Pomeranian lifespan is usually in the region of 10 to 16 years.
But, this range is wide because different studies and authorities have reached very different estimates.
Whether your Pom reaches the bottom or the top 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 top end of this range?
Measuring Pomeranian Lifespan
There are lots of ways to estimate life expectancy for a dog breed. But, these outcomes vary by country, breeding, and general care.
Pomeranian lifespan has been estimated in different ways. The combined results suggest that they are one of the longer lived pedigree breeds.
Small “toy” breeds generally have longer lifespans than large dogs. Their ages can range into their teens. Or, in some cases, even their twenties. This is because small dogs age slower than larger dogs.
Pomeranians, as a breed, have a reduced risk of many life-threatening health conditions including cancer — which is the most common type of terminal illness in dogs.
So, the health conditions that Pomeranians are more prone to are typically 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, Pomeranians live on average to be fourteen years old. However, this method for estimating life expectancy tends to exclude mortalities that occur at a young age or dogs that are less well cared for.
A British study of dog owners provided a shorter estimate of ten 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 a Pomeranian dog’s life will exceed twelve years. Similarly, the American Kennel Club suggests 12-16 years.
Plus, there are frequent reports of Pomeranians living over 20 years old.
Taken together this suggests a typical Pomeranian lifespan of 10-16 years.
According to PetPom, the oldest recorded Pomeranian lifespan was 21 years, 8 months, and 13 days.
Many people report more advanced ages. But they have not been officially documented.
How to Maximize Your Pomeranian’s Life Expectancy
If you are adopting a Pomeranian puppy from a breeder, ask about their health testing program as well as the longevity of closely related dogs.
Tests are available for the few serious or life-threatening health conditions known to occur in Pomeranians. These include:
- Hyperuricosuria (a blood condition that causes bladder stones).
- Degenerative myelopathy (a neurological disorder than can cause loss of coordination in older dogs)
- Gallbladder mucoceles (a condition that can lead to rupture of the gallbladder).
Can These be Prevented?
All of these inherited diseases have a known genetic cause and mode of inheritance. So, they are preventable with responsible breeding practices. This article gives you more tips on finding a responsible breeder.
Pomeranians come in many coat colors. But some should be avoided. The spotted “merle” coat pattern and albino colors are associated with impaired health and conditions such as deafness. So, many kennel clubs will not register dogs with these coat colors.
Across all dogs, the most important factors that improve lifespan include avoiding obesity and neutering for females.
Pomeranians are somewhat prone to obesity. Research shows that less frequent meals, avoiding treats like 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 gain excessive weight.
Risks to Pomeranian Lifespan
Swedish researchers found that deaths of Pomeranians were often caused by “trauma”. In other words, this means physical injuries caused by accidents. This is likely due to Pomeranians being a small breed and therefore relatively fragile and prone to being underfoot.
But, you can reduce the risk of traumatic injury by puppy-proofing your home. Plus, not leaving your dog unsupervised in potentially hazardous environments.
In conclusion, the Pomeranian is quite robust for a toy dog. This is partly due to its reduced vulnerability to many life-threatening diseases like cancers.
You can have your dog genetically tested to avoid passing on the few serious inherited disorders know to affect the breed.
Owners should of course take care to avoid obesity or allowing dogs to stray or become injured.
The Pomeranian has a typical life expectancy of 10-16 years and in responsible hands tend to be at the older end of this range or beyond.
More Pomeranian Reading
If you’re a big Pomeranian fan, you’ll love the other guides we have. Take a look at a few of them below for even more information on this tiny breed.
And tell us in the comments how old your Pomeranian is!
- Do Pomeranians Shed?
- Pomeranian Mixes
- Black Pomeranian
- Feeding a Pomeranian Puppy
- Pomeranian Names – Hundreds Of Unique Ideas
Bonnett, B. N., Egenvall, A., Olson, P., & Hedhammar, Å. (1997). Mortality in insured Swedish dogs: rates and causes of death in various breeds. Veterinary Record, 141(2), 40-44.
Fleming, J. M., Creevy, K. E., & Promislow, D. E. L. (2011). Mortality in North American dogs from 1984 to 2004: an investigation into age‐, size‐, and breed‐related causes of death. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Gough, A., Thomas, A., & O’Neill, D. (2018). Breed predispositions to disease in dogs and cats. John Wiley & Sons.
Inoue, M., Kwan, N. C., & Sugiura, K. (2018). Estimating the life expectancy of companion dogs in Japan using pet cemetery data. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
Komazawa, S., Sakai, H., Itoh, Y., Kawabe, M., Murakami, M., Mori, T., & Maruo, K. (2016). Canine tumor development and crude incidence of tumors by breed based on domestic dogs in Gifu prefecture. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
Mao, J., Xia, Z., Chen, J., & Yu, J. (2013). Prevalence and risk factors for canine obesity surveyed in veterinary practices in Beijing, China. Preventive veterinary medicine
O’Neill, D. G., Meeson, R. L., Sheridan, A., Church, D. B., & Brodbelt, D. C. (2016). The epidemiology of patellar luxation in dogs attending primary-care veterinary practices in England. Canine genetics and epidemiology
Strain, G. M., Clark, L. A., Wahl, J. M., Turner, A. E., & Murphy, K. E. (2009). Prevalence of deafness in dogs heterozygous or homozygous for the merle allele. Journal of veterinary internal medicine
Wijesena, H. R., & Schmutz, S. M. (2015). A missense mutation in SLC45A2 is associated with albinism in several small long haired dog breeds. Journal of Heredity
Nino Heđi says
Ok, i never had pomeranian but i had pekingese who died at age 16 due to benign tumour that vet coudn’t remove so i’ll share what i learned back than. For every dog there is life average expectancy but that is not absolute. Your dog can live long and healthy life and to achieve that is quite simple. First part of the formula revolves around diet. As your dog grows older you’ll have to adjust diet a bit and it’s enough to make small and simple changes, best of all they are quite affordable. One can quite simple can be food with less fat for example and i am not talking about specially formulated food for older dogs because it can be expensive and in about 90% of cases you don’t need it.Second part revovlves around stairs. If you have a lot of stairs in your house always pick your dog up take him upstairs and let him go if you have an opportunity. His back will thank you and the reason is that pomeranian’s spine is longer than his legs so climbing many stairs has negative impact on spine and may result in back pain at age 8+. Third and the most important part is walk. When your dog gets to age 8+ you will notice that dog loses will to move so first thing what you can do is impart habit on going habit on going to walk every day about same time and secondly never ever alow your dog especially if it is older dog to get lazy or else due to the lack excerscise which for dogs happens to be walk 90% your dog will be under huge risk of plethora of health issues that may affect or almost always affect older dogs.
My Caramel Pom is gonna be 16 on February 6, 2022. He has significant hearing loss and his sight is poor. His health has been slowly declining for this past year. Doesn’t eat much, has difficulty walking these days. Been doing tons of research on how to make him more comfortable.
Tails has been my constant companion since he was 4 months old. Not ready to say goodbye, but his struggle is heartbreaking. I will always be grateful for him in my life. I miss him in his youth but, age is part of the life process. Poms are truly unique and my favorite breed. Thanks to everyone sharing stories of their own.
nicole wilson says
My pom punkin will be 7 years old this year and I have had her since she was a baby. I love her so much but I think she is going blind in one eye and having seizures but not sure gonna take her to the vet to find out. She is a blond pom and has a cat that has been with us since she was a baby as well and they are like sisters. I hope that it’s nothing and my baby is OK
My Pom Minnie is orange and has been the healthiest dog ever. No problems with teeth or skin. We’ve always provided good quality food and regular visits to the vet. She has never had a weight problem even though we’ve always free fed her. She was 8 lbs when she was full grown and around 6 lbs now. She tends to be a little vocal and sheds quite a bit. She is AKC registered and will be 19 years old on March 13, 2021. I estimate she’s lost 75% of her vision and hearing and she is of course arthritic but still pretty spritely considering her age. She is one of the family. ❤️
Dawn Stack says
Our guy will be coming up on 21 years! Other than cataracts and some hearing loss I’m still in awe how much pep is still in his step!
Amanda H says
My dog is 10 years old! Super healthy. Always around 10-11 lbs when he goes to the vet. Goes on two walks a day and eats very healthy home cooked meals. Up to date on shots and recent blood work shows he is good! Teeth cleanings regularly and takes his vitamins every morning. I just love him so much!
My Pom turned 16yrs old last July. At the beginning of this year, 2020, she had a persistent cough and we were told she had a collapsed trachea. She also had digestive issues and lost a lot of weight. We were told she probably had heart issues and may not last long. Now, six months later, she has no cough at all, is eating a special wet food Gastrointestinal diet twice a day, and is bouncing around and as agile as a puppy! Her fur has definitely thinned and has turned white in parts and we suspect she is going deaf. She has had knee operations in the past and her teeth are not great, but otherwise I see her lasting for years yet. She is adorable!
Bonnie Castillo says
My dogs 15 years old to day she’s in ok condition but worried how much more time we have with I love her so much.
Tawnya whitmire says
Hi I have a black and white premarin and she’s losing her teeth in front I need to know what I need to do to help her be able to eat food I cooked up a little bit of chicken and gravy mixed in her dry dog food can you please give me a few tips