Home Shih Tzu Dog Problems Shih Tzu Allergy Information: Causes & Relief

Shih Tzu Allergy Information: Causes & Relief

by Scott Lipe
Shih Tzu Allergy Information

If you’re a proud owner of a Shih Tzu, it’s important to be aware of the potential allergies that can affect these adorable dogs. About 20% of Shih Tzus experience allergies, which can cause discomfort and various symptoms. Understanding the causes and finding relief for your furry friend is key to ensuring their well-being.

Key Takeaways:

  • Shih Tzus are prone to allergies, with common symptoms including dry skin, itching, and chronic ear infections.
  • Allergies can be caused by food, environmental factors, or contact with certain substances.
  • Proper diagnosis is essential to determine the allergens causing the symptoms.
  • Treatment options for Shih Tzu allergies include eliminating triggers, using appropriate medications, and maintaining a hypoallergenic environment.
  • Regular grooming and skincare are crucial for managing allergies in Shih Tzus.

Types of Shih Tzu Allergies

Shih Tzu dogs can experience allergic reactions to a variety of allergens, resulting in a range of allergy symptoms. Understanding the different types of allergies that Shih Tzu dogs can have is essential for providing them with the right care and treatment.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are one of the most common types of allergies in Shih Tzu dogs. These allergies occur when a dog’s immune system reacts to certain ingredients in their food. Additives in commercial dog food or specific ingredients like wheat, eggs, or chicken can trigger allergic reactions. Shih Tzu dogs with food allergies may experience symptoms such as itching, skin rashes, digestive issues, and ear infections.

Environmental Allergies

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Environmental allergies in Shih Tzu dogs are caused by exposure to airborne allergens present in the environment. These allergens can include pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and certain cleaning products. Shih Tzu dogs with environmental allergies may develop symptoms like itching, skin redness, hot spots, sneezing, and watery eyes.

Contact Allergies

Contact allergies occur when a Shih Tzu dog’s skin comes into direct contact with certain substances that trigger an allergic reaction. Common examples of contact allergens include plastic, carpeting, certain fabrics, cleaning agents, or grooming products. Shih Tzu dogs with contact allergies may experience localized itching, skin rashes, redness, and irritation in the areas of contact.

To better understand the specific allergens that your Shih Tzu dog may be allergic to, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian who can perform tests to identify the triggers for their allergies.

Allergy Symptoms in Shih Tzu Dogs

Recognizing the symptoms of allergies in Shih Tzu dogs is important for early detection and proper management. Here are some common allergy symptoms to look out for:

  • Excessive itching and scratching
  • Skin rashes or redness
  • Hot spots or irritated areas
  • Chronic ear infections or excessive ear scratching
  • Eye discharge or bloodshot eyes
  • Coughing, wheezing, or sneezing
  • Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Stomach upset or vomiting

If you notice any of these symptoms in your Shih Tzu dog, it is important to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Allergy Type Common Symptoms
Food Allergies Itching, skin rashes, digestive issues, ear infections
Environmental Allergies Itching, skin redness, hot spots, sneezing, watery eyes
Contact Allergies Localized itching, skin rashes, redness, irritation

Diagnosing Shih Tzu Allergies

Shih Tzu allergies to pet dander

To provide the best course of treatment for Shih Tzu allergies, it is crucial to properly diagnose them. A veterinary consultation is essential for accurate identification of specific allergens. Two common diagnostic methods used are blood tests and intradermal skin testing.

  1. Blood tests: The ELISA test is commonly used to detect food allergies in Shih Tzu dogs. It is a reliable method for identifying specific ingredients that may trigger allergic reactions. While blood tests can accurately detect food allergies, they are less effective for identifying environmental or contact allergies.
  2. Intradermal skin testing: This procedure involves injecting common allergens under the skin and observing any subsequent reactions. It helps veterinarians determine the specific environmental or contact allergens affecting a Shih Tzu. By identifying the allergens causing the reactions, appropriate treatment plans can be developed.

Aside from professional tests, there are also at-home methods for diagnosing Shih Tzu allergies. These include eliminating common triggers and monitoring symptom improvement. However, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian to ensure accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Allergy Diagnosis Methods Advantages Disadvantages
Blood Tests Accurately detect food allergies Less effective for environmental or contact allergies
Intradermal Skin Testing Identify specific environmental or contact allergens Requires professional veterinary consultation
At-Home Testing Convenience and cost savings Less accurate and may miss underlying allergies

Proper diagnosis is the first step towards effective treatment of Shih Tzu allergies. With accurate identification of allergens, tailored treatment plans can be implemented to relieve your Shih Tzu’s allergy symptoms and enhance their overall well-being.

Treating Shih Tzu Allergies

The treatment of Shih Tzu allergies involves a three-step approach.

  1. Step 1: Reduce or eliminate triggers
  2. Significantly reducing or eliminating triggers is the first step in managing Shih Tzu allergies. This may involve avoiding certain foods that can trigger allergies or removing allergens from the environment. By identifying and addressing the specific triggers, you can help alleviate your Shih Tzu’s symptoms.

  3. Step 2: Use appropriate allergy treatments
  4. To resolve the symptoms of Shih Tzu allergies, appropriate allergy treatments should be utilized. This can include medications prescribed by your veterinarian, such as antihistamines to reduce itching or inflammation. Additionally, specialized shampoos or topical ointments may provide relief for skin problems commonly associated with allergies.

  5. Step 3: Maintain good care management
  6. Once allergies are under control, it is crucial to continue avoiding allergens and providing ongoing care management to prevent a recurrence of allergies. Regular grooming is important to keep your Shih Tzu’s fur clean and free from allergens that may contribute to fur shedding. Creating a hypoallergenic environment and providing a balanced diet are also vital in managing skin problems associated with allergies.

To ensure the best outcome for your Shih Tzu, it is essential to work closely with your veterinarian to develop a personalized treatment plan. Every Shih Tzu is unique, and their allergies may require a tailored approach for optimal relief and prevention of future episodes. By diligently following the treatment plan, you can help your Shih Tzu live a comfortable and healthy life.

Shih Tzu Allergies: Grooming and Skin Care

Proper grooming and skin care are essential for managing allergies in Shih Tzu dogs. Regular grooming, including brushing and bathing, can help remove allergens from the coat and skin. It is recommended to use hypoallergenic grooming products that are designed to be gentle on your dog’s skin and avoid harsh chemicals or fragrances that may trigger allergies. Keeping your Shih Tzu’s living environment clean and free from potential allergens, such as dust mites or pollen, is also crucial.

Consider incorporating the following practices for effective allergy management:

  • Brush your Shih Tzu’s coat regularly to remove loose fur and dander, reducing the chance of allergens sticking to their fur.
  • Bathe your Shih Tzu using a gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo to cleanse their skin and coat without causing irritation. Pay attention to areas prone to allergies, such as the paws and belly.
  • Trim your Shih Tzu’s hair regularly to minimize the accumulation of allergens in their coat.
  • Keep your dog’s living environment clean by regularly vacuuming and dusting to reduce the presence of allergens like dust mites.
  • Consider using air purifiers or filters to maintain a hypoallergenic environment indoors, especially during allergy seasons.

Hypoallergenic breeds of Shih Tzu, which are specifically bred to produce fewer allergens, may be less prone to allergies. These breeds have a reduced tendency to trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. However, it’s important to note that no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic, as allergens vary from person to person.

By prioritizing proper grooming and maintaining a clean living environment, you can help minimize allergens and provide relief to Shih Tzu dogs with allergies. These practices, combined with a customized treatment plan recommended by a veterinarian, can greatly improve your Shih Tzu’s quality of life.

Relief for Shih Tzu Allergies

Shih Tzu allergy-friendly products

When it comes to treating Shih Tzu allergies, there are several options available to provide relief for your furry friend. Working closely with a veterinarian, you’ll be able to develop a personalized approach that addresses your Shih Tzu’s specific allergies and helps manage their symptoms effectively.

Medications prescribed by a veterinarian can be a crucial part of allergy management for Shih Tzu dogs. Antihistamines and allergy injections are commonly used to alleviate symptoms and provide relief. These medications work by reducing the body’s allergic response, helping to combat itching, inflammation, and other related issues.

Topical treatments, such as shampoos and ointments, can also offer soothing relief for your Shih Tzu. These products are specifically designed to target skin allergies and provide comfort to your pet. They can help alleviate itching, reduce redness and inflammation, and promote overall skin health.

Aside from medications and topical treatments, implementing a hypoallergenic diet can be beneficial in managing your Shih Tzu’s allergies. A hypoallergenic diet is free from ingredients that commonly trigger allergic reactions in dogs. By feeding your Shih Tzu allergy-friendly food, you can minimize the risk of adverse reactions and support their overall well-being.

Remember, every Shih Tzu is unique, and their allergies may differ. Consequently, it’s essential to work closely with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action and monitor your Shih Tzu’s response to treatment. Together, you can create an effective allergy management plan that provides relief and improves your beloved pet’s quality of life.


Shih Tzu dogs are known to be prone to allergies, which can cause discomfort and health issues. However, by identifying the triggers and implementing proper management techniques, you can significantly improve the well-being of your Shih Tzu. Through a combination of proper diagnosis, effective treatment, and ongoing care, it is possible to provide relief and enhance the quality of life for Shih Tzu dogs with allergies.

If you suspect that your Shih Tzu has allergies, it is essential to consult with a veterinarian who specializes in allergies to receive personalized guidance and treatment recommendations. They can conduct tests to determine the specific allergens affecting your dog and recommend appropriate medications or treatments to alleviate symptoms. Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one Shih Tzu may not work for another.

In addition to professional guidance, you can also take proactive steps to reduce your Shih Tzu’s exposure to allergens. This can include maintaining a clean living environment, using hypoallergenic grooming products, and avoiding known allergens in their diet. By combining veterinary expertise with your dedicated care, you can help your Shih Tzu lead a healthier, more comfortable life.

Remember, allergies are a lifelong condition, and managing them requires consistent effort. By staying informed about Shih Tzu allergy information, implementing effective treatment strategies, and maintaining regular veterinary check-ups, you can ensure your furry friend receives the care and relief they deserve.


Q: What are the common symptoms of Shih Tzu allergies?

A: Common symptoms of Shih Tzu allergies include excessive dry skin, itching, rash, skin sores, hot spots, thinning hair, chronic ear infections, eye discharge, bloodshot eyes, wheezing, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and stomach upset or vomiting.

Q: What are the types of allergies commonly seen in Shih Tzu dogs?

A: Shih Tzu dogs can have food allergies, environmental allergies, or contact allergies.

Q: How can I diagnose allergies in my Shih Tzu?

A: Allergies in Shih Tzu dogs can be diagnosed through blood tests or intradermal skin testing. You can also try home testing by eliminating common triggers and observing improvements in symptoms.

Q: What are the treatment options for Shih Tzu allergies?

A: Treatment options for Shih Tzu allergies include reducing or eliminating allergen triggers, using appropriate medications or topical treatments to alleviate symptoms, and maintaining good care management to prevent a recurrence of allergies.

Q: How can I groom and care for my Shih Tzu with allergies?

A: Proper grooming and skin care are essential for managing allergies in Shih Tzu dogs. Regular grooming, hypoallergenic grooming products, and maintaining a clean living environment can help reduce allergens and prevent irritation.

Q: How can I provide relief for my Shih Tzu with allergies?

A: Relief for Shih Tzu allergies can be achieved through medications prescribed by a veterinarian, topical treatments, and providing a hypoallergenic diet. Monitoring your dog’s response to treatment is important for optimal results.

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