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Why Does My Shih Tzu Fart So Much? (Stop the Stench!)

There’s nothing like cuddling up to your sweet little Shih Tzu only to get a nice whiff of stinky rotten egg smell! We’ve all done it, we’ve all smelt it, it’s a natural part of life, but if you are reading this chances are your Shih Tzu has a farting problem and you’re ready to end the stink!

Feeding your Shih Tzu human food is the most common cause of their excessive farting. Foods like beans, peas, dairy products, spicy food, highly processed and fatty foods are likely to make your dog fart more. Occasional flatulence is normal, but excessive farting can be a sign of a more serious health issue.

Luckily there are some things you can do to help end the stink and keep your dog healthy. There are a lot of reasons for dog farts, and thankfully a lot of ways we can help. Sometimes farting too much can be a sign of something more serious. In this article, we will discuss the root cause of so much flatulence and what you can do to end the stink. Let’s dive into the topic and find out more.

What Causes Your Shih Tzu To Fart

There are a lot of reasons your Shih Tzu could be farting, but the science behind it is all the same. Your dog’s flatulence is caused by an excess buildup of gas or air in your dog’s intestinal tract and colon.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend high-quality products that are used and recommended by real owners. If you use these links to buy something we earn a small commission.

This gas is caused by your dog’s inability to digest the food it is eating. This makes it so instead of the food and nutrients being absorbed properly it’s sitting in the stomach and colon and causing it to ferment which is then expelled through the anus as the not-so-sweet smelly gas.

So let’s take a look at why your dog may not be able to properly digest his food.

Food Intolerance

Food intolerance is the first thing that your vet would ask you to look at when considering why your Shih Tzu is farting so much. You may have an idea of what is causing the stinky stuff, but if not here is a list of things that your dog may not be handling well in its diet.


While some dogs can tolerate small amounts of dairy, and will likely act as though they love it when given the chance to snack on some cheese or milk most dogs are lactose intolerant. They don’t have the ability to digest lactose. In fact, according to the AKC dairy products are the leading cause of food intolerance in dogs.

Many dairy products also have high-fat content (cheese) or high sugar content (yogurts) which is also not healthy for our dogs.

Chess Dog 300 x 600

Table Scraps

Those begging pleading puppy dog eyes are extremely hard to resist when you just want to share a little of your leftovers with him, but for their own good (and the good of your nose) avoiding all table scraps is necessary if you want to clear up the flatulence!

Even some foods that you think might be healthy for your dog could be contributing to the stink. For example, steamed veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts can contribute to gas.

If you love treating your pup to a delicious snack don’t worry, you don’t have to completely give up feeding your furry friend yummy people food. It just means that you need more thought and preparation into what you give them and when.

Check out this guide to feeding your Shih Tzu all things fruity.

If you are able to keep track of what foods he can and can’t digest then you can treat him to his favorites in moderation as a reward for good behavior. Often lean proteins such as chicken and fish as well as non-gassy veggies like sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots are good options.

Be sure, however, to never feed your dog from the table. This will help them learn that they should not beg, and it will encourage appropriate and healthy habits for better health.

Poor Quality Food

If you are not feeding your dog table scraps and they are still having gas the next thing to look at would be the ingredients in their regular food. Some dog food companies rely on carb-heavy filler ingredients to more cheaply manufacture their food. Even some high-end brands sometimes contain things that can cause our dogs to have gastrointestinal problems.

The most common problems for dogs are low-quality ingredients or filler ingredients. It’s important that you always read the ingredient labels on your dog’s food and know what they are. Here are some that you will want to avoid.

  • Artificial ingredients, and preservatives like BHT, BHA, MSG, Sodium Nitrate, Sodium tripolyphosphate
  • Artificial colors (often labeled as red #40, or blue 2, Yellow 5 & 6
  • Added sweeteners, corn syrup, xylitol,
  • Low-quality fats such as lard and Vegetable oils
  • Animal by-products
  • Cellulose
  • Propylene Glycol (an ingredient found in anti-freeze)
  • Soy
  • Carrageenan (this is a binding agent and can cause digestive problems and stomach upset)

    Changing to a better food can help ease your dog’s stomach problems.

    Here are some high-quality foods that are recommended by other Shih Tzu owners and vets.

    Natures Logic dog food (Chewy affiliate link)

    Ollie dog food – Healthy Fresh Food delivered to your door (affiliate link)

    Purina Pro Plan – Recommended by vets (Amazon affiliate link)

    Some other things that can help ease your dog’s discomfort and help heal their gut are additives such as pumpkin and Prebiotics.
  • Pumpkin is rich in vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber that can help balance your Shih Tzu’s digestive tract. 

    Canned pumpkin is best as it has lower water content than fresh pumpkin, but either will work. Just be sure that it’s NOT pumpkin PIE filling, as that will have added spices and sugars that can be dangerous to your dog.

    I like to open a can of pureed pumpkin and after I add a couple of tablespoons to my dog’s food I put the rest in icecube trays and store in the freezer so it’s easy to access a small portion next time I need it.
  • Prebiotics can be useful to help reintroduce healthy bacteria into your Shih Tzu’s digestive tract. It’s important to talk to your vet and get guidance when making any changes including adding a prebiotic to your dog’s food.

    Often your vet can give you the go-ahead over the phone for something simple like this. Many Shih Tzu owners have had success in adding a prebiotic like this (Amazon affiliate link) to their fur baby’s food.

Allergies to Ingredients

First, we have to understand that there is a difference between food allergies and food intolerances. A food allergy occurs when your dog eats a certain food and it triggers an immune response in their body.

Their body mistakes the proteins in the food for being something that is harmful and attacks it as a form of self-preservation. This causes symptoms such as inflammation, hair loss, excessive itchiness, and rashes. Food allergies are much more serious and need to be dealt with by careful observation from a vet or dog nutritionist.

Food intolerance is a bit different in that the symptoms are usually less serious and often limited to digestion issues causing gas, upset stomach, and diarrhea.

This can be one of the trickier things to discover and figure out. Because most dog foods have so many ingredients in them it can be hard to isolate which specific ingredient is causing our dog distress.

Some of the most common food allergens in dogs are proteins, we already talked about dairy products, but other proteins such as beef, lamb, chicken, chicken eggs, soy or gluten (from wheat) could potentially be problematic as well.

Your Shih Tzu is Eating too Fast

If your Shih Tzu is eating their food too quickly it can cause them to swallow excessive air which then has the opportunity to turn into fermented gas. Eating too quickly can cause their stomachs to bloat and make it difficult for them to digest and absorb the nutrients in their food. If your Shih Tzu’s taking less than 2 minutes to finish off his meals then it will be beneficial for you to help him slow down.

How to Slow Down Your Shih Tzu’s Eating

  • Put a tennis ball in their dish – They have to eat around and under it and it will slow down their intake.
  • Get rid of the bowl – Because dogs like to forage getting rid of your dog’s dish and spreading their food out on the floor will not only slow down his eating but help him satisfy his desire to forage.
  • Feed them smaller meals throughout the day – Talk to your vet to make sure you aren’t overfeeding them, but spreading it out more could help them not be as starving when it comes time to dish them their dinner.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise right before or after meals – This will help their digestion slow down a little and make it so they aren’t trying to quickly feed their bodies for all the calories they just burned.
  • Put their kibble in a puzzle toy – This Snuffle Mat is a good choice. This food puzzle is also a fun idea. (Links go to Amazon affiliate).

Sedentary Lifestyle

Dogs who are more sedentary and overweight have a much higher risk of having health problems including excess gas regardless of their diet. Most adult Shih Tzu should weigh between 8-16 lbs. If your Shih Tzu is much heavier than that then it could cause multiple health problems.

Working towards getting them to a healthier weight can reduce the amount of gas they produce as well as keep them alive and healthier for longer.

One way to do this is through more exercise. Shih Tzu should get at least 20-30 minutes of exercise each day. At one point in their history, Shih Tzu were bred to chase and catch small rodents. This means that most Shih Tzus enjoy playing a game of fetch or learning a new trick or skill that will help your Shih Tzu feel more confident as well as mentally and physically fit.

It is perfectly fine for your Shih Tzu to have several exercise sessions a day. Even 10-15 minutes of playtime sprinkled throughout the day can help your Shih Tzu be healthier and stinker less.

Change in Diet

If you have recently changed your dog’s diet and he is now experiencing more gas then it’s possible that the new food may not be something that your Shih Tzu can tolerate, or it may be that you changed the food over too rapidly.

It’s best if you take at least a full week to 9 days to slowly change your dog’s food adding only 10-15% more of the new food while taking away the same amount of the old food each day.

If you have given your Shih Tzu some time to get used to the new food and are still experiencing problems, it’s best to talk to your vet to get help on how to try another food for your Shih Tzu.

It’s also helpful to keep a food diary for your dog that can be used to help keep track of the ingredients in the foods that you have tried so you can notice a pattern and better understand what may be causing problems for your dog.

If your Shih Tzu is eating things that it shouldn’t like poop, sticks, dirt, or rocks. Be sure to read this article so you will know what to do.

When Nothing Else Works

If you’ve tried many things and your Shih Tzu is still farting a lot there could be an underlying cause that you need to address.

You will want to talk to your vet and discuss with then these other issues that could be the cause.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • pancreatic disease
  • gastrointestinal disease
  • worms or parasites

Your vet will let you know the next steps to help your dog feel better, and will probably prescribe some medications. You will want to make sure to observe if there are any other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or lack of appetite. Having all the information and clues will help your vet get a better understanding of what needs to be done.

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Overall, gas is normal for all dogs including your Shih Tzu. However, if it occurs more frequently than usual, you should start looking for the root of the problem. Once you take the steps to fight the farts you will be cuddling up with your Shih Tzu again in no time.

Speaking of cuddles…. how cuddly is your Shih Tzu? Find out how you compare to what other owners say by reading this article now!

If you found this article helpful check out these other articles all about your Shih Tzu!

Are Shih Tzus Picky Eaters (Owners Surveyed!)

Shih Tzu Teething Timeline and Teeth Care Guide

While we strive to give the most accurate and helpful information about your pet’s health that we can, this article is meant to be informational only and not medical advice. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified veterinary health care provider regardless of what you have read on this site or elsewhere.

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