How to Groom a Pomeranian
The Pomeranian is a breed in the Toy Group known as a spunky, smart companion with a face that resembles a fox. Another recognizable trait of this lovable breed is its plush coat. The Pomeranian has a double coat, with the undercoat consisting of thick, soft fur that supports the topcoat of straight coarse-textured fur. When allowed to grow naturally with minimal, yet precise grooming, the coat of this adorable little dog will fall just right, giving your Pomeranian the fluffy look that is the trademark of the breed. The following steps provide a guide that will help when learning how to groom a Pomeranian.
Cleaning Ears and Cutting Nails
1. Clean your Pomeranian's ears. To begin the process of grooming your Pomeranian, swab out his/her ears with a cotton swab dipped in a non-alcohol-based cleaner. Simply lift up the dog's ear to expose the skin and gently clean the area with the cotton dipped in the cleaner.
- Never put any cotton tips or cotton buds down into the ear canal. If the dog moves suddenly it could force the cotton bud deep into the ear and cause damage.
- The non-alcohol-based cleaner will not sting the dog's ear like alcohol may.
2. Trim the dog's nails. Carefully trim the dogs nails by lifting their paws from behind and allowing the leg to bend at the joint. This is easier than trying to pull the paw toward you from the front. Try to identify the quick and leave a 4 to 5 millimeters length of nail to protect the quick. If you can't see the quick, nibble tiny amounts of nail away with the clippers just in case the dog has long quicks, which could bleed.
- Cut the nails using clippers specifically made for trimming dog nails.
- Keep styptic powder nearby to stop bleeding if you do accidentally cut the nails too short.
3. File the dog's nails. After you have trimmed your Pomeranian's nails, use a file made for dog nails to file until smooth. Be sure to praise your pet when you are finished in order to help them be more cooperative when you trim their nails in the future.
Bathing Your Pomeranian
1. Prepare to bathe your dog. Bathe your Pomeranian prior to clipping so that your clipper blades do not get dull from oily fur. Some oils, however, are good for the dog's coat, so you should only bathe him or her about every three months unless otherwise necessary.
2. Bathe your Pomeranian in a tub. Place a non-slip mat or towel in your bathtub or in a large kitchen sink and fill with warm water. Lower the dog into the water, but be prepared for the animal to react—some dogs like baths, while others do not. For this reason, it is a good idea to have an assistant to help. Use a cup or pitcher to pour water gently over the dog, wetting the entire coat thoroughly, but be careful not to get water in the ear canal. You can use cotton swabs in the ears to help, but do not push them too far in.
- Avoid getting water in the dog's eyes.
3. Lather the dog with shampoo. Be sure to get the soap on his or her whole body, massaging it in gently as you do. Work from head to tail using a shampoo made specifically for use on dogs. Be sure scrub all areas of the animal evenly, including the tail, belly, legs, paws, etc.
4. Rinse the Pomeranian thoroughly. Rinsing your Pomeranian thoroughly is very important, as leftover shampoo that is not rinsed off properly can cause irritation. Use a sprayer, if possible, to rinse the dog, as it will more easily reach the skin and help remove all soap.
5. Dry the Pomeranian. Drying your dog well will facilitate the rest of the grooming process. You can use a blow dryer or allow the dog to air dry. Be careful to thoroughly dry the dog's ears with a dry towel or paper towel. Parasites, bacteria, and yeast can build up there if not dried effectively.
6. Brush your Pomeranian's teeth. Using a toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs, brush your Pomeranian's teeth thoroughly. Some dogs may not like having teeth brushed and may resist, but keep trying for about five minutes per day, and over time your dog will be used to having his or her teeth cleaned, making teeth-brushing easier.
- Do not brush too hard, as dogs have sensitive gums.
- Brushing your dog's teeth can prevent potentially fatal bacterial infections.
7. Apply flea and tick preventative. Monthly application of a flea and tick preventative can help keep your Pomeranian healthy and beautiful. Some shampoos include a flea treatment, while other treatments are applied separately.
Brushing Your Pomeranian
1. Brush your Pomeranian. Brush your dog's coat using a wire-pin or firm bristle bristle brush. Daily brushing is best, but a minimum of two brushings per week is recommended. Brush out from the skin instead of along the body. Regular brushings will help keep your dog's coat free of tangles.
2. Avoid brushing dry hair. It is widely recommended that you do not brush a Pomeranian's coat when it is dry. Doing so can cause static and strip the protective layer of the hair shaft, causing split ends. Mist the coat with a leave-in conditioner or a homemade leave-in conditioner that is 10% good quality bathing conditioner mixed with 90% filtered water.
- You can also simply brush the dog's coat after bathing.
3. Comb out any tangles and/or cut them out. After brushing, comb through your Pomeranian's coat with a fine-tooth steel comb to find any tangles. You can try to use your spray-on conditioner to get the tangle out, but if that doesn't work, use scissors to cut it out.
- Use safety scissors available for dogs to ensure you don't injure your pet should he make a sudden movement while you are cutting.
Choosing a Grooming Style
1. Choose a lion cut. The lion cut for Pomeranians accentuate the lion-like appearance the dog has. The shoulders, face, and chest retain thick fur, while the rest of the body is clipped very close to the skin with clippers. The tail does retain a thick-haired tip to complete the lion look.
- The mane must be regularly groomed to prevent tangling, etc.
- Shaving the dog's skin too close can result in sores, ingrown hairs, or sunburn, so pay close attention.
2. Choose a puppy cut. The Pomeranian puppy cut is also referred to as a teddy bear cut. All hair on the coat is trimmed to a two to three inch length, with the face and legs rounded. This gives the dog a uniform look that is similar to the appearance of a teddy bear or puppy.
3. Shave your Pomeranian. In some cases you may need to shave your Pomeranian, such as if the fur becomes matted or tangled. This is also a style you may choose if you cannot brush the dog regularly. The drawback here is that the coat may not grow back as lush as it was prior to shaving.
- Do not shave all the way down to your dog's skin. Leave a short covering to protect against the elements.
4. Choose a show cut. Show cuts are standardized by the kennel club of which you are a part. They are usually meant to show the natural coat of the animal, so minimal styling is necessary, though light trimming to keep the shape is usually permitted.
- Light trimming around the paws, eyes, and sanitary areas is permitted in general.
- Check with your kennel club for specific guidelines.
Trimming Your Pomeranian's Coat
1. Exercise the dog prior to trimming. Exercising your dog prior to trimming can minimize the dog's activity during grooming, which is safer. He or she may also be willing to sit still longer, giving you more time in which to complete grooming.
2. Use good quality clippers and scissors. Good quality tools for grooming will make the job easier for you and more comfortable for the dog. Good quality scissors and clippers will minimize hair-pulling and help ensure your cuts are clean and even. Be sure to use the correct blades for the clippers you buy and the correct lengths, etc. for the clipping you are doing.
3. Introduce the dog to the clippers. Turn the clippers on near the dog before using so they get used to the sound. Doing this when the dog is very young can help train the dog to be comfortable with the clippers later on.
4. Remove excess fur from around the eyes, ears, hindquarters and paws. Use electric clippers for ease. You should also trim around sanitary areas. Read the instructions for your clippers to be sure you are using them properly. This includes selecting the right blades for each area you are trimming.
5. Shape your Pomeranian's fur with scissors in targeted areas. You will want to trim and shape the dog's coat to give him the trademark fluffy look this breed is known for. Trim feet, shape the rear, and scissor the back, sides, underline, and chest to achieve this effect. You will also need to trim the tail, ears, and head.
- When a complete bath is necessary, when grooming a Pomeranian, take extra care not to get water into your dog's eyes and ears.
- Begin brushing and grooming a Pomeranian at an early age. This allows your pet to get accustomed to the process. Otherwise, your Pomeranian may be fearful of grooming.
- When following Pomeranian grooming tips, don't forget to use kind words and praise during the grooming process.
- Groom Pomeranians once every month or two.
- Do not give a Pomeranian a complete bath too frequently. This will strip natural oils from his or her skin and cause it to become dry and flaky.
- Be mindful of roughness when grooming a Pomeranian. This intelligent toy breed is eager to please and shouldn't be too challenging to groom if you start at a young age and have patience during the process.