Pomsky: An Origin Story
If you asked dog specialists twenty years ago what a Pomsky dog breed would look like, they wouldn’t have had a definitive answer for you. As far as animal experts knew, this dog breed didn’t exist. The adorable Pomsky caught some public attention just a decade ago, and they have grown in popularity among dog lovers ever since. After all, it’s tough to resist its fluffy locks and charismatic personality, not to mention the appeal of each type of Pomsky. Since their inception, there have been three known sizes of this dog breed: standard, miniature, and toy. A standard size usually weighs between eighteen and twenty-five pounds and can grow between fifteen and eighteen inches tall. The miniature type has an average weight of nine to fourteen pounds and grows as tall as twelve to fifteen inches. The toy sizes only weigh around five to nine pounds, with heights ranging from eight to ten inches. Canine admirers around the world have likened the appearance of Pomskies to that of a mini-wolf puppy.
This compact, gorgeously coated dog breed results from a Pomeranian and Siberian Husky. Since those parent breeds have such beautiful, thick coating, it’s no surprise Pomskies inherited such remarkable traits. With a loving temperament, we know this delightful breed for its spirited play and friendly demeanor. It’s important to note, however, that these striking pooches can be predisposed to certain health conditions to which their parent breeds are also prone. Environmental allergies can cause mild to severe health risks, so you should monitor potential signs of them.
Pomsky Environmental Allergies Explained
According to AKC (American Kennel Club), environmental allergies, commonly known as seasonal allergies, are one of three main types of allergies that pose health challenges to dogs like your Pomsky. This shouldn’t come as a shock, because Pomeranians, the ancestors of the Pomsky, are susceptible to outdoor allergies. To fully understand what environmental allergies are, we must take a deeper dive into the definition of canine allergies.
An allergy is an overactive immune response caused by allergens, which are particulate substances that get inhaled, either through the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract, or absorbed through the skin. These substances trigger an immune response and release histamine, which is a natural chemical of the cells of the body released to help fight off these allergens. We associate histamine with the typical signs of allergies, such as sneezing, coughing, and itchy, watery eyes. We have found elevated histamine levels in periods of anaphylaxis and allergic reactions. When histamine levels rise and the body isn’t able to break this chemical down, it can cause the development of histamine intolerance. Once the immune system responds to allergens and the histamine levels increase, this can trigger inflammation.
Essentially, when allergens cause the dog’s immune system to react, over time, sensitivity to that allergen will increase. Thus, when your Pomsky gets exposed to allergens, their immune system will go into overdrive. That inflammation can lead to erythema, edema, and pruritus. Erythema is the medical term for reddening, irritated skin. Edema is the term for swelling, either of the skin or, as noted in canines, the nasal passages, eyes, or throat. Pruritus refers to any itching that stems from allergic reactions. You should also consider any allergens within the living environment. Canines can be sensitive to indoor contaminants. These substances include allergens tracked inside, as well as dust buildup, fibers, hair, and shed skin cells. If left to fester, bacteria can proliferate and cause year-round allergies for your Pomsky.
What Causes Environmental Allergies?
Airborne or environmental allergies are allergens that naturally exist. This means that they are out of our control. However, any animal lover can control exposure to them. Primary causes of environmental allergies include pollen, dust, mold, and spores, all of which are allergens that are naturally occurring. The outdoors are ripe with pollen from plants, spores from mold or fungi, and dust particles. The indoors may have all these things, especially when opening and shutting windows and doors. We can track these allergens into the house on our clothes. Dust particles can carry germs that are harmful to canines and humans alike. This is especially the case for household dust, which is a mix of dirt, shed skin cells, fibers, bacteria, mites, dead insects, soil particles, pollen, microplastics, and shed hairs.
It’s important to note, skin or food-related allergies can have physical symptoms that are similar to environmental allergies. Skin allergies can manifest as rashes, lesions, scabs, or hives in localized areas or all over the skin. Food sensitivities can also cause skin allergies. Without a clear connection that the allergies are related to the environment, try eliminating potential food or skin-related causes. Furthermore, exposure to the outdoors can increase the risk of your Pomsky getting bitten or stung by insects. Parasites can also attach themselves to your doggo’s hair. Fleas, ticks, and mites are prime examples of outdoor parasites that can find their way to your dog’s skin. These annoying bugs can bite, scratch, burrow, and leave detritus on your pet’s skin. This can cause an allergic reaction and lead to secondary health issues. Most Pomskies have beautiful, voluminous coats, which means thick hair that is easy for parasitic insects to settle into.
How Environmental Allergies Affects Your Pomsky’s Well-Being
Depending on the severity of the allergic reaction, your Pomsky can live a happy life. Seasonal allergies, for instance, don’t have a serious health impact on your lovable canine, as the allergies come and go with the passing of the seasons. Nevertheless, if you cannot develop a treatment plan, it will affect your pup’s overall well-being. Aside from the obvious discomfort allergies can cause, if left alone to fester, their sinuses can get more irritated. That irritation can cause or increase their stress levels. Environmental allergies, whether seasonal or year-round, shouldn’t be ignored. In many cases, the onset of allergies can begin as early as six months to three years old. No one wants to see their furry little Pomsky suffer from uncontrollable sneezing or itchy watery eyes. Let alone watch them suffer from allergies from puppy-hood into adulthood. They may even develop an aversion to going outside, which is disheartening, to say the least. Living with mild to severe allergies will have a detrimental effect on your Pomsky’s overall well-being. Luckily, there are effective treatment options for your allergen-sensitive dog.
Life Expectancy of Pomskies with Environmental Allergies
The average lifespan of a Pomsky is between thirteen and fifteen years. Environmental allergies should have no major changes to their life expectancy. It’s only the worst-case scenarios that could impact their life span. For instance, constant allergic reactions from environmental allergens can cause cumulative stress. When your dog experiences constant stress, this increases its cortisol levels, a chemical commonly known as the stress hormone. Increased stress is harmful to their physical, mental, and emotional health. Not only can it cause behavioral problems, but it can also weaken their immune systems, which makes it harder for your pup to handle allergic reactions.
We should not ignore cases where your Pomsky develops hypersensitivity to airborne allergens, as it can lead to severe allergic reactions. Anaphylactic shock is a prime example of a life-threatening allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. If you notice your Pomsky is struggling to breathe, has swelling of the nose, mouth, or eyes, excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen areas of the skin, excessive hives, or constant itching, seek a veterinarian care facility right away. If you notice discoloration or a bluish tint of the tongue and gums, this could be a sign of cyanotic, another symptom of anaphylaxis. Failing to act swiftly could cause permanent damage and even death.
Consulting with your veterinarian should be a priority when developing an effective treatment for your Pomsky’s environmental allergies. It’s possible they could develop a tolerance to the airborne allergens or experience worsening allergy sensitivities, but that’s no reason your adorable Pomsky can’t live a long, happy life.
Signs of Environmental Allergies
The common symptoms of environmental allergies include itchiness of the eyes, skin, or paws. Particulate buildup around the eyes, watery eyes, and discharge from the nasal passages, as well as coughing or sneezing, are also some of the common signs. All canines are at risk of developing environmental allergies, and although they may only last for a season, it’s not unheard of for allergies to last year-round.
Pruritus is a medical term for itchiness, which is a common sign of allergies, but can also be due to infections or parasitic organisms. Aside from environmental allergies, bacterial and yeast infections are common causes for pruritus as well as an infestation of fleas, ticks, or mites. Pruritus irritates the canine’s dermal tissue, which results in the constant need to scratch, bite at their skin, or lick the areas that irritate them. The commonly affected areas include the paws, face, ears, front legs, and midsection of the abdomen. Excessive scratching, biting, or licking can lead to worsening skin conditions, such as rashes, skin infections, wounds, scabs, scaling, ear infections, and hair loss.
Airborne allergens are commonly caused by atopy or canine atopic dermatitis. Signs of atopy include pruritus and licking or chewing of the paws, or constantly rubbing their muzzles, face, or eyes. Although the skin is usually the main area affected by atopy, the sinuses, ears, and respiratory system can also be affected. Allergic reactions can cause inflammation of the nose, known as rhinitis. Acute rhinitis occurs when an allergen gets caught in the nasal passages. Your Pomsky may begin violently sneezing to dislodge the allergen. Chronic rhinitis occurs when the allergen can’t be dislodged or when your dog gets exposed to those allergens. Signs of rhinitis include excessive sneezing or reverse sneezing, bad breath, face or paw rubbing, facial swelling, loss of smell and appetite, gagging, nosebleeds, nasal discharges, difficulty breathing through the nose, restlessness, and weight loss. Environmental allergies can also trigger an asthma episode in your Pomsky. In rare cases, the only sign of environmental allergies could be constant ear infections.
We should also consider food allergies and skin allergies when examining any allergic reactions to your canine companion. If you aren’t quite sure whether your little doggo has seasonal allergies, then rule out food-related or skin allergies. Did you recently make changes to their diet or their grooming products? Removing foods you recently introduced them to and seeing if that makes a difference in their health can help. If you used a new shampoo, conditioner, or lotion, then revert to the old brand and see if that changes the health of their skin and coating.
Care and Treatment for Environmental Allergies
Consult with a veterinarian to confirm your suspicions that your Pomsky may have seasonal or environmental allergies. Determining an effective treatment plan can make all the difference in your pooch’s comfort level during the roughest allergen-laden seasons. All canines, no matter their size, love the daily outdoor walk. Of course, this exposes them to potential allergens, which can lead to sneezing, itchiness, watery eyes, skin irritation, and affect their ears, paws, nose, and mouths. Don’t let that deter you from allowing your Pomsky the joys of outdoor play. Simple online resources can help you keep track of outdoor allergens based on your geographic location. These allergy trackers can help you determine if going outside will trigger your little one’s allergies.
Environmental allergies can cause some anxiety and stress for your Pomsky. Not only will stress cause discomfort as a result of allergies, but they could also be anxious about going outside. They might look forward to going outside, but get frustrated when you don’t let them. Keeping them calm will help decrease their anxiety. Although they don’t get to go outside, by protecting them from exposure to allergens, you are preventing them from getting stressed. Seasonal allergies do pass, but be sure to check the allergen forecast before bringing them for a walk. Finding canine calming products your pup can enjoy isn’t difficult. There are sprays, chewy treats, calming beds, and calming fountains to integrate into their own comfortable space in your home. Perfect for those days when there are just too many airborne allergens outside and you don’t want to risk bringing your Pomsky on a brisk walk.
Depending on the severity of their environmental allergies, your vet may suggest or prescribe allergy medications. This can include antibiotics, antihistamines, or steroids. They will also suggest topical creams and medications. Atopy or canine atopic dermatitis will last the rest of your Pomsky’s life. An anti-itch medication, usually a topical one, can help provide pain relief and prevent secondary skin conditions. With regular vet checkups and proper treatment plans, lifelong atopy can be completely manageable. Avoiding exposure to allergens they’re sensitive to and managing pruritus flare-ups is important. Most care and treatment plans for environmental allergies involve a mix of medications, controlled hygiene practices, and possible immunotherapy options. This type of vaccine therapy is not a cure, but it does aim to increase your Pomsky’s tolerance to environmental allergens. Effective immunotherapy takes time to develop, as it requires tracking exactly what allergens your Pomsky is sensitive to. Once that’s discovered, they can administer an allergy vaccine which is delivered via an allergy shot or injection, or as allergy droplets. Dosage and frequency are determined by your veterinarian.
If parasitic insects are biting, scratching, and otherwise making a home in your Pomsky’s hair, regular, anti-flea, tick, and mite grooming practices are a must. Environmental allergies are enough for your Pomsky to deal with, but bugs that burrow, irritate, and leave behind waste will only worsen their seasonal allergies. Secondary causes of skin conditions can slow the overall healing process. You should also consider allergies caused by indoor allergens. Keep the living environment dust and allergen-free by routinely cleaning those spaces. A Pomsky, like most pets, typically spends more time indoors. Ensuring they have a comfortable, safe, and clean living environment will make a difference in their overall health and well-being.
Quality of Life
Your Pomsky can live a fulfilling life despite their environmental allergies. These allergies do pass, and there are effective treatment options to combat any discomfort or health issues. Your main focus when treating your Pomsky’s seasonal or year-round allergies should be to remain patient. This means remaining calm anytime your pooch has a flare-up. They are already experiencing stress from the situation. Dogs, especially your affectionate Pomsky, can tune in to any anxiety or stress that you are feeling. This projection will only increase their worry, which can worsen their allergic reactions. Keeping them calm while administering medications or applying topical anti-itch creams will leave your animal companion feeling well-loved and cared for. Improving their comfort and decreasing stress will have a positive impact on their quality of life. Consider investing in calming products, such as a calming zen chew, to help your Pomsky overcome any anxiety or stress they’re experiencing from seasonal or environmental allergies.