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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in 2022

Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus

Bred solely to be companions, Shih Tzu dogs are little, happy creatures who love nothing more than to show their owners plenty of affection. These small dogs are deeply loyal and always down for a cuddle. 

Because these dogs are so family-friendly and tolerant, the Shih Tzu breed is one of the most popular when it comes to canine house pets. 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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A Shih Tzu dog will prefer your lap over playing with other fur pets and does well with pet parents who have the time to dedicate to him. This pooch is great for apartment living, not requiring lots of yard space to feel fulfilled.

Like any other breed, Shih Tzus thrive when provided with a high-quality diet. Since each breed has a specific need, the best dog food for Shih Tzu pups may differ from the best dog food for another kind of dog.

OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR DOG FOODS FOR SHIH TZUS

10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 2
  • High protein for energy
  • Well-balanced diet for adult pooches
  • Immune support to keep dogs from sickness
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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 4
  • Made with only the best ingredients possible
  • Offers a fresh and tasty meal
  • Made from fresh, natural ingredients
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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 2
  • Array of primary animal proteins
  • Incorporated with salmon oil
  • With necessary ingredients for best health
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When feeding your pup, it’s important to know what his requirements are so you can provide the appropriate food for him. We’ve listed down all the important information about the Shih Tzu breed and reviewed lots of food products to ensure that we only recommend the best dog foods for your tiny canine. 

Before we get to our review, let’s take a closer look at this small, loveable dog.

Breed Overview

Pedigree

The Shih Tzu dog is commonly thought to come from China, but some believe the breed actually came from Tibet. According to a theory, Tibet probably sent Shih Tzu dogs as gifts to Chinese royalty. Another create the Shi Tzus that we know today.theory puts forth the idea that the Chinese bred other pooches with Pugs, Lhasa Apso, or Pekingese to 

Regardless of whether they came from China or Tibet, it is widely agreed that Shih Tzu dogs are one of the oldest dog breeds in history. They go as far back as 1000 years, and may even have existed for far longer than that based on paintings, art, and writings. 

These companion dogs, also called Chrysanthemum Dogs because their facial hair grows out in all directions (like a flower and the dog’s nose is the center), have flat faces and long silky coats that come in a variety of colors that range from black to silver.

Because of these long locks, pet parents have their hands full with maintaining these dogs’ appearance, since their coats require daily grooming.

Size

Shih Tzus are small breeds that usually grow to between eight to 11 inches tall.

Weight

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), adult Shih Tzu dogs will weigh between nine to 16 pounds.

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.

Energy Level

Shih Tzu dogs are highly loyal pups who will follow you everywhere you go. That’s about as far as their energy levels will allow, because this is one of a few small breeds that are prone to laziness. They will happily sit on their human’s lap and do nothing else for hours. 

Of course, exercise is still necessary, but a short walk or run will usually suffice for these little dogs.

Lifespan

Because Shih Tzus are small, and small dogs generally live longer than their larger counterparts, Shih Tzus are expected to live from 10 to 16 years with proper care and diet.

Fast Facts

  • Shih Tzu is a Mandarin phrase that translates to little lion. The Mongolian Emperor Kublai Khan was reported to have kept small “lion dogs” with his trained lions to keep the lions calm. Some think that these dogs were Shih Tzus.
  • The lion dog moniker was also given to the Shih Tzu breed because during the Ming Dynasty, Chinese royal families liked to keep these small, docile dogs as pets. Documents from that time mentioned small dogs that strongly resembled lions.
  • Shih Tzus as a breed were almost wiped out in 1908 after the death of the Dowager Empress Tzu Hi, who had a breeding program in place for these dogs. When she died, the program fell apart and, it became next to impossible to get Shih Tzus. 
  • The modern Shih Tzus can trace their ancestry to one of 14 dogs (seven males and seven females) that were used to build the breed back.

Why Quality Food Matters For Your Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are a pretty healthy breed for the most part, and they are so very low maintenance except for that long hair that needs to be groomed daily. But like other small breeds, or all dog breeds for that matter, they need food that can provide the correct nourishment their specific breed needs. 

There are so many dog foods available in the market. However, not all of them will be good for your dog’s health. And not all of them will provide the correct nutrition to help your pet thrive. 

Quality food does make a difference in pups. Premium ones will often have higher digestibility than non-premium ones. And high-quality dog foods often have a shorter ingredients list, meaning there are less chances of fillers and artificial stuff — which can also trigger food allergies and sensitivities — making it to the mix. 

And quality dog food often translates to a beautiful coat, healthy skin, regular (and solid) bowel movements, high energy, and overall wellness. Because premium food does not skimp on the good ingredients, there is no need for unnecessary inclusions (like excessive salt or sugar, which are detrimental to good health) to make the food more palatable to dogs.

Overall Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus

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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 7
Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  • Made with only the best ingredients possible
  • Offers a fresh and tasty meal
  • Minimally processed to retain nutrients
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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 8
Taste of the Wild Prairie Formula
  • High protein content for energy
  • Well-balanced diet for adult pooches
  • Immune support to keep dogs from sickness
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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 9
American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
  • Array of primary animal proteins
  • Incorporated with salmon oil and flaxseeds
  • With necessary ingredients for best health
Check Price on Chewy
10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 10
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  • Crafted for the well-being of pups
  • Chicken provides the tasty protein
  • Better immune system health
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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 11
Purina Beyond Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe in Gravy
  • Provides a good amount of protein
  • A tasty meal that assists a dog's growth
  • Keeps long coat glossy
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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 12
Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Veggies Recipe
  • Maintains a dog's digestive health
  • Prevents IBS, colitis, and obesity
  • Facilitates regular bowel movement
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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 13
VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula
  • Composed of 88% meat protein
  • Provides energy for agile canines
  • Great for dogs with sensitive stomachs
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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 14
Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula
  • Main protein comes from beef
  • Includes superfoods for better health
  • With live microorganisms for gut support
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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 15
Merrick Real Beef, Lamb & Bison Dinner
  • Features tri-protein recipe
  • Strictly omits fillers and grains
  • Hand-crafted and produced in texas
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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 16
Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken
  • Loaded with essential nutrients
  • Exclusively made in the USA
  • Delectable, protein-packed diet
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What Is The Best Dog Food For Shih Tzu?

  1. Ollie Fresh Pet Food Delivery
  2. Taste of the Wild Prairie Formula
  3. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
  4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  5. Purina Beyond Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe in Gravy
  6. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Veggies Recipe
  7. VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula
  8. Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula
  9. Merrick Real Beef, Lamb & Bison Dinner
  10. Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken
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1. Ollie Fresh Pet Food (Turkey)

Rating: 5/5

First 5 ingredients: Turkey, Kale, Lentils, Carrots, Coconut Oil, Turkey Liver

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 17
Ollie 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. Their meals do not include any artificial ingredients or unnecessary fillers.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 11%
Crude Fat 7%
Moisture 75%

We chose this Ollie recipe as our best dog food for Shih Tzus because it is fresh, customized for pups, and made up of only the best ingredients possible.

Ollie dog food is a unique wet food option that offers a tasty meal your Shih Tzu will enjoy. It is made with fresh, human-grade ingredients that are processed minimally as a way to retain as many nutrients as possible.

Ollie also makes sure that its meals do not include any artificial ingredients or unnecessary fillers. The ingredients list is quite short and packed with recognizable ingredients.

The brand customizes its recipes to each specific customer’s dog, taking into account the breed, size, age, and energy levels of the dog. This way, you are certain that you are giving your pup the precise amount of calories and nutrition that he needs with each meal instead of the rough approximation that happens with other dog food brands. 

Ollie 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.

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Pros:

  • Human-grade ingredients crafted specially for dogs
  •  Off
  • Human-grade ingredients crafted specially for dogs
  • Single animal protein source
  • High-quality protein content
  • No fillers or artificial ingredients
  • Low in calories

Cons:

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

2. Taste of the Wild Prairie Formula

Rating: 4.5/5

First 5 ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 18
Includes tasty buffalo and bison ingredients that deliver great protein content for your Shih Tzu, a very important aspect of your dog’s diet for optimal muscle development.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 32%
Crude Fat 18%
Fiber 4%

This grain-free dry dog food by Taste of the Wild includes tasty buffalo and bison ingredients that deliver high-quality protein content, an important aspect of your dog’s diet that offers a lot of energy and helps with the preservation of lean muscle mass for optimal weight control.

This is a well-balanced formula for adult dogs that includes peas and sweet potatoes to provide fiber and energy that is easy to digest.

Added veggies and fruits in this dry dog food 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 grain-free 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.

This recipe was crafted to provide ideal nutrition without the threat of stomach issues or allergic reactions that can develop further.

Pros:

  • Highly digestible formula for pups 
  • Contains guaranteed levels of fatty acids
  • Includes a K-9 probiotic blend that encourages a healthy digestive tract
  • This is a grain-free and gluten-free recipe
  • High in protein

Cons:

  • Not for sensitive pups due to multiple animal protein content

3. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe

Rating: 4.25/5

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 19
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.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 32%
Crude Fat 14%
Fiber 5%

This American Journey dry dog food recipe is made with deboned salmon, chicken meal, and turkey meal as primary animal protein sources to help with the maintenance of lean muscle mass. 

This grain-free 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.

The recipe is crafted for Shih Tzus of all life stages, which is why DHA — a major component in the cognitive function and development of Shih Tzu puppies — is present.

Glucosamine and chondroitin, which are vital in supporting older canines with joint problems, are also included along with omega fatty acids and other important nutrients.

Pros:

  • Protein-rich dry dog food formula
  • Grain-free and gluten-free recipes
  • Has glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
  • Contains guaranteed levels of DHA, zinc, and other nutrients

Cons:

  • Kibble is somewhat hard

4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Rating: 4.5/5

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 20
Crafted with the complete well-being of puppies in their growing stage. Blue Buffalo also adds a special combination of nutrients called LifeSource Bits that are boosted with added antioxidants for immune system health.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 27%
Crude Fat 16%
Fiber 5%

This chicken and brown rice puppy food by Blue Buffalo is crafted by keeping in mind 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 deliver all of the minerals and vitamins that promote healthy development for your Shih Tzu.

This Shih Tzu puppy food contains a special combination of nutrients and antioxidants called LifeSource Bits to boost your dog’s immune system health.

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.

Pros:

  • Supports immune system health
  • No fillers like soy, wheat, or corn to avoid allergic flare-ups
  • Small kibble size meant for small jaws
  • Guaranteed levels of DHA, ARA, omegas, and more
  • Has probiotics

Cons:

  • Caused some puppers to become gassy

More Top Rated Shih Tzu Foods:

5. Purina Beyond Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe in Gravy

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Liver, Dried Egg Whites, Sweet Potato

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 21
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. Antioxidants are also included in this tasty wet food to keep free radicals from creating damage inside your pup’s body.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 8%
Crude Fat 3.5%
Moisture 82%

This chicken and sweet potato wet dog food formulation by Purina Beyond is prepared with fresh chicken to provide a good amount of protein, offering your pup a tasty meal that helps him grow and maintain his lean muscle mass.

Liver has been added to this grain-free recipe not only to boost the protein content but also to deliver minerals and vitamins that are required for your pup’s best health. (Organ meats are nutrient dense.)

Chicken liver is also a good source of omega fatty acids, which promote healthy skin and keep your Shih Tzu’s long coat glossy. Like any quality dog food on the market, this recipe does not include artificial ingredients and fillers.

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.

Unlike other Purina lines, Purina Beyond is a subrange that uses only premium quality ingredients. Not only are there no artificial ingredients, this recipe for adult dogs also does not use soy, wheat, or poultry by-product meal. The chicken is free-range and raised without hormones or steroids.

Pros:

  • Made from free-range chicken raised without steroids or hormones
  • Single animal protein source
  • Limited ingredient diet
  • Has natural prebiotic fiber

Cons:

  • Too much gravy

6. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Veggies Recipe

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Soybean Meal, Grain Sorghum, Dried Peas

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 22
A simple recipe with chicken and vegetables that makes this kibble a great option with natural ingredients. Provides balanced nutrition without the addition of needless fillers, poultry by-product meal, or artificial ingredients.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 8%
Crude Fat 14%
Crude Fiber 4%

This chicken and vegetable recipe by Rachael Ray is crafted with simple and all-natural ingredients, making it a great dry dog food for Shih Tzu pooches.

Using farm-raised chicken as the number one ingredient, this dry dog food formula provides the balanced nutrition needed by an adult Shih Tzu without the addition of needless fillers, poultry by-product meal, or artificial ingredients. 

The brown rice provides your pet with enough fiber to support his digestive health. The fiber in your Shih Tzu’s diet can prevent certain diseases like IBS, colitis, and obesity. It is also efficient in facilitating regular bowel movements by preventing constipation.

Not only is the dry dog food formulated to support your pup’s internal body workings, but it is also crafted to maintain healthy skin and keep your pet’s hair soft and silky through its rich supply of omega fatty acids.

Pros:

  • Contains added vitamins, minerals, and taurine
  • Has guaranteed levels of omega fatty acids
  • Dry dog food uses mixed tocopherols as natural preservatives
  • Chicken is the only animal protein source

Cons:

  • The kibble is small but a little harder than other regular kibble

7. VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Pork Meal, Chicken Meal

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 23
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.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 30%
Crude Fat 20%
Crude Fiber 3.8%

This dry dog food by VICTOR was created with active doggos in mind. It is an appropriate food for Shih Tzus of all life stages, from puppies to senior ones.

Composed of 88% meat protein from quality animal sources, this dry dog food should be able to provide all of your pup’s energy needs should he be one of the few from this breed who loves to be always on the move. 

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.

This recipe is great for dogs with sensitive stomachs as it is gluten-free and contains no corn, wheat, or peas. It is also loaded with natural fruit and vegetable ingredients that will aid digestive health.

This dry food formula includes the proprietary VICTOR CORE of selenium yeast (metabolic function, cellular regeneration and a strong immune response), mineral complexes (support a healthy coat and skin, paw pad integrity, immune response and efficient metabolism), prebiotics (promote immune defense and healthy digestive systems), and probiotics (promote healthy digestion and a strong immune system).

Pros:

  • Composed of 88% animal protein
  • Made for all life stages, including pregnant and nursing females
  • Contains the proprietary VPRO Blend for immune and digestive system health
  • Good dog food for high-performance canines

Cons:

  • Not very well-received by picky eaters

8. Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Ground White Rice, Dried Yeast, Egg Product

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 24
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.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 25%
Crude Fat 15%
Crude Fiber 3.5%

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.

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This dry dog food recipe takes most of its protein from beef, although there is also egg product in it for an added protein boost. Fiber and carbs are provided by the ground white rice, which is a highly digestible food that’s perfect for easily upset tummies.

After the beef and rice, much of what’s left of the dry food is made up of superfoods, such as kale, chia seed, blueberries, quinoa, and more. These superfoods replace common fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy (which are never present within Diamond Naturals' recipes). 

Pros:

  • Contains live microorganisms for gut health
  • Has chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health
  • With guaranteed levels of fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat
  • Quality dog food at an affordable price

Cons:

  • Kibble pieces are a little bit big for some toy breeds

9. Merrick Real Beef, Lamb & Bison Dinner

Rating: 4.5/5

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Beef, Beef Broth, Beef Liver, Deboned Lamb, Deboned Bison

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 25
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.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 9%
Crude Fat 5%
Moisture 78%

Merrick never uses ingredients from China and all of its products are hand-crafted and produced in Hereford, Texas using locally sourced ingredients. The company offers its customers three promises for their pets – the quality they want, the nutrition they need, and the taste they love.

The brand also offers the Merrick Five Star Promise which guarantees local growers, real whole foods, company-owned kitchens, balanced nutrition, and health you can see.

This grain-free Texas beef, lamb, and bison recipe by Merrick delivers just the right amount of protein in kibbles packed with flavor. This wet dog food formula can be good for pups who have sensitive stomachs or who suffer from allergies because it omits fillers and grains.

The recipe is made with whole and premium ingredients sourced from trusted farmers. It’s a pate-style dog food feast that features 96% protein from three animal sources. The fat, meanwhile, is provided by salmon oil, which is rich in omegas.

Produced in small batches, each can of this grain-free dog food is closely monitored to ensure that it delivers a complete and balanced number of nutrients that are guaranteed on the label. 

Pros:

  • High in protein
  • 96% of the protein comes from quality animal sources
  • Cooked in small batches
  • All-natural dog food (nothing artificial)
  • No poultry

Cons:

  • Too wet for a pate-style food

10. Instinct Original Recipe with Real Chicken

Rating: 4.5/5

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Tapioca

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 26
A grain-free option formulated for the adult stage of life. 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.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 37%
Crude Fat 20%
Crude Fiber 3%

Every one of Nature’s Variety’s recipes are loaded with protein and essential nutrients. All of the products are manufactured in the United States, but the brand does source some of its protein from other countries.

Nature’s Variety’s chicken dry dog food recipe 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 coat and skin.

Each piece of kibble has a freeze-dried raw coating which makes it highly enticing to pups, even the picky eaters. Because of the amount of meat in the food and the raw coating, this recipe contains an excellent level of protein that’s perfect for active doggos, including performance pups.

Pros:

  • Made of 70% real animal ingredients and nutritious oils
  • Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics
  • Freeze-dried raw kibble coating
  • Grain-free dog food

Cons:

  • A bit smelly, according to some reviews
best dog food for Shih Tzus

Common Health Issues of Shih Tzus

No matter how healthy dogs may be, there are certain medical conditions that each breed type is predisposed to. Small and toy breeds, for example, are more likely to suffer from oral disease than larger dogs. Additionally, because smaller dogs have less bone in their mouth, they are also susceptible to loose teeth.

Shih Tzu owners must also contend with these other common health problems:

  • Ear infections – The Shih Tzu dog has floppy ears and hair-filled ear canals that make the risk of ear infections high. Your pup could get it from yeast or bacterial overgrowth, or from mites. Make sure to clean your pet’s ears regularly to prevent this.
  • Breathing problems – The short face and the shape of the airways of a Shih Tzu dog makes it hard for him to breathe. Be vigilant during hot days, and avoid walking your pooch during high temps.
  • Luxating Patella – This is a hereditary condition in the Shih Tsu dog which concerns abnormal movement or the dislocation of kneecaps. A regular checkup with your pet’s vet will provide early detection of the disease. 
  • Back problems – Because a Shih Tzu dog has a long back, neck and back issues — such as intervertebral disk disease — are common problems in the breed. 
  • Allergies – Shih Tzus often have to contend with skin and food allergies that cause skin irritations and itchiness. Mold and airborne allergens are often the culprit, along with sensitivity to corn, wheat, and soy. 
  • Cataracts – This hereditary condition, which causes the eye to cloud over, is more frequentlhy seen in Shih Tzus. It can develop as your dog ages.
  • Hip dysplasia – While more common in large breed dogs, some small breeds are also prone to hip dysplasia. Unfortunately, one of those breeds include the Shih Tzu.  This condition occurs when the joints of your Shih Tzu dog develops improperly. It’s a painful condition that can be relieved some by quality food, supplements, or in severe cases, surgery. 

While diseases and medical conditions need professional intervention, it can’t be denied that dog food plays a major role in helping a dog thrive in spite of. Food is often a dog’s first line of defense against sickness, and if you choose well, you’ll be rewarded with a dog that’s happy, healthy, and full of life. 

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10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 27

What To Look For in Quality Dog Food

Meat First. Unless it’s wet food — in which case, it can start with water or broth — dog food recipes should always start with a meat ingredient. 

A Shih Tzu’s diet should be high in protein to help them build lean muscles and support optimal weight, particularly since they are not as active as other pups. 

They may belong to the class of small dog breeds and have small tummies, but Shih Tzus burn up calories fast. A high protein dog food will help keep your little pet satiated throughout the day.

Supplements and Vitamins. Because Shih Tzus have long beautiful hair, try to look for dog foods that contain omega fatty acids to keep your pup’s fur shiny. These fatty acids nourish your pup’s coat to a more lustrous finish.

There are also many other kinds of added supplementation in dog foods that are geared towards certain issues or medical conditions. Some brands add chondroitin and glucosamine for joint and hip pain, others include probiotics and prebiotics to aid in digestion, and so on. 

Choose dog foods that will help answer the needs of your pup.

Ingredients To Avoid

The list is actually long. There are many harmful ingredients to avoid in dog food, and just as many, if not more, ingredients that do not contribute anything towards your pup’s health. These include:

1. Artificial preservatives – Natural preservatives cost more, so in order to cut on costs, some companies prefer to use artificial preservatives instead. The problem with artificial preservatives is that these can be harmful to your dog’s health. 

For example, BHA is a preservative that is approved for use in dog food in the USA, Canada, and some EU countries. But the CDC (Center for Disease Control) lists BHA as a carcinogen for humans. If it is deadly for humans, then it could be just as deadly for your pet.

2. Meat By-Products and Meat Meals – Meat by-products and meat meals are unlabeled meat products with questionable content. Because these meats are not labeled, you can’t be sure from which animal they come from. Aside from being unsuitable for dogs with food sensitivities because you won’t know from which animal it was sourced from, you also can’t be certain which part was used either. 

3. Artificial food coloring and flavor – Artificial food coloring is highly unnecessary in dog food because dogs don’t appreciate color. What pricks their interest is the smell of food and not its hue. 

Artificial flavoring is also highly unnecessary if your Shih Tzu dog’s diet is a premium one. If it’s meaty and does not contain fillers, dogs will naturally gravitate towards it even without the boost of artificial flavor.

Besides being unneccessary, these ingredients may even trigger allergies and sensitivities in pups. 

4. Carrageenan – It’s seemingly healthy because it’s derived from seaweed, but carrageenan has been shown to induce inflammation in animals. Be wary of this ingredient if you find it on your dog food label.

7 Special Dietary And Nutritional Considerations Of Shih Tzus

When feeding your pup, be sure to provide a dog 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.

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.

best dog food for Shih Tzus

5 Key Nutritional Needs of a Shih Tzu Puppy

Protein – A diet rich in high-quality 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. Healthy 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.

10 Healthiest & Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu in [year] 28

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.

Our Shih Tzu 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.

Conclusion

Although nicknamed “little lion,” there’s nothing aggressive or frightful about this dog breed. Shih Tzus are extremely affectionate pets who can get along with other animals and kids. They make for great companions for people who want to be showered with cuddles and unconditional love. 

To make sure that your best furry buddy stays healthy and thriving (and keep showering you with love), it’s important to take some time and examine the label of each dog food you buy. After all, the dog food he eats has a direct impact on the health of your pet. 

We’ve already taken most of the guesswork out of the equation when we came up with this list of the best dog food for Shih Tzus. With the wet and dry dog food recommendations listed above, you can’t go wrong! 

best dog food for Shih Tzus
Farmers Dog
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