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10 Best (Healthiest) Dog Foods for Shih Tzus in 2020

Shih Tzu’s are small dogs that are well-known for their long, gorgeous coats. Pet parents have their hands full with maintaining the appearance of Shih Tzus, since their coats require daily grooming. These pups are very loving, super playful, and very social. These dogs are loved by many, not only for their sweetness, but because they bring an air of joy into any room they are welcomed into.

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According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), these pups weigh between nine to 16 pounds and grow between eight to 11 inches tall. Although they are quite small, these pups are solid. They are charming, beautiful, and lively, loving to be pampered and loved by their human family. This pup will prefer your lap over playing with other dogs and does well with pet parents who have the time to dedicate to them. They are a great companion for apartment living, not requiring lots of yard space to feel fulfilled.

Shih Tzus thrive when provided with a high-quality diet, as most commercially available options on the market are. However, it is important to note just what this particular pup’s requirements are, so you can provide the best dog food for Shih Tzus. When feeding your pup, be sure to provide a food appropriate for his specific life stage. If you have an adorable Shih Tzu puppy, avoid adult and senior life stage foods. Each food is formulated specifically for the needs of a growing and changing dog and you will notice that foods are labeled to help orient you while shop. Although every dog loves treats, it is important not to provide too many, as this can lead to obesity, creating more serious health conditions that can be avoided with proper diet care.

 6 Special Dietary and Nutritional Considerations of Shih Tzus

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  • Weight Control – Shih Tzus can hide weight gain underneath their long coats, so be sure to monitor your pup’s daily calorie intake. Every commercial food option will have feeding instructions available on the label to help guide you as you become accustomed to feeding your Shih Tzu. Since these pups love to lay in laps more than run laps, they can easily be overfed and gain weight. Obesity in pups causes a host of health issues that can be easily avoided with proper weight monitoring.
  • Keep Blood Sugar Low – Shih Tzus are small dogs and need to be fed with care to prevent hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar. These small, affectionate dogs do not carry a lot of body fat and their metabolism tends to work quite well, making it possible for the development of hypoglycemia if not fed adequately. Offering calorie-dense and nutrient-dense foods is a great way to keep him thriving. Also, be sure to provide your Shih Tzu with small meals throughout the day. These pups do not respond the best to one large meal, as it can be taxing on their small bodies.
  • Keep a Regular Feeding Schedule – You and your Shih Tzu will get to know each other in different ways, and mealtimes will be no different. Keeping a regular feeding schedule helps to create routine with your pup, which is helpful for him. Shih Tzus will need a specific daily caloric intake, depending on their size and should be kept on a routine to keep them healthy. Routines are also helpful for you as a pet parent, so you can monitor changes in appetite and even stools.
  • Small Kibbles Are Great for Dental Comfort – The size of your Shih Tzu makes his jaw much smaller than other dogs. Larger kibbles may be painful for your pup to chew through. Providing small kibble is suggested for this reason. When you purchase a small breed formula, you will notice that kibble size is smaller. This will ensure your pet’s comfort as he enjoys his meals.
  • Maintain and Antioxidant-Rich Diet – Small breed dogs, like Shih Tzus, are known for having long life spans, living somewhere between 10 to 18 years. Since these dogs have the potential of experiencing a long life alongside you, to keep them healthy into their older years, you should be providing a diet packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are excellent because they keep free radicals from wreaking havoc on the body. Antioxidants are also great with keeping pups from becoming sick seasonally, leaving more time for your long-haired Shih Tzu to enjoy cuddle time with you.
  • Incorporate Veterinary Assistance as Necessary – When you are introducing your Shih Tzu to a new kind of food, he may not always react well. If this is the case, do not hesitate to give your vet a call. A simple explanation of what is going on can help your vet offer a great recommendation. Vets have access to the most current information on pet food recalls and dog nutrition, which makes them an excellent resource for when you find yourself struggling with providing your pup with a great, healthy diet.

5 Key Nutritional Needs of a Shih Tzu Puppy

  • Protein – A diet rich in protein allows your Shih Tzu’s body to build and preserve strong muscle development. This is an especially important process for dogs who do not have a very active lifestyle, as it helps them stay lean and avoid excessive weight gain. Protein is not only a vital element for a healthy lifestyle, it is also a flavor that Shih Tzu’s crave by instinct. Your Shih Tzu will enjoy his protein, whether it is beef, turkey, chicken, or fish. You will find that these animal proteins are enjoyed thoroughly by your pup each mealtime.
  • Fat – There are multiple kinds of fats delivered through high-quality dog food and they each serve a significant purpose. Fats are generally easy to digest and will provide a stable release of energy that gives your Shih Tzu enough nourishment to enjoy his daily life. Fatty acids will offer your pup an important foundation for the development and repair of tissues. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are especially imperative to sustain the attractive long coats Shih Tzus are well recognized for.
  • Carbs – Carbohydrates are provided in quality dog foods through multiple ingredients. There is not a requirement for Shih Tzu carb intake, however, carbs are great for providing fast energy – unlike fat, carbs will provide a burst of energy instead of a steady release of fuel. There are complex carbs, like oats and sweet potatoes, which absorb more gradually, giving that long-term continual energy for days of playful fun. Some dog food manufacturers include simple carbs in their recipes that include fillers like soy and corn. If this is the case, the dog food you are reviewing is not of a good quality and should be avoided. This is because simple carbs provide a rapid release of energy that ends as abruptly as it begins. These are not decent ingredients for your pup to consume – this is because these carbs are not always easily digested and can even cause allergic reactions.
  • Vegetables and Fruits – Shih Tzus benefit from the addition of vegetables and fruits to their dry and wet foods. These ingredients deliver the vitamins and minerals your pup requires to live a long, healthy life. It is important to remember that some dogs may have a susceptibility to allergies with certain vegetables, the most common allergens being peas and corn. High-quality dog foods will always place ingredients on their labels so if you realize after feeding a certain ingredient that your pup is allergic, you can just check ingredient labels to avoid providing another food option that will cause similar issues. This will make your Shih Tzus feeding experience much more comfortable.
  • Water – Water is a mobilizer for all the nutrients provided in good quality foods. Keeping a bowl of fresh water available for your Shih Tzu should be a top priority. If you are feeding wet food, it contains a higher water content and will help keep your pup hydrated. If you keep your pup on a strict dry food diet, be sure he is getting adequate water intake on a daily basis.

best shih tzu puppy foods

Shih Tzu Puppy Feeding Chart

  • 6 Week Old Shiz Tzu – Six-week old Shih Tzus are heartwarming and can fit in the palm of your hand, but this does not mean they are ready to go home with you. Baby Shih Tzus still need to be fed by their canine mama because she provides wholesome nutrition during this important developmental stage. In addition, early time spent with littermates is crucial because it helps your Shih Tzu get socialized and become comfortable interacting with other dogs and humans. This will ensure he grows to be the affectionate and playful pup he is meant to be.
  • 10 Week Old Shih Tzu – During the tenth week of your Shih Tzu’s life, he will already be enjoying the comfort of his new home with you, becoming acquainted with the new environment, and with your family. At this stage, you should be providing the same food as the breeder. This means a puppy diet should be provided so that he is getting the balanced nutrition his body needs. If you transition your Shih Tzu to a different type of food, make that change slowly. So long as you start your little one off with the same type of food originally provided by the breeder, you can make future changes with care, incorporating a little bit of the new food along with the old food until your pup is fully transitioned. Puppies need extra time to get used to a new diet. If changes are made too hurriedly, your Shih Tzu puppy will probably experience gastrointestinal discomfort, something that can be avoided with proper attention and care.
  • 12 Week Old Shih Tzu – When your Shih Tzu has reached twelve weeks old, you will notice he is happily enjoying his food on the schedule you have presented. If you happen to be away during the day for work, you may leave out some dry food for your Shih Tzu to enjoy while you are away. However, when you are available to provide a proper mealtime, you should keep your Shih Tzu on a feeding schedule he can look forward to. As your pup grows, his feeding requirements will change so be sure to follow feeding instructions based on weight to avoid underfeeding and overfeeding.
  • 3 Month Old Shih Tzu – When your Shih Tzu reaches three months old, he should have become comfortable and expectant of his eating schedule. You will be enjoying watching your puppy grow and play with you and other members of your family. So long as you notice your pup thriving and displaying the naturally charming personality he is born with, you can feel content knowing you have been providing a solid diet that provides him with good nutrition. If you notice he is not eating well, is having any kind of tummy upset, or seems to be lethargic, always check in with your vet. Puppyhood is a lovely time that requires your keen support to ensure wellness.
  • 5 Month Old Shih Tzu – At five months, your Shih Tzu will require less mealtimes per day, so long as they are still getting their daily calorie needs. Your pup will be getting more used to an adult dog diet and will need a little less of your attentive care. If you are being careful to provide the daily calories as suggested by your chosen dog food brand, your Shih Tzu should be flourishing. If you notice anything outside of the norm, incorporate the help of a professional. Vets are a great help when it comes to pet care and will also help you maintain peace of mind should you notice any unusual behaviors.
  • 1 Year Old Shih Tzu – When your Shih Tzu reaches one year of age, he has left puppyhood behind! At this stage, you will be enjoying his long-haired coat, his sweet expressions, and getting lots of cuddles. During adulthood, your Shih Tzu should be enjoying meals twice per day. While treats can be incorporated, it is important to remember that calories will need to be adjusted to make room for the treats. Try to avoid feeding one large meal since your small pup will have a hard time digesting one large meal. Feeding small portions will help keep his tummy comfortable and his digestive system working optimally.

Overall Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus

NomNomNow Fresh Pet Food Delivery

Key Features:

  • This recipe provides whole animal protein: turkey
  • This formula is made with all human-grade ingredients, safe enough for humans to munch on
  • Added vegetables and fruits to deliver essential vitamins and minerals
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Overall Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus – NomNomNow dog food is a delicious option that is comprised of human-grade ingredients. It is a unique dog food option that offers a tasty meal your Shih Tzu will enjoy. It is made with whole, fresh ingredients that are processed minimally as a way to retain as many nutrients as possible. NomNomNow also makes sure that their meals do not include any artificial ingredients or unnecessary fillers.

NomNomNow delivers their fresh food directly to your front door, making it super easy for you to give your pup quality nutrition on a regular basis. Although NomNomNow makes their meals with human-grade ingredients, they are packed with nutrition that is made specially for dogs. NomNomNow does a fantastic job of providing appetizing, wholesome nutrition to your Shih Tzu without any common allergens. When ingredients are wholesome, they are already packed with flavor and do not require any additives, like artificial flavors.


  • Human-grade ingredients crafted specially for dogs
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  • No fillers or artificial ingredients


  • NomNomNow is a more expensive dog food option, compared to other options commercially available

Taste of the Wild Prairie Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • This formula is grain-free, great for pups with sensitive tummies
  • Protein-rich formula to support active lifestyles
  • Includes a K-9 probiotic blend that encourages a healthy digestive tract

Most Popular Food for Shih Tzus – This dry dog food by Taste of the Wild includes tasty buffalo and bison ingredients that deliver great protein content for your Shih Tzu, an important aspect of your dog’s diet that offers lot of energy and helps with the preservation of lean muscle mass for optimal weight control. This is a well-balanced formula that includes peas and sweet potatoes to provide fiber and energy that is easy to digest. Added veggies and fruits provide the minerals and vitamins that boost your Shih Tzu’s complete well-being, including antioxidant care that supports immune system health to keep your pup from getting sick.

The K9 probiotic blend that is included in this formula is a mindful addition by Taste of the Wild. This special blend encourages optimal digestive health to keep nutrients moving along your Shih Tzu’s body while also ensuring waste excretion is healthy. If your Shih Tzu has any common allergies, this formula is a good, healthy dog food option because Taste of Wild does not include any fillers like soy, corn, and wheat. This recipe was crafted to provide ideal nutrition without the threat of stomach issues or allergic reactions that can develop further.


  • Highly digestible formula for pups with sensitive stomachs
  • Zero artificial ingredients, like coloring and flavors
  • No fillers which help to avoid allergic reactions
  • This is a grain-free and gluten-free recipe


  • This is not an organic product
  • This product may include genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)

American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • This formula is grain-free, great for pups with sensitive tummies
  • Protein-rich formula to support active lifestyles
  • No fillers to avoid common allergens

Most Inexpensive (Cheap)  – This American Journey dry dog food recipe is made with deboned salmon to provide a delicious whole animal protein and vegetables like sweet potatoes that provide fiber that supports energy and digestion. This recipe provides a rich, aromatic flavor your Shih Tzu will thoroughly enjoy. The extra whole animal protein is provided to help with the maintenance of lean muscle mass that supports your Shih Tzu, making sure he is staying healthy and at a good weight for his size.

This recipe also incorporates salmon oil and flaxseed to offer your long-haired Shih Tzu the omega fatty acids that will provide his skin and coat with the necessary ingredients that support his best health. Supplementary additions, like fruits and vegetables deliver the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that support complete health, including immune system support.


  • Protein-rich formula
  • Grain-free and gluten-free recipes


  • This product may contain genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • This recipe is made specifically for puppies
  • Smaller kibble size for optimal dental comfort during mealtimes
  • Zero fillers and by-product meals included in this formula

Best Shih Tzus Puppy Food – This chicken and brown rice recipe by Blue Buffalo is crafted with the complete well-being of puppies in their growing stage. Chicken is the real meat ingredient that provides tasty protein, whole grains provide the carbs and fiber, and garden veggies and fruit delivery all of the minerals and vitamins that promote healthy development for your Shih Tzu. Blue Buffalo also adds a special combination of nutrients called LifeSource Bits that are boosted with added antioxidants for immune system health.

The whole animal protein source in this recipe is deboned chicken. Your Shih Tzu will enjoy the flavor as he crunches away on those small kibbles to get his daily balanced nutrition. DHA and ARA are also added to provide your developing puppy with the cognitive and eye support he needs. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are included to help keep his skin healthy and encourage a lustrous, shiny long coat.


  • Supports immune system health
  • No fillers like soy, wheat, or corn to avoid allergic flare-ups
  • Small kibble size to encourage happy eating with dental comfort


  • This food is meant for puppies and should not be provided for adult or senior dogs

6 More Top Rated Shih Tzu Foods:

True Acre Foods Chicken & Vegetable Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This chicken and veggie formulation by True Acre is prepared with chicken to provide a good amount of protein, offering your pup a tasty treat that helps him grow and maintain his lean muscle mass. Farm vegetables like peas and carrots are added to this recipe to deliver minerals and vitamins that are required for your pup’s best health. Antioxidants are also included with this tasty recipe to keep free radicals from creating damage inside your pup’s body. This formula encourages your Shih Tzu’s immune system health, keeping doggy colds at bay throughout the year. True Acre does not forget how important gastric health is and they include natural fibers in their recipe that promote healthy digestion. Omega fatty acids are included to keep your Shih Tzu’s long coat glossy and his skin in good physical shape. Like any quality dog food on the market, this recipe does not include artificial ingredients and fillers.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Veggies Recipe Dry Dog Food

Rachael Ray crafted a simple recipe with chicken and vegetables that makes this dry dog food a great option with natural ingredients. The recipe includes farm chicken raised in the U.S., carrots, brown rice, and peas to deliver a flavor that will please your Shih Tzu. This formula provides balanced nutrition without the addition of needless fillers, poultry by-product meal, or artificial ingredients. The brown rice makes each meal full of fiber and healthy carbs. Beet pulp is added to provide prebiotic support for digestive health.

VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food

This dry dog food by VICTOR was created with ingredients rich in protein, like beef, chicken, fish, and pork meals. It is appropriate for your Shih Tzu’s different life stages, including puppyhood, adulthood, and even for pregnant and nursing dogs. This is a nutrient-dense dog food option that provides your dog with high-quality, balanced nutrition. This is an especially great food if your pup leads an active lifestyle. Vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids are also incorporated to supplement nutrition and provide a balanced set of nutrients that ensure your pup will thrive and look good doing so.

Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food, 40-lb bag

Diamond Naturals provides a delicious formula for your Shih Tzu that delivers complete nutrition along with extra ingredients like superfoods and probiotics that do wonders for your pup’s digestive system. This recipe includes real beef protein, fish for an extra protein boost, and fruits and vegetables that provide all the minerals and vitamins your Shih Tzu’s body needs for great health.

Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

This Texas beef and sweet potato recipe by Merrick delivers just the right amount of protein in kibbles packed with flavor. This formula is great for pups who have sensitive digestion or who suffer from allergies because it omits fillers and grains. Instead, this formula is made with whole ingredients like deboned beef, sweet potatoes, peas, blueberries, and apples for vitamin and mineral support.

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food

Nature’s Variety’s chicken dry dog food is a grain-free option formulated for the adult stage of life. Dogs do well with balanced nutrition and this recipe provides a whole animal protein source: cage-free chicken. Added oils, fruits, and vegetables supplement this recipe and provide the natural omegas and antioxidants that encourage good digestive system health, a strong immune system, and a healthy skin and coat.

 Our 2020 Shih Tzus Feeding Guide

  • Puppy Shih Tzus – Your Shih Tzu puppy will capture your heart with his expressive eyes and inherent need for affection. During puppyhood, your little long-haired companion will be growing into adulthood and will need the right sustenance to get there. Choose a puppy formula and feed three to four times per day to keep him full, satisfied, and full of energy.
  • Adult Shih Tzus – When your pup reaches adulthood at one year of age, you will need to switch your chosen dog food to one meant for the adult stage of life. The nutrition in these formulas will shift, made specifically for each stage of life. When you introduce the new food, do so slowly and give your Shih Tzu time to become accustomed to his new formula. During adulthood, Shih Tzus should be fed twice per day.
  • Senior Shih Tzus – During the senior life stage, your Shih Tzu will need your extra care. Provide a balanced meal that supports your pup’s immune health. If your Shih Tzu is not getting as much daily exercise, you may need to lessen his caloric intake or feed a formula that helps with weight control.


  • Should a Shih Tzus eat dry or canned food? This is a common question but it is actually very dependent on your individual pup’s needs. Most dogs enjoy the aroma of wet food and may prefer it over dry dog food. However, each option is fine and can be combined if needed.
  • Should my Shih Tzus eat a grain free diet? Not necessarily, if your Shih Tzu can tolerate grains, he can eat foods that are not grain-free.
  • How much Food should I feed my Shih Tzu? This depends on life stage and size. Read feeding instructions thoroughly to be sure you are providing enough food every day.
  • How often should I feed my Shih Tzu puppy? Three to four times a day.


Providing the best dog food for your Shih Tzu is a breeze when you choose a top-quality brand and formula. With the recommendations listed above, you can’t go wrong!


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