- What Type of Food is Ideal for Shih Tzus?
- Shih Tzu Feeding Chart
- The Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu Puppies
- The Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus with Allergies
- The Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus with Skin Allergies
- The Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus with Sensitive Stomachs
- The Best Dog Food for Picky Shih Tzus
- Deciding Which is Best Dog Food for Your Shih Tzu
If you are a Shih Tzu owner, then you should always want the health of your dog to be a priority. What you feed your Shih Tzu can greatly affect their health, especially if they have allergies or sensitive stomachs, so make sure to keep this in mind when selecting a food for your pet.
What Type of Food is Ideal for Shih Tzus?
Shih Tzus are small dog breed that typically weigh between 10 and 16 pounds. They are generally very lazy dogs that enjoy lounging around and only going for longer walks when they feel like it. Therefore, they do not need the same type of food as a larger, more active dog would. Instead, they need smaller food portions with tiny pieces of kibble that are small enough for them to easily chew and digest.
The type of food you select also varies greatly based on your specific Shih Tzu. Unfortunately, many Shih Tzus are known to have sensitive stomachs or food allergies, so if this is the case for your pet, you will want to take that into account when choosing their diet. Also, many Shih Tzus are picky eaters, which means that they may become bored with one flavor after a while. Therefore, if this is the case, you may want to pick a brand that has a wide selection of flavors to choose from in case your Shih Tzu becomes uninterested in one flavor after a while.
Shih Tzu Feeding Chart
All dogs require different servings of food each day, but that greatly depends on the size and activity level of the dog. Since Shih Tzus are smaller dogs that generally have low energy levels, they do not require a large amount of food each day. Luckily, this means that the dog food that you purchase for your pet will last a while. So, how much should you be feeding your Shih Tzu each day?
Shih Tzu Puppy Feeding Chart
When your Shih Tzu is young and still growing, they have a lot of energy and a lot of room to grow, which means they typically need more food to help them grow big and strong.
2 to 3 months
During this time period, if your Shih Tzu is between 2 and 4 pounds, then you should be feeding them 55 to 100 grams each day. However, if they are between 4 and 8 pounds, then you should give them 110 to 220 grams per day. These amounts can be split up into about four meals per day for your puppy.
3 to 6 months
If your puppy is 2 to 4 pounds, you should feed them 50 to 90 grams per day. However, if they are between 4 and 8 pounds, then 90 to 160 grams per day is ideal.
6 to 8 months
Shih Tzu puppies between 2 and 4 pounds only require 35 to 60 grams per day, but puppies that are between 4 and 8 pounds need 60 to 110 grams each day.
9 months or more
This is when you can start transitioning your Shih Tzu puppy to adult dog food if you have not already. You can look at the adult Shih Tzu feeding chart to see how adult portions should be served.
Adult Shih Tzu Feeding Chart
Once your Shih Tzu is over 9 months old, the amount of food that they should eat in a day greatly depends on their activity level. However, this chart is just a general recommendation. If you notice that your Shih Tzu is overweight or underweight, then you may need to adjust their amount of food above or below the amount listed.
5 to 7 pounds
For Shih Tzus with a low activity level, you should feed them 55 to 60 grams per day. If they have a medium activity level, then 60 to 70 grams per day is ideal. Then, Shih Tzus with a high activity level should be fed 70 to 80 grams each day. These amounts can be split up into two or three meals.
If your Shih Tzu is on a hypoallergenic diet, then their serving sizes should be much lower. Low activity Shih Tzus on this diet should receive 25 to 35 grams per day. Medium activity level dogs should be fed 25 to 45 grams per day. Finally, high activity Shih Tzus need 35 to 60 grams per day while on a hypoallergenic diet.
7 to 11 pounds
Shih Tzus with a low activity level should be fed between 60 and 85 grams per day. Then, dogs with a medium activity level should be fed 70 to 100 grams per day, and Shih Tzus with high activity will get 80 to 110 grams each day.
For Shih Tzus on a hypoallergenic diet, they should receive 35 to 70 grams per day if they have a low activity level, 45 to 90 grams per day if they have a medium activity level, and 60 to 110 grams per day if they have a high activity level.
11 pounds or more
For Shih Tzus in this weight category, they should receive 85 to 95 grams per day if they have a low activity level. If they have a medium activity level, then 100 to 110 grams per day is ideal, and 110 to 120 grams per day is needed for a Shih Tzu with a high energy level.
If your Shih Tzu is on a hypoallergenic diet, feed them 70 to 90 grams per day if they have a low energy level. If they have a medium or high energy level, then you should feed them 90 to 100 grams each day.
The Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu Puppies
When a Shih Tzu is less than a year old, they need different ingredients and nutrients in their food to keep them healthy. Therefore, during their puppy years you will want to make sure that they get a puppy formula that is specifically designed to promote a healthy diet of a young Shih Tzu. Puppies need more protein, fat, and certain minerals to grow big and strong, which is why certain formulas are better than others. Here are some puppy formulas that are great for a growing Shih Tzu.
1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Dry Food
Taste of the Wild is a brand of dog food that creates their recipes to mimic the diet that dogs are supposed to receive in the wild. In each natural formula, real meat is the first ingredient listed, which means that you won’t be serving your Shih Tzu anything that they don’t need. The High Prairie Puppy Formula includes roasted bison and venison, which provides a delicious flavor for your young Shih Tzu.
The pieces of food in this dry dog food are small enough for even the tiniest puppies to consume and digest. Plus, there are no grains included in this formula, so if you suspect that your puppy might have a grain allergy, then this is a good option to try out. All Taste of the Wild products are guaranteed to be high quality for your pet, so this is a good option to ensure that your Shih Tzu puppy grows up to live a happy and healthy life.
2. Fromm Puppy Gold Dry Dog Food
Fromm is a family-owned company that sells high-quality dog food to small pet stores. Their puppy formula includes all the essential ingredients that puppy needs in sizes that are small enough for a Shih Tzu puppy to chew. It has protein, vegetables, and other wholesome ingredients that puppies need to grow up and stay healthy. This specific food can also be beneficial to pregnant dogs or dogs that are nursing.
The primary protein in this formula is chicken, but there are other meats included, such as duck, lamb, and fish. While this food will likely be tasty and healthy for your Shih Tzu puppy, if you know right away that they have a sensitive stomach or lots of allergies, then it might not be the ideal choice for them. It includes grains, potatoes, and other items that some Shih Tzus could be allergic to. If your Shih Tzu puppy is fine with all these ingredients though, then there is no reason not to include them in your dog’s diet. It is just important to note the ingredients in case any allergic reactions develop.
The Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus with Allergies
Some dogs have common food allergies, such as grains, potatoes, or even chicken. These are ingredients that are often found in many dog food brands, so they might not seem like an issue at first. However, if your Shih Tzu starts to develop allergic reactions, then it could be due to the food you’re giving them, so you may need to reconsider what to feed your pet.
If you notice your Shih Tzu itching or scratching excessively, especially near the ears or feet, then this is likely a symptom of an allergy. Some Shih Tzus could also experience vomiting or diarrhea as a result of a food allergy. The best thing you can do to help your pet is to switch their food to a more limited ingredient formula to avoid foods that could be causing these reactions. Here are some of the best dog food options for Shih Tzus with allergies.
3. Zignature Lamb Formula Small Bites Dry Dog Food
Zignature dog food is a limited ingredient formula, which means it only contains ingredients that are essential to your dog’s diet, and most of their formulas consist of only one protein each. Their food does not contain any common food allergies for dogs, so by giving this brand to your Shih Tzu, you should no longer have to worry about your dog having allergic reactions to their food. Even if they are allergic to something in the Zignature formula though, there is only one protein included, so it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out what they’re allergic to in order to remove it from your Shih Tzu’s diet completely.
This specific Zignature formula was selected because lamb is easy meat for Shih Tzus to digest, and they rarely have allergies to it. Plus, it is a flavor that most Shih Tzus are interested in. The normal Zignature Lamb formula is fine, but the Small Bites formula is the best possible option for your Shih Tzu because the pieces are guaranteed to be small enough for your pet to chew. The Small Bites option is more difficult to find, but it will benefit your pet the most.
4. Merrick Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food (Real Turkey & Chickpeas Recipe)
This option is another limited ingredient recipe with real ingredients that are necessary for a Shih Tzu’s balanced diet. All the ingredients listed on Merrick products are safe and healthy items that can be recognized simply by reading the label. This brand has been creating natural pet food for over 30 years, and they are a great option for dogs with allergies.
The Turkey and Chickpea Recipe is the most popular of the limited ingredient foods made by this company. However, there are also lamb, duck, salmon, and chicken limited ingredient recipes available if your Shih Tzu is not interested in turkey. However, some Shih Tzus do have chicken allergies, so try to be mindful of that when making your selection. This food choice is also free of grains and potatoes, which are items that many Shih Tzus also have allergies to.
The Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus with Skin Allergies
While some dogs are just allergic to certain foods, other dogs have skin allergies that can be greatly affected by the food they eat. With a skin allergy, you may notice rashes, bald spots, or sores on your dog’s body that they may continuously scratch and bite at. While there are plenty of treatments and items that you can use to help your dog with their skin allergies, you should also take into account what they eat. Certain dog foods could make these allergies worse, but the dog foods listed below can benefit your dog’s skin.
5. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food (Beef Recipe)
The Honest Kitchen provides a hypoallergenic raw dog food for pets that only has the essential ingredients needed in a dog’s diet. Therefore, if you notice your Shih Tzu is itching and scratching after eating a normal dog food, you could try this unique dog food option to help ease their irritation. This brand works hard to avoid any ingredients that could cause reactions to pets, so they use high-quality ingredients without any grains.
The Dehydrated Beef Recipe is probably the most favored flavor for Shih Tzus, but it is different from what you would typically feed them. This is not a dry dog food, but instead, it is a dehydrated food that must have water added to it to make it into a tasty wet food treat. Therefore, not only will this food help improve your Shih Tzu’s skin allergies, but it will also help give them an exciting variety to their diet.
6. Avoderm Small Breed Dry Dog Food (Lamb Recipe)
Avoderm is a lesser-known dog food brand, but it is promoted specifically to give your pet healthy skin and a healthy coat. The key ingredient is avocado, which is a food that can help with your dog’s skin and coat by itself as well. However, avocado can only be consumed by dogs in smaller amounts, so this dog food only contains a healthy amount for your Shih Tzu.
The Small Breed Lamb Recipe is a limited ingredient dog food that centers around the protein of lamb. It is both tasty and healthy for Shih Tzus to eat, and it contains small-sized pieces that are easy for even the smallest of dogs to consume. It does not contain any grain or gluten in order to help limit the number of ingredients that could be sensitive to your pet’s health.
The Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus with Sensitive Stomachs
Not all Shih Tzus have sensitive stomachs, but sadly it is a fairly common trait for this breed. This means that unfamiliar foods or certain ingredients could give your Shih Tzu an upset tummy and make them sick more often. If your Shih Tzu has an upset stomach, you could also notice them vomiting, having excessive gas, or having a loud gurgling sound coming from their stomach often. If you start to notice any signs that your Shih Tzu has a sensitive stomach, then you should try to find them a food that is more suitable to their needs.
7. Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Turkey Recipe)
Nulo Freestyle is a limited ingredient dry dog food that is a great option for Shih Tzus that get upset stomachs often. It only has the essential ingredients needed for a dog’s diet, which means that there are no unfamiliar ingredients that could make your Shih Tzu sick. Plus, the different formulas each only have one main protein, so if your Shih Tzu does get sick after eating it, then you know which proteins to avoid in the future instead of having to guess as you would with other popular dog foods.
The Small Breed Turkey formula is the most popular flavor for Shih Tzus because not only is turkey a tasty meat, but this version comes in pieces that are sized specifically for small dogs. Therefore, Shih Tzus should have no problem eating the small food pieces, and it will promote proper chewing to prevent your pet from eating too fast or choking on it.
8. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Petite Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food
Canidae is another brand that sells limited ingredient foods that only have ingredients that are essential to your pet’s diet. The ingredients used in this specific formula are also in place to benefit dogs with sensitive stomachs. Therefore, this will ensure that your Shih Tzu does not get sick while eating this food. Plus, this food option is raw coated for a healthy and delicious taste for your Shih Tzu.
This specific formula is made with lamb, which will likely agree with your Shih Tzu’s tummy. Most Shih Tzus seem to enjoy the flavor of lamb, but if your dog is not interested, there is also a salmon formula for small breed dogs that you could try out. Also, with the Canidae Small Breed Formulas specifically, the pieces of food are definitely small enough for your Shih Tzu to chew and digest.
The Best Dog Food for Picky Shih Tzus
It is common for Shih Tzus to be picky eaters. They can easily get bored with their typical diet or choose not to eat in hopes that they will be given something tastier. Therefore, even if your Shih Tzu has no allergies or conditions, it might still be difficult for you to find the perfect food for them. Here are some dog foods that might be more appealing to your picky Shih Tzu.
9. Fromm Four Star Grain Free Rancherosa Dry Dog Food
Fromm has a wide selection of dog food available, but the Rancherosa is one of the newest additions to their supply. Not only is it a newer formula, but it tends to be one of the most popular flavors among dogs of all kinds, especially Shih Tzus. The proteins included in this food are beef, pork, and lamb, but there are also plenty of other beneficial ingredients, such as a variety of vegetables.
This is a grain-free option, but there are still some ingredients that your Shih Tzu could be allergic to, such as potatoes, so be sure to keep an eye out for this. Also, even if your pet gets bored of this new flavor after a while, Fromm provides a variety of dry dog food flavors that you could try switching your Shih Tzu to. That way, you can continue to use the same brand while giving your Shih Tzu new flavors from time to time.
10. Primal Freeze-Dried Dog Food Chicken Formula
Primal is a raw dog food brand that is a great option for small dogs that are bored or uninterested when it comes to dry dog food. This dog food comes in the form of freeze-dried nuggets, which you can simply add water to in order to make a delicious wet food for your Shih Tzu. This food is filled with healthy ingredients, including real chicken and organic vegetables.
While chicken is one of the most popular flavors, it is still possible that your Shih Tzu will not like it or get bored of it after a while. Luckily, Primal carriers eight other proteins of freeze-dried nuggets, so your pet has plenty to choose from. Therefore, even though this raw diet might be different than what your Shih Tzu is used to, it is definitely something that will catch their attention.
Deciding Which is Best Dog Food for Your Shih Tzu
When deciding which of these foods are ideal for your Shih Tzu, you’ll need to consider what your pet needs specifically. If your Shih Tzu has allergies or sensitivities to certain items, then it is best for you to avoid those ingredients along with anything similar to it. However, if you Shih Tzu seems to be tolerant of all different types of ingredients, then you don’t have to be quite as cautious when selecting dog food for them. The main thing to focus on when choosing the perfect Shih Tzu food is making sure you choose a diet with high-quality ingredients and food pieces that are small enough for your Shih Tzu to chew and digest.