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: