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Shedding

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Pomeranian
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Pomeranian Shedding Information

Overview

There are 2 types of Pomeranian shedding. The first is the Puppy Uglies, when a Pomeranian puppy loses his puppy fur and his adult fur then grows in. The 2nd is when adult Pomeranians shed.

Pomeranian Puppy Shedding

Between the ages of 4 to 6 months old, a Pomeranian puppy will begin shedding his puppy fur. This is a process that every Pom puppy goes through. 

The soft, one layered puppy coat sheds off and is replaced with the double coat of a thick, dense inner layer and an outer layer of long guard hairs. 
Interestingly, the color of the fur can change quite drastically during this time as well.  For example, a black Pom with a touch of brown can end up with a chocolate brown coat or a Pom puppy that is white with a touch of brindle can loose all the brindle and end up with a dark, cream coat.

During this time of Pomeranian puppy shedding, the dog can look quite silly, with funny patches of thinning fur, giving the Pom a strange, misshapen appearance. While some Poms can get through this phase losing fur evenly, more often than not a Pom will shed randomly. 

This stage is only temporary and is completely normal. By about 10 months old, you'll really notice that the adult fur is coming in nicely on your Pomeranian puppy and by about the 12 to 15 month mark, the full coat should be grown in.

You'll notice a difference in feel of the coat; the baby soft fur will be replaced with a more textured coat of guard hairs.  When using the right quality products, the fur will still be soft and healthy, but it will be noticeably thicker and have more weight to it. 
before and after Pomeranian shedding
A merle Pomeranian puppy before, during and after the heavy shed of puppy to adult coat.
Photos courtesy of Keen Pomeranians

Pomeranian Adult Shedding

When does the Pomeranian do its major shedding? This can vary depending on the climate of where you live and your Pom's environment.

The shedding process in dogs is triggered, in part, by changes in light. Adult Pomeranian shedding, if ruled by the changes in light, happens twice per year.

1- When days start to become shorter in late autumn. This triggers the body to shed some fur as a thicker winter coat grows in.

2- When days start to become longer in early spring. This again sends a trigger to the dog's body to shed the slightly thicker winter coat that previously grew in.

This type of shedding will be noticeable for approximately 2 months, for each of the time periods.

Exceptions: Seasonal shedding will be more noticeable for those that also experience a change in temperature as well. Additionally, because Pomeranians are inside dogs and experience artificial lighting all year round, this can disrupt the natural shedding season. A Pom, therefore, may not enter a specific heavy shedding season and may instead shed lightly throughout the entire year.

Year Round Shedding

It must be noted that whether or not your dog has a seasonal shed or not, there will always be a year-round constant shed of the coat. This is because a dog's fur is quite like a humans in the aspect that it has a growth cycle. 

It grows, pauses and falls out on a continual basis. It is for this reason, that owners must be prepared to brush out the coat to pull out dead, shedded hairs on a routine basis, regardless of the time of year, season or weather. 

How Much Shedding is Normal

Unlike the puppy ugly phase, adult shedding is a more even process. Quite a lot of hair will be able to be pulled from the coat. And you may see lots of hair on your furniture. 
adult white Pomeranian
Jasper Finley, 17 months old
Photo courtesy of owner: Nikkie B.
However, the adult Pomeranian does not lose so much fur during shedding that there are noticeable missing chunks or balding areas. If your dog is losing fur to this severity, it will be important to have the issue diagnosed. Any number of canine health issues could cause this, from allergies to Red Mange to a thyroid problem. Your veterinarian must perform a complete checkup and a battery of tests.

BSD - While rare, this is a problem seen much too often with Pomeranians. With this, fur grows in with an odd wooly type texture and then will fall out quite dramatically to the point of baldness. Read more about: BSD.

Undercoat Vs Overcoat

You may be wondering if a Pomeranian sheds the undercoat or the overcoat. It is the undercoat that an adult Pomeranian sheds. 

Normally, the undercoat will shed over time and if a Pom stays in the shedding season long enough, the entire undercoat will shed off, as new fur grows in. Because new fur is growing as old fur is shedding off, you will not see your Pom with his undercoat missing.

Female Pomeranian Shedding Due to Hormonal Change

Both males and female Pomeranians will shed as mentioned above. However, if a female Pomeranian is not spayed, she will shed much more than a male Pomeranian. When shedding is triggered by hormonal changes, this is often referred to as a female 'blowing her coat'. Unspayed female Poms will shed:

• During and after heat cycles
• Directly after having puppies and sometimes throughout the weaning process
• In some cases, if experiencing stress

The Importance of Pulling Out Shedded Hairs

Do keep in mind that since the majority of the shedded fur will be from that inner layer, a good number of dead hairs will be stuck within the coat. It will be important to remove them. 

If not, they will form a wall of sorts, blocking off healthy air circulation. The fallen hairs can also easily become entangled with live hairs, causing tangles and mats. In addition, as shedded hairs clump on the skin, they will soak in the moisture of a Pom's body oil secretions and this can cause many issues including a terrible smell and skin yeast infections.
Pomeranian with nice coat
Angel,at 5 years, 4 months old
Photo courtesy of Alba C. Marquez de la Plata-Ghitis

How to Control Pomeranian Shedding

Shedding fur is a healthy, natural renewal process that keeps the coat renewed and owners should not (nor would they be successful) in trying to stop this. 

However, there are steps you can take to keep it under control and also to stop your house from filling up with fur.

#1 Brush the coat on a regular basis with the right tool.
No matter to which degree your Pomeranian is shedding, the coat should be thoroughly brushed every other day. This keeps tangles away, properly distributes body oils, removes tiny debris and, when using a quality leave-in spritz while brushing, keeps the fur super healthy.

For regular brushing, you would use a quality pin brush as part of your grooming techniques

For light year-round shedding in which you want to pull out dead hairs, you will find that a slicker brush works best. We like the Miracle Coat Slicker Dog Brush, Size Small .

For times of heavy shed, you may want to opt for a special de-shedding tool. 
Be very careful about which one you choose. Some de-shedding tools will ruin a Pomeranian's top coat. Be wary of those that slice the coat with blades without discretion between the outer and inner coat.

Rake tools like the Evolution Double Row Undercoat Rake with Rotating Pins are a good option; these are able to glide over the guard hairs and reach down into the inner layer to latch onto and pull out hairs that are trapped there. 
#2 Don't skip over any sections of the coat. When a dog is shedding, owners tend to focus on the back, since it is the largest body area of the dog. However, fur sheds from every body part, even the tail. Therefore, an important step in stopping a heavy shed is to pull out hairs from the legs, ruff and tail as well as the back.
#3 It is recommended to schedule specific times to cater to a shedding coat; a minimum of 15 minutes will be needed every other day. You may find that after dinner when the family is relaxing but before your Pom's last walk for the day is a good time. 

Or, if your Pom enjoys being brushed (which many do since it is like having a massage), that right before bed is a good time since it can be relaxing for the dog. 
#4 If the weather is nice, brush your Pomeranian outside. As long as it is warm and dry, pulling out shedded hairs outdoors is often a better option than making a mess inside.

#5 Remove hairs from the house. If you've had your Pomeranian for at least a year, and you've never ran a tape lint roller over your carpeting, you will most likely be shocked if you do so. 

Shedding fur falls into carpeting and entwines itself with the fibers. If you take a tape lint roller and firmly run it over the rugs, you'll most likely see tons of fur picked up by this. 

If you have small areas rugs or any soft-fabric furniture, you may want to spot clean those with the lint roller or use a hand-held vacuum that is designed to lift pet hairs like the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum .
Of course, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, going over all of the floors with a lint roller or a hand-held will not be ideal. You may want to consider obtaining a stand-up vacuum cleaner that is specifically designed to pull up pet hairs from carpeting. 

Ones with a spooling system to remove embedded hairs, like the Bissell 1650A Pet Hair Eraser Stand-up Vacuum can be a good choice.
#6 Keep up with baths every 3 weeks. Right after a bath, you'll be able to groom out a good amount of dead fur since the shampooing process will loosen them.
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