by Sam Mazzotta
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: We bought a black-and-white Pomeranian/Chihuahua cross when she was 9 months old. “Sheila” has long legs and is very pretty – she actually looks like a Papillon. She is now 16 months old and is shedding. Is this common with this mixed breed? – Marilyn, Canada
DEAR MARILYN: Sheila sounds very pretty indeed, though I’m sure the shedding is distressing. While shedding is not that common in purebred Chihuahuas, it is noted in purebred Pomeranian.
According to petpom.com, Pomeranian puppies shed their baby coats between three and seven months of age, allowing their adult coats to come in. Adult (or in your case, young adult) Pomeranians are known to shed their undercoat. This sometimes depends on seasonal changes, but some Pomeranians, particularly indoor dogs, shed lightly all year. Unspayed females may shed at different times, as well.
If Sheila is shedding fur so heavily that patches of fur are missing or her coat is so thin you can see her skin through it, take her to a veterinarian and have her checked out. Heavy shedding often indicates a medical problem.
If the shedding is not severe, comb Sheila’s coat daily to prevent matting. Do keep an eye on her to see if she is showing any signs of stress or illness, and check her fur and skin closely from time to time to check for any excessive shedding or signs of irritated skin.