This article explains the average Pomeranian life span or life expectancy of a Pomeranian. How you as a loving owner can ensure your Pomeranian lives to his full potential.
How Long Do Pomeranians Live?
What is the life expectancy of Pomeranian dogs? How long does a Pomeranian live? Most small dogs, such as Pomeranians, generally mature earlier than larger dog breeds. The good news is that they also tend to have longer lives.
Based on my personal observations as a breeder of champion Pomeranians since 1975 and my extensive Pomeranian information library and records. The average lifespan of a Pomeranian dog is 10 to14 years.
Some Poms can and do live longer than that. However, there are some things that are deadly for a Pomeranian dog and all care must be taken to avoid them to ensure a long Pomeranian dog lifespan.
Pomeranian Life Span Facts
- Average Pomeranian life span is 10 to 14 years.
- Keeping your Pomeranian trim and fit will help your Pom dog live a long and happy life.
- The number one cause of death in Pomeranian dogs is trauma.
- Toy dog breeders mature earlier and also live longer than bigger dog breeds.
- Genes can affect the average Pomeranian lifespan.
Major Causes of Pomeranian Dog Fatalities
Pomeranian Puppies: The number one cause of death in almost all toy breeds, including Poms, is trauma.
Pomeranian Adults: The four major causes of death in Pomeranian adults are:
- Trauma: This is the second main cause of adult Pomeranian dog fatalities and the main cause in Pom puppies. Trauma can include: being trodden on accidentally, being dropped, being hit by a car, or being in a car that has an accident.
- Gastrointestinal: Problems here include: intestinal blockage, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, lymphangiectasis, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and various other problems associated with the loss of protein.
- Infection: Issues of this type include: fungal infections, viral diseases (distemper and parvovirus), bacterial infections (such as leptospirosis), and protozoal diseases (such as leishmaniasis and babesiosis).
- Ticks: Ensure tick prevention methods are current. Check your Pom every day in areas that are prone to ticks. Pomeranians are attractive to ticks since they are little and close to the ground. Reduce the chance of your Pomeranian being bitten by a tick. Make sure your Pom is tick-free. Remove a tick from your Pom immediately if you discover one. Keep your yard clean by keeping the grass short and getting rid of any yard waste. Use lockable garbage can lids and don't leave heaps of wood or fruit on your trees to keep animals out. Keep your Pomeranian safe from ticks with a safe tick repellent.
Interesting note: Although cancer is a leading cause of death in many toy breeds, the Pomeranian has the lowest rate of fatalities as a result of cancer.
Pomeranian Life Span is Influenced by Many Things
Small toy dog breeds like the Pomeranian live about 1.5 times longer than the bigger dog breeds. Female dogs live 1.2 years longer than males.
As with humans, genes can affect the average canine lifespan. If your Pomeranian is genetically predisposed to contracting a particular disease, (especially if it’s serious), that can affect how long he will live.
This is a reason why dogs involved in any breeding program must undergo very strict health screening.
Patellar luxation, tracheal collapse, hypothyroidism, and inflammatory bowel disease are among Pomeranians' most frequent genetic conditions. If careful selection is made after extensive screening, the incidence of these ailments can be minimized.
Pomeranian Dog Genetics
The average lifespan of a Pomeranian is influenced by many things including genetics. Having a tracheal collapse is a common throat problem for Poms and is hereditary. It’s important to find out if your Pom’s family has faced this problem in the past.
Tips on increasing your Pomeranian's Life Span
The single most important way of guaranteeing (as well as you can) that your Pom lives a healthy, happy, long life is to make sure his environment is as pet-friendly as possible.
The Following Points Will Help Increase Your Pomeranian's Life Expectancy:
- Keep your dog’s weight in a healthy range. Trim and fit Pomeranians live longer lives than their fatter, unfit counterparts. Feed him well-balanced, home-cooked meals and avoid commercial pet foods where possible.
- Feeding your Pomeranian fresh food instead of manufactured foods with added colors, fillers and preservatives will make a massive difference to his health in the long term. You’ll find our healthy “Home Cooking for Pomeranians” book available on this site.
- Clean living. Pets will have shorter lives if they live in homes where there are smokers present. Passive smoke is just as dangerous to animals as it is to people. Tobacco smoke contains toxins (i.e., hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide) that may harm your pom's lungs. Asthma and other respiratory diseases may be exacerbated or made worse by passive smoking. These toxins are also considered carcinogens.
- The ideal balance of activities. Don’t give your Pom puppy too much exercise as his growth plates will be affected. On the flip side, if your pom is lazy and doesn’t bother to move, he’ll start losing lean muscle. If he’s already a healthy size, he’ll gain extra, unwanted weight as he gets older. You want to ensure your pet is as healthy as possible. One or two very short walks adding up to a maximum combined 20 minutes in total is the ideal amount of walking to be done. Add a few sessions of playtime (playing fetch or catch) and he’ll be a healthy, happy pet.
- Neutering or spaying your Pom will help increase his lifespan too. An unchanged dog is at greater risk of cancer and other diseases related to its reproductive organs. Vaccinations and follow-up boosters must be kept up until your dog turns five years old.
- Infection is the second main cause of fatalities and vaccines can prevent many of these problems. After 5 years, unless a vaccination certificate is required for a boarding kennel, I wouldn’t vaccinate because of the high risk of vaccine-induced autoimmune diseases.
- Proper dental care is also essential. Your Pomeranian’s teeth need regular brushing. Lots of dogs become sick or even die from infections in their mouths and teeth or if a tooth infection spreads through the Pom’s body. Dogs that lose teeth because they have been neglected will find it more difficult to eat enough food to get sufficient nutrition.
Because trauma is the number one killer of Pomeranian puppies and the number two killer of adult Pomeranians, you must:
- Handle your Pom carefully.
- Ensure everyone in the house is always watching where your pom is sitting or lying down before moving in case they tread on him.
- Use the right car seats.
- Always use a leash and harness when you take your Pomeranian outside.
- Be careful when other people open doors in case your pom tries to escape by getting off his leash.
- Reduce the amount of stress in the home.
Your Pomeranian dog deserves a life filled with love, peace, and friendly human companionship and such a life will ensure he lives longer than if his home was a totally chaotic one, full of isolation and neglect. The perfect home gives your dog a healthy balance of quiet time and activity time.
The quiet time involves peace, nobody running in and out all day, other animals crowding the space and craving attention, radios and TVs blaring loudly, and much more.
The active time offers more choice. Your pom may choose to sit and watch what’s going on or get involved in games, running around, spending time with the family, or sitting quietly and being petted by you.
Final Thoughts on the Life Expectancy of Pomeranians
Look after your Pomeranian and he’ll be your faithful, loving companion for many years.
Please note: while I do discuss health, care, and behavioral issues, you should never use this information as a replacement for advice from qualified veterinarians, diagnoses, or recommended treatment regimes. If you have any worries about the health of your Pomeranian, your first contact should be your regular vet or, if you don’t yet have one, a vet that works locally. Never ignore or avoid treatment and/or advice from your vet because of a piece of information you have read on any website.
N.B. This article regarding Pomeranian health issues has been written in consultation with our resident Veterinary Doctor.
Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq
DVM, University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, 2019
MSc. (Hons.) (Animal Breeding & Genetics), University of Agriculture Faisalabad, 2021
Copyright Pomeranian.Org. All Rights Reserved.
References and Further Reading:
 Denise Leo “The Pomeranian Handbook”.