Pomeranians, also known as Poms, are a Spitz type of dog breed. They originated in the Pomerania region of northeast Germany and northwest Poland. They are descended from the much larger German Spitz breed. The Pomeranian is one of the more popular breeds of toy dogs. Their owners love the fox-like look of their faces and their short, dense double coat of soft fur. They are a very loyal dog and quite lively. They tend to bark a bit, but this is their way of protecting their owners and their home turf. Due to this tendency to alert their owners of strangers, they make good watchdogs.
Pomeranians are mostly kept indoors but they do need exercise and need walking so they can relieve themselves of course. Despite their fluffy double coat of fur, they do not tolerate the cold well, especially if their fur becomes wet. Cold and wet fur puts them at risk of getting hypothermia. If the temperature drops below freezing and the pom has a dry coat, it’s not recommended to keep the dog outside for longer than ten minutes.
If you live in a part of the country with very cold winters, it’s important to protect your pom from the elements. Keep them dry and inside most of the time and they will be fine. Taking them on short walks is also not a problem in cold weather, just pay attention to the temperature. The colder the air, the shorter the walk should be. Here are some more tips on how to protect your pom in cold weather.
Pomeranians in the Cold
If you live in a cold-weather environment, it’s best to learn how to take care of your Pomeranian during harsh climates. Icy cold temperatures can bring about rain, and snow, all while the air is much drier. This will cause your Pom’s paw, coat, and skin to be negatively affected.
Common problems with cold temperatures are Poms developing frostbites or hypothermia. This happens because blood is pulled to their internal organs to retain heat, leaving their ears, paws, and tails exposed.
Pomeranians have a double coat, and originally from Poland and Germany. Thus they can be somewhat tolerant of cold weather due to their thick double-coated fur. However, you should still opt to put on a winter coat for them under 32 degrees weather.
Always try to avoid rainy or cold weather to prevent frostbites or hypothermia. Always keep a close eye to see how they are reacting in the cold weather. Some Poms may resist going outside if it’s too cold. It’s useful to paper train your Pomeranians when the temperatures get below freezing.
Is My Pomeranian Weatherproof?
Since Poms are a double-coated breed, you may think they are weatherproof. However, rain and snow do bother Pomeranians.
In general, rain and snow soak up their fur quickly and give them chills. This also makes them cold much faster. So if it’s raining, and it’s a cold temperature, it will decrease the time it takes to get hypothermia.
How Long Can Pomeranians Stay in the Cold?
The length of time that a Pomeranian can stay outside in cold weather depends on the temperature and protection that the Pom has. If they stay out too long, your Pom will develop hypothermia. Hypothermia is 98 degrees Fahrenheit, and their normal body temperature is 101 to 102.5 degrees.
If your Pomeranian was already wet, they could get hypothermia within as little as 15 minutes. If your Pomeranian played in the snow and became wet, it may take around 20 to 30 minutes.
For a Pom with a dry coat in the temperature range of 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, they can last about 1 hour outside.
For those that are extremely active and hydrated, they can last up to 2 hours. For temperatures below 32 degrees, they can only safely be outside for about 30 to 45 minutes. If they wear protective clothing, this can extend to 60 minutes. For extremes in cold temperatures, such as below 10 degrees, they should be out for less than 10 minutes.
How Cold is Too Cold for Your Pomeranian?
Since Pomeranians are small breeds, you will need to pull out a sweater or jacket for them anytime temperatures fall below 32 degrees. Once it falls below 20 degrees, you should watch out for signs to see if they’re getting cold.
As a general rule, poms can be exposed to temperatures between 32 and 40 F for about one hour, a half hour for temps between 10 and 32 F. Anything below 10 degrees Fahrenheit and outside exposure should be limited to bathroom trips.
Watch Out for Cold Warning Signs
There are a few signs to tell if your Pomeranian is too cold such as:
- Hunched posture with a tucked-in tail
- Change in behavior like being anxious or uncomfortable
- Looks for a shelter
- Shivering or shaking
- Barking or whining
- Lifts paw off the ground
- Resistant to walk or wants to turn around
How to Help Your Pomeranian When it’s Cold
The best way to help your Pomeranian when it’s cold is to keep them warm. This means bringing them back home, drying them off with a towel, and removing any snow off their body. All let them stay cozy in a warm bed.
When they’re out, make sure to have them wear a coat and doggie boots. Paws that are exposed to snow or the freezing ground can cause cracking and frostbites.
What are Other Dangers from the Cold?
During winter, Pomeranians need extra care. Since the air is incredibly dry, it can cause irritation or chapped skin. This may result in scratching. Your Pomeranian may encounter a lot of static and split ends. Additionally, even lose some pigmentation.
You’d be surprised that there are other dangers that Poms may experience in the cold. Cold weather can be harsh on your dog’s nose, just like humans. Since dogs constantly lick their nose, their nose can become chapped, cracked, and crusty. Simply apply a nose balm by dabbing it about three or four times to protect it from the cold air.
Also, some Poms do love playing in the snow. Pomeranians may get excited to play in the snow, and their bodies heat up quickly. However, a sudden point will hit, and they may freeze up. You also always supervise your pet and only allow them to play in the snow for a few minutes.
Exercise During the Winter
During the winter, you should take your Pom for at least two brisk walks per day.
On days with dangerous weather such as below 10 to 20 degrees or snowstorms, you can have indoor exercise. This can be done through an open floor in the living room or a hallway. You can play two timed 20-minute sessions of fetch using a small toy or squeaky ball. Make sure to stop the game right when your dog gets tired. Signal the end of the game with a treat. This way, your Pom will look forward to the next session.
Pomeranians may eat less during the summer, and more during the winter. This means exercise is crucial to maintain a healthy weight. Walking your Pom keeps your heart and muscles healthy. If they don’t get enough exercise, they usually get bored, frustrated, and moody.
A fenced-in yard is a great way for your pom to do his or her business and get a little exercise without being exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time.
Caring for Pomeranians in the Cold
Follow these care tips for your Pomeranian in the cold:
- Adhere to a normal brushing routine, so that dead hairs are removed, and there aren’t any tangles.
- Apply a dab of conditioner in the morning and before your Pomeranian goes to bed.
- Use a small pin brush and stroke downwards on their fur to the roots. This alleviates and protects their skin from being dry.
- To prevent dry, flaky, and itchy skin, you should bathe your Pom every three weeks. Use a quality shampoo and scrub off all the residue.
- To help with paws cracking, using a paw balm to prevent drying out from harsh climate. If there are salt or chemicals on the ground used to melt ice, you should have your Pom wear booties.
What Food Should Pomeranians Eat if They are Outside for Long Periods in the Cold?
Your Pomeranian’s food requirements typically change in the winter. They expend much more energy in the cold temperatures to keep their body warm. This means you can supply your pet with more food, especially fats and protein, to give them more energy. You can serve your Pom fats such as roasted chicken with skin, fatty beef cuts like chuck, lamb, organ meats such as beef hearts or brains, and sirloin steaks.
If your dog is less active, you can choose leaner cuts of human-quality protein such as fish or poultry. Excellent fish options include tuna and mackerel. Other examples of lean meats are turkey meat, poultry giblets, chicken, hamburger meat, lean chuck, and beef liver.