Healthy Eating for a Pekingese

Healthy Eating for a Pekingese

Pekingese dogs have small stomachs, so it's important not to give them large servings. Learn how to properly feed your Pekingese here.

While the standard for the breed says Pekingese are not to be considered delicate or dainty dogs, they nonetheless are subject to gastrointestinal upset if they are not fed properly. These little lap dogs require a high-quality diet divided into small meals, because their stomachs are small. Pekingese are not highly active by nature, so pet parents must be aware of the threat of obesity. Extra weight can contribute to serious back problems for these cute dogs. 

Caloric Requirements

Pekingese dogs generally weigh between 8 and 10 pounds as adults, making their food needs comparatively small. Dogs the size of Pekingese should consume between 296 and 404 calories per day, according to The National Research Council of the National Academies. The actual amount your Peke should consume will depend on the dog's activity level. Pekingese descend from a long ancestral line of royal lap dogs, so they tend to be sedentary. Pekingese should be encouraged to exercise, but if your Peke is a couch potato, it is essential to adjust their daily calorie intake accordingly. It is important that your little pet stay slender to stave off intervertebral disc disease, a serious degenerative spinal condition that can affect Pekingese. Obesity makes your Peke more susceptible to this problem, which can cause paralysis.

Healthy Foods

Commercial dog foods can provide the nutrients your Pekingese needs. Fed as dry kibble, such foods also can help to keep your pet's teeth free of plaque and tartar. The Pekingese is brachycephalic, meaning the breed has a flattened face. This not only makes the Pekingese susceptible to the usual breathing and overheating problems of dogs with shortened faces, but it also crowds the dog's teeth, making the Pekingese prone to periodontal disease. When the dog chews dry kibble, the texture assists in scraping plaque and food particles off of hard-to-reach areas of the teeth. Kibble also works well with this breed because it doesn't get caught in the long, silky hair of the face. If you mix a spoonful of canned dog food with the kibble, be sure the total meal doesn't exceed the dog's caloric needs. Remember to clean your Peke's face after a meal that includes canned food.

Healthy Ingredients

A healthy, high-quality commercial food for your Pekingese should be labeled to specify that it meets the nutritional needs of a dog as established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials or that it has been tested according to AAFCO protocols to provide "complete and balanced" nutrition for a dog, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The food you select should contain as the first listed ingredient a meat-based protein source such as chicken, turkey, beef, fish or lamb. Other ingredients necessary to maintain your little dog's health include animal and vegetable fats for energy and a shiny coat, and fruits and vegetables to provide fiber. At least the first ingredient listed on the package should be a whole meat or meat meal, not meat by-products, which are harder for your dog to digest and can cause gas. If fish and vegetable oils are not already in the food, you may wish to consider adding them as a supplement to help keep your Peke's coat in good condition. Consult your veterinarian before adding supplements to your dog's ration.

Gastrointestinal Upset

Brachycephalic breeds tend to swallow more air than normal dogs when they eat. Because of that, Pekes may develop gastrointestinal upset and flatulence. This condition can be worsened when you feed your Peke ingredients such as corn, wheat, fillers and ash. Chemical preservatives such as butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene and ethoxyquin also can contribute to gastrointestinal distress, and should be avoided in favor of natural preservatives such as vitamins E and C. Dog foods that contain probiotics such as lactic acid bacteria may help ease digestion problems.

Healthy Treats

Instead of giving your Pekingese high-calorie treats that can cause weight problems, opt for healthy fruits and vegetables like apples, green beans, sweet potato or pumpkin in moderation, recommends "Modern Dog" magazine. You also can mix these ingredients into your overweight dog's food, substituting them for a portion of the ration. Consult your veterinarian before making such substitutions, however. A diet dog food contains extra fiber and 15 percent fewer calories per pound, letting your dog feel full with fewer calories.

How to Potty Train a Pekingese

The independent, somewhat stubborn Pekingese has a royal lineage that goes back 1,200 years to China's Tang Dynasty. This toy breed's size makes Pekingese seemingly excellent candidates for either indoor or outdoor potty training. Unfortunately, the stubborn nature of this regal breed makes housebreaking these dogs unusually difficult. Patience, consistency and effort are required to properly train your Pekingese. Individuals vary, but it can take up to six months before a dog of this breed will consistently go to a designated litter box or outdoor area.

Step 1

Decide where you want your dog to potty. Pekingese are not highly active dogs, and are at risk of heatstroke in warmer climates; all dogs are reluctant to venture out into a storm to potty. It is best to select an outdoor area that is nearby and that is sheltered, since you and your little Pekingese will be making this trip frequently in all kinds of weather.

Small Pekingese can be trained to eliminate indoors using puppy pads or a canine litter box. Canine litter boxes are covered with artificial grass and require regular washing.

If you live in a high-rise apartment building, it may be best to train your Pekingese to potty indoors, because the dog may not always make it to the outdoor area in time to avoid accidents.

Step 2

Crate train your Pekingese by placing your dog in a comfortable crate that's not too large for the dog's size. The crate should provide plenty of room for your Pekingese to sit, stand and turn around, but not so much space that the dog is willing to soil the crate. Dogs will try to avoid soiling their living space, making a crate a useful housebreaking aid, but the usefulness of the crate in potty training is defeated if the dog is willing to soil it.

Step 3

Take your adult Pekingese to the designated potty spot approximately every two hours. For Pekingese puppies, the interval is every hour, because puppies have smaller bladders. Key times to take your dog to the designated potty area are first thing in the morning, after meals, after waking from a nap, and after a play session. Wait 10 to 15 minutes after a meal before taking your dog to the potty area. Either carry the dog in your arms to the potty area, or walk the dog on a harness and leash.

Step 4

Tell your Pekingese to potty, using a command word you have selected that the dog will learn to associate with the act of pottying. This word may be "Potty" or "Get Busy," or some other command of your choice, but be consistent about it. Wait for your Pekingese to complete the act, then give the dog a treat and praise. If you are training your dog to potty outdoors, do not allow your pet to leave the potty area until the purpose for being there is completed. If you are training your dog indoors, crate a dog that doesn't potty within a few minutes, then return the dog to the potty area after 15 to 20 minutes and try again.

Step 5

Feed your Pekingese at the same times every day, and keep timing of potty breaks consistent as well. Pekingese have small bladders. Adult dogs may need as many as four to five potty breaks daily, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Crate your dog when you aren't there to monitor activities. This will reduce the chance of accidents, which can slow down training.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some Pekingese need a few minutes of play or light exercise before a potty break. If this is the case, engage your dog in play before taking the dog to the designated potty area.

  • If you must be away during the day, have a dog walker visit at designated intervals to give your Pekingese a break from the crate and to take the dog to the potty area. Once potty trained, a Pekingese who uses an indoor litter box can be confined to an area of the home that includes the litter box, instead of having to stay in a crate.

  • Walk your Pekingese to the potty area using a harness rather than a collar. The breed suffers from brachycephalic airway syndrome and a collar can put a strain on the dog's trachea or larynx while walking the dog.

  • Never yell at your Pekingese in an accident. This does nothing to help train your dog and can lead to aggressive tendencies and illness.

  • Confine a Pekingese that has been rescued from a puppy mill or purchased at a pet store to a small area and supervise the dog between potty breaks. Crate training won't work with these dogs to deter inappropriate elimination. Special attention is required for all pet store and puppy mill dogs because of their extreme confinement and lack of socialization.

Things Needed

  • Puppy pads or canine litter box
  • Crate
  • Dog harness
  • Dog treats
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Periodontal Disease Brachycephalic Syndrome Overweight Pekingese

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