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Grooming

PetPom
The 
Pomeranian
Information
Center

Pomeranian Grooming - Puppies and Adults

Why Proper Grooming is So Vital

In regard to grooming, the Pomeranian breed is on the higher level of maintenance; this is due to both the frequency that certain grooming elements should be done and the amount of tasks involved with this.

If grooming is not performed on a regular basis, things can spiral out of control rather quickly.

The coat can become matted. Fur can become brittle. Skin can dry out. Tear stains can become excessive. Paws and nose can peel. It can be quite a disaster. So, you'll want to fall into a solid grooming routine and perfect your grooming skills for both aesthetic and health reasons.

Trimming

Does a Pomeranian need to be shaved down during hot weather? No! There is no reason to shave down your Pom's beautiful coat because the weather is hot. If the inner layer is shaved, the coat will may never grow back again to what it once was. The Pomeranian is famous for his long coat and shaving it down actually does very little to cool off a dog. 

If you are looking for ways to keep your Pom cool in the summer, look to Pomeranian Summer Care.

Trimming (not shaving down to look like Boo the Pomeranian) is perfectly fine and is usually done via a professional dog groomer. 

Little touch-ups to keep things neat and tidy can be done every 2 to 3 months as needed. The goal will NOT be to cut the coat down, but rather to straighten out pieces that may have grown a bit longer than others and to trim off 1/8 to 1/4 inches of tips if they look dried out. A" re-fresh" such as this can help to maintain the rounded look and allow the longer guard hairs to stand up properly.

Many owners choose to trim (or shave down in this one exception) the hair around the anus for hygienic reasons and this is perfectly fine. In fact, it can help a great deal in keeping the overall coat clean since feces so easily can become stuck to long hairs in that area.

Dewclaws

Dewclaws are typically always removed on some breeds, such as the Chihuahua, before a person is even given the new puppy. However, with the Pomeranian, the decision to keep or remove dewclaws is usually left up to the owner and will depend on several elements. For more details, you may wish to read our dewclaw section

Nails

Nails will need to be trimmed every 6 weeks or so. Since walking on various surfaces affects this, it may need to be done earlier or later.

However, do not depend on such natural filing to be adequate for upkeep. 

It's important to remind yourself to take a look at the nails, as many owners overlook this area and don't realize a need until they hear that 'click-clack' of long nails upon a hard-surface floor. Left to grow too long, they can rapidly become ingrown.
happy Pomeranian
Many owners choose to have this done at the groomers; though this task can be handled at home if your Pom sits well for you.

We recommend using a nail grinder like the Dremel 7300-PT Nail Grooming Tool as opposed to clipping the nails; it is easy to use, is fast, and there is less chance of making mistakes since it simply files the nail down as opposed to cutting. * If your Pom is under 5 lbs. obtain the 100-120 grit sanding band. 

The only drawback is the noise that grinder emit; however a quality model will not be much more than a 'whir' and all but the most skittish of Poms can easily adapt to this. 

Grooming the Coat

Suffice it to say, if you have a Pomeranian you will need to be able to set aside a reasonable time for grooming and hopefully will enjoy the tasks. Putting effort into grooming a Pom can be very rewarding. 

This breed is famous for his double-thick coat which stands out, and this is achieved by being groomed correctly. If you have a Pom that has a flat coat or does not have the "Pom look" that you expected, most likely it is just a matter of technique, choosing the right products for the coat, and perhaps the need for a slight trim to 'round' things out.

Many people wonder if there is a difference in grooming for either male or female Pomeranians, however other than extra shedding after a heat cycle that requires more brushing, care for the coat will be the same. 
Grooming Tips

1) Keep a schedule. Pomeranians should be brushed every other day and when in a high shed, every day. If not, tangles can quickly develop. 

Pomeranians should have a bath once every 3 weeks unless circumstances call for an extra bath (the Pom becomes muddy, etc.)

2) One goal to constantly have in mind is to prevent tangles and mats. This happens when strands of hairs twist together and form a knot. Brushing on a regular basis will help stop tangles from forming. 

The correct method is: comb, brush, comb (more ahead regarding grooming tools). 

To remove a tangle or mat: If you do notice a tangle, lather up your hands with your Pom's bath conditioner and try to work out the knot. You'll need some patience and so will your Pom, so offer him an interesting toy while you do your best. 

If working the knot out by hand is not successful, you will want to snip it off in the correct way to prevent it from growing. And it will grow. Each day more hairs will be pulled in and there is no end to this. Eventually, it will pinch the skin, causing quite a bit of discomfort.

You will want to use a de-matting tool like the Safari De-matting Comb to snip the mat from the coat. With this method, it will be removed without causing damage to the rest of the coat. 
3) Never brush a dry coat. This can create all sorts of issues. While doing this one time will not ruin a coat, dry-brushing will have cumulative effects that can destroy the fur over time; fur can weaken resulting in split ends, there can be removal of the protective layer of the hair shaft and more. 

Use a leave-in coat spray that will:
  • Protect the coat from contact friction
  • Help to prevent dead ends
  • Will offer a layer of protection from the sun in the summer (which can fade a coat) and cold weather in the winter (which can dry out skin & fur)
  • Aid in stopping static issues
  • Will add a nice, clean scent
When you are brushing the coat, you will want to lightly spritz 1/2 inch from the roots for puppies and 1 inch from the roots for adult Poms. Then, using the comb - brush- comb method, work it down through the coat to the tips. 

Work in sections. For example, first the chest, then the ruff, then the legs, then the back and flanks, and ending with the tail. Do not forget the tail, as the hairs here can form a mat as well. 
4) Use the right grooming tools. The right grooming tools will stimulate the skin in a healthy way, distribute body oils down the hair shafts,  fluff the coat, and keep it tangle free. Cheap grooming tools will not accomplish this and additionally can cause breakage to the hairs. So, do invest in a few good tools that will help maintain the integrity of your Pom's beautiful coat. 
  • A slicker brush is great for pulling out shedded hairs. 
  • A pin brush is best for grooming the coat to keep the fur healthy. We recommend a sizing of 27 mm.
  • You'll also want to use a double-sided metal comb to check for tangles and perform the comb-brush-comb grooming combination.  
For your comb, opt for a 2 level metal comb. The side with the wider teeth is good for the whole coat; the side with the finer teeth is perfect for small areas such as the face and, if applicable, to go around dewclaws.
To summarize: 
  1. Brush your Pom every other day. 
  2. Keep an eye out for tangles. 
  3. Using a quality pin brush, a 2-level steel comb, and a quality leave-in spritz (never brush a dry coat).
  4. While lightly spritzing the coat (1/2 or 1 inch from the roots), comb, then brush, then comb sections until the entire coat is groomed. 
  5. Use a slicker brush for times of heavy shed. 

Giving Your Pomeranian a Bath

How to clean newborns: When the dam stops cleaning her puppies, is typically when a breeder will begin to take over the grooming. This usually happens when the puppy is approximately 6 weeks old.

If you have a Pom that had puppies, you will want to keep an eye on them to see when dam is passing this job over to you.

To keep a young 6 or 7-week old pup clean, you will simply wipe down the body using a very soft washcloth with warm water or hypoallergenic canine wipes. This hands on care is a very important element for the first steps of socialization for the pup...to help him become used to people, touch and handling. 
The Importance of Baths: It will be important to stay on track with giving your Pom baths, even if he does not appear to be in need of one. A Pomeranian should be given a bath once every 3 weeks unless you are treating a specific condition that requires more frequent baths (fur loss, mites, etc.) or if your Pom happens to get very dirty. 

The every 3 week rule is not arbitrary. 

If you give baths much more than this, the skin and coat can become dry, even if you use good products. This is because if you are constantly cleansing away natural oils from the coat at a rapid rate, even superior products will not be able to keep up.

On the other hand, if you do not give your Pom baths often enough, natural occurring body oils will begin to accumulate. This can lead to oily skin that traps in odor and due to small dead hairs being caught in the oil, it can cause skin pores to become clogged. 
Bathing instructions: 

Preparing the Bath: Most Pomeranians do best in a sink as opposed to a large bathtub. The kitchen sink will usually be the right shape and size for baths; and do be sure to first wash it thoroughly. 

A non-slip mat or a small towel placed on the bottom surface will help prevent slipping. 

Be sure to use warm water (test with the inside of your wrist). Have all needed supplies close at hand. Fill the sink with 1 to 2 inches of water before placing your Pom in, as running the tap can be startling. 

Prepping your Pom: You will want to comb through the coat right before you give your Pom a bath. This is to ensure that there are no tangles, and to separate the hairs so that the bathing products can do their job. Use your 2-level steel comb for this. And spritz the comb with you leave-in product as you go. 
Giving Pomeranian a bath
To prevent water from entering the ear canals, place appropriate sized pieces of cotton torn from sterile cotton balls in the outer canal (don't push in far). 
Giving the bath: 

1) Wet down the coat. If you have a nozzle, use it to wet down the coat. If not, use a small cup. Since a Pom's coat consists of two layers of fur, it can take a while for the water to reach through to the skin, so do take your time to ensure that the coat is completely wet.

If not, you will not be successful at properly cleaning close to the skin where the body oils are. 

2) Apply the shampoo and scrub all areas of the body including tails, legs, under-belly, etc. Typically, you will want to scrub your Pomeranian for 3 to 5 minutes. If you feel that there are not enough suds, apply more shampoo and water as needed. 

3) When rinsing the shampoo, it is best to use a spray nozzle if you have one, as this allows the water to more easily reach down to the skin. Proper rinsing is an essential part of grooming, since any shampoo residue left on the coat or skin will become caked on the skin, causing blockage of healthy air circulation and result in both skin and coat issues.

4) Apply the conditioner. When the shampoo has been washed out, apply your chosen conditioner (more ahead on choosing the best products). Use generous amount; you want every strand to be thoroughly
covered. 

5) Rinse out the conditioner. Take your time with this. When you think that you have rinsed enough, rinse one more time. Superior products are meant to do their job, but also to be washed out. If not, residue can become caked. This will most often occur down deep near the skin, so rinsing enough is vital. 

6) When the bath is complete, remove the cotton and be sure to dry all areas with a soft, absorbent towel. Never rub the towel onto the coat. If you rub the coat with the towel, this can lead to disaster. It can create multiple tangles within seconds, and can completely ruin the coat. 

Instead, use a dab and blot patting motion to absorb moisture. And be sure to dry the ear, both inside (just as far as the towel can reach) and out as moisture buildup there can cause issues. 

Bathing Products

The type of shampoo and conditioner that you use is very important and plays a huge role in how the coat will look. Never use human products. And do not use generic dog shampoos. These can cause the coat to look just terrible and due to stripping the hairs, lead to drying and brittleness. 

You'll want a quality shampoo that is effective at cleansing away dirt, debris, and body oils while being gentle to the hair follicles. It should moisturize and soothe. And it should have the right pH balance to maintain skin and coat health.

For the conditioner, you will want one that is effective at providing protection and leads to the coat looking great and feeling soft, without weighing the coat down (which takes away the fluffed look that Pomeranians are so famous for). 

There is a section that covers the top shampoos for Pomeranians; and below are our recommended products. 

Wiping the Body in Between Baths

You will find that there will be plenty of occasions in which you will want to tidy up your Pom, but not give him a full bath (as you do not want to bathe him more often than every 3 weeks if it can be avoided). 

Some common examples of times to use wipes are:
  • To wipe the paws after coming in from outside (crucial if your Pom has seasonal allergies)
  • To wipe the face after eating
  • To wipe the eye area to help prevent tear staining and remove eye discharge that had clumped up
  • To wipe down the coat after playing outside
  • To wipe any areas of where urine has splashed up onto the coat or belly
For this, you will want to use a quality canine grooming wipe. Choose an Earth-friendly biodegradable one, that is made with conditioning ingredients that add shine while cleaning. 
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