Best Dog Food For Shih-Tzus
This page contains affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post through our independently chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn More
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.
At a Glance: Best Dog Food for Shih-Tzus:
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below, where we have highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
Compare Best Dog Food For Shih-Tzus
1. Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Small Breed Dry Dog Food
BEST FOR ALLERGIES
2. Eukanuba Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
3. Nature's Recipe Small Breed Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food
BEST FOR PUPPIES
4. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Deboned Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food
BEST FOR SENIORS
5. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult 8+ Dry Dog Food
Our Review 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 undergone 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.
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 that 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, and 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, a 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 life, make feeding him a high-quality diet a top priority. Here are our top picks for the best dog food for Shih-Tzu that you should consider
Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Small Breed Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 27% Min
- Fat: 17% Min
- Fiber: 5.0% Max
- Moisture: 10% Max
- Caloric Content: 413 kcal/cup
- Made with whole food ingredients
- Digestible carbohydrates
- Nutrient-rich chicken fat
- Fiber for healthy digestion
- Contains soy
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.
Eukanuba Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 28.0% Min
- Fat: 18.0% Min
- Fiber: 4.0% Max
- Moisture: 10% Max
- Caloric Content: 406 kcal/cup
- 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
- 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 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.
Nature's Recipe Small Breed Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 25% Min
- Fat: 15% Min
- Fiber: 4% Max
- Moisture: 10% Max
- Caloric Content: 361 kcal/cup
- 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
- Made with an unnamed animal fat (poultry fat vs. chicken fat)
- Above Avg. in cost
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.
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Puppy Deboned Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 38% Min
- Fat: 18% Min
- Fiber: 4.5% Max
- Moisture: 10% Max
- Caloric Content: 510 kcal/cup
- 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
- Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients
- Somewhat expensive compared to other puppy foods
This recipe is fortified with antioxidants and essential nutrients for immunity and contains plenty of protein to support your puppy’s digestive system.
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult 8+ Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 25.0% Min
- Fat: 14.0% Min
- Fiber: 3.5% Max
- Moisture: 10% Max
- Caloric Content: 360 kcal/cup
- Perfect for a small dog’s metabolism
- Enhanced palatability
- Most picky eaters love this food
- Recommended by many vets
- Only one customer questioned its affordability
- Delivery was a bit late
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 Requirements 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.
Your adult Shih-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.
Fat: This 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 into 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 dietary fiber that encourages the growth of “good” or beneficial bacteria in your dog’s digestive system.
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 it is nutritionally complete
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 puppies 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.
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. Offering your Shih Tzu the right food means a happy, healthy pup.