As dog owners, we want to make sure our furry friends stay healthy and happy. And part of that responsibility is knowing which foods are safe and which should be avoided. However, with so much conflicting information out there, it can be perplexing to know what’s true and what isn’t. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of human foods and fruits/vegetables that should be avoided when feeding your Shih Tzu. Keep reading to learn more about these potentially harmful foods and how to keep your beloved pup healthy and happy.

Human Food to Avoid

Human Food To Avoid
As much as we want to share our food with our furry companion, Shih Tzu owners should be aware that not all human food is suitable for their pets. Feeding them with inappropriate human food may result in serious health issues. In this section, we will discuss some human food that you should avoid giving to your Shih Tzu. Remember that proper nutrition plays a vital role in keeping your pet healthy and happy. For more information on Shih Tzu nutrition, diets, vitamins, supplements, food allergies, food options, treats, free feeding, and feeding them at different life stages, check out our other articles here.


When it comes to your Shih Tzu, there are certain human foods that are dangerous and even toxic for them to consume. One of these hazardous human foods is chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, two substances that can be extremely toxic for dogs in large amounts. This toxic substance can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and even death.

If you suspect that your Shih Tzu has ingested chocolate, take them to the vet immediately. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your furry friend’s health. It’s essential to avoid giving your Shih Tzu any type of chocolate, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and raw cocoa powder.

As a responsible pet owner, you must keep all chocolate products out of your Shih Tzu’s reach. Make sure you never leave any chocolate treats or candy lying around where your Shih Tzu can get to them. Additionally, if you are baking chocolate desserts, be sure to keep them out of reach of your dog.

In case you are looking for the right way and appropriate time of feeding your Shih Tzu, make sure you take time to learn best practices on what foods your dog should eat during his/her lifetime.


Caffeine may give you that extra morning boost, but it can cause a lot of harm to your furry friend. It is one of the most common household toxins for dogs, and Shih Tzus are not an exception. Caffeine stimulates a dog’s nervous system and heart, and can result in restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and even seizures.

So, what are the sources of caffeine that Shih Tzus should avoid?

  • Coffee
  • Tea, including herbal teas
  • Soda and energy drinks
  • Chocolate, which also contains caffeine
  • Medications containing caffeine, such as pain relievers, supplements, and some cold medicines

It’s important to keep all caffeine-containing products out of your Shih Tzu’s reach. This also includes coffee beans or grounds, tea bags, and chocolate products like cookies or cakes.

If your Shih Tzu accidentally consumes caffeine, take him or her to the vet right away. The vet may induce vomiting or give activated charcoal to prevent the absorption of caffeine into your dog’s bloodstream. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

It’s important to monitor your Shih Tzu’s caffeine intake, and always choose dog-friendly food and treats to keep them healthy and happy. For more information on Shih Tzu diet and nutrition, check out our related post on the best diet for Shih Tzus.

Onion and Garlic

Onion and Garlic are two of the most common spices used in many human food recipes. While their flavors can add an extra punch to the dish, they can be highly toxic to your Shih Tzu. Both onion and garlic can cause anemia in dogs as they contain compounds that can damage red blood cells. With lower levels of healthy red blood cells, organ function and overall health can be compromised.

It is highly recommended to avoid feeding your Shih Tzu any food seasoned with onion or garlic. This includes not only fresh or cooked onions and garlic by themselves but also foods that contain them as ingredients, such as pizza, sauces, and stir-fry dishes. Even small amounts of onion and garlic can have negative effects on your dog’s health in the long run.

Below is a table summarizing the potential dangers of feeding your Shih Tzu food containing onion or garlic:

FoodPotential Risks
Fresh or cooked onionsCan damage red blood cells, leading to anemia
Raw or cooked garlicCan also cause anemia and gastrointestinal irritation
Seasonings with onion and garlicCan be highly concentrated and cause severe health problems

The symptoms of onion or garlic toxicity in dogs may take a while to show up, but they can be serious once they do. Keep an eye out for lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and discolored urine. If you suspect that your Shih Tzu may have eaten any food containing onion or garlic, seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

While onion and garlic are staples in human diets, they should be kept far away from your furry friend. There are many other healthy food and treat options that your Shih Tzu will love and benefit from. For more information on how to feed your Shih Tzu properly, check out our article on how to feed your Shih Tzu.


Avocados may be a healthy a snack for you, but they should not be a part of your Shih Tzu’s diet. The flesh of the avocado is safe for dogs to eat, but it’s the pit, skin, and leaves that contain persin, which is toxic to dogs. Persin can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even respiratory problems in some dogs.

Here is a list of what to avoid when feeding your Shih Tzu:

– Avocado flesh, skin, pit, and leaves – can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms
– Chocolate – can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, and seizures
– Caffeine – can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, and muscle tremors
– Onions and garlic – can cause anemia by damaging red blood cells
– Grapes and raisins – can cause kidney failure in some dogs
– Alcohol – can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and in severe cases, coma or death
– Macadamia nuts – can cause lethargy, vomiting, hyperthermia, and tremors in dogs

It’s important to remember that certain human foods can be dangerous and even deadly for dogs, so it’s best to stick to dog food and treats specifically made for them. If you’re unsure about whether a specific food is safe for your Shih Tzu, consult with your veterinarian. Also, you may find our article about Shih Tzu food options helpful.

By avoiding feeding your Shih Tzu these human foods, you can help ensure that they remain healthy and happy. Remember, providing your Shih Tzu with a well-balanced diet that is suitable for their breed, age and size is crucial. Additionally, you can discuss with your veterinarian possible vitamin supplements or safe treat options that can keep your pup happy and healthy.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins might seem like a healthy treat for your Shih Tzu, but they are actually highly toxic and can cause severe illness in dogs. The exact element in grapes and raisins that causes toxicity is still unknown, but even small amounts can lead to kidney failure in dogs.

If your Shih Tzu has accidentally eaten grapes or raisins, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms may show up within the first 24 hours and include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, and excessive thirst and urination.

To avoid any chance of your Shih Tzu consuming grapes or raisins, it’s best to keep them out of reach and never feed them intentionally. Be careful when purchasing packaged treats, as some may contain small amounts of raisins.

Foods to AvoidPotential Symptoms
GrapesVomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, excessive thirst, and urination
RaisinsVomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, excessive thirst, and urination

Remember that your Shih Tzu’s health is of utmost importance. It is best to stick to foods that you know are safe, such as Shih Tzu-friendly treats and high-quality dog food. If you suspect any food allergies, consult with your veterinarian to have your dog tested and to receive the best advice on a proper diet.


As tempting as it may be to share a drink with your furry friend, it is important to know that alcohol is toxic to Shih Tzus and can lead to serious health complications or even death. Just a small amount can cause vomiting, diarrhea, coordination issues, breathing difficulties, and even coma. Here are some other reasons why you should avoid giving your Shih Tzu any kind of alcohol:

  • Small Size: Shih Tzus are a small breed of dogs, which means that even a small amount of alcohol can have a significant impact on their bodies.
  • Liver Functionality: Your dog’s liver is responsible for breaking down toxins such as alcohol. However, Shih Tzus have a weaker liver function than larger dogs, which makes it difficult for them to process alcohol.
  • Coma and Death: In extreme cases, alcohol consumption can lead to a coma and even death. This is particularly true if your Shih Tzu consumes a large amount of alcohol or if they are already in poor health.

If you suspect that your Shih Tzu has consumed alcohol, it is important to seek veterinary attention immediately. Keep in mind that some common household items, such as mouthwash and cleaning products, may contain alcohol, so it is important to keep these items out of reach of your furry friend.

In Conclusion, while it may be tempting to share your food and drinks with your Shih Tzu, it is important to make sure that they are only eating foods that are safe for them. Avoiding the foods and drinks mentioned in this article can help to prevent health problems from occurring in your furry friend. Additionally, if your Shih Tzu has any food allergies or sensitivities, it is important to avoid those foods as well. For more information on Shih Tzu food allergies, check out our article on Shih Tzu Food Allergies. And for more information on free feeding, check out our article on Shih Tzu Free Feeding Cons.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are one of the most delicious nuts out there. They are crunchy, creamy, and nutty, making them a great addition to baked goods and desserts. However, when it comes to your Shih Tzu’s diet, these nuts should be avoided at all costs. Here’s why:

Macadamia nuts contain toxins that can be fatal to Shih Tzus. Studies show that these nuts contain an unknown toxin that affects dogs’ nervous systems. This toxin, although unknown, can cause a variety of symptoms in dogs, such as vomiting, muscle tremors, hyperthermia, and even lethargy. If left untreated, the symptoms can worsen and lead to paralysis and even death.

Small amounts can also be harmful. Unlike other foods, where a small portion may not be harmful, even small amounts of macadamia nuts can cause symptoms in Shih Tzus. This is because the toxin in these nuts is very potent and can cause harm even in trace amounts.

Signs to watch out for. Since macadamia nuts are harmful to Shih Tzus, it’s important to watch out for any signs of poisoning if your pooch accidentally ingests them. Symptoms may not show up right away, but can appear within 12 hours of ingestion. Some common signs to watch out for include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, fever, and lethargy.

While macadamia nuts may be a delicious and nutty treat for humans, they should be avoided when it comes to your Shih Tzu’s diet. To ensure your furry friend’s wellbeing and good health, it’s best to stick to dog-safe foods and treats.

Fruits and Vegetables to Avoid

When it comes to feeding your beloved Shih Tzu, not all fruits and vegetables are friendly to their digestive system. While vegetables and fruits are generally considered healthy for dogs, some can be harmful and cause serious health problems in Shih Tzus. In this section, we’ll discuss some fruits and vegetables that you should avoid feeding to your furry friend. Remember, it’s always better to consult with a veterinarian before feeding any human food to your Shih Tzu. Let’s explore the fruits and vegetables that can be harmful to your pet’s health.


Mushrooms are definitely not safe for your Shih Tzu. You may think nothing of sharing your sautéed mushrooms with your furry friend, but these fungi can actually be toxic to dogs. Certain types of mushrooms can cause severe reactions, including kidney or liver failure, which can be life-threatening.

To make it clearer, take a look at the table below, which highlights some of the most dangerous mushrooms for dogs:

Mushroom NameSymptoms of Poisoning
Amanita phalloidesVomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, coma, and death.
Amanita muscariaHyperactivity, hallucinations, and seizures.
Inocybe spp.Trembling, drooling, and seizures.
Clitocybe dealbataVomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, tremors, and coma.

As you can see, eating mushrooms can be extremely dangerous for your precious Shih Tzu. It is important to keep all types of mushrooms out of reach of your dog. If you suspect your pooch has ingested any type of mushroom, seek veterinary attention immediately. Remember, prevention is key to keeping your pet healthy and safe.


Tomatoes might seem like a healthy addition to your Shih Tzu’s diet, but they can actually be harmful. Tomatoes contain a substance called solanine, which is toxic to dogs.

Symptoms of Tomato Poisoning

If your Shih Tzu consumes too many tomatoes, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and even difficulty breathing. Tomatoes can also cause weakness and confusion in dogs, which can be dangerous.

Other Foods to Watch Out For

It’s important to remember that tomatoes aren’t the only food that can be harmful to your Shih Tzu. Some other foods to avoid include chocolate, caffeine, onion, garlic, avocado, grapes, and alcohol. All of these foods can cause serious health problems for your furry friend.

To help you keep track of which foods are safe and which ones to avoid, we’ve created a helpful table:

Foods to AvoidReason
ChocolateContains theobromine, which can be toxic to dogs
CaffeineCan cause restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and seizures
Onion and GarlicContain compounds that can damage a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia
AvocadoContains persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs
Grapes and RaisinsCan cause kidney failure in dogs
AlcoholCan cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death
Macadamia NutsCan cause hind limb weakness, depression, lethargy, vomiting, hyperthermia, tremors, and abdominal pain in dogs

By avoiding these foods and being mindful of what you feed your Shih Tzu, you can help keep them healthy and happy. Remember, always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet.


Potatoes might be a staple in many of our diets, but when it comes to feeding your Shih Tzu, it’s a food you’ll want to avoid. Raw potatoes contain solanine, which is a toxin that can be harmful to dogs. Even cooked potatoes can be problematic as they often contain heavy amounts of salt, butter, or other seasonings that can lead to excessive sodium intake, gastrointestinal upset, or even pancreatitis.

To avoid any potential health hazards, it’s best to steer clear of feeding your Shih Tzu potatoes altogether. If your furry friend accidentally consumes any raw or cooked potatoes, watch for any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy as these could be symptoms of solanine poisoning.

Instead of potatoes, opt for healthy dog-friendly veggies like sweet potatoes, green beans, or peas. These are low in calories, high in fiber, and provide essential vitamins and minerals to keep your Shih Tzu healthy and happy. Remember that a healthy and balanced diet is key to maintaining your pet’s overall health, so make sure to choose safe and nutritious foods that will benefit your furry friend in the long run.

Cherry Trees, Peach Trees, and Other Fruit Trees

Fruit trees are a common sight in gardens, but it is important to know that not all fruits are safe for your Shih Tzu. Some fruit trees can actually be quite harmful to your furry friend if ingested.

Cherry Trees: Cherry trees contain cyanide in their stems, leaves, and seeds. Consumption of any part of a cherry tree can result in severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, shock, and even death.

Peach Trees: Peach trees contain a substance called amygdalin, which can be toxic to dogs. Ingestion of peach pits can lead to intestinal blockage, while the leaves and stems contain a substance that can cause digestive upset.

Other Fruit Trees: Other fruit trees, such as apple and pear trees, are generally safe for your Shih Tzu to be around. However, it is still best to keep an eye on your furry friend when they are near any fruit tree, as they may be tempted to eat fallen fruit or dig around the roots.

In general, it is best to err on the side of caution when it comes to allowing your Shih Tzu to be around any fruit tree. It is best to ensure that they do not have access to any fallen fruit or parts of the tree. If you are unsure whether a particular fruit tree is safe for your Shih Tzu, it is always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian.

Raw Onions

It is important to avoid feeding raw onions to your Shih Tzu. Onions may seem like a harmless addition to your dog’s diet, but they can actually be toxic and cause harm to your furry friend.

Onions contain a compound called N-propyl disulfide which can damage your dog’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. The signs of onion poisoning may not be visible immediately, but over time, the condition can worsen and lead to life-threatening complications.

If you suspect that your Shih Tzu may have ingested onions, it is important to look out for symptoms such as weakness, vomiting, decreased appetite, and a decreased energy level. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately for advice and guidance.

To prevent your Shih Tzu from ingesting onions, make sure to keep any onion-containing food out of their reach. This includes raw onions, onion powder and even cooked onions. Check the ingredients list of your dog’s food and treats to ensure they do not contain any onion products.

In the table below, you can see a summary of the dangers of feeding raw onions to your Shih Tzu.

Toxic CompoundSymptoms of PoisoningPrevention Tips
N-propyl disulfideweakness, vomiting, decreased appetite, decreased energy levelKeep onion-containing foods out of their reach, check food ingredients for onion products

As a responsible Shih Tzu owner, it is important to be aware of the foods that can be harmful to your furry friend’s health. By avoiding feeding raw onions to your Shih Tzu, you can help to ensure their wellbeing and health.


In conclusion, it is important to be mindful of what foods you feed your Shih Tzu. While it may be tempting to share your human food with your furry best friend, certain foods can be potentially harmful and even toxic to them. By avoiding foods such as chocolate, caffeine, onions, and garlic, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu stays healthy and happy. It is also important to be aware of fruits and vegetables, such as mushrooms, tomatoes, and potatoes, that should not be consumed by your dog. Keep in mind that every Shih Tzu is different and may have specific dietary needs or allergies, so it is always best to consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your pet’s diet. Providing a balanced and healthy diet for your furry companion will not only improve their overall health, but also strengthen the bond between you and your beloved pet. Remember to always prioritize your Shih Tzu’s health and well-being by making informed decisions about their nutrition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Shih Tzus eat human food?

Some human foods are safe for Shih Tzus in small amounts, but it’s best to stick to a balanced and regular diet formulated for dogs.

Is chocolate toxic to Shih Tzus?

Yes, chocolate can be toxic to Shih Tzus due to its theobromine content, which can cause seizures and even death.

Can Shih Tzus have garlic or onion?

No, both garlic and onion can cause anemia in dogs and should be avoided.

Are avocados safe for Shih Tzus?

No, avocados contain persin, which is toxic to dogs and can cause symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Can Shih Tzus eat grapes or raisins?

No, grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure.

Is alcohol safe for Shih Tzus?

No, alcohol can cause respiratory failure, seizures, and even death in dogs.

Can Shih Tzus eat macadamia nuts?

No, macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs and can cause symptoms such as muscle tremors and weakness.

Why should Shih Tzus avoid mushrooms?

Mushrooms can be toxic to dogs and can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. It’s best to avoid all types of mushrooms.

Can Shih Tzus eat tomatoes or potatoes?

Both tomatoes and potatoes are part of the nightshade family, which can cause digestive upset and even neurological problems in dogs.

Are all fruits and vegetables safe for Shih Tzus?

No, some fruits and vegetables should be avoided, such as grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, avocado, and ones from certain fruit trees. Always consult with your veterinarian before feeding your Shih Tzu any human food.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

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

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