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Shih Tzus are constantly one of the vital standard small canine breeds within the U.S. and a household favourite for his or her extremely affectionate and easy-going temperaments. These low-energy puffballs make good lap canines, however, on account of their sedentary nature and a few frequent well being points, ShihTzus have particular dietary wants.

We clarify all of the dietary and feeding necessities for Shih Tzus at each life stage and the way particular components could be useful in your furbaby’s general well being in addition to potential well being issues frequent on this lovable breed. Lastly, we’ve researched lots of of pet food manufacturers and formulation to present you our suggestions for the very best moist and dry pet food for Shih Tzus.

At A Look: Greatest Canine Meals For Shih Tzus

Be aware: The entire canine meals we’ve included in our critiques meet or exceed Affiliation of American Feed Management Officers (AAFCO) dietary tips, are made in North America, and include no fillers, by-products, preservatives, or synthetic components.

Dietary Wants For Shih Tzus

shih tzu dog looking up at a hand holding food

This toy breed solely reaches 9-10 inches in top and may weigh anyplace from 9-16 kilos as an grownup. Shih Tzus require a weight loss plan that incorporates average energy and protein in addition to wholesome fat, fiber, and complicated carbohydrates.

Among the hereditary well being challenges that have an effect on this breed can’t be prevented by weight loss plan, however high-quality pet food may help cut back the danger and severity of some circumstances. For instance, many Shih Tzus endure from ear infections, so a nutritious weight loss plan wealthy in antioxidants may help the immune system battle off infections. Listed below are another methods a premium weight loss plan can profit your Shih Tzu all through his lifetime.

Weight Management Is Important

Due to their small measurement and low-energy degree, Shih Tzus are extra susceptible to weight acquire than many different breeds. And even a few additional kilos can worsen breed-related well being points they face. Sustaining a wholesome weight may help stop a luxating patella (dislocated kneecap) and sluggish the development of intervertebral disc illness (IVDD) and hip dysplasia, two skeletal issues generally affecting this breed.

Like all flat-faced breeds, Shih Tzus endure from brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS), and being obese can critically intensify respiratory issues related to this persistent situation. Avoiding meals with pointless fillers, preservatives, and synthetic components may help your pup keep an excellent weight and maintain extreme signs at bay.

Knowledgeable Tip: In case your Shih Tzu is even barely obese, it’s essential to get it below management as quickly as doable to keep away from the issues we outlined above and extra long-term well being points, like diabetes, arthritis, coronary heart illness, and extra. See our information on obese and overweight canines and our critiques of the greatest pet food for weight reduction.

Allergic reactions

Shih Tzus are notably susceptible to environmental and meals allergic reactions. Widespread meals allergens, corresponding to wheat, soy, rooster, and beef, could cause extraordinarily itchy pores and skin and/or digestive issues. An all-natural, limited-ingredient weight loss plan wealthy in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids (fish, fish oil, flaxseed, and many others.) helps cut back and even remove signs.

Eye Well being

Eye illnesses, corresponding to cataractsglaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy, are yet one more well being concern many Shih Tzus face as they age. A high-quality weight loss plan usually incorporates lots of the vitamins vital for sustaining eye well being and decreasing the dangers and signs of eye circumstances.

These embrace omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, vitamin A, taurine, and antioxidants. You’ll additionally need to search for the inclusion of the very best complete meals for eye well being, together with carrots, pumpkin, candy potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli, blueberries, cold-water fish, and eggs.

Knowledgeable Tip For Tear Stains: Whereas Shih Tzus are infamous for tear stains, they’re not a threatening well being situation. Nonetheless, if you wish to cut back these unpleasant reddish-brown stains below your pup’s eyes, a change in pet food might assist. Eradicating pink meat out of your canine’s weight loss plan and switching to high-quality pet food that’s low in carbohydrate fillers has been proven to assist with tear staining. 

Past Fundamental Elements

All pet food ought to embrace protein, carbs, fats, fiber, and important nutritional vitamins and minerals. However lots of the most nutritious premium canine meals are fortified with further components which have main well being advantages in your furry good friend. Listed below are a couple of you’ll need to search for and the way they help your pup’s well being. In your comfort, we’ve listed these premium components in our critiques.

  • Fruits & greens: wonderful pure sources of fiber, nutritional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help immune well being
  • Fish oil and/or flaxseed: sources of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids Docosahexenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) that help mind and eye growth and pores and skin, coat, joint, and immune well being
  • Glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate (usually from rooster meal*): maintains wholesome joints
  • Prebiotics & probiotics: help digestion and a wholesome degree of excellent intestine micro organism (usually consists of dried chickory root, a robust pure prebiotic)
  • Taurine: helps cardiovascular, eye, and mind well being, immune system perform, and advantages many different physique capabilities 
  • L-carnitine: an amino acid by-product that helps the metabolism of fat (notably useful for older, much less energetic canines) 
  • Organ meats: wonderful supply of premium high quality protein and fats in addition to nutritional vitamins A, B, D, and E, copper, iron, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc
  • Chia seeds: wealthy in plant protein, fiber, antioxidants, omega fatty acids, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus

*A notice about meat meal: High quality pet meals manufacturers usually use meat meal of their recipes, which could be a very wholesome supply of protein in your pup (so long as the “meat” is called, e.g., rooster meal, lamb meal, and many others.). A meal could be created from the meat, tissue, organ meat, bone, abdomen, and intestines of the named animal. However meal doesn’t embrace by-products like hair, feathers, beaks, heads, blood, hooves, conceal trimmings, and many others.

Greatest Moist Canine Meals For Shih Tzus (All Life Levels): The Farmer’s Canine

The Farmer’s Dog food packages

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Our high decide for the very best moist pet food for Shih Tzus in any respect life levels is The Farmer’s Canine, our favourite model that gives recent, human-grade pet food delivered proper to your door. Each recipe options whole-food USDA animal protein, greens, and fruits, all fortified with an excellent mix of nutritional vitamins and minerals in your pup’s life stage, measurement, and particular wants.

An enormous bonus in our ebook, they even pre-portion your canine’s customized meals for handy feeding. All it’s a must to do is fill out a quick survey, which incorporates your furry good friend’s age, breed, present weight, physique form, and whether or not he has any well being circumstances. The Farmer’s Canine provides grain-free beef, rooster, pork, and turkey recipes developed by board-certified American Faculty of Veterinary Vitamin (ACVN) nutritionists and flash-frozen to protect vitamins and freshness. 

Whereas The Farmer’s Canine requires a subscription, you may cancel or pause it anytime. The one downsides? They solely provide grain-free formulation, and their meals are costly in comparison with premium kibble. Every recipe consists of totally different components, however right here’s an outline of their turkey method.

  • First 5 components: USDA turkey, chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, and spinach
  • System highlights: human-grade & whole-food components, restricted components, fish oil, and taurine
  • Assured evaluation: crude protein 38% (min), crude fats 26% (min), crude fiber 2% (max)
  • Energy: not obtainable


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Full Assessment Of The Farmer’s Canine

Greatest Pet Meals For Shih Tzus

Most veterinarians and animal nutritionists suggest that toy breeds ought to eat pet meals formulated particularly for small breeds. Toy and small-breed puppies have very excessive metabolic charges, requiring nutrient- and calorie-dense meals that’s larger in protein and fats than common pet meals.

Consultants additionally suggest feeding toy breeds not less than 4 meals per day till round six months outdated, when their metabolism and development begin to decelerate (then you may change to 3 instances per day). Youthful small-breed puppies burn via energy so quick they’re at a larger danger of growing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and extra frequent feedings assist cut back this danger. Listed below are our high picks for the very best dry meals for Shih Tzu puppies, which all have the perfect kibble measurement for little Shih Tzus.

Blue Buffalo Life Safety Small Breed Pet (Grain-Inclusive)

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy

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We suggest this Blue Buffalo small-breed pet method, which mixes an inexpensive value with premium, all-natural components to present your itty bitty Shih Tzu the perfect stability of vitamins for whole-body development and growth. This recipe options actual meat as the primary ingredient (an indication of high-quality pet food), easily-digestible healthful grains, and loads of fruits and veggies, corresponding to candy potatoes, kelp, carrots, blueberries, and cranberries.

It’s fortified with Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, a mix of antioxidants, nutritional vitamins, and chelated minerals formulated by animal nutritionists particularly for small-breed puppies. Just a few clients mentioned it triggered their pups to have diarrhea, however most rave about this pet meals.

  • First 5 components: deboned rooster, rooster meal, oatmeal, barley, and fish meal
  • System highlights: fish oil, flaxseed, dried chickory root, probiotics, taurine, and L-carnitine
  • Assured evaluation: crude protein 29% (min), crude fats 17% (min), crude fiber 5% (max)
  • Energy:  417 kcal/cup


Now Recent Grain-Free Small Breed Pet

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In case your pet is already exhibiting indicators of a meals intolerance, this premium small-breed pet method incorporates no beef, rooster, or grain merchandise, which can be simpler on his tummy or pores and skin. It’s additionally filled with omega fatty acids and probiotics, that are useful for pups with allergic reactions. Even when your pet doesn’t have allergy signs, this recipe is unbelievable for optimum development and a wholesome basis for all times.

It options high-quality turkey, salmon, and duck, tummy-friendly complicated carbs, and greater than 20 superfoods, corresponding to blueberries, broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, apples, and extra. We additionally love that Now Recent solely cooks all of the recent components as soon as on the lowest temperature doable to protect their vitamins and pure taste. The one potential draw back with this meals is its excessive value.

  • First 5 components: deboned turkey, complete dried egg, peas, pea flour, and potatoes
  • System highlights: chicken-free, flaxseed, coconut oil, taurine, dried chickory root, and probiotics
  • Assured evaluation: crude protein 28% (min), crude fats 18% (min), crude fiber 4% (max)
  • Energy:  415 kcal/cup


Wellness Full Well being Small Breed Pet (Grain-Inclusive)

Wellness Complete Health Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food

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This Wellness Full Well being method is crafted with larger energy to present your energetic little man loads of gas, and it’s fortified with tons of vitamins for whole-body well being and growth. This small-breed pet meals options actual turkey as the primary ingredient and easy-to-digest, lower-glycemic grains.

It additionally consists of complete fruits and veggies, corresponding to carrots, spinach, candy potatoes, blueberries, and apples (with no corn, wheat, or soy). Shih Tzu pet homeowners mentioned their pups love this meals and that it retains their coats tender and fluffy.

  • First 5 components: deboned turkey, rooster meal, oatmeal, salmon meal, and barley
  • System highlights: salmon oil, flaxseed, dried chickory root, probiotics, and taurine
  • Assured evaluation: crude protein 28% (min), crude fats 19% (min), crude fiber 4.25% (max)
  • Energy:  489 kcal/cup


Greatest Canine Meals For Grownup Shih Tzus

We suggest slowly transitioning your Shih Tzu to grownup meals round 11-12 months of age as soon as he’s completed most of his development. Toy and small breeds proceed to have quicker metabolic charges than bigger canines all through their maturity, so vets usually advise giving your Shih Tzu three meals per day of small-breed grownup pet food.

Open Farm Small Breed With Historical Grains

Open Farm Small Breed With Ancient Grains

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Whereas its pet and pet food is on the dear aspect, Open Farm is one among our favourite manufacturers on account of its superior humane, sustainable, and food-safety practices. All of their pet meals is formulated by animal vitamin consultants, and each batch is examined by an unbiased third-party lab.

This grownup small-breed recipe options humanely raised rooster and turkey, healthful grains, and domestically sourced fruits and veggies, corresponding to blueberries, kale, carrots, pumpkin, and candy potatoes. It’s additionally freed from corn, wheat, soy, peas, potato, and legumes. Open Farm additionally provides a grain-free model of this small-breed method.

  • First 5 components: rooster, turkey, menhaden fish meal, barley, and brown rice
  • System highlights: salmon oil, flaxseed, taurine, coconut oil, New Zealand green-lipped mussels (wonderful for joint help), and dried chicory root
  • Assured evaluation: crude protein 27.5% (min), crude fats 16% (min), crude fiber 5% (max)
  • Energy:  436 kcal/cup


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Full Assessment Of Open Farm Canine Meals

Stable Gold Mighty Mini Toy & Small Breed (Grain-Free)

Solid Gold Mighty Mini Toy & Small Breed (Grain-Free)

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With fewer energy and decrease fats content material than many premium choices, this Stable Gold method for toy and small breeds is an wonderful possibility for sofa potato Shih Tzus who require a little bit of weight management. It may be an incredible possibility in case your pup has a delicate abdomen or pores and skin points. This grain-free recipe options salmon as the first ingredient and consists of prebiotics, probiotics, omega fatty acids, and extra to assist ease digestive issues and itchy pores and skin.

It additionally incorporates carrots, pumpkin, blueberries, cranberries, and inexperienced beans for pure sources of added nutritional vitamins and minerals. Loads of toy dad and mom say their furballs thrive on this pet food and that it’s fairly efficient in warding off additional weight.

  • First 5 components: salmon, ocean fish meal, lentils, peas, and chickpeas
  • System highlights: decrease energy and fats, salmon oil, taurine, dried chickory root, and probiotics
  • Assured evaluation: crude protein 26% (min), crude fats 6% (min), crude fiber 10% (max)
  • Energy: 355 kcal/cup


Merrick Basic Wholesome Grains Small Breed

Merrick Classic small breed

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In case your Shih Tzu is exhibiting indicators of hip dysplasia or joint issues, this Merrick small-breed recipe may very well be an excellent weight loss plan to help his little physique. It incorporates excessive ranges of joint-friendly glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega fatty acids in comparison with lots of your different choices. Whether or not your pup has joint points or not, this method is a extremely nutritious, well-balanced weight loss plan for any toy breed.

That includes a mixture of actual deboned rooster, healthful grains, like quinoa, carrots, apples, chia seeds, and different fastidiously chosen well being components, this premium pet food incorporates no potatoes, peas, lentils, corn, wheat, or soy. Most clients with choosy pooches say their pups love this recipe.

  • First 5 components: deboned rooster, rooster meal, brown rice, and barley
  • System highlights: salmon meal, flaxseed, taurine, chia seeds, glucosamine, chondroitin, and probiotics
  • Assured evaluation: crude protein 27% (min), crude fats 16% (min), crude fiber 3.5% (max)
  • Energy:  404 kcal/cup


Greatest Meals For Senior Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are usually thought of seniors after they’re round 10 years outdated, so we suggest slowly transitioning your tiny tot to a small-breed senior pet food round this time. Aged Shih Tzus have to eat a weight loss plan decrease in energy and fats to assist stop weight acquire. A pet food wealthy in antioxidants and different immune-boosting vitamins can be important to assist stop most cancers, coronary heart issues, cataracts, and different points that older canines face.

Nutro Pure Selection Small Breed Senior (Grain-Inclusive)

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This highly-rated Nutro senior method is crafted particularly for small breeds who’ve slowed down as they age. It’s made with all non-GMO components, actual rooster as the primary ingredient, and easy-to-digest grains (no corn, wheat, or soy). The inclusion of dried pumpkin is helpful for wholesome digestion, and dried kale, spinach, and coconut present pure nutritional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for immune well being. Many shoppers say the small kibble measurement is ideal for his or her growing older seniors who’ve problem chewing.

  • First 5 components: rooster, rooster meal, complete grain barley, break up peas, and brewers rice
  • System highlights: fish oil, chia seeds, and glucosamine
  • Assured evaluation: crude protein 26% (min), crude fats 14% (min), crude fiber 4% (max)
  • Energy:  320 kcal/cup


Merrick Lil’ Plates Senior Small Breed (Grain-Free)

Merrick Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food

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One other unbelievable Merrick pet food, this method could also be a great possibility in case your Shih Tzu has a delicate abdomen or allergic reactions as a result of it’s grain-free and incorporates excessive ranges of probiotics and omega fatty acids. It additionally consists of loads of different components which can be essential for older pups’ joint, coronary heart, immune, pores and skin, and coat well being.

We love that it has a high-protein content material however average energy and fats to keep up wholesome muscle tissue and supply your pup vitality with out gaining weight. The small kibble measurement is ideal for toy breeds, and it has a crunchy texture to assist cut back plaque and maintain enamel clear.

  • First 5 components: deboned rooster, rooster meal, turkey meal, and candy potatoes
  • System highlights: salmon oil, flaxseed, taurine, glucosamine, chondroitin, chicory root, probiotics, and L-carnitine
  • Assured evaluation: crude protein 30% (min), crude fats 12% (min), crude fiber 3.5% (max)
  • Energy:  388 kcal/cup


Greatest Canine Meals For Shih Tzus With Allergic reactions

Sadly, this breed is predisposed to allergic reactions and meals intolerances, which might trigger persistent itchy pores and skin and/or digestive issues. If one thing in his present meals is the offender, switching to a limited-ingredient weight loss plan containing a novel protein (one he’s by no means eaten earlier than) may assist ease his signs. You may additionally need to take into account a canine allergy complement, so long as your vet provides you the inexperienced gentle.

Should you suspect your Shih Tzu has a meals intolerance or is allergic to environmental elements, corresponding to pollens, mud mites, and many others., it’s possible you’ll need to take into account an at-home canine allergy check to find the supply. All it’s a must to do is ship a saliva or hair pattern to the corporate’s lab and get outcomes inside a couple of weeks. You possibly can then share these outcomes together with your vet to assist additional slim down doable causes.

Ollie Lamb Recipe (Grain-Inclusive)

Ollie dog food

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One other of our favourite fresh-frozen pet food supply companies, Ollie is much like The Farmer’s Canine (see assessment above) in that it makes use of solely human-grade, whole-food components fastidiously chosen by animal nutritionists for optimum well being in all life levels. Ollie additionally personalizes your pup’s meals primarily based on his profile (age, gender, breed, weight, physique form, exercise degree, allergic reactions, and different well being points).

For Shih Tzus with allergic reactions, we suggest Ollie’s grain-inclusive lamb recipe, notably if their different protein choices (rooster, beef, and pork) don’t sit properly together with your pup. Nonetheless, their different formulation are grain-free so a type of may very well be a great possibility in case your pup has grain sensitivities. The restricted components and recent complete meals in all their recipes may very well be the reply to your furry good friend’s allergy issues.

  • First 5 components: lamb, butternut squash, lamb liver, chickpeas, and kale
  • System highlights: human-grade & whole-food components, restricted components, organ meat, salmon oil, chia seeds, and taurine
  • Assured evaluation (moist meals foundation): crude protein 10% (min), crude fats 7% (min), crude fiber 2% (max)
  • Energy: 1804 kcal ME/kg (notice: this isn’t kcal/cup like our different critiques)


Our readers can get 50% off their first order. Use this hyperlink to benefit from this provide (no low cost code wanted).

Full Assessment Of Ollie

Canidae Pure Petite Grownup Small Breed With Salmon (Grain-Free)

Canidae Pure Petite Adult Small Breed With Salmon (Grain-Free)

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This limited-ingredient grownup method by Canidae is a superb selection for small breeds who are suffering from allergic reactions. Grain, corn, and soy-free, it options actual salmon as the one animal protein supply, which can be a wonderful protein selection in case your pup doesn’t tolerate beef, rooster, or different proteins properly. The excessive ranges of omega fatty acids are additionally terrific for itchy, irritated pores and skin.

Coated with freeze-dried salmon, this small-sized kibble could make each mealtime tasty and nutritious in your Shih Tzu. Nonetheless, it’s larger in energy than many different choices, so that you’ll need to make sure that your little buddy isn’t gaining weight on this meals.

  • First 5 components: salmon, salmon meal, peas, lentils, and tapioca
  • System highlights: Rooster-free, restricted components, flaxseed, and probiotics
  • Assured evaluation: crude protein 24% (min), crude fats 12.5% (min), crude fiber 4% (max)
  • Energy:  525 kcal/cup


Ought to I Take into account Pet Insurance coverage For My Shih Tzu?

As a result of Shih Tzus have the potential to develop a number of hereditary and different expensive well being issues all through their lives, it’s possible you’ll need to plan forward in case you’re confronted with costly veterinary payments. Probably the greatest issues you are able to do to handle your funds and shield your pup’s well being is to signal your Shih Tzu up for pet insurance coverage.

It’s perfect to get your furry good friend coated as early as doable earlier than issues come up as a result of most pet insurance coverage suppliers don’t cowl pre-existing circumstances. Study how pet insurance coverage works and if it’s value it in your pup. Should you’re already accustomed to it, you should definitely see our critiques of the greatest pet insurance coverage firms.

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