If your Shih Tzu is suffering from allergies and you are looking for a good natural shampoo to help relieve their symptoms then you are in the right place.
In this article, we will look at what can cause allergies in your dog, the signs and symptoms to look out for, why natural ingredient shampoos are the best choice, and provide you with our best choice shampoos to help with this condition.
After reviewing several dog shampoos suitable for a dog with skin allergies our best choice award goes to Moosh Natural Dog Shampoo. It contains 100% organic and natural ingredients, has the perfect pH balance for your dog’s skin, contains no harsh chemicals, and has received excellent reviews from other dog owners. You can read our extended review here.
You can click on the link below to go straight to our shampoo reviews but we would recommend you read the rest of the article so you can make a more informed choice about the best shampoo for your dog.
Shampoos reviewed in this article:
- What Can Cause Skin Allergies In Your Shih Tzu?
- Signs And Symptoms Of Allergies In Your Shih Tzu
- Why Are Natural Ingredient Shampoos Better For Dogs With Allergies?
- 10 Interesting Things About Your Dog’s Skin
- Shampoo For Shih Tzu With Allergies – Reviews & Recommendations
As owners, we will do anything to make our dogs happy. We buy them the best quality food and make sure they have all the toys they could want, but we should also be looking out for their skin. If you are a Shih Tzu owner, then you will know that they are one of the most affectionate and playful breeds out there.
Sometimes known as ‘chrysanthemum dogs’ or ‘lion dogs’ they have long flowing coats that require lots of brushing and care. However, it isn’t uncommon for this breed to have skin allergies, with 20% of dogs experiencing some type of allergic reaction. Their thick, curly coats make them more susceptible to skin allergies and unfortunately for this breed they are prone to suffering from a weakened immune system due to genetic breeding. It’s therefore important to make sure their coat is kept healthy.
If you want to look after your dog’s coat, you need to be willing to invest in a decent shampoo to groom them. Choosing the right shampoo can often help with their skin allergies by reducing the symptoms that can occur. However, before that can happen, we need to know what causes skin allergies in Shih Tzus and how to know if your dog is having an allergic reaction.
What Can Cause Allergies in Your Shih Tzu
- Food Intolerance
- Seasonal or Environmental Allergies
There are a number of things that can cause an allergic reaction in your Shih Tzu and it helps to know what they all are as they could affect your dog. Sometimes systemic diseases can cause skin problems such as diabetes or kidney and liver disorders, but most of the time it will be one of the following.
When humans ingest something that disagrees with them, they will often have stomach aches and feel nauseous. While this can happen with dogs, it is more likely that a food intolerance will cause skin allergies, especially in Shih Tzus. Something that is interesting to note is it takes time for a reaction to show after the dog has been exposed to something it cannot eat, which can make it difficult to know what is causing it.
If your Shih Tzu has an allergic reaction to something they have eaten, you will notice severe itching, bald patches where the fur has been scratched away, as well as them biting their skin and having inflamed hot spots on their skin. Shih Tzus have sometimes been known to vomit or have mild diarrhea when they are allergic to something, but this doesn’t always happen.
If you would like to test your dog for a food allergy at home then please check our article – Food Allergy Test Kits For Dogs.
If you suspect that your dog is having an allergic reaction to food intolerance, it is important that you take them to see a veterinarian immediately. Sometimes you will be referred to a pet dermatology specialist who can help determine what is causing the reaction by examining them. They will ask about the dog’s diet and can even do skin patch tests to figure out what food additive is causing the reaction.
Some of the main reasons Shih Tzus have allergic reactions are due to artificial additives, chemical preservatives and fillers such as corn being added to the food they are eating. It is very easy to change this by putting them on a limited ingredient diet, which only includes certain ingredients which they aren’t allergic to.
For more information on food allergies and intolerances in dogs and the best way to treat them please read our article – Best Dog Food For Shih Tzu With Allergies.
Seasonal or Environmental Allergies
Humans will often complain about having hayfever when the pollen count starts to rise in the warmer months but did you know that the environment or seasonal changes can affect your Shih Tzu as well? Not only will they be scratching, biting or chewing on their skin, they will also tend to sneeze frequently and will suffer from coughing spells.
If it is quite serious then they can have runny noses as well, and we all know how inconvenient that can be. Things that can cause this in dogs are seasonal pollen, weeds, and even grass, but these don’t just affect them during the summer. It can start as soon as spring arrives and last until autumn, with ragweed being a trigger for many.
However, it isn’t just the great outdoors that can cause a problem. Allergies can happen indoors as well, with dust mites and their droppings. If you want to know how many might be in your home, a half teaspoon of dust can have up to 1,000 mites and possibly 25,000 droppings. Is it any wonder your dog is allergic? A veterinarian will determine what is triggering the allergy by performing an intradermal skin test. Steroids can often be used to help reduce the symptoms that are associated with this type of allergy and give them antihistamines to help them breathe easier.
Fleas are something that all breeds of dog can suffer from, but Shih Tzus tend to suffer from this due to their long fur. An allergy to fleas will come in the form of ‘hot spots’, which are painful, red sores on the skin. They can cause your dog to constantly bite and scratch their skin, which results in hair loss. When a flea allergy isn’t treated it can produce crusty or oozing sores that are swollen and discolored, making it extremely uncomfortable for your dog. It is often localized at the base of their tail, a place that can be difficult for them to reach. But with the right treatment, it will ease up.
Signs And Symptoms Of Skin Allergies In Your Shih Tzu
When it comes to Shih Tzus having allergies, the symptoms can vary greatly depending on what has caused the reaction. They may only have a few symptoms or they may have a lot of them. Then there is the fact that the symptoms can come and go over time. These are some of the symptoms your Shih Tzu could experience if they have a skin allergy:
- Skin sores.
- Excessive dry skin.
- Excessive itching.
- Hot spots.
- Thinning hair.
- Eye discharge.
- Bloodshot eyes.
- Chronic ear infections.
- A runny nose.
- Exercise intolerance.
- Licking or chewing fur.
As mentioned above if your Shih Tzu shows any of these symptoms then you should visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Natural Ingredient Shampoo For Allergies
Not all dogs have the same coat and Shih Tzus have a double coat, meaning they have an outer coat with one texture and an undercoat with another texture. The reason they have this is to keep them well insulated during the colder months and to protect them from elements such as the rain or wind.
However, not all Shih Tzus have the same coat, so it is important that you choose a good shampoo that will remove all the oil and debris from their coat, as well as keeping their allergies in check. Removing the build-up of grease and dirt will help them to stay looking clean, without stripping their natural oils. For this reason, it is important that you don’t choose a harsh shampoo with lots of chemicals, which can leave coats in poor conditions. Instead, you will want to choose a natural or plant-based shampoo.
A natural ingredient shampoo avoids stripping the natural oils that are healthy for your Shih Tzus coat and will have the correct pH balance. The pH level is the reason why dogs cannot use shampoos made for humans. A dog should have a shampoo that has a pH level of 6 to 7, while a human shampoo is 4.5 to 5.5 pH. Using one that is too acidic will irritate your Shih Tzu’s skin by making it dry and it could even lead to infections, which isn’t what you want.
You will want to avoid shampoos that have chemical ingredients such as parabens, phosphates, methylparaben and phthalate, which can be hard to wash out and affect your dog’s skin. For a dog with skin allergies, you need to look for one that will help soothe the red and itchy skin the allergies can cause. They will often have healing or medicated ingredients in them, or even one with oatmeal, which can help soothe the skin. Natural ingredient shampoos are the best way to help your dog.
Why Are Natural Ingredient Shampoos Better for Dogs with Allergies?
- Correct pH Balance
- Correct pH Balance
- No Chemicals
- Easier to Rinse
Natural ingredient shampoos are better for dogs with allergies for a lot of reasons. The first reason has to do with having the correct pH balance, something we touched upon earlier but will go into more detail now. Dog’s have a more neutral skin pH than human skin, making them more delicate and unable to handle the more acidic ingredients in regular shampoo that humans use. It is important to never use human shampoo on your Shih Tzu as it could worsen their skin conditions if they have any by stripping away the protective oils on their coat.
We mentioned that you should avoid chemical ingredients in dog shampoo, but you should also avoid artificial colorings such as FD&C, D&C, or Yellow 5; Cocamide DEA or MEA. Natural shampoos won’t have any harmful chemicals in them which could cause a whole host of problems for your sweet pooch if it is used on them. Even shampoos that have soap in them can cause your dog to have dry skin and leave behind irritating and drying residue on their skin or fur.
Easier to Rinse
Some regular shampoos can leave behind residue on your dog’s coat or skin, which can end up clogging their pores and make their coat look oily. Sometimes the residue can be toxic to your dog if they lick themselves, but a natural shampoo is easier to wash out and won’t leave anything behind. Even if a natural shampoo did leave something behind, it wouldn’t be harmful if it was licked from their coat.
Natural shampoos tend to have ingredients such as aloe vera and oatmeal, which are extremely moisturizing and can help to combat the skin irritation caused by allergies and promote healing of scars. You will soon find that their dry and sensitive skin has been transformed so that it shines!
10 Interesting Things About Your Dog’s Skin
People like to think they know their dog like the back of their hand, but here are some things you might not have known about your dog’s skin.
1. Delicate Like A Baby – We’ve already mentioned that dogs have a more neutral pH when it comes to their skin, but did you know that babies are the same. When children are born, they have a neutral skin pH that slowly becomes more acidic over time.
2. They’re Thin Skinned – Humans have skin that is between 10 and 15 cells thick, but the skin of a dog is only 3 to 5 cells thick. This is why it is very easy for dog’s skin to become inflamed and irritated when damaged, sometimes leading to infections.
3. Dogs Can Sweat – A lot of people think that dogs can’t sweat, but they can! In fact, there are glands in their paws that release something similar to sweat, whereas the glands on their bodies are used for scent marking.
4. They Don’t Like Chemicals – As we mentioned earlier, any shampoo containing artificial additives or chemical ingredients are going to cause a bad reaction to your dog’s skin. This is why it is important to choose a natural and soothing shampoo for them.
5. Some Dogs Have Three Types Of Hair – We talked about how Shih Tzus have two types of hair, but some dogs have three. The soft undercoat helps to keep them warm, known as the secondary hairs, while the longer guard hairs work to protect them, known as the primary hairs. Then there are the tactile hairs, which are called whiskers and aren’t found on puppies.
6. Some Bacteria Are Good – Shampooing too much isn’t good as some of the bacteria on your dog’s skin actually helps to protect them. The common type is known as Staphylococcus and is found on the skin of healthy dogs when their coat is maintained.
7. Grooming Helps In More Ways Than One – Brushing their coat doesn’t just help to spread the natural oils across the surface, it can also help to increase their circulation and blood flow.
8. Dogs Can’t Tan – When humans go into the sun, their skin will often tan, but this isn’t the case for dogs no matter how often they go outside. Lighter skinned dogs are more at risk of burning in the sun as they have less melatonin and those without thick coats are exposed more as well.
9. Don’t Let Them Sleep In The Bed – Human bedding can be home to dust mites, which can trigger allergies in dogs and cause skin problems. This is why it is important that you don’t let them sleep with you and they have their own bedding.
10. Dogs Need Frequent Bathing – Some people used to believe that dogs never had to be washed, but this isn’t the case. Instead, they need to have frequent bathing with the correct dog shampoo to keep them happy and healthy!
Best Shampoo For Shih Tzu With Skin Allergies – Reviews
Below we will review some of the dog shampoos that we think are excellent choices if your Shih Tzu if suffering from skin allergies. They are all made from completely natural ingredients and have excellent customer reviews.
Moosh Natural Dog Shampoo
Moosh Natural Dog Shampoo is another great choice if your Shih Tzu is suffering from allergies and gets our best choice award. Its pH balance is perfect for your dog’s skin and is made from 100% organic and natural ingredients. It contains no sulfates, no preservatives, and no chemicals. The unique feature of this hypoallergenic shampoo is the use of bentonite clay in its ingredients. Bentonite clay is a natural product that is known to show healing effects by naturally bonding with bacteria, fungus, toxins, and heavy metals and removing them from the skin and hair.
It also contains Neem and Argan Oil that have shown to have antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties. Other natural ingredients include Shea Butter and Aloe Vera that moisturize the skin and leave the coat silky and soft.
Moosh Dog Shampoo has a 4.2 out of 5-star rating on Amazon from over 1000 customers and you can read the reviews for yourself here.
- pH balanced for dog skin.
- 100% natural and organic ingredients.
- No harsh chemicals. No sulfates. No preservatives.
- Environmentally friendly.
- Easy to rinse.
- Neem oil soothes and moisturizes.
- Argan oil for a healthy shine.
Paws & Pals Natural Dog Shampoo
Paws & Pals Natural Dog Shampoo gets our best choice award for a shampoo to help with allergies and skin problems. It’s made with 100% natural ingredients so is perfect for a Shih Tzu with allergies. Its nourishing formula includes oatmeal which is great for moisturizing and soothing sore, itchy skin and can also help to relieve symptoms of allergies. Other natural ingredients include aloe and pro-vitamin B5 that help with hydrating and healing your dog’s coat. Due to natural oils and vitamins, this shampoo is soap-free so it won’t irritate or inflame your dog’s eyes or skin. It also has a concentrated formula which means you don’t have to use as much per wash and will last a lot longer than other dog shampoos.
Paws And Pals Dog Shampoo has an excellent 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Amazon and you can read the reviews for yourself here.
- 100% natural ingredients.
- Chemical free.
- Natural nourishing formula.
- Environmentally friendly.
- Tear-free soapless formula.
- Made in the USA.
Earthbath Natural Shampoo & Conditioner
Earthbath Shampoo and Earthbath Conditioner are produced from 100% natural and biodegradable ingredients. It contains no perfumes, synthetic dyes and is free of chemicals that could affect either your Shih Tzu. Due to the absence of chemical this shampoo is also environmentally friendly. This is a good product for hair that is rather oily and also helps to promote healthy skin. As there are no harsh chemical and only contains natural ingredients this is also another great shampoo if your Shih Tzu is suffering from allergies or has a skin condition.
- All natural and biodegradable ingredients.
- Variety of scents.
- Hypoallergenic formula.
- Suitable for sensitive skin and allergies.
- PH 7.
- Reasonable prices.
- No chemicals.
- Helps to heal areas or dry or damaged skin.
This Earthbath Shampoo has an excellent 4.4 out of 5 rating from over 2,500 reviews on Amazon. You can check out the reviews for yourself here.
Sofee & Co White Pear Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
Sofee & Co Natural Shampoo And Conditioner are organic products and completely free of chemicals and unnatural coloring. Due to its ingredients, this is a gentle shampoo and is ok for weekly use. It’s also safe to use alongside flea and tick medications. All their products are cruelty-free and made with all natural ingredients making them both safe for your Shih Tzu and the environment. The shampoo has a PH balance of between 5 and 7 that is perfect for your dog’s skin.
- Organic, cruelty-free product.
- Natural ingredients.
- Gentle formula.
- Long lasting fragrance.
- Does not strip your dog’s fur.
- Reasonably priced.
- No parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, phthalates or artificial dyes.
- Excellent Amazon rating and reviews.
- Safe for puppies.
Sofee & Co dog shampoo also has an excellent 4.4 out of 5 star rating from over 2.500 reviews on Amazon. You can check out the reviews for yourself here.