If you are here, it’s probably because you own a Shih Tzu—one of the cutest breeds of dogs we’ve ever laid eye upon. These little dogs look like they came right out of a “glam” magazine. Much of which can be attributed to the Shih Tzu’s beautiful skin and coat.
Being extremely small and cute, as owners, we must remember to take care of their nutritional health because they can be delicate.
I know it’s a difficult job to find the best dog food for Shih Tzu. No worries!
This guide will help you decide the right food for your Cute little canine friend.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Our Choices for the Best Dog Food For Shih Tzu:
- Shih Tzu Calorie Needs
- Breaking Up The Macronutrients
- Common Health Issues Affecting Shih Tzus
- Best dog food for Shih Tzu
- #1 Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed Formula
- #2 Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food (Chicken Meal Formula)
- #3 Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult Dry Dog Food
- #4 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe for Small Breed Dogs
- #5 Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food
Our Choices for the Best Dog Food For Shih Tzu:
Last update on 2018-03-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Shih Tzu Calorie Needs
A dog ’s caloric needs are generally based on the age, energy, and weight of the dog.
A typical adult Shih Tzu needs about 35 calories per pound of body weight.
Being the toy breed that they are, Shih Tzu’s can weigh between 9-16 pounds, which means you will have to give them approximately 420 calories for typical adults and 340 calories for senior Shih Tzus. If your Shih Tzu is on the more active side, opt for 650 calories.
Again, as we’ve said before, let your dog guide you as to how much food they need in a day.
Here is our general calorie chart for your Shih Tzu according to weight:
Because they’re small, they aren’t able to eat too much; however, knowing their caloric requirements, you can figure out small portions and serve them multiple times a day. If you give them too much food, there is a high chance some of the food might go to waste—they’re picky eaters.
Shih Tzus are prone to health issues so make sure to give them the right amount of food for their optimal nutritional needs.
Related Read: Foods You Can and Can’t Share With Your Dog
Breaking Up The Macronutrients
The average macronutrients you would want to typically give your Shih Tzu are as follows:
About 25-30% for an average Shih Tzu and, if your Shih Tzu is really active, increase that to 30-35%.
They need lower fat percentages in their daily macros—approximately 15-20%. Be careful with the fats because Shih Tzus are not very active and they tend to gain weight. But, do not eliminate it all together because they need the omegas to keep their coat silky and smooth, not to mention nourished.
According to the National Research Council, dogs do not really need carbohydrates in comparison to proteins and fats. So the best dog food for Shih Tzu would contain a maximum of 25% carbohydrates.
Keep the flow of vitamins and minerals high because the healthy effect of antioxidants is required for a strong immune system to prevent chronic diseases.
Common Health Issues Affecting Shih Tzus
Keep in mind, Shih Tzus may also suffer from brachycephalic airway syndrome, which is breathing difficulty due to shorter and broader head and nose. Due to their heavy coats, they are not very tolerant to heat.
They also have a brachycephalic jaw—which means their mouth is small—so keep their kibble small, otherwise, they may have difficulty eating.
Given these factors, Shih Tzus can be given commercial food or even homemade food like cooked brown rice, vegetable, turkey, etc.
Important Read: Diabetes In Dogs: Causes, Treatments & Everything in Between
Though your dog will be the best indicator of how much they can eat, we encourage you to consult a vet or pet expert to confirm their optimal diet requirements.
When you go shopping for food for your Shih Tzu, you’ll find there are a lot of choices. In case you aren’t sure which commercial dry dog food to choose, we’ve reviewed five of the best dog foods for Shih Tzu for you to refer.
Important Read: Dog Vaccination Guide: The Right Vaccination & Schedule
Best dog food for Shih Tzu
#1 Wellness Core Grain-Free Small Breed Formula
To begin with, it’s grain-free with 36% protein straight from turkey and chicken; this will help your Shih Tzu build its muscles, which is extremely helpful to avoid hip dysplasia. This food also has added glucosamine and chondroitin that ensures support to their joints, bones, and cartilage.
The Omega fatty acids from salmon oil and flaxseed are a treat to the Shih Tzu’s “royal” skin and hair.
Most importantly, this formula contains antioxidants like spinach, blueberries, etc. from eight whole food sources that will strengthen your pet’s immune system.
Due to the grain-free ingredients and dense nutrients, the risk of allergies being triggered is highly decreased, which makes it one of the best dog foods for Shih Tzus with allergies.
#2 Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food (Chicken Meal Formula)
In addition, it contains naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support, along with phosphorus and calcium for naturally strong bones.
They use whole food ingredients with minimal processing where they freeze dry raw pieces to keep the nutrition is intact. Along with probiotics, this food is great for the digestive health of your Shih Tzu.
They kibble is perfectly sized so that your Shih Tzu will find it easy to chew.
Most importantly, it’s free of artificial colors and preservatives. Also, it doesn’t contain any grains, gluten, corn or soy, many of which are common allergens for Shih Tzus.
#3 Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult Dry Dog Food
We suggest this brand because it’s breed-specific and the small-sized kibble makes it easy for your Shih Tzu to chew.
In addition, the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help your Shih Tzu’s coat to stay shiny and healthy.
Buying this brand, you can rest assured that it’s a complete balanced diet for your “imperial” Shih Tzu.
#4 Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe for Small Breed Dogs
They call their kibbles “Life Source Bits”, dense in antioxidants from seven fruits and vegetables. It contains vitamins and minerals, all of which promotes the overall health of your Shih Tzu, boosting its immune system.
The best thing is nutrients in this formula are cold-pressed, which means they remain potent and their goodness is preserved.
It is also made of chicken, brown rice, flaxseed and chicken fat— so that means there’s a good amount of protein (26%), good quality fats (15%) and carbohydrates in order to keep up your dog’s energy levels.
The food also contains kelp, which provides thyroid support. The glucosamine helps maintain their joints.
The kibble is small and bite-sized, which is perfect for their miniature jaw.
#5 Taste of the Wild Grain-Free High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food
The key ingredient is venison (real venison too—nothing fake), which contains 32% protein for muscles and about 18% fat for your Shih Tzu’s energy and metabolism. It also contains garbanzo beans for the extra boost.
It also contains natural antioxidants derived from fruits and vegetables, which are superfoods that help make it easy to digest.
And let’s not forget the prebiotics which is good for your pet’s overall health. It is free from artificial preservatives, grain (which should keep you worry free about allergens), corn, etc.
With all the rich ingredients and the protein and carbohydrate macros, it is one of those formulas where the chances of your Shih Tzu having an allergic reaction is extremely low. That’s why it ranks on our list as one of the best dog foods for Shih Tzu with allergies.
A healthy diet and nutrition are necessary to keep your dog healthy and lively. We love our dogs and want to give them the very best. So why compromise on a vital aspect such as nutrition? Go for the best dog food for Shih Tzu because these royal pets deserve the very best.