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Dog Breed Profile

Bow! Pawfect Pomeranian pooch

Bow! Pawfect Pomeranian pooch

Cute ‘n’ cuddly…Pomeranians – Poms as we lovingly call them, are one of the most popular doggie breeds around the world. Always keeping their sunny side up, they are quintessential sweetheart pooches. These happy-go-lucky doggies are tender yet tough… dainty yet daring…freewheeling yet alert. Woof! Woof! Let’s explore more about these angelic and ever-cherubic pooches.

The Pomeranian is a natural charmer…he enjoys the human companionship the most. Being loved and Dog trainingpampered all the time…is any Pom’s dream. They are always active and playful…with loads of affection and faithfulness. Their typical ‘PowderPuff’ looks make them ideal pets at home. They had a glorious past of sharing their lives with who’s who of myriad fields. These Poms were proudly owned by Michelangelo, Sir Isaac Newton, Mozart, Martin Luther, etc. If that was past, present is also equally glorious, Paris Hilton’s pet Pom is always dressed to match her hot-mom and Nicole Richie has named her Pomeranian – Foxxy Cleopatra (Austin Powers).

Pomeranian prince – An origin tale

The ‘Pomerania’ – a place on the south coast of the Baltic Sea, divided between Germany in the west and Poland in the east, is the place, where these furryfriends were developed in the 8th century. In the last decade of 18th century, they reached England and enjoyed imperial opulence as pets of Queen Victoria…and later Queen herself christened them as Pomeranians, in honour of their homeland. Queen Charlotte and Queen Victoria made them popular as noble pets. At that time, this breed was much bigger than what we have today. After getting recognized by American Kennel Club in 1900, breeders successfully reduced their size to give them remarkable ‘PowderPuff’ appearance.

Cherubic charmers – The general appearance

The Poms are small dogs with short neck and small feet. They stand about 7 to 8 inches tall and weigh from 3 to 7 pounds. They have got wedge-shaped head with little ears…always alert, and short and fine muzzle. The almond shaped eyes with oh-socute looks always make pets lovers go weak in the knees. The tail is characteristic of the breed, which is turned over the back and carried flat, set high. In newborns, tail is not developed or spread out…but within a couple of months, the tail grows to Pom’s back. The neck is short with its base set well into the shoulders to allow the head to be carried high. The back is short with level top line. The body is compact and well ribbed. He is medium boned and the lengths of his legs are in proportion to a well-balanced frame. The forelegs are straight and parallel to each other. He stands well up on his toes. The angulation of the hindquarters balances that of the forequarters. The buttocks are well behind the set of the tail. The thighs are moderately muzzled with stifles that are moderately bent and clearly defined.

The Pomeranian has soft and fluffy fur coat with coarse undercoat. The outer coat is soft and furry, where as inner coat is long, straight and coarse. The long and dense fur around the neck adds more to their beauty, by forming a frill. The coat colour can be of various shades, which include white, black, brown, chocolate, red, orange, cream, sable, light or dark blue. Moreover, they can also be parti-colour, with several hues of happiness. Despite long-furry looks, actually this is a muscular breed, which is hidden under the attractive fur-coat. The most popular colours for Pomeranians are orange in various shades ranging from light to dark.

Watchful woofs – The demeanour details

Pomeranians are any pooch lover’s delight… they are active, intelligent, courageous, loyal, lively, spunky, curious, alert…Woof! they are just the best companions. The friendly and outgoing behaviour of Poms is one of their best qualities. They want attention and love all the time. They just love to sit in the lap, and get petted…hence also known as lap dogs. Their intelligence and reasoning powers are almost uncanny and they can seem to understand your every word. One Pomeranian is fun but more than one and the fun is multiplied many times over. They get along well with kids and family members, if they are trained well. Otherwise, they need supervision, while socializing, especially with little kids. They can be easily trained and are fast learners. As they say ‘sooner the better,’ if we start training them early, we will get one of the most obedient and well-behaved pooch. They are very confident and commanding too. They love to walk and roam…with high energy levels, one will hardly find them lazing around. As they like to exercise less, they are the perfect apartment pets…and live well in both, an apartment as well as an open house.

Pomeranians are highly suspicious of strangers and unknown noises…and become alert on sensing any such things. So, they are good watchdogs; moreover, they have a shriek bark, which adds to their guarding capabilities. “Pomeranians have on outgoing bouncy personality with a big dog attitude. They are intelligent and always eager to please,” added G Sudheer of VICK VIN POMS kennel.

Well-favoured paws – A grooming ‘n’ care guide

As Poms have double coat, they need to be brushed daily, which is required to avoid matting and tangling. This breed sheds more (once or twice a year), so harsh combing must be avoided. And coat should be trimmed regularly. For Pomeranians, we will not recommend frequent baths, as it can damage the skin and fur by removing essential oils from the body. Harsh shampoo also causes dandruff and fur loss.

The eye, nail and dental care are extensively required for this breed. It is advisable to trim the nails weekly, whereas teeth and eyes need daily care. The eyes should be cleaned properly with water daily. In addition to grooming, excellent dental care is most important for them. They are prone to tooth loss; so, regular dental care is must. Dry food is helpful in keeping teeth and gums healthy.

Pom puppy – The training tips

Poms look highly cute and cuddly as pups, but bringing them up is an uphill task. Once, you have Pom pup at home, you need to bear with excessive barking…as there’s a noisy unrest all the time, When you are caring for your Pomeranian puppy…and he barks, never shout at them… simply say “NO!”…This is the easiest way you can train him to avoid excessive barking. “Poms at young age are little noisy, but as they grow, they listen to their parent. And at the same time, they are very alert and good watch dog at your home,” assured Sudheer.

Our loving Pomeranians are very popular and sought after breed for their many fine personality attributes and unmatched looks coupled with royale gait. To pet a Pom is a great experience…no words can express that exuberance. Here’s wishing happy Pom parenting.

(With inputs from G. Sudheer Raju, who runs VICK VIN POMS Kennel, registered by Kennel Club Of India. He started keeping Poms at the age of 10 and today his kennel produces the best Pomeranians. )

Making Festival Pawfect

Everybody looks forward to festivals… lot of delicacies, decorations at house, spending time with loved ones, and fireworks… time seems perfect. But, it can be the most dreaded time for our pets – loud noises, crackers, too much sweets… it’s simply not a dog’s life. Here’s how to make festival a fun time for our tailwagger as well.

My darling pooch Jimmy and I always look forward to festivals, as this is the time for a family reunion and

Sonakshi, Archana and Jimmy

Sonakshi, Archana and Jimmy

loads of goodies. Jimmy’s joys know no bounds and he simply jumps up and down the house, pausing for a pat on his back from one and all. Things that he dislikes at this time are the crackers and loud noises. But, the frenzy gets over by some loving petting and cajoling from the family. He’s a part of us and we don’t let him suffer alone…we are there to hold his paw and give him a loving nudge every time he feels afraid. And undoubtedly, our bonding becomes stronger year after year, festival after festival.

This time, while I was making my list for do’s and don’ts this Diwali, I thought it worthwhile to ask Jimmy for his wishlist and here’s what he has to say :

Jimmy’s wishlist :

  • I wish people to celebrate festivals without loud noises and crackers. 
  • I wish my parents shut down that idiot box (TV) and spend that time with me playing. During festivals, they just forget to watch it and I really like them this way. 
  • I wish I also had a wardrobe full of pretty dresses, one for each occasion. I also wish to sport the couture look! 
  • I wish I could meet my friends who keep calling me with a soulful look at our gate. 
  • I wish all my stray friends also get a loving happy home like me. They are wonderful pooches and they simply deserve the best. 
  • I wish people do not hurt or frighten my pariah friends. 
  • I wish there were more places where I could go with my parents. 
  • I wish there were loads of holiday destinations where we could go together and have a pawfect time. 
  • I wish there were more parks where I and my friends were allowed. 
  • And not to forget, I wish I got more of my favourite dishes and treats.

As a pet parent, here’s my wishlist for this festive season :

  • I wish Jimmy takes care of what he is sniffing around. I don’t understand how he finds the things which I least want him to sniff. 
  • I wish I could understand his ‘woof woof’ and actually talk to him for hours on end. After all, he is my best buddy! 
  • I wish I could spend more quality time with him – groom him, walk with him, play with him – all that is good for him. 
  • I wish all pooches are blessed with a loving home and there are no homeless strays. 
  • Last but not the least, I wish Jimmy has a long and healthy life, celebrating festivals together, year after year. Now, that our wishlists are complete, let’s all make this Diwali a memorable time for our cutie-pies.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts at festival time :

  • Do not give puppies as gifts as festival is not the right time to bring a new member in the family who can become nervous on seeing lots of activities. 
  • If you have guests at home, make a quiet place for your pet where he can retire at his own will. 
  • Do not feed sweets and chocolates as treats to your canine friend as it can upset his stomach. 
  • Do not leave any burning candles and diyas unattended, as your pooch might get hurt. 
  • Keep all electrical wires away from his paws’ reach. 
  • Use decorations, which are safe both for you and your dog. For example, use fresh flowers for rangoli instead of colours. 
  • Do not let your pooch sniff or eat crackers. 
  • Pets are afraid of fireworks, so keep them indoors. 
  • Noisy crackers can make your pooch hysteric, so put him in a quiet place and turn on the TV or radio to distract him. 
  • Do not leave him unattended if he is frightened. 
  • Make sure that he does not run away from fear. As a precautionary measure, put an identification tag on his collar. 
  • Amidst all activities, take time out for your loving pooch. Don’t miss his daily walks and playtime. 
  • Give lots of love and comfort to your tailwagger to help him overcome his fear and anxiety.

– by Varsha Verma

 


Do as mamma does!

Just imagine the solace one can feel, if our pretty pooches accompany us to our yoga classes. Well! Japanese people already know about it and “Dog Yoga” lessons are being organised by Japan Dog Yoga Association at Nippon Ayurveda School in Tokyo. Aimed at improving health and bonding between owner and dog through yoga, it has become the much soughtafter activity. Just try to make your canine a part of your yoga activity and see both of you gaining good health, besides spending quality time with each other.

Tips for pawfect routine check-up

Make your dog’s veterinary check-ups more comfortable As the importance of dogs as companions in human life increases, so does the emphasis on pet health care. Just like feeding, grooming, walking and caring, visiting the veterinarian becomes an important part of your pet’s health schedule, simply because prevention is better than cure, especially for this caring companion of yours.

Selecting the right veterinarian

A vet within close proximity of your house, so as to facilitate multiple visits for treatments or emergencies. A vet who makes most pet supplies, accessories and emergency medication available at hand. A vet with a good reputation for availability, ability and responsiveness, since it is rather frustrating to wait for a vet’s appointment when your pet is really sick and needs immediate attention.

When to visit the vet

Routine once-a-month health check-ups are a must for every household pet. If you have just acquired a new pet, you must take her to the vet immediately.

Tips for routine check up

Here are a few tips for pet owners about a routine visit to the vet?:

  • Always seek a prior appointment and/or make sure the vet is in the clinic before leaving with your pet.
  • Always make sure you are carrying along health card, vaccination card and other treatment record files of the pet.
  • A vet’s clinic is often, visited by pets suffering from common viral or bacterial diseases that can be easily passed on to your pet, so for safety, keep your pet in the car/vehicle till it’s your turn to go in.
  • Make it a habit to carry a well-fitting muzzle for your dog instead of using the one, which is at the vet’s clinic, since it has been obviously used on several other dogs and may be a carrier of bacteria or viruses.
  • If your pet is an unvaccinated pup and is visiting the vet for the first time, do not let him sniff, snoop or lick around the vet’s clinic since it is easy for the unvaccinated pup to catch a fatal virus. Preferably, keep the unvaccinated pup in your arms and do not keep him down except on the clean table.
  • One can never overlook the importance of history and evidence in vet’s practice. Simply because the patient cannot communicate and the vet has to rely on the history and clinical symptoms to reach a perfect diagnosis. As a pet owner, do not hesitate to give your vet the detailed history because sometimes even the silliest of the clues can provide the vet with a clue to arrive to a definitive diagnosis.
  • The simplest of the routine check-ups should include recording of pulse, temperature, respiration pattern auscultation and palpation of all superficial lymph nodes. An eye, ear and oral mucus check for anaemia and/or dirt or infection.
  • Routine check-ups will make your pet get used to handling by his vet. Pets who are brought to the clinic just once a year for the annual shots are more difficult to handle and uncomfortable even for performing simple routine operations like nail clippings or ear cleaning simply because they are not used to it. Therefore getting your pet used to this idea of grooming and being examined is a must.
  • Since the first impression is always a lasting impression in the memory of pups, try to make his first visit to the clinic a pleasant one. Avoid any injection pricks or painful procedures on the very first day, if possible.

(Dr Achina Joglekar, B V Sc & A H (BOM) is a private practitioner in Goa and has two clinics at Miramar and Calangute respectively. She can be contacted at 9326020834 / 9890697636.)

For the pawfect million dollar smile

Canine dental care is often overlooked, but pets can suffer the same kinds of dental problems as humans, including severe pain, infection and tooth loss. You can help prevent these problems by learning about the basics of pet tooth care from your veterinarian. You should take advantage of recent advances in veterinary dentistry, including implants, braces, ultrasonic scaling, root canals, bonding and brightening. Many veterinarians also believe – although the evidence is not conclusive – that bacteria associated with tooth and gum disease can spread to internal body systems and contribute to infections in organs like the heart, liver and kidney. If so, a dental prevention programme could even help extend a pet’s life.

Dental check-up with the veterinarian

Dogs should have periodic check-ups. The frequency depends on their age: Puppies : You should have your pet’s mouth examined as early as possible and again at every vaccination appointment up to four months of age. Another dental examination should be performed at six months, including an assessment of your pet’s bite. Some do not lose all their baby teeth when they should, and their permanent teeth can be pushed out of line. If that happens, your vet may have to pull the stubborn baby teeth.

One to three years?: At this age, dental examinations should be done annually, unless you notice problems or your veterinarian has developed a custom examination programme.

Four to six years?: If your pet has perfect teeth and you brush them daily, annual examinations may suffice. However, many dogs in this age group require examinations every six months.

Seven years and up?: Dental examinations should be performed every six months. A dog suffering from dental problem may show following symptoms: change in eating habits, pawing of mouth, abnormal salivation, oral hypersensitivity, facial swelling, bleeding from mouth, sneezing, nasal discharge and abnormal behaviour.

How bad breath develops

Sour milk odour accompanying periodontal disease may result from bacterial population associated with plaque, calculus, unhealthy tissue, decomposed food particles retained within oral cavity. Normal lung air or stomach will never contribute to persistent bad breath. As plaque gets older and infected, it inflames the gingival (the junction between the teeth and the gum), further causing inflammation of the bone and bone loss takes place. Over a period of time, if attention is not given to the plaque, the aerobic gram positive bacteria changes to anaerobic gram negative bacteria. The rough surface of tartar attracts more bacteria, which irritates the gums, creating pockets at the gingival junction, which starts housing food debris, leading to tooth decay. Breeds like Pomeranian, Poodles, Lhasa Apso are prone to oral disease, thus proper dental hygiene needs to be maintained. Other diseases like diabetes, advanced renal failure, skin disorder like lip fold pyoderma can cause a foul smell to the breath.

How to brush your dog’s teeth

Ideally, brush your pet’s teeth daily, but brushing at least three times a week will go a long way in helping to prevent dental and related problems. Your pet may dislike the process and resist strenuously. If so, proceed slowly and with care.

  • Use a soft toothbrush. A child’s toothbrush for small dogs is ideal; an adult size should be used for larger dogs. Rubber finger caps with bristles are also available at most veterinarian offices and pet supply stores. Brushing with “Dentapaste” is ideal.
  • Start slowly by lifting up the lip and running your finger or a damp washcloth wrapped around your finger along the gums and teeth. Talk to and praise your pet to keep him calm while you are doing this.
  • Gradually increase the amount of time you work in the mouth daily. Concentrate on the outside surface of the teeth. Very little periodontal disease develops on the inside surface of the teeth since the tongue keeps this area clean.
  • Use toothpaste formulated especially for pets. “Dentapaste” has tree tea oil and other compounds best for this purpose, available at pet supply stores or your veterinarian’s office. Regular toothpaste is usually objectionable to them.
  • The best time to clean your pet’s teeth is after the evening meal. Your pet will become more cooperative over time if you establish a routine. For example: First feed your pet, next clean the teeth, and then play with him. Most dogs adapt to this routine surprisingly well.

How to avoid dental decay

Dog food, treats and chew bones?: Some pet foods have been developed to enhance oral care by having an abrasive action that is designed to scrape tartar from the teeth. There are also numerous treats and chew products available that may be helpful. High fibre contents of chews give massage to the gums and remove debris of food which reduces plaque formation. Mouth wash and sprays?: Veterinary hospitals and pet supply outlets sell chlorhexidine sprays and mouthwashes that contain enzymes that dissolve plaque and help reduce bacteria. They are not nearly as effective as brushing the teeth but are better than no home care.

How to remove tartar

Manual tartar removal?: If your pet has a placid temperament, it is not difficult to scrap the tartar from the teeth and clean under the margins of the gums. Many pet professionals perform excellent tooth cleaning , eliminating the need to have their pet anaesthetised at a veterinary clinic. Your veterinarian or a pet supply catalogue is a good source for a tartar-scraping tool. The best ones are double ended, one end suitable for the right and the other for the left side of the mouth. Ultrasonic cleaning?: The whine of the ultrasonic machine is distressing to most dogs, this procedure is performed with general anaesthetic or heavy tranquillisation. Older patients who have heart disease and need this procedure are given very light anaesthetic.

Removal of diseased teeth?: Once the ligaments that fasten teeth to the bone of the jaw have been damaged by periodontal disease, ultrasonic cleaning will not heal them. Mildly loose teeth can sometimes be preserved by cleaning and several weeks of doxycycline therapy either with oral tablets or oral patches. Severely loose teeth are best removed. So gear up and make your lil’ friends smile – SHINE!!

(Dr. Hatekar is a practicing veterinary surgeon in Pune. He has been trained in Germany and France for small animal orthopaedic surgery. He also writes for The Times of India, Indian Express and The Deccan Herald. He is member of World Small Animal Veterinary Association and can be contacted at: 020-25463352, Mobile : 09823288110, e-mail?: petaid1@yahoo.com)