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Pekingese Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books


Start your Pekingese off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.

Jump down to this list of
Pekingese Health Problems

Or check out my advice for raising a healthy 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 a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet... [read more]

numeral 33 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food
You can dramatically increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life by feeding the right food. Cutting right to the chase, the best foods for your Pekingese are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Pekingese will love real chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, broccoli.... this is not just "people food" and I'll tell you why... [read more]

Dry kibble and canned dog food 5 Best Kibble and Canned Dog Foods
Some are better than others, but I must be honest – I'm not a huge fan of dry or canned dog food. Here are my concerns... [read more]

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

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Pekingese be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Pekingese? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
Does your Peke suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to reduce inflammation and pain. [read more]


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.

Sadly, there are a lot of blind Pekingese from cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy. Or from a corneal ulcer – the large protruding eyes are easily scratched, followed by infection or ulcer.

The eyes are a real weak spot in Pekingese, as the breed is also plagued by conditions such as dry eye  and cherry eye.

One look at the squashed face of some (not all) Pekingese, and you can see why the respiratory system of this breed is so dysfunctional. The nostrils, soft palate, and windpipe are malformed. That's why a Pekinese makes so much noise trying to gulp in air, after a gallop around the yard in hot weather.

Don't put your Pekingese at risk by taking him out to romp or play in hot weather. Pekes belong in an air-conditioned space in hot weather.

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. Disk disease can lead to pain and lameness... or to full paralysis. Sadly, this is what happens when breeders casually reproduce a body shape that's inherently unhealthy.

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).

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your dog inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

FREE eBOOK! My free online health care program, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your Pekingese in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

My best-selling books – now available  FREE  on my website

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy is for puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know. Click here to read for free.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say. Click here to read for free.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life. Get my honest advice about all 11 Things before you bring home your new puppy, because some mistakes with early health care cannot be undone. Click here to read for free.