Last Updated on May 15, 2023 by The Puppy Mag
Feeding your Shih Tzu can go beyond the kibble found in their bowl.
In fact, incorporating certain fruits into their diet can provide an array of health benefits and offer a delightful change of pace for your furry friend’s palate.
However, it’s essential to know that not all fruits are suitable for Shih Tzus. Some could make your Shih Tzu seriously sick, so its crucial to feed the correct ones.
This article will guide you through the safe fruits for your Shih Tzu, which ones to avoid, and how much fruit is safe for your pet to consume.
Let’s explore the fruity world of your Shih Tzu’s diet!
When Can a Shih Tzu Eat Fruit?
Fruits can be given to your Shih Tzu as a healthy snack or treat, not as a meal replacement. It’s typically appropriate to feed your Shih Tzu fruit in moderation between meals or as a reward during training sessions.
Remember, fruits are high in natural sugars and should therefore be limited to prevent weight gain and other health issues like diabetes.
Another appropriate time to feed your Shih Tzu fruit is when you’re trying to add variety to their diet or when you want to supplement their intake of certain nutrients.
For example, if your dog is on a commercial diet but could benefit from more fiber, a small serving of apple could be a good supplement.
However, it’s important to remember that all dogs are unique, and what works for one Shih Tzu may not work for another. Any new food should be introduced gradually to allow your Shih Tzu’s digestive system to adjust.
Now, let’s get onto the fruit your Shih Tzu can safely eat!
11 Fruits That are Safe for Shih Tzus ✅
Here’s the good news: many fruits are perfectly safe (and healthy!) for your Shih Tzu to eat.
Apples are a fantastic source of vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber. Be sure to remove the seeds and core before offering an apple to your Shih Tzu, as apple seeds contain cyanide, which is harmful to dogs.
Bananas are high in potassium and vitamin C. However, they also contain a lot of sugar, so they should be given sparingly.
Blueberries are little antioxidants powerhouses, and they’re a safe and nutritious treat for your Shih Tzu.
Watermelon is incredibly hydrating and is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, and C. Remove the seeds and rind before giving watermelon to your Shih Tzu.
Pears offer good amounts of vitamins C and K, as well as fiber. As with apples, make sure to remove the seeds and core.
Remember, even with safe fruits, moderation is key. Overfeeding can lead to gastrointestinal upset, weight gain, and other health problems. As a rule of thumb, treats (including fruits) should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s daily caloric intake, as the AVMA suggests.
Peaches can be a sweet treat for your Shih Tzu. They’re packed with vitamin A and fiber, which can benefit your dog’s overall health. Just remember to remove the pit before giving a peach to your dog, as it can pose a choking hazard and contains traces of cyanide.
Pineapples are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making them a nutritious treat for your Shih Tzu. Plus, the natural sweetness of pineapple can be a hit with many dogs!
In moderation, raspberries can be a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. However, they do contain small amounts of Xylitol, which is harmful to dogs in large quantities, so be sure to limit your Shih Tzu’s raspberry intake.
Strawberries are full of beneficial nutrients for your Shih Tzu, including fiber, vitamin C, and a teeth-whitening enzyme! However, like all fruits, they should be given in moderation due to their sugar content.
Mango is a safe fruit for Shih Tzus, and it’s packed with vitamins A, B6, C, and E. Don’t forget to remove the hard pit and peel the skin before offering mango to your dog.
Kiwis are high in vitamins C and K, making them a healthy treat for your Shih Tzu. Just be sure to peel the skin off, as it can be tough for dogs to digest.
As always, when introducing a new fruit to your Shih Tzu’s diet, start with small amounts and watch for any adverse reactions. If you’re unsure about any fruit, it’s always best to consult with your vet.
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Fruits That Shih Tzus Should Avoid
Just as there are many fruits safe for Shih Tzus, there are also some that are outright dangerous. Always avoid giving these fruits to your Shih Tzu.
Grapes and Raisins 🍇
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Even small amounts can make a dog ill. It’s best to keep these far away from your Shih Tzu.
Although considered a plant, Avocados are biologically fruit! Yep, surprising right. Regardless despite how good Avocados are for us, they aren’t suitable for dogs. Avocados contain persin, a substance that can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
Cherry pits, leaves, and stems contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs. Even if you only give your dog the flesh of the cherry, the risk is high that they could get hold of a pit.
Citrus Fruits 🍋
While the flesh of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes isn’t toxic to dogs, it can cause upset stomachs if eaten in large quantities.
The peels, seeds, and leaves can also cause irritation and potentially even central nervous system depression.
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What to Do If Your Shih Tzu Eats a Harmful Fruit
Despite our best efforts, sometimes our furry friends can get into foods they shouldn’t. If your Shih Tzu eats a harmful fruit, here’s what to do:
- Don’t panic. Stay calm and composed, your dog needs you to act swiftly and efficiently.
- Identify what they’ve eaten. If possible, try to figure out how much they’ve consumed.
- Contact your vet immediately. If you can’t reach your vet, reach out to a pet poison helpline. The Pet Poison Helpline and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center are excellent resources.
Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you’re unsure if your Shih Tzu has eaten a harmful fruit, it’s always best to contact your vet.
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How to Safely Introduce Fruits to Your Shih Tzu’s Diet
Let’s say you’ve found a few fruits on the “safe” list that you’d like to introduce to your Shih Tzu. Great! But how do you do it safely? Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Start small. Begin by offering small amounts of the new fruit. This allows your Shih Tzu’s digestive system to adjust and gives you an opportunity to watch for any adverse reactions.
- Monitor your Shih Tzu. Keep an eye out for any changes in behavior, eating habits, or bathroom habits. If you notice anything unusual, contact your vet.
- Gradually increase the amount. If your Shih Tzu seems to be tolerating the new fruit well, you can gradually increase the amount you’re feeding them.
How Much Fruit Can a Shih Tzu Eat?
You might be wondering, “How much fruit can I give my Shih Tzu?” The answer is: it depends.
Fruits should be given as a treat, not as a staple of their diet. Remember, our Shih Tzus primarily need a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Fruits are a supplement to their main diet, not a replacement.
As a general rule, the VCA Hospitals suggest that treats (including fruits) should not make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily calories. This ensures your Shih Tzu is getting a balanced diet while still enjoying their fruity treats.
Remember, every dog is unique. What works for one Shih Tzu may not work for another. Always consult with your vet before making significant changes to your Shih Tzu’s diet. They can provide guidance tailored to your pet’s specific needs.
When it comes to feeding fruits to our Shih Tzus, the key is balance and moderation. Many fruits offer health benefits, but they should be given as treats and not as meal replacements.
Always remember to remove seeds, stems, and pits where necessary, and consult with your vet if you’re unsure.
Fruits can bring a bit of fun and variety to your Shih Tzu’s diet, but their main diet should remain balanced and nutritious dog food.
With a careful approach, you can safely introduce new fruits into your Shih Tzu’s diet and keep them happy, healthy, and wagging their tails!