Shih Tzus are tremendously adorable and smart and are known as “little lion dogs.”
They are supercilious and protective, so you dare not to mess with them.
Their friendly and courageous nature makes them perfect family pooches.
However, they are one of many breeds susceptible to food allergies.
Their skin can become swollen, leaving them with itchy skin.
To watch your once energetic canine in extreme pain and uneasiness is horrifying for any pet parent, so we are certain that you will want to get it cured swiftly.
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Despite eating the best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies happily for years, your shoe button-eyed doggie can stop tolerating certain proteins or grains in his diet for no obvious reason.
He could become hypersensitive to particular ingredients such as egg, dairy, soy, wheat, chicken, beef, etc., that he has been consuming for years.
Thus, you should know exactly what sort of food you should feed him for potential allergies that he may encounter.
Veterinarians recommend feeding them a limited ingredient or hypoallergenic diet because they are made with 100% natural ingredients and less-common protein sources.
They don’t include soy, corn, wheat, preservatives, and other harmful ingredients that could trigger allergies.
This detailed guide will educate you about the causes of sensitizations, symptoms of food allergies, and the best homemade food for Shih Tzu.
List of 5 Best Dog Food For Shih Tzu With Allergies
1. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small & Mini Breeds
With chicken and barley as its first ingredients and being GMO-free, this incredible formula from Hill’s Science is what you are pursuing in the best homemade food for Shih Tzu.
Both of these components are excellent for easy-peasy, healthy digestion.
Moreover, it puts special focus on the fur health of these cute small breed dogs.
The brand has also added prebiotics to it that significantly improve its digestibility.
Omega fatty acids are perceived as lifesavers for canines with skin and food sensitivities.
Hill’s Science is one of the most trustworthy names in pet food due to the quality of its ingredients. All the ingredients in this offering are sourced from the USA.
It is good for their stomach health and strengthens their immune system with the help of vitamins.
We like it because it is made without artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, making it an ideal choice for your sweetheart.
- Protein (Min) 21%: Necessary for the development of body tissues.
- Fat (Min) 12%: Diminishes inflammation.
- Fiber (Max) 4%: A fantastic resource for their gastrointestinal tract.
2. PetHonesty Allergy SkinHealth
If your furry companion has skin conditions like dermatitis, excessive itching, scratching, or inflammation, Skinhealth chews were created with them in mind.
They are made with organic ingredients to improve and heal lingering and excruciating skin and fur problems.
They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and probiotics, promoting skin health and preventing skin problems linked with allergies and dry weather.
Unhealthy gut and poor nutrient absorption are the biggest causes of several skin and fur problems.
Dog-specific probiotics in these soft and delicious chews strengthen their immune system, improve digestion, and help them absorb nutrients.
In addition to that, these healthy chews are packed with vitamins, omegas, and antioxidants that contribute to nourished skin and glossy fur.
- Kelp 600 MG: Treats itching and swelling caused by allergies.
- Flaxseed 200 MG: Lowers blood pressure and maintains the skin, and fur health.
- Fish Oil 500 MG: Supports dry, flaky skin in hounds.
- Biotin 10 MCG: Calms delicate skin.
3. Ps for Dogs 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Food
This best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies makes use of a single protein source, which is human-grade New Zealand lamb.
All of its ingredients are 100% natural, hypoallergenic, and grain-free.
It will avert yeast development on your mutt’s paws, which is the key perpetrator of paw licking and biting in modern canines.
This formula solves skin-related problems, including bumps, redness, and itching.
It is specifically designed for fussy eaters who need a protein-dense and grain-free diet.
This air-dried recipe is a perfect hypoallergenic treat for dogs with food sensitivities.
Many pet parents stated that it actually resolved their dogs’ skin issues in just a few days after feeding them.
It reduced their skin allergies significantly, and after 2 or 3 weeks, their skin visibly cleared up, and hair started growing back.
- Crude Protein 29%: Necessary for nail and hair growth.
- Crude Fat 27%: Important for the normal functions of the body.
- Crude Fiber 3%: Stops the development of undesirable bacteria.
4. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
This healthy food for Shih Tzu is crafted with a high-quality protein source, “deboned turkey.” It helps them in evading allergic reactions.
Besides, it improves their digestion since it features carbs such as potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, etc.
All of these components supply optimal nutrition and help the gastrointestinal process. It develops their skin and maintains it.
On the other hand, Blue Buffalo has incorporated fish oil and flaxseed into it that support his skin health and are especially beneficial for Shih Tzu dogs with food allergies.
Life source bits which are a flawless combination of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, are also added to it.
They are hand-picked by experienced vets and animal nutritionists to promote the immune system health of your precious family member.
On top of everything else, it does not include chicken, by-produce meals, wheat, corn, and other harmful ingredients that could trigger his allergies.
- Protein 20%: Essential for muscle development and maintenance.
- Fat 12%: Extraordinary energy source.
- Fiber 6%: Assists the colon to heal from damage.
5. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food With Smoked Salmon
The taste of the wild high protein real meat recipe is manufactured with stellar quality ingredients, veggies, and fruits that provide whole and balanced nutrition in rich savor.
Ultimately, this best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies will provide energy to your mongrel to perform his daily tasks.
It is formulated with premium protein sources such as salmon, ocean fish meal, salmon meal, and smoked salmon.
So you can be certain that your beloved will love its taste.
If your dog is allergic to grains, then you must buy it because it is made without grains and boasts complex carbs such as sweet potatoes and legumes to deliver the requisite energy.
It supports their immune system and stomach health.
Along with that, it contains prebiotics and probiotics with bacteria that are found in the digestive tract.
Therefore, it increases nutrient absorption and includes balanced fatty acids and minerals.
- Protein 25%: Creates hormones.
- Zinc 150 MG/KG: Required for the function of the immune system.
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids 2.4%: Vital for growth, skin, and coat health.
What Are The Types Of Shih Tzu Allergies?
Twenty percent of canines are oversensitive to at least one sort of sensitization.
Besides, you cannot instantly figure out if your dog has hypersensitivity.
Most likely, he would be fed or exposed to the allergen before you can decide he is allergic to a material or ingredient.
So, if you own a Shih Tzu, you should be aware of all types of allergies they are disposed to.
These allergies are caused by fleabites and are known as flea allergy dermatitis.
Dogs are allergic to flea saliva, but some are not bothered by it. They only experience just an insignificant irritation.
Many hounds develop sensitization to the bite of just one flea and experience excessive itching.
They scratch and bite until the skin is criticized and the hair is sporadic.
If your canine has red bumps and skin rashes, suspect a flea allergy.
It is necessary to remove fleas before treating this allergy.
It is somewhat difficult to eliminate fleas from the environment completely.
Therefore, we recommend using modern flea medications because they are much more effective than collars, shampoos, etc.
The cherry on the top is that they require just one application in the whole month.
Many pet food companies use additives in their foods that are the biggest cause of food allergies in dogs.
Mostly, low-quality foods contain additives and fillers.
Nonetheless, some leading brands also put synthetic and chemical preservatives, colors, and flavors in their recipes.
Some mongrels are sensitive to gluten and grain-inclusive foods, so you should avoid feeding them formulas that have grains or gluten.
Occasionally, some Shih Tzus are sensitized to animal or plant-based protein. In such a situation, you should serve them a vegan diet.
These allergies are triggered by something your baby directly interacts with, such as plastics, carpet, grooming products, perfumes, cigarette smoke, feather, dander, shampoos, conditioners, etc.
House cleaners or other types of chemicals can also cause these allergies.
The allergy signs appear on the body part that comes into contact with the allergen so that you can anticipate witnessing signs in their paws, feet, abdomen, etc.
These allergies result in hair loss, excessive scratching, red, itchy skin, etc.
Contact allergies are uncommon in Shih Tzus, but if your dog has a contact allergy, you will have to join up with your veterinarian to discover the allergen and eradicate it from his surroundings.
Airborne allergens such as grass, weeds, pollens, etc., are the root cause of these allergies.
Aerosol spray and air fresheners can also instigate them.
If your cutie pie has an environmental allergy, always keep your house clean and inhibit him from going outside.
Restricting his exposure to outdoors can help in preventing any sensitivity response.
Why Does Shih Tzu Develop Allergies?
Particular ingredients in their food initiate their allergies, such as proteins, grains, or byproducts.
Many people feed grain-free diets to their hounds to prevent grains-related allergies.
However, they are unaware that 100% grain-free foods have a destructive impact on their heart, especially on miniature canines.
Therefore, before feeding grain-free food to them, consult with the vet.
Just like humans, each mongrel is different and thus will have diverse requirements.
What’s good for your friend’s dog may not be suitable for yours. So, you must know your options.
At times, consuming the same diet for many years can actually trigger an allergic response.
This may sound weird, but there is a straightforward clarification to it: Shih Tzus develop hypersensitivity to certain ingredients over time because they consume the same thing regularly; their body becomes less capable of breaking down those ingredients.
When this occurs, their body begins to categorize the ingredient as dangerous and consequently generates antibodies to combat the troubling food.
This process causes the signs we recognize as sensitizations.
If your dog has sensitivities or a delicate stomach, a simple modification in his daily diet can solve the problem.
However, before switching his diet, confirm he has allergies.
How To Figure Out A Shih Tzu Has Allergies?
If you are doubtful if your doggie has sensitivities, look out for these symptoms:
- Hot spots
- Bald patches
- Paw licking at the tail’s base
- Extreme itch
- Excessive licking
- Face swelling
- Skin inflammation
- Red, itchy eyes
- Chewing or scratching on different body parts
- Frequent wheezing or sneezing
If your precious buddy is hypersensitive to a certain ingredient, he may or may not develop diarrhea, loose stools, or vomiting, but it is not always true.
In fact, if he vomits or develops diarrhea after consuming a certain formulation, it is a clear sign that he has food intolerance instead of a food allergy.
Food allergies exhibit themselves as diverse skin problems, but the right approach to pinpoint them is with proper testing by a vet.
If you are sure, your little one has a food allergy, consult with the vet. He will help differentiate between if he has food intolerance or allergy.
The immune system causes food sensitivity, whereas food intolerance originates from a stomach problem.
Suppose the vet confirms that your baby is allergic to his food. In that case, the possible starting point will be a transition in food and trying to eliminate offending ingredients such as synthetic additives, preservatives, certain proteins, and grains.
If diet modification is necessary, it is compulsory to make the shift gradually to prevent any potential problems.
On the flip side, if he has a food intolerance, it will also require a transformation in his daily diet.
Either way, before choosing the best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies, discover the problem.
Which Methods Do Vets Use To Identify Allergies?
This blood test is utilized in humans and pets for pinpointing allergies.
It scans for antigen-induced antibodies in Shih Tzu’s blood.
It tests the blood for a reaction to molds, dirt, pollen, etc., as well as certain ingredients and contact allergies.
Regrettably, there are several fictitious positives with radioallergosorbent testing. So, it is not 100% reliable.
Elisa Blood Testing
This enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay is identical to the radioallergosorbent testing.
The vet injects a small amount of antigen into the dog’s skin and then observes that area for the symptoms of a reaction.
These tests give accurate results in humans but not in pets.
Intradermal Allergy Test
In this type of test, the vet shaves a patch of fur and injects a small number of potential allergens beneath the skin’s surface.
After 20 minutes, he examines the area for the signs of reaction.
Best Dog Food For Shih Tzu With Allergies Buying Guide
Shih Tzus are one of the trickiest breeds to feed because they have a delicate digestive system and sensitizations as well.
Hence, selecting the best-wet dog food for Shih Tzu demands some prior exploration.
So, to assist you with that, we have designed a list of critical factors that you should remember while buying food for your dog.
Avoid Toxic Foods
The market is filled with dog foods that are hazardous for pooches.
This is most commonly observed in cheap quality formulations, which trap pet owners because of their low price.
Avoid those low-grade diets since they contain toxic ingredients.
Keep His Allergies In Mind
As we mentioned above, these beautiful babies are prone to sensitive stomachs and allergies.
That’s why; if your furry friend has allergies, ensure to recite the ingredients written on the food packaging before buying it.
The majority of dogs are allergic to chicken, beef, or grains, so look for foods that don’t contain these components.
These handsome hounds require a nutritionally balanced diet that flaunts healthy fats and proteins with complex carbs to provide fiber.
Legitimately, to get the label of whole and nutritionally balanced, it must meet the minimum or maximum levels of fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals defined by AAFCO.
Remember, the particular levels of these nutrients vary based on the canine’s life stage.
Like other mongrels, Shih Tzus also need a higher protein content in their daily diet to develop and maintain strong muscles.
Ensure the food you have selected is made with reliable protein sources such as fish, beef, eggs, etc.
Inactive mutts require 30% protein, and highly active doggies need 35% protein regularly.
Vitamins And Minerals
If your four-legged buddy has had a sensitivity reaction, we bet that his skin is feeling itchy and extremely uncomfortable.
Vitamins and minerals in the best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies can aid his skin heal and feel comfortable rapidly.
Thus, you should buy food that features minerals and vitamins obtained from fruits and vegetables.
Synthetic vitamins and minerals are tremendously harmful to a dog that has had an allergic reaction.
You should purchase food with high protein and fewer carbs.
Shih Tzus don’t need a carbohydrates-dense diet since they are prone to obesity.
Choose a recipe with less than 25% carbs.
This dog breed has dense fur, so they require a diet with a low amount of fat.
The fats help keep their fur lustrous and healthy.
They need a minimum of 20% fat regularly in their food.
High content of fat will lead to weight gain.
We recommend you select healthy food for Shih Tzu that is easy to digest and gentle on their fragile tummies.
If he frequently suffers from diarrhea or vomiting, look for food with low content of protein.
However, a fiber-rich diet can improve their digestion.
These tiny pups with tiny mouths and jaws should be fed small-sized kibble so that they can easily chew and swallow without obstruction.
Also, they are perceived as picky eaters, so if they don’t like their food, they won’t eat it.
As they are predisposed to allergies which can trigger skin rashes, leaving a rough texture.
Therefore, look for food with supplements like omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to prevent these allergies.
They also need many other supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine for joint and bone health and antioxidants for strong immunity.
Type Of Food to avoid allergies
There are two types of foods that you can feed to avoid allergies.
They are specifically formulated for canines that cannot consume regular food available in the market.
They help prevent them from having a negative reaction to the ingredients in the diet.
Hypoallergenic diets are made with less-common protein sources, so the dog’s antibodies don’t recognize them as antigens.
It means they can consume food without experiencing any allergic reaction.
The disadvantage of these diets is that some individuals have interrogated their validity.
Limited Ingredient Diet
These diets are the best for these tiny doggies because they are made with as few ingredients as possible.
It means there are negligible chances of them suffering from an allergic reaction.
You should use them to determine what component was actually making them itch or scratch their body.
The only downside of them is that they might not include as many minerals and vitamins as other recipes with a long list of ingredients.
Furthermore, it is not confirmed that they will stop them from having allergies if one of the limited ingredients still distress them.
However, they definitely aid you in figuring out ingredients your fur baby is sensitized to.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why Won’t My Shih Tzu Eat?
They will still eat their food even if it instigates a sensitivity response in them. They are supremely energetic, so they need to eat a sufficient amount of food to fuel their day. That’s why; they will consume anything you will put in their dish. Nevertheless, if he is not eating, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.
Take him to the veterinarian straight away if he has not touched his food for about two days.
2. What Human Foods Can I Feed My Shih Tzu?
You can feed them carrots, eggs, apples, green beans, pumpkin, broccoli, or cheese, but in moderation. Before feeding them these things, make sure they are not allergic to them.
Some of these cannot be fed raw, so you will have to cook or boil them before giving them to your canine.
You must consult with your vet to know what type of human foods you can feed your dog to optimize his overall health.
3. What Are The Common Health Issues Of Shih Tzu?
They suffer from Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Patellar Luxation, Dental Issues, Brachycephalic Syndrome, Hip dysplasia, bone, and joint problems, hypothyroidism, and Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca.
4. What Are The Caloric Requirements Of Shih Tzu?
These miniature dogs can weigh between 9 and 16 lb. A less active adult Shih Tzu needs 420 calories per day, whereas a working Shih Tzu needs 650 calories per day.
5. How Many Times A Day Should I Give Food To My Shih Tzu?
It is reliant on their age. Puppies will require 3 to 4 meals. However, adult canines should eat two meals a day.
6. Can I Feed Rice To My Shih Tzu?
Yes, you can serve them rice because they are highly digestible. They are bland and promptly transform into usable energy for the body. Nonetheless, we would recommend you talk to your vet before feeding rice to your mutt.
7. What Foods Are Dangerous For Shih Tzu?
Never feed them fruit seeds, garlic, mushrooms, nuts, cow’s milk, grapes, chocolate, coffee, and onions.
8. Is Sweet Potato Good For Shih Tzu?
Yes, sweet potato is included in the best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies. But, if you want to feed it as a treat, do it in moderation.
9. Does Shih Tzus Have An Intolerance To Milk?
Not only these tiny creatures, but all dogs are intolerant to milk because they lack the enzyme lactase for digesting lactose. Even if your little one loves milk, it is better not to give it to him.
10. My Shih Tzu Is A Picky Eater; What Should I Do?
If your dog is very selective about his food, add some of his favorite treats to his diet. However, the inclusion should be minimal because you would not want to feed him too many calories. Also, try different recipes and flavors and see which one your furball likes.
Food allergies can make your little friend extremely uncomfortable.
However, as a responsible dog parent, if you persistently try to figure out exactly what is instigating these sensitivity responses in your dog, you can quickly remove those problematic ingredients from his daily diet and keep him healthy and active once again.
In this in-depth guide, we discovered five of the best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies. They are made with great quality ingredients and help keep allergies away from your canine. Best of all, they are cost-effective.