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Feeding (Main Page)

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Feeding a Pomeranian

Overview

Proper feeding is vital for your dog's health and well-being. Pom puppies need the proper nutrition to grow, adult Pomeranians need a great diet to maintain health, and seniors need the best food possible to meet the needs of an older dog.

Your Pom's diet should be monitored and reassessed often to ensure that you are staying on track; sometimes things can veer off course. 

It may seem a bit overwhelming to find the right foods, due to there being so many to choose from, certain dietary restrictions, and/or if a Pom is a bit picky. 
Here, we'll provide an overview of all of the main feeding elements. 

* If you are in a hurry, feel free to jump right to recommended foods

Switching Food for a New Pomeranian Puppy

tiny-pomeranian-puppy
Bud, at 7 weeks old
Photo courtesy of Donna & Harry Leverett
When you first bring home a puppy, it is very important that no matter which brand of dog food a breeder was using that you make a slow change over to the food that you wish to give to your Pomeranian.

A fast change can often cause upset stomach and gastrointestinal distress. 

You can make a slow and steady change-over in the following way: 

Week 1: Meals consist of 1/4 new food, 3/4 old.

Week 2: Meals consist of 1/2 new, 1/2 old.

Week 3: Males consist of 3/4 new, 1/4 old.

Week 4: The Pomeranian puppy is now fully on his new food that you have chosen as to meet his nutritional needs

How Often to Feed a Pomeranian

How many meals you give to a Pomeranian each day will depend on his age.

Brand new puppies - For the first month, it is recommended to free-feed. This means that fresh food is left out at all times. This is because with young pups, blood sugar can drop quickly, and one cause of this is not eating often enough.

Many new puppies will need to be reminded where their food bowl is. And be sure to refresh the food (not just topping it off) throughout the day, to avoid kibble from getting stale (and less palatable)

Puppies 3 months to 12 years - Feed your Pomeranian puppy 3 times per day. If you will be gone during the day for the mid-meal, this can be given via a treat dispensing toy like the PetSafe Busy Buddy Barnacle Dog Toy

Poms 1 year and older - Some adult Pomeranians still do best with 3 meals per day, especially if they are home by themselves as explained above. Others may be happy with 2 meals per day.

Do note that snacks should be given in addition to these feedings; and these are best reserved for training and rewarding good behavior (more ahead on treats). 

How Much to Feed a Pomeranian

Feeding a Pom the right amount of food can be tricky.  

One of the biggest elements that can throw owners off is that Pomeranians, and especially those that are standard size (4-7 lbs.) do not eat a lot of food.

While you will want to feed your Pom those 2 or 3 meals per day, plus snacks, do keep in mind that the serving sizes are going to be rather small. 

It is not uncommon for owners to worry that their Pom is not eating enough, when in fact he is taking in exactly what he needs (more ahead). 

In addition, you may find that if your Pom's bowl is not correctly sized (too big), his meals may look exceedingly tiny. 
two-pomeranians
Foxy (almost 1) and Frankie (3 months) Photo courtesy of Anna Marie Kaminski
Some points to keep in mind in regard to the correct serving sizes:
  • Different foods have varying amount of calories, and therefore will have different recommended serving sizes. 
1 cup of dry food will not be the same as 1 cup of wet. And cheaper brands will be bulked up with fillers while quality brands will not. This means that 1 cup of cheap food will typically have fewer calories than 1 cup of quality food. Thus, when you choose a good brand, you will actually be feeding your Pomeranian less since the food is more calorie dense.
  • For manufactured food, particularly those of high quality, the feeding instructions that you see on the packaging are pretty spot on. 
  • The amount of food that a Pomeranian needs will be dependent on his age, activity level, and individual metabolism.
  • You may have heard that puppies need more food than adult dogs; this is not technically true; their calorie requirement, per pound of body weight, is slightly higher.
To figure out food amounts by the calorie method; a good guideline is 55 calories per pound for puppies (and 45 calories per pound for adult Poms). 
  • Since guidelines are given in general terms and each Pom is unique and has his own eating pace, typically what your Pomeranian eats within 20 minutes is the sufficient amount for that meal. 
  • When a puppy is going through a growth spurt, his appetite may increase and therefore he may need slightly larger serving sizes. 
You may not know if your puppy is indeed experiencing a growth spurt; so, if he appears to want more after finishing his meal, feel free to offer a 2nd serving. It is almost impossible for a growing Pomeranian puppy to eat too much. 

To summarize, the amount of food that you feed your Pomeranian will vary quite a bit, depending on all of the above factors. The feeding instructions on your chosen brand, which is based on weight, will be within the correct range. 

This all said, the amount of food that a Pomeranian requires will normally be between 1/2 cup and 1 and 1/2 cups per day. 

If you wish to have a guideline by the cup - and remember this varies greatly depending on the type of food - a general approximation is as follows:

A 1 lb. puppy = approximately 1/4 cup per day
A 3 lb. puppy= approximately 1/2 of food per day
A 5 lb. puppy = approximately 1 cup per day
A 6 lb. puppy = approximately 1.5 per day

Do be sure to use common sense when feeding. You can use the above as a guidelines; however if your Pom walks away from the bowl after 5 minutes, baring any health issues or weight loss, this means he or she is full. And if your Pom eats what you give to him within 10 minutes and looks to you for more, offer another 1/8 cup. 
pomeranian-in-kitchen-with-snack-
Mu-shu
Photo courtesy of Elle Michaels

The Change-over From Puppy to Adult, and Adult to Senior Food

The age to stop giving a Pomeranian puppy food and make the switch to an adult formula is at the 1 year mark. 

This is the age that Pomeranians are adults; growth is just about done at this age, and puppy formulas have a bit too much fat content for the now adult dog.

At about the 8 to 9 year mark, you will want to start thinking about switching your Pomeranian over from an adult variety to a senior variety.

Do keep in mind that some brands are appropriate for both adult and senior dogs. One of the biggest elements will be a need for increased omegas and glucosamine. These can be found in sufficient amounts in some food or can be given as supplements.

Wet Dog Food Vs Dry Dog Food

In general, if you are feeding your Pomeranian a commercial dog food, you will want to stick with the dry formula. A continual diet of manufactured wet food can lead to runny bowels. 

This said, some Pomeranians balk at dry food, so you can do a couple of things to make it more palatable. 

You may wish to:
  • Blend in just a small amount of wet dog food (stick with the same brand, if possible)
  • Drizzle a bit of low-sodium chicken or beef broth over it, and mix it very well
  • After adding some moisture, warm the food in the microwave. Do check the temperature before feeding it to your Pom

Elements to Think About When Choosing a Food

There are an incredible amount of options in regard to dog food and it may seem overwhelming at first. In addition, some names of popular brands (which you would assume are a good choice) are not good at all. 

First, it is important to understand why you should take time to select the right food. And why some dog foods can be so detrimental to a dog's health. 

Inferior foods often contain:

Fillers - Many dog food brands (some quite well-known) are packed with fillers. These are ingredients which have no nutritional value and simply 'bulk up' the dog food to make it appear as if there is more. 

For example, with cheaply made dog food, if you are looking at one cup, what you may really be seeing is about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of actual food and the rest is garbage, quite simply. Fillers are very cheap ingredients, thrown in to not only fill up your Pom's bowl but also to fill their stomach.

These fillers pass right through the body (since they have no nutritional value and the body does not absorb them) and come right back out. This can lead to nutritional deficiency and also behavioral issues such as eating grass or eating feces.

You will want to avoid any brand that contains such things as husks (corn, peanut, or any type), hulls (oat, peanut, rice, or other), corn (ground, corn gluten, corn bran, or corn germ meal), or mill run (soybean, wheat, or other). 
By-products - The term 'by-product' may not sound so terrible. However, by-products are animals parts that are not fit for human consumption. This includes necks, intestines, genitalia, bones, heads, and even undeveloped eggs. 

Essentially, it is literally any part of an animal other than the meat. 

Generic meats - Be very aware of this one; it can be deceiving. If a dog food lists 'poultry', this can be any sort of bird: geese, buzzards, seagulls, former pet birds that were euthanized at shelters, etc.

Any other listing of simply 'animal' in the term usually refers to meat from '4D livestock' which is dead, dying, diseased, or disabled animals.

Chemical flavoring, coloring, or preservatives - This may very well be the most important element to avoid when choosing the right food for your Pomeranian. 

Artificial chemical additives can do a real number on a Pom. 
small-black-and-white-pomeranian
Finnley, photo courtesy of Stacy V.
Some are agents used in pesticides, or to make rubber. Some have been proven to cause both liver and blood issues. And all are known for causing terrible allergic reactions. This can include skin reactions such as itching, rash, blisters, welts, bumps, hives, drying, peeling, and/or fur loss.

And/or it may cause a Pomeranian to have an gastrointestinal distress (upset stomach, runny bowels, diarrhea, nausea). 

Some of the common ones include glyceryl monostearate, ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT, TBHQ, and propyl gallate. But, there are many others.
Good food choices contain:

Essentially, the best foods will have none of the elements that we've covered. It will have:
  • No generic meats
  • No by-products
  • No fillers
  • No harmful flavoring, coloring, or chemical preservatives that can cause issues
  • Is all-natural
  • Offers wholesome real meat
  • Offers wholesome vegetables and fruits
  • Offers fiber, healthy fats, and quality nutritional supplements
  • And is made in the USA or North America (which includes Canada)
Whole Earth Farms - This is another great choice. It is generally classified as a 4-star food, which is a good rating, and is generally for the more budget conscious.  

It can be found in many tasty flavors including chicken & turkey, pork, beef & lamb, salmon & whitefish, and turkey & duck. 

The recommended grain-free for small breeds contains chicken, turkey, potatoes, peas, sweet potatoes, alfalfa, and blueberries. And has some nice added bonuses including cinnamon, rosemary, sage, and thyme. 

There is no corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial flavors, artificial colors, artificial preservatives and is made in the USA. 

With Whole Earth Farms there is also a wide range of wet stews (beef, chicken, duck, lamb, salmon, or turkey), if your Pom prefers a mix of both dry and wet food. 
Wellness CORE - This is fast becoming one of our top choices, and for very good reason. This is a very high quality food and it's clear that care went into creating a truly superior food.

The grain-free for small breeds contains chicken, turkey, salmon, peas, lentils, potato, carrots, spinach, sweet potato, apple, blueberries. And some nice added bonuses including green tea extract and spearmint extract. 

There are also guaranteed levels of Omega-3 Fatty acids from ingredients such as flaxseed, and this is important for both skin and coat health. 

Going even a step above, Wellness CORE Natural Dry Grain-free for Small Breeds uses filtered water as they prepare the food. This is 100% free of grains, chemicals, and animal by-products, and is made in the USA.
More: Do you think that your Pom might be allergic to chicken? This is one of the Pomeranian eating issues that can be seen; fortunately, there are some good alternatives. 

Home Cooking

You may wish to opt to home cook for your Pom, and this can be a good choice if you like to stay busy in the kitchen, and if you take the time to carefully choose good ingredients. Some people find that this saves money, especially if food is bought in bulk. 

Some of the ingredients that you will want to use are:
  • Organs - such as liver, kidney and brain
  • Lean meats - such as white breast chicken meat and turkey
  • Fish, for important healthy fats like omegas
  • Vegetables - regular potatoes or sweet potatoes, baby carrots, spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Corn is not recommended.
  • Carbs via potatoes, and/or rice (white or brown), A small amount of pasta can be appreciated as well. 
  • Fruits - Healthy fruits including mango, blueberries and raspberries can provide important vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Extras - Whole, white yogurt and cottage cheese are 2 ingredients that can add an extra boost to meals.
Meat should be the # 1 ingredient. Dogs must have this protein as their main food source. Vegetables and then starch, fruits and extras will round out the meals. This should be a ratio of approximately 40% meat, 30% vegetables and 20% starch and 10% fruit.

Please note that with this, you need to add a full and complete daily vitamin and mineral supplement. Commercial brands add this, so you will need to add this at home if you offer homemade food. 
Particular Food Ingredients - We have sections regarding certain food items: Can a Pomeranian eat Broccoli? | Cheese | Eggs | Ice Cream | Oranges | Peanuts | Popcorn | Pork | Shrimp

More Feeding Particulars

About Protein Levels - Quite a few dog owners began worrying when studies were announced that a high protein diet for dogs was dangerous. However, those studies were done on rats and are not related to dogs at all. Your Pomeranian's diet should consist of about 30 - 40% or more protein. Meat should be the main ingredient of meals.
Making Sure Nutrients are Absorbed | Tummy Woes - Even if you feed your Pomeranian the best food available or the most nutritious home cooked meals, your Pom's body may not be absorbing the protein, minerals and vitamins. A low level of (normally occurring) enzymes in a Pom will cause much of those needed elements to pass right through the body without being absorbed.

If you find that your Pom is not gaining weight as he should be or seems to have a lot of tummy troubles, you may want to speak to your vet about adding a Prozyme enzyme to your Pom's food like Trophy Prozyme Powder for Pets .
Odd Eating HabitsSometimes a Pomeranian will take their food and bring it elsewhere to it eat it. To learn how to train your dog to stop doing this, read Odd Eating Habits.
The Best Supplement for Poms - If you have chosen a high quality food for your Pomeranian, if he does not have any health issues or conditions, and is under the age of 6 you do not need to offer him any sort of additional supplements. The essentials that your Pom needs will be in your quality food.

There will be some times and instances in which you will want to consider a supplement:
  • If home cooking - vitamins and minerals are added to commercial brands. If you prepare meals at home, you'll need to add this. 
  • If your Pom has skin and/or coat issues - For dry skin or itchy skin due to allergies, problems with thinning fur, or other issues relating to the skin and/or fur, Omega 3, 6, 9 supplements can play an important role in resolving those problems. 
Be sure to choose an Omega supplement that is human grade and has no additives or preservatives. We like Finest For Pets Omega 3, 6 and 9 Fish Oil, which comes in a handy pump to easily add a serving to meals.
  • For adults 6 years and older - The time to start giving your Pomeranian a joint supplement is before he reaches his senior years. By then, his body will already be having a difficult time producing glusosamine. When this gets depleted (and just about all senior dogs do not have proper levels) it is a leading cause of canine arthritis. You'll notice a slowing down, and discomfort with mobility. 
A glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM supplement (see next bullet point) can help prevent joint issues seen with older dogs and offer relief to those suffering from arthritis. 
  • For any Pom that has had hip, back, or knee issues - Pomeranians that have had these sorts of issues (patella luxation, hip dysplasia, etc.) are much more prone to developing arthritis.  A glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM can help a Pom attain good joint health and help to prevent issues that would otherwise develop. 
One of our recommended brands is PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews which is all-natural and made in the USA.
Choosing Snacks for Your Pom - What you choose to give as treats is just as important as what you offer for main meals. If the main kibble is a great one, but the treats in between meals are inferior, this will throw off what would have otherwise been a great balanced diet.

Choosing the Bowls & Dishes - It's really important to choose the right bowls for your Pom; it will have an impact on how comfortable he is when eating, his ability to reach his food and also includes hygiene elements. 
You May Also Be Interested In:

Pomeranian Puppy Care - That first crucial year.
Grooming - Baths, brushing, coat care and more.
House Training - The breed actually catches on pretty quickly if things are set up correctly.
External: Animal Communicator & Animal Reiki for Dogs- Animal Communicator Helps Dog Behavior Issues - stops fighting, peeing, barking, aggression, self mutilation, ocd behaviors and more. Find why your dog does the behavior, negotiate change. Help with health, feeding problems, end-of-life, terminal illness and pet loss grief support. Email and phone sessions for anywhere in the world.
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