Even though some “table” foods are favorable for Shih Tzu’s, there are some foods which should be avoided. Most of these should not be given to any dog, and will likely cause health problems and potentially death. The most well-known of these is chocolate. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which cannot be properly broken down by canines. Consumption could lead to coma and death.
Onions can cause dogs to develop hemolytic anemia, a condition that can damage red blood cells and potentially make them burst.
Grapes are also extremely toxic. It is unknown exactly what causes them to be so unhealthy, but in many cases dogs who have consumed large amounts have become fatally ill.
Artificial sweeteners, especially xylitol, have also been linked to canine deaths, but it can also cause liver failure, seizures, and hypoglycemia.
Other unsafe foods include fruit seeds and pits, large amounts of salt, almonds, garlic, cinnamon, etc.
This might seem like an obvious one, but dogs should never be fed food or drinks with alcohol in them. This includes any bread or cake that is cooked with an alcoholic drink. Alcohol can be damaging to dogs’ livers and would be harmful much faster than it would in humans. The symptoms of consumption include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, and sometimes death. The effects will be worse and the problems more serious in smaller dogs.
Caffeine is another one that can be very dangerous for any dog’s health. Drinks high in caffeine, such as coffee, have methylxanthines in them. These substances come from cacao seeds which are used to make coffee and certain types of soft drinks. Caffeine can also be found in some common painkillers. When ingested by dogs, caffeine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, seizures, and even death.
Milk and dairy products should also never be given to pet dogs. Lactase is the enzyme produced by many organisms which makes milk digestion possible by breaking down lactose. Lactose is the sugar in milk. Dogs are incapable of producing high amounts of lactase, so their bodies cannot easily break down milk. Therefore, the consumption of dairy can cause diarrhea or an upset stomach. They could cause food allergies to flare up as well.
Avocados contain a toxin called persin which can be poisonous to dogs if given in large quantities. The wrong type of mushroom can be fatal to dogs as well, so they should be avoided when it comes to feeding your dog.
Macadamia nuts are not to be eaten by dogs, and neither are any foods containing these nuts. Even very small amounts could make a dog very sick and cause muscle spasms, vomiting, and weakness in the legs.
Raw meat and bones should never be offered to dogs. The bones could result in choking, pancreatitis, or cuts in the dog’s stomach. Pieces of bone could also block the airway or become stuck in the digestive tract.
Raw meat and raw eggs could contain harmful bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. There is an enzyme found in eggs called avidin which lowers the capacity for absorption of a certain B vitamin in dogs. This can lead to a duller coat and fur or even loss of fur.
Citrus is another unhealthy food for dogs. All parts of the citrus plant have citric acid. These are oils which can trigger irritation or possibly cause central nervous system depression if consumed. Small amounts or pieces of the fruit, however, will most likely not cause any more damage than an upset stomach.
Types of fish, especially trout and salmon, can be extremely unhealthy for dogs. Raw salmon can cause death if the fish carries a parasite called Neorickettsia helminthoeca. If you suspect that your dog has eaten fish like this, immediately go to the vet because if it is detected early, the dog will likely recover.
It is very important to keep in mind that even the tastiest or most natural human snacks can wreak havoc on a dog’s health and wellbeing. Because of this, it is important to stay informed about which “people foods” can and cannot be fed to pets. If your dog consumes any of these foods and exhibits serious symptoms, call the Animal Poison Control Center or your regular vet as soon as you can.
It’s not all bad news 🙂 there are so many good food for Shih Tzu!
Here is a visual summary of good, bad and OK food