It seems the years appear to fly after you’ve brought home a new puppy. Before you realize it, your puppy is edging into adulthood and then into seniordom. Although much attention is given to the care needs of young puppies, people don’t always anticipate the individual care needs of dogs as they age and mature. While many of those needs are the same breed to breed, the Pomeranian has some individual adult needs that will need to be addressed as he grows older.
Pomeranians, along with other members of the Toy Breed Group, have some common health concerns. One of those is cataracts. This eye disease is shown through a change in color of the eyes, along with staggering or running into things, making your dog appear more clumsy than normal. Another eye issue is Distichiasis, or problems with ingrown eyelashes. Still others include the luxating patella, or issues with the knees and joints. Tracheal collapse is when the rings surrounding the windpipe collapse, closing the dog’s airway. Pomeranians may also have some skin diseases as they age.
Many of the Pomeranian’s health issues may not appear until later in life. Many of the negative behavioral and health traits can be prevented by utilizing a breeder with high breeding standards and strict genetic testing requirements to ensure a strong, healthy breeding stock. Unfortunately, not all health issues can be prevented. This is why it is important to maintain a relationship with your veterinarian, who may recognize early signs and symptoms, allowing for correction or comfort measures. As your Pomeranian ages, veterinary visits should happen twice annually, just to ensure overall health.
Your vet will check for early signs of advanced aging including problems with the eyes, decreased mobility, trouble jumping onto things, staggered or labored walking and breathing, coat changes, trouble with hearing or the onset of new behavioral issues. Your vet will encourage you to continue to encourage yourPomeranian to get regular exercise. Just like humans, dogs have a tendency to get lazy as they age, but in order to maintain good health, they must participate in some exercise and light activity. This may also require you to slow down your days and take more quiet time with yourPomeranian; he may not be able to keep up with you the way he once did.
Your Pomeranian may require different food as he ages. Older dogs have a tendency to gain or lose weight and must have their food intake monitored to ensure they are getting proper nutrition. They may require special vitamins, including glucosamine for joints, or soft food and treats as their teeth have more difficulty chewing through harder foods and bones. These measures will ensure long lasting health and comfort for your Pomeranian.
Other comfort measures may include creating steps to allow easier access to areas of your home and yard for your Pomeranian. Ensure he has a comfy bed to rest in that provides adequate support. As your Pomeranian gets older, he may have trouble with incontinence. He may need to be contained in one area of the house that is easy to clean, or be allowed outside more frequently. You may need to get creative and utilize things like puppy pads or fake grass to help your dog relieve himself.
While he may no longer be the spring chicken he once was, as long as your Pomeranian is eating, participating in activity and is free from pain, he can age gracefully, still providing you companionship, love and support for many years to come.