Robust despite its small size, the Pomeranian is one of the dog breeds with the longest lifespan. Of course, the breed is still susceptible to certain diseases, which are good to know about before proceeding with an adoption. Find out more about the Pomeranian’s life expectancy and most common diseases below.

The Average Lifespan of a Pomeranian

The average life expectancy of a Pomeranian is between 14 and 16 years. This is on the longer end for a dog and almost twice as long as certain giant breeds of dog, such as the Bernese Mountain Dog, which, unfortunately, only lives an average of 7 years. Smaller dog breeds are generally more robust and tend to live longer, with some individuals living to 17 or 18 years of age. This is also the case with the Pomeranian! However, bear in mind that the average life expectancy of any dog breed is only an indication; several factors can affect it. Of course, no pooch is immune to accidents or diseases like cancer, but you can help prevent the onset of common diseases by taking a few simple precautions.

How Can I Increase My Pomeranian's Life Expectancy?

There are a few precautions you can take that will help improve your dog’s quality of life and thus extend their life expectancy.

Choose a High-Quality Diet

Your dog's food plays a vital role in their health. Low-quality dog food will have a direct impact on your Pomeranian's health, and vice versa. Choose dog food rich in high-quality animal protein, not vegetable protein. Remember: your dog is a carnivore! Try to avoid buying supermarket dog food, as this tends to be very poor in quality and thus incapable of meeting your dog's nutritional needs. It is better to buy dog food that’s a little more expensive if it means better quality. Learn to read the product labels and avoid products (dry or wet dog food) with added sweeteners or preservatives. 

If you prefer, you can even opt for tailor-made dog food for your Pomeranian, specially designed to meet all their needs. Otherwise, why not try homemade dog food or the BARF diet? Always seek advice from your vet before implementing a new diet. And remember that your Pomeranian's diet will change over time: a puppy will not eat the same amount of food as an older dog, for example. The good health of your dog should be your main priority when it comes to their food.

Get Serious about Vet Check-Ups

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to the good health of your pooch. Adhere to your dog's vaccination schedule and keep their antiparasitic treatments up to date to protect them against fleas and ticks. Ask a specialist to check the condition of your Pomeranian's teeth and perform dental scaling if necessary. Finally, make sure to visit your vet every year for a little check-up, especially when your Pomeranian starts to get older.

Prioritise Dog Training

It may seem like training your Pomeranian has very little to do with their health. But think again! Proper dog training and socialisation play an integral part in protecting your dog from accidents. It's important that your dog learns to come back to you when called and walk calmly on a lead, in particular, to allow you to protect them and prevent accidents or stop them from running away. Teach your dog to stop what they're doing when asked and not to eat things they find on the floor to avoid poisoning.


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What Diseases are Common for Pomeranians?

Despite their robust health, Pomeranians do get sick. These are the main health issues common to the Pomeranian breed:

  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA): This is a congenital heart defect, found more in females than in males. It is characterised by a persistent opening between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart, the aorta and the pulmonary artery. The opening (ductus arteriosus) is a normal part of a puppy’s circulatory system in the womb that usually closes shortly after birth. There are several degrees of the disease, from a simple heart murmur to heart failure or stunted growth. The treatment, which involves ligating the ductus arteriosus, is always surgical.

  • Hypothyroidism: This is a fairly common endocrine disease involving a decrease in the production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. It is often associated with unexpected weight gain and obesity. Treatment is based on the injection of synthetic hormones.

  • Patellar Luxation: A luxating patella occurs when the dog’s kneecap (patella), which normally sits in the femoral groove, dislocates (luxates) and shifts out of place. This causes lameness in the animal and can be treated with medical and surgical treatments, depending on the severity of the dislocation. It can occur in one or both of the hind legs. 

  • Congenital Hydrocephalus: Hydrocephalus can be defined broadly as active dilation of the ventricles of the brain due to a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid. Dogs with congenital hydrocephalus show clinical signs from birth or in the first few months of life. The main clinical signs include behavioural abnormalities, difficulty training, decreased vision, blindness, pacing, and seizures. Commonly, dogs with congenital hydrocephalus have a dome-shaped head. Therapy can be medical or surgical.

  • Tracheal Collapse: This is a condition where the tracheal rings collapse, obstructing the airway and making it hard to breathe. This pathology very often affects small breed dogs. In the most serious cases, it can lead to the development of respiratory failure. In this case, your vet may recommend installing an innovative prosthesis.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a hereditary disease, characterised by degeneration of the retina. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease and dogs generally go blind within twelve months of diagnosis. While not particularly painful, it will nevertheless require certain adaptations in your daily life.

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