Care and Feeding

Care & Feeding

Breed Info
Care & Feeding
Health Issues
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General Housebreaking


General housebreaking:
Typically a healthy adult CAN hold it for several hours and if 
kept to a smaller, confined space will do so. Peis who haven't 
been fully housebroken will usually only "go" in an area that 
is away from the areas they are primarily trafficking (a distant
corner of a room or another room). They don't like to go where 
they have to "hang out" regularly, unless it is a "marking" type 
behavior. Yes, some females will "mark" too, especially when they 
are close to or in an estrus cycle and other dogs are around.

In general, I advise the following. Keep him/her contained to a 
smaller area when you are gone or sleeping...a crate, a kitchen 
area, guest room or such. Puppies need to go about every 2-3 
hours and following any meals, heavy play, naps. "Potty outside" 
time is first or last....first after eating, playing, upon waking, 
first when you come home...and last before you leave or go to bed 
as well as every 2-3 hours when at home and awake. Use the same 
door each time and take them to the same area to go.....give them
a command phrase too. We use the "go potty" command. When you go 
to take her out, stay right with him/her and  keep repeating this 
till he/she "goes", then praise using the key words..."Good boy/girl 
went potty"! or such. Don't take him/her back in until he/she goes 
pee, at the very least.

Constant observation and learning his/her body language/signals 
is essential while training. A sudden shift of attention from 
what he/she is doing followed by any floor sniffing or wandering 
off will often be followed by a "Squat". Try to catch him/her 
before the squat and ask him/her if he/she has to "go potty" then 
take him/her immediately out to go as I outlined above. Also watch 
for him/her starting to go back and forth to the door you use to 
take him/her may be a subtle way of him/her saying that 
they "have to go". Some whine, some scratch at the door but some 
just walk back and forth between what they were doing (or you) 
and the door a couple times to indicate their need.

If you don't catch him/her going...just clean it up and move on...
he/she has already moved "beyond it" once the bladder is empty, so 
punishment is useless. If you catch him/her at it just "pre-squat" 
or "mid-squat" make a loud noise to distract him/her (hand clap,etc) 
then lead him/her quickly & directly to the door and out, using the 
command phrase (in an upbeat voice) and praise him/her for going 
potty outside. Keep this up consistently and he/she will catch on 
and you will start to understand his/her "signals" when he/she needs 
to "go".

Shar Pei are generally the easiest breed to housebreak except for the 
"rain factor". In wet weather many will do anything to avoid it. One 
can either just refuse to let them in till they go or take them out 
on leash with an umbrella and stand in the rain begging them to please 
go potty. This works eventually but can be frustrating and uncomfortable 
for all....a necessary evil, but stand firm and don't forget the coat 
and umbrella for a less uncomfortable wait.


Nutrition & Grooming



Shar Pei need appropriate nutrition to suit this breed's specific 
needs. Ideally, I advise feeding a Raw Diet for adults and Whole 
food (home-cooked) diet for puppies under 6 months of age (recipes 
below). If this is not an option I advise a premium quality adult 
formula kibble that is either low-grain or no-grain (list below). 
Shar Pei puppies should not be fed puppy formula kibbles as these 
do not contain appropriate nutritional balance for this breed. 
Probiotics should be added to their diet on a regular (every day 
or few times a week) basis...plain yogurt, acidophilus, enzymes or 
green tripe. Occasional table scraps of plain meat, veggies and the 
like are fine to add in....avoid giving highly seasoned, processed 
or highly sweetened foods. Avoid refined products, breads, "junk" 
foods, etc. (Also see list of toxic foods below). Virgin coconut 
oil is a great additive in small amounts (couple tsp a day) to 
improve the coat/skin. Instead of commercial canned dog foods we 
mix in a few sardines or some canned salmon or some canned tripe 
(Solid Gold brand) daily....much healthier than regular canned dog 

Premium Food Brands:
Natural Balance (no grain formulas)
California Natural
Taste of the Wild
Dog Whisperer
Timberwolf Organics
Solid Gold
Eagle Pak Holistic (holistic ONLY)

Recipes for home cooked:
Simmer until all is tender...let thicken, cool and serve. 
Refrigerate leftovers.

Whole chicken (boiled & de-boned) (2-3 pounds when deboned)* (2-3 
pounds pork, lamb, duck, venison, beef...muscle meat)
2 qts of broth  (stock) from boiled chicken
12-16 oz offal (liver, heart, kidneys)
3 tins Sardines (or 1 can Salmon)
1 can or 2 cups fresh pumpkin**(or equiv. amt. yams, potato, 
sweet potatoes)
1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries or blueberries (optional)
1 1/2 to 2 cups dried peas 
2-4 carrots
1/2 cup broccoli*** (or equiv. amt. green beans, zucchini, spinach, 
Brussels sprouts or other green veggie)
1-2 tbsp steamed bone meal (food grade)**** (or powdered egg shells)
1-2 tbsp virgin coconut oil (optional)
**Vitamin D3 & Vitamin K2 need to be supplemented.
We also add 1/4 (per serving) yogurt and 1-2 tbsp lecithin
With home cooking it can be mixed up as long as grains are kept to a 
minimum and toxic foods are avoided (list below). There are also a 
variety of recipes available in books and on the internet. For those 
who are interested in feeding a Raw diet (as we do) there are numerous 
books available & articles online and I can answer most basic questions 
on this subject for you.
Avocado - leaves, fruit, seeds and bark contain a toxic principle 
known as Persin. The Guatemalan variety, a common one found in many
stores, appears to be the most problematic. Other strains of avocado 
can have different degrees of toxic potential. 

Garlic - Even at low levels of exposure to garlic, some changes in 
red blood cells is likely

Onions destroy red blood cells and can cause anemia, weakness, and 
breathing difficulty. Even small amounts can cause cumulative damage 
over time. This includes onions or chives - raw, powdered, dehydrated, 
or cooked

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. As little as a 
single serving of raisins can kill him. Even if the dog doesn't eat 
enough at one time to be fatal, he can be severely damaged by eating 
just a few grapes or raisins regularly.

Tomatoes in high quantity can be fatal to dogs in Tomatoes (plant 
and fruit) contain tomatine, an alkaloid related to solanine. As the 
fruit ripens, the tomatine is metabolized. Therefore, ripe tomatoes 
are less likely to be problematic for animals. Clinical signs of 
poisoning include lethargy, drooling, difficulty breathing, colic, 
vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, widely-dilated pupils, paralysis, 
cardiac effects, central nervous system signs (e.g., ataxia, muscle 
weakness, tremors, seizures), resulting from cholinesterase inhibition, 
coma and death.

Nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures and death.

Macadamia nuts can harm dogs. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, 
muscle tremor and paralysis. These symptoms are usually temporary.

Walnuts - When dogs eat the seed hulls, they can get an upset stomach 
and diarrhea. The real problem is the fungus or mold that attacks 
after they get wet (from rain or sprinklers), which produces toxins. 
If the fungus or mold is ingested by your dogs, they can become very 
ill and possibly die. Signs that should alert you to walnut poisoning 
are vomiting, trembling, drooling, lack of coordination, lethargy, 
loss of appetite, and jaundice indications such as yellowing eyes and 
gums. Severely affected dogs can produce blood-tinged vomit or stools. 
Dogs can take several days to exhibit serious signs of illness.

Chocolate can cause seizures, coma and death. Bakers chocolate is the 
most dangerous. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. But 
any chocolate, in large enough amounts, can kill a dog

Apple seeds, cherry pits, peach pits, pear pits, plums pits, as well 
as apricot pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous. While a few apple 
seeds may not cause a problem, the effects can accumulate over time if 
they are given to dogs regularly.
Xylitol, a sweetner used in some sugar free gums & candies (as well 
as other "sugar free" products) and some toothpaste brands is highly 
toxic to animals. This is especially dangerous as gum or candy that 
contains this can easily fall out of one's pocket or handbag and, being 
sweet, is very tempting for dogs to eat. If tooth paste containing this 
gets in reach it can also be consumed. Very dangerous.
Rawhide, Greenies, cooked bones, etc. Avoid treats with wheat gluten, 
soy, sugars, onion/garlic added or lots of the 
labels before you buy. Be cautious with the following: Pig's ears, 
cow hooves and any treat when it is chewed down to size they can choke 
on it should be thrown away.
Raw Marrow bones
Home baked livers (chicken or beef)
Dehydrated meats (jerkies) the less additives the better.
Dehydrated fruits or veggies (no sugar added)
Steamed veggies
Strawberries, blueberries, apple slices (no seeds), watermelon 
(fruits in small amounts only)

Shar Pei are fairly easy to maintain in regards to grooming. The 
shorter coats require no trimming and just occasional brushing 
and bathing most of the time. If the skin is healthy, as it should 
be if one is following appropriate diet and suggested medical care, 
the bathing procedure is pretty straightforward. Wet, shampoo with a 
gentle, unscented shampoo, rinse THOROUGHLY (rinsing of all traces of 
soap is essential) and then simply towel dry afterward. Generally the 
most challenging part of bathing a Pei is getting them to willingly
tolerate being wet. Most Pei despise water in it's liquid form. Be 
patient, firm and consistent with a regular bathing routine and they 
will learn to tolerate bath times and be more cooperative. Since most 
Peis (especially puppies) tend to be messy drinkers and eaters, keeping 
some wet wipes or a dampened hand towel handy to wipe muzzle & flews 
after meals will keep them cleaner between baths.
Peis don't generally enjoy having nails trimmed. Getting them into 
a weekly routine of trimming at a young age will help get them used 
to this and more tolerant. Be persistent, patient and firm. Be careful 
not to cut behind the quick. If you do some "Quick Stop" or powdered 
Alum can be used to stop bleeding. Many find using a dremmel on the 
nails is much easier and there is less risk of injuring the quick. They 
may not like the sound of this device at first but will get used to it 
with repeated use.
Pei ears can be problematic if not maintained and/or if they are not 
on an appropriate diet (See yeast section f the "Skin Issues Overview" 
under the Health Issues page here). Proper maintaining of the ears is 
weekly cleansing. We suggest using Zymox ear cleaner (available OTC). 
We simply apply several drops ( a squirt or 2) into the ear, massage 
the ear for 30 seconds then let them shake their head to their little 
heart's content. After about 30 minutes we go back and wipe the waxy 
substance from the top of the ear canal area and inner ear flap. We 
do not dig into the ears with Q-Tips. If there is an abundance of wax 
we simply repeat the application as outlined above the next day. If 
the ear is inflamed/red or if it seems to be bothering them (repeated 
head shaking, ear drooping, etc.) I use Zymox Otic solution for a few 
days (until it resolves). If an ear issue is not resolving this is quite
often a sign of a bacterial or a yeast issue. These will usually clear up 
with regular cleaning, using the Zymox Otic and consistently maintaining 
an appropriate diet to prevent systemic yeast issues. On some occasions 
with persistent infections they may need to have medication prescribed 
by a Vet. 


1) Feed a premium, grain-free diet. Add proboitics (yogurt, enzymes or
green tripe) daily. Add a couple/few sardines (packed in water) daily.

2) Use a conservative vaccine protocol. Avoid combo shots that contain
more than 2 or 3 components. Use single disease vaccines and give 10 days
apart whenever possible. DA2P (Distemper, Adenovirus & Parvo) is the 
maximum combo shot I would advise ever be used at any given time. Ask
your Vet to order single dose vaccines or minimal combo vaccines if
they do not carry them. If they refuse find a Vet who will. For those
who give their own vaccines, these can be ordered online.

3) Avoid allowing any use of systemic steroids unless absolutely 
necessary and as a last resort. Too many Vets administer steroids for
minor issues or relief of symptoms. Steroids, being immunosuppressive,
can (and often do) create more issues than they resolve.

4) If you have any issues or questions with your Pei, CALL ME. I am
here to assist/advise in any way I can. Your Blessing's Pei is one of my
babies, OF COURSE I will want to know if something is wrong and have the
opportunity to help you to help them.