It can be very distressing when you realize that your Shih Tzu’s beautiful hair is falling out faster than it should. Shih Tzu normally shed very little, which is one of the reasons they are such a good breed to own. But they can also be more prone to food and chemical sensitivities than other dogs.
If you notice more hair on your furniture, clothing, etc., or even strands of hair falling out or if your dog’s itching is keeping you awake at night, take your dog to the vet. I took her to the vet and they told me my dog was allergic to something but they weren’t sure what. They gave me cortisone pills that I used the first few times until I realized that this was not solving the problem. So I started my detective work and that’s what you should do too.
I first looked at their pet food. It was high quality food. We always fed her wet and dry. But he still felt that this was probably the culprit; along with my husband feeding his leftovers from his plate. The latter was easy to correct. I just convinced him that her itchiness and hair loss were not worth the little satisfaction he received from feeding her from his plate. Finding the right food for her would be another matter.
I did research online and found that a lot of dogs are allergic to grains, wheat, that sort of thing. I needed to find a food made mostly of protein with a little vegetable; very little grain if any. I read that many dog owners buy fresh meat and vegetables from the grocery store and prepare them fresh. I really didn’t want to do that so I found a dog food that fit the bill perfectly. The name of this food is Evo. This dog food is grain free and 95% protein with the rest being vegetables. It comes wet and dry. They also have grain free treats. From the beginning of trying this food my dog stopped itching almost immediately.
Also consider what kinds of chemicals your dog is exposed to. Something as simple as floor cleaners or waxes contain chemicals that can cause an allergic reaction in your dog. Be aware that inhaled chemicals can cause the same type of reaction. Is your dog exposed to cigarette smoke or chemical laden air fresheners? If so, this may be the cause of your dog’s hair loss and itchiness. Try to use environmentally friendly cleaning products that do not contain toxins and are biodegradable. You can find all kinds of toxin-free cleansers; from furniture polish to green oven cleaner. They are just as effective and will keep your home and pet safe. Of course, always keep your dog away from cigarette smoke.
After changing my dog’s food, it has taken about three months for her hair to finally grow back. He looks much healthier and his eyes are bright, not dull. I encourage anyone who is experiencing this problem with their dog to do their detective work to find out the cause. Until you discover the cause of the itching, try using an over-the-counter homeopathic medicine specifically for itching. Remember, your pet is completely dependent on you for its well-being.