When we think of hypoallergenic dogs, a lot of small dogs and toy breeds come to mind: the bichon frise, Maltese, poodle, Chinese crested, and miniature schnauzer. These pups generally don’t cause allergies because they don’t shed very much.
The Pomeranian, or Pom, is another popular small dog breed. But are Pomeranians hypoallergenic? Or will they cause the sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes that allergy sufferers so detest?
A toy dog breed descended from the Spitz family of dogs, the Pomeranian is named after the Pomerania region of Northwestern Poland where they hail from. These little critters make great pets — they’re energetic, intelligent, and adorable dogs. But this is not a hypoallergenic dog breed.
Let’s find out more about why the Pomeranian is likely to cause allergic reactions, how much a Pom sheds, why they might be shedding more than usual, and what allergy sufferers can do if they own a Pom or are considering adopting one soon.
Why Aren’t Pomeranians Hypoallergenic?
Are Pomeranians hypoallergenic? No, but then again no dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic — even completely hairless breeds.
It helps to understand what the word hypoallergenic means. People with dog allergies are allergic to a protein in pet dander, or dead skin cells, and dander often attaches itself to loose hair. So, a dog that sheds is likely to cause allergies as the loose hair spreads the dander around. Dogs that are considered hypoallergenic are really just low-shedding breeds. And the Pom, while not a heavy shedder, sheds their fur a moderate amount.
So, how much do Pomeranians shed, exactly?
How Much Do Pomeranians Shed?
One of the reasons that the Pomeranian is such a desirable dog breed — ranking 24th in the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) list of most popular breeds in 2021 — is because of their looks. Their distinctive coat showcases puffy fur around their neck and chest and long locks around their bodies.
With all of that beautiful fur comes a fair amount of shedding, and a lot of dander along with it. The coat is actually made up of two layers (known as a double coat): the soft undercoat, which keeps them warm in the winter months, and the longer outer coat that helps to keep a Pom cooler in the summer.
Just like other double-coated dogs, the Pomeranian breed “blows the coat” twice a year as the seasons change — once in the spring, and once in the autumn or early winter. During these periods, the Pom sheds even more than usual and dog owners will probably want to run the vacuum a few extra days per week to keep up with all the extra hair.
Why Might a Pomeranian Shed More Than Usual?
Are Pomeranians hypoallergenic? No, we’ve learned that they are moderate shedders and are not considered a hypoallergenic breed. You’re likely to find a fair amount of dog hair on your furniture, carpets, and clothing if you own a Pomeranian.
With that in mind, it’s important to realize that there are several factors, some of them serious health conditions, that could cause a Pomeranian to shed even more than usual (in addition to twice-yearly blowing of the coat). And more shedding means more pet allergies.
A Pomeranian could be shedding extra hair because of:
Pomeranian dogs are susceptible to stress and anxiety, just like other breeds. And stress can actually make your dog’s hair fall out more than usual. New pets in the home, loud noises, separation anxiety, and other factors can cause stress. Talk to your vet if you think little Fido is feeling stressed out, and try Native Pet’s Calm Chicken Chews to help reduce your dog’s anxiety, aid in muscle relaxation, and even improve sleep.
When your pooch is missing certain nutrients in their diet, it can harm the skin and fur, resulting in more shedding — and more allergens floating around your home. Check with your vet to find out whether your dog’s diet could use an upgrade, and try using Native Pet’s Omega Oil to give your dog a boost of omega-3 fatty acids for good skin and fur health.
Parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites can affect your dog’s overall health and contribute to hair loss, skin rashes, bald patches, and more. If you see these symptoms or notice your dog itching and scratching more than usual, it’s time to see the vet.
Hormonal imbalances like those caused by gland disorders such as Cushing’s disease are another possibility, because increased shedding is often a result of such disorders. While this isn’t the most likely cause of your Pomeranian’s extra shedding, it’s worth a trip to the vet’s office if you can’t determine another cause.
What Can I Do to Keep Allergies Under Control?
Do you suffer from allergy symptoms when you’re around a dog like the Pomeranian that sheds a fair amount? Don’t worry — all hope is not lost if you still want to adopt a Pomeranian or you already have one of these lovable family dogs. While Poms aren’t the best dogs for allergy sufferers, you can take certain steps to reduce the amount of dander around your home and feel more comfortable.
Keep Your Pom Well-Groomed
The Pom’s long hair will need regular grooming, and grooming is also a good way to keep allergens under control. It removes loose and dead hair from the coat, so it doesn’t spread around your home. You have the choice of brushing and bathing your Pomeranian yourself (if you’re an allergy sufferer, consider wearing protective clothing or having a family member take care of it) or having your pet professionally groomed.
Use Air Filters
Using specialized HEPA air filters around your home can make a huge difference when it comes to allergies. These filters are specially made to capture even the tiniest dander particles that are invisible to the human eye. This means less dander flying around your home to cause reactions. Browse Amazon or search your local department store to find an option that’s in your budget.
Feed Your Dog Well
Because poor nutrition can lead to more shedding, you’ll want to make sure your Pomeranian is eating a well-balanced diet in order to maximize skin health and keep shedding to a minimum. Ask your vet to recommend a food that is properly formulated for your dog’s small size, age, and nutritional requirements.
Another option? Consider adopting a Pomeranian mix from a shelter or reputable breeder — especially a Pom mixed with a more allergy-friendly type of dog like the soft-coated wheaten terrier, Bichon frise, or Portuguese water dog. While it’s no guarantee, these mixes might be less likely to trigger allergies.
Are Pomeranians Hypoallergenic Dogs?
It’s no wonder dog lovers are obsessed with the Pomeranian. These little lap dogs are wonderful family pets and are undeniably adorable in addition to being smart, loyal, and affectionate. But are Pomeranians hypoallergenic? No.
Pomeranians shed moderately and blow their coats twice per year, which means they shed even more than usual during these times. Because pet dander attaches itself to your dog’s hair, the Pom is likely to trigger allergies. It’s also possible for health concerns like stress, poor nutrition, parasites, and hormonal imbalances to contribute to excess shedding — let your vet know right away if you think this might be the case.
If you have dog allergies and own or want to own a Pom, take steps to keep allergens under control. Groom your dog regularly, set up a few air filters, and feed your pet properly. It’s possible to live side-by-side with your pet without much trouble.
Interested in learning more about your dog’s health and wellness? Visit the Native Pet blog.