A Pomeranian is a toy dog and because of that, it’s not recommended that he should be treated as an outdoors dog, even though he can moderately tolerate the cold and hot weather. He’s much better off living inside your home with your family.
How Old Should Your Pomeranian Be Before He Goes Outside?
This question has three answers:
- Letting him outside in your yard. If other factors are covered, you can take your Pom out into your back yard when he’s eight weeks old. However, this is only if no other dogs can get in and this includes other dogs you own. It’s also essential that your yard is clean. i.e. you have treated the ground for weeds and fleas, etc. with necessary chemicals and how long those chemicals remain at a toxic level. If you don’t know how long, consider using a canine playpen and a ground sheet, so he’s still outside but protected from everything on the ground.
- Carrying your Pomeranian in public. At eight weeks of age, you can take your puppy outside AS LONG AS YOU HOLD HIM AT ALL TIMES. Until he has had all the necessary shots, his feet can never touch the ground outside except in your back yard if safe. Taking your puppy out in public places until his puppy shots are complete should be avoided. This includes being out in your front yard, when walking along the footpath, at the shops, in parks, in yards belonging to neighbours and so on.
- On the ground in public. Vaccination periods may fluctuate from vet to vet so it’s critical that you ask your vet if every needed shot has been given BEFORE allowing your Pom to put his feet on the ground in public. Even after he has been given all the shots, it’s best to wait an extra two weeks in case he’s still susceptible. So it means he’ll be 12-16 weeks old before he can safely be taken outside. Then you can put him on the ground and let him explore, as long as you have him on a leash at all times while he’s out.
Can I keep my Pomeranian inside 100% of the time?
Some owners do keep their dogs inside all the time but it’s very unhealthy. Unless you live in a spacious mansion, your home won’t have sufficient space for him to run around, enjoying himself and burning off all that energy so he’s tired enough to have good quality sleep.
A small amount of sunshine each day is necessary for vitamin D. Regular exercise is essential for your Pom.
If you take him for a 20 minute brisk walk, he’ll burn off lots of energy and that helps prevent the urge to bark and/or chew things. Plan your walks to happen at the same time every day (if possible) so he looks forward to it.
Exercise helps him fight off diseases, smell, hear and see new things, is heart-healthy and balances out his muscle tone.
Can I Stop my Pomeranian’s Fear of Outside?
Your dog will usually be wary of new things and may react when facing something new by ignoring you and/or barking. Don’t be in a hurry to expose him to everything outside the home simultaneously and don’t go from 0 to 100 without stops in between.
Take baby steps when introducing your Pomeranian puppy to new elements that will be in his life. Then he won’t feel bombarded. Take him for short walks and avoid possible triggers such as heavy traffic. Then gradually change the places where you walk him and include noisy areas.
Don’t keep him inside all the time; It’s only by going out into the real world that your Pom pet will learn what he can/can’t do. This means that, over time, he’ll respond less frequently to loud noises or other distractions that may previously have greatly annoyed or alarmed him to begin with.
Do Dogs Like the Rain?
Do dogs like the rain? Dogs either love running and playing in the rain OR they refuse to get their paws wet. Obviously you don’t want your Pom to get drowned in a torrent of rain so it’s wise to slowly teach him that rain can’t harm him.
Take baby steps at first. Put a dog raincoat on him and/or keep him under your umbrella so he feels safe. If the weather is warm and it’s only drizzling, encourage him to go outside because the rain won’t feel so bad. The more often he gets wet, the less frightened he’ll be when it comes to rainy weather.
Putting Your Pomeranian Outdoors to Potty
When first considering how to train your dog to do his business outside, it may seem logical to train him to use a doggie door so he can come and go when he wants.
However, you should consider a few other elements as well.
- Choose one part of your yard for him to do his business. If you let him roam and do it wherever he desires, that can hinder the learning process. A Pom faces numerous distractions (and potential dangers) and this can prevent him from indicating to you that he needs to go outside when he needs the toilet. With no structure, your Pom won’t automatically associate going outside with his need to go to the bathroom as two aspects of the same event instead of two separate events.
- If you’re not able to supervise your Pomeranian when he successfully does his business in the right area outside, you won’t have extra chances to praise his actions and even reward him, which all helps strengthen the training you’re doing with him. Otherwise he can easily forget what he has learned. The ideal method to teach your pet anything is to acknowledge and reward the moment he does his business and that’s impossible if you’re not outside when it happens.
- When your Pomeranian is outside, there are lots of possible dangers he may face. Some owners claim they always let their dogs play or do bathroom business on their own and never had any problems. However, they’re fortunate and are in a small minority.
If your Pomeranian is left on his own outside whenever he wants to go out, it’s most likely that, at some point, he’ll have a problem with one or more of these potential dangers:
- Poms are attractive and small so they’re potential targets for dognappers. Even if your yard is secure, there’s still the potential that you’ll lose him.
- Pomeranians are small so they can be viewed as prey for hawks, eagles, owls and other wild birds. If you’re outside with your pet, he’s safe, but if he’s alone, he has little chance against large birds of prey.
- If your yard is securely fenced in, meaning your dog can’t burrow beneath it and he can’t jump over it, it still doesn’t guarantee that aggressive dogs and even coyotes may somehow get in. Poms are courageous and will often try to protect their territory. However, they’re also small and, when faced with a much larger creature, they don’t have much chance.
- Leptospirosis is an animal’s disease and is spread through the urine of creatures such as: raccoons, deer, skunks and other animals. If you allow your Pom to wander the yard alone, he may sniff out areas that you would never let him get near if you were outside with him. Not every dog gets all the possible vaccinations. Vets generally only vaccinate against Leptospirosis if you live in a risky area. For example, your home may back onto a forest. If not diagnosed early enough, this disease can kill your dog. Even if you 100% supervise your Pom when he’s in the yard, if you believe there’s a remote risk of this disease, talk to your vet about your pet having the vaccine.
- Insect stings. All stinging insects have the ability to affect your Pom when he’s outside. Bee stings may be painful, can cause dangerous allergic reactions and, if not diagnosed and treated quickly, they can cause fatalities. One sad stinging example occurred to a lady with two Pomeranians. They were alone in the yard. After a short while, they grew quiet and she was worried and went outside to make sure they were ok. A swarm of bees was attacking them both and, sadly, one died as a result. If the lady was outside with her dogs, she could probably have picked one or both of them up and ran inside. However, no supervision meant the loss of one dog.
- Mushrooms and plants. Yards often contain toxic flowers and plants. There are currently 96 potentially toxic weeds and plants listed.
- Running away. Jumping fences isn’t the only means of escape for dogs. Some can burrow under a fence, either by digging or pushing through a weak area. Poms and other small dogs don’t need much space from which to escape. Regardless of whether your Pom is the most loved dog in the world, there will still be possible reasons for running away, and this includes sexual canine instincts.
- An un-neutered male can smell urine of an “in heat” female up to a distance of five kilometres. Females that haven’t been desexed may feel powerful urges to escape and locate males, including males that have been fixed, if they feel curious or bored, a feeling of something scary or a chase trigger.
Pomeranians and Hypothermia
This depends on whether the dog has any protection, the weather temperature and length of time out in the cold. If he’s soaking wet, he would rapidly develop hypothermia.
If anybody (dog or human) is outside in a temperature lower that they’re own body temperature for enough time, they would face hypothermia. A dog’s normal temp is 101 – 102.5 so 98F (38C is a hypothermic temp. In winter, if your Pomeranian trod in a puddle and got wet or was bathed and went outside before he was dry, hypothermia may set in within 15 minutes.
If he played in snow and that wet his coat, the time would be 20-30 minutes. If his coat is dry and the weather is above freezing point (32F) but under 40F, he can last one hour outside. If he’s hydrated and active, he may be fine for two hours.
If the temp is below freezing and he’s active, he may last 30-45 minutes. If he has some kind of coat, he may push that time out to 60 minutes. If the temp is 10F or below, he won’t survive more than 10 mins before hypothermia kicks in.
Pomeranian and Frostbite?
Of course he can! But he has to be outside for a long period in the winter weather and his ear tips, tail, nose and paws will be his mostly affected parts. How long he can last before suffering frostbite will vary according to wind chill and temperature.
If you take him for a walk or just to do his business, that won’t be enough time. If the wind speed is 15mph and it is 0F, frostbite would hit in 30 minutes. If the temp is 5F and the wind is 30mph, the same results would happen.
Pomeranians and Heat Stroke
Pomeranian in heat during summer, heat stroke is a serious problem. How soon it happens depends on variables such as the dog’s activity level, humidity and temperature. Many people think a thick coat (like the coat of Pomeranians) increases the risk when the reverse is actually true.
Shaving your Pom isn’t always wise in summer because the coat helps protect against direct exposure to the sun. Heat exhaustion is the first indicator and symptoms include: weakness, panting, vomiting and confusion.
When heat stroke starts, extra symptoms include: diarrhoea, disorientation, pale or red gums, heavier panting and an increased heart rate. If untreated, heat stroke can lead to a coma and even death. Heat stroke may occur in less than 30 minutes, depending on the variables.
Can a Pomeranian Safely Drink from Puddles?
No! Puddles can contain all sorts of nasties including water-borne parasites, road salt and ice melt chemicals. Giardia is a parasite but the vaccine doesn’t cure it. It merely stops shedding which can spread the disease.
Dogs of all ages may get coccidia. Not all dogs get vaccinated against leptospirosis. Campylobacter and cryptosporidium can affect puppies under six months the most.
Pomeranians Outdoors Conclusion
Dogs allowed time in your yard unsupervised face the risk of lots of different dangers. Consider your Pomeranian like you would a small child and protect him as much as you can. Your pet fully trusts you to keep him as safe as possible at all times.
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References and Further Reading:
 Denise Leo “The Pomeranian Handbook”.