Pomerianians enjoy viral status as fluffy, cuter chihuahuas. Yet they’re alert and intelligent, and make great watchdogs to boot.
Although averaging only seven pounds, their arctic climate, Nordic origins and dense fur make them prone to heat stroke in the Summer, and thus cannot stay outside for prolonged periods of time in the heat.
If you’ve been looking for extensive information about the study of heat stroke and the risks of keeping a Pomeranian out in the sun too long, look no further than this article which has gathered all the facts for your expediency!
Pomeranians in the Heat
First, let us clarify the prepositional phrase “in the heat” and “in heat!” This section concerns Pomeranians being literally exposed in the sun, whereas the former phrase refers to when the breed gets their seasonal breeding instincts kicking in.
Know that heat is a huge issue with Pomeranians because of their dense fur, and if this was indeed what you were looking for then you’ve come to the right place.
How Your Pomeranians Dissipates Heat
Some of the ways Pomeranian pooches cool down are the same methods all dogs employ. This include the common tongue hanging out and panting, lying down, exposing their bellies, etc.
Unlike humans, furred mammals like dogs don’t use their skin to perspire because of their insulative coating. Although they do sweat, their sweat glands are located in their ear canals and footpads, and thus sweating only plays a minor role in cooling down.
On his own, your Pomeranian may attempt to combat the heat by finding a cool shade to lie down in and conduct heat by passing the accumulated warmth to the cool grass below. He will pant to attempt to evaporate water from his mucous membranes, while staying hydrated by drinking water.
Dogs with short faces do not pant effectively and thus heat is especially a risk for these breeds, including Pomeranians.
Temperature Safety Standards
The normal body temperature for canines is 101 degrees fahrenheit to 102.5 degrees.
Anything at 103 degrees fahrenheit (39.44 Celcius) above is considered dangerous, and will increase the risk for heat stroke.
Dangers of Keeping a Pomeranian Outside in the Heat
The risks of keeping a Pom outside in the heat, especially excessive and humid heat, devoid of shelter, are many and of immense concern to the owner. These include, but are not limited to:
- Burn injury to their feet
- All the bugs which thrive in the Summer heat
- Heat Stroke
Some of which can be potentially fatal if prolonged and neglected, but also preventable.
Vomiting, dehydration, weakness and imbalance are all symptoms of heat stroke, which can be potentially fatal and even leave your pet permanently impaired. It is the biggest risk when it comes to keeping a Pom outside in the heat, and the thing which all owners fear.
Pom’s also have particularly sensitive feet, which can be burned on hard, artificial surfaces such as roadside cement or asphalt. Try walking bare-foot and you’ll see! This can be mitigated by having your pet adorn footpad shoes, or simply limiting walk to the grass.
However, with grass, comes the threat of insects.
With insects and arachnids, some of the dreaded things owners face during the Summer are ticks and fleas. These bloodsucking parasites are kept at bay with proper inspection, anti-parasite spray and trimming any high grass in the backyard as possible.
Signs of Overheating
As stated above, once at 103 degrees the signs of initial overheating include excessive panting. If this temperature reaches at deadly 106 degrees, heat stroke may settle in and be fatal.
Be warned that the infrared thermometers attached to a dog’s ear are usually inaccurate, and instead it’s recommended to use a baby thermometer instead.
Signs of heat stress all include rapid panting, with a bright red tongue exposed, red or pale gums, saliva that is thick and sticky. The Pom’s behavior and movement may elicit weakness, dizziness, and/or vomiting.
There’s also a test you can do by pressing your finger into your dog’s gums to test for capillary refill time, and if the pink color doesn’t return in two seconds or longer it is a sign of overheating.
Signs of Dehydration
There’s very little signs to give away about a dog giving signs of dehydration. However, know that with each pant a Pom is losing water, and if you notice that their tongue is completely dry it may be too late, which is why owners are advised to always bring cold water with them on hot walks.
Before that happens, a dog’s saliva may become really thick and sticky, evincing signs that they are running low on water and that their saliva is working overtime to cool down their bodies. It is best therefore to take immediate action.
If you’re keeping your Pom outside, make fresh, clean water available at all times. Make sure the water bowl is sterilized and that the water on top isn’t contaminated with bacteria or his own saliva, which can discourage him from partaking of the water.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion
Heat Exhaustion can manifest in symptoms such as weakness, imbalanced walking, lethargy to vomiting and worst of all, a heat stroke.
How to Keep Dogs Cool in Hot Weather（Inside and Outside the House)
Some ways to keep Pomeranians (and all dog breeds, for the matter) cool during the sweltering humid months of the Summer include, but are not limited to:
- Turning the AC on max or spinning a fan before your dog.
- Keeping a store of treats cleverly frozen in the fridge beforehand, from fruits such as watermelon to doggy treats to even sweets such as yogurt!
- Investing in a cooling mat or vest, which are stored in the fridge and taken out when your pooch needs some place to rest on.
- A simple and free method is to simply cover your dog with a wet towel to transfer heat into the towel.
- Outside, one of the easiest and funnest ways to cool down your Pomeranian is to turn on the garden sprinkler.
- If taking a walk outside, always bring iced water with you to keep it cooled down in case of dehydration and overheating.
- Consider investing in a doggy pool, although a kiddy-sized pool would suffice!
- And whether indoors or outside, you can always trim your Pomeranian’s hair shorter.
- Putting on paw gloves on your Pomeranian, since cement and asphalt can be so hot they hurt the paws of your pooch.
- Putting on canine sunscreen. NEVER use human sunscreen, which can contain zinc, a toxic mineral to dogs.
- Allow the dog to run and play alongside the shore stream (be wary of stagnant bodies of water such as a pond, where unwanted stormwater and bacteria collect).
- Optionally, you can opt for safer hours for walks, such as the early hours of the morning to dusk, when the sun is no longer brandishing its inferno tyranny.
Should You Shave Your Pomeranian in the Summer?
No! While you may trim your Pomeranian’s thick coat in the Summer, you should not shave it. Instead, use proper tools to pull out clumps of dead hair clinging or hiding in his coat.
The reason why you shouldn’t shave a Pom’s coat is because his coat serves the dual purpose of protecting his skin from the sun’s UV rays but also strangely, to keep him cool. Besides, why would you remove the most adorable asset from a Pom?
Such is the fur of double-layered dogs, when they’re brushed clean of debris they can allow cool air to be trapped through the fur to an extent. However, in regards to heat there’s only so much a Pom’s fur can do for itself.
Does Your Pomeranian’s Diet Affect His Heat Tolerance?
Certainly! Although not to such a great extent as we’d like to think, like all mammals, their diet and ensuing metabolism will result in heat derived from appropriate foods consumed.
Fatty foods dense in calories can increase body heat significantly, whereas eating cold treats placed in the freezer (as suggested above) has the same effect of eating ice cream for humans, with cooling the tiny Pom body from the inside out for a short period of time.
Know that exercise is great, since it helps keep metabolism at a healthy pace. Conversely, the food left out in the heat will dessicate and possibly sap the food of its nutritional value if left out too long.
What You Should Know if You Live Somewhere Where it’s Always Hot
Again, be reminded of the Pomeranian’s arctic, Northern origins.
So long as you remember and be considerate of your pet’s intrinsic dislike of heat, you should take appropriate action to help him endure by taking extra measures to do so.
This can mean drastic upgrades to your living space, which may conflict with neighbors of family members who disapprove of the lengths and efforts you expend towards your dog. However, you know better, because you care for your pet.
Remember that it’s still possible to enjoy a fun summer with your Pom. However, if all these preparatory measures don’t sound like something you have the resources, time or energy to constantly be doing, then perhaps getting a Pom may not be the best idea for you.