Uh oh…have you been chewing your paws? Chances are HIGHLY likely that you have an allergy! That's right! Shih Tzus and others are notorious for indicating they have allergies; they do so by chewing or licking on the front paws.
If your pet is licking or chewing on his/her front paws, you will need to start determining just what your pet is allergic to.
You can begin by checking the ingredients listed on the FOOD your pet is eating. (Info on food can also be found on the Healthy Eating page) If you can determine what food product your pet is allergic to, why, you've practically won the battle! (Trust me on this…Britanny was allergic to chicken and all other poultry and I am allergic to beef and corn).
Some of the most common ingredients that a Shih Tzu may be allergic to: corn, wheat, and beef. Check your pet's food for these ingredients. Be sure to also check your pup's TREATS! Sometimes, we don't pay attention to the ingredients found in dog treats and this causes a lot of the problems, too!
Another thing that can often cause a problem is if you use lawn fertilizers. Try to use organic fertilizers and garden goodies; dogs absorb a lot of chemicals through the pads on their feet. If you do fertilize your lawn, wait until the lawn completely dries before letting your pet on the grass.
What do you do if my pet HAS an allergic reaction?
If you find our pet has an allergic reaction to something (starts itching like mad, gets red skin, skin gets bumpy, etc.), the best thing to do is to give him/her 1/2 a tablet of a children's Benadryl. The new formulation of Benadryl for children is a melting-type tab so the tablets are easy to break into two pieces and they are also flavoured so pups are more apt to happily much on one!
If your pup has an allergic reaction, giving 1/2 of a Benadryl should quickly provide some relief. If it doesn't, you can always give the other half. Most of the time, if you do take your pet to the vet, you will end up getting more Benadryl (if not, the pet gets a shot of Benadryl)!