Thinking about shaving your Pomeranian? We strongly recommend you reconsider!
Pomeranians are cute little bundles of fur. But let's face it: All that fur can get a little unruly. These pint-sized pooches are very high-maintenance. Their coat alone requires a big commitment to upkeep.
If you want your dog to look put-together and posh at all times, be prepared for a lot of visits to the groomer!
It's not hard to see why uninformed Pomeranian owners might want to grab the clippers. You may even see amateur groomers and dog lovers recommending it. But the truth is that shaving a Pomeranian can permanently damage its coat.
Contrary to popular belief, shaved hair doesn't always grow back come wintertime. Shaving exposes your dog to a lot of risks and puts their signature tresses in jeopardy!
About the Signature Pomeranian Coat
Let's take a moment to talk about a Pomeranian's coat. Anyone who's even remotely familiar with the Pomeranian breed knows how beautiful it is. It's one of the breed's most defining characteristics!
These dogs have thick, lush coats of fur that make them look several times bigger than they really are. They're barking bundles of fur, and that's the reason why so many owners adopt them!
Pomeranians are double-coated. This is an important distinction to remember. They're not like hair-laden breeds like Poodles or Yorkshire Terriers.
Pomeranians are sporting a dense uncoat that's smooth and puffy. It's similar to what you'd see on a Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute.
This distinction matters because double-coated fur behaves a lot differently than hair. Hair is single-layered and has a much longer growth cycle. Meanwhile, fur is dense and only grows to a specific length.
Amount of Shedding
Another big difference is the amount of shedding that occurs. Fur will shed like crazy! This is especially true with double coats like the one a Pomeranian is rocking. Hair sheds, too. But it's much more manageable.
Most owners won't even notice it that much. All those dogs that the world likes to brand as "hypoallergenic?" Most of them are just dog breeds with hair that don't shed very often!
The fact that your dog has a double coat of fur should be the first thing that tells you to drop the clippers! Your Pomeranian's double coat is just about aesthetics. It serves a precious function.
The dense undercoat provides some much-needed insulation. It works both ways, too.
During the winter, the undercoat keeps body heat in so that your pooch can brave the cold without missing a beat.
In the summer, it helps to prevent overheating. The outer "guard" hairs reflect the sun's rays while also allowing air to circulate.
The density protects against damaging UV rays. More on that later.
Sure, shedding can be a problem with Pomeranians. But the shedding lets you know that the double coat is doing its job. These dogs typically shed more as the weather warms up, creating plenty of room for cooling air circulation.
Trimming vs. Shaving
Here's another important thing to remember: Shaving and trimming are two totally different things.
It's perfectly safe to give your Pomeranian a trim every once in a while. In fact, it's probably better to take your pooch to the groomer instead of putting it off! Regular coat trims can keep your dog looking kemp and put-together. Not only that, but it offers several practical benefits.
Pomeranians are notorious for getting mats. Overgrown hair around the paws is notorious for knotting up. Trimming it down will prevent that from happening. The same goes for all the mess-prone fur around the mouth and face.
Trimming is a welcome grooming task. It involves removing pieces of fur to achieve a more desirable look and better overall maintenance.
Shaving is the act of removing all the hair with a buzzing clipper. That's the type of grooming you should avoid!
Potential Issues with Shaving a Pomeranian's Coat
So, where's the damage in shaving a Pomeranian? Getting rid of your pup's natural double-coated fur can lead to a litany of issues. Here are some of the most common.
It May Not Grow Back
Yes, you read that right! There's a chance that your dog could end up with short hair forever! Owners who have shaved their Pomeranians in the past might tell you that this is nothing more than a rumor. However, it's perfectly possible.
You see, damaging could end up damaging the follicles. When that happens, you're out of luck. It's a phenomenon known as "Post-Shave Alopecia." It's more common than you think.
Your dog could end up looking like a patchy mess rather than the posh and sophisticated dog you signed up for!
Even if it does grow back without any issues, prepare for a long wait time. As we mentioned earlier, fur grows much slower. It goes through a growing phase and a resting phase.
Your dog's fur may take a year or more to grow back to its pre-shave length. That's not exactly worth the quick fix of shaving!
The Fur Might Grow Back Wrong
Even if you're lucky and don't experience any follicle damage, there's a good chance that your dog's fur will experience some form of damage.
In many cases, one type of fur comes out unscathed, while the other will never grow back the same. Can you guess which one?
The delicate undercoat is usually the one that sees the most damage. It may grow back uneven, slowly, or much thinner. This undercoat provides the most protection for your dog, so damage is a big loss.
Related: 12 Tips to Make Dog Fur Soft & Shiny
Shaving Exposes Them to Sun Damage
Believe it or not, sunburn is a genuine risk for Pomeranians. Anything shorter than an inch of hair is opening up a can of worms as far as sun damage is concerned.
Again, the undercoat is the savior here. That density helps to break up the harmful sun rays and prevent burning. The outer coat reflects some UV rays away, too.
When you shave all of that off, it won't take long for your dog to get burned. That leads us to our next point...
No Fur Increases the Risks of Skin Cancer
A lack of fur makes your dog susceptible to skin cancer. That's not to say that an unshaven Pomeranian is immune to the disease. However, that double coat of fur makes a huge difference!
The constant bombardment of harmful UV rays will take its toll. You might not see the effects right away. But daily walks in the sun without any protection can spell disaster.
It Could Lead to Overheating
You would think that shaving off a double coat of fur would help your dog stay cooler. But in reality, it's quite the contrary.
Sure, the skin will have more exposure to cool air. But, it'll also experience more heat! Both layers of fur do a lot to reflect and expel heat.
As a response to the higher skin surface temperatures, your dog may start panting excessively. Many shaved dogs can't handle more than a few minutes in the sun before they need to take a break.
If you don't address the high temperatures soon enough, your dog could suffer from heatstroke.
Debunking Common Pomeranian Hair Myths
Now that you understand all the things that can go wrong, it's obvious that shaving a Pomeranian is a big no-no. So, why do some dog owners still do it? Unfortunately, common myths make the act enticing. But when you look at the facts, you'll realize that there's no reason to attempt it at all!
Myth 1: Shaving a Pomeranian Helps Prevent Shedding
Contrary to popular belief, getting rid of most of the hair isn't going to do a thing to stop shedding. Shedding is a natural response that's dictated by everything from hormones to weather conditions.
Buzzing everything down won't make a lick of difference.
It will, however, change the type of shedding your experience. Instead of long chunks of hair that you can easily pick up with your fingers, you'll have tiny pieces that scratch your skin. Who wants to deal with that?
Myth 2: Getting Rid of Fur Will Alleviate Allergy Issues
Once again, this is a big fat misconception!
People who are allergic to dogs aren't allergic to the hair itself. Their immune system responds to the dander. Dander is the tiny skin cells that fall off your dog's body.
Dander usually falls off with the fur. However, your pooch will release dander regardless of whether their fur is long or short.
But here's the kicker: The double coat helps catch a lot of stray dander! It usually sticks to the denser coat, allowing you to control its release into the air.
Shaving your dog is counterproductive and may make allergy problems worse!
Myth 3: It'll All Grow Back Without Any Issues
See the issue of Post-Shaving Alopecia above! While some dogs can regrow their fur without a problem, follicle damage is a risk. There's a good chance that the undercoat will experience problems, leaving the coat dramatically different than it was before.
Myth 4: Shaving is Better for the Summer Heat
Your dog relies on his or her fur in all weather conditions. It's not just there to protect them from the cold.
During the summer, it prevents the hot rays of the sun from getting to the skin. Plus, it helps to promote airflow and ventilation, which keeps your dog cool. Shaving eliminates those benefits, making your pup's risks for sunburn and heatstroke much higher.
Myth 5: Shaving a Pomeranian is Only a Temporary Change
Here's something you probably hear a lot. "If I don't like it, I'll just let it grow back!" As you know by now, that's rarely the case.
Fur takes a long time to grow back. It's not a temporary change that you can hit "undo" on. Shaving can lead to life-long coat problems that fundamentally change the way your dog lives. Think about that before you bring the clippers out!
Regular trimming and trips to the dog groomer are perfectly fine for Pomeranians. You can even work with your groomer to get a style conducive to you and your pup's lifestyle.
One thing you should never do, however, is shave your pup's fur. Doing so only puts you at risk for long-term damage. The potential downsides severely outweigh any "benefits" you might experience.
Stay away from the shaver and look for other ways to manage your pup's fur. You'll thank your lucky stars that you didn't opt to shave them later on!