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Life Span

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Pomeranian
Information
Center

Pomeranian Life Span

Overview

The average life span of dogs, in general, is 12.8 years. The Pomeranian will live between 12 and 16 years, though some will live even longer. As you read on, you will see that some elements that are fatal can be avoided with proper care. We will also go over life stages and then meet one of the oldest living Pomeranians. 

Leading Causes of Death for the Pomeranian Breed

Puppies - You may be surprised to know that for Pomeranian puppies (and for puppies of just about every toy breed), trauma is the leading cause of death (more ahead)

Adults - For adult Pomeranians, the top 3 leading causes of death are:

Gastrointestinal, 15%. This includes such disease as pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), intestinal obstruction, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), lymphangiectasia and other forms of protein-losing enteropathy.

Trauma, 13.1%. Sadly, this is the 2nd leading cause of death for adult Poms and the #1 leading cause of death for puppies. This includes being dropped, being accidentally stepped on, trauma received in a car accident as a passenger and being hit by an automobile

Infection, 8.6%. This includes viral disease such as parvovirus and distemper,protozoal disease, such as babesiosis and leishmaniasis, bacterial infections including leptospirosis and also most tick diseases and fungal infections including blastomycosis and histoplasmosis.

* Interestingly, the Pomeranian breed has one of the lowest rates of death due to cancer (7.9%), even though this is a leading cause for many toy breeds. 

Other Factors that Affect Life Span

  • Toy and small breed dogs live approximately 1.5 times longer than larger breed dogs. This may be due to the fact that a bigger dog's body must work harder to maintain daily functions (For example, the heart of a Boxer dog must pump harder than that of a Pom's). See also: Dogs that look like Pomeranians
  • Just like humans, gender plays a role with canine life span. Female dogs are expected to live approximately 1.2 years longer more than males.
  • Genetics play a role. If a Pomeranian is predisposed to certain disease, particularly a serious one, this will of course affect length of life. This is one reason why strict health screens must be in place for any breeding program.
  • The answer to how long does a Pomeranian live will vary greatly if you compare a puppy that receives his or her proper vaccinations VS one whose owner neglects to keep up with shots. 
  • Miniature Pomeranians (that are bred to be smaller than what is considered healthy) will, in general, have shorter lives than a standard size Pom. Some of the reasons are lack of proper bone density, weak immune system and vulnerability to injury.

How to Help Increase Life Span

  • Reduce Stress - Living a life of peace, love, and with the comfort of human companionship offers a dog a much better chance at a longer life than one of chaos, neglect, and/or isolation. 
Poms often do not do well with an overly hectic household, and at the same time, they require a good level of interaction, and activity, with lots of attention paid to them. 

If your Pomeranian suffers from the stress of being home alone, take steps to reduce separation anxiety.
  • Clean Living - This includes clean eating by offering fresh food Vs that with artificial coloring, preservatives, and fillers will make a huge difference over the course of a Pomeranian's life. 
This includes clean air. Pets that live in homes with smokers will live shorter lives on average; dogs are just as susceptible to 2nd hand smoke as humans are. 

And, importantly, it also refers to the water that a Pomeranian drinks. Straight, unfiltered tap water is filled with toxins and contaminants. Many are proven to cause cancer. Connect a filter system to your kitchen sink, or opt for an easy-to-use filtered water pitcher like the PUR 18-Cup Water Dispenser .
  • The right balance of activity - Too You'll want to keep your Pomeranian moving, and offer daily exercise, while not overdoing things. Exercise is good for the heart, helps a small dog maintain muscle, and can even ward off certain diseases. The right balance of exercise offers a Pom to be as healthy as possible.
Walks each day (one or two) adding up to 40 minutes and a few sessions of active play (fetch, etc.) per week will keep the heart and body healthy.
  • Spaying or neutering your dog also can also allow your Pomeranian to live a longer life. An unaltered dog has greater risk of cancer and diseases associated with reproductive organs.
  • Keep up with all vaccinations and boosters; infection is the 2nd leading cause of death and this includes some infection disease that can be prevented with inoculations.
  • Dental Care must not be overlooked. Taking care of the teeth at home, and bringing your Pom in for 'full dentals' at the vet is vital. Plaque is constantly being produced and turns into tartar about about Day 3. 
This clings to teeth and eats away at enamel. This can then lead to rotted teeth, and infection. Infection can be localized to teeth, causing teeth to fall out (and then affecting a dog's ability to eat enough food for proper nutrition), or can spread up to the sinuses or even throughout the body (which can be fatal).  

Use a great toothbrush and paste and be sure to give your Pom a daily dental treat. We highly recommend GREENIES Teenie Dog Dental Chews ; it is very effective, is the #1 vet recommended dental chew, and has received the Seal of Acceptance by the Veterinary Oral Health Council for controlling plaque and tartar. 
  • Since trauma is the leading cause of death among pups and in the number 3 spot for adults, it is vitally important to:
* Carefully handle your Pomeranian.
* Have all human family members carefully look at all times to make sure the Pom is not underfoot.
* Use proper car seats.
* Always keep your Pom on leash when outside.
* Use care when others open a door in the house so that your dog cannot run outside off leash.

Let's Take a Look at Pomeranian Dogs at Different Life Stages

newborn Pomeranian
1 Week old - Weighing only ounces, eyes closed, no teeth and not even hearing yet. Sleep and nourishment are the most important elements to this little guy right now.
2 month old Pomeranian
2 Months Old - Active and ready to explore the world! He is weaned from the dam now and wants to see what else the world holds outside from the pen or box he had been living in. At this age, he is ready to go to his new home and meet his new family members. This is an exciting time of learning and interaction for both puppy and owner.
1 year old Pomeranian
1 year old- At this age, life is good! The Pomeranian is technically an adult but has playful tendencies. Owners are pleased because house breaking is over with. In the right environment, a Pom of this age will have an emerging funny and happy personality. Quite hyper at times, he or she will still take a quick nap or 2 during the day. 
senior Pomeranian
9 Years Old - The senior Pomeranian can be more quiet and reserved. He may have a low tolerance for puppies... preferring to relax in special, comfortable spaces. He should have a quality orthopedic dog bed at this age and while daily walks are important, the pace needs to be much slower. It is important to have geriatric vet screenings for optimal health. 
You may also be interested in:

The Oldest Pomeranian on Record - Meet Coty, a Pom that has exceeded everyone's expectations on how long Poms live and the secrets to his long, happy life.
Top 10 Pomeranian Care Tips - Exactly what every Pom needs for optimal health, comfort, safety, and happiness. 
How a Playpen Can Greatly Benefit a Pom - Learn why these are so great, and can lead to improvement in several areas that Poms often struggle with. 
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