Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu with Allergies: A 2024 Comprehensive Guide


Finding the best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies is important for the health of your furry friend. Shih Tzus are popular for their cuteness and happy mood, and I bet you would not like to see your lively mate suffer from allergies. There are different types of allergies a Shih Tzu can develop, but food allergies are the most common.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to choose the best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies and my top 10 recommendations.

How does a Shih Tzu develop food allergies?

A Shih Tzu can develop food allergies from certain ingredients in the food, the ingredients vary from dog to dog. A change in diet generally provides relief to Shih Tzus.

What are the symptoms of food allergies?

Food allergies make Shih Tzus’ skin tight and itchy and also weaken their digestion. The symptoms of food allergies may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Frequently rubbing the face
  • Ill-smelling from the skin (even after bathing)
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Bad smelling from the ears
  • Licking paws
  • Diarrhea

With aging, Shih Tzu can develop serious symptoms. Hence, it is advised to start its treatment as soon as possible and to not overlook it.

Treatment of Shih Tzu with food allergies

Replacing the old diet of Shih Tzu with a new allergen-less diet is enough to cure food allergies without any medications.

To select the best dog food for your Shih Tzu, follow these steps:

  1. The key here is to find the source of this problem. Identify if it is the dog food that is causing the food allergies or any other treats you give to your Shih Tzu.
  2. Once you’ve found which food is causing food allergies, make a list of its ingredients and find which specific ingredients can carry allergens.
  3. For this step, you need to buy or prepare a diet that doesn’t have that ingredient or a diet prescribed by your veterinarian.
  4. Feed Shih Tzu this diet for at least 8 to 12 weeks without giving any treats to get precise results.

Fortunately, many brands sell dog foods for Shih Tzus with allergies. So, you don’t need to either prepare a diet at home or visit a veterinarian.

You only need to select the best dog food for your Shih Tzu. But don’t worry about this too, as I have compiled a list of the 10 best dog foods for Shih Tzu with allergies.

Factors to consider when buying Best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies

Food, excluding ingredients that cause allergies

If you already know which ingredients cause allergies in your Shih Tzu, you should buy dog food that does not contain those ingredients.

But continue the new dog food for at least 8 to 12 weeks to see the results.

If the allergy persists, then again, find out the ingredient that is causing it and change the dog food. It’s a repeating process until you find the perfect dog food that suits your Shih Tzu.

Limited ingredients

For a Shih Tzu with food allergies, limited ingredient factor is a must that should not be overlooked.

Limited-ingredient food is made with as few ingredients as possible, thus lowering the chances of developing an allergy.

After feeding limited-ingredient dog food to your Shih Tzu, your dog’s allergy will either stop completely or continue, but you will be able to easily determine which ingredient is causing the allergy as the recipe contains only a few ingredients.

Hypoallergenic ingredients

Hypoallergenic dog foods are created especially for dogs that struggle with allergic reactions. The recipe includes protein sources that can’t be identified as antigens by the antibodies present in the dog’s body.

This smart approach helps deliver essential proteins into the dog’s body without any allergic reactions.

High protein

The dog food for Shih Tzu must contain 25 percent protein. Protein is a vital ingredient in dog food, as it helps maintain high energy levels and good health.

Hence, it is critical to provide proteins to the dog’s body, even if the dog is experiencing allergic reactions.

You must use hypoallergenic dog foods in the diet of your Shih Tzu who is suffering from allergies to provide him with proteins.

Easy to digest

Allergic reactions also affect the dog’s digestion, causing vomiting and diarrhea. A digestible dog food is easy on the stomach and comforts the dog in digesting it.

Minerals and Vitamins

Shih Tzus with allergies has itchy and tight skin. Feeding them food rich in minerals and vitamins will help their skin heal faster and provide comfort.

However, make sure that the minerals and vitamins are derived from natural sources because synthetic minerals and vitamins can worsen the situation.

10 Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzu with Allergies List

For Adults

Form: Dry

Flavors: Turkey, chicken, salmon oil, and fruits and vegetables

Specialty: Grain-free and stomach sensitive

  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice

Form: Dry

Flavors: Chicken & Brown Rice

Specialty: Veterinary Diet

  • NUTRO ULTRA Adult Small Breed High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food with a Trio of Proteins from Chicken, Lamb, and Salmon

Form: Dry

Flavors: Chicken, Lamb, Salmon

Specialty: Improve skin health, shine, Heart, and Vision

  • Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

Form: Dry

Flavor: Meat

Specialty: All naturals

  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food

Form: Dry

Flavors: Chicken

Specialty: Stomach and skin sensitive

For Puppies

  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Oatmeal

Form: Dry

Flavors: Chicken and Oatmeal

Specialty: Supports bone and muscle development

  • Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Bites Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Form: Dry

Flavors: Chicken and brown rice

Specialty: Veterinary Diet

  • ORIJEN Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Grain Free Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds, Fresh or Raw Ingredients.

Form: Dry

Flavors: Turkey, Chicken and Fish

Specialty: Biologically appropriate nutrition

  • Royal Canin Shih Tzu Puppy Breed Specific Dry Dog Food

Form: Dry

Flavors: Chicken

Specialty: Increases oral health

  • Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Dog Food with Probiotics for Dogs, Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula

Form: Dry

Flavors: Chicken and rice formula

Specialty: Shredded blend food


Just like humans, every dog is different and has a different personality and health condition. You should choose a dog food that matches your dog’s health and taste.

If you still find it difficult to understand how to find the best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies, don’t worry; just visit a veterinarian. They will prescribe you a dog food suitable for your Shih Tzu.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.Are food allergies common in Shih Tzus?

Yes, unfortunately, food allergies are very common in Shih Tzus. If your Shih Tzu is suffering from food allergies, then keep changing the dog food every 8-12 weeks until you find the best dog food.

2.How do you prevent Shih Tzus from having food allergies?

Choosing a limited ingredient dog food can help reduce the chances of developing food allergies. But there isn’t a way to completely prevent the allergic reaction from taking place.

3.What are the symptoms of food allergies in Shih Tzu?

Shih Tzu can show several symptoms when suffering from food allergies, including frequent rubbing of the face, frequent ear infections, ill-smelling from the skin (even after bathing), ill-smelling from the ears, licking paws, diarrhea, and vomiting.

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