This page consists of information regarding my own personal experiences in caring for my Pekingese over the years. It is not mean to be comprehensive nor authoritative, but just a way to share with you my own experiences.
Grooming. I have discovered one important thing: there is NO substitute for regular, thorough grooming! I bathe my dogs almost weekly, as do some of my friends; although that is not always essential. Dirty hair does not grow, so keeping them clean is a priority. When I bathe, I use Crisp Coat and Mane 'N Tail conditioner, which can be purchased at the supermarket--much cheaper, but works great. I use conditioner all over on the pups, but the adults only have it on the skirts, tails, fringing, and underneath. Too much conditioner will soften an adult coat too much, but a little will help with detangling, and keeping moisture in those areas. I use a stand dryer, which I learned how to use when I was working for a breeder who has been breeding and showing Standard and Toy Poodles and Bichons for nearly 50 years now! Anyway, it was a real eye-opener! It makes grooming a lot more enjoyable and relaxing, unless the dog is squirmy, but that usually goes away after 3-4 sessions. I use a slicker brush to dry with, and a fine-tooth comb to gently work out tangles and knots. There is a technique to drying--you must work methodically from area to area, making sure that each area being dried has been brushed thoroughly and all tangles removed.
Pekes have a double coat, therefore it is very important if your dog has a heavy coat to work through with a good brush (I use a pin brush) right down to the skin, gently but firmly. When a dog is blowing the undercoat, which happens in bitches twice a year, dogs once a year, a slicker works wonderfully for the purpose of removing dead and loose undercoat. I know some of you may be skeptical, but that's how I learned to dry the Poodles and Bichons, and I can assure you, it works great!
Feeding. Ah, yes, this is a controversial subject! Some of us use all dry, some dry mixed with canned, some homemade diets, and the other extreme, all-raw canine diet. I recently had a wonderful conversation with a lady who has been breeding and showing Papillons since 1972, and she uses the all-raw diet. Yes, her Paps get raw meat, including chicken, beef, venison, etc. She leaves the meat on the bone, and the dogs gnaw it off and often eat the raw bones! She also purees three green veggies and a couple of fruits, adds that to the meat, and adds a few oils and other supplements (including kelp, which I recommend). Her dogs are healthy, happy and have beautiful coats.
However, this is too much work for me; I have to think of my human family first, as well as other priorities that keep me occupied. I have given raw rib bones with just a teeny little bit of meat on them; some of my dogs like them, others wouldn't touch them! Anyway, I feed a little dry Innova, which can only be purchased through small, noncommercial pet stores and health food stores, mixed with Red Barn. Red Barn comes packaged like a big salami, and you must slice it and dice it. It is very natural canine diet too, dogs LOVE it and it is convenient and there's hardly any packaging. Also, you can buy Red Barn from a vendor at the dog shows, too, often. If you want more info, go to their website at www.redbarndogfood.com and you can read more for yourself.