Guide to Grooming your Pekingese Dog
How involved the grooming process will be depends on many factors. For instance, grooming a dog for show can be quite labor intensive and tedious in order to get your dog in “show condition”, whereas grooming a companion dog, or pet, can be relativley simple. Regardless, a Pekingese is a long haired dog by nature and regular grooming is a must in order to protect, not only the coat, but also the health of the dog’s skin. It is best to begin getting your dog used to the grooming process at an early age, as soon as six weeks. Up until that point, simply making sure that the dogs skirts are clean should suffice along with introducing the brush to his belly – making it fun and playful.
Oftentimes, owners of companion Pekingese will shave off the hair of the dog in order to prevent mats and also so that they needn’t be brushed as often. While this makes sense, I don’t recommend it, unless you live in a very hot climate. The coat protects him from the elements and protects his skin from the harsh rays of the sun. Pekingese dogs tend to have very sensitive skin! Grooming your dog on a regular basis, whether as a pet or for show, is part of owning this breed and it can be quite enjoyable for the both of you.
The Pekingese Coat
A Pekingese dog’s coat is genetically determined. If your dog was not born able to grow a thick lustrous show-quality coat, no amount of combing or washing will make it happen. However, all Pekingese dogs, regardless of their genetic makeup, require regular grooming which can be quite involved which should be taken into consideration before owning this breed. How often you bath and brush your dog will vary depending on factors such as whether or not your dog is shedding and how dirty your dogs coat has become. Some dogs can be brushed once or twice a week, while others need to be brushed almost every other day. If you are brushing regularly and notice mats, (commonly found behind the ears), it may be do to an infection or an allergy and must be addressed promptly.
- A good quality Bristle Brush
- Slicker Brush, for removing loose fur.
- A pair of scissors or electric clippers for trimming the hair on the pads of your dogs feet.
- A pair of Nail clippers.
- Kwik-Stop Styptic Powder
- Talcum powder (baby powder).
- A can of NON-GREASY coat spray/grooming spray.
- Small toothbrush and dog/pet formulated toothpaste.
Bathing your Pekingese
The Pekingese dog should be bathed no more than once every 4-6 weeks unless your dog has been playing in the mud. Under normal circumstances, the longer you wait, the better since it typically takes a dog an entire month to produce as much oil as it takes a human in a day. Using conditioner is optional. If you do use a conditioner, make sure it is made for dogs and not humans!
Shampooing: Make sure to have all of your supplies ready (shampoo, cotton balls, washcloth, towel for drying) before you begin and within arms reach!
I usually shampoo my Peke in the sink. It makes it easier to hold her and much easier on my back. Using warm, not hot, water, give your dog a good rinse to thoroughly drench the coat and remove excess dirt before shampooing. Once you begin shampooing, gently massage the soap into the fur and skin, not forgetting his/her bottom and between the paws. Be careful not to get soap on the dogs face or in his ears! Rinse twice, or until the water runs clear and then apply your conditioner. I usually take this time to inspect her skin for redness, irritation or “hot spots”. After your Peke is completely rinsed, squeeze out the excess water and wrap her in a towel. You will want to hold on tight as these little guys can get slippery and take cover because their first reaction will be to shake off the excess water once removed from the bath!
Drying: Before blow drying, gently pat-dry your dog with a towel.
It is important not to rub too hard because this can cause the hair to tangle. After patting your dog dry, you may choose to speed up the process using a blow dryer on low/med heat. Be sure not to hold the heat too close to the skin as that can cause a burn. I usually wait until the coat is about 80% dry before I begin brushing.
Cleaning the Face
It is important that this area is cleaned daily, in addition to when bathing, as bacteria can harbor here causing odor and/or infection. Using a warm damp wash cloth (no soap), gently wipe under the eye area and the nose wrinkle. I also gently wipe around the eye area with just warm water. Inspect the area for redness or irritation and then gently pat the area dry. If you notice any redness or irritation, or eye discharge, contact your vet.
Occasionally I will dilute equal parts of apple cider vinegar and warm water and use this solution to gently wipe above the nose, the wrinkle and the inside of the ears. I find this prevents odor and bacteria.
Cleaning the Ears
The ears should be checked and cleaned on a daily basis. A special ear cleaner which breaks up excess wax and dirt can be purchased at most pet stores. To use, you simply place a few drops of ear cleaner into the ear, gently rub the ear together and wipe the inside of the ear with a cotton ball or Q-Tip. This can be done weekly, or your vet suggests.
+ Gentle Ear Cleaner
+ Deodorize the Ear Canal
+ Dries the Ear
+ For Cats and for Dogs
Again, I do like to use diluted apple cider vinegar (one part vinegar to one part warm water) to clean out the ears. It prevents odor and kills bacteria.
It is important not to clean too far into the ear! This could damage the ear drum!
Trimming the Nails
Within each nail is a vein called a “quick”. By trimming your dogs nails regularly, the quick stays back and the nails can be cut shorter. If the nail is cut too short, bleeding may occur which is when you would apply Kwik-Stop to stop the bleeding. If bleeding occurs, place a small amount of Kwik-Stop on the nail. This may cause a slight stinging sensation which may cause your dog discomfort. The longer you let your dogs nails grow, the longer the quick will grow making nail clipping more difficult. It is best to trim your dogs nails every two weeks to prevent the quick from growing too long!
Trimming the hair on your Dog’s Feet
The hair on the pads of your dogs feet must be trimmed back to avoid painful mats. It is important to remove only the hair on the pads and not the fringe between the toes. Although the fringe may be trimmed back slightly. Trimming the pads also allows the dog more traction on smooth floors and prevents stickers and other weeds from becoming lodged in between the pads which can cause a serious infection.
Brushing your Pekingese
Always spray your dogs coat before brushing or, if your dog has just been bathed, begin brushing when he/she is nearly 80% dry. Begin by lying your dog on his /her back. Lightly spray the chest area with grooming spray and brush, using your nylon brush, in sections up towards the head. Sprinkle it with talcum powder and brush again. Work your way down the chest and brush out both legs being sure to remove all mats or tangles. Afterward, gently brush over the entire area one more time using your slicker brush to grab any excess, or loose hair that the nylon brush did not pick up. Using the same procedure, begin at the rear and brush out the hind legs and skirts. Next, place your dog on his/her side. Starting at the neck (don’t forget to spray and powder) begin brushing in sections, working over the shoulders and back-brushing the hair toward the head and making sure that your brush is against the skin, again, finish this area using your slicker brush. Continue back-brushing until you reach the dogs mid-section. From that point on, the rest of the hair gets brushed forward, toward the tail of the dog. Once you complete one side, turn the dog over and repeat on the other side.
To brush the chest, sit, or stand, your dog up so that he/she is facing you. Making sure to spray if the hair is dry, lift the dogs hair up and begin brushing downward, layer by layer. Next brush both sides of the dogs neck. To brush the ears, flip both ears back and brush the hair beneath them toward the head. Next continue to the back of the dog. Beginning at the base of the dogs tail, spray and brush forward the hair working your way up to the neck. Lastly, stand your dog up, facing away from you. Secure the tail back, and spray the skirts. Lift each section and begin gently brushing downward layer, by layer, until you reach the base of the tail. When both skirts, on either side are finished, you may begin the tail. Holding the tail in one hand, start at tip of the tail and gently brush in sections side to side, spraying if needed. When finished, brush up and over the dogs back using the slicker brush.
Note: Excessive brushing , improper brushing or brushing too hard can cause the hair to break and even pull out the hair. Bathing too frequently can rid your dog of the necessary oils it needs to maintain a healthy coat. It takes a dog nearly an entire month to produce the amount of oils that a human produces in a single day! When selecting a shampoo choose a good quality one that is mild and meant specifically for dogs not for humans, as the PH balance is quite different.
Brushing your dogs Teeth
Brushing your dogs teeth is an extremely important part of grooming and caring for your dogs overall health. Periodontal disease occurs in 95% of dogs and cats over 2 years of age. Pekingese dogs tend to be more prone to plaque buildup and decay, therefore you should get your dog used to brushing early on. Brushing your dogs teeth is similar to brushing your own. It is important to use a toothpaste which is meant for dogs and not for humans! These toothpastes tend to come flavored so that your dog will be more willing. You should brush your dogs teeth every other day, no less than 3x a week. Alternate with chewable treats that promote your dog’s dental hygiene by helping scrape off plaque and keep gums healthy.