20 Easy Homemade Dog Food for Healthy Shih Tzu Diet

Natural Homemade Dog Food Recipes for Shih Tzu Diet

Shih Tzus are adorable little dogs with big personalities. As a companion breed, they love being around their owners and thrive on attention. A healthy diet is key to keeping your Shih Tzu happy and energetic. Homemade meals allow you to control the quality of ingredients and nutritional value. This article outlines 10 of the best natural homemade recipes for a Shih Tzu diet.

Important Nutrients for Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are small dogs, usually weighing between 9-16 pounds. Their nutritional needs differ from larger breeds. Key nutrients to focus on include:

  • Protein – High-quality protein from animal sources provides essential amino acids for building and maintaining muscle mass. Look for recipes with chicken, turkey, beef, eggs or fish.
  • Fats – Healthy fats support skin, coat, immune and brain health. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in fish, plant oils and other ingredients are ideal.
  • Carbohydrates – Whole grain carbohydrates provide energy. Look for whole oats, barley, brown rice or quinoa.
  • Calcium – For strong bones and teeth. Calcium-rich foods like yogurt and cheese are great options.
  • Vitamins & Minerals – Fruits and vegetables supply key micronutrients. Berries, leafy greens, sweet potatoes and more are excellent choices. Antioxidants also support immune health.

When choosing ingredients, try to pick natural whole foods over processed items whenever possible. Now let’s look at 10 great homemade recipes.

1. Chicken and Rice

Chicken and rice is a tried-and-true homemade meal for dogs. Lean chicken breast provides high-quality protein while rice offers carbohydrate energy. Simply cook some rice and dice or shred some cooked chicken breast. Warm them together or mix with a bit of chicken broth for extra flavor and moisture.
This basic pairing offers a balanced macronutrient profile. Sprinkle in some diced carrots or peas for added vitamins and minerals. For picky eaters, try browning the chicken for extra aroma and flavor. Leftover chicken works great too.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Chicken breast Calories: 562
Brown rice Protein: 53g
Chicken broth or water Carbs: 71g
Fat: 8g

2. Beef and Sweet Potato

Replace the chicken in the previous recipe with lean ground beef for another nutritious homemade option. Beef provides iron and vitamin B12 in addition to protein.
Substitute white rice with fiber-rich sweet potato. Simply peel, chop and boil or roast some sweet potato chunks to pair with the cooked ground beef.
You can also add some chopped spinach or kale for antioxidants and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium. The beef and sweet potato combo is sure to satisfy even picky Shih Tzu eaters.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Lean ground beef Calories: 552
Sweet potato Protein: 46g
Spinach (optional) Carbs: 57g
Fat: 14g


3. Turkey and Quinoa

For a lower fat option, try ground turkey instead of beef. Turkey supplies lean protein with less saturated fat than red meats.
Cook the ground turkey as crumbles or patties and serve over cooked quinoa. Quinoa is a gluten-free whole grain that provides fiber, protein, iron, magnesium and other key nutrients.
Mix in some steamed broccoli florets or chopped kale for vitamin C, K and folate. The turkey and quinoa bowl makes a complete meal without excess calories.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Ground turkey Calories: 530
Quinoa Protein: 54g
Broccoli or kale Fat: 12g
Carbs: 46g


4. Salmon and Sweet Potatoes

Salmon is a great fish to incorporate into your Shih Tzu’s diet. It provides omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which support skin/coat health and brain function. Salmon is also rich in protein, B vitamins and selenium.
Pair cooked salmon flakes with diced sweet potato, a wholesome carbohydrate source. Steam or roast the sweet potato and mix with the salmon. For extra nutrients and texture, add some steamed green beans and cooked quinoa.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Salmon Calories: 632
Sweet potato Protein: 47g
Green beans Fat: 18g
Quinoa Carbs: 63g

5. Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry

For an easy to make meal, try this chicken veggie stir fry. Dice and cook chicken breast strips in a skillet with olive oil. Then add diced peppers, shredded carrots, broccoli and snap peas. Continue cooking until the vegetables soften.
Serve the chicken veggie mix over brown rice. The assortment of vegetables provides a range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Lean protein from the chicken gives a boost of amino acids.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Chicken breast Calories: 515
Assorted vegetables (peppers, carrots, broccoli, snap peas, etc) Protein: 44g
Brown rice Fat: 8g
Carbs: 63g

6. Egg Turkey Spinach Scramble

Eggs are a terrific source of protein and biotin for healthy skin and coat. Scramble an egg with cooked ground turkey, spinach and rice for a nutritious homemade meal.
Spinach offers folate, vitamin K, vitamin A and antioxidants. Use white or brown rice according to your Shih Tzu’s preference. Adding an egg boosts protein, vitamins and healthy fats.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Egg Calories: 543
Ground turkey Protein: 47g
Spinach Fat: 21g
Rice Carbs: 43g

7. Beef Barley Vegetable Stew

Warm up your Shih Tzu with this hearty homemade beef barley stew. Lean beef and barley provide a wholesome base. Boost nutrition with diced carrots, peas and green beans.
Simmer everything in low-sodium beef broth for a savory flavor. The stew offers balanced protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Top your Shih Tzu’s bowl with a dollop of yogurt or mashed potatoes.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Lean beef Calories: 482
Pearl barley Protein: 29g
Carrots, peas, green beans Fat: 14g
Low-sodium beef broth Carbs: 57g

8. Turkey Sweet Potato Hash

Give your Shih Tzu something savory yet satisfying with this turkey sweet potato hash. Cook and crumble ground turkey with olive oil. Add diced sweet potato, kale and seasonings.
Continue cooking until the potato and kale soften. The hash offers complete protein from the turkey, complex carbs from the sweet potato, and nutrients like vitamin A and C from the kale. Customize your hash with your Shih Tzu’s favorite herbs or spices.

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Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Ground turkey Calories: 502
Sweet potato Protein: 40g
Kale Fat: 16g
Seasonings Carbs: 46g

9. Pumpkin Oatmeal

Whip up a special breakfast treat for your Shih Tzu with this pumpkin oatmeal. Combine cooked oatmeal with canned pure pumpkin, Greek yogurt, peanut butter and cinnamon.
The pumpkin provides vitamin A, fiber and antioxidants. Peanut butter adds healthy fats, vitamin E and protein. Greek yogurt contributes calcium, probiotics and protein too. This pumpkin oatmeal mix makes the perfect energizing start to your Shih Tzu’s day.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Oatmeal Calories: 496
Canned pumpkin Protein: 29g
Greek yogurt Fat: 21g
Peanut butter Carbs: 51g

10. Blueberry Chicken Frozen Yogurt

Treat your pup to this nutritious frozen fruity dessert. Blend Greek yogurt, frozen blueberries and cooked chicken breast together. Then freeze the mixture in ice cube trays or popsicle molds.
The yogurt provides probiotics, calcium and protein. Blueberries offer antioxidants and vitamin C. Chicken contributes high-quality protein, niacin and vitamin B6. This refreshing frozen dessert makes a tasty summer reward for your Shih Tzu.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Greek yogurt Calories: 214
Frozen blueberries Protein: 28g
Cooked chicken Carbs: 12g
Fat: 3g

Feeding Tips

When preparing homemade meals for your Shih Tzu, keep these tips in mind:

  • Consult your vet about proper nutrition and portion sizes. Your Shih Tzu’s calorie needs depend on age, size and activity level.
  • Introduce new foods slowly over several days. Watch for signs of food intolerance.
  • Chop ingredients into bite-size pieces for safety and easy chewing.
  • Refrigerate or freeze homemade meals in individual portions for convenience.
  • Make sure your Shih Tzu has access to fresh water at all times.
  • Avoid excessive treats and people food between meals.
  • Include a variety of recipes and proteins to give balanced nutrition.
  • Supplement with a multivitamin if needed to meet micronutrient needs.
  • With the right homemade diet, your Shih Tzu will thrive for many happy, healthy years as your beloved companion.

Let these recipes inspire you to create nutritious homemade meals that your pup is sure to enjoy.

Balancing Homemade Dog Food

When making homemade meals, it’s important to balance all the key nutrients your Shih Tzu needs. Follow these tips for properly balanced nutrition:

  • Include a carb source – Whole grains like brown rice, barley or quinoa should make up about 30-60% of the meal. They provide energy from complex carbs.
  • Add lean protein – Aim for 25-40% high-quality protein like chicken, turkey, eggs or fish. This nourishes muscles and tissues.
  • Mix in produce – Veggies and fruits should comprise 10-25% of the meal. They supply vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
  • Don’t forget healthy fats – Essential fatty acids from salmon, plant oils or nut butters keep the skin and coat healthy. They also support brain function.
  • Consider supplements – If your recipes can’t cover all nutritional needs, ask your vet about supplementing with a multivitamin or oils.

Follow those percentage guidelines when developing recipes to ensure a good nutritional balance. Monitor your Shih Tzu’s weight and energy level too. Adjust portions if needed.

Incorporating Human Foods

Many human foods are fine for Shih Tzus to eat in moderation. Here are some people foods you can mix into homemade meals:

  • Shredded cheese – Calcium for bones and teeth. Stick to low-fat varieties.
  • Plain yogurt – Probiotics aid digestion. Choose unsweetened Greek yogurt.
  • Cooked egg – Biotin for skin and coat. Prepare scrambled, hard boiled or over easy.
  • Peanut butter – Healthy fats and protein. Look for all-natural peanut butter without added sugar or salt.
  • Oatmeal – Soluble fiber to help regulate blood sugar. Use plain oats, not flavored packets.
  • Sweet potato – Vitamin A, potassium and fiber. Mash or dice into recipes.
  • Green beans – Vitamin K, folate and fiber. Steam or blanch before adding.
  • Blueberries – Antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber. Use fresh or thawed frozen berries.
  • Pumpkin – Vitamin A, antioxidants and fiber. Make sure pumpkin is plain, not pumpkin pie mix.

Check with your vet before introducing any new foods. Monitor for signs of intolerance like diarrhea or vomiting.

Storing and Serving Homemade Dog Food for Shih Tzu

Proper storage and serving of homemade meals prevents spoilage and contamination. Follow these guidelines:

  • Refrigerate freshly made meals within 2 hours of cooking. Store in airtight containers for 3-5 days.
  • Freeze meal portions in sealable bags or containers for 1-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • When reheating, cook to 165??F or steaming hot. Avoid reheating more than once.
  • Cool meals to room temperature before serving to prevent burns. Aim for less than 40??F.
  • Discard any uneaten food after 15-20 minutes instead of leaving out all day.
  • Wash food bowls with hot soapy water after each meal. Avoid cross contamination of human and pet dishes.

Keep cooking and serving utensils cleaned separately from human ones. Don’t let your Shih Tzu lick mixing spoons.
Following proper food safety guidelines reduces the risk of your Shih Tzu getting sick from spoiled or contaminated food.

Balanced Diet Schedule Ideas

Structuring your Shih Tzu’s meal schedule helps set feeding routines. Try these diet plan ideas:

  • Two meals a day – Breakfast and dinner work for most dogs. Space meals 8-12 hours apart.
  • Three small meals – Breakfast, lunch and dinner for puppies or seniors who need smaller portions.
  • Morning/evening – One meal early in the day, one later. Allows time for food digestion in between.
  • Late dinner – Feed dinner closer to bedtime so your Shih Tzu can sleep without hunger pangs.
  • Snack time – Mini meal between breakfast and dinner provides an energy boost.
  • Free access – Keep a dispenser filled with dry food for free choice grazing. Monitor overeating.

Discuss an appropriate schedule with your vet based on your Shih Tzu’s needs. Consistency helps avoid begging, bloating and other mealtime issues.

Engaging Multiple Senses

Dogs experience food through smell, taste, sight and texture. Enhance homemade meals by engaging all your Shih Tzu’s senses:

  • Aroma – Use cooking methods like saute meats or simmering stews to release appetizing smells.
  • Flavor – Include tasty broths, herbs and spices to add interest without salt.
  • Appearance – Add color variety with different vegetables. Dice ingredients into fun shapes.
  • Texture – Mix up the textures – some soft, some crunchy. Add cooked rice, steamed veggies, yogurt, etc.
  • Temperature – Serve meals at room temperature or slightly warm to bring out aromas.

Making homemade meals an engaging sensory experience encourages picky Shih Tzus to eat. Use their enhanced smell and taste to get them excited about nutritious recipes.

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Following these tips and recipes, you can create delicious yet healthy homemade meals for your precious Shih Tzu. A balanced homemade diet provides the tailored nutrition your pup needs to stay happy and thrive.
Here is a 2000 word Part 2 article continuing the 10 Best Natural Homemade Shih Tzu Diet Recipes:

11. Beef Oatmeal

Start your Shih Tzu’s day off right with this nutritious beef oatmeal. Cook steel cut or rolled oats in beef broth instead of water for an extra meaty flavor. Then stir in lean ground beef cooked with spinach and sweet potato. The oats offer whole grain carbs, while the beef and egg provide protein. Sweet potato gives vitamin A and fiber. Spinach contributes antioxidants including vitamin K and lutein. This savory oatmeal will warm your Shih Tzu up on cold mornings.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Oatmeal Calories: 521
Ground beef Protein: 29g
Spinach Fat: 14g
Sweet potato Carbs: 63g
Beef broth

12. Fish and Rice Medley

The fish in this recipe provides omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA which are great for skin and coat health. Use wild caught salmon, cod or sardines. Mash the fish into flaked chunks and mix with brown rice, peas and carrots. You can make it as soft or chunky as your Shih Tzu prefers. The peas and carrots add vitamins A, C, K plus fiber. Cook the rice in low-sodium fish or chicken broth for extra flavor. This medley makes a tasty gluten-free meal.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Cooked fish Calories: 414
Brown rice Protein: 29g
Peas and carrots Fat: 8g
Fish broth Carbs: 53g

13. Chicken Apple Spinach Salad

This recipe combines fruits and vegetables for a nutritious chicken salad. Use shredded chicken breast and dice apples, spinach, sweet potatoes and green beans. Toss everything together in a bowl.

You can dress it up with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. The apples and spinach provide fiber plus vitamins A, C and K. Sweet potato gives an extra boost of vitamin A. Your Shih Tzu will love this colorful salad.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Chicken breast Calories: 384
Apples Protein: 40g
Spinach Fat: 6g
Sweet potatoes Carbs: 42g
Green beans

14. Make Homemade Pumpkin Banana Dog Biscuits

Homemade treats like these pumpkin banana biscuits make great supplements to your Shih Tzu’s regular meals. Puree pumpkin, banana, peanut butter and an egg together. Then stir in oats and whole wheat flour.

Drop spoonful’s onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350??F for about 25 minutes until firm. Let cool before serving. These biscuits provide fiber, potassium and vitamin A.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Biscuit:
Pumpkin Calories: 95
Banana Protein: 3g
Peanut butter Fat: 4g
Oats Carbs: 13g
Whole wheat flour

15. Make Homemade Chicken Liver Meatballs

This recipe uses chicken liver for an iron and vitamin A boost. Chicken livers offer more nutrients than chicken breast. Blend the livers with breadcrumbs, egg, parsley and chicken broth until smooth.

Form into balls and bake at 350F for 15 minutes. You can serve these over rice or with roasted vegetables. The fresh parsley adds vitamin K and aromatics.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Chicken livers Calories: 342
Breadcrumbs Protein: 29g
Egg Fat: 14g
Parsley Carbs: 17g
Chicken broth

16. Beef Bone Broth

Bone broth makes an excellent base for homemade meals or nutritious snack on its own. Simmer beef marrow bones with vegetables like carrots, celery and onions for at least 12-24 hours.

Skim the fat and strain the broth after cooking. The long simmer time pulls nutrients like collagen, amino acids and minerals from the bones into the broth. Add boiled chicken or rice for a complete meal.

Main Ingredients Nutrition Info Per Cup:
Beef marrow bones Calories: 45
Vegetables (carrots, celery, onions) Protein: 5g
Chicken or rice (optional) Fat: 0g
Carbs: 0g

17. Dog Food Recipe – Bacon Sweet Potato Bake

Here’s a special homemade treat Shih Tzus love – bacon sweet potato bake. Crisp up some bacon strips and chop into bits. Spread cubed sweet potato on a pan and sprinkle with the bacon.

Bake at 400F for 20 minutes until tender. The natural sugars in the sweet potato caramelize in the oven for added flavor. This tasty dish makes a fun weekend breakfast.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Bacon Calories: 253
Sweet potato Protein: 8g
Fat: 14g
Carbs: 24g

18. Chicken Cranberry Paw Print Treats

For a fun DIY treat, make these chicken cranberry paw print bites. Blend together ground chicken, whole wheat flour, egg, dried cranberries and cheddar cheese.

Roll out the dough and cut into paw print shapes with a cookie cutter. Bake at 350??F for 12-15 minutes until set. Let cool before serving. These treats offer protein, antioxidants and vitamin K.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Treat:
Ground chicken Calories: 47
Whole wheat flour Protein: 4g
Egg Fat: 2g
Dried cranberries Carbs: 3g
Cheddar cheese

19. Pork Peanut Butter Stir Fry

Your Shih Tzu will love the peanut butter flavor in this pork peanut stir fry. Dice pork tenderloin and cook in an oiled skillet. Add snap peas, shredded carrots and broccoli florets.

Pour in a sauce of natural peanut butter, chicken broth, rice vinegar, sesame oil and chili garlic sauce. Serve over quinoa or rice noodles. The peanut butter provides extra plant-based protein.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Serving
Pork tenderloin Calories: 492
Vegetables (snap peas, carrots, broccoli) Protein: 37g
Peanut butter Fat: 17g
Quinoa or rice noodles Carbs: 45g

20. Blueberry Chicken Pupcakes

Here’s a special treat for your Shih Tzu – blueberry chicken pupcakes! Blend together cooked chicken, whole wheat flour, egg, vanilla and blueberries. Spoon into greased muffin tins to bake as mini cupcakes.

Frost with a blend of cream cheese and yogurt once cool. These pupcakes offer antioxidants from the blueberries plus lean protein from the chicken.

Main Ingredients: Nutrition Info Per Cupcake:
Cooked chicken Calories: 172
Whole wheat flour Protein: 15g
Egg Fat: 8g
Blueberries Carbs: 11g
Cream cheese and yogurt frosting

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about homemade diets for Shih Tzus:

How much should I feed my Shih Tzu per day?

  • Most adult Shih Tzus need 1/2 to 1 cup of food split into two meals per day. Check with your vet for recommendations based on your dog???s size, age and activity level.

Should I give my Shih Tzu nutritional supplements?

Talk to your vet, but a basic multivitamin is usually recommended. Omega-3 and glucosamine supplements may also help joint, skin and coat health.

Can I mix dry kibble with homemade food?

– Yes, you can mix kibble and homemade meals or rotate between them. Just transition slowly combining foods to avoid GI upset.

How do I transition my Shih Tzu to a homemade diet?

– Mix a little homemade food with their current meals, slowly increasing the ratio over 2 weeks. This gives their digestive system time to adapt.

Is homemade food safe from bacteria?

– Use proper food handling and storage techniques to prevent contamination and spoilage of homemade meals. Refrigerate promptly and use within 3-5 days.

What if my Shih Tzu refuses to eat homemade meals? 

– Try warming the food or adding mix-ins like broths, cheese or peanut butter to increase palatability. Or start with a sprinkle of homemade food on their regular kibble.

Should I give my Shih Tzu vitamin supplements if they won’t eat fruits/veggies?

Yes. A daily multivitamin can help fill gaps in vitamin intake if your Shih Tzu doesn’t like produce in their homemade meals. Check with your vet first.

Final Tips

Homemade meals let you control the quality of ingredients in your Shih Tzu’s diet. Follow these final tips when feeding homemade food:

  • Consult your vet on diet, portions and supplements
  • Introduce new foods gradually
  •  Stick to nutritious whole food ingredients
  • Balance carbohydrates, protein, produce and healthy fats
  • Follow proper storage and handling guidelines
  • Make recipes appealing with mix-ins if needed
  • Monitor your Shih Tzu’s weight, energy, coat and stools
  • Adjust recipes or portions as needed for your individual dog

With the right homemade diet, your Shih Tzu will continue to thrive and bring you years of companionship and joy.

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