If your shih tzu has allergies, you know how painful it can be. Not just for your pup, but for you as well. It’s difficult to see your companion suffer through testing, pain and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.
Determining what your dog is allergic to can be a long and difficult process, and some allergies may be mild and go undiagnosed. However, if your dog has severe or even moderate allergies, you know the challenges faced trying to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Common Allergens for Shih Tzus
- Food (such as wheat, chicken or soy)
- Medications (penicillin, opiates, etc.)
- Shampoos and other cleaning products
Allergies are a hypersensitive and damaging response of the immune system to external allergens, such as pollen and food. It’s the same for humans and dogs. However, with dogs the signs and symptoms may go unnoticed because our furry friends can’t tell us what’s wrong. So as the leader of the pack, we need to be hyperaware of what to look out for.
Common Allergy Signs & Symptoms in Shih Tzus
- Dry, itchy skin (possible scabs or sores)
- Excessive scratching, biting or licking on skin
- Watery eyes
- Paw chewing
- Nasal discharge
- Chronic ear infections
- Breathing issues (very serious sign!)
Fortunately, there are ways to help boost your dog’s immune system and decrease the effects of allergies. Omega fatty acids are a major benefit in the fight against allergies and degenerative disorders that can cause inflammation and arthritis. Some research has shown that Omega’s can even prevent allergies from developing in puppies. While every dog is different, there is no argument that your pup could benefit from Omega fatty acids. But here’s the catch…dogs can’t produce Omega’s on their own, so they must get them somewhere else.
The Problem: Dogs Can’t Produce Vital Omega Fatty Acids
There are many sources of essential Omega fatty acids. Some mistakenly believe that dog food delivers all your dog needs. Unfortunately, because Omega’s are susceptible to heat, most of the benefits become biologically unavailable to your dog due to the cooking/treatment temperatures of dog food.
That’s why I personally give my dog an Omega supplement. They really seem to like the Omega-3 Select chews from Project Paws. I like them because they’re made from anchovies and krill, which have some of the highest concentrations of Omega’s of any fish. Because these are small fish with a shorter lifespan, they don’t contain the high level of toxins like other large fish like Salmon. The other reason I love them is because each purchase of Omega-3 Select chews provides meals for up to 21 shelter dogs.
It’s important to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It may takes weeks or even several months for your dog to feel the benefits of an Omega supplement. Talk to your vet, and find out if Omega fatty acid supplementation might be a part of an holistic plan to support your shih tzu’s immune system and fight allergies.