Shih Tzu itching? It might be a food allergy…
Today, I’d like to talk about food allergies. This topic is definitely something you’ll want to keep in mind, especially if your Shih Tzu has been itching a lot lately.
If your Shih Tzu dog shows signs of allergies, but you are quite certain it is not from inhalants in the environment, fleas in his coat or other health problems, your dog could suffer from food allergies.
If, for example, your dog has been eating one particular food or a favorite treat for several months or even years, he or she might have developed an allergy to one of the ingredients in that food.
The only way to determine the change in diet has been effective is to eliminate all other possible causes for your dog’s symptoms, and put your pet on what is known as an “elimination trial “ diet.
You will feed your Shih Tzu dog a diet which consists of a single protein and a single carbohydrate which you have never fed before, and water, for between two and three months.
Because a food allergy takes months or years to develop, your dog will not be allergic to the new foods and should not become allergic to them in that amount of time.
Your vet may either recommend a commercial food which will suit the purposes of your elimination trial diet, or may suggest that you prepare your dog’s food at home.
While your dog is on the elimination diet, you’ll have to be disciplined enough to avoid feeding treats or table scraps, and take away the chew toys.
If there are other dogs around, keep your pet away from their droppings. Some dogs will nibble on other dogs’ waste, and even that will be enough to invalidate your elimination trial diet.
If your dog’s symptoms are seriously improved after two or three months on the elimination trial diet, you’ll know that a food allergy was causing them.
If they haven’t improved, or have worsened, you’ll have to look elsewhere for their cause, but you can let your pet return to the old way of eating
One precaution: if you decide to make your dog’s elimination trial diet yourself, it won’t be fortified with the essential vitamins, trace minerals, and fatty acids necessary to maintain your pet’s health. So you’ll have to get supplements and add them to the food before feeding your pet.
Nothing is as unpleasant to you, a loving dog wonder as watching your cherished companion suffer needlessly. If your Shih Tzu dog is constantly biting and itching, and you are reasonable certain that fleas are not responsible, talk to your vet about what you can do to determine if a food allergy is the culprit
Hope that helps.
Bev “The Shih Tzu Gal”:)
P.S. If you’re interested in the topic of what to feed your Shih Tzu, I highly suggest you check out my friend Sharda’s special Dog Food Report. Click on the link below for more information: