Preparing for your Pomeranian

After careful, thorough consideration, you’ve made the decision to get a dog. You’ve determined that you have the time, energy, budget, and patience essential for a lifelong commitment to a canine companion. You’ve also decided it’s a Pomeranian you want – you know that their looks and personality appeal to you more than any other breed. You believe that the extra effort of grooming, training, and providing health care for a Pomeranian are worth it. And you’re willing to learn all the information you need in order to provide a dog with the best home possible.

Which Pomeranian should you pick?

Before finding the Pom of your dreams, a few more decisions are necessary those of age, gender, and where to find your dog.

Boy or Girl?

First you need to consider if you want a male or female. Each is lovable and loving in return, but there are subtle differences. Although each dog’s personality is unique, in general females may be prissier and moodier, while males may be rowdier and more ornery. Both are affectionate, but while males are unashamedly sweet about cuddle time, females can be more independent and demanding of affection on their own terms. Each gender will have its own house-training issues to overcome, but males tend to spray and mark, and intact females will have heat cycles. Overall differences are minor, and both males and females make wonderful companions.

Puppy or Adult?

One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is whether to get a puppy or an adult dog. Both older dogs and younger pups require your time, attention, and love, but the similarities stop there. Puppies tug at your heart strings with their extra cute looks and mannerisms. Those same mannerisms are what make them a handful to raise. They cry, chew, bark, get into trouble, and they need to be fed and taken out to potty nearly every time you turn around. They have to be trained, constantly supervised, and are a never-ending job the first few months of their lives. With puppies, many owners can’t wait for them to grow up and out of trouble, but when they are grown, these same owners miss their dog’s puppy-hood.

Although adult dogs also require care, they don’t demand the constant attention that a puppy does. They tend to have more training and manners already in place. With a mature dog, you know exactly what you’re getting, which is not always the case even with a wisely chosen, well-bred puppy. You can train growing puppies into the behaviour that you expect of them. Adults may need some refresher training when it comes to manners, but they already have developed their own behaviours. Consider both options and decide which age fits best into your family and schedule, and for whom you can provide the best home. Whatever your preference, an adult Pom usually will bond to his new family as closely as a puppy would.

Competitor or Companion?

Is your Pomeranian going to be the star of your home, or do you have hopes that he will be a star in the conformation show ring? Either will be a loving companion, but the conformation Pomeranian will require extra expenses, training, time, and effort to embark on a show career. Choosing a show-quality Pom requires more research, planning, and expense. If you think you might want to try strutting your dog’s stuff in conformation competition, look for breeders who have bred multiple champions. Talk to them at length, and enlist their aid in choosing the right show puppy for you.

Male or female, puppy or adult, show or pet, remember that, when looking for the perfect Pomeranian for your home, each dog is an individual. Genetics, environment, and training will all affect the development of his personality, but each makes for a special, unique companion to love.

Once you’ve figured out which type Pomeranian is the best fit for your lifestyle, a most important criterion is still to be considered: where will you get your dog? There are always so many puppies and dogs for sale, adoption, or give-away that the choices can be overwhelming. Ads on the internet, in magazines and local newspapers; breeders and dog farmers; rescue groups; shelters; dog pounds; and even pet stores or owner give-ups how do you choose a safe, reputable resource for obtaining your family’s pet?

Purchasing a puppy

Breeders

Finding a reliable source for your Pom puppy needs to be your main priority A conformation show is one of the first places to look for a good source and see quality Poms in action at the same time. Breeders and handlers will be present who can answer your questions about the breed (after they are done showing), breeding programs, available puppies, and planned litters. At the show, catalogues can be purchased that list the names and addresses of owner-breeders so that you can contact them later. .

Breeders may also be found online and through national dog magazine listings. But web pages and nationally published advertising do not necessarily mean that the source is reputable and the puppies are sound. To determine if a breeder can provide you with a healthy, happy-tempered puppy, there are many questions you need to ask.

When asking questions, keep in mind that a good breeder does not breed for income, but for the betterment of the breed. In actuality, reputable breeders tend to lose money on their litters because their work is about the puppies, not about profit.

Questions to ask a potential breeder focus on the dogs’ health history and the purchase policies. How many generations back in a litter’s pedigree have health histories been checked and cleared? For what genetic defects does the breeder test and strive to eliminate? Due to the presence of certain inherited diseases and conditions in the Pom, parents, grandparents, and preferably great-grandparents should have been examined and cleared.

If the breeder is close to your area, arrange a Visit so you can see the puppies in their home environment. It will also give you a chance to see the dam and get information about the sire. If a breeder doesn’t want you to come, this could be a signal that there are problems that are being hidden. If the breeder is too far away to visit, ask them to send pictures of the mother, pups, and kennel.

Find out the condition of the mother and the puppies: are they all healthy? Are the dogs and their area clean and well-kept? What type of a health guarantee does the breeder provide? Is she (or he) willing to take the puppy back or assist you if there are problems? Are puppy prices reasonable for the quality of the litter? Are the prices too low or too high, or comparable to prices charged by other reputable breeders? Ask for references from previous puppy buyers.

In return, be prepared to be interrogated by the breeder. Expect to provide personal character references. If the breeder doesn’t ask you questions, this could be a sign of someone who doesn’t care where the puppies go or how they will be cared for-and a warning of how little effort went into planning the litter.

Don’t be offended when she or he thoroughly quiz you about your dog knowledge and experience, your family, lifestyle, finances, and living facilities. A caring breeder will ask about your ability to provide for a puppy, your plans for the puppy, if your home and family are suitable both physically and emotionally for a puppy, and if you will make a lifetime commitment to the welfare of a new dog.

When you and the breeder satisfy each other’s requirements and a special puppy has picked you out, the sale of a pure-bred Pomeranian should come with a detailed contract. Terms should include your obligations towards the puppy and the return of the dog if you no longer can provide a good home, along with a spay/ neuter agreement, and the details of the purchase. The breeder should also provide you with a complete veterinary and vaccine record, a copy of your puppy’s pedigree. Reputable breeders who care about dogs will care about your puppy for his lifetime. Keep in touch with her or him if you have questions about or problems with your Pom. Chances are good that she or he will try to help.

Beware of Bad Breeding

Despite the appeal of a puppy face that promises you love, buying a puppy from a source with a less than sterling reputation is an almost certain promise of heartbreak in days to come. Signs that you should look fora different source might include:

  • Breeder has several types of dogs, lots of puppies or has many litters every year. Advertises only in small or local newspapers, neighbourhood newsletters, or only on internet sites that too easily list dogs for sale to anyone that has the money.
  • Puppies under eight weeks of age who are described as ”ready to go.”
  • Prices that are too low to be believable. And, unless you’re buying a very special show-quality dog, high prices that are not an indication of an exceptional dog, just of exceptional greed.
  • No contract is offered or required, or contract terms that make you uneasy.
  • The source is not insistent on having puppies returned, or explicitly tells you she will not take the puppy back should you be unable to keep him.
  • The mother or the puppies are shy, fearful, nasty tempered, in poor condition, or appear sick or listless. Also, if the mother cannot be viewed or if information about the father is withheld, the breeder is probably hiding something.
  • Breeder won’t provide you with client references, withholds data about health or history, or blatantly denies the existence of noticeable health problems.
  • Breeder does not actually have the dam, sire, or puppies on site, only buys puppies from other ”breeders” and resells them, usually via the internet, offered as a puppy locator service.

Pet Stores

You’re running errands. As you walk to your car, you pass a pet shop. You weren’t thinking about buying a puppy today, but you go in just to look. And there’s a Pomeranian, smiling at you and begging you to take him home. What do you do? Just like obtaining a puppy from any other source, there are questions you need to ask and information you need to obtain.

The first consideration is health. Does the puppy look healthy? Are his eyes clear and bright, free from discharge, without glassy appearance? Are his ears clean, without waxy build-up or redness? Does he have a discharge from his nose? Is he coughing, sneezing, or vomiting? Does he have diarrhoea? Is the belly distended or have a bulge? Does his coat look healthy, or is it dull looking? Are his legs straight? Does he walk with a limp? Is he active without being hyper? If the puppy does not appear healthy, don’t take him home.

Next, what kind of guarantees and contracts does the store offer? If a problem arises with the puppy, what will the store do to help remedy the situation? Ask for a health guarantee with the same stipulations you would request from a breeder. Be certain that the guarantee does not have exclusions that would normally be covered by a breeder.

Before giving in to your impulse to buy that adorable Pom in the window, get all the information about him. Ask the store to provide documented information about the puppy’s breeder and his health, and about shipping history to the store. Ask the sales clerk about registrations, breed characteristics, behaviour, and exposure to training or socialization. If you feel you don’t receive a satisfactory answer, ask them to obtain more data for you from a good reference source. Ask for copies of the puppy’s health, worming, and vaccination history and the breeder’s contact information. Get any related paperwork, such as registration papers, contracts, and warranties, and read them before signing on the dotted line.

What are the store’s return policies? If the puppy has a health or behaviour problem, or your situation changes and you can no longer keep the puppy, will they re-home the puppy for you or contact the breeder and make arrangements for her to take him back? Ask for references of customer’s who are satisfied with their pet-shop purchase.

Regardless of how deeply you may have fallen head over heels for a pup in a pet store, if any of the terms of the sale are unacceptable, if any information is unclear or makes you feel uncomfortable, do not buy the puppy. Buying any dog from any source about which you are not 100 percent certain is not the way to find a loving canine companion.

The Glow of Health

No matter where you get your dog, a healthy puppy looks like, well, like he’s healthy. He should have:

  • A shiny coat
  • Bright, clear eyes
  • A happy expression
  • Pink gums and tongue
  • An active energy level
  • Firm stools of a normal colour
  • That indefinable puppy glow and sweet puppy breath

A puppy should NOT have:

  • Runny eyes or nose
  • Droopy posture
  • Lethargic appearance
  • Dull coat
  • Other signs that make you immediately think, ”Ooh that puppy looks sick.”

Registering your Pomeranian

You will need to choose a “registered” name for your Pom – a name that is longer and more formal than his ”call” name-usually one which includes the breeder’s kennel name. Additional information which the form requests is the name and address of the owner, sire and dam’s names and numbers, birth and registration dates, breed, colour, and gender information. Registrations may be full or limited. Limited registration means that no litters born as a result of breeding your dog can ever be registered, whether you own the sire or the dam, and that the dog is not eligible for conformation showing.

The Kennel Club (KC)

Registry for a dog is done through the Kennel Club when you purchase a Pomeranian puppy in the United Kingdom. At the time a litter is born, the breeder registers the pups. When you purchase one of those puppies, you are given a KC certificate of registration and ownership. The breeder provides a portion of this form, which then needs to be filled out and submitted by the new owner. Completion and acceptance of this form transfers ownership of the registered puppy. Ownership must be transferred before a new owner can participate in any Kennel Club regulated dog sporting events. More information can be found at www.thekennel-club.org.uk.

Caveat Emptor

Purchasing any Pomeranian will go more smoothly if you carefully consider each option about from whom and where you buy a dog. Over your Pom’s lifetime, the effort put into first researching your purchase or adoption will pay off with a healthier, more even-tempered dog in the long run. Because dogs are family members who experience emotional and physical pain when there’s a problem with them, it’s not the same as when something goes wrong with an appliance or vehicle. When your dog hurts, you hurt; you can’t just “repair” or replace a dog and move on without consequence.

As the old cliché goes, ”buyer beware,” even when it comes to purchasing a dog. Be absolutely convinced that you are getting the right dog from the right provider before you make the commitment to buy or adopt. Don’t overlook provisions in a contract that aren’t what’s best for you and your future puppy. if you need or are promised paperwork regarding your dog, keep asking until you get it. Don’t neglect to ask questions because you don’t want to risk offending someone who has a Pomeranian available.

Adoption Options

Rescue

There are several options if you’ve decided you would like to adopt an adult Pomeranian. You can check with breeders to see if they have a retired show dog they would like to place. These dogs are most often outgoing, healthy dogs just looking for a retirement home away from the ring. Nevertheless, ask the same questions you would if you were looking for a puppy. Breed rescue is another option for finding a Pomeranian in need of a good home. Rescue groups are organized by individual Porn enthusiasts who have a thick skin and soft hearts, generous patience, and plenty of experience caring for and retraining dogs. Abandoned or surrendered by owners, removed from shelters, or picked up by concerned animal lovers, these needy Poms are placed into temporary foster homes. In foster care, they receive veterinary testing, any needed treatment, including vaccination and neutering, if necessary, and are trained and socialized. Additionally, to ensure a good match in a new permanent home, their temperaments are evaluated to see if they get along with children, other animals, and what type of people they like or dislike. These dogs are loved by the people with whom they are temporarily living. Sadly, Pomeranian rescue usually has more dogs than there are qualified homes.

The primary reasons for abandonment or surrender are often owners who can’t deal with house-training issues, health problems, frequent barking, or who are just incapable of providing the care and attention this breed requires. Other reasons include divorce, loss of income, a forced move to a new location where pets aren’t permitted, death in the family, or simply owners who cannot cope with dog behaviour in general. Whatever the reason, there are many wonderful Pomeranians in rescue-one that may be just right for you.

Rescue dogs are usually 7 months of age and older, with most being middle-aged (3 to 7 years) to seniors (7 years and up). Not all dogs in breed rescue will be 100 percent pure-bred, but in most groups they will be at least half Pomeranian. Some come with health conditions that require treatment; others have training or minor behaviour issues that need work. Dogs with serious problems like biting are seldom offered for adoption through ethical rescue groups. Adopting a Porn from a rescue group may not be the best option for everyone. Rescuing a dog takes extra time, attention, and maybe money. But for those who are able to provide a special dog that extra care, rescues reward the effort with gratitude and love, as most tend to bond very deeply to their new families.

To find a rescued Pomeranian, search the internet for the group closest to your area. Ask the same questions you would if you were buying a puppy from a breeder. While much of the dog’s background may never be known, get as detailed a recent history as possible from the foster volunteer. Let the rescue coordinators guide you in selecting a dog that is best suited for your home and lifestyle.

Rescue dogs cannot be adopted for free. Just because they were another person’s cast off does not mean that they are without value or expense. Adoption fees are typically higher than in shelters, but are less than the purchase price of a puppy, and are used to cover the costs of fostering, placement and medical expenses, which can often be extensive.

As a potential owner, you will be required to fill out an application that helps determine if you can provide a suitable, loving home for the remainder of the dog’s life. Questions will be asked about your experience with dogs and the breed, why you want a Pomeranian, your financial ability to provide care, your family size, activities, and schedule, yard and household facilities, and much more. In many cases, a volunteer will come to your home for a pre-qualification interview. Standards set by the groups for potential owners are very high. Don’t let this upset you-the goal of the rescue group is to make as perfect and permanent a match as possible so that a Pomeranian once rescued should never be in need of rescue again.

Animal Shelters

According to the Humane Society of the United States, nearly 25 percent of dogs in animal shelters are pure-breds. Can a Pomeranian end up in a shelter? Yes, all too often, and for the same reasons they end up in rescue.

If you are thinking about searching for a Porn in a shelter, keep in mind that the background of the dog may be virtually unknown. Shelter workers will give what information they have, but this may be limited to where the dog was picked up or if an owner turned him in. In an owner give-up, the true reason for surrender may not have been given to the shelter. The dog’s medical history, other than while in the shelter, will probably also be unknown. Before you adopt a Porn from a shelter, make sure you are prepared and able to deal with extensive medical or behavioural issues. Shelter dogs can turn out to be special-needs dogs.

While some people may View a pound puppy as a nightmare waiting to happen, maybe you are a potential owner who would consider a Pom from a shelter to be a wonderful surprise. It is possible to find the Pomeranian of your dreams in a shelter, if you are willing to work with the shelter employees and to invest the time, money and effort needed to transform your new Pom into a loving companion. Just like Pom’s from rescue groups, those who have been pulled from a shelter into a caring home often seem to express their gratitude by bonding closely with their new people.

Puppy prep your home

You’ve found the perfect puppy, and he’ll be coming home in a few days. Now you need to get your home ready for the big day. Because of their bright, inquisitive personalities, Pomeranian puppies can be adept at getting into trouble, chewing dangerous objects, or shredding personal belongings that are off limits to tiny teeth. In a matter of minutes, a single, small pup can cause hundreds, even thousands of dollars worth of damage and seriously injure himself in the process.

If you don’t want your Pom’s first days in your home to be a series of reprimands, (”No. Get out of there. Leave that alone. Stop it. Drop that. No”) then puppy-proof your house and yard before he arrives. Think of it as child-proofing your home, except that your puppy is smaller and more active than a baby and has easier, quicker access to items at his level.

Identify his space

Position baby gates across doorways into areas where your puppy isn’t allowed. Close cabinets, drawers, and doors to rooms or storage spaces where he could get into trouble. Since a puppy believes that it’s okay to chew anything that is within reach, provide plenty of toys for his busy little mouth (read more about training not to chew in chapter 6). Always keep a close eye on what he is doing, no matter how well you have prepared your home for his arrival.

Puppy-Proof the Home Environment

Pick up, put out of reach, secure, or keep your Pom away from:

  • Electrical and telephone cords or wires, computer cables;
  • Drawstrings from draperies or blinds, throw pillows, arm covers from chairs, throw rugs;
  • Television and other remote controls, DVDs , CDs, video or cassette tapes;
  • Knick-knacks, figurines or collectibles, candles, pot-pourri, air fresheners including the plug in types;
  • House-plants, some of which are poisonous, including dead leaves;
  • Medications, drugs, toiletries, cosmetics, combs, toothbrushes, hair ribbons or scrunchie, hair pins, jewellery;
  • Heavy items like lamps that can get pulled down or knocked over onto your tiny Pom;
  • Food, crumbs, bones or discarded cooking items, candy dishes, puppy’s own food and treats in which he could overindulge;
  • Garbage and trash cans or bags, debris from fireplaces, firewood and kindling;
  • Pens, pencils, crayons, markers, paper clips, rubber bands, tacks, staples, tape, paper shredding machines, books, magazines, mail, newspapers, important documents and money (paper or coin);
  • Paper towels and napkins, tissues, toilet paper, roll cores, cleaning items, rags, sponges, household chemicals, detergents;
  • Dirty laundry, shoes, socks, hats, scarves and gloves;
  • Tools, nails, string, fasteners, glue, crafting and sewing items, scissors;
  • Children’s toys, sporting equipment, hunting or fishing gear.
  • Large items that cannot be moved out of reach, like chair or table legs, cabinet doors, doorstops, or corner trim which can be treated with a product that discourages chewing.
  • Because attics, garages, and basements may contain so many hazardous objects, it’s usually best to keep your puppy out of these rooms at all times.
  • Once you’ve puppy-proofed the inside of your home, prepare the yard area to which your Pom will have access.
  • Check fencing for weak or broken areas where your puppy could escape. Make necessary repairs and secure the bottom of the fence to the ground. Put padlocks on fence gates.
  • Remove poisonous shrubs and flowers. Also remove any cocoa mulch; it has an appealing odour but can be toxic if ingested.
  • Avoid the use of fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides on the ground in your puppy’s area, if at all possible. These chemicals can be absorbed through the skin of the feet, or licked off the fur, which can result in serious poisoning or death. If you must treat your puppy’s area with any of these chemicals, keep him off the lawn for at least 48 hours afterwards or until after a steady, rinsing rain.
  • Don’t leave gardening tools or mowing equipment in your puppy’s part of the yard.
  • Keep your puppy away from your swimming pool or pond.
  • Scoop the poop from your puppy’s potty zone! When you think your home is a puppy proof zone, go through each area again. Did you miss anything? Are there objects in which your puppy could get caught or that he could pull down or rip up? Ask yourself, “If I were a puppy, would this be an interesting place to explore? Would this be fun to chew or shred?”

Once your house and yard are safe for your young Pomeranian, set up his crate and bowls in the area designated for him. Then when you introduce him to his new environment, he should settle happily into his new home.

Supplies

If you like to shop, then getting ready to bring home your new Pom is a perfect reason for a shopping expedition. You and your home will be better prepared for your new pal if you purchase the following items for him:

  • Books with breed-specific information, a home-medical reference for dogs, puppy care, training, and canine behaviour books.
  • Food, food and water bowls (two sets), food storage containers. Bowls should be Pomeranian-sized and easy to clean. Stainless steel is the preferred choice of many breeders, but you may opt for a decorative ceramic style instead. Plastic bowls are not the best choice for light-coloured or white Poms, as it may be possible for some of them to discolour the dog’s coat. But if plastic is what you prefer, try to select a heavy, durable bowl that is chip and peel resistant, and is dishwasher safe.
  • Crate, crate padding, and bed-possibly use old blankets or towels. The crate should be just large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around. It’s all right to buy his adult-sized crate now, but block off the extra room with a crate divider until he’s fully grown. Plastic, wire, and soft-sided crates are all good models. Just be careful that your pup can’t get through or get caught in any openings between wires. Plastic crates should be chew-resistant, such as the ones Nylabone makes. Soft-sides should not have any zippers or objects inside which your puppy could chew off and then swallow. Latches should be escape resistant.
  • Toys and chew toys. Look for toys that are safe for puppies, with no small pieces or parts that are easily removed and on which he could choke. Chewables should resist splintering. Nylabone makes toys that are suitable for a Pom.
  • Puppy collar and leash, identification tag. Be careful in choosing a collar for your Pom as most collars may cause the fur on his neck and ruff to mat. A harness and leash combo may work best for walking your Pomeranian as a standard collar-leash may damage a trachea already prone to collapsing.
  • Healthy, bite-sized treats for training and rewards.
  • Baby gate; possibly an exercise pen. Select a style that your dog won’t easily knock down or over which he could climb or jump.
  • Cleaners, disinfectants, odour neutraliser, air freshener, and enzyme carpet cleaner. Consider getting a hand-held spot cleaning machine.
  • Pooper-scooper tools including plastic collection bags, old newspapers, possibly puppy pads
  • Paper towels, small indoor garbage bags.
  • Puppy-resistant indoor trash cans (ones that are difficult to open, or childproof).
  • Grooming tools and supplies (see-chapter 5); towels for drying puppy if he gets wet outdoors.
  • Basket or container for storing puppy’s toys and supplies when not in use.
  • File for keeping dog-related documents.
  • Dog license, if applicable; secondary ID.

Identification

One of the most important items you should purchase for your pet is identification. Tens of thousands of pets become lost every year, and only easily read, current identification stands between them and a permanent path away from home. Make certain your Pomeranian is well identified if you want him to get back to you, should he become lost.

ID Tags

lD tags are clipped onto collars and can be purchased in nearly all pot supply stores, some department stores, and online. Dogs should wear Visible identification when at all possible.

Tattooing Dogs are normally tattooed on the inside of the flank or groin, most often While the dog is still fairly young. The tattooed number, along with the owner’s address, telephone number, and general information about the dog is registered with a national registry service or database. Tattooing is best done while the puppy is anaesthetized for another veterinary procedure. However, it is not necessary for a dog to be put under general anaesthesia for the process. Some breeders tattoo their puppies themselves before they are placed in new homes. Owners then have only to register their dog’s information. Fees for tattooing and registration of the number are separate expenses. Disadvantages to tattooing include the possibility that as the dog grows, the tattoo can stretch or fade until it becomes unrecognisable. Although many tattoo registration services have been combined into a central, single registry, there are still a few separate registries that do not check with other sources when a call for identification is received.

Microchipping

The use of a microchip for permanent identification reduces some of the problems associated with tattooing. The dog does not have to be anaesthetized or tolerate a procedure that can cause some stinging and discomfort during and for a short while after the process. Microchips usually last for the lifetime of a dog, and the cost of registration is included in the price of the chip in most cases. A veterinarian can inject the rice-grain-sized, biologically inactive, sealed unit under the skin between a dog’s shoulders in just a few seconds. Chips, which do not contain chemicals or batteries, are then easily read via a hand-held scanner.

Even with the convenience and reliability that micro-chipping offers, there is uncertainty in the world of microchip scanning. Originally, manufacturers produced scanners that could only read their own system’s microchips. As the technology became more popular, many scanners evolved to the point where they could detect the presence of the most commonly used microchips from other companies. In Europe, and more recently in Canada as well, new standards have been put forth requiring that all ID chips be able to be recorded or read by all scanners, regardless of manufacturer. The transition has not been completed in the US, but some chips and scanners are currently compatible while others are not.

Regardless, micro-chipping is still a convenient and practical means of permanent identification. Owners choosing this ID method just need to request a chip that is going to keep up with technological changes and is currently able to be read or detected by the majority of scanners.

The safest bet for identification of your Porn is to use a dual system-ID tags and either a tattoo or microchip. Whichever you choose, be certain that you register your contact information and remember to update it if your address or phone number changes.

Coming home

Your puppy is old enough to leave his mother, you’ve bought everything you can imagine to make your new companion happy, and your house is puppy-proofed and ready for your new buddy. Now it’s time to go get him and bring him to his new house. To do that, you’ll also need to make some preparations for the trip. It’s a smart idea to take a bag of dog-related supplies with you. Try packing:

  • Thermos or bottled water, water bowl, healthy treats or a small serving of what his regular food will be;
  • Paper towels, carpet cleaner, sandwich bags (for solid messes), plastic bags for disposing of soiled towels or poaper scooper bags, waterless shampoo (rinse-free) for emergency clean-up if puppy gets carsick and vomits on himself, air freshener spray;
  • Lead and puppy collar, blanket, and chew toy for crate.
  • Ask the breeder to send you home with a small supply of the food she has been feeding your puppy. And take an empty bottle, 2 litre or larger, for her to fill with the same water he has been drinking in her kennel. Switch your puppy over by mixing in your supply with some of his old, gradually increasing the quantity of the new water and food until the old is all gone. This helps reduce the chance of stomach upset.
  • When planning your trip, pick routes that aren’t too winding, hilly, or bumpy and which could cause your puppy to get carsick. For safety, transport the puppy in his crate. Place the crate where it will not slide or fall while the vehicle is in motion. Allow time for potty breaks. Make sure that his leash is securely fastened before you open the car doors and get him out, and exercise him in an area away from traffic.
  • Ideally, travel with a family member or friend who can help you transport your new puppy. That way, when you need to stop for a break, you won’t have to leave your Pom alone in the car, where he could become overheated, chilled, or anxious.

Travel

A nice bonus about having a Pomeranian as a companion is that they are easily transported, they like to be with you wherever you are, and they travel well. Here are some tips for roaming around with your dog.

Down the Road

Poms enjoy being with you, wherever you go. If you get your dog accustomed to travelling at an early age, you can enjoy his company wherever your travels take you.

Start by getting your dog used to riding in the car to a destination other than the veterinarian’s. Begin with short rides, maybe just round the block, then increase the distance, for example, a trip to a nearby park. When your Pom is comfortable with short trips, try an all day expedition before venturing out on an overnight vacation.

Take your dog to the veterinarian for a pre-trip check up if you’re planning on being on the road for awhile. Update needed vaccinations and purchase a sufficient quantity of any medications your pet might need while he’s away from home. Having a small supply of motion sickness pills from your vet might be a good idea just in case. Make copies of your dog’s health and shot records to carry with you when you travel. Be prepared to locate a veterinarian if your Pom gets sick on the road, either through access to internet listings, a local phone directory, or the recommendation of a local p supply store. Plan and organize your trip. Find out before your arrival if pets are welcome where you want to make reservations and go sightseeing. Make a list of items to pack, including your dog’s supplies. Have written instructions and permission forms for your dog’s care should you be incapacitated or injured.

Keep your dog confined or restrained during travel. In an accident, a loose dog can become lost, seriously injured, or even killed. Secure a crate into a seat or cargo area (not a boot), and place your dog in the crate. If crating is not possible, buckle him into a pet seatbelt harness. Lift restraint seats, similar to booster seats for children, are available that allow small dogs to watch out the car window while at the same time protecting them by securing them in place.

Put home and temporary travel identification tags on your dog in case he does get away. Temporary tags should contain your cell phone number, a local phone, if applicable, and should be updated for every change in location. If your pet is micro-chipped or tattooed, keep a copy of the registration numbers with you when you’re on the road. It’s also a good idea to place a colour photo of your pet with these papers.

Take your dog’s usual food with you. Don’t switch brands while travelling as this could cause digestive distress. Store food in sealed containers that prevent spoilage. Feed your dog at his usual times, using non-breakable or disposable bowls.

Don’t feed or give your dog a large quantity of water one to two hours prior to travel. While en route, stop about every three hours so that your dog can relieve himself, stretch his legs and get a drink. If there is time, a small, portable exercise pen can be set up for your dog’s relief and exercise needs. If you are indoors where your dog can’t get to the outside, such as transfers between airplanes, carry puppy ”piddle” pads with you. Your Pom can be taught to relieve himself indoors on these disposable pads. When you are outdoors, always scoop the poop! Be courteous to others and clean up after your pet. Carry sandwich bags to pick up faeces and only allow your dog to relieve himself in designated pet exercise areas. Maintain your dog’s normal activity level. He’ll sleep more soundly at night and be more relaxed during the day. Teach your dog travelling manners. Don’t let him disturb other travellers by barking in the hotel or on a plane. Travelling with your Pom requires some extra work, but most owners feel it’s worth the effort.

By Air

Air travel with your dog will require plenty of advance planning. Check with the airlines on what their pet travel policies are. Book with the one that gives you the most confidence that they can safely transport your pet, in all types of weather, in the least amount of time and with the least amount of stress (airports are noisy, confusing places).

Try to book your and your dog’s reservations on a flight where he can ride on the plane with you instead of in cargo. Most Pomeranians are small enough to easily fit under the seat inside of a soft-sided carrier.

If your dog must fly in cargo, choose an airline that has a pressurized, climate controlled, and lit area specifically for pets. Use a hard crate, with clips to secure food and water bowls during the flight, and sized just big enough for your dog to stand and turn but not so large that he can get tossed around when the plane moves.

Most of the same travel rules apply for food, water, and identification. A few Poms may fly better if mildly tranquillized. Should he get nervous during the flight, just reach in and give him a reassuring pat. Before getting on a plane with your dog, have your veterinarian examine him to make certain he is healthy enough to fly.

Leaving Your Pomeranian

It will not always be possible to take your Pom with you when you travel. When you have to leave him behind, you can either board him in a kennel or have a pet-sitter come to your home. Before choosing the service or boarding facility that will take care of your dog while you’re away, there are several questions you need to ask to make certain that they are reliable and capable.

Boarding

Begin your search by checking with other dog-owning friends and neighbours who travel without the company of their canine. Find out if they are happy with the kennel they use.

Does your veterinarian board pets besides for health care? Are you satisfied with their facilities and the care they normally provide for your dog? If so, then you may want to consider leaving your dog in your vet’s clinic. If your vet does not board, ask them for a kennel recommendation.

Look up listings in the yellow pages. For convenience, check with the kennels that are located near your home or business first. Set up appointments to visit their facilities and meet the staff that will be caring for your dog. Ask the owner or manager for references.

When you arrive, get a tour of the kennelling and recreation areas. If a tour is refused, this may be a warning not to board your dog there. Is the facility clean, including crates, runs and yard areas? How frequently are they cleaned? How often are the dogs taken out for exercise and potty breaks? Are outside views or runs provided? Is the building safe from fire hazards? Do the dogs have access to fresh water at all times?

Does the staff truly like and understand animals, and are they attentive to them? Are they willing to accommodate your dog’s special needs if he has any? Will they administer your dog’s daily medication or feed the same diet given at home? Is your dog permitted to keep toys in his run?

Discuss the kennel’s policies. Most require that all boarding animals be current on their vaccinations. What proof of vaccination will you need to provide? Are their rates competitive with other kennels, and do they reflect the quality of the care given? What does the kennel do in case of a medical emergency involving your dog?

Is payment due before you leave or when you return? Are there standard services for which they charge extra, such as allowing them access to an exercise yard or giving medication? Get a schedule of their hours and times when you can drop off and pick up your dog.

Once you select a kennel, give them detailed, written care instructions for your dog. Leave a list of your travel itinerary, along with phone numbers where they can contact you in the event of an emergency. If permitted, send your dog’s favourite chew bone and bedding

to the kennel. You may want to leave one of your unlaundered shirts with your Pom – an item that has your scent and smells like home. This can comfort your dog while you’re away from him and remind him you will return.

Petsitters

Some Pomeranians may be happier staying at home in familiar surroundings. If this is the best choice for your dog, you will need to find a reliable, qualified pet-sitter. There are two national organizations that can help you locate sitters in your area, Pet-sitters International and The National Association of Pet Sitters. You can also check with your dog friends to see which pet-sitting services they have used and would recommend.

Since a sitter will have full access to your home and be solely responsible for the care of your dog, ask for multiple references. Sitters should be fully insured and bonded. Anyone can call themselves a pet-sitter, but only the better ones will meet these requirements.

Before a pet-sitter begins her home Visits, you will be asked to provide a thorough history of your Pom’s habits and health status in order to provide him with the care to which he is used to receiving. It’s easier for the sitter-and therefore for your dog-if you leave all of the items he needs on a daily basis (like bowls, meds, and leash) in a central location. Provide a sufficient quantity of food for more days than you plan to be gone.

Just as you would for a kennel, write down all specific care instructions, and a copy of your complete travel itinerary, including contact numbers. Furnish any information the sitter will need about your home, such as where to find the breaker panel, main water shut~off valve, and spare supplies like light bulbs or paper towels.

Rates for pet-sitters vary by area, but can cost about 1-1 / 2 times per visit what you might pay per day at a kennel. The advantages your dog gets for the extra expense may be well worth the difference. Your dog will be in familiar surroundings and able to play with his own toys and sleep in his own bed. He’ll be fed his normal food at the usual times, get to walk or exercise as usual, and, if he needs medications, they can be administered just as you would give them. Although he will still be alone many hours he will receive plenty of personal attention, and the sitter can reassure your Pom that you will soon return home to him.

In-Home Boarding

Placing your Pom in a facility that specializes in boarding a limited number of small dogs in their home is another option. Although your dog is away from his home, he is still in a house with people who are there to spend at least as much time with him as you normally would. In-home boarding services match client reservations by age, size, health and temperament so that your dog is only with other dogs with whom he is compatible. Your dog will also be maintained on his normal diet and exercise routine. Prices typically range somewhere between the cost of boarding and pet-sitting fees.

You can find in-home boarding facilities online or in your phone directory. Schedule an appointment to see the home and meet the owners before you book your dog’s visit. You may also want to take your dog to meet the owner prior to leaving him there for the first time. Ask the same questions you would of a kennel or pet-sitter, including references from other clients. Be prepared to leave the same detailed history and instructions as you would for other care services.

Because Pomeranians are such comfort and home-loving dogs, in-home boarding may prove the ideal place to leave your dog when you travel.

Doggy Daycare

If you work long hours, are going to be away all day, or if your Pom needs companionship while you’re out and about, consider taking him to a doggy daycare centre.

Doggy daycare is a place where your dog can play, fully supervised, with other dogs suited to his temperament. There are plenty of humans around to pet him, and usually comfy beds for napping as well as toys with which he can play, and furnishings on which he can climb. Costs are usually figured per day, and tend to be slightly higher than daily rates at a kennel because of the extras, including more extensive staffing.

Facilities at daycare centres range from buildings with divided play and rest areas, to spa-like facilities complete with massages, pampered pet boutique items for sale and more. Most have outdoor exercise areas as well. Centres are well-staffed with dog-savvy personnel who have been specially trained to understand canine behaviour, judge which dogs should be put together, and know if or when to intervene between dogs who may appear ready to quarrel. Owners should choose a doggy day care centre with the same care used to choose a boarding kennel. Is the ratio of staff to dogs sufficient to ensure constant supervision? Do they interact well with the dogs? Does the centre contain too many dogs? Are the building and outdoor area secure and safely equipped? Do they have an arrangement with a nearby veterinarian in case your dog needs emergency treatment? All dogs in daycare must meet minimum health requirements vaccinations must be current, dogs must be free from internal and external parasites, as well as clear of infectious diseases. Some centres may request that your dog know and respond to basic obedience commands before accepting him as a client. Additionally, your Pom will be screened to make certain his temperament is suited to the day care environment. Overly shy, fearful or aggressive dogs are not good candidates. Since some Poms are dominant or territorial, or don’t enjoy playing with strange dogs, daycare may not be the best place for them. But if your dog is friendly and outgoing with other dogs, and the centre you select keeps small dogs separated from larger ones, your Pom may enjoy an outing to doggy daycare.

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