The Shih Tzu is an ideal dog for the whole family because they are very tender, cheerful, and faithful. They like playing and get on well with children. A good health and good appetite are the undoubted advantage of this decorative breed. The Shih Tzu dogs are long-livers, and with proper care they can live for about 20 years.
What is the Best Way to Feed Shih Tzu
You can feed your Shih Tzu with the same food that is suitable for other dogs. The digestive system of this breed is not as delicate as for example Chinese crested dogs. But it doesn’t mean that you can give your pet everything and anything.
No matter what you feed to your dog, all products must be fresh. No waste and expired sausages! It is not recommended to feed yesterday’s leftover food. It is better to adjust the amount of food to make the Shih Tzu eat all at once.
Watch carefully the reaction of your pet on any new product in the diet. Liquid stool, vomiting, tearing, itching, and rashes on the skin are indications that the new food does not fit the dog. The most common health problems of Shih Tzu are associated with allergies.
5 Main Reasons of Allergy in Shih Tzu
There are five main reason of allergy occurrence in Shih Tzu. They are:
- particles in the air.
The most common cause of allergic reactions in Shih Tzu is wrongly chosen of food. Reddened hair on the face (so-called “pink mustache”) – is one of the first signs of allergy. It can be caused by the denial of any component of the feed by the dog’s body, or great amount of proteins in the diet.
Product that Can Cause Allergy in Shih Tzu
- milk. After a certain age, the dog’s organism stops digesting lactose which dairy products have. Therefore, it is not recommended to give milk to adult animals to avoid allergies and dysbiosis. Milk can be replaced by fermented milk products;
- chicken meat. It is better to remove chicken from the dog’s diet because its meat contains a very strong allergen;
- sweet things. Chocolate, sweets, sugar should not be given to dogs. They can not only cause allergy but also destroy the dog’s teeth, spoil the appetite and compromise digestion;
- pork. This is a pretty fat kind of meat, which is difficult to digest by the dog’s organism;
- sausages. Dogs should not be fed by the food products that are produced for humans, especially house containing coloring agents. Besides allergy they can cause liver disorders and disrupt the normal digestive processes;
- preservative agents;
Signs of allergy
- itchy skin, especially around the muzzle, paws and ears;
- bad smell of the skin, excessive peeling, red bumps (papules) and ear infections are common in dogs with chronic allergies to foods;
- diarrhea and vomiting, although in most dogs with food allergies usually only skin problems develop.
Diagnostic tests are needed to identify food allergies and exclude other diseases that may have similar symptoms. Veterinarian will carefully examine the skin of the animal and ask you about the diet of your dog.
It is recommended to use the “controlled diet”. This is a diet consisting of foods that you do not feed your dog and therefore it does not have the habit to it. The diet must be strictly kept for 8 to 12 weeks. If the itching remits and your dog does not develop recurrence of skin or ear infections within this time, food allergy is considered as the most likely.
- exclusion of the food products that cause your dog allergies from the dog’s diet;
- the use of antihistamines to reduce itching;
- treatment of secondary bacterial or yeast infections.
Natural Products are the Best Choice For your Pet
Live vitamins, no preservatives and additives are the main advantages of this menu. It is clear that the most important product for dogs of all breeds will be meat. Note that for the Shih Tzu raw meat is much more useful. However, experienced owners and veterinarians often recommend boiling it a little or parboiled. The best choice for the Shih Tzu will be lean beef and its by-products (liver, kidney, trachea, esophagus meat, lung, tongue). Rabbit and turkey can also be included in the diet.
Marine fish, cheese and fermented dairy products, eggs, vegetables and berries are all required components of the natural menu. Meat and bone meal, fish oil, and seaweed are also very wholesome for Shih Tzu. Do not forget about the grains. Steamed oats, boiled rice or buckwheat is a great addition to meat or fish.
Your pet is a little member of your family, who needs care and attention. Shih Tzu is one of the breeds that are characterized by good health and included in the list of long-livers. However, it is necessary to watch the dog’s condition to prevent problems or to take measures in time.