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Summer Care

Pomeranian Summer Care


Summertime brings lots of great weather, time spent outside with family and friends, trips to the beach, barbecues and all of that summer fun. However, when you have a Pomeranian there are several summer related issues to be concerned about. Hot weather can take its toll on a small toy breed like the Pom and with his thick double coat, there are some important summer care elements to be aware of.

In this section we are going to discuss:
  • Having a plan to keep your Pom cool and comfortable (including the element of trimmings and shavings)
  • How to take care of a Pomeranian in the summer, including the coat, paws and nose 
  • Changes to expect in both activity levels and eating
  • Fun suggestions for staying active in the heat and yummy summer treats
  • Protecting your Pom from mosquitoes and other summer bugs without bombarding him with chemicals
  • Exercise overview in hot weather
  • Reader Q&A
Pomeranian outside in the summer
Hazel, 4 months old
Photo courtesy of Jessica Patton
Keeping a Pomeranian Cool During Hot Weather

Poms can become hot really quickly in the summertime and it is important to understand why this happens so that you avoid making mistakes and take appropriate steps that will help.  

1) Trimming and shaving in the summer - While it might not make sense at first, it's important to note that the thick double coat of the Pomeranian does not make the puppy or dog any hotter in the summer at all. It is common for people to think that having such thick fur might be similar to wrapping up in a thick blanket on a hot day. However, canines are much different than us. It's better to think about how proper insulation in a house does keep the house warm in the winter, but in the summer it works to block heat and keep a house cooler than it would be otherwise. This is what a Pomeranian's fur does. 

The skin pours on the main body of a dog do not produce any relevant amounts of perspiration. 
This is done via the paws and when a dog breaths. If you shave a Pom in the summer, this is a bad idea in several ways:

1. It will be counterproductive; you will be removing the very thing that works as a natural cooling system. 

2. If the fur is shaved, the rays of the sun are now going to be reaching the skin. This can result in full body sunburns and at the very least it will be very drying to the skin. 

3. If the inner layer is cut into, the coat may never (ever!) grow back to what it once was. And this is really a shame.

So, what can you do? You can definitely trim your Pomeranian's coat in the summer. Long coats that are not routinely tidied up tend to lay flat and the guard hairs do not stand up as they should. This does not allow for good air circulation in hot weather. Taking off 1/2 inch (for puppies) and up to 1 inch (for adults) this can revive a flat coat. The hairs will stand out, allowing air to circulate on hot summer days yet the integrity of the protection element will remain.  

If you have a groomer do this, be sure that he/she has a clear understanding that you do not want your Pom shaved. The goal is a slight trim to tidy up without the inner layer being touched at all.  

2) Staying cool indoors - If you have air conditioning, you may not be concerned about keeping your Pomeranian comfortable on the hottest of days, however a backup plan should be in place should there be a power outage. If you are away at work and your Pom is home alone, it is suggested to check for local outages at least once per day (lunch time is perfect; it only takes a minute or so to check your local power supplier's website).  

Reassess where you keep your Pom when you are not home. The sun will be shining into the room at a much different angle than in the winter and the rays will be much stronger. Your Pom might look comfortable when you're leaving, but is the sun blaring in his eyes from noon until 3? If needed, move the indoor playpen or gated off area to a spot that does not receive direct sunlight (or keep curtains closed) and be sure that this is also not directly under or over cooling vents, as cold air pouring on a Pom throughout the day can give him a terrible case of the shivers. 

Ahead we will discuss more ways to keep a Pomeranian cool in the summer and these elements can apply if your AC is not working, etc. 
3) Being comfortable outdoors - The sun is out and it is a gorgeous summer day! You want your Pomeranian to enjoy the summer as well… but will he overheat? Not if you plan ahead. There are a couple of great ways to help a Pom puppy or older dog be comfortable:

1. Cooling mats. These are super great items that really help Poms in the summer. The ones that we recommend do NOT use any electricity and have no cords at all. They are gel pads that are pressure activated; the gel begins to safely cool as soon as a Pomeranian sits or lies down on it. It remains comfortable for up to 4 hours. 

When your Pom leaves the mat, it recharges and is ready again soon afterward. Look for a super durable gel mat that is appropriately sized (you'll want it to be about 3 times larger than your Pom). 
Poms summer care
Tess (female, 7 months) & Toby (male, 10 months)
Photo courtesy of Princy Mary Varghese
The great thing about these is that they are super portable. You can place it outside if you have your Pom with you on a hot barbeque day or even at the beach. You can take it with you for walks and allow your dog to take a break on it halfway through… and these also work great in the house as well. 

2. Cooling vests/ harness. These are really ideal if you wish to have your Pomeranian outside in the hot weather for several hours. A quality cooling harness for a Pom will be super comfortable (lightweight), easy to put on and take off and will gently keep the puppy or dog cool even if the sun is blazing hot. These work similar to the mats in that a special non-tonic gel is used to provide that 'ahhh' relief. These are a great way to prevent overheating. This can allow you to have your Pomeranian with you for any outdoor activity in the summer while keeping him nice and comfortable. Another option is a cooling bandana; these will not work as effectively as the harness and are better for shorter duration outside. 
Caring for a Pomeranian's Coat in the Summer

As we discussed above, a slight trim can be helpful to prep your Pom for the summer season, however it is also important to use grooming techniques to keep the coat healthy. There are a couple of things that you should do:

1) Brush the coat thoroughly on a regular basis. You'll really want to focus on clearing the coat of dead hairs by routinely brushing the entire body, being sure to reach down through the inner layer. When spring comes, the coat will be shedding; but in the summer there is still that constant hair renewal process… all hairs will have 'growth, rest, fall-out'. And it's important to keep up with this since tiny dead hairs will impede air flow and block skin pores. Also, the next step of using a quality fur protection spray to prevent sunburned fur will not work properly if you do not have the foundation of a well-brushed coat in the summer. 

2) Use a really good leave-in spray on your Pom's fur. It will do several wonderful things… Even 20 minutes of direct sunlight (several times per week) can give the fur a 'sunburn'. Black, chocolate brown and other medium to dark colors can develop a red tint over time and lighter coats such as creams, tans, oranges and whites can become dulled and frizzy looking. So you'll want to use this spray to protect the fur from sun damage in the summer, even if you only take your Pom out for walks. This is a non-negotiable item for proper summer grooming for Pomeranians. 

The bonus to this is that the right product will also have a lasting fresh, lovely scent that will keep your Pomeranian smelling great. Be sure to use a light product that will do its job without weighing down the hairs. 
Pom outside summer heat
Mellow, 12 years old
Photo courtesy of Evelyn & Earl Brinkley 
Nose and Paw Summer Care for Poms

It's really sad when owners realize the need for summer paw and nose care once it's too late, because it can take a Pom the whole season to recover. 

 Let's look at what is needed:

1) The paws should be protected with a quality paw wax. The air temperature is not the only indicator of how hot walking surfaces will be. On a day with bright summer sunlight, pavement can reach 125 degrees Fahrenheit on a 77 degree day. If the day is 87 (and most summer days are at least this hot), the pavement that your Pomeranian walks on can range from 135 to 145 degrees. 

This is enough to burn the top layer of your Pom's paws. If the Pom walks on a hot surface the next day, the second layer will become damaged and so forth. And it's really a shame when owners only notice once a Pom is limping or licking at his paws once back inside.
Using the right paw wax will protect the pad leather and also a great benefit is that it helps with those tiny little pebbles that can get stuck between the paw pads and cause so much discomfort. Of course, another option is to use doggie shoes (some Poms love these and some do not); if you do go the route of shoes, those with Velcro straps at the ankles work great since they don't slip off.

In regard to paw wax for summer care, look for a quality balm that will dry quickly and only has to be applied every 3 to 4 days. 

2) Use a summer nose balm. This again, is something that should be used before any damage occurs. With zero fur able to shade it and with nowhere to hide, a dog's nose is completely exposed to the harmful effects of the summer sun. Pomeranians can end up with a sunburned, chapped and/or cracked nose even just by being outside for 'normal' duration during the season. In addition, using something to avoid sunburns to your dog's nose and help prevent nose pad cancer, of which sun damage is a contributing factor. 

A good balm will absorb quickly (so that it can't be licked off) and will shield the nose leather from the elements. The nose butter does not need to have SPF in it (while these can work well on a dog's belly, they do not absorb very fast on the nose and can be toxic if licked off); it works by creating a barrier. You can buy a small container and/or use small travel balms (sized similar to a Chapstick), so these are easy to apply and easy to bring with you when on the go. 
Summer Insects & What You Need to Know About Some Products

Don't you just love that time of night in the summer when the sun is getting ready to set? The air has cooled off a bit and it seems like the perfect time to be outside…. And then you remember about the issue of mosquitoes. This can be a major summertime concern for our pets (as well bees and other stinging insects); they can swat them away and the exposed belly can be bite countless times before an owner even notices. Some Pomeranians are hypertensive to mosquito bites and even just one or two can cause quite a bit of swelling, discomfort and immense itching. 

In the summer, you also have to consider the issue of fleas and ticks. Fleas can jump from another dog up to 6 feet away and just one bite can cause severe allergic reaction. Ticks which can be found in many areas during the summer can give a dog one of several diseases including Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis. 
Beware of many of the products that state that they protect dogs from these insects. Many flea & tick collars, sprays and powders contain a chemical called Tetrachlorvinphos and some collars contain propoxur which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing and runny eyes. 

For Pomeranians that are very sensitive to this element, there can be severe complications including muscle tremors, excessive drooling and even seizures

And these can even be dangerous for you and any children in the household. 

It's a bit shocking, however the NRDC (A New York based environmental advocacy group) released a study to the US Environmental Protection Agency that showed that after 3 days of wearing flea collars with propoxur, 100% of the dogs had levels on their fur high enough to be dangerous to toddlers and of those wearing collars with tetrachlorvinphos, 50% of the dogs had dangerous levels for children, if touching the dog. So you imagine how bad these must be to tiny toy breeds and why so many dogs develop reactions.
Pomeranian in the summertime
Bentley, 12 weeks old
Photo courtesy of Abbie
Therefore, protecting your Pomeranian from all of these nasty pets while NOT exposing your dog to toxic chemical is an exceedingly important part of summer care. 

We recommend using a NO chemical product. There are several all-natural balms and sprays that project from mosquitoes, fleas & ticks so that you can safely take your Pom outside and not have to worry about these pests.
Pomeranian for blog
"Woof, rufff, rrrr...grrr... UMPHF!"

Translation: "Tweets for treats...? ... or share for... ahh... a pear??? 
Well, you get the gist! Show me some love & share this site before you read on."
Summertime Changes in Activity and Eating with Pomeranians

Activity - When a Pom seems to slow down in the summer - and this is common with senior dogs but can be true to a Pom of any age - this is often due to the dog feeling overwhelmed by the summer heat. While it may be best to avoid going out during the hottest part of the day (often from 11 AM to 1 PM), if you use the cooling methods listed above (mats and harnesses) and protect the paws and nose (wax and butters), many Poms will be able to be as active as any other season. Also, keeping your Pom well hydrated will help as well since even a 1% loss of water in the body can cause issues such as weakness and inability to focus. 
We will touch on heat stress ahead, since it is important to know the early warning stages to prevent a full-on episode.

If it seems too hot to go for a walk (and you may not want to walk in the heat either), some playtime in the yard can often be enough for a Pomeranian to release pent-up energy and have his fill of exercise. One of the best methods is to set up a kiddie pool; most Poms will not independently play in these, but if an owner sets up a chair and soaks her feet in one end, with the addition of a few toys and some playful splashes, a Pomeranian can spend quite some time having fun in the water.

Additionally, setting up a sprinkler can be great fun; many puppies and dogs become enthralled at the osculating water and will jump back and forth, over and around, getting their fill of activity. 
Eating - It's not uncommon for canines to eat up to 20% less in the summer than in the winter. So, if your Pom's appetite seems to be a bit decreased as long as there is no significant weight loss or any other signs of a health issue, this is typically nothing to be concerned about. 

Even if the house is cool enough, many dogs do appreciate a frozen or chilled treat in the summer. Wholesome fruits are super healthy snacks to give to Pomeranians year round and in the summertime freezing some fruit pieces can be great.

You can freeze pieces of mango, watermelon, strawberries, banana slices or blueberries to give to a Pom on a hot summer day. They find these to be delicious; not only are these yummy, they are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, are low in calories and the natural sugar (fructose) does not affect blood sugar level as raw sugar does. 
adorable Pomeranian
Bella, 2 years, 5 months
Photo courtesy of Frances Behrens
Taking Walks in the Summer with Your Pomeranian

Part of proper care is to keep your Pom moving in the summer, since it is year-round exercise that keeps a dog healthy. In addition, if a puppy or dog does not receive enough exercise and sensory stimulation, this can cause a buildup of frustration that often manifests as nervous behavior (pacing, feeling restless, destructive chewing, barking, etc.). Here are some tips so that you can still take your Pom for his 2 recommended walks per day:

1) As explained above, pavement and road surfaces easily reach high enough temperatures, so do please apply paw wax as needed (2 to 3 times per week) or place doggie shoes on your Pom.

2) Head out in the early morning (before 10 AM) and then again in the evening (after 6PM) to avoid the hottest part of the day.

3) Take a break at the halfway point and in the shade if possible. You can even make this a fun 'short picnic'. If you bring a portable cooling mat, some nice cold water (in a canine water travel container) to re-hydrate your Pom and a yummy treat, you can relax and cool off for 10 minutes or so before heading back. 

4) Using a canine cooling harness (or bandana) can help your Pom walk without overheating. 

5) Even with all of the precautions, be aware of the early signs of heat stress with canines. Heat stress is when a dog's body temperate rises to 103 Fahrenheit (39.44 C) and heat stroke is when it rises to the dangerous level of 106 F (44.11 C) or more. Signs include heavy panting, drooling, bright red gums, and/or inability to urinate. As it progresses, a dog may have trouble walking, have an irregular heartbeat and/or show signs of confusion. If not treated, the dog may experience kidney failure, go into shock, slip into a coma and this can even eventually be fatal.   

If you think that your Pom is becoming overheated, you will want to immediately stop walking and carry him to a cool area. If you are far from home and cannot access an air conditioned building, seek shade. Take care to cool him down without shocking him with cold; wet down a towel (or your shirt or any fabric available) with water and place that over your Pomeranian. If fans are available, those should be placed so that air is circulated around the dog. Safety guidelines state that owners should try to cool off a dog in this way until his temperature has dropped below 103 F before transporting him to the veterinarian. It is recommended to have a canine thermometer at home and also to keep one in your carry bag when outdoors in the summer. 
Pomeranian dog posing
Poppy, 2 years old
Photo courtesy of Brenda Rogers
Some Quick Summer Reader Q&A:

Can I take my Pomeranian into a pool with me when it's hot out? Yes, however it is not true that dogs automatically know how to swim well. You'll want to keep the vibe fun, stay super close to him and be sure to rinse his fur off very well afterward since the chlorine in the pool can stain and discolor the fur if it is not rinsed out. 

Also, since chlorine can be drying, be sure to super condition the coat afterward and keep using your leave-in spritz. 

Why does my Pom seem to get more car sick in the summer? I use AC. Just the general feeling of being hot before entering or feeling the heat before the AC cools the car off can add to this. Be sure to have the car running well before you put your Pom in and check his car seat to make sure it's not hot before you place him in it. 
Even with the AC on, a dog will need to have a window down a bit to feel the fresh air to help avoid motion sickness. The glare of the summer sun can also make a dog feel off kilter, so using sun shades (like those for children) to block out those rays while driving can be a big help.
List of Summer Care Items for Your Pomeranian

1. Cooling mat 
2. Cooling harness or bandana
3. Paw wax
4. Nose balm
5. Leave-in coat spray
6. No-chemical mosquito, flea and tick repellent 
7. Travel water container
8. Car sun shades
9. Canine anal thermometer

*** To see our list of all of the exact items we recommend for summer care, look to 'Summer Care Items' in the Pomeranian Specialty Shoppe
You may also like:

Pomeranian Winter Care - For all important cold weather needs.
Helping a Pom with Separation Anxiety - When you must leave your Pom home alone & your puppy or dog gets super stressed out.
Top Care Tips - For Poms of all ages; things to keep your dog happy, safe and comfortable.
Things to Do Now:

Become a Free PetPom Member (if you are not already a Member) so that you'll receive a friendly reminder when we add new pages and sections to the site! You will also receive a fun & helpful Welcome Booklet.
Browse the Pomeranian Specialty Shoppe - A helpful collection of all recommended items for proper Pomeranian care.
Find out about the most comprehensive Pomeranian book that exists - There's nothing like it in the world!
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