Yeah. Pimp My Ride isn’t just for cars.
You love your Pom so much. It makes you feel less lonely and is always there to cheer you up. It has become pretty much (indirect pun intended), an extension of you.
We all know that your Pom is glorious, period. Glorious animals need to maintain their furry glory. That’s where YOU (or your vet) come in.
Why Grooming is a MUST
No matter how adorable your Poo-poo Pom can be, they are house pets and house pets are great vectors of nasty microbes such as viruses and bacteria. In simple terms, this means that they can easily spread bacteria to you after an afternoon’s of playing in the garden if you are not careful. Through their noses, fur, feet. One touch or lick and only God knows what diseases you may catch from this invisible and seemingly innocuous exchange. So, please make sure that you bathe your Pom regularly if they are constantly outside.
- Monitoring your Dog’s health
Frequent brushing and physical inspection of your Pom provides an opportunity for you to look out for signs that your dog is unwell. These signs include tick infection, skin tumour and other skin problems. You do not want to find out too late that your Pom has some serious issues.
- Beautifying your Dog
Well, who doesn’t want a purrrrty dog 😊 Who knows your Pom could even join a competition one day?
Supplies & Equipment
Smart Pom owners are armed with the right tools to pamper and groom their pet. The following are the quintessential materials you should be stored at home and which you can purchase at your nearest pet store:
- Thinning shears
- Blow Dryer
- Undercoat Rake
- Slicker Brush
- Soft pin brush
- Metal Comb
- Grooming arm and table
- Dog shampoo and conditioner
- Dry shampoo and baby powder
Brushing & Combing
Brushing and combing are fundamental to good grooming. This should be done at least twice per week, or more often depending on the breed or coat. Brushing and combing are fantastic for your dog’s skin and coat as it distributes oils from the skin throughout the coat and removes bits of dirt, tangles and loose hair.
Poms are double coated. This is why your lil’ Pom can tolerate cold temperatures and even hot weather. It is advisable that you brush your Pom moments after he/she is being pat dry after a bath, and NOT when your dog is completely wet or dry. Brush your dog regularly during the week for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
How to brush your dog? Always brush from one end to the other. You can try either line brushing and combing (parting the fur and combing and brushing each section) or spiral brushing (dog’s hair is brushed in a circular pattern). Make sure you are not just brushing the top layer but all the way from the skin up. Brush backwards against the lay of the fur then brush it back into place. This loosens and removes dead hair and stimulates dog skin.
When you brush your dog’s fur, remember: always proceed in sequence from the front to end (head à neck à forelegs à belly à bum à hindlegs). And never spray your dog directly with a detangler solution as some of the solutions can get into the eyes or ears. The better way would be to soak a cloth in the solution and apply it to ar
eas of the dog’s fur which are an absolute mess. Remember also that your comb teeth are sharp, so stay away from your dog’s eyes during brushing as much as possible.
Dogs hate baths. For some, a bad experience can traumatize them for life. To counter this problem, get your Pom used to bathing at an early age when he’s just a lil’ puppy. Especially those with sensitive skin and prone to allergies. Important things to note about bathing include:
- Before bathing your dog, remember to thoroughly brush and comb your dog’s coat first, if not they could end up with tangles and mats.
- Do NOT fill the ear canal with water as fungus and bacteria can easily grow in a dark and wet environment. To prevent water from entering, you may insert cotton balls in the shallow portion of their ears to absorb any unwanted splashes.
- Always use dog-safe shampoo and soap to prevent adverse skin reactions
So, how do we bath our fragile little Pom?
- Place your Pom in the sink
- Wet your dog’s hair thoroughly with lukewarm water and use a wet cloth to gently wet your dog’s face
Remember to ensure that the water is not too hot or you may accidentally scald your poor dog. You could also choose to use the water sprayer to drench your Pom’s coat prior to rubbing him up with a pH-balanced shampoo and soap.
- Rinse your dog’s coat fully with your fingers
- Apply conditioner if you wish
- Rinse away the conditioner
- Use 2 towels to dry your lil’ Pom. Use a blow-dryer if required
Generally, your Pom’s eyes should not be giving you any problems. However, on occasion, dirt or bacteria could come in contact with this delicate organ leading to red eyes, lacerated eyes and eyes that tear excessively. If you observe these abnormal symptoms, you should get it checked by your vet immediately. Excessive tearing could be due to infection, tonsillitis or infected teeth.
To help maintain your dog’s eye hygiene, do NOT use eyedrops (unless they are specially made for dogs). Always touch your dog’s eye gently and carefully using soft cloth or cotton ball that is moistened with water. You can also give your doggy a treat and scratch your dog to call him/her down during the process.
Your Pom has sensitive ears. Light footsteps at the gate, bark. A bird chirping in the tree, bark. It’s your little, mini intruder alarm, small but useful. A little too useful, sometimes. However, dogs are susceptible to ear problems as ears are lovely places for bacteria to grow and mites to set up camps.
Before you clean your dog’s ears, make sure you have the following with you: Mild otic (ear-cleaning) solution, sterile gauzes/sponges, surgical forceps or clamps.
Cleaning your dog’s ear is relatively simple.
- Gently hold on to your dog’s head so that the open ear is exposed
- Squeeze the otic solution (witch hazel, etc.)
- Use a sterile gauze pad or cotton wool to wipe the excess solution
- Trim excess hair near the openings
If your Pom’s ears start to smell fishy, something’s really fishy – it is likely to be infected and should be investigated by your vet. Or if you notice blisters, abrasions, crusty or red ears or waxy buildups, it is time to call your vet.
Ever seen Superman’s reaction when he sees Kryptonite? That’s what your Pom is thinking when you wield the fiery nail clipper. No Poms like to get their nails clipped; it’s as scary as getting an injection from the doctor. So, the best way to clip your Pom’s nails is to ensure that it is calm first (ie. After some exercise). You can try yawning. Then clip a little bit of nail at a time, ‘toe’ by ‘toe’. Trim your Pom’s toenail where it curves and at an angle towards the dog. If you accidentally cut the nails and bleeding occurs, do not panic and just apply some baby powder on the nail to stop the bleeding. Ensure that clipping is done regularly so your Pom learns to tolerate this procedure with repeated exposure. You can also consider using a nail grinder.
If your Pom starts going on a rampage and starts getting too aggressive with biting, it will be a good idea to put him in a soft nylon muzzle which clicks behind his neck and will not restrict its breathing. Wearing this muzzle also protects you from getting bitten.
Poms generally have terrible teeth. A Pom’s jaw is tiny but its teeth are the same size as those of its Spitz’s cousins. You wouldn’t want to get bitten by your Pom. Having a large panel of teeth in a small area commonly leads to overcrowding of teeth, which can further heighten the risk of tooth and gum-related diseases. In worse case scenarios, this leads to tooth loss.
In addition, unhealthy gums are commonly associated with heart health (eg. Cardiomyopathy). So, ensure that you keep your Pom’s oral areas clean to keep it fighting fit.
So, how does one take care of your Pom’s teeth? By using a special canine toothbrush. Please do not use regular household toothpaste at home as it will not only cause stomach upset to the dog, it is also difficult to rinse due to its foaming. If you find that your dog is unable to sit still, it is advisable that you visit the vet to do this for you first. It is also highly advisable that you purchase special chew products that are designed to reduce tartar and other dental issues of your dog.
- Dog Grooming for Dummies by Margaret Bonham
- Dogs 101: Pomeranian by Sandy Bergstrom Mesmer
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