As its name might suggest, the Pekingese originated in China in the city of Peking, now known as Beijing. These brave, loyal dogs are a brachycephalic breed, referring to their flat faces. Such a face can cause the Pekingese breathing problems, particularly in the heat and cold, and these dogs can also be prone to heart murmurs, dry eye, and patellar luxation. Like many small dogs, the Pekingese can be quite long lived, with typical ages ranging from 12 to 15 years.
Primary Health Conditions of the Pekingese
The flat face of the Pekingese can at times restrict the breathing of this dog, especially during high activity and when it is cold or hot outside. For this reason, the owner of a Pekingese should avoid allowing the dog to overexert itself, and time spent outdoors during temperature extremes kept short. This dog is also prone to heart problems, including heart murmurs, caused by turbulent flow of blood through the heart. These murmurs can indicate a serious heart problem that will require veterinary attention, although they can be largely asymptomatic and minor as well.
Secondary Health Conditions of the Pekingese
The Pekingese can be subject to hot spots, or the appearance of lesions on the skin, caused continuous licking or chewing of its coat. Such hot spots can be brought on by allergic reactions to fleas or other skin irritants and are usually treated with shampoos and ointments. This breed’s long back can make it subject to spinal injuries so care should be taken in handling the dog. Patellar luxation—slippage of the kneecap—can cause pain or discomfort for the dog, which is sometimes treated through surgery. The Pekingese is prone to dry eyes, for which the owner may apply artificial tears.
Pekingese Exercise and Walking Needs
Because of its relatively low activity level, the Pekingese is favored as a house and apartment dog. Some believe that the dog’s rolling gate was bred into the Pekingese to discourage it from wandering away from the temple grounds in Peking—a reference underscoring this dog’s lower exercise requirements. However, like all dogs, the Pekingese does require short daily walks and some lively play time with its owner. The dog can be prone to obesity, for which exercise and proper diet are the best preventatives.
Pekingese Nutritional Needs
Like many toy breeds, the Pekingese can be prone to obesity, especially when fed table scraps and when the dog does not get sufficient exercise. Thus, this breed should be given a high quality dog food in proportion to its size and activity levels. In consideration of the dog’s long, thick coat, a food that is high in vitamins A and E as well as the Omega fatty acids may be appropriate.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.