What foods should Shih Tzus avoid?

High-quality dog foods can provide your Shih Tzu with the nutritional content he needs to stay healthy. Especially when he becomes a loving member of the family, you might want to feed him table food as a treat. However, giving your dog anything that you eat is a mistake as there are certain types of foods that could be harmful to him. In this article, we will provide the foods that are safe for Shih Tzus to consume, and the ones that you should never feed your dog.

Foods that you should never give to your dog

Shih Tzus are lovely and smart/ PH: Pinterest

Here is a list of what foods your dog should not be given:

  • Chocolate: This food can cause vomiting, it can even be lethal with just a small amount. The darker the chocolate is, the more dangerous it becomes. It is also toxic to the nervous system of your dog.
  • Raisins, grapes and currants: These food can give abdominal pain and cause vomiting. Also, they can damage kidneys.
  • Macadamia nuts and nuts in general: These nuts can cause kidney stones to your dog. Also, they contain a toxin that can cause weakness, tremors, hyperthermia or depression.
  • Onions and garlic: These foods can affect the red blood cells and therefore, can cause anaemia.
  • Sweets and candies: They contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol. It increases insulin production which is not good for your pet.
  • Mushrooms and raw egg: While mushrooms give abdominal pain, raw egg can have bacteria.
  • Cow’s milk: It has lactose that is difficult for dogs to digest and also, it can cause diarrhea.
  • Avocado: Avocado contains a toxin called persin that can have negative impacts on a Shih Tzu, including vomiting and constipation. If your dog consumes the pit, he could be in a bigger risk as it can get stuck in the stomach, or esophagus.

Avocado can cause vomiting and constipation/ PH: amazon

Additionally, you should not feed your pet any caffeine like coffee and tea. Also, try to avoid bread dough as the yeast can swell in the intestine and make a blockage. These foods in the list can upset your dog’s tummy and even kill them.


Some of Shih Tzu’s problems

Some of these dogs’ problems are: orthopaedic problems due to their long backs, breathing concerns because they have short and snubbed faces, eyes disease, allergies…  However, these worries can be tested and avoided as good breeders are doing their jobs to lessen the occurrence and stop them. Also, by providing your dog the right diet, you can help prevent these problems.

Digestion problem

Like other dogs, Shih Tzus have a short digestive tract so it is difficult for them to deal with grains. It is better for them to work with meat. If you feed your dog with wheat or other foods that are hard to digest, you can cause him an upset tummy. Always remember that dogs with sensitive digestion system will need a special diet.

Allergies problem

This breed has itchy skin problems, so if you feed them foods like red meat, corn, soy, eggs, wheat, gluten, … they will cause allergies to your dog.

Auto immune system problem

By providing your dog with foods that are rich sources of vitamins and minerals, they can help boost the immune system.

Hip dysplasia and problems with long backs

These problems with the joint can be prevented by making sure that your dog is not overweight. You should avoid chondroitin and glucosamine in his diet.

Liver diseases

Some pet foods which include BHA and BHT additives contribute towards liver failure. Therefore, you should avoid them to protect your dog from liver diseases.

Foods that are safe for Shih Tzus

There are some human foods that Shih Tzus can eat:

  • Chicken: This is a good protein source and also a good replacement for the traditional dog food. And most dogs love chicken. However, you have to feed them cooked and unseasoned chicken. You can also give them raw bones as treats.

Chicken is a good source of protein for dogs/ PH: IndiaMart

  • Lamb, fish: These foods also contain protein and healthy fat which support the immune system and is good for the dog’s coat.
  • Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes contain fiber, vitamins, and irons which is good for your dog. This food is also easily digested. You should give him this food in baked or steamed form.
  • Yoghurt: This is another protein-rich food that helps maintain the digestive system and provides calcium for their bones.
  • Cottage cheese: This food is preferred by dog owners because it is a high source of protein.


How to choose foods for Shih Tzus?

If you want to find the best foods for Shih Tzus, you need to do a couple of research and you may need them to try certain foods before deciding which is the best ones. Make sure that when you change to another food, do it over about ten days and don’t just change it over immediately.

Food that is grain free

These foods include natural diets and you can find a lot of brands on the market these days.

Natural diets

These foods like whole meat, fruits and vegetables include natural diets and usually contain vitamins and minerals as well as chondroitin and glucosamine to help with joint problems. They are based on the food that a dog eats in the wild.

Homemade diets

To keep your dog healthy, you need to provide him proper diet with vitamins added. Especially dogs with digestive problems, they need special recipes. So homemade diets are great for them.


The foods that are provided for your dogs need to include essential ingredients such as amino acids, which help the body absorb protein from the meat. Aside from that, fatty acids, omega 3, omega 6 should be added as well.

Additionally, the carbohydrates that you can find in sweet potatoes and brown rice will give your dog energy and growth, also avoid the use of wheat and gluten. The addition of omega fatty acids and vitamin A provides a healthy coat for Shih Tzus.

In conclusion, a balanced diet with good quality and healthy ingredients is best for your Shih Tzu. These dogs are good eaters and can get overweight quite easily. You need to make sure that you provide them a good percentage of protein.

There are some good sources of protein like meat and fish. Also, avoid sweet treats or table scraps when you feed them. And the most important thing is to make sure that you provide sufficient nutrition for your dog.

Dogs can not survive without food. Now that you know which are the good foods you can feed your Shih Tzu, and which are the ones you should avoid. So treat your pet well and keep him healthy!

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