With so many dog food brands on the market, it can be challenging to find a suitable one that will be best for your Shih Tzu. There are certain brands that are specially made for different dog breeds, such as Royal Canin, and more generic ones you might still want to consider. In this article, we’ll walk you through the various options if you are looking for the best dog food for your Shih Tzu.
Here’s our top 10 Best Dog Foods For Shih Tzus
Hungry Bark Superfoods – Deboned Chicken and Turkey
Hungry Bark is a newer company offering super premium dog foods and supplements. These foods are freshly made from the highest quality ingredients and are made from superfoods and probiotics. They source all the ingredients from local US farmers and slow cook the foods in an actual kitchen, instead of a factory.
They can create custom nutritional meal plans specific to your Shih Tzu based on a quick questionnaire about your pup. Or to start, you can try one of their standard kibble dog foods like this deboned chicken and turkey mixed with whole grains. We started feeding this to our dogs and they absolutely love it.
Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed
Choose between 4, 12, or 26 pound bags of this specially made for small dogs. It is made in the USA and is all-natural. As one of the best puppy food for Shih Tzu products available, it is also grain and animal by-products free and provides complete nutrition for your Shih Tzu, formulated to meet the high-energy needs of small dogs. The core of this food is to provide your Shih Tzu with long-term well-being and ensures that their meals are safe, pure, and balanced.
Features and Benefits: Wellness CORE helps promote intestinal wellness with its probiotics and fiber content. Also included are essential vitamins minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants for immune system health, a shiny coat, and the nutrition your Shih Tzu needs. High protein content will give your Shih Tzu leaner muscle mass and will help burn off extra fat and calories. Your dog’s energy and nutritional requirements will be well provided for by the high quality carbohydrates with this brand.
NUTRO ULTRA Small & Toy Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
This dry food is available in a variety of sizes, from 4 lbs. to 30 lbs. It is specially made for small dogs, so it’s great Shih Tzu puppy food. It has no artificial additives, and the meat comes from natural and safe sources. It also contains fatty acids and antioxidants for other joint health and overall benefits. The small size kibble is easy to chew, so don’t worry about picky eaters not liking them.
Features and Benefits: There are a lot of health benefits that come with Nutro Ultra. It will help your Shih Tzu to have radiant skin and coat, strong lean muscles, a healthy immune system, sharp vision, and a healthy heart. It has high levels of antioxidants, in addition to the fact that its all-natural recipe is strictly protein-rich meat first.
Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult Dry Dog Food
You can choose between 2.5 pound or 10 pound bags for this Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Shih Tzu adult food. Royal Canin Shih Tzu specific dog foods is dedicated to formulating their products specifically for different breeds of pets. They take into account that breed’s lifestyle, nutritional requirements, and even tendency to develop joint health and other issues to create food that will address these concerns. Royal Canin’s breed formulas are made with giving your Shih Tzu the best nutrition in mind.
Features and Benefits: The specialized kibbles help reduce plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth. The size is also made to help your Shih Tzu’s mouth grasp it. The food has many nutrients to help protect the long and fragile coat of Shih Tzus. Don’t worry about picky eaters, because the intense flavor and aroma of Royal Canin will entice your pet to eat it, making it one of the best dog food for Shih Tzus.
DIAMOND NATURALS Small Breed Dog Real Chicken Recipe
This is part of the Diamond Naturals line of pet food and is made specifically for small adult dogs. It is available in a 6 pound bag or an 18 pound bag. You can also choose between two flavors: chicken & rice and lamb & rice. This food is especially created to meet the nutritional needs of your pet, and it meets the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles standards.
Features and Benefits: This USA-made dry food comes in small kibbles, which are so much easier for small dog breeds like Shih Tzus to chew. Not only that, it also has plaque reducing and teeth cleaning properties. Its nutritional content made from 27% protein, 16% fat and other superfoods makes sure your pup can have an active and healthy lifestyle and live its best dog life. This food can also be a source of live and naturally occurring microorganisms.
Halo Grain Free Natural Dry Dog Food, Small Breed Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe
This food uses only whole meat for its recipe. Whole meat is easier to digest for dogs, which means that your Shih Tzu can retain more protein and use it up for its activities. You can trust that this product has your pet’s nutritional needs in mind. You can choose between 4 and 10 pound bags and from two flavors: Turkey Duck & Pheasant, and Wholesome Chicken.
Features and Benefits: Halo’s foods are meat “meal”-free and are of butcher quality. The food is mixed with whole eggs, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. The ingredients are easily recognizable and are made from real turkey, pheasant, duck, and chicken meat. Your Shih Tzu will also experience the benefits of the omega fatty acids that this food provides. There are no artificial additives to this dog food, and it is also free from corn, wheat and wheat gluten.
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws for Small Breed Dogs
This food for Shih Tzus is offered as a chicken meal and rice combo or lamb meal and brown rice. They are available in 4.5 lb or 15.5 lb bags. The natural ingredients in this food provides high quality protein to maintain the lean muscle in your dog.
Features and Benefits: This food is full of nourishing Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E to promote skin and coat health in your Shih Tzu dog. It contains an antioxidant blend which is designed specifically to support the immune system of your small dog. It is also made in the USA and sourced from global ingredients which are easily digestible and good for any sensitive stomachs or GI health issues.
Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin
As one of the best food for Shih Tzus, Nature’s Recipe is available in 4 or 12 lb bags. The first ingredient is chicken, and this major protein source will help maintain muscle health for your Shih Tzu. It is also made with only natural colors and flavors.
Features and Benefits: As the title suggests, this food contains sweet potato and pumpkin, which are nutrient-dense carbohydrate sources that will fill your dog with plenty of energy. The small-sized kibble pieces are optimal for the smaller mouths of dogs like Shih Tzus. This is also a grain-free recipe, so you can be sure your best puppy is getting all the nutrients they need.
Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws for Small Breeds, Chicken & Barley Recipe, 5.8 oz Cans, 24 Pack
Wet food typically has more meat protein than dry, so your Shih Tzu will be well-fed by these Hill’s Science Diet cans. The chicken and barley recipe is available in 24-packs of the 5.8 oz cans. They contain high-quality protein and easily digestible ingredients.
Features and Benefits: This wet food can be used as a topper for dry Shih Tzu food or as a complete meal. Each can contains 166 kcal and helps make sure your dog will build and maintain lean muscle mass. It is also full of natural ingredients, sourced globally and packaged in the United States.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dog Food – Natural Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs – Chicken and Brown Rice – 15 lb. Bag
Another one of the best dog foods is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula, which is specifically made for small adult dogs. You can choose from chicken, fish, or lamb and brown rice flavors. They are available in 6 or 15 lb bags. Full of whole grains and real veggies and fruit, this best dog food for Shih Tzu is formulated to give the optimal nutrition for your furry friend.
Features and Benefits: The best dog foods for Shih Tzus are made with real meat, and Blue Buffalo has chicken as its first ingredient. The recipe also includes LifeSource Bits, which is Blue Buffalo’s exclusive blend of vitamins minerals and antioxidants. The LifeSource blend has been made from the recommendations of veterinarian and animal nutritionists. This Shih Tzu adult food ensures your pet will get the nutrients they need to support immune system health.
Health Extension Little Bites
Our final recommendation for Shih Tzu puppy or adult dogs is Health Extension Little Bites. This dry food comes in 1, 4, 10, 18 or 30 lb bags crafted especially for small size dogs. This dry kibble is suitable for small dogs of all ages.
Features and Benefits: The first ingredient in this dry food is USDA inspected, deboned chicken. It is also made with flaxseed, which is rich in fiber perfect for sensitive stomachs. It also has pure coconut oil, a great supplement to the food since it increases energy levels, improves skin and coat, and is great for a Shih Tzu with allergies.
- Check out the list of food we recommend for a Dachshund – there are some top choices in there to consider too, for Shih Tzu food.
What Are The Best Ingredients for Your Shih Tzu’s Food?
The best food for Shih Tzu dogs is low in carbohydrates, because Shih Tzus are prone to becoming obese. Take note that it should just have limited ingredient carb content, and not a total lack, because your dog still needs carbs for a well-balanced diet. In order to maintain your dog’s ideal weight without having to sacrifice carbohydrates, your best choice would be to get food with a high protein to low carb ratio.
Good protein sources are chicken, chicken meal, turkey, turkey meal, and eggs. Proteins will help your Shih Tzu get leaner muscles and will also do wonders for your pet’s coat. Some of the best dog foods provide lean meat products as their primary ingredients, and you should opt for those over products which have limited ingredient lists.
Regarding carbohydrates, make sure to get food that makes use of healthy complex sources of carbs rather than simple, processed carbohydrates. In general, it’s best to avoid any wheat and grain ingredients in your dog’s food, as it can also be a cause of allergies. Besides, dogs are carnivorous by nature and wouldn’t be able to digest wheat and other grains well. This means you shouldn’t get food made from corn and soy. Instead, choose ones with sweet potatoes, rice, oats and barley as carbohydrate sources.
Foods To Avoid for Your Shih Tzu
Some dogs may have stomach issues, which is why we reviewed the best foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs. However, there are other foods you need to avoid, too. You are probably aware that several human foods are toxic for dogs in general. Sure, there might be times when you want to give your dog a treat from your own snacks, but remember to stay away from the following foods to make sure you are not compromising your Shih Tzu’s health and well-being:
- Raisins and Grapes: These might be healthy for humans, but they are definitely not safe to feed your dog. Feeding your dog even a small amount of these can lead to kidney damage and are especially more dangerous for small dogs like Shih Tzus. Be careful when leaving raisins or grapes around your home, as your dog might accidentally eat them.
- Chocolate: This is a pretty well-known one. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, especially to small dogs, and can cause seizures, coma, and even death.
- Onions: Onions can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, so be careful not to accidentally feed your dog anything with onions in it.
- Coffee, Tea, and Soda: Basically anything with caffeine should be off limits to your pup. Caffeine has similar effects to chocolate and can put your dog in serious danger.
- Salt: This is okay in small portions, but too much salt can give your dog kidney stones that will be painful and dangerous for them.
- Macadamia nuts: Keep the expensive nuts to yourself, as dogs who ingest this nut can get muscle tremors and paralysis. It’s best to keep it out of your dog’s reach if you don’t want to put them in danger.
- Fruit pits and seeds: This covers all kinds of fruit pits and seeds. Your dog will have difficulty breathing and fluids can fill up in your pet’s abdomen and heart. It can be extreme enough to kill your dog within 24 hours.
Find out what your dog can and can’t eat in this handy printable:
General Nutritional Guidelines for Shih Tzus
The best food for Shih Tzus should have a good balance of three main nutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Protein helps build your dog’s muscle and tissues. Fats provide support for your dog’s brain, immunity, skin/coat and are also a source of energy. Carbohydrates give dietary fiber that will support your dog’s digestive system along with providing some vitamins and minerals.
Proteins are the most important out of all three, because dogs are largely carnivorous and would benefit the most from this nutriet. But did you know that protein can come from both plant and animal sources? Do note, though, that dogs can mostly process meat-based protein better than plant-based ones, so you should ideally look into food that has meat-based protein sources.
Fat is the second most important nutrient in your Shih Tzu puppy food, as it is the most concentrated source of energy for a dog. Similar to protein, the fats in your dog’s food should come from meat-based sources. Plant fat can be used to balance out the fatty acid contents of food as well. Fats can also help your dog utilize fat-soluble vitamins better.
Lastly, there are carbohydrates and other supplements. Because of your dog’s carnivorous nature, you should get carb sources from whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, or legumes, ideally making simple carbs a limited ingredient in their diet. As for supplements, vitamins and minerals will help balance out your dog’s diet and are best if they come from fresh fruits and vegetables. Chelated minerals are also a good addition, as your dog’s body can easily absorb them.
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Our top recommendation for the best food for Shih Tzu small dogs would be the Royal Canin Shih Tzu food, because it is the only one on this list that is formulated with Shih Tzus specifically in mind. While the other brands are great in their own right, it’s great to come across a brand that has taken the Shih Tzu dog’s specific breed into consideration for their formula to provide optimal nutrition.
Give your treasured pet the best puppy food for Shih Tzus available on the market. Their coat will be well taken care off and the kibble of this brand is also specially made for your Shih Tzu’s tiny mouth to grasp better.