Vomiting of a Shih Tzu is a fairly common situation that happens for multiple reasons and the most common ones include a change in diet, eating food from the garbage, eating too fast, and mild gastroenteritis. In all of these cases, a 24-hour fast is usually suggested and done until the vomiting subsides.

However, sometimes the causes of vomiting in Shih Tzus are more serious and can be caused by certain diseases or stomach obstructions. Eating certain objects can clog your Shih Tzu’s digestive system and eating a new type of food can result in allergies.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything about vomiting in Shih Tzus including its causes, types, and treatments.


The types of vomiting in Shih Tzus are classified according to its duration and according to its characteristics. It can be acute if it lasts for four days and chronic when it happens for a period of time and on a regular basis.

Depending on the characteristics of the vomit, we can find the following types in Shih Tzus:

  • Bilious Vomit: This is characterized by the release of bile fluid from the gallbladder.
  • Food Vomit: When your Shih Tzu vomits their digested food.
  • Mucous Vomit: Happens when your Shih Tzu vomits mucus.
  • Hematic Vomit: When your Shih Tzu vomits anything with blood.

It is also common to find vomits in Shih Tzus with grass, brownish fluid, or with the smell of feces. In the sections below, we will show you the causes of vomiting in Shih Tzus and the different factors that play a role in its development from one type to another.



There are different causes of vomiting in Shih Tzus, all of them produces inflammation and irritation in the stomach or intestine that hinders your Shih Tzu’s normal digestive functions. It is important for the owner to recognize them so they can act quickly.

Stomach Flu

Gastroenteritis affects your Shih Tzu in the same way as it affects humans. If your Shih Tzu’s vomiting happens constantly and is accompanied by diarrhea, they usually experience abdominal pain. This can be treated at home and your Shih Tzu can feel better in just a few days but it depends on the cause of the vomiting. Gastroenteritis is normally caused by the ingestion of bad food or by a viral or bacterial infection in which the help of a veterinarian is needed.

Ingestion of a Foreign Object

The ingestion of any object can cause obstructions in the stomach or intestine of your Shih Tzu. Vomiting is the body’s normal response in order to expel it and it will continue to do so until the foreign object is completely out of the body. This is the reason why it’s important for you to pay attention to your Shih Tzu to make sure that they don’t eat any object that might be dangerous to their health. If you see them ingest something, take them to the veterinarian immediately.

Intestinal Parasites

The presence of intestinal parasites such as tapeworms or roundworms can cause gastrointestinal irregularity which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal swelling, and loss of appetite. It’s important then, for the veterinarian to administer the appropriate dewormer in order to get rid of these parasites.

Viral Infections

Serious viral illnesses such as parvovirus or distemper can cause vomiting. Puppies are more susceptible to these types of infections and both are very contagious and potentially deadly if discovered too late. If you suspect that your Shih Tzu is experiencing any of these viral infections, you must immediately take them to the vet.

Toxic Food or Food Allergies

Some plants or foods can be toxic and can cause indigestion to your Shih Tzu, as well as eating spoiled food from the garbage. Similarly, a food allergy will cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. It is also common to observe inflammation in the mouth and hair loss. There are lots of food that can cause allergies to your Shih Tzu so it’s important to identify the cause so you can remove it from your Shih Tzu’s diet immediately.


Older Shih Tzus are more prone to having tumors. In cases like these, there would be vomiting and other symptoms that indicate the presence of a disease. You can feel your Shih Tzu’s whole body to know if there are any tumors. However, some tumors are only detectable after some lab exams so it would be best to consult your veterinarian about this matter.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

This chronic disease causes inflammation of the intestines, it results in vomiting after meals. With a special diet and controlled exercise, your Shih Tzu will be able to beat this.

Changes in Diet

A sudden change in diet can cause intestinal problems and eventually, vomiting. It is important that you introduce a change in food gradually, whether your Shih Tzu is on a homemade or commercial diet. So, if you have just recently changed your Shih Tzu’s diet and have noticed that they are vomiting or has diarrhea, the most probable cause is the change in the usual food. In these cases, you just have to be patient in helping your Shih Tzu adapt to their new diet. If possible, mix the new one first with the old one and then gradually increasing the new one until your Shih Tzu is able to fully enjoy the new type of food that you’re giving them.

Eating Very Fast

Sometimes, there are Shih Tzus that get very excited when they’re eating and eat too quickly. Because of this, they experience vomiting accompanied by a white foamy substance. You shouldn’t be too alarmed if this is your Shih Tzu’s problem but you should try to help them improve their behavior. If your Shih Tzu eats too quickly, ration their food into two bowls and don’t give them the second one until the first one is finished. However, you need to make sure first that they don’t vomit after the first bowl. There are also slow feeders that you can buy in the market to help your Shih Tzu eat slowly.

Antiparasitic vaccines or products

The side effects of vaccines and antiparasitic products include vomiting and diarrhea. Puppies, especially, tend to experience vomiting after receiving their first doses. It is a totally normal situation that does not last more than 24-48 hours. If after this specified time the vomiting still persists, you have to make it a point to visit the veterinarian.



In the previous section, we have already discussed some of the most common causes of vomiting in Shih Tzus. However, we want to mention those that are most common in Shih Tzu puppies if ever you have one.

  • Canine Parvovirus: This is one of the most deadly diseases that exist in dogs nowadays and there is still no concrete cure. When your Shih Tzu puppy contracts parvovirus, the treatment is based on combating dehydration and strengthening the immune system to help your Shih Tzu defeat the virus.
  • Change in Diet: It is common to suddenly change your Shih Tzu puppy’s diet as they grow up or change homes. Their stomach is more sensitive than that of a Shih Tzu adult, which is why if the change in food is not done gradually, it will cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Vaccination and Deworming: Both of these can cause vomiting and/or diarrhea in Shih Tzu puppies.


A yellow vomit in Shih Tzus is a type of bile vomit since the yellowish liquid that comes out is none other than the bile itself. This happens when your Shih Tzu has already vomited several times and their stomach is already empty, causing the only thing available to be expelled which is the bile fluid.

Why is my Shih Tzu vomiting bile?

Although bile vomits are usually yellow in color, it is also common to see them in a greenish or brownish tone. In any case, the most common causes of these types of vomiting in Shih Tzus are usually the presence of infectious diseases, the development of an allergy, food intolerance, the consumption of objects or toxic substances, or being in a situation that causes great stress. When this happens, it is important to visit the vet to combat dehydration and find the underlying cause, since, as we have mentioned before, yellow vomit is the result of your Shih Tzu already vomiting too much.



When you observe that your Shih Tzu vomits immediately after eating, you should know that you’re not dealing with a case of vomiting, but regurgitation. They are different things and have different causes. Therefore, vomiting indicates the presence of a gastrointestinal problem, which happens when your Shih Tzu expels the contents of their stomach after experiencing nausea and retching. Regurgitation, on the other hand, expels your Shih Tzu’s ingested food without it entering the stomach, so there is no feeling of nausea or retching, nor is it accompanied by bile fluid.

The main cause of regurgitation in Shih Tzus is eating too fast. When this happens, it is normal to see your Shih Tzu vomit undigested food, such as whole kibbles or while pieces of meat and vegetables if it’s a homemade meal. Another common reason for this is food allergy. When the body notices that an allergen has entered the system, it expels it almost immediately.


Hematic vomit is one of the greatest concerns among Shih Tzu owners, especially when all of the vomit is made up of blood. Sometimes, a Shih Tzu vomits blood from something as simple as a wound of the gum or tongue. However, more serious problems can also be behind these types of vomiting.

One of the most common causes that we find is the inflammation of the digestive system, which results in your Shih Tzu vomiting blood and experiencing diarrhea. Another common cause is the deadly parvovirus which is very common in Shih Tzu puppies.

The ingestion of foreign bodies can also cause bloody vomits in Shih Tzus because they can potentially damage different parts of the digestive tract. Other possible causes include poisoning, kidney failure, gastric ulcers, and tumors. All of these problems require veterinary treatment, so it’s important to visit the specialist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.



The vomiting of white and foamy substance in Shih Tzus usually indicates the vomiting of the bile, because it happens when the stomach of your Shih Tzu becomes empty. The main cause of this is inflammation of the gastric mucus or gastritis which is mainly due to a viral infection.

On the other hand, kidney or liver failure can also be behind this since they have symptoms of whitish or yellowish vomiting. These problems happen mainly in older Shih Tzus, so it is advisable to carry out routine examinations at your trusted veterinary clinic in order to detect and treat them earlier.

Another cause of vomits that are white and foamy is a cough in dogs. It is a very contagious disease that must be treated as soon as possible. Other possible causes include heart disease, poisoning, tracheal collapse, etc.


After reviewing the different diseases and health problems that cause vomiting in Shih Tzus, it is not surprising to know that many of them are accompanied by diarrhea. Therefore, if your Shih Tzu has both vomiting and diarrhea, it is important to take them to the vet immediately so that examinations can be done and the possible causes can be determined. In most cases, the cause is not too serious and disappears with a change in diet. However, in others, it is a more serious problem that requires medication or surgery.



The treatment or vomiting in Shih Tzus will depend on the underlying causes since there is no single type of treatment that can be used in treating all kinds o them. For instance, a viral disease is not treated the same way as indigestion, so it’s necessary to consult the vet in order to determine the problem and the best treatment. Depending on the condition, the vet may prescribe antibiotics, pain relievers, and stomach protectors. In the same way, it may also be necessary for your Shih Tzu to undergo surgery.


When vomiting in Shih Tzus occur because of food indigestion, you must restore the intestinal flora by not giving any food to your Shih Tzu for 24 hours and then give them a soft diet afterward. Of course, throughout the whole process, you must make sure that your Shih Tzu stays dehydrated so give them as much water as they can drink.

What should you give your Shih Tzu when they vomit?

When your Shih Tzu vomits, you should consider giving them easily digestible foods such as boiled chicken, boiled potato, rice, boiled carrot, boiled pumpkin, and boiled turkey. Since it’s possible that your Shih Tzu doesn’t want to eat after vomiting, give them food in small quantities several times a day. You need to make sure though that you don’t give them too much for them to become so full and may experience vomiting again.

However, if the vomiting is caused by serious diseases where the problem can’t be treated easily, the vomiting will not stop. For this reason, it is important to see the vet, especially if the vomiting continues after a 24-hour fast and the introduction of a soft diet.


Vomiting can be caused by different things and in most cases, you won’t know exactly which of them. If your Shih Tzu vomits once or twice and eats normally afterward, it must have been harmless and temporary. That is why it’s important to know your Shih Tzu and their habits, you must know how to differentiate dangerous from non-dangerous vomiting. 

As a general rule, if the vomiting happens often and is accompanied by other symptoms such as apathy, loss of appetite, fever, or diarrhea, you should be concerned. The best thing to do is to stop giving your Shih Tzu food for 24 hours and keep them hydrated just like what we mentioned in the previous section. However, if after doing this the vomiting still continues, you should visit the vet immediately.

If your Shih Tzu is elderly or is a puppy, you should take more care of them since they are prone to dehydration and any type of disease can be fatal to them.

If you see blood in your Shih Tzus vomit or stool, see the vet immediately.