Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus in 2024

Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus in 2024: Selecting Superior Sustenance

The Shih Tzu, with its distinctive appearance and charming personality, is a beloved breed among dog lovers. These small, lively companions have specific nutritional needs that are crucial to maintaining their health and well-being. Selecting the right dog food is essential to cater to their unique dietary requirements.

Understanding Shih Tzus’ Dietary Needs

Shih Tzus are known for their long, luxurious coats and playful demeanor. Their dietary needs are influenced by their small size, metabolic rate, and breed-specific health concerns. Common issues include dental problems due to their small jaws, allergies, and sensitive digestion.

Key Nutrients for Shih Tzus

  • High-Quality Protein Sources: Proteins are vital for maintaining muscle mass. Look for dog foods with real meat, fish, or poultry as the primary ingredients.
  • Balanced Fats and Carbohydrates: Fats provide the necessary energy and help maintain a healthy coat. Carbohydrates should be easily digestible, and sourced from whole grains or vegetables.
  • Essential Vitamins and Minerals: Important for supporting bone health, digestion, and immune function. Look for added nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and essential vitamins.

Reviewing Top Dog Food Brands for Shih Tzus

  1. Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult Dry Dog Food
    • Pros: Specially formulated for Shih Tzus, with nutrients to support skin health and coat condition. Small kibble size for easy chewing.
    • Cons: Contains grains, which may not suit all dogs.
    • Price: Approximately $42 for a 10-lb bag.
    • Purchase Options: Available at pet stores and online.
  2. Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws for Small Breeds
    • Pros: High-quality protein and is easy to digest. Contains omega-6 fatty acids for coat health.
    • Cons: Includes chicken meal and grains.
    • Price: Around $30 for a 15.5-lb bag.
    • Purchase Options: Available in pet stores and online.
  3. Blue Buffalo Small Breed Chicken & Rice Formula
    • Pros: Real chicken as the first ingredient, enriched with LifeSource Bits for antioxidants.
    • Cons: Some dogs may be sensitive to chicken or grains.
    • Price: Approximately $35 for a 15-lb bag.
    • Purchase Options: Widely available in stores and online.
  4. Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food
    • Pros: Grain-free, high in protein, formulated for small breeds.
    • Cons: Higher price point.
    • Price: About $40 for a 12-lb bag.
    • Purchase Options: Available in pet stores and online.
  5. Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe
    • Pros: Grain-free, made with real deboned meat, and contains probiotics for digestive health.
    • Cons: It may not suit dogs with sensitivities to richer diets.
    • Price: Approximately $40 for a 12-lb bag.
    • Purchase Options: Sold in select pet stores and online.

Special Dietary Considerations for Shih Tzus

Dental health is a significant concern for Shih Tzus. Small kibble sizes are preferred to aid in chewing and dental hygiene. Managing their weight is also crucial to avoid obesity, which can exacerbate health issues like joint problems.

Feeding Guidelines for Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus typically does well on two small meals per day. Portion control is essential to prevent overfeeding. When introducing a new diet, gradually mix the new food with the existing one over several days to prevent digestive upset.

Homemade Dog Food and Supplements

Homemade meals can be a good option for Shih Tzus, especially for those with specific dietary needs or sensitivities. Supplements like fish oil for skin and coat health or glucosamine for joint support can be beneficial. Consult with a veterinarian or pet nutritionist to ensure a balanced diet.

FAQs About Feeding Shih Tzus

  1. What should I look for in dog food for a Shih Tzu?
    • Focus on high-quality protein sources, digestible carbohydrates, and essential nutrients. Small kibble size is also an important consideration.
  2. Can Shih Tzus eat grain-free diets?
    • Grain-free diets can be suitable if they are nutritionally balanced and meet the dog’s individual needs.
  3. How much food should I feed my Shih Tzu?
    • Follow the feeding guidelines on the dog food package, adjusted based on your Shih Tzu’s age, weight, and activity level.
  4. Is wet or dry food better for Shih Tzus?
    • Both can be appropriate. Wet food can help with hydration, while dry kibble can aid in dental health.
  5. Are there any specific ingredients to avoid for Shih Tzus?
    • Avoid artificial additives and fillers, and be cautious with ingredients known to cause allergies in your dog.


Choosing the right dog food is crucial for Shih Tzu’s health and happiness. By understanding their unique dietary requirements and selecting an appropriate diet, you can ensure your Shih Tzu remains vibrant and healthy.


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