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Shih Tzu Keeps Throwing Up: ALL You Need to Know

If your Shih Tzu is throwing up you’ll want to know why, whether or not it’s serious, and what to do to help.

This article will help you understand the different kinds of vomit, what it might mean, the causes, and exactly what to do next. Let’s get into it.

why is my shih tzu throwing up

Is Your Shih Tzu Vomiting or Regurgitating? Important Difference

Before we look into why your Shih Tzu might be vomiting, we need to know the difference between vomiting and regurgitation.

➡️ Vomiting:

Vomiting is when your Shih Tzu’s belly muscles tighten, and then food comes up. This food might be partly digested, and it might have yellow, green, or brown bile in it.

➡️ Regurgitating:

Regurgitating is different. Your Shih Tzu will just open its mouth, and food or other stuff comes out. This food is usually not digested, and it might be slimy. Regurgitating doesn’t usually mean your Shih Tzu is sick, and it can happen at any time.

Knowing if your Shih Tzu is vomiting or regurgitating can help you figure out what’s wrong. It’s an important first step in taking care of your furry friend.

6 Reasons Why Your Shih Tzu is Throwing Up

Let’s figure out why your Shih Tzu is throwing up. Here are six common reasons that might explain what’s going on with your little companion. In most cases, it will be number one.

1. Eating Things They Shouldn’t

Shih Tzus are curious little dogs. Sometimes, they eat things they shouldn’t, like garbage, small toys, or foods that are bad for them.

This can make their tummy upset and cause vomiting. This is by far the most common reason for a Shih Tzu vomiting, and in most cases won’t cause too much harm! (depending on what they’ve eaten!)

If you think your Shih Tzu has eaten something bad, watch them closely. If you’re really worried, call a vet right away.

2. Too Hot Outside

Shih Tzus can get heatstroke easily, especially in really hot weather. This can make them throw up. They might also pant excessively, look very tired, or have red gums.

If your Shih Tzu seems too hot, get them to a cool place and cool them down gently with water. Call a vet if you need to.

If you notice your Shih Tzu becoming weak, unable to stand, nauseas, or disorientated then it’s important to call your vet. This could indicate heatstroke (which in most cases is considered an emergency) when it comes to dogs.

Keeping Shih Tzus Cool In Summer (Top Tips)

3. Eating Too Quickly

Sometimes, Shih Tzus eat their food too fast.

This can make them swallow air and then throw up. In bad cases, it can lead to something serious called bloat.

If your Shih Tzu wants to vomit shortly after eating then this could be the cause. If you know that your Shih Tzu is a fast eater then watch them closely after they’ve eaten.

In the mean time it’s best to order a food bowl that makes it hard for them to reach the food, like this.

4. A Sensitive Stomach

Some Shih Tzus have sensitive stomachs.

They might throw up if they eat something that doesn’t agree with them or if something changes in their life.

A vet can help you figure out what’s going on and what to do about it.

5. Car Sickness

Your Shih Tzu might throw up in the car.

This is called motion sickness. It can be fixed by not feeding them before a ride or getting them used to the car slowly.

You might want to ask your vet about medicine if it keeps happening.

6. Other Health Problems

Throwing up might mean something more serious is wrong, like a problem with their kidneys, liver, or other parts of the body.

If your Shih Tzu keeps throwing up or seems really sick, it’s important to call a vet.

By understanding these reasons, you can help keep your Shih Tzu happy and healthy. Always talk to your vet if you’re unsure or worried.

Resource Info Vets Now: Dogs Vomiting

My Shih Tzu Puppy Is Vomiting

When your Shih Tzu puppy is vomiting, it’s a big deal. It’s serious in adult dogs too, but even more so in puppies who are growing fast.

The advice is always to contact a veterinarian if your puppy is throwing up.

Throwing up can quickly dry out a dog, and that’s even more dangerous in young, growing pups.

But it’s not just the vomiting that’s worrying. Other tummy troubles often come with it. A vomiting puppy might stop eating or drinking, and that’s really dangerous for them. Puppies need a lot of nutrients to grow, so even a short time without food can lead to big problems.

An adult Shih Tzu throwing up once might not be a huge problem.

We always say to call your vet right away if your Shih Tzu puppy is showing signs of an upset stomach.

How Often Is Your Shih Tzu Throwing Up?

If your Shih Tzu is feeling a bit off or has an upset tummy, they shouldn’t be throwing up for several days in a row.

If your Shih Tzu keeps throwing up for more than one day, it could mean there’s a bigger problem. Or maybe what you’re doing to help them isn’t working.

The simple answer? If your Shih Tzu keeps throwing up for more than 1 day, it’s a good idea to call your vet.

Experts like the folks at your local animal hospital will tell you the same thing: If your dog throws up a lot in one day or keeps throwing up for more than a day, you should talk to your vet right away. It’s better to be safe and get help from the experts!

What Color Is The Vomit

Vomit isn’t all the same, and what it looks like can tell you different things about your Shih Tzu.

Type of VomitPossible Meaning
Clear or FoamyStomach is empty, possibly from not eating enough or eating too long ago.
Yellow or GreenIndicates bile; stomach may have been empty for too long.
Undigested FoodEating too quickly or a condition preventing proper digestion.
Red or Dark BrownCould indicate blood; requires immediate veterinary attention.

This table can help you quickly identify what might be going on with your Shih Tzu based on the type of vomit you see. Remember, it’s always best to consult with a vet if you’re concerned!

5 Safe Ways To Help Your Vomiting Shih Tzu At Home

If your Shih Tzu has thrown up just once or twice, there are some things you can try at home to help their tummy feel better. These steps might even fix the problem for good!

But remember, if your Shih Tzu throws up more than once, it’s time to call your vet instead of trying these ideas.

➡️ Fasting

Sometimes not eating for a bit can help a dog’s stomach. A 12-hour fast might let their stomach rest and get rid of anything bad. But only try this with grown-up dogs that don’t have other health problems. If they keep throwing up, call your vet.

Once again, this is not suitable for puppies (under 1) or seniors (over 8) or those Shih Tzus on medication or with health issues.

Fasting usually helps significantly and is what most veterinarians will recommend first.

➡️ Bland Diets

If your Shih Tzu can fast, then do that first, but if they cannot, then the bland food diet is what to do first. For those that fast, this should be the next step.

Bland food diet means not feeding their kibble but instead feeding 3 small portions of blain boiled chicken or turkey with plain boiled rice.

This ensures your Shih Tzu keeps receiving nutrients but with food that is easy to digest and highly likely NOT to give them further problems.

Bland food diets are a temporary solutions, once your Shih Tzu starts getting better then its important ease them back into their regular formula little by little.

➡️ Promoting Rest

Shih Tzus might be small, but they can be pretty lively. When they have a tummy ache, it’s important for them to take it easy. Make sure they don’t run around too much until they feel better.

Skip the daily exercise if your Shih Tzu is used to running around in the park like crazy. If they can handle staying on the leash for a casual walk, then go ahead and do that for 1-2 days.

➡️ Hydration

Hydration is everything. And when your Shih Tzu is throwing up, they’ll be gradually making themselves more dehydrated each time.

Encourage your Shih Tzu to keep drinking (especially if they’re refusing their food). Place more water bowls and add water to their food.

If your Shih Tzu is ill and also refuses to drink, owners should call the vet right away.

➡️ Starting Probiotics

Once your Shih Tzu’s tummy feels better, probiotics might help keep it that way. They’re good for their gut.

You can get probiotics from most pet stores, but if you’re unsure please talk to your vet about this.

Remember, these tips are for grown-up Shih Tzus that threw up just once or twice. If your Shih Tzu throws up more, is a puppy, a senior, on medication, or has existing health issues then it’s advised to contact your vet right away.

Reintroducing food to a sick pet Grace Vets

When To See a Vet

If your Shih Tzu starts vomiting, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. Here’s when you should think about moving from home care to calling the vet.

  1. More Than Once in 24 Hours: Shih Tzus, like other dogs, might vomit once in a while. But if it happens more than once in a day, it’s a sign to pick up the phone and call the vet. Your furry friend could need medical help.
  2. Other GI Problems: If vomiting comes along with other tummy issues, don’t wait. Shih Tzus can be sensitive, and it could be something that needs a vet’s attention.
  3. Better Safe Than Sorry: With a Shih Tzu’s small size, health problems can escalate quickly. If something feels off, or you’re worried at all, it’s always best to call the vet. They know your dog’s health best and can guide you on what to do next.

Remember, your Shih Tzu relies on you to take care of them. So if the vomiting doesn’t stop, or other problems start showing up, don’t hesitate to get professional help. It’s all about keeping our little companions happy and healthy!

Thanks for reading!


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.