that their safety is always taken into consideration. As with any tiny dog, their joints, limbs, necks, spines and skulls are all very fragile. The most innocuous thing can prove deadly: a set of stairs, being left unattended on a couch, children roughhousing, large dogs, an erroneously thrown baseball or a ceramic floor can all be a recipe for a tragedy. Precautionary thinking ahead is mandatory. Because of the double nature and harsh texture of the Pomeranian coat, grooming is less difficult than many
of the other types of pure bred dogs. Their type of coat is made for being out in the elements. It is an insula- tor and a protector against extreme temperatures, moisture, injury and dirt. The double coat works to keep the skin surface dry, clean, safe from insect bites, scratches and helps keep body temperatures normal. Unless it is a soaking rain, most moisture is also held away from the dog’s body by the dense undercoat. The correct texture does not easily mat and regu- lar brushing will remove most dirt.
Frequent nail trimming is essential for this breed. Being light on their feet as well as light in weight doesn’t lend it- self to the natural filing down of their nails, so it is necessary to check the nails often for excess growth. Teeth are another important con- cern for all dogs, but especially small dogs such as these. They have small mouths, small teeth and small jaw bones. Food particles trap easily in the tiny crevices. They collect and harden into plaque which is a bacte- rial breeding ground, that can lead to gum disease, tooth loss and then potentially to heart and kidney dis- ease later on. Scrupulous cleaning, hard-chewing type foods and treats are imperative to maintaining a healthy Pomeranian. Though Poms are no longer pulling sleds, guarding flocks or protecting boats in the canals, it is the responsi- bility of the conscientious breeders to preservewhat is the essence of the Po- meranian, what makes a Pom unique- ly a Pom. Currently they are mainly bred as companion animals but the core of who they are as a dog has been handed down through the centu- ries. They do work well in obedience, agility and in therapy dog capacities. Their “busy and inquisitive” nature likes to feel important and purpose- ful. They take themselves and their jobs as seriously today as their ances- tors did hundreds of years ago, even if those jobs only consist of play time, nap time or lap time.
60 • T op N otch T oys , M arch 2020
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