so great… they don't want to make things worse. However, if you feel confident that you have a great shampoo and aftercare products, you can then relax and feel confident about bathing your Pom, cleaning the coat and seeing the results.

List of Best Shampoos

If you are not happy with what you are currently using and would like to see all of our recommended shampoo and grooming products, look to 'Grooming' in the Pomeranian Specialty Shoppe.
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