Best Dog Food For Shih Tzus
The best dog food for your shih tzu must be AAFCO compliant, safe, affordable, and made with high-quality ingredients (predominantly meat).
More specifiably, the best food for your unique shih tzu will also depend on the following: age, weight, health, activity level, and budget.
Whether you've got a perfectly healthy shih tzu or one with food allergies and sensitives, we've got the resources to help you find the best dog food.
In this article, we'll provide some general recommendations. If your shih tzu has any special needs, consider using our Dog Food Finder.
Disclosure: PawDiet has an affiliate relationship with stores featured (or linked-to) in this article. We are compensated for referring customers. Thank you for shopping with our retail partners!
How To Choose Dog Food For Shih Tzus
In the United States, nearly all major dog food companies formulate products to meet the nutritional standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Never feed your shih tzu any dog food that does not meet these minimum standards.
You can determine if an individual product is AAFCO approved by reading the review on our website or looking for a nutritional adequacy statement on the product's packaging.
Once you've located the AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement for a particular dog food, ensure that the life stage specified is appropriate for your dog. For example, foods that meet the AAFCO Adult Maintenance nutritional standard are not appropriate for shih tzu puppies.
It's also important to feed premium dog food that is made with predominantly meat. Nowadays, many pet food companies utilize concentrated vegetable proteins to cut costs. Unfortunately, non-meat proteins often lack the necessary amino acids required by dogs.
Dog food ingredient labels are ordered by precooked weight (heaviest first). Therefore, the first few ingredients make up the vast majority of the recipe. Choose premium foods that list good quality meats within the first few ingredients.
At a bare-minimum, the first ingredient should always be an animal based protein source (chicken, turkey, salmon, duck, beef, etc).
Best Dog Food For Shih Tzu Puppies
The primary difference between puppy food and adult food is the amount of protein in the food. It is imperative that shih tzu puppies are given enough protein to facilitate proper grown.
Feeding shih tzu puppies an adult dog food on a regular basis can cause permanent damage. Therefore, you should always ensure that the AAFCO statement on the dog food packaging clearly states that the food is formulated for growth or all life stages.
To summarize, the best dog food for shih tzu puppies must meet AAFCO standards for growth, contain predominantly quality meat-based protein, and fit into your budget.
Best Dog Food For Shih Tzus With Allergies
Allergies are an exaggerated or pathological immunological reaction to a substance. There are multiple types of allergies including skin allergies, environmental allergies, and food allergies.
Unfortunately, symptoms for different types of allergies often overlap. Therefore, diagnosing and treating dogs with allergies can be very difficult.
Food allergies are actually less common than most people think. Dog owners often confuse food allergies with food sensitivities. The difference is that food sensitives do not cause an immune response. Instead, food sensitives cause a gradual reaction to a particular ingredient.
With food allergies or sensitives, shih tzu owners often notice symptoms such as itching, ear infections, foot infections, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The most common culprits are beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit, and fish.
If you know the specific ingredients you need to avoid, use the advanced settings on our use our food finder to search for products without those ingredient.
If you do not know the specific ingredients your dog must avoid, consult with your dog's regular veterinarian or dermatology veterinarian. You can also try feeding a limited ingredient diet which does not contain any of the most common allergens.
How Much To Feed A Shih Tzu
To estimate the number of calories your shih tzu should consume on a daily basis, use the provided calculator.
The actual number of calories you feed your dog may vary. Use this value as a starting point and gradually adjust up or down as needed.
Most commercial dog food products also provide detailed feeding guides on the food's packaging. You can consult these guides for further feeding instructions.
Remember to regularly consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your shih tzu is at a healthy weight.