shih tzu food to avoid

Shih Tzu Food To Avoid in 2023: Embracing Healthy Choices

Proper nutrition is essential. Discover the shih tzu food to avoid to keep your furball healthy and active.


As a responsible pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your Shih Tzu receives the proper nutrition needed for optimal health. Proper nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining good health, increases longevity and keeps weight in check. A balanced diet is critical in ensuring that your furry friend’s body has the nutrients it needs to function correctly.

Explanation of the importance of proper nutrition for Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are known for their small size and cute personalities. However, due to their size, they require a nutrient-dense diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins. This breed also tends to have dental issues which can be addressed through diets that are not too hard or too soft. Proper nutrition is critical in ensuring that your Shih Tzu has a healthy immune system and can fight off diseases effectively. Some common health issues that affect this breed include allergies, eye problems, renal problems among others. Therefore providing them with the right food will offer them protection against such diseases. Additionally, good nutrition helps maintain healthy skin and coat conditions by preventing shedding and dry skin. Provide your Shih Tzu with enough water as its absence can lead to dehydration which can cause serious complications such as kidney failure.

Overview of the harmful foods that should be avoided

Certain foods are harmful to dogs and should never be included in their diet – this includes many of our favorites! There are specific foods you should avoid at all costs if you want your Shih Tzu to maintain optimal health. Chocolate contains caffeine-like substances called methylxanthines which can cause vomiting, diarrhea abdominal pain alongside other toxic effects; thus should be avoided at all costs. Grapes or raisins may cause kidney damage and are not recommended for Shih Tzu consumption. Even a small amount of grapes can lead to serious complications. Onions and garlic contain substances that can damage your pet’s red blood cells, leading to blood disorders like anemia. It is, therefore, crucial to avoid giving them table scraps or foods containing these ingredients. Avocado contains persin which can cause upset stomachs in dogs and other pets. Macadamia nuts should also be avoided due to their toxic content. Providing your Shih Tzu with balanced nutrition is critical in ensuring its overall health and wellbeing. Avoiding the harmful food items mentioned above is part of this process. In the next section, we will discuss some of the harmful foods that should not be included in your dog’s diet.

Harmful Foods for Shih Tzus

Chocolate and caffeine-containing products

One of the most well-known harmful foods for dogs is chocolate, which contains theobromine. Theobromine can be toxic to Shih Tzus if they consume enough of it. This substance affects the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system of dogs. The symptoms of theobromine poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, tremors, seizures, and even death in some cases. Caffeine also contains theobromine and has similar effects on dogs as chocolate does. Caffeine is found in many products that people may not realize could harm their pets such as coffee grounds or beans, tea bags, energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster and even some cold medicines.

Grapes and raisins

Grapes and raisins are another common food that can cause harm to Shih Tzus if consumed in large quantities. The reason behind this toxicity isn’t fully understood but can lead to kidney failure in some dogs. Symptoms of grape or raisin toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea within a few hours after ingestion leading to dehydration. After 24 hours without treatment it can progress into symptoms such as lethargy loss of appetite and abdominal pain.

Onions and garlic

Onions contain compounds that can cause anemia in dogs by destroying red blood cells from their bloodstream leading to reduced oxygen transport resulting lethargy or worse cases coma or death. Garlic has similar properties to onions but less potent than onions themselves; however too much garlic consumption over time can still lead to anemia especially with regular exposure.


Avocado is a healthy snack for humans but it’s not recommended for our furry friends since all parts of avocado contain persin which in large amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhea or worse even heart congestion. Persin is toxic to all types of pets, including dogs, cats and birds.

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are a lesser-known harmful food for Shih Tzus. It’s not entirely clear what makes macadamia nuts toxic to dogs, but it only takes a small amount to cause symptoms like tremors, vomiting and hyperthermia (high body temperature). In rare cases it can lead to seizures. As pet owners it’s our responsibility to ensure the safety of our furry friends by providing them with foods that will not harm them. By being aware of these dangerous foods and keeping them out of reach we can help keep our Shih Tzus healthy and happy for years to come.

Processed Foods to Avoid

Shih Tzus should avoid processed foods as they contain a high amount of preservatives, additives, and artificial colors that can harm their health. Processed foods are not only high in calories but also lack essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that dogs need for their well-being.

High-fat foods

High-fat foods such as bacon, sausages, and hot dogs should be avoided in a Shih Tzu’s diet. These types of fatty meats can contribute to obesity and cause digestive problems for your furry friend. Moreover, it can lead to pancreatitis which is a dangerous inflammation of the pancreas due to the high levels of fat content. If you want to give your Shih Tzu some meat as treats or part of their meal, opt for lean proteins like chicken or turkey instead. These meats are low in calories and high in protein which helps maintain muscle mass while keeping them healthy.

Sugary treats

Sugary treats are not recommended for Shih Tzus because they can lead to weight gain, dental problems, and diabetes. Avoid giving your dog candies or other sweets that contain artificial sweeteners like Xylitol because it is highly toxic to pets. Instead of giving sugary treats, consider giving them fruits like blueberries or apples which are natural sources of sugar but also provide vitamins and fiber that keep them healthy.

Processed Meats

Processed meats such as salami and ham have been linked with cancer in dogs due to the high levels of sodium nitrite used as a preservative. Moreover, these meats contain too much salt which can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in your pet. If you want to give your Shih Tzu some meat products, make sure it is fresh lean meat without any added preservatives or salt. Always read the labels when buying any pet food or treats to ensure you are providing your furry friend with the best possible diet for their health.


Processed foods are not ideal for Shih Tzus as they can lead to serious health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer. High-fat foods, sugary treats, and processed meats should be avoided in their diet as much as possible. Instead of providing them with processed food products, give them fresh fruits and vegetables or lean proteins like chicken and turkey which provide essential vitamins and minerals for a healthy lifestyle. By providing a balanced diet, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu stays healthy throughout their life.

Healthy Alternatives for Shih Tzus

Lean Proteins

Shih Tzus are known to be picky eaters, but it’s important to make sure that they are getting enough protein in their diet. Lean proteins like chicken, fish, and turkey are great sources of protein for your furry friend. Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein and contains essential amino acids that help with muscle development and growth. Fish is another great option as it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which help support skin and coat health. When selecting the right type of meat for your Shih Tzu, it’s important to avoid high-fat cuts like pork or beef as they can lead to obesity and other health issues. You should also make sure that the meat is cooked thoroughly before serving it to your dog.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your Shih Tzu’s diet can provide them with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that play a vital role in their overall health. Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants which help protect against cell damage caused by free radicals. Carrots are high in fiber which promotes healthy digestion while sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene which helps promote healthy eyesight. When adding fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet, you should make sure to introduce them gradually as too much too soon can upset their stomachs. You should also make sure that they are cut into small pieces or pureed so that they can be easily digested by your furry friend.

Whole Grains

Whole grains like brown rice or quinoa are excellent sources of carbohydrates which provide energy for your Shih Tzu throughout the day. Brown rice is rich in vitamins B1, B6, magnesium, phosphorus while quinoa provides essential amino acids and fiber. When selecting grains for your dog’s diet, it’s important to make sure that they are whole grains and not refined grains as they do not provide the same health benefits. You should also make sure to introduce them gradually to avoid any digestive issues.


Providing a healthy and balanced diet is essential in ensuring your Shih Tzu’s optimum health. Incorporating lean proteins like chicken, fish, and turkey, fresh fruits and vegetables like blueberries, carrots, and sweet potatoes, and whole grains like brown rice or quinoa into their diet can provide them with essential nutrients that help promote healthy growth and development. It’s important to remember that every dog is different, so you should always consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet. With the right nutrition plan and proper care, you can help ensure that your furry friend leads a happy and healthy life.


Shih Tzu owners should always be mindful of what they feed their furry friends. Providing a balanced diet is crucial to ensure the optimum health of your little companion. As we have discussed, there are certain foods that Shih Tzus should avoid at all costs.

Summary of the Harmful Foods to Avoid in a Shih Tzu’s Diet

Chocolate and caffeine-containing products can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death in severe cases. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure while onions and garlic can damage red blood cells leading to anemia. Avocado contains persin which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, while macadamia nuts can lead to lethargy, vomiting or tremors. In addition to these specific foods, processed foods with high fat content or excessive sugar levels as well as processed meats should also be avoided due to their lack of nutritional value.

The Importance of Providing a Balanced Diet for Your Furry Friend

A balanced diet is essential for maintaining your Shih Tzu’s overall wellbeing. Feeding them with the right amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients helps improve their immune system response and promotes healthy digestive function. Serving your dog nutrient-rich food is not only beneficial health-wise but also promotes a shiny coat and reduces shedding. A healthy diet will also help reduce the risk of weight gain which subsequently prevents obesity-related complications like joint issues or heart problems. By being mindful about what you feed your Shih Tzu you’re helping them live happier lives free from unnecessary health complications feeding them rich nutritious diets ensures that they’re happy inside out!

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