Most common health problems in Pekingese, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Pekingese

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Pekingese, you'll find my health care program very valuable.

It's called "11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy."

Raise your dog the RIGHT way, feed him the RIGHT food, give him the RIGHT vaccinations, avoid unnecessary veterinary expenses, and help him live a longer, happier, and more comfortable life.

If your Pekingese already HAS a health problem, I'm sorry to hear that. You should immediately begin my health care program, and you may be able to restore his good health – or at least make him much more comfortable. Let me help!

My best-selling dog health book


Pekingese dog breed

Pekingese Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Pekingese health problems

Pekingese have been deliberately bred to be deformed in two ways – their short legs and long back are chondrodysplastic and their short "pushed-in" face is brachycephalic. Both syndromes are associated with eye problems, breathing problems, and orthopedic problems.

The respiratory system of a brachycephalic dog is dysfunctional, starting with the nostrils and proceeding down through the throat and windpipe. Pekinese can have trouble breathing simply from running around, especially in hot weather. Many Pekes are lost to heatstroke.

The cramped mouth doesn't have enough room for strong healthy teeth, so Pekes are prone to dental disease.

A serious orthopedic problem in Pekingese is intervertebral disk disease – among all breeds, only Dachshunds have a higher risk. Luxating patella (loose knees) also occur in Pekingese and can require expensive surgery. Even the hip joints are problematic, leading to arthritis later in life.

The protruding eyes are easily scratched, leading to corneal ulcers. There are a lot of blind Pekingese due to cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy.

Chronic allergies cause itchy skin and scratching that can lead to bacterial infections (hot spots), especially in Pekes with a lot of wrinkled skin. Ear infections are common due to profuse hair in the ear canals.

Heart disease (mitral valve disease) is becoming a concern in the breed.

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Pekingese have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases, your Pekingese has less risk of developing those conditions. Unfortunately it appears that the majority of Pekingese breeders aren't testing and certifying their breeding dogs for anything.

Other health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your Pekingese, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Pekingese puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!


Here are my dog health tips for raising your Pekingese puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Pekingese lives the best life he can.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Pekingese
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Pekingese. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Pekingese
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Pekingese. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Pekingese puppy really need? Does your adult Pekingese need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you.


Information on spaying your Pekingese. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Pekingese. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.


Complete list of Pekingese health problems

Virtually all Pekingese puppies are born by C-section, birth defects are common, and the puppy mortality rate is high.

Pekingese have been deliberately bred to be deformed in two ways – their short legs and long back are chondrodysplastic and their short "pushed-in" face is brachycephalic. Both syndromes are associated with eye problems, breathing problems, and orthopedic problems.

Eye problems are very common in Pekingese, especially corneal ulcers, as the protruding eyes are easily scratched. Dry eye and cherry eye are also common, and cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) can occur.

The respiratory system can be dysfunctional starting with the nostrils and proceeding down through the throat and windpipe. Pekinese can have trouble breathing simply from running around, especially in hot weather. Many Pekes are lost to heatstroke. The cramped mouth doesn't have enough room for strong healthy teeth, so Pekes are prone to dental disease.

The most common orthopedic problem in Pekingese is intervertebral disk disease – only the Dachshund has a higher risk. Luxating patella (loose knees) also occurs in Pekingese. Hip dysplasia appears to be the rule rather the exception in Pekingese. Breeders may tell you hip dysplasia doesn't matter because few Pekes show symptoms – however, hip dysplasia always leads to arthritis later in life, and that most certainly does matter.

Allergies cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma), especially in Pekes with deep facial folds. Ear infections are common due to profuse hair in the ear canals.

Heart disease (mitral valve disease) is becoming a concern in the breed.

Other health issues in Pekingese include hernias, bloat, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

Hanging tongue is a mild condition that can occur in Pekingese, where the tongue protrudes through the front teeth or hangs out the side of the mouth. It may be a neurological defect or a structural defect, but it isn't really anything to worry about.

Finally, Pekingese are prone to dental disease (serious) and intermittent episodes of reverse sneezing (harmless).


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.