Todd's Pekingese Pages
Last updated: August 8, 2007


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Pekingese Health

Heat problems

Because of their profuse coat, they tend to not take heat well. The heavier the coat, the greater the problem. Show dogs are often provided with ice packs to rest on because of the travel and varying climate conditions at show sites. However, for the average owner, I would urge caution during hot summer months when combining sun and a lot of exercise. They do love to sit in "sun squares" in your house until they are panting! I would also caution against any dog being locked in a car, but this is especially true for Pekes. Statistics say that on a 70 degree day, the temperature in a closed car can reach 110 in 5 minutes. Cracking the windows is not enough ventilation, and your dog will get heatstroke very quickly and die. Please consider this when wanting to take your dog with you.

Eye Problems

Pekes are easily distinguishable by their large, bulging eyes. Naturally, this leads to several health problems. One of the most common problems is exposure, caused by the eyelids not closing properly on a blink. This problem has varying degrees of severity. Some pekes have it at birth and can lose their sight as early as 3 or 4 months, others start to encounter it at around mid-life, others never get it. It is treatable with various medicines. Another problem is caused by the fold of skin (wrinkle) over their noses. Often times, the hair on the wrinkle rubs directly against the eye, irritating it, and leaving it more susceptible to infection. The easiest method for treating this is to get a pair of blunt-tipped, curved scissors from any beauty supply store and keep the hairs trimmed. In severe cases, surgery can be done to remove this fold of skin. Another condition that pekes can have, as well as other dogs, is dry eye. This can only be determined by a vet through a litmus test, and is treatable with several over-the-counter salves.

On the other hand, a problem many breeders have with white and other light colored pekes is tear staining around the eye. It's usually a reddish-brown color, and can be the source of various infections.

Back Problems

As is the case with many of the long breeds, pekes are prone to back problems. They should not be encouraged to do jump on furniture, and you should try to avoid making them climb stairs. These are the most common things that cause a slipped disc. Often times, a disc will slip and immediately pop back into place. This can make the proper difficult to diagnose, as X-rays will appear normal. This can be very painful for the dog, but it will heal within a few days. Your vet may prescribe pain killers, as well as something to make the dog drowsy so it will rest, allowing the injury to heal. Rest is usually the best thing for a disc which has just slipped out and in. More serious back problems can require surgery which can correct many problems.

Conditioning of Coats

The most important part of obtaining a good show coat is nutrition, exercise, and proper grooming.


Elderly people buy pekes believing that they need little exercise, but this is wrong. While they do make wonderful apartment dogs, pekes also love to run and romp in large open yards or fields. The important thing is that they have space to run, whether it's a fenced yard or just a long hallway. Most love to run around the house chasing each other, as well as outdoors. They will sniff and explore, so a fenced-in yard is a must if you can not always take them out on a leash yourselves. They love to go for walks, whether short or long, so they can be a great companion for the young and the old.


Because of the excessive amount of wrinkling desired by breeders certain dogs, Pekes being one, can get a skin fold dermatitis, skin irritations and infections.

Achondroplasia (the "swimmer")

The puppies can't stand, but move around like turtles with all four legs extended outwards. It's a condition in which the bones don't harden properly. This can occur in breeds with short, think legs and heavy muscles, like Bulldogs and Pekes.


Natural, or sometimes Caesarean, because of their anatomical structures.

Information based upon the FAQ created by Steve Reed, personal experience, and information from others.

Pages created and maintained by Todd Biske,
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