Home Dogs Why Shih Tzus Vomit: Causes and Care Tips

Why Shih Tzus Vomit: Causes and Care Tips

by Pawsome Tips
Shih Tzus Vomit

Shih Tzus are adorable and beloved companions for many, but like any other dog breed, When Shih Tzus vomit, they can experience health issues. Vomiting is a common concern for Shih Tzu owners, and addressing this issue promptly is essential. In this article, we will explore the various causes of vomiting in Shih Tzus and provide practical tips for caring for your furry friend when they are unwell.

Common Causes of Vomiting in Shih Tzus

Vomiting is a common issue in dogs, including Shih Tzus. Understanding the underlying causes is essential for effective management and prevention. Here’s a detailed exploration of the common causes of vomiting in Shih Tzus:

1. Dietary Factors

Shih Tzus can be sensitive to dietary changes and certain foods. Here’s more information on dietary factors leading to vomiting:

Food Allergies 

Some Shih Tzus may develop food allergies or sensitivities, often to common ingredients like grains, chicken, or beef. When they consume allergenic foods, it can trigger vomiting.


Like many small dog breeds, Shih Tzus is prone to overeating. This can lead to indigestion and vomiting, especially if they simultaneously consume large quantities of food.

Sudden Diet Changes

Abruptly switching your Shih Tzu’s food can upset their stomach. It’s important to gradually transition them to a new diet to avoid digestive issues.

2. Gastrointestinal Issues

Shih Tzus, like all dogs, are susceptible to various gastrointestinal problems, which can cause vomiting:


Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining. It can result from infections, dietary indiscretion, or ingesting irritating substances. Symptoms may include vomiting and discomfort.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a long-lasting inflammation affecting the gastrointestinal tract. It can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss in Shih Tzus.


Pancreatitis is pancreas inflammation caused by high-fat diets or other factors. It often leads to vomiting and requires prompt medical attention.

Video Credit / Animal Smartland

3. Foreign Objects or Toxins

Shih Tzus, being curious by nature, may ingest foreign objects or toxic substances, leading to vomiting:

Ingested Objects

Your Shih Tzu can swallow small toys, clothing, or household items. This can cause an obstruction or irritation, leading to vomiting.

Toxic Ingestion

Shih Tzus can accidentally consume toxic substances like chemicals, plants, or human medications. These toxins can result in vomiting and other serious health issues.

4. Stress and Anxiety

Dogs, including Shih Tzus, can experience stress and anxiety, which may manifest as vomiting:

Separation Anxiety

Some Shih Tzus may experience separation anxiety when left alone, leading to stress-induced vomiting.

Travel Anxiety

Travel or changes in routine can stress your Shih Tzu, causing motion sickness and vomiting.

Environmental Stressors

Loud noises, new environments, or other stressors can also induce vomiting in sensitive dogs.

Understanding these common causes of vomiting in Shih Tzus is crucial for identifying and addressing the underlying issues ensuring your furry friend’s health and well-being. If your Shih Tzu experiences persistent or severe vomiting, consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Preventing Vomiting in Shih Tzus

Preventing vomiting in your Shih Tzu is a proactive approach to maintaining their health and well-being. Here’s an in-depth look at key strategies to avoid vomiting:

1. Proper Diet and Feeding

A well-balanced diet is fundamental to your Shih Tzu’s health. By providing the proper nutrition and following appropriate feeding practices, you can reduce the risk of dietary-related vomiting:

High-Quality Dog Food

Choose a high-quality dog food with balanced nutrients. Look for options that suit your Shih Tzu’s age, size, and dietary requirements.

Avoiding Table Scraps

Human food often contains ingredients that can be harmful to dogs. Avoid feeding your Shih Tzu table scraps, as this can lead to gastrointestinal distress.

Feeding Schedule

Set up a consistent feeding timetable for your Shih Tzu. This consistency can help regulate their digestive system, reducing the likelihood of overeating and indigestion.

Proper Portion Control

Measure your Shih Tzu’s food portions to prevent overfeeding, which can contribute to vomiting. Follow the recommended feeding guidelines based on their age and weight.

2. Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can be significant contributors to vomiting in Shih Tzus. Creating a calming environment and addressing their emotional well-being can go a long way in prevention:

Exercise and Play

Regular exercise and playtime help alleviate stress and anxiety. Shih Tzus enjoy short walks and interactive play with their owners.

OlgaOvcharenko / Shutterstock

Routine and Consistency

Dogs thrive on routines. Maintaining a consistent schedule for feeding, walks, and bedtime can help reduce stress by providing predictability.

Comfort and Safety

Ensure your Shih Tzu has a safe and comfortable space. A cozy bed, toys, and a quiet area can be soothing for your dog.

Training and Socialization

Proper training and socialization from a young age can help your Shih Tzu become more confident and less prone to anxiety.

3. Dog-Proofing Your Home

To prevent your Shih Tzu from ingesting harmful objects or substances, it’s important to dog-proof your home:

Secure Hazardous Items

Keep toxic chemicals, plants, and small objects out of your dog’s reach. Childproof locks on cabinets can help.

Supervise Playtime

When your Shih Tzu is playing with toys or chewing on items, ensure these are safe and appropriate for dogs. Avoid toys that can be easily torn apart or ingested.

Regular Home Inspections

Periodically inspect your home for hazards or objects your Shih Tzu could access. Quick action can prevent accidents.

Training and Obedience

Teaching your Shih Tzu basic commands like “leave it” can help prevent them from picking up harmful objects.

Implementing these preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of vomiting in your Shih Tzu. However, it’s essential to remain vigilant and consult a veterinarian if you notice any signs of illness or persistent vomiting, as professional guidance is crucial for your dog’s health.

Home Care for Vomiting Shih Tzus

Taking care of your Shih Tzu when they are experiencing vomiting is crucial to their comfort and recovery. Here’s a detailed look at home care for vomiting Shih Tzus, focusing on keeping them hydrated, making dietary adjustments, and monitoring their condition:

1. Keeping Your Dog Hydrated

Vomiting can lead to dehydration in dogs, so ensuring your Shih Tzu stays appropriately hydrated is essential for their recovery:

Offer Small, Frequent Sips

Instead of giving your Shih Tzu a large water bowl, offer small sips frequently. This can help prevent vomiting triggered by excessive water intake.

klevers / Shutterstock

Electrolyte Solutions

Consider providing electrolyte solutions designed for dogs. These can help replenish lost electrolytes and keep your Shih Tzu hydrated.

Ice Chips or Ice Cubes

Some Shih Tzus may prefer ice chips or ice cubes to lick, as it’s a gentler way to consume water when they’re feeling queasy.

Contact Your Vet

If vomiting and dehydration persist or worsen, consult your veterinarian. In severe cases, your dog may require intravenous fluids to rehydrate.

2. Dietary Adjustments

Adjusting your Shih Tzu’s diet is crucial when they are experiencing vomiting. These measures can help soothe their stomach and reduce the likelihood of further vomiting:


Temporarily withhold food for 12 to 24 hours to give your Shih Tzu’s stomach a chance to rest. Make certain that they can hydrate themselves during this time.

Bland Diet

Following the fasting period, gently reintroduce a bland diet, which may consist of boiled rice and lean, boiled chicken. Avoid spices, seasonings, or high-fat foods.

Small, Frequent Meals

Instead of large meals, offer small, frequent portions to reduce the strain on the digestive system.

Slow Transition

When transitioning back to your dog’s regular diet, gradually over several days to prevent further upset stomach.

3. Monitoring Your Dog’s Condition

 It’s essential to closely monitor your Shih Tzu’s condition when they are vomiting:


Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior, energy level, and changes in vomiting frequency or appearance.


Monitor their body temperature. A high fever may be indicative of an underlying infection.

Dehydration Signs

Check for signs of dehydration, including dry gums, sunken eyes, lethargy, and dark yellow urine.

Consult a Veterinarian

If your Shih Tzu’s condition worsens, if they become severely dehydrated, or if they continue vomiting for an extended period, consult your veterinarian. They can assess the underlying cause and recommend further treatment.

Home care for a vomiting Shih Tzu requires attention to hydration, dietary adjustments, and vigilant monitoring. While many cases of vomiting can be managed at home, it’s always wise to seek professional guidance if you have concerns about your dog’s health or if their condition does not improve.

When to Seek Veterinary Care Why Shih Tzus Vomit

Recognizing when to seek veterinary care for your Shih Tzu ensures their well-being. Here’s an in-depth look at the key aspects of knowing when to seek professional help:

1. Warning Signs

Identifying warning signs that necessitate veterinary care is essential for your Shih Tzu’s health:

Persistent Vomiting

If your Shih Tzu is vomiting repeatedly and cannot keep food or water down, it indicates something is amiss.

Blood in Vomit

The presence of blood in your dog’s vomit is a red flag. It can signify underlying issues, such as gastrointestinal bleeding or a foreign object causing damage.


If your Shih Tzu becomes unusually passive, weak, or unresponsive, it can indicate a severe health problem.

Orawan Pattarawimonchai / Shutterstock

Abdominal Pain

Signs of abdominal discomfort, such as whining, restlessness, or reluctance to be touched in the abdominal area, should not be ignored.


Persistent diarrhea and vomiting can cause concern, especially if other symptoms accompany it.

2. The Role of a Veterinarian

Veterinarians play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating the underlying causes of your Shih Tzu’s vomiting:

Diagnostic Expertise

Veterinarians are trained to perform diagnostic tests, including blood work, X-rays, and ultrasounds, to identify the root cause of your dog’s vomiting.

Treatment Options

Once a diagnosis is made, veterinarians can recommend appropriate treatments, including medications, dietary changes, or surgery if necessary.

Preventive Guidance

Veterinarians can guide on preventing future vomiting episodes, offering dietary recommendations and lifestyle adjustments.

Follow-Up Care

In chronic conditions, your veterinarian will guide you through ongoing care and monitoring.

3. Importance of Early Intervention

Early intervention when your Shih Tzu is vomiting is crucial for their well-being and a successful recovery:

Timely Diagnosis

The sooner the underlying cause is identified, the sooner appropriate treatment can begin, increasing the chances of a positive outcome.

Preventing Dehydration

Timely veterinary care helps prevent dehydration, which can occur rapidly, especially in small dogs like Shih Tzus.

Reducing Discomfort

Early intervention can alleviate your dog’s discomfort and suffering, improving their quality of life.

Preventing Complications

Addressing the issue promptly can prevent the progression of conditions from worsening without treatment.

Knowing when to seek veterinary care involves recognizing warning signs such as persistent vomiting, blood in vomit, lethargy, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. The role of a veterinarian is critical in diagnosing and treating the underlying causes of vomiting, and early intervention is vital to ensuring your Shih Tzu’s health and well-being. If you have concerns about your dog’s condition, don’t hesitate to consult with a veterinarian for professional guidance and care.


In the realm of responsible pet ownership, addressing vomiting in Shih Tzus is essential. This article has explored common causes, signs for seeking veterinary care, and preventive measures. 

Understanding your dog’s dietary needs, reducing stress, and dog-proofing your home can help prevent vomiting. 

When your Shih Tzu does vomit, it’s crucial to keep them hydrated, adjust their diet, and monitor their condition closely.

Remember, the health and happiness of your Shih Tzu are paramount. Seek professional guidance from a veterinarian when in doubt. By taking these steps, you’re ensuring a healthier and happier life for your beloved companion.

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