Best Dog Food For Your Shih Tzu

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Best Overall
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Appalachian Valley Premium Dry Dog Food (418037), 14-Pound
Nulo Small Breed Grain Free Dry Dog Food With Bc30 Probiotic (Salmon And Red Lentils Recipe, 11B Bag)
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Small Breed, 12-Pound Bag
Rachael Ray Nutrish Large Breed Premium Natural Dry Dog Food, Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe, 40 Pounds
Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Lil' Bites Little Lamb Recipe Small Breed Dog Food, 7 oz. Bag
Score
96
95
92
90
88
MSRP
$30.99
$36.99
$42.99
$36.12
$19.99
Type
Dry
Dry (Kibble)
Dry (Kibble)
Dry
Dry (Kibble)
Ingredients
Bison, Roasted Venison, Sweet Potato, Egg, Pea Protein
Deboned Salmon, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lamb Meal, Red Lentils
Turkey, Chicken, Peas, Dried Green Potatoes
Chicken, Turkey, Soybean, Peas, Whole Ground Corn
Lamb, organs, bone, organic fruits and vegetables
Size
13.6 kg
5 kg
5.5 kg
18 kg
7 oz
Made in
USA
USA
USA
USA
USA
Best Overall
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Appalachian Valley Premium Dry Dog Food (418037), 14-Pound
Score
96
MSRP
$30.99
Type
Dry
Ingredients
Bison, Roasted Venison, Sweet Potato, Egg, Pea Protein
Size
13.6 kg
Made in
USA
Nulo Small Breed Grain Free Dry Dog Food With Bc30 Probiotic (Salmon And Red Lentils Recipe, 11B Bag)
Score
95
MSRP
$36.99
Type
Dry (Kibble)
Ingredients
Deboned Salmon, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lamb Meal, Red Lentils
Size
5 kg
Made in
USA
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Small Breed, 12-Pound Bag
Score
92
MSRP
$42.99
Type
Dry (Kibble)
Ingredients
Turkey, Chicken, Peas, Dried Green Potatoes
Size
5.5 kg
Made in
USA
Rachael Ray Nutrish Large Breed Premium Natural Dry Dog Food, Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe, 40 Pounds
Score
90
MSRP
$36.12
Type
Dry
Ingredients
Chicken, Turkey, Soybean, Peas, Whole Ground Corn
Size
18 kg
Made in
USA
Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Lil' Bites Little Lamb Recipe Small Breed Dog Food, 7 oz. Bag
Score
88
MSRP
$19.99
Type
Dry (Kibble)
Ingredients
Lamb, organs, bone, organic fruits and vegetables
Size
7 oz
Made in
USA

Your Shih Tzu is the love of your life.

You only want the best for your pet, but when it comes to food choices the options are bewildering.

With so many providers aggressively marketing their products as the ultimate food choice, how do you know which is best?

This article is designed to provide you with the answers that you and your Shih Tzu deserve.

We’ll discover the best dog food for small dogs like Shih Tzus.

We’ll also provide you with plenty of essential Shih Tzu nutrition know how with our Shih Tzu puppy food FAQ.

Best Food For Shih Tzu Reviews

Taste of The Wild Grain Free High Protein Dry Dog Food

Benefits

Manufactured by the Diamond Food Company, Taste of the Wild provides your pet with a great source of probiotics, proteins and minerals and is grain free.

This food is easy for your Shih Tzu to digest, being free of wheat, corn and filters.

The main ingredients are bison and venison, both fantastic sources of lean protein. 

In addition, they provide a taste that your dog will love.

You also get sweet potato, which is the ideal source of complex carbs for dogs, with the added benefit of beta carotene.

Peas and eggs are also great sources of protein that are very easy for your dog to digest.

Drawbacks

If you dog has liver or kidney problems, the protein content may be too high.

In addition, there is no canola oil in this product, which is another source of healthy fat.

Extra Features

Taste of the Wild is a great source of fiber in addition to protein and complex carbs. 

It includes chicory root which provides inulin as well as fiber to promote intestinal health and keep your dog regular.

Salmon oil provides an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids for your dog. 

This helps to ensure that your Shih Tzu’s coat will remain full and beautiful.

Buying Advice

Taste of the Wild ticks all the boxes when it comes to nutritional quality for your Shih Tzu. It is high in protein, healthy fats and  complex carbs, is easy for your pet to digest and, so we’ve heard, tastes great!

Technical specifications

  • Type: Dry
  • Ingredients: Bison, Roasted Venison, Sweet Potato, Egg, Pea Protein
  • Size: 13.6 kg
  • Made in: USA

Nulo Small Breed Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Benefits

Nulo Small Breed Grain Free Dry Dog Food provides your Shih Tzu with very small, kibble sized pieces of food that are very easy to digest.

They are also the ideal size and consistency to promote healthy chewing to improve your dog’s teeth.

84 percent of the rich protein in this food comes from real meat like salmon, turkey and lamb.

Drawbacks

Nulo Small Breed dog food is not as strong on complex carbohydrates as Taste of the Wild.

As a result, it will not provide your dog with as much energy as our best rated food for Shih Tzu.

Extra Features

There is no corn, wheat, gluten, soy or artificial preservatives in this product. None of the ingredients have come from China.

Nulo Small Breed dog food are also supplemented with miscanthus grass and L-Carnitine to regulate metabolism and manage weight.

Buying Advice

Nulo Small Breed Grain Free Dog Food is a very good protein source for your Shih Tzu that is very easy to chew and digest. 

It’s not as high in carbs as Taste of the Wild, but is an excellent source of protein and fats.

Technical specifications

  • Type: Dry (Kibble)
  • Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lamb Meal, Red Lentils
  • Size: 5 kg
  • Made in: USA

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Benefits

Wellness Core is a 100 percent grain free source of lean protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.

It contains no wheat, soy, corn or meat by-products.

It’s packed with high quality protein from turkey and chicken.

Drawbacks

The lack of sweeteners in this product may cause your dog to not like the taste.

Some dogs also have problems with flaxseed.

Extra Features

This product contains peas and dried ground potatoes to provide a source of complex carbs for energy, iron and potassium.

Vitamin E is included as a natural preservative.

Ground flaxseed provides a great source of fiber to keep your Shih Tzu regular.

Wellness Core contains both animal and plant fats.

The animal fats will help your dog to dissolve fat soluble vitamins so that they can get more energy from carbs.

Buying Advice

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dog Food is a rich source of meat derived fibers. The emphasis on chicken meat is also a plus for this product.

Technical specifications

  • Type: Dry (Kibble)
  • Ingredients: Turkey, Chicken, Peas, Dried Green Potatoes
  • Size: 5.5 kg
  • Made in: USA

Rachael Ray Nutrish

Benefits

Rachel Ray Nutrish dog food is high in both protein and carbs. 

With 326 calories per cup, it is lower in caloric density than many competing products. 

The top five ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, dried peas, soybean meal and whole ground corn.

Drawbacks

Two of the top five ingredients in this product are controversial.

They are soybean meal which is a cheaper, but lower quality, source of protein than meats and whole ground corn.

Corn is hard for your Shih Tzu to digest and is high on the glycemic index.

Extra Features

The label on this product is very transparent, so you know precisely what you are getting.

There are no artificial preservatives, flavors or colorings.

Buying Advice

Rachel Ray Nutrish Dry Dog Food is a good source of protein. However, the carb count may be too high for some people who are concerned about the weight of their Shih Tzu.

It also contains soybean meal and whole ground corn, which may be problematic for some.

Technical specifications

  • Type: Dry
  • Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Soybean, Peas, Whole Ground Corn
  • Size: 18 kg
  • Made in: USA

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw

Benefits

The first ingredient in this product is lamb, which is a rich source of lean protein.

You also get ground bone, which is an outstanding source of calcium.

It also includes olive oil, which is a good source of oleic acid for your dog.

Drawbacks

With 58 percent of macronutrients being made up of fat, compared to just 35 percent from protein, this product may be worrisome for people concerned about the weight of their dog.

On the other hand, a high fat content is important to maintain the health of your Shih Tzu’s hair.

Extra Features

Stella and Chewy’s Freeze Dried dog food is an excellent source of natural antioxidants and carotenoids.

Pumpkin seeds are also included to provide a rich source of fiber.

This product also has a low carb content in comparison to competitor brands.

Buying Advice

Stella and Chewy’s Freeze Dried dog food is great value for money.

It is the perfect bite size for small dogs such as Shih Tzus.

Dogs love it and it’s good for them and your pocket book!

Technical specifications

  • Type: Dry (Kibble)
  • Ingredients: Lamb, organs, bone, organic fruits and vegetables
  • Size: 7 oz
  • Made in: USA

Shih Tzu Dog Food FAQ

Shih tzu dog in home asking for something to eat

What Shih Tzu Can Eat?

You can give your dog treats.

But you need to be selective in doing so in order to avoid an overweight dog.

It may also cause your Shih Tzu to become a picky eater, not wanting to consume main meals but only wanting to eat treats.

Keep treats to no more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily food intake. 

There are certain types of treats that you should avoid.

Do not feed rawhide to your Shih Tzu. 

It will swell in the stomach to more than four times its original size. 

This can cause mild to severe gastric blockages, possibly requiring surgery.

Pigs ears should also be avoided. 

They are very high in fat and have been pumped full of chemicals that can cause stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea.

Stay away from hoof treats also. These have been highly processed and are full of preservatives and antibiotics.

Hoof treats can cause tooth chipping, and perforation or blockage of the intestines.

The sorts of treats that you should feed are a combination of hard, crunchy and soft.

Crunchy treats will help to keep the dog’s teeth sharp.

Many small dogs prefer soft treats.

Be sure to read the label to make sure that they contain high quality ingredients.

Is chicken good for Shih Tzu?

Yes. chicken is a good source of lean protein for your Shih Tzu. 

However, you need to take out all the bones before feeding the chicken to your Shih Tzu. 

Bones may splinter and cause damage to the intestine of your dog. 

Your Shih Tzu may also choke on chicken bones.

You also need to ensure that the chicken meat is well cooked. 

Raw chicken poses serious bacterial problems for your Shih Tzu. 

Finally, do not give your Shih Tzu chicken that has been cooked with onions, garlic or  lot of salt, each of which may cause problems for your small dog.

What human food can Shih Tzus eat?

is human food good for shih tzu

The majority of healthy foods that are good for humans are also good for your Shih Tzu.

Some smart choices are:

  • Peanut butter - provides both protein and fiber. Add a table- spoon of all natural peanut butter to your dog’s dry food.
  • Yogurt - this is an excellent source of protein, but avoid those high in sugar and preservatives.
  • Lean protein - Eggs, chicken, turkey and beef are all good choices.
  • Apples - your Shih Tzu will love apple treats, just be sure to cut them up into small segments
  • Salmon - great source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as lean protein.
  • Sweet Potatoes - this is a great source of complex carbs, as well as beta-carotene and Vitamin A. It is also good for your dog’s digestive tract.

There are certain human foods that you should never fed to your Shih Tzu.

These are:

  • Chocolate - it contains theobromine, which is a toxic agent. Even one bite of chocolate may cause your beloved dog to vomit!
  • Grapes - they have been linked to kidney disease in dogs!
  • Avocados - they contain persin, which can cause vomiting and nausea.
  • Onions and Garlic - these have been shown to cause gastro-intestinl problems and red blood cell damage in small dogs.
  • Alcohol - it should be a no-brainer but the consequences are so serious that it needs to be spelled out - Alcohol could kill you Shih Tzu!
  • Coffee - this can cause heart palpitations, restlessness and internal bleeding.

How often should I feed my Shih Tzu dog?

Deciding how often you need to feed your Shih Tzu dog is not quite as simple as that.

But it is not even complicated because there are certain things you need to take into consideration to find out what is right for your pet.

So far as the large dogs are concerned, they usually meet all their nutritional needs in one large meal per day. But that is not the case with a small dog like Shih Tzu.

This particular kind of dog has a very tiny stomach. As such, they can’t eat all their food in one sitting.

The best thing to do if you have Shih Tzu is to distribute the daily food into three equal parts and feed them. You may portion the foods and give them breakfast, lunch, snack, and supper. 

However, there is a hurdle if you don’t stay at home during lunch hours.

For that, you need to have someone visit your home at that moment and feed the pup. When your Shih Tzu is a pup, he needs to be fed at least 4 times a day. That’s because your pup is at the growing stage and has a small stomach.

When you give your Shih Tzu four meals a day evenly distributed, it will help prevent hyperglycemia from happening. 

Some experts do believe that puppies should be free-fed. It means to put the best Shih Tzu food into a bowl and let them eat as they please.

What time should I feed my Shih Tzu?

A feeding schedule is a must when it comes to feeding dogs and Shih Tzu is no different. 

However, the timings you need to fix for feeding your Shih Tzu is not that hard. It can be done easily, and you don’t have to possess the extra skill. Hence, there is no need to stress out.

A definite time to feed your dog is necessary because it creates a routine for your pet. You know that all dogs love to have a routine regardless of their shape and size. 

One of the best ways to ensure that your pet will follow the routine is to implement the same timings on you as well.

That means, setting up your routine with your pet will make sure that both of you adhere to the timings of eating, and doing exercise. When you bring the pup at your home for the first time, you may limit it to the same schedule of feeding them.

The first step is to make a feeding schedule that suits the timings your dog might eat. Try to make a specific time according to your needs. 

Once you have chosen your specific times, you need to work out on how to get accustomed to your pup with the routine. It may be hard in the initial stages, but it would be fine later.

How often should a Shih Tzu be walked?

Shih Tzu is an adorable dog. They have short legs, and hence they exercise to keep their legs fine. 

It is likely that without frequent walks, your Shih Tzu tends to become frustrated and obese. You need to understand that every Shih Tzu is different, and you need to treat them in their own way.

But, if you want to keep your pooch healthy and fine, start by considering an exercise schedule that will suit both you and your pet dog. In general, a walk for about 30 minutes each day will be enough for an average-sized dog-like Shih Tzu.

However, the 30 minutes of exercise doesn’t need to be done in one session. And, there is no need to make your dog walk constantly for 30 minutes. 

During the course of walking, your pet will take little breaks for sniffing or toileting around. This is pretty normal and counts within the 30 minutes exercise.

It is effective to break your dog’s daily schedule into two short walks. You can take your pet out in the morning and evening for 15 minutes each. This break will allow your pet enough time for toileting.

Because their legs are too short, your pet might become quickly tired. 

If you notice that your Shih Tzu has started to pant heavily, lie on the ground, drag the walking pace or refuse to walk, that means the walk has been a long one and quite tiresome.

Why do Shih Tzu eat their poop?

When the first time you catch your Shih Tzu eating poop, you may find it ridiculously weird. You may think that your pup is having some underlying medical issue. 

But there is nothing to worry about. This behavior is common in some dogs, and there are many theories surrounding it.

Another theory is maybe your pup is lacking some important mineral, fatty acid, or vitamin. As aforementioned, it is because of some habitual, compulsive or behavioral problems. 

And, that doesn’t mean that your Shih Tzu is mentally challenged either. A relatively smaller chance might include a medical issue that has been overlooked.

However, it is easier to treat medical issues than behavioral issues. The first thing is to observe if your pet has any kind of gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss. 

If so, then you need to reach out to veterinarians. Perhaps, some blood work along with some fecal samples might be helpful.

The main medical issues on the lookout will be intestinal parasites, pancreatic disorders, and diseases that impact the absorption of nutrients. 

You can also add papaya, pineapple juice, or use prescribed pills from your vet that will make your Shih Tzu’s poop smell and taste bad. You can train your pup how to leave their poop unattended.

What fruits can Shih Tzu eat?

watermellon and shihtzu

There are several fruits that are completely safe for your pet dog to eat. But before feeding them, ensure that they are properly prepared to suit your Shih Tzu’s stomach. 

The first step should be to wash and peel off the fruits. Remove all kinds of pits and seeds in them.

If your pup is overweight, be gentle with the quantity of fruit that you need to feed. Don’t forget that fruits are rich in sugar and may harm your pet’s health. 

Also, remember that you should give these fruits at moderate levels.

Blueberries serve as a hand-feed treat for your Shih Tzu. They are rich in antioxidants and protect the cells from damage due to free radicals. 

Pieces of watermelon and banana slices are good choices. Pears and apples in small amounts make a healthy and tasty treat for your pup. These are good sources of fiber and vitamins.

Some other healthy fruits treat your pet might enjoy including a couple of orange slices or a few pieces of grapefruit. 

Oranges are rich in thiamin and potassium and a little bit of magnesium and calcium. 

Whereas, grapefruit has lots of vitamin C in them. All these best Shih Tzu food are important for your pup’s health.

Why do Shih Tzu lick so much?

There are several reasons why your Shih Tzu tends to lick all the time, and sometimes in excess. 

This habit of licking is associated much with the behavioral issue than a medical one. However, it is better to look out for some possible medical conditions at first glance.

This way, you can treat them by eliminating them from the most obvious reasons. If you are sure about some underlying medical conditions, it should be checked immediately by a vet. 

Here are some of the medical conditions that encourage excessive licking.

  • Infection – Parasitic, fungal, or bacterial infections may influence licking
  • Allergies – The paws or skin may itch
  • Gastroenteritis – Stomach upsets may cause your pup to lick the objects and surfaces
  • Pain – Arthritis or pain from a recent injury may cause to lick the area that was affected

Here are some behavioral conditions that result in licking.

  • Long term habit
  • Boredom
  • Self-calming
  • Affection
  • Separation anxiety
  • Something that your pup likes
  • Anxiety and stress in your home

Your pet will lick more under the following behavioral conditions.

  • To himself
  • To the owner, other pets, or other people
  • To the furniture, bedding, toys, or other surfaces

Why do Shih Tzu lick so much?

There are several reasons why your Shih Tzu tends to lick all the time, and sometimes in excess. 

This habit of licking is associated much with the behavioral issue than a medical one. However, it is better to look out for some possible medical conditions at first glance.

This way, you can treat them by eliminating them from the most obvious reasons. If you are sure about some underlying medical conditions, it should be checked immediately by a vet. 

Here are some of the medical conditions that encourage excessive licking.

  • Infection – Parasitic, fungal, or bacterial infections may influence licking
  • Allergies – The paws or skin may itch
  • Gastroenteritis – Stomach upsets may cause your pup to lick the objects and surfaces
  • Pain – Arthritis or pain from a recent injury may cause to lick the area that was affected

Here are some behavioral conditions that result in licking.

  • Long term habit
  • Boredom
  • Self-calming
  • Affection
  • Separation anxiety
  • Something that your pup likes
  • Anxiety and stress in your home

Your pet will lick more under the following behavioral conditions.

  • To himself
  • To the owner, other pets, or other people
  • To the furniture, bedding, toys, or other surfaces

How do I tell my dog I love him?

playing activities

Here are some ways to tell your Shih Tzu that you love him.

1. Rub his ears – Try to give your puppy a gentle rub behind his ears instead of stroking him in the head. Rubbing on the ears will release endorphins, and that will bring him pleasure and relief from pain.

2. Look into his eyes – This is the best way to shower love to your pet. Speak to him in a soft way, pat him gently, and stare right into his eyes. Try to make gestures with your eyebrows. This way your puppy will feel your affection.

3. Snuggle – Your pet dog may not like hugging, but they do love cuddling. Close contact with your Shih Tzu will make them feel secure and safe.

4. Have fun together – Spend some quality time in the way that your dog enjoys most. Take him to walks, practice him, or teach him new things.

Conclusion

The best dog food for Shih Tzu on the current market is Taste of the Wild which provides a great blend of nutritional quality,  chewability, digestibility and taste. 

Our Runner Up best dog food for small dogs is Nulo Small Breed Grain Free Dog Food, which is especially high in salmon, providing a great source of both Omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein.

The best value dog food for small breeds such as your Shih Tzu is Stella and Chewy’s Freeze Dried dog food, delivering a combination of sharp price point, excellent nutritional quality and great taste!

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