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Feeding a Pomeranian

Understanding Food Needs

Proper feeding is vital for your dog's health and well-being. Pom puppies need the proper nutrition to grow, adult Pomeranian need a great diet to maintain health and seniors can become overweight if care is not taken concerning their diet.

Your Pom's diet should be monitored and reassessed often to ensure minimum added chemicals and maximum nutrition. What you feed your Pomeranian will have a direct impact on his/her health both now and for years to come. 

This section will be an overview of all main feeding facts.
Switching Foods - From Breeder to You

When you first bring home a puppy, it is very important that no matter which brand of dog food a breeder was using or if that breeder was home cooking (most do not because many home-based breeders have 7-10 adult Poms + puppies and it is much easier to feed kibble) that you make a slow change over to the food that you wish to give to your Pomeranian.

Since Pom pups are so tiny, a fast change is not healthy. However, you are going to want to get your Pom onto the food that you choose. It is recommended to choose your method of manufactured food or homemade food and slowly yet steadily make a switch. You can be this the following way:
Pomeranian puppy in basket
Week 1: Take out 1/4 of their "normal" food and replace it with 1/4 of the food you want your Pom to eat

Week 2: Take out 1/3 of their "normal" food and replace it with 1/3 of the food you want your Pom to eat

Week 3: Take out 1/2 of their "normal" food and replace it with 1/2 of the food you want your Pom to eat

Week 4: Take out 3/4 of their "normal" food and replace it with 3/4 of the food you want your Pom to eat

Week 5: You can now have your puppy on the food that you have chosen as to meet their nutritional needs
The Right Dog Food

Feeding begins with offering the best of food. There is advice everywhere you look regarding the need to give your dog a high quality dog food. It is important to know that the difference between a high quality or poor quality dog food is the amount of fillers. A dog's digestive tract is designed to process large quantities of proteins, not carbohydrates...and certainly not fillers.

What to feed Your Pomeranian

A large majority of dog food brands (some quite well-known) are packed with fillers. What are fillers? They 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, if you are looking at a cup of dog food, what you are really seeing is about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of actual food (depending on the brand) and the rest is garbage, quite simply. They 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.

As you know, a Pomeranian is a very small and fragile dog, his digestive system is small and sensitive as well. We strongly suggest home cooking food for your Pom. In this way, you are in charge of the ingredients, you know that you are not giving your dog any fillers and you can offer your Pomeranian top nutrition.

The Best Commercial Food

For those not wishing to home cook or who cannot home cook (and we talk about this more below), and we do understand that not everyone has the time to do this, we will talk a bit about commercial food.
Plain and simple, paying a cheap price means that you receive cheap food. Large local pet store chains can offer some great dog products, but most do not carry premium dog food.

There are 2 main issues with buying manufactured dog food:

1 - There are so many commercials and advertisements for certain brands (that we won't mention), that the name becomes so popular and people hear it so much, that they assume that it is a great choice. Owners will think, "I hear that name all the time, it must be a good dog food!"...But that is not the case at all. Many of the brands you are familiar with fall very short of proper nutrition.

2 - It is very easy to pick up a bag of "something" while you are out food shopping. Again, shoppers will see those certain brands that they have seen on TV...and in it goes into the shopping cart. Sadly, it then goes into the Pomeranian's stomach.

If you are going to go the route of commercial food, you may want to opt for a more high end product such as Orijen, Whole Earth Farms or Back to Basics. The one negative element about these products: you will need to pay a moderate amount of money for a very high quality food...Which is a consideration to go the route of home cooking.

You'll want to read the list of ingredients and you'll want to see chicken and various fish as the main ingredients. Along with that should be vegetables. Grain free varieties will use potatoes as carbohydrates alternatives and this is just fine. Added probiotics is a good element, as it helps with the digestive system and immune system. If you see the word "chelated" , this means that a chemical was added to the food (attached to the proteins) to help it be absorbed.

Note: If you decide to go with our recommendation of Orijen, you may wish to look to "Food" in the Pomeranian Specialty Shoppe which offers this top rated brand at exceptionally low prices. 

Back to home cooking...

Home cooking can save you money. Many of the ingredients are those which you would normally purchase. For example, if you will be getting hamburg to make a meal for your family, you can set aside a certain amount for your Pom's dinner.

You can make a large amount and then refrigerate or freeze servings. In this way, you can prepare your dog's dinners once per week and not need to be cooking every day (Unless you wish to!)

Feeding your Pom in this way is not the same as allowing your dog to eat table scraps! It is important that each meal be prepared correctly and with the proper ingredients.

Some of the best ingredients that you will want to use are:
  • Organs - such as liver, kidney and brain
  • Lean meats - such as lean hamburg, white breast chicken meat and fish
  • Vegetables - Poms usually love potatoes (either regular potatoes or sweet potatoes), baby carrots, spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Corn is not recommended.
  • Starch is very important as well. Poms love fresh rice, either white or brown. Pomeranians also love pasta and there are many ways that you can incorporate this into meals.
  • Fruits - Healthy fruits including mango, blueberries and raspberries can provide important vitamins and antioxidants with few calories.
  • 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.

It is very important to never buy the cheap dog food that you find in the super market. The higher quality food will have less fillers or no fillers and therefore provide the better level of calories, vitamins and protein per serving. The less expensive the dog food, the more possibly malnourished and unhealthy your Pomeranian will be. 

Depending on the brand, It could also bring down your dog's immune system, causing your Pom to become ill more often. Without a healthy body inside and out, your Pomeranian will not be very strong at fighting off illness. 

In addition, foods bulked up with fillers cause a dog to have much larger and more frequent bowel movements.
Particular Food Ingredients - We have sections regarding certain food items: Can a Pomeranian eat Broccoli? | Cheese | Eggs | Ice Cream | Oranges | Peanuts | Popcorn | Pork | Shrimp
Dry or Wet?

With commercial brands, it is suggested to feed your Pomeranian mostly dry dog food since wet manufactured food can cause loose stools. If your Pom is resistant, you can add a drizzle of low-salt chicken broth or low-salt beef broth, either on top or mixed in.

Snacks | Stay Away from Rawhide!

Please do NOT give rawhide to your Pomeranian. They can cause allergic reactions, both internally and as contact allergies causing rash and irritation to the skin. They can damage the jaw and teeth of this fragile toy breed. They can also cause digestion problems and bad breath...
There are good alternatives on the market. If you are looking for substitutes for rawhide, look for a treat that is highly digestible yet still offers the benefits of promoting healthy teeth, a strong jaw and offer chewing satisfaction. 
High Protein?

Everyone began worrying when studies announced that a high protein diets for dogs was dangerous. However, those studies were done on rats. These studies are not related to dogs at all. Your Pomeranian's diet should consist of about 40% or more protein. Meat should be the main ingredient of meals.

Senior dogs (after the age of 7 or 8) should be put on a diet a bit lower in protein.

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 or she should or seems to have a lot of tummy troubles, you may want to consider adding a Prozyme enzyme to your Pom's food. Recommended prozyme supplements (& rawhide alternatives) are in the Pomeranian Specialty Shoppe.

Special Times for Special Dog Food Diets

There will be times when your Pomeranian will need his diet adjusted. When feeding store-bought dog food, you will need to make changes for:

Pregnant dogs: Should be given puppy food to give their bodies the needed extra vitamins and nutrients to help her puppies grow!

Inactive Dogs: If your dog is inactive due to an injury, health issue, etc, you will want to make sure that the manufactured dog food:
  • Is a reduced fat dog food
  • Has vitamin rich fish oils
The Best Supplement for Poms

Whether you offer manufactured food or home cooked, it is very important to make sure that your Pom receives the proper vitamins and minerals on a regular basis. This can only be achieved with a quality vitamin and mineral supplement. You will want to change this as your Pom ages with a formula for puppies, adults and then seniors. Poms that have fur issues should be given a good Omega supplement and those that have hip or knee issues should have a supplement for joint health. If you are not sure which ones to purchase, we have them all listed in the Pomeranian Specialty Shoppe.

How Much to Feed a Pomeranian

Feeding a Pom - particularly a puppy- can be tricky when figuring out amounts; you'll want to feed enough to provide adequate nourishment while not overfeeding. It's easy to offer too much food between offering rewards for training, offering treats to distract and providing 2 to 3 meals per day. While some say that dogs will eat endlessly until a human stops them, some Poms will be very picky eaters and you want to make sure that while your dog does not eat too much, he is also eating enough. The amount of dog food and the feeding times will vary depending on the age of your dog and activity level.

A good rule of thumb is that you should only leave out the dog food for 15-20 minutes. If your dog doesn't eat it in that time, pick it up and put it away.

While the exact quantity may have to be adjusted according to specific needs, there are guidelines for Pomeranians and feeding:

Growing puppies do not technically need more food than adults; they need more calories per pound of body weight.

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). It is important to weigh your Pom every 2 weeks or so, since as the weight climbs, so do calorie needs.

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

Keep in mind that judging portions by the calorie method often works best since foods can vary greatly; 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 have less 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.

Amounts will go up as the puppy is going through growth spurts...and then go down as the body has matured and reached its top growth point.

This is distributed throughout 3 to 4 meals up to the age of 6 months. A Pomeranian puppy's stomach is very small so meals must be very small as well. Remember - each dog is unique in:
  • Metabolism
  • Activity
  • Size
For this reason, you need 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, this means he or she is full. (If a pup or dog loses weight from a decreased appetite, this is a symptom of a medical issue). If your Pom eats what you give to them within 10 minutes and looks to you for more, give another 1/8 cup. 

    * Once a Pomeranian is 6 months old, you can work your way down from 4 meals to 3 meals or from 3 meals to 2 meals. 

At the 1 year mark, your little, tiny Pomeranian is considered an adult dog. The switch from puppy to adult food should take place over the course of a month any time between 12 and 18 months of age. Some adult dogs can usually eat just one meal per day; though most Poms do best with 2 meals per day.

Remember that 2 meals does not mean double the food! This means the calories needs for the day, divided into 2 smaller meals and making allowances for any snacks and treats. Do keep in mind that if you feed your Pom a breakfast in the morning, he or she will need to eliminate soon afterward. For those without digestive issues or constipation, puppies may need to eliminate 15 to 20 minutes after ingesting the first meal.
    *Dog treats and chews should be reserved for rewarding good behavior. In this way, training will be easier since a treat is seen as having more value in regard to motivation and encouragement if a dog is hungry. If a dog is given snacks and chews all the time, they will lose important meaning when you are attempting to train your Pom.

Odd Eating Habits

Sometimes 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.

To Beg or Not to Beg?

Your Pomeranian knows the answer to this one! Your dog will beg unless you teach him that it is not acceptable. After you prepare his dog food and put it in his special dog food dish, he will then look at you as if he is going to just die if you don't give him a piece of your hamburger. Although extremely tempting and although you will have to use all the will-power in your body and go against all natural human instinct to make your dog happy: Do not feed your dog food from your plate.

Human bodies have adjusted to the additives, color preservatives, high levels of sodium and other ingredients in human food. Even so, millions of people die from heart disease, diabetes and other illness that can be linked to bad eating habits. Imagine what this food can do to your Pomeranian.
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.
My Pomeranian is Eating Grass - The reasons why a Pom will do this and steps you can take to stop this.
Grooming - Baths, brushing, coat care and more.
House Training - The breed actually catches on pretty quickly if things are set up correctly.
Pomeranian Questions - Why Pom do the things that they do.
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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