It might seem that asking what foods Shih Tzus can’t eat is the same as foods other dogs cannot consume but in fact, Shih Tzus have a variety of health concerns and some of them are lessened by using the right diet.
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Foods All Dogs Should NOT Be Given
- Chocolate – the darker, the more dangerous- cause vomiting but can be lethal in even small amounts- toxic to the nervous system and the hear
- Raisins, Grapes and currants – gives abdominal pain, vomiting and can damage kidneys
- Macadamia nuts – cause kidney stones
- Nuts in general
- Onions – affect the red blood cells and can cause anaemia
- Sweets and candies – contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol that increases insulin production
- Mushrooms – give abdominal pain
- Raw egg can have bacteria
- Cow’s milk has lactose that dogs find hard to digest and can cause diarrhea
- Coffee, tea and other caffeine
- Green potatoes – are also poisonous to humans
- Bread dough – the yeast can swell in the intestine and make a blockage
- Anything gone mouldy
- Garlic – like onions it affects the red blood cells
These foods can cause anything from an upset tummy to death.
Shih Tzu’s Problems
- Long backs – cause orthopaedic problems
- Short, snubbed faces cause breathing concerns
- Dysplasia of hips, elbows and loose patellas
- Eye diseases
- Urinary stones
- Liver disease
- Allergies – itchy skin
- A digestive disease called pyloric stylosis
- A blood clotting problem
- Auto immune system worries
Some of these worries can be tested for and avoided and good breeders are doing this to stop the problems persisting. Some of them are genetic and inherited and again, good breeding practice is gradually lessening the occurrence.
The breathing concerns should be watched for and the dog allowed to rest- especially in very hot weather. Things like cheese that put on weight should be avoided.
With a number of these possible complaints, the right diet can make a tremendous difference.
Dogs have a short digestive tract and this makes it difficult for them to deal with grains like wheat. Their bodies are better able to deal with meat.
When they have wheat and other hard to digest fillers included, it can result in upset tummies and more waste products as less goodness is taken into the system. Dogs with sensitive digestion system will need a special diet.
The main culprits that cause allergies are red meat, wheat, gluten, corn, soy, dairy and eggs. In a breed that does have itchy skin problems, these are best avoided.
Auto immune system
There are vitamins and minerals that help boost the immune system and the dog food used should include these.
Hip dysplasia and related problems along with the long back
The joint worries in some breeds can be lessened by making sure the dog is not overweight. Chondroitin and glucosamine can help joints and mobility.
Some pet food preservatives contribute towards liver failure and should be avoided at all costs. Even when the bag does not list the BHA and BHT additives, they may still be there in small quantities as they were already put into ingredients that were bought by the pet food company.
The chemicals are banned in the UK but still appear in the USA.
- Whole chicken meat
- Sweet Potatoes
- Cottage Cheese
- Brown rice
To find the best food for your Shih Tzu, research is needed and you may need to trial certain foods to find out which is best suited. If you do change over from one food to another, do it over about ten days and gradually add the new food to the old in greater amounts.
There are a great many grain free brands on the market now. These include completely natural diets as well as the ones made by the mainstream manufacturers.
These are based on the food that a dog would have eaten in the wild and are basically whole meat with fruits and vegetables. There are usually vitamins and minerals added as well as chondroitin and glucosamine to help joint problem.
Home made diets
These can be the answer to keep a Shih Tzu healthy but needs to be researched properly and have the added vitamins needed. Sadie Shih Tzu’s homemade recipe can be found here
Amino acids are essential to let the body absorb the protein from the meat.
Fatty acids are also gained from good quality meat and Omega 3 and Omega 6 can also be added as extras.
Carbohydrates give energy and growth but the best providers of this are things like sweet potato and brown rice which avoids the use of wheat and gluten.
The long coat of the Shih Tzu needs Omega fatty acids and Vitamin A to look good and be healthy.
What food Shih Tzus can eat?
In the end, a good quality well balanced diet is best for your Shih Tzu. The breed is one of the larger ones in the toy classification and make a good pet for people who need a smaller dog. They are good eaters as a rule and can tend to get overweight quite easily.
They need a good percentage of protein which comes from whole meat and fish and they should not have sweet treats or table scraps. Whatever dog breed you’re feeding, you should remember to make sure that your dog is getting sufficient nutrition by choosing the top rated dog foods.