It can be very distressing when you realize your beautiful Shih Tzu’s hair is falling out faster than it should. Shih Tzu’s normally shed very little, that is one of the reasons they are such a great breed to own. But they can also be more prone to sensitivities to foods and chemicals than other dogs.
If you notice more hair on your furniture, clothing, etc., or even clumps of hair falling out or if your dogs itching is keeping her awake at night then take your dog to the vet. I took her to the vet and was told my dog was allergic to something but they were not sure what. They did give me cortisone pills which I used the first few times until I realized this was not solving the problem. I then started my detective work and that is what you should do as well.
First I looked at her pet food. It was high quality food. We always fed her Iams wet and dry. But I still felt this was probably the culprit; along with my husband feeding her scraps off of his plate. The latter was easy to correct. I simply convinced him that her itching and loss of hair was not worth his small satisfaction he received from feeding her off of his plate. Finding the right food for her would be another matter.
I researched 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 vegetables; very little grain if any. I did read that many dog owners buy fresh meat and vegetables from the supermarket and prepare it fresh. I didn’t really want to do that so I found a dog food that was the perfect fit. The name of this food is Evo. This dog food is grain-free and has 95% protein with the rest being vegetables. It comes in wet and dry. They also have grain-free treats. From the beginning of trying this food my dog quit itching almost immediately.
Also be aware of what type of chemicals your dog is exposed to. Something as simple as floor cleaners or waxes have 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 itching. Try using green-cleaning products that are toxin-free and biodegradable. You can find all types of cleaners that are toxin-free; 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 to notice her hair finally growing back. She looks so much more healthier and her 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 find out the cause of the itching, try using a homeopathic, over-the-counter medication specifically for itching. Remember, your pet depends completely on you for its well-being.