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Nutrition

The 5 Best Dog Food For Shih-Tzus

February 17, 2019
David

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The 5 Best Dog Food For Shih-Tzus

Also known as the ‘Chrysanthemum Dog,’ the Shih Tzu is a very loving, outgoing and friendly breed. Shih Tzus are popular with apartment owners – especially in Asia – as they adapt quite well to the closed setting. Their amiable nature means they are open to not only family, but even strangers.

Highly intellectual, these furry individuals are easier to train than many other breeds. We consider them a companion breed due to their calm nature, devotion, and abundance of affection. Hence, they make a great choice for families that want a pet that interacts well with adults and kids.

Our criteria

As much as possible, we try to follow the criteria of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association when choosing the best dog foods for Great Pyrenees and other dogs.

We look for dog foods that meet the following criteria:

  • AAFCO-approved foods, especially foods that have used food trials.
  • We value good quality control.
  • Dog food companies that invest in nutritional research.
  • We prefer dog foods that have been formulated by veterinary nutritionists.
  • We value nutrition over clever marketing. Remember that you won’t be eating the dog food, your dog will. It’s important to choose the food that is best for your dog even if the ingredients don’t sound appealing to you.

Quick look: Top 5 Best Rated Dog Food for Shih-Tzus

ImageProductFeatures

Editor's Choice

Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Small Breed Dog Food
  • Made with whole food ingredients
  • Digestible carbohydrates
  • Nutrient-rich chicken fat
Check Price

Best for Allergies

EUKANUBA Small Breed Dog Food
  • Formulated for the higher metabolism of small dogs
  • Specialized fiber system for better nutrient absorption and digestion
  • Naturally-sourced glucosamine and chondroitin
Check Price

Best Affordable

Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Small-Breed Dog Food
  • Made with digestible grain-free carbohydrates
  • Real chicken as the #1 ingredient
  • Antioxidants in every bite for healthy immunity
Check Price

Best for Puppies

Wellness CORE Small Breed Puppy Recipe
  • Rich in dietary fiber for healthy digestion
  • Fortified with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Made with deboned turkey and salmon meal
Check Price

Best for Seniors

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini Mature 8+ Dry Dog Food
  • Perfect for a small dog’s metabolism
  • Most picky eaters love this food
  • Enhanced palatability
Check Price

What Do You Look for When Shopping For the Best Dog Food For Shih-Tzus?

Here are some considerations you should keep in mind:

  • Nutritional Balance. Shih-Tzus require a diet rich in lean proteins and healthy fats with digestible carbohydrates to provide dietary fiber.
  • Quality Ingredients. The quality of your dog’s food has a direct impact on his health and wellness, so choose a product made with whole food ingredients that doesn’t contain artificial additives.
  • Caloric Density. Small and toy breeds have very fast metabolisms, so your Shih-Tzu may require as much as 40 to 45 calories per pound of body weight as an adult – more as a puppy.
  • Easy to Digest. Though Shih-Tzus are no more prone to food allergies than any other breed, they can develop sensitivities – choose a product made with digestible ingredients and probiotic supplements.

Keeping these things in mind, you’re ready to start shopping for the best dog food for Shih-Tzus. Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations:

What Not to Feed

Avocados: Avocados contain persin, a fungicidal toxin which is generally harmless for humans but can be toxic to dogs. Persin is in the leaves, seed products, bark and fruits of the avocado herb.

Onions and Garlic: Onions are bad for dogs, regardless of the form they take – raw, cooked, dehydrated or powdered. Any form can destroy the red blood cells in a dog, resulting in Hemolytic anemia.

Coffee, Tea, Caffeine: Caffeine in virtually any form – whether it is from espresso, tea or soda – can be fatal if consumed in a large-enough amount. Symptoms range from heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and restlessness to vomiting and seizures.

Grapes and Raisins: Both grapes and raisins can cause irreversible kidney harm and even loss of life. Even a small amount such as four or five grapes or raisins can make a 20-pound dog very ill. Vomiting, lethargy, lack of appetite, stomach pain, coordination problems, reduced amount of urine and depression are symptoms. While symptoms usually happen within a day, they can begin in only a few hours following the intake.

Best Rated Dog Food For Shih-Tzus Reviewed

Choosing the right food for your Shih-Tzu is very important – it will have a significant impact on his health and longevity.

If you want to sustain your Shih-Tzu’s vitality for the duration of his its life, make feeding him it a high-quality diet a top priority. Here are our top picks for the best dog food for Shih-Tzu that you should consider

1. Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Small Breed Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 27% Min
  • Fat – 17% Min
  • Fiber – 5.0% Min
  • Moisture– 10% Min

Caloric Content: 413 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Made with whole food ingredients
  • Digestible carbohydrates
  • Nutrient-rich chicken fat
  • Fiber for healthy digestion

Cons:

  • Contains soy

If you’re looking for a healthy, high-quality diet for your Shih-Tzu then look no further than this Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Small Breed Dog Food.

This recipe features whole food ingredients like real chicken, oatmeal, and pearled barley in a holistic formula designed to nourish your dog’s body from the inside out.

You’ll be glad to know that it is packed with protein and healthy fats, plus it is supplemented with chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption and probiotics for digestion.

2. EUKANUBA Small Breed Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 28.0%
  • Fat – 18.0%
  • Fiber – 4.0%
  • Calories – 406 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Specialized fiber system for better nutrient absorption and digestion
  • Naturally-sourced glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Formulated for the higher metabolism of small dogs
  • Optimal levels of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids

Cons:

  • With 28 percent crude protein and 18 percent crude fat, this food is best for active Shih-Tzus
  • This is a maintenance dog food so it’s not suitable for puppies

Eukanuba Small Breed Dog Food is specially formulated for the higher metabolism of small dogs. It also has a specialized fiber system made from natural beet pulp and prebiotic FOS (a natural sugar). These fibers encourage better nutrient absorption and healthier digestion.

Eukanuba Small Breed Dog Food contains naturally-sourced glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints. This formula also features optimal levels of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat. Plus, the kibble is smaller so it’s ideal for your Shih-Tzu when eating it.

3. Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Small-Breed Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 25% Min
  • Fat – 15% Min
  • Fiber – 4% Min
  • Moisture– 10% Max

Caloric Content: 361 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Real chicken as the #1 ingredient
  • Made with digestible grain-free carbohydrates
  • Antioxidants in every bite for healthy immunity
  • Supplemented with glucosamine for joint health

Cons:

  • Made with an unnamed animal fat (poultry fat vs. chicken fat)
  • Above Avg. in cost

For an affordable dog food that will nourish your Shih-Tzu’s body from the inside out, consider this Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food.

It features real chicken as the #1 ingredient with sweet potato and pumpkin for digestible carbohydrates. This recipe is rich in antioxidants for healthy immunity with plenty of fiber and healthy fats. Plus, it is supplemented with glucosamine for joint health and mobility.

4. Wellness CORE Small Breed Puppy Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 38% Min
  • Fat – 18% Min
  • Fiber – 4.5% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max

Caloric Content: 510 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Made with deboned turkey and salmon meal
  • Fortified with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Rich in dietary fiber for healthy digestion
  • DHA for healthy brain development

Cons:

  • Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients
  • Somewhat expensive compared to other puppy foods

Shih-Tzus puppies need plenty of energy to fuel their growth and development which is exactly what this Wellness CORE Small Breed Puppy Recipe delivers. Made with deboned turkey and salmon meal, this recipe is rich in protein and healthy fats for strong muscles and brain development.

This recipe is fortified with antioxidants and essential nutrients for immunity and contains plenty of protein to support your puppy’s digestive system.

5. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini Mature 8+ Dry Dog Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 25.0%
  • Fat – 14.0%
  • Fiber – 3.5%
  • Calories – 360 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Perfect for a small dog’s metabolism
  • Enhanced palatability
  • Most picky eaters love this food
  • Recommended by many vets

Cons:

  • Only one customer questioned its affordability
  • Delivery was a bit late

Another solid pick for the best dog food for Shih-Tzus is Royal Canin Health Nutrition MINI Adult Dry Dog Food.

Royal Canin has several product lines including a line based on breed size. Small dogs, like Shih-Tzus, can burn up more calories per pound than bigger dogs.

This Royal Canin formula meets the high energy needs of small dogs and uses L-Carnitine to ensure calories don’t get turned into fat.

Ideal levels of EPA and DHA give your Shih-Tzu a healthy skin and coat. Plus, the kibble formula can help reduce the formation of tartar.

Nutritional Rquirements for Shih-Tzus

Most Shih-Tzus should be able to eat a normal diet for dogs. Most dogs need similar nutrients in their diet unless they have a health problem.

Protein

Your adultShih-Tzus needs a minimum of 18 percent protein in his diet for daily maintenance.

If you are buying a super expensive, high protein dog food, your dog could be urinating much of that money away.

Editor’s Note

Many grain free dog foods have extremely high protein percentages. Dog lovers often believe they are providing their dogs with lots more protein than with traditional dog foods. However, in most cases the increased protein in these grain free dog foods comes from plant sources such as peas, legumes and lentils. These are the ingredients that the FDA is currently investigating because of a possible link to dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. We recommend that you feed your Shih-Tzus a food with moderate protein that relies on meat protein. Look for dog foods that have a protein percentage between 22 and 26 percent.

Fat- Fat is good for your dog. It makes his food taste better; calories from fat give him energy; and fatty acids are good for your dog’s skin, coat, and organs. Some vitamins can only be absorbed from fat. Adult dogs need a minimum of 5 percent fat in their diet. Pregnant and nursing dogs and puppies need a minimum of 8 percent fat per day.

We recommend a fat percentage of about 12 to 16 percent for Shih-Tzus. This is considered to be a moderate fat level.

Carbohydrates- While many dog lovers have been taught to believe that carbs are bad for dogs, they actually perform many important functions. They are not “filler ingredients” or empty calories. They are another source of energy for your dog, along with fat.

Complex carbohydrates are important for keeping your dog’s glucose levels steady so he can avoid blood sugar spikes after meals. Carbohydrates can also help prevent your dog from feeling hungry between meals.

Fiber- Fiber can be either soluble or insoluble. You will often see soluble fiber on a dog food ingredient list in the form of chicory, beet pulp, and inulin. This kind of fiber draws more water into your dog’s digestive system, turning stomach contents to gel and slowing the digestive process. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the digestive matter and helps speed digestion.

Most kibbles today have somewhere between 3 and 6 percent fiber. If your Shih-Tzus is having loose stools it could be because there is too much fiber in the food for his system. You can try changing to a food that has less fiber and see if it solves the problem.

Probiotics and prebiotics- Prebiotics and probiotics help keep your dog’s gastrointestinal system functioning, as well as strengthening the immune system. Prebiotics are a dietary fiber that encourages the growth of “good” or beneficial bacteria in your dog’s digestive system.

Editor’s Note

You can also buy probiotics separately and give them to your dog if you want to make sure he is getting enough friendly bacteria in his diet. It’s believed that 70 percent of your dog’s immune system is related to his gastrointestinal system which means that prebiotics and probiotics can be very important to your dog’s health.

Vitamins and minerals- Kibble is cooked at a very high temperature. Unfortunately, this means that many of the vitamins and minerals in the food’s ingredients are destroyed. Dog food companies typically add vitamins and minerals back into the food after cooking to be sure the food is nutritionally complete

Considering Homemade

Most foods that we listed above for Shih Tzus are quality foods good for all sizes of dogs. With just a small amount of research, you will see that many dog food brands offer recipes specially made for small breeds. There are even special formulas for pups and elderly dogs.

While the top brands make these formulas with a lot of research, every dog has its own needs. Hence, it is important for owners to do proper research before choosing the food they want to feed their Shih Tzu.

If you do not want to buy from the commercial brands, looking up the right homemade Shih Tzu food recipes can allow you to cook something truly delicious and healthy. Knowing what to include in your Shih Tzu’s food and what to avoid is the best way to make sure your dog’s unique dietary needs are fulfilled, thereby resulting in a healthier, longer life.

 

David

David was a dog trainer for 7 years before joining the Pupjunkies.com team. he still does it part-time. When he's not working he loves going to the park with his two Jack Russell Terrier's Joe and Bells.
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