As a Shih Tzu owner, noticing any changes in behavior or health is of utmost importance. One potential issue that may arise is food allergies in Shih Tzus. While these allergy symptoms can be concerning, there are solutions available. Understanding the types of allergies and their symptoms can help you identify any potential issues with your Shih Tzu. In this article, we will explore the various types of food allergies that Shih Tzus can experience, their symptoms, how to properly diagnose them, treatment options, and how to prevent them from occurring in the future.

Types of Food Allergies in Shih Tzu

Types Of Food Allergies In Shih Tzu
As a Shih Tzu owner, it’s important to be aware of the different types of food allergies that your furry friend may experience. These allergies can cause discomfort, pain and even serious health issues. Some of the most common food allergens for Shih Tzus include grains, beef, dairy products, fish and chicken. In this article, we will delve deeper into each of these allergens, their symptoms and solutions. It’s essential to know this information to ensure that your Shih Tzu is healthy and happy. To learn more about feeding your Shih Tzu a balanced diet, check out our Shih Tzu feeding tips article.


One common type of food allergy in Shih Tzu is related to grains. Grains like wheat, corn, and soy are often used as fillers in commercial dog foods, and many dogs can develop an intolerance or allergy to them over time. Symptoms of a grain allergy in Shih Tzu can include skin rashes and itchiness, digestive upset, and ear infections.

If you suspect that your Shih Tzu may have a grain allergy, it’s important to read ingredient labels carefully and avoid foods that contain these grains. Look for high-quality dog foods that use alternative sources of carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes or peas. You can also try making your own dog food at home using ingredients like ground turkey, brown rice, and vegetables. Check out our DIY Shih Tzu food recipes for some inspiration.

It’s important to note that not all grains are bad for dogs. In fact, some grains like brown rice and oats can actually provide important nutrients and fiber for your Shih Tzu. The key is to choose high-quality, whole-grain sources and feed them in moderation.

If you’re unsure what types of grains your Shih Tzu can tolerate, talk to your vet about doing an elimination diet to pinpoint the specific allergens. You can also check out our guide on foods to look for and avoid when feeding your Shih Tzu. With a little trial and error, you can find a diet that works for your furry friend and keeps them healthy and happy.


Beef is a common protein source in many dog foods, but it can also be a common allergen for Shih Tzu. Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to beef even if they have been eating it without any issues for years. Symptoms of beef allergies can range from mild to severe, including but not limited to itching, skin rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, and respiratory issues such as sneezing and wheezing.

If your Shih Tzu is allergic to beef, it can be challenging to find a suitable alternative protein source. Chicken and turkey are often recommended as they are generally well-tolerated by dogs, but it is essential to try out a few different protein sources to see which ones work best for your dog. Lamb, fish, and venison are other potential alternatives that you can try.

It is also important to carefully read the ingredients on dog food labels to ensure there is no hidden beef or beef flavoring present. You may need to switch to a limited-ingredient dog food that does not contain beef or any other common allergens. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your Shih Tzu’s specific needs.

In addition to dietary changes, you can also consider supplementing your Shih Tzu’s diet with Omega-3 fatty acids. These can help reduce inflammation and alleviate some of the symptoms associated with beef allergies. However, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new supplements to your dog’s diet.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to food allergies in Shih Tzu. Feeding your dog high-quality dog food and avoiding human food can go a long way in preventing allergic reactions. It is also essential to rotate your dog’s proteins to minimize the chances of developing a food allergy. To learn more about Shih Tzu feeding tips, check out our comprehensive guide here (insert internal link).

Dairy Products

Shih Tzus with dairy allergies can experience symptoms such as itchiness, diarrhea, and vomiting. Dairy products that come from milk are usually the main culprit, including cheese, yogurt, milk, and ice cream. This can be because of lactose intolerance, which is the inability to digest lactose in milk. It is important to avoid feeding any dairy products to a Shih Tzu with this allergy.

If you suspect that your Shih Tzu is allergic to dairy, it is advisable to switch to a dairy-free diet for your furry friend. Make sure to read the ingredients of any dog food that you buy to ensure that dairy products are not included. Opting for a high-quality, grain-free dog food can help prevent these allergies.

The symptoms of dairy allergies in Shih Tzu are similar to other food allergies. If you notice any symptoms, make sure to consult with a veterinarian before making any diet changes. They may suggest dietary supplements or vitamins to aid in digestion and boost overall health.

It is also essential to be mindful of overfeeding a shih tzu, which can cause various health issues. One way to prevent overfeeding is to rotate your dog’s protein sources, which can also prevent food allergies from developing in the future. For more information on switching your dog’s diet, check out our guide on switching diets for Shih Tzus.

It’s crucial to be attentive to your Shih Tzu’s diet and health. Avoid feeding human food or table scraps, including dairy products, to prevent allergies from developing. With a well-balanced diet and regular veterinary visits, you can help ensure your Shih Tzu’s long-term health and happiness. If you want to learn more about wet vs dry food for Shih Tzu, head on over to our article on wet vs dry food for Shih Tzu.

Fish and Chicken

While fish and chicken are often considered healthier protein options for dogs, Shih Tzu with food allergies may experience adverse reactions to these ingredients as well. Fish and chicken allergies can lead to symptoms such as itching, scratching, vomiting, and diarrhea.

It’s important to note that while fish and chicken allergies are less common than grain and beef allergies in Shih Tzu, they can still occur. If you suspect that your Shih Tzu may have an allergy to fish or chicken, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action.

Here is a table outlining the symptoms of fish and chicken allergies in Shih Tzu:

Fish AllergyChicken Allergy
Symptoms Itching and scratching
Swollen or inflamed skin
Vomiting and diarrhea
Ear infections
Itching and scratching
Digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhea
Ear infections
Respiratory issues

If your Shih Tzu is diagnosed with a fish or chicken allergy, your veterinarian may recommend a change in diet, as well as antihistamines or corticosteroids to manage symptoms. Immunotherapy may also be an option for some dogs.

To prevent food allergies in Shih Tzu, it’s important to feed high-quality dog food and avoid overfeeding. Additionally, incorporating supplements and vitamins into your Shih Tzu’s diet can help support their immune system and overall health. For more information on creating a healthy and balanced diet for your Shih Tzu, check out our article on Shih Tzu Diet, Supplements, and Vitamins. And be sure to avoid overfeeding your Shih Tzu, as overfeeding can lead to a range of health issues. Learn more about the dangers of overfeeding in our article on Shih Tzu Overfeeding Dangers.

Symptoms of Food Allergies

Symptoms Of Food Allergies
It can be quite puzzling for a Shih Tzu owner to understand the cause of their pet’s discomfort. Food allergies are a common problem in Shih Tzu, but the symptoms can be easily misinterpreted as general skin or digestive issues. However, there are certain signs that can help you identify whether your furry friend is suffering from a food allergy. Here are some indications of food allergies in Shih Tzu that every pet parent should be aware of.

Itching and Scratching

It is common for Shih Tzus suffering from food allergies to experience itching and scratching as one of the primary symptoms. This occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to certain proteins found in the food they eat.

The symptoms of itching and scratching can include:

Consistent LickingShih Tzus may lick their paws or other areas of their body more frequently than usual in response to the itching sensation.
Skin IrritationThe itching sensation can cause redness, rashes, or bumps on your Shih Tzu’s skin. Scratching can also cause the skin to become inflamed and irritated, increasing the chances of secondary bacterial or yeast infections.
Hair LossFrequent scratching and biting can lead to hair loss and thinning of the coat in the affected areas, which can be particularly noticeable on their paws, legs, and face.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your Shih Tzu, it is important to schedule a visit with a veterinarian to determine if food allergies are the underlying cause.

Treating the allergies often involves an elimination diet to pinpoint the trigger food or ingredient. Additionally, topical treatments, such as medicated shampoos or antihistamines, may be recommended to help alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms.

Without treatment, persistent scratching and itching can lead to severe skin damage, infection, and distress for your furry friend. It is important to seek prompt veterinary care and make necessary dietary changes if you suspect your Shih Tzu is suffering from food allergies.

Gas and Bloating

One of the symptoms of food allergies in Shih Tzu is **excessive gas and bloating**. The following are some of the reasons for this symptom:

– **Poor digestion**: When a Shih Tzu is allergic to a particular food, their digestive system may struggle to break it down, leading to the production of excess gas.
– **Inflammation**: The body’s response to a food allergen can also cause inflammation in the gut, leading to gas and bloating.
– **Changes in gut bacteria**: Certain foods can alter the type and amount of bacteria in a dog’s gut. An allergic reaction to a particular food can change the balance of bacteria in the gut, leading to gas and bloating.

If your Shih Tzu is experiencing gas and bloating due to a food allergy, it’s important to address it as soon as possible. Here are some steps that you can take:

– **Change your dog’s diet**: Eliminating the problematic food from your dog’s diet is the first step to reduce gas and bloating. Replace it with a high-quality dog food that doesn’t contain the ingredient that triggers the allergic reaction.
– **Add probiotics**: Adding probiotics to your Shih Tzu’s diet can help to restore a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which can in turn help to alleviate gas and bloating.
– **Consult with your vet**: Your vet may suggest further testing to determine the root cause of your dog’s allergies. In some cases, your dog may benefit from medications such as antihistamines or corticosteroids.

By taking these steps, you can help your Shih Tzu feel more comfortable and improve their overall health. Remember, if you suspect that your dog has a food allergy, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis from your vet before making any changes to their diet or medication.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Food allergies in Shih Tzu can also cause vomiting and diarrhea which can be quite distressing for both the dog and its owner. The symptoms are usually caused by the body’s immune system reacting to the allergen in the food, resulting in inflammation in the gut. This inflammation can cause the food to move too quickly through the digestive system resulting in diarrhea, or it can slow down digestion resulting in vomiting.

If you notice your Shih Tzu experiencing vomiting and diarrhea after meals, it’s important to take action quickly to avoid dehydration or other health complications. Here are some steps you can take to help your pup feel better:

  • Remove the suspected allergen from their diet immediately.
  • Ensure that they have adequate water to prevent dehydration.
  • Consider a bland diet of boiled rice and chicken or low-fat cottage cheese, which is easy to digest.
  • Feed small meals frequently, to ensure that their stomach is not empty or overloaded.
  • Consult with your vet if symptoms persist, in severe cases or if your dog shows signs of lethargy, loss of appetite or blood in its feces.

Remember, vomiting and diarrhea can also be symptoms of many other illnesses, so it’s important to watch your dog closely and not assume that food allergies are the cause. If you suspect that your Shih Tzu has food allergies or any other health issues, seek the advice of a veterinarian before taking any steps to treat them.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are another symptom of food allergies in Shih Tzu. Dogs may experience inflammation in their ears due to allergic reactions to certain ingredients in their food. Some of the signs of this condition are:

  • Head Shaking: Dogs experiencing ear infections due to food allergies may shake their heads frequently, as if trying to get rid of something inside their ears.
  • Scratching Ears: Another common sign of this condition is scratching the ears. If you notice that your Shih Tzu scratches their ears more often than usual, it may be due to an allergic reaction to food.
  • Redness and Discharge: Food allergies may cause inflammation and redness inside a dog’s ears. Additionally, there may be an unpleasant odor or discharge coming from the ears.
  • Pain and Discomfort: Ear infections can be painful and uncomfortable for your pet. If you notice that your Shih Tzu is reluctant to let you touch their ears, it may be a sign of discomfort due to food allergies.

It is important to be aware of the signs of ear infections caused by food allergies, as this condition can be very uncomfortable for your pet. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should consult with your veterinarian for treatment options. In some cases, a change in diet may be enough to alleviate the symptoms. However, in more severe cases, medications such as oral or topical antibiotics may be necessary to address the underlying infection.

Diagnosing Food Allergies in Shih Tzu

Diagnosing Food Allergies In Shih Tzu
Determining whether your Shih Tzu is suffering from a food allergy can be a perplexing process. Different allergies manifest in different ways and may take time to diagnose. However, with the appropriate diagnostic tests and procedures, identifying the root cause of your pet’s symptoms can lead to an effective treatment plan. In this section of the article, we will discuss the different methods of diagnosing food allergies in Shih Tzus, ranging from elimination diets to blood and skin tests.

Elimination Diet

One of the most reliable methods of diagnosing food allergies in Shih Tzu is through an elimination diet. It’s a process that involves removing potentially problematic food ingredients from the dog’s diet, and then gradually reintroducing different ingredients to determine which ones cause allergic reactions. If your Shih Tzu is allergic to multiple food ingredients, this can take some time.

The following are the steps to follow when conducting an elimination diet:

– Firstly, your Shih Tzu will need to be put on a diet that includes a novel protein and carbohydrates that he has not eaten before. Novel protein is protein that dogs have never been exposed to or have eaten previously. Carbohydrates like sweet potatoes or peas are popular choices.
– It’s essential to avoid giving your Shih Tzu any other food items, including treats, which might interfere with the elimination process or produce allergic reactions.
– If your Shih Tzu’s symptoms improve when he is on the elimination diet, it’s highly likely that the allergy was being caused by one or more of the removed food ingredients.
– Gradually reintroduce food items, one at a time, while observing your Shih Tzu’s response to them. If symptoms return after the reintroduction, you’ll have to remove that food from the diet again.
– Continue reintroducing various foods until you identify the particular ingredient or ingredients responsible for the allergy.

It’s crucial to work closely with a veterinarian and follow their recommendations when conducting an elimination diet. They might give you detailed instructions on how to conduct the diet or recommend a suitable diet to follow. During this process, it’s also critical to monitor your Shih Tzu’s behavior and symptoms to ensure that they are safe and comfortable.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are another diagnostic tool used for identifying food allergies in Shih Tzu. These tests are typically conducted at a veterinary clinic and can help to measure the levels of certain antibodies in your dog’s blood, which can indicate an allergic reaction.

Here are some types of blood tests that may be used:

  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA): This test measures the levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in your dog’s blood, which are typically associated with allergic reactions.
  • Western Blot Test: This test can identify specific proteins in the blood that may be causing an allergic reaction.
  • Radioallergosorbent test (RAST): This test is similar to the ELISA test and measures the levels of IgE antibodies in the blood.

It’s important to note that blood tests may not always provide a conclusive diagnosis for food allergies in Shih Tzu, but they can provide helpful information to your veterinarian. In some cases, a combination of blood testing and other diagnostic methods may be utilized to determine the root cause of your dog’s food allergies.

If your Shih Tzu is experiencing symptoms of food allergies, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. Don’t hesitate to raise any concerns or questions you may have about your dog’s health and well-being.

Skin Tests

One of the methods for diagnosing food allergies in Shih Tzu is through skin tests. In these tests, small amounts of allergens are placed on the surface of the skin, usually on the back, and the skin is then **pricked or scratched** to allow the allergen to penetrate the skin. This will cause a **small raised bump or reaction** on the skin if the Shih Tzu is allergic to that particular allergen.

Skin allergy testing is generally considered to be safe and is typically completed within one hour. The bump that results from an allergic reaction typically fades away within a few hours, therefore making it necessary to perform the test in a controlled environment for proper observation.

It is important to note that skin testing alone may not be enough to diagnose food allergies in Shih Tzu, but the test can be combined with other methods of allergy testing like elimination diets and blood tests to provide a more comprehensive diagnosis.

Skin allergy testing can be a safe and effective method of diagnosing food allergies in Shih Tzu. However, this test should only be performed by a veterinary professional to ensure the health and well-being of your furry companion.

Treating Food Allergies in Shih Tzu

Treating Food Allergies In Shih Tzu
Dealing with food allergies in your beloved Shih Tzu can be a daunting task, but it’s worth taking the time to find the right treatment to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. Understanding how to treat food allergies in Shih Tzu can be complex as it involves the right balance of dietary changes, medication, and other treatments. In this section, we’ll cover some of the most effective ways to treat food allergies in Shih Tzu, so you can get your pup back to feeling like their playful and cheerful self.

Dietary Changes

One of the most important ways to treat food allergies in Shih Tzu is through dietary changes. This may involve switching to a different brand of dog food, eliminating certain ingredients that trigger allergic reactions, or even making homemade dog food.

An elimination diet is often recommended, where you gradually introduce new foods to your Shih Tzu’s diet to identify the specific allergen. For example, if you suspect your Shih Tzu has an allergy to beef, you would eliminate all beef from their diet and gradually reintroduce it while monitoring for symptoms.

Making dietary changes can seem overwhelming, but it can be made easier by using a table to keep track of what ingredients to avoid and what alternatives to use.

Ingredient to AvoidAlternative Options
Grains (wheat, corn, soy)Gluten-free grains (rice, quinoa, oats)
BeefAlternative proteins (chicken, turkey, lamb)
Dairy ProductsLactose-free options (coconut milk, almond milk)
Fish and ChickenLean proteins (rabbit, venison)

It’s important to consult with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes to ensure your Shih Tzu is getting all the necessary nutrients. They may also recommend adding supplements to your Shih Tzu’s diet, such as omega-3 fatty acids or probiotics.

Remember to make changes slowly and monitor for any changes in symptoms. With patience and persistence, dietary changes can be a powerful tool in managing and treating food allergies in Shih Tzu.


When it comes to treating food allergies in Shih Tzu, antihistamines are often the first line of defense. These medications work by blocking the release of histamines in the body, which are the chemicals responsible for causing allergy symptoms. Here are some of the most common antihistamines used to treat food allergies in Shih Tzu:

  • Benedryl (diphenhydramine): This is a popular over-the-counter antihistamine that is known for its ability to relieve itchiness and other allergy symptoms. It works quickly and is often used to provide immediate relief in emergency situations.
  • Claritin (loratadine): This antihistamine is often used for longer-term allergy relief, as it provides 24-hour coverage with just one dose per day. It is less likely to cause drowsiness than other antihistamines, which can be an advantage for some Shih Tzu owners.
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine): This is another long-acting antihistamine that is well-tolerated by many dogs. It can be especially helpful for dogs who experience recurrent allergy symptoms, as it can provide consistent relief over time.

It is important to note, however, that antihistamines may not be effective for all Shih Tzu with food allergies. In some cases, a stronger medication may be necessary to relieve symptoms. Additionally, antihistamines can cause side effects in some dogs, such as lethargy or digestive upset. If you are considering antihistamines as a treatment option for your Shih Tzu, it is best to consult with a veterinarian first to determine the best approach for your specific situation.


Corticosteroids are a type of medication used to reduce inflammation and alleviate allergic reactions in Shih Tzu dogs who suffer from food allergies. While these medications can provide relief from the symptoms of the allergy, it is important to note that corticosteroids are not a cure for food allergies.

Here are some key points to keep in mind about corticosteroids:

How do corticosteroids work?
Corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation and suppressing the immune system’s response to the allergen. This can prevent further damage to the affected tissue and reduce the severity of the symptoms.

What are the potential side effects of corticosteroids?
While corticosteroids can be effective in treating food allergies in Shih Tzu dogs, they do come with potential side effects. These can include increased thirst and urination, increased appetite, weight gain, lethargy, and behavioral changes. Long-term use of corticosteroids can also lead to more serious health issues, such as diabetes and Cushing’s disease.

What is the recommended dosage for corticosteroids?
The dosage of corticosteroids prescribed for a Shih Tzu dog will depend on the severity of their symptoms and their overall health. It is important to follow the veterinarian’s instructions carefully and not to adjust the dosage without their guidance. Abruptly stopping corticosteroid treatment can also be dangerous and is not recommended.

Are there alternative treatments to corticosteroids?
While corticosteroids can be an effective treatment for food allergies in Shih Tzu dogs, some pet owners may be reluctant to use them due to the potential side effects. In these cases, alternative treatments such as antihistamines and immunotherapy may be recommended. It’s important to discuss all available treatment options with a veterinarian to determine the best course of action for an individual dog.

Corticosteroids can be a useful tool in managing the symptoms of food allergies in Shih Tzu dogs. However, it’s important to weigh the potential benefits against the risks and to use them only as directed by a veterinarian.


Immunotherapy is a treatment option that involves giving the Shih Tzu small doses of the allergens that trigger their allergic reactions to help build up their immune system’s tolerance to those allergens. It can be a very effective treatment option for food allergies in dogs, including Shih Tzu.

How does immunotherapy work?

Immunotherapy works by introducing small amounts of the allergen into the dog’s body over time. The immune system is exposed to the allergen in a controlled and gradual manner, which helps it develop tolerance to the allergen.

What are the benefits of immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy can help reduce or even eliminate the need to rely on medications to manage food allergies. It can also be more cost-effective in the long run compared to the ongoing expense of medications.

Are there any risks associated with immunotherapy?

While immunotherapy is generally safe, there is always a risk of an allergic reaction. However, these reactions are typically mild and can be easily managed.

Here is a table comparing the pros and cons of different treatments for food allergies in Shih Tzu, including immunotherapy:

Treatment OptionProsCons
  • Can reduce or eliminate need for medications
  • Can be more cost-effective in the long run
  • Requires frequent trips to the vet for injections
  • Small risk of allergic reactions
  • Takes time to see results
Dietary Changes
  • Can be effective if allergen is identified and avoided
  • No risk of allergic reactions
  • Can be challenging to identify allergen
  • May require a restrictive diet
  • Can be difficult to maintain
Antihistamines and Corticosteroids
  • Can provide quick relief of symptoms
  • Do not address underlying issue
  • May cause side effects
  • Can be expensive in the long run

How long does immunotherapy take to work?

Immunotherapy can take several months to a year before the Shih Tzu shows significant improvement. It requires a lot of patience and commitment, but the results can be worth it in the end. It’s important to work closely with your vet to monitor your dog’s progress and adjust their treatment plan as needed.

Preventing Food Allergies in Shih Tzu

As a Shih Tzu owner, preventing food allergies in your furry companion is a top priority. Food allergies can cause discomfort and even lead to serious health issues. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of your Shih Tzu developing food allergies. By implementing these preventative measures, you can ensure your furry friend has a long and healthy life. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you can prevent food allergies in your Shih Tzu.

Feeding High Quality Dog Food

When it comes to preventing food allergies in Shih Tzu, one of the most crucial steps is feeding them high-quality dog food. Not all dog foods are created equal, and choosing the right one can make a significant difference in their health and well-being.

The first step in selecting dog food is to carefully read the label to make sure there are no ingredients that your Shih Tzu is allergic to. Look for high-quality proteins like chicken, turkey, lamb, or fish as the first ingredient. Avoid fillers like corn, soy, and wheat as they can cause an allergic reaction in some dogs.

Another important consideration is the type of dog food you are feeding your Shih Tzu. Dry food, wet food, and raw food all have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of which to feed your dog ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, it is essential to ensure that the food you choose is complete and nutritionally balanced.

To help make choosing the right dog food easier, here is a table of high-quality dog foods that are free from common allergens and have high ratings from customers:

BrandProtein SourceFree FromRating
Wellness COREDeboned TurkeyGrains, Soy, Dairy4.5 out of 5
Blue Buffalo BasicsTurkeyGrains, Dairy, Chicken4.4 out of 5
Nature’s RecipeLambGrains, Dairy, Soy4.3 out of 5
Hill’s Science DietSalmonGrains, Chicken4.2 out of 5
Purina Pro PlanTurkeyGrains, Soy, Dairy4.1 out of 5

By feeding your Shih Tzu a high-quality dog food that is free from common allergens, you can help prevent the development of food allergies and promote their overall health and well-being. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Avoiding Human Food

It’s essential to understand that human food is designed for human consumption and not for dogs, especially those with food allergies. There are several human foods that are harmful to Shih Tzu, and they should be avoided at all costs. Here is a table of common human foods that should be avoided, and why they are dangerous to Shih Tzu:

FoodDangerous Ingredient
Garlic and OnionSulfur compounds
Grapes and RaisinsUnknown
Macadamia NutsUnknown
Raw MeatBacteria

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs, and in severe cases, it can lead to death. Avocado contains persin, which is also toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Garlic and onion contain sulfur compounds, which can damage Shih Tzu’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in Shih Tzu, and the reason why is still unknown. Alcohol contains ethanol which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and in some cases, even death. Caffeine contains methylxanthines which can cause restlessness, hyperactivity, vomiting, and in severe cases, death.

Macadamia nuts contain an unknown toxin that can cause lethargy, vomiting, hyperthermia, tremors, and joint stiffness. Finally, raw meat contains bacteria that can cause severe food poisoning in Shih Tzu.

It’s always best to avoid feeding your Shih Tzu human food altogether, even in small amounts. Instead, opt for safe and nutritious dog food that meets your Shih Tzu’s specific dietary needs.

Rotating Proteins

Rotating proteins is a great way to prevent food allergies in Shih Tzu. Essentially, this means feeding your dog different proteins on a rotation basis. The idea behind this is that your dog’s body won’t develop an allergic response if he’s not consistently exposed to the same protein. Here are some of the benefits of rotating proteins:

  • Variety in Diet: By rotating proteins, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu is getting a varied diet. This is important because different proteins provide different nutrients, and by rotating them, you can offer a more balanced diet.
  • Reduced Risk of Allergies: As mentioned earlier, rotating proteins can help prevent your dog from developing food allergies.
  • Improved Digestion: Some dogs have trouble digesting certain proteins. By rotating proteins, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu isn’t consistently exposed to a protein that may cause digestive issues.
  • Higher Quality Protein: Rotating proteins can also help ensure that your dog is getting higher quality protein. Different proteins have different levels of digestibility and bioavailability, so by rotating them, you can offer a higher quality protein.

If you’re interested in rotating proteins, it’s important to do it correctly. Make sure you rotate proteins every few months, and ensure that your Shih Tzu is getting all the necessary nutrients. You can do this by working with your vet or a canine nutritionist to develop a rotation plan that meets your dog’s specific dietary needs. By rotating proteins, you can help ensure that your Shih Tzu stays healthy and allergy-free.


In conclusion, it is important for Shih Tzu owners to be aware of the potential for food allergies in their furry companions. Paying attention to the symptoms and seeking prompt diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve their quality of life. While grains, beef, dairy products, fish and chicken are common allergens, it is important to note that any type of food can cause an allergic reaction.

Diagnosis may involve elimination diets, blood tests, and skin tests, and treatment options can include dietary changes, antihistamines, corticosteroids, and immunotherapy. Prevention is key, and this can be achieved through feeding high-quality dog food, avoiding human food, and rotating proteins.

It is also important for pet owners to work closely with their veterinarian in managing their Shih Tzu’s food allergies, as this will ensure the best possible outcome for the dog. By being informed and vigilant, owners can help improve their furry friend’s health and well-being, and ensure that they thrive for many years to come. Remember to always prioritize your Shih Tzu’s health and happiness, and seek help from a veterinarian if you suspect they may be suffering from a food allergy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a food allergy in Shih Tzu?

A food allergy in Shih Tzu is an immune system reaction to a particular food or ingredient. When a Shih Tzu eats something that their body is allergic to, their immune system identifies it as a harmful substance and produces an abnormal response.

What are the common types of food allergies in Shih Tzu?

The common types of food allergies in Shih Tzu are grains, beef, dairy products, and fish and chicken.

What are the symptoms of food allergies in Shih Tzu?

The symptoms of food allergies in Shih Tzu can include itching and scratching, gas and bloating, vomiting and diarrhea, and ear infections.

How are food allergies in Shih Tzu diagnosed?

Food allergies in Shih Tzu can be diagnosed through an elimination diet, blood tests, or skin tests.

Can food allergies in Shih Tzu be cured?

Food allergies in Shih Tzu cannot be cured, but they can be managed through dietary changes, medication, and immunotherapy.

How can food allergies in Shih Tzu be treated?

Food allergies in Shih Tzu can be treated through dietary changes, antihistamines, corticosteroids, and immunotherapy.

What kind of dog food should I feed my Shih Tzu with food allergies?

You should feed your Shih Tzu with food allergies high-quality dog food that is specifically formulated for dogs with food sensitivities.

Can my Shih Tzu’s food allergies be passed down to their puppies?

There is no evidence to suggest that food allergies in Shih Tzu can be passed down to their puppies.

How can I prevent my Shih Tzu from developing food allergies?

You can prevent your Shih Tzu from developing food allergies by feeding them high-quality dog food, avoiding feeding them human food, and rotating their proteins.

What should I do if I suspect my Shih Tzu has a food allergy?

If you suspect your Shih Tzu has a food allergy, you should take them to the vet for a diagnosis and treatment plan.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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