Pekingese Operation Manual
How to Save on Vet Bills
Prepare your home before your new dog arrives. Move breakables or "chewables" to higher ground. Make electrical cords inaccessible to curious paws and noses. Block off any area of the house that you want off-limits to the dog. Put the lid down on your toilet and your shoes up in your closet. Block access to any house or garden plants that may be toxic to dogs. Once your puppy learns what is "his" and what is "yours" you can relax a little on this. Usually by the time they are a year old, they have things pretty much figured out.
Your Puppy Needs His Rest:
At six to eight weeks old a puppy will require about 18 hours of sleep. There are only 24 hours in a day, so you can see that young babies need LOTS of sleep. But you need to handle your puppy at least once a day. Massage the feet to get him used to nail clipping. Roll him on his back to teach him to trust people (it is easier if he is made to feel secure by using a blanket under him). If he will get used to laying on his back it is a lot easier as he matures to trim his feet (and belly on the males). It is also easier on the veterinarian (and the dog) should there be a need to treat his feet for any injuries.
Children and Pekingese:
Pekingese puppies are fragile babies. Handle them gently. If you have small children, teach them from the beginning how to hold them, how to pick them up and how to put them down. Children are especially thrilled with new puppies but children of pre-school age need CONSTANT supervision when handling a baby. Young children seem to view the baby just as a stuffed toy. Pekingese are heavy in the front (chesty with a large head compared to other dogs). When a Pekingese is dropped, they usually land on their heads. Small children will drop a baby if it bites with its sharp little baby teeth -- it is a natural reaction. Sometimes children will throw the baby if they get bit. It only takes a second for a child to injure a new baby. Please supervise pre-school children every second until the puppy is grown into a full-sized dog.
Security for your Pekingese:
It is essential that you have a secure method of keeping your dog on your property. Check your fence for spots vulnerable to chewing or digging. If your yard is not fenced, consider a large dog run or invisible fencing. If your property is not fenced in some way, stress to family members that the dog must be leashed at all times when taken outdoors. Pekingeses are little escape artists and can get through a small opening very easily!
Collars VS Halters:
Your dog should wear a halter with ID at all times, except when in a crate. (The buckle can catch on the crate and cause injury.) The halter should be tight enough that it will not slide over the dog's ears, but loose enough that you can fit two fingers between it and the dog's neck. Check the fit of the halter often, especially if you have a fast-growing puppy. If you cannot find a suitable halter, make sure the collar you buy for your puppy is a flat leather or nylon collar with a buckle. We DO NOT recommend "chocker" collars. They are dangerous for any dog and particularly the long-haired dogs as they can get tangled in the hair.
Give Your Pekingese a Corner All His Own:
Every dog needs a quiet place to call his own. Put his crate in a quiet area away from any distractions and disturbances. Make it an area where the dog can get to in order to "get away from it all" to rest where he won't be disturbed. Until the puppy is six months old, he should be locked in the crate anytime he is not being supervised to keep him away from household dangers (electrical cords, curious neighbor children, poisonous house plants, etc.). This will be his bed and his "safe spot" where he will run to when he is afraid. While he is out of his crate, leave the door open so that he can run there to get away from whatever "boogie men" he might find in the house until he becomes familiar with his new home. This will keep him from hiding in your closet, behind the couch or under your bed or somewhere dangerous like behind the clothes dryer or something.
Dogs Like Toys, Too!
Provide your dog with a variety of toys to prevent him from playing with your socks and shoes, your morning paper, or your child's favorite toy. Get some toys that you and your dog can play with together, such as balls and plush toys, and some things to keep him busy when he's alone, such as NylaBones, crumbly chewies or rope bones. Never leave your dog unattended with any toy that has small, detachable parts. Also never give your dog Rawhide Chews because they can swollow them and it will block their intestinal tract causing certain death.
We highly recommend our local veterinarian, Dr. Owen, of the Mountain View Animal Clinic on Mechem Drive in Ruidoso, New Mexico, if you are in the area or passing thorugh.....Phone: 258-5800.
He has extensive knowledge about the Pekingese breed in particular and we trust him with their little lives. His assistant, Olive, is very knowledgable about most things doggie related and does most of Dr. Owen's routine services, like anal glad checks, shots, nail clippings, etc. Have your dog examined by the vet within a few days of his arrival. Set up a vaccination and check-up schedule. The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan can help with the cost of providing quality healthcare throughout your dog's life. You can find out more information about the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan at http://www.akc.org.
You can take steps to prevent other diseases not covered by the regular series of vaccinations. Depending on the area of the country you live in, your dog could be at risk for diseases such as heartworm and Lyme disease. Ask your veterinarian for advice on prevention.
Preventing Respiratory Problems in Pekingese:
Pekingese, as with all short-faced breeds, are prone to respiratory problems, back problems and eye injuries. If your dog's eyes start to look a little cloudy, it is most likely due to a scratched eye. Since the eyes of the Pekingese protrude in front of the skelatal eye sockets instead of being set back into the protective bone, they are vulnerable to bumps and scratches. Cats are NOT good companions to the Pekingese! If you suspect a scratched eye, your veterinarian will know exactly what ointment to use. Please do not try to self-doctor without first consulting your veterinarian.
The Pekingese Eyes Are Very Special:
Because of the Pekingese's protruding eyes, NEVER pick up your Pekingese by the back of the neck (like momma dogs of other breeds do). (Pekingese momma dogs never pick up their young by the neck.)
Avoiding Bone Injury and Arthritis:
Keeping your dog's nails short will keep him comfortable, prevent injury to his feet, prevent arthritis or bone misalignment in his legs as he ages and may save the surface of your floors also. If you can hear your dog's nails click on a hard surface, they need to be trimmed. Ask your veterinarian for advice on clipping your dog's nails yourself. We suggest using a nail file instead of a nail clipper as it keeps the nails from getting "sharp". If you start using a nail file on your puppy's feet early on, he will get used to being handled in that way. The feet should be trimmed about every six to eight weeks. While you are trimming the nails, also trim the long hair between the pads of his feet. It helps keep him cool in the summer and also gives him more secure footing on slick floors.
Signs of Illness:
You should become familiar with your dog's patterns in terms of eating, drinking, sleeping and relieving himself. Any major variations in these patterns could indicate illness and should be reported to your veterinarian as soon as you can.
Some Time to Adjust:
Give the puppy time to adjust to his new home. The puppy is bound to feel insecure and frightened by a change in environment, and a puppy may be homesick for his mother or littermates. Show him to his crate, and where to find food and water. Then leave him alone (while supervised) to explore the new surroundings. He needs quiet time in the beginning to help him adjust to his new environment.
Introduce your puppy to your household slowly. Many pairs of hands petting him at once will only frighten him. Later, introduce him to neighbors, regular visitors and other family members. Give your dog a sense of who your - and your dog's - friends are and make sure any small children are trained to hold and pick him up properly.
Introducing a New Dog or Puppy to Your Home:
Other companion animals in your home should also be properly introduced to your new dog or puppy. Don't expect them to get along right away, and don't try to force them to play together. Give them time to adjust to one another.
What Is and Is Not Appropriate Behavior:
Whichever method of house training you have chosen - crate training, paper training, outside training or litter box - make sure that all members of the family enforce it with consistency to rules. Accidents happen, so have a procedure for clean-up.
Teach your dog from the beginning what is and is not appropriate behavior. If something is "OK" today, your puppy will think it's OK forever. Make sure that every member of the family enforces the house rules. Consistency is the key to having a well-behaved pet.
A Clean Dog is a Healthy Dog:
Bathe your Pekingese as often as you feel necessary, but not frequently. Overbathing can be harmful to a Peke's skin. Use a good shampoo and be sure to rinse well. I recommend GNLD Green as a shampoo. It is pH balanced and will not strip his skin of essential oils. Also, it will not cause "hot spots" if you don't get it all rinsed out like most other shampoos on the market. GNLD Green will also totally remove skunk smell if your dog encounters a skunk. If bathing your dog is more than you can handle, take him to a groomer or veterinarian for help. I bathe my Pekes in the kitchen sink because it has a sprayer which makes rinsing very easy! Be sure he doesn't get a chill while his fur is drying. You can use a hair dryer on his hair but set it on the "warm" setting and not the "high" or "hot" setting and stop drying his hair before it is totally dry.
Grooming Your Pekingese:
All dogs should be groomed regularly for health and best appearance. Pekingese need weekly (at the least) brushing to prevent matting and to reduce shedding. Preferably, daily brushings, but if you just don't have time, at least get him brushed once a week, all the way down to the skin, not just the top hair. Work out the tangles until they are all gone and then brush your Peke backwards to fluff up the coat (and it feels good to him!). If your dog requires clipping or sculpting, you may want to consult a professional groomer. Male Pekes' hair should be trimmed (not shaved) about every six to eight weeks around the penis and up the belly to help keep it clean as they tend to "dribble" on their long hair. If you get into the habit of brushing your Peke at least once a week, the brushings will be a joy to the dog, reduce the amount of shedding in the house, and will give you the opportunity to inspect his skin for irregularities or rashes of any kind or injuries, slivers or other cuts and scrapes, perhaps saving you a trip to the vet. Twigs and thistles will work their way into the long hair and can cause infection if not removed.
Feeding and Diets:
Keep your dog healthy by maintaining him at an appropriate weight. Feed him a well-balanced diet and give him plenty of exercise. Don't give in to begging - "people food" is generally bad for dogs and you can actually kill him with "love". For suggestions on what to feed and what not to feed, visit my links at the left side of this page.
King of The Hill:
Don't allow your Pekingese to jump off of high surfaces (tall beds, window ledges, etc.) as they can injure their backs. The Pekingese is "top heavy" in that all their weight is in their chest and head which throws out the back if they jump off of tall places.
Pekingese, as with all short-faced breeds, can succumb to heat stress in a matter of minutes because of their heavy coats and short breathing capacity. Do not leave your dog in the car when the sun is high in the sky and/or the temperature is above 60 degrees and always leave two windows part-way open for cross ventilation. When your dog is outside, he should have a shady place to lay down and plenty of fresh, cool water.
Mark Your Pekingese:
Microchips and tattoos are methods of permanently identifying your dog, and can be invaluable in recovering your dog should he become lost. You may wish to enroll your dog in AKC's affiliate, the Companion Animal Recovery Service, which is the nation's largest database of microchipped pets.
Make arrangements for your dog's care when you go away one way or the other whether you will be gone for just overnight or for several days.
Try leaving the radio or television on low volume when you leave your dog alone. The noise will keep him company.
When taking your Pekingese for walks, be sure to bring along some water and don't over work him as he is one of the short-faced breeds and over-exertion will make it difficult for him to breathe freely. Allow him to walk at his own pace.
But Most of All, There's Love:
Dogs love to be petted, and recent studies have shown that structured massages may be beneficial to your dog's health and behavior. They may also be very relaxing for you! Massage out his "stress" by rubbing his shoulders, back and hips.
Dogs are invaluable in providing service to humans - visiting the sick, helping the disabled, being a therapy dog at institutions, and much more. If your dog is of the correct temperament, you and he can reap the rewards of helping others.
You are the center of your dog's world. You may be tired after a long day at work, but your dog has spent a boring day anxiously awaiting your return. Reward that loyalty with your time. Pet him, talk to him, play with him, laugh with him. Let your dog know you value his company.
With love, patience and mutual respect, your puppy will feel like part of the family in no time.