It’s that time of year again when hot summer temperatures have people taking to the pool or hitting the beach for some fun in the sun, but the heat can cause problems for our four-legged friends – especially poofy little Pommies with lots of fur!
High temps can put any pooch at risk for a heat-related illness, but Pomeranians are even more susceptible to suffering or dying from heat stroke than short-haired or larger breeds because of their thick coats. Pomeranians originated in Arctic climates and were bred to withstand cold weather. Even though they’re not hunting or pulling sleds any more, Pommies are still sporting that warm, insulating coat, which makes them particularly prone to heat stroke during hot summer months.
The best strategy against heat stroke is trying to prevent it by keeping your Pommy cool. First off, never leave your Pom in a parked car when the weather is hot or even a little warm. The inside of a car can increase by several degrees per minute – don’t risk it!
If walks are a regular part of your Pommy’s routine, they should be taken in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are coolest. Dogs pant to release heat, so if you notice your Pommy panting more than usual on your walk, slow down, find shade, stop and rest. You should also encourage them to drink extra water. Try taking your pooch to a park with shaded areas or a pond. Your Pom can also have fun cooling off in his or her own backyard in a small plastic wading pool.
When temps are high, give your four-legged friend extra drinking water. To encourage your Pommy to drink more, try chilling water in the refrigerator or adding ice cubes to their water bowl.
There are also other ways to keep your Pommy from overheating. Some dogs like to lay on ice packs and there are cooling mats you can purchase for your Pommy to lay on and chill out! There are cooling vests, too!
Taking your Pommy to the groomer for a shorter cut can also make them more comfortable during the sweltering summer months, but some owners prefer to keep their Pom’s fur long. For those who do get their Pom clipped or shaved, be aware that can put them at risk for sunburn.
The symptoms of heat stress include profuse panting, salivation, an anxious expression, failing to respond to owner, warm and dry skin, rapid pulse, fever, fatigue or exhaustion, weakness and/or physical collapse.
Heat stroke symptoms can include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a warm nose and footpads, a dark red tongue, rapid pulse, fever, dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, immobility and/or unconsciousness.
If you see your Pommy experiencing any of these symptoms, take action immediately. Move your Pom into the shade and gradually douse their body with cool – not cold – water. Do not submerge your Pom in water and do NOT use ice to cool them – just use a steady stream of cool (preferably from a faucet or hose) water to dampen their fur and extremities. You can also apply wet towels to their abdomen, head and neck, legs and groin area. After their fur is wet, place them in front of a fan to cool them. After they’ve calmed down a bit, allow them to drink small amounts of water.
s can take a serious toll on their health. Even if they seem to have recovered, their body temperature could increase again and heat stress or stroke always carries a risk of brain damage and other complications.
Don’t worry, you and your Pommy can enjoy plenty of summertime fun, just make sure to find some shade and stay cool!
Peace, Love & Pomeranians
Pom Mom Jaime Mowers
Jaime Mowers is the Pommy Mommy of Foxy and Bear-Bear.