The lifespan of a Pomeranian is usually 10 to 16 years.
This range is broad because different studies and authorities have come to very different estimates. Whether your Pom reaches the lower or upper end of the range depends on a few things. These include: genes and the care they receive during their lifetime.
So, how can we reach the upper end of this range?
Measuring the lifespan of a Pomeranian
There are many ways to estimate the life expectancy of a dog breed. But these results vary by country, breeding and general care.
Longevity has been estimated in several ways. The combined results suggest that they are one of the longer-lived pedigree breeds.
Small breeds generally have a longer lifespan than large dogs. Their age can reach ten plus years. Or, in some cases, even up to twenty years. This is because small dogs age more slowly than larger dogs.
As a breed, Pomeranians have a reduced risk of many life-threatening health problems, including cancer – the most common type of terminal disease in dogs.
So the health problems these dogs are more prone to are usually not life-threatening. These conditions include problems with their teeth, eyes and skin. But patellar luxation, or dislocated kneecaps, is another common problem.
How long do Pomeranians live?
Based on data from a dog cemetery in Japan, they have an average of 14 years. However, this method of estimating life expectancy often excludes deaths that occur at a young age or dogs that are less well cared for.
A British survey of dog owners produced a shorter estimate of 10 years. But this is based on only 22 owner reports. So it may not be a very robust estimate.
The British Kennel Club estimates that the life of a Pom will exceed 12 years. Similarly, the American Kennel Club suggests 12-16 years.
Moreover, there are frequent reports of Pomeranians older than 20 years.
Altogether, this suggests a typical lifespan of 10-16 years.
According to PetPom, the oldest recorded lifespan of a Pomeranian was 21 years, 8 months and 13 days.
Many people report more advanced ages. But they are not officially documented.
How to maximize the lifespan of a Pomeranian
If you adopt a pomeranian puppy from a breeder, ask about the lifespan of closely related dogs.
Tests are available for the few serious or life-threatening health problems known to occur in pomeranians. Among them:
- Hyperuricosuria (a blood disorder that causes bladder stones).
- Degenerative myelopathy (a neurological disorder that can cause loss of coordination in older dogs).
- Gallbladder mucoceles (a condition that can cause the gallbladder to rupture).
Can these be prevented?
All of these inherited diseases have a known genetic cause and mode of inheritance. Thus, they are preventable with responsible breeding practices.
Pomeranians come in many coat colors. But some should be avoided. The spotted “merle” coat pattern and the albino colors are associated with impaired health and conditions such as deafness. Thus, many kennel clubs will not register dogs with these coat colors.
In all dogs, the main factors that improve longevity are avoiding obesity and castration in males .
Pomeranians are somewhat prone to obesity. Research shows that less frequent meals, avoiding treats such as table scraps and regular exercise reduce the risk of a dog becoming overweight. Discuss your pup’s body condition with your veterinarian and seek their advice if your pup begins to become overweight.
Risks to the lifespan of a Pomeranian
Swedish researchers found that Pomeranian deaths were often caused by “trauma.” In other words, physical injuries caused by accidents. This is probably because Pomeranians are a small breed and therefore relatively vulnerable and susceptible to pedestrians.
But you can reduce the risk of traumatic injury by puppy-proofing your home. In addition, don’t leave your dog unattended in potentially dangerous environments.
In short, the Pomeranian is quite robust for a toy dog. This is partly due to its reduced vulnerability to many life-threatening diseases such as cancer.
You can have your dog genetically tested to avoid passing on the few serious hereditary diseases known to affect the breed.
Owners, of course, must be careful not to overweight or allow dogs to stray or get injured.
The pomeranian has a typical life expectancy of 10 to 16 years and in responsible hands is usually at the older end of this range or beyond.