Your Shih Tzu comes from a history of breeding dogs specifically for petting purposes. These dogs aren’t made for hunting or protection and that is obvious from their build as well as their coats. You’ll be wise to support your dog’s natural strengths because both you and your dog will benefit from it. Your dog will be happy since its natural instincts can be followed. You’ll be happy because your dog will act in line with your expectations. Picking out the best dog food for your Shih Tzu will help you achieve this goal.
So what are the unique aspects of a Shih Tzu that you need to nurture? Remember that your dog’s diet plays a major role in all its daily actions. You need to purchase dog food which is beneficial for the specific features of this small breed dog.
You need to purchase food which contains natural products and preferably meat, since this adds flavor to your dog’s food so it can enjoy meal times. The following products should never make up part of your dog’s diet since they tend to cause allergies and other problems:
- Artificial flavoring and coloring
- Artificial preservatives
- Meat by products
- Wheat and gluten
Shih Tzu features
Shih Tzu aren’t genetically pre-dispositioned for major diseases or problems, but the following aspects should be given attention. Your dog’s diet can prevent some of the problems or you can treat them effectively when a problem appears:
- Heatstroke: Due to a Shih Tzu’s flat facial features, inhaled air is cooled differently than many other dogs. The right nutrients and lots of water can help your dog on hot days.
- Bone structure: Shih Tzu are quite small dogs. They can easily get hurt if their bones and muscles aren’t kept in good condition. Their nutritional intake determines how well they develop when growing up and whether they stay healthy as adults.
- Breathing: Some Shih Tzu may start reverse sneezing when stressed or excited. Keeping lungs healthy are essential.
- Eyes: Their bulging eyes are prone to injuries.
- Teeth and gums: Shih Tzu often have teeth and gum problems. Food which offers additional nutrients and calcium are ideal to handle this issue.
- Weight: Shih Tzu are usually bought as lap dogs. A lack of exercise can cause unhealthy weight gain. It’s a pet owner’s responsibility to make sure a dog gets exercise, but the right food will also keep it from picking up weight.
The following form part of a Shih Tzu’s main features. By managing them correctly less problems will develop.
- Shih Tzu have long hair and can shed quite a lot. Your Shih Tzu’s diet can prevent shedding and keep the coat healthy & shiny which is ideal for petting.
- These dogs are known to eat their own faeces. This isn’t necessarily unhealthy, but it can also get caked into their hair. A healthy digestive system will make sure your dog’s stool is of a firm consistency which is a sign of health and much easier to remove from your premises.
You can see the many ways in which a diet plays a role in your dog’s life. Pick a product from the list below which fits your dog’s requirements and your budget so your Shih Tzu can enjoy a long healthy life.
Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
Hill’s has been the trusted favorite brand of pet owners for many years. The company focuses on offering dog owners ways of keeping their pet’s weight under control. This approach is ideal for Shih Tzu owners, as these dogs aren’t always very active. This means you can prevent obesity in your dog by feeding it the correct food.
Hill’s also includes many natural ingredients in its dog food products. This means your dog receives a natural tasting kibble which it will happily return for at the next meal time. For smaller dogs, this specific product is ideal thanks to the focus on enhanced immunity.
Smaller dogs usually live longer, but quality of life is dependent on each dog’s diet. If you don’t provide optimum health via quality dog food, your dog may live long while fighting many diseases. Hill’s assists you to face this challenge as well as some other possible health problems with its well designed dog food. What does your dog get from every bowl of Hill’s dry dog food?
- No artificial flavoring, coloring or preservatives are used.
- Vitamins, minerals and amino acids provide overall health for your pet.
- The positive effects of the antioxidants in Hill’s pet food has been clinically tested and confirmed.
- Hill’s offers you a money back guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied, you can send the food back to the manufacturer.
- Hill’s is unfortunately one of the more expensive dog food brands on the market (though not as expensive as Orijen).
- Though Hill’s focuses on using natural products, the company adds a few questionable products to its ingredient list:
- Hill’s dog food contains corn and soy products. These items can activate allergic reactions or disruptions in the digestive system.
- Grain products such as brewers rice is frowned upon by some health experts though its negative effects are dog specific.
- Tomato pomace rates low in nutritional value. This means it sometimes only acts as a filler.
Hill’s offers you a terrific option to keep your Shih Tzu’s weight under control and the food will ensure your dog stays healthy throughout its life. However, the presence of certain ingredients may cause allergic reactions, so start out with a small bag and see if it benefits your dog before you commit to this product.
Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food
Nutro offers small breed dogs an excellent mix of nutrient rich products. The company uses meat, vegetables, fruit and some grains to provide your dog with all its small body needs to function well. This specific product also focuses on providing nutrients which benefit your dog’s coat and skin. This is ideal when you own a Shih Tzu, since its coat is one of the main areas you want to look after. You’ll love the other ways in which this company tends to essential details.
- The kibbles are small enough so you Shih Tzu will chew them comfortably.
- The natural ingredients produce an appealing taste sensation so your dog will love meal times.
- The food is reasonably priced.
- The food doesn’t contain unhealthy ingredients such as:
- Artificial coloring or flavoring
- Meat by products
- Artificial preservatives
- There are some ingredients your dog may struggle to digest or it can cause allergic reactions. These include:
- Brown rice: Only very sensitive dogs react to this ingredient, but it’s necessary to keep in mind and be on the lookout for any adverse reactions such as itchy skin.
- Tomato pomace: This ingredient doesn’t have a high nutritional value. One hopes the manufacturers don’t use it as an unnecessary filler.
- Whole grain oatmeal: These aren’t unhealthy grains, but in conjunction with other grains such as rice, your dog may struggle to digest it all and offer your dog too many carbohydrates. Make sure this doesn’t result in weight gain.
Nutro Ultra offers you a terrific product which is designed to assist small breed dogs in all aspects and ensure a healthy life. However, the excessive use of grains in this product may impact some Shih Tzu’s. This is dependent on the dog’s health and its susceptibility to allergies. You can take a chance and give this food a try, but keep a close eye on your dog’s stool and skin condition.
Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Dry Dog Food
Eukanuba aims to help pet owners give the best possible food during meal times. One of their approaches is to design breed specific dog food. This product is ideal for Yorkshire Terriers, but that doesn’t mean your Shih Tzu can’t also eat it. Yorkshire Terriers and Shih Tzus have certain features in common and therefore you’re wise to give this brand of dog food a try.
Remember that any new dog food needs to be introduced slowly to your dog’s food bowl. Mix it with the food your dog currently eats and increase the percentage of the new brand over a period of time (7-10 days). This allows your dog’s digestive system to get accustomed to the new brand. You need to do this if you want to prevent digestive problems.
Luckily Eukanuba focuses on benefiting a dog’s digestive system. Their products contain special fibres and prebiotics which ensures dynamic absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract. You’ll also see its effect in the firmness of your dog’s stool. This is only one of the many benefits of using the Eukanuba brand. Let’s look at a few other features.
- This product mainly uses chicken as its meat source. Chicken is a terrific protein source and the natural meat gives the kibbles an inviting taste.
- This Eukanuba product assists a Yorkshire Terrier to have a shiny and healthy coat. The result will be the same for your Shih Tzu’s coat, since it requires the same nutrients to get the desired effect. Your Shih Tzu will shed less and have a radiant coat thanks to the following ingredients:
- Omega fatty acids
- Eukanuba dog food features 3D Dentadefense System. This results in less tartar build up. For dogs such as Shih Tzus, who struggle with teeth and gum problems, this is an ideal way of combatting it with very little effort.
- Unfortunately Eukanuba includes a few ingredients which are frowned upon by animal health experts. These products aren’t high in nutritional value and can even cause allergic reactions in sensitive animals:
- Animal by products
- Brewers rice
- Beet pulp
You’ll love the benefits of having your Shih Tzu’s coat and teeth being in top condition. This is what Eukanuba’s products do for dogs, but you must make sure your dog’s system truly benefits from this product. Try it out for a while and make sure there aren’t any allergic reactions.
Halo Spot's Stew Natural Dry Wholesome Chicken for Small Breed Dogs
Halo aims at giving your dog all it needs in terms of nutrition with its mantra of only using natural products as ingredients. Added to this is the company’s attention to detail to offer breed specific product ranges. This means your Shih Tzu can eat dog food in a kibble size that matches its mouth. This results in easy meal times for pets and owners. What else can you look forward to in a bag of Halo?
- This specific brand is designed for small breeds so the kibble size is ideal for your Shih Tzu’s mouth. It can be eaten without creating discomfort. Kibbles that can be effectively chewed also digest better. Therefore this product aids digestion and nutritional intake.
- Halo prides itself in using whole meats instead of meat meal and by products. This guarantees your dog receives food high in flavor and nutrition.
- It’s produced in the USA so you can be sure it’s safe for consumption, unlike some other countries’ products.
- Salmon Oil is a source of Omega oils. They—along with a few other vitamins and minerals—support quite a few of your dog’s bodily systems:
- Immune system
- Cardiovascular system
- Digestive system (especially through pre and probiotics)
- This dog food is decently priced.
- Some pet owners have raised concerns about the smell of the food. However, this may be case specific.
Halo succeeds in offering high quality food at a decent price. This means you can purchase this food on a regular basis, know your pet gets the correct nutritional intake and you don’t have to be concerned about your budget.
Your Shih Tzu’s unique requirements will be well looked after by Eukanuba’s Breed Specific dog food. The nutrients and other ingredients which benefit teeth, gums, coat and the digestive system are all your companion needs.
Always remember the most important aspect of choosing the best dog food for your Shih Tzu- your dog enjoys eating the food! You might pick the most nutritious food, but if your dog won’t eat it, you’ll have to try something else.