Shih Tzu Feeding Guide. All you need to know about food for your Shih Tzu!

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Shih Tzu is probably one of the most lovable dogs on the planet. It belongs to the small bread of dogs that have a fierce and fun personality. Their looks are what sets them apart from other breeds. Whether your pet is a puppy or an adult one, they have great energy levels. 

You can enjoy embracing them on your lap or take them to daily exercise and walks. However, they do have unpredictable eating behavior. As compared to other small breeds, Shih Tzu eats food in large amounts. 

It is very important to feed your pet with good quality meals. A good meal will keep your dog in a good shape and help them to live a long and healthy life. This article will help you to know more about Shih Tzu Feeding.

What Should I Feed My Shih Tzu?

The perfect food for your puppy Shih Tzu will include a raw diet. That’s because it is helpful to build lean muscle mass, control the weight, and improve their coat and skin. To keep Shih Tzu health conditions better, healthy foods will be needed.

Shih Tzu’s diet comprises of a balanced and healthy diet specially customized to keep away obesity. The diet also provides necessary minerals and vitamins that are important for it’s a longhaired, lustrous, double coat. A variety of foods is important for grooming. This bread is susceptible to dental problems. 

The raw diet dog food for your Shih Tzu should contain significant quantities of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and omega 3 & 6 oils. The foods rich in these ingredients will make your dog develop stronger teeth and bones. Their diet should contain about 50% high-quality protein. 

These include meats from muscle and organs, oily fish, raw eggs and certain dairy products like yogurt. You can add cooked brown rice, crumbled brown bread, and mashed sweet potato because they are sources of carbohydrates. You can give fruits and vegetables to your pet dog.

These foods may include beans, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, bananas, pears, grapes, avocados, grapes, and so on. However, it is better to consult a veterinarian to know the exact proportions of food for your pet dog or food for Shih Tzu with allergies.

How much food is sufficient for them?

The right portion of food for your pet dog depends on the activity level, metabolism, age, and body structure. The recommended daily amount of rich-quality dry foods is between half to one cup. There are differences in calories in several foods that you need to feed your puppy for fulfilling the daily requirements.

In general, a young puppy should be provided with an ounce of food per single pound of its body weight. Whereas, for an adult dog, it should be a half-ounce of food for one pound of body weight. Shih Tzu in its growing years will eat more as compared to and adult Shih Tzu. 

The reason for this is pretty obvious and natural. Puppies tend to have higher activity levels and hence they will need more calories. It also helps them to grow stronger. An important aspect of determining the quantity of food is to weigh your puppy. A normal and healthy Shih Tzu weighs around ten and sixteen pounds.

If you don’t have the means to weigh your dog at home, you can take him to a vet. For an average Shih Tzu, 35 calories per lb. bodyweight is sufficient. Whereas, for senior dogs, about 30 calories per lb. of body weight will be fine. 

How often a Shih Tzu should be fed?

The number of snacks and meals that you give to Shih Tzu will depend upon the age. 

Puppies under 3 months – During this period free-feed them. This is the method where fresh food is made available to them almost all the time whenever they want to eat. The puppies are prone to hypoglycemia, which is a steep fall in blood sugar levels. That’s why they are fed at all times. 

However, keep in mind not to fill the bowl completely with food all the time. Let the bowl be empty. If it is filled up often, the stale food will gather at the bottom. Clean the bowl when needed, and add some fresh food in it. You need to make your puppy well-aware of the place where food and the water dishes are kept. 

Puppies between 3 and 12 months – Once the free-feed process is complete, your puppy needs to be feed 3 meals a day. If you are not present during the mid-day meal, you can leave it with your puppy. 

For adults – Some adult Shih Tzu prefers 2 meals a day. This works fine when the treats and snacks are taken care of during the daytime. But it is recommended to provide them with 3 meals a day. Remember that toy breeds like this puppy shouldn’t be fed only once a day. This is reserved for much bigger breeds.

What is Shih Tzu not allowed to eat?

Shih Tzu has a diverse range of health issues. However, some of them can be reduced by consuming the right kind of food. Here are the foods that are not allowed for Shih Tzu because they are toxic to them.

Onions – They have the capability to damage the red blood corpuscles (RBC). Watch out for foods such as pasta sauce, meatloaf, and pizza that may contain traces of onions. 

Fruit seeds and pits – The pits and seeds of certain fruits that include pears, apples and apricots may cause a range of serious health problems. These include problems in breathing and fluids that accumulate in the pet’s heart and abdomen. Some of these seeds may get deadly within a day. 

Macadamia nuts – This kind of nuts can have devastating reactions on your pet. The results of ingesting them would prove fatal. It can cause paralysis and tremors.

Chocolate – Many people are well-aware of the fact that chocolate isn’t good for a dog’s health. However, a small amount of chocolate can result in seizures, coma, and even death to small dogs like Shih Tzu.

Grapes and raisins – Only a small amount of these foods are sufficient to cause severe kidney damage.

Salt – Although, a small amount is necessary for certain foods, the large quantity may cause serious kidney issues.

Tea, soda, and coffee – Caffeine can result in seizures, coma, and ultimate death.

Xylitol – It is a kind of artificial sweetener and found in baked foods, candy, gums, and other foods. 

Can Shih Tzu eat rice?

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Yes, Shih Tzu can eat rice. But it is important to seek advice from a veterinarian for a reliable opinion before introducing the food to your dog. You vet will be able to advise the exact amount and how frequently you need to feed rice to your pet dog.

Depending on your vet’s recommendations, you may not want to give your pet rice each day. If the regular dog food contains rice as one of the main ingredients, a small amount would be sufficient. If your dog loves to eat much, rice will be an ideal choice for it.

A few Shih Tzu dogs may experience food allergies and need a more regulated diet. In that case, rice may be helpful. You can serve rice to your pet in cooked white or brown rice form. Some of the commercial dog food contains rice as an ingredient. 

Rice is used as a substitute ingredient to add carbohydrates in dog food. There are some dogs that don’t have tolerance for grains and need a diet without them. The foods included are rice, bread, corn, wheat, and soy. If this is the case with your dog, you may need to discontinue giving rice to your pet. 

Can Shih Tzu eat boiled eggs?

The simple answer to this question is, yes. Eggs can be a supplement or a nutritious snack to your pet’s diet. Eggs are loaded with healthy minerals, vitamins, and proteins. These are all beneficial to your pup’s health. However, you must consult your vet regarding the diet of your pet Shih Tzu for avoiding any undesirable situations. 

There are some precautions that you need to take before giving them eggs to eat. If your pet has been diagnosed with acute pancreatitis or diabetes, it is better not to introduce them to eggs. Otherwise, a boiled or scrambled egg yolk or full egg appears fine for your family dog.

But, one thing you need to keep in mind that you are only giving boiled or scrambled eggs to your puppy. It shouldn’t contain any traces of pepper, onions, salt, or other spices that people usually put into scrambled eggs. Always remember that Shih Tzu is not allowed to eat onions, salt, and pepper. 

Consuming them will give rise to complicated situations. Eggs are rich in protein, amino acids, minerals, fatty acids, and vitamins. All these important nutrients make your pet dog healthy and booming with energy. 

Is milk good for Shih Tzu?

When it comes to giving milk to your pup, it depends. It is often seen that a little bit of milk can’t harm your pet. But there may be some exceptions if your Shih Tzu has an underlying health issue. As such, you should consult your veterinarian if it will be safe to give milk to your puppy.

There are plenty of milk replacements available on the market that can feed your starving Shih Tzu. But, not all of them are created equal and hence you should select the best possible option to make sure that your pup meets the nutritional values. Make sure you don’t give your pet cow milk

As you know, milk of every species is tailored specifically to meet the requirements of their young ones. Cow milk will only hold good for calves. It is seen that cow milk isn’t good for growing healthy puppies.

Cow milk doesn’t meet the need for amino acids for puppies. Moreover, cow milk can cause digestive upset.

Can Shih Tzu eat bread?

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Loaves of homemade bread in wooden crates at an outdoor farmer’s market.

Yes, you can give your Shih Tzu bread to eat. But before that, you need to understand some things about the health problems that your pet can face while having bread. The first and foremost thing is to give bread to your pup in moderate amounts. Bread is rich in carbohydrates and used by the body to get energy.

While this can help to fuel your pup, it can result in weight gain. Shih Tzu can gain lots of weight pretty fast as compared to other dog breeds.

Although you can give your dog a bite or two whenever possible, it is better not to continue this habit. It may not make him sick immediately, but it can impact his health in the long run.

White bread isn’t harmful to your dog. However, some bread consists of added ingredients or flavors that could be toxic and harm your Shih Tzu. These include slices of bread with garlic & onion, raisins, and artificial sweeteners. Watch out for these ingredients in the bread you want to give your pup.

Can Shih Tzu eat banana?

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Cut bananas in the plate

Yes, you can give your Shih Tzu bananas to eat. Bananas are not harmful to dogs, but you should give them in moderation. A few diced-up slices of banana should be enough for your pet. Bananas are mushy, delicious treat that many dogs enjoy from time to time. You can feed them with bananas in many ways.

You can dice up the bananas and give your small Shih Tzu sizable bites. You can feed a few as a special treat to your pup. Or, you can use them as a reward if you want a new option for training treats. You can even bake them for a homemade treat recipe

Another great recipe would be to dice them up and put them in the refrigerator. Later on, you can give these cold tiny bites to your dog. You can even mash a bit of banana into their dry foods.

Bananas are rich in Vitamin C & B6, manganese, folate, potassium, and biotin. Bananas are great for your dog’s immune system. 

Can Shih Tzu eat human food?

You might wonder what food you need to give to your pet, and what not to give. There are several human foods that may cause upset to their stomach. This is why many people are scared when it is about feeding their dogs. However, not all foods can cause harm. 

Some foods like chocolate shouldn’t be given to them no matter how badly they want, there are a few good food items that you can give your Shih Tzu. Some of the human foods that your pet dog can consume may include chicken, salmon, peanut butter, yogurt, green beans, and eggs. 

You can give them apples, carrot, cheese, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, pumpkin, broccoli, as well. It is recommended to visit your regular vet for a proper diet chart for your pet so that he can remain healthy. Make sure to give them foods in moderate amounts. Some foods need to be boiled or cooked. Don’t serve them as raw.

How long can Shih Tzu’s hold their bladder?

It will need some time and patience for potty training your Shih Tzu. Puppies learn easily how to separate their living areas from potty areas. When you take your pet dog outside, the more chances you will get to teach your pup housebreaking lessons. 

It will help your puppy to get accustomed to the outside atmosphere. Hence, it is important to take them out as frequently as you can for relieving their bladder. Here are the timings that are perfect to take your dog out.

  • Waking up from a dog bed
  • 20 minutes after having a meal
  • 20 to 30 minutes before sleeping at night
  • After and before every walk, thus allowing him to the toilet or potty
  • For 2-month old pup every 2 hours, and for 3-month old pup every 3 hours. Make sure to extend this time period so as to allow the bladder muscles to grow strong.
  • Anytime when your puppy gives a sign to go to the bathroom, and you can spot it.

How long can a Shih Tzu go without eating?

One of the interesting features of dogs is that you don’t have to wait longer when it is about food. They can go without food as long as their health supports them. They don’t suffer critical health problems, unlike cats. That’s because cats can’t go long without eating foods.

When it comes to Shih Tzu, 4 days is the maximum number of days that it can go without eating. However, this will create some serious problems because the blood sugar levels will fall down drastically. If your pup doesn’t eat for 2 days straight, there might be some issues going in their stomach.

You should take your Shih Tzu to the vet immediately. Refusal to eat doesn’t continue for more than 2 days.

Conclusion

Make sure to use the right kind of serving bowl along with other feeding accessories. Give your pet only fresh foods and keep an eye on the ingredients. If your Shih Tzu isn’t eating for more than 2 days, you need to visit a vet immediately.

Feel free to read my latest review of Royal Canin Shih Tzu dog food and best harness for small dogs.

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