Best Dog Food for a Shih Tzu Reviewed | iPetCompanion

Best Dog Food for a Shih Tzu Reviewed

Shih Tzu is an energetic and playful dog breed. They can be very loyal and intelligent too. However, you need to understand that you feed your dog quality meals and healthy snacks to keep your Shih Tzu happy and healthy. Although dog food with additives and chemicals is bad for all dogs, it can be quite devastating for a smaller dog breed like a Shih Tzu. To prevent any digestive and skin or coat issues, you need to select the best dog food for Shih Tzu, and that's when you can try the following Shih Tzu dog food options.

Dog Food for Shih Tzu: Our Top Picks


BEST for allergy

  • Omega3 fatty acids
  • No wheat or soy

Rated by: Amber

Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Shih Tzu


  • EPA and DHA
  • No gas or flatulence
  • Quality protein

Rated by: Amber

Wellness Complete Health for Small Breeds

Best for digestion

  • Balanced formula
  • Quality proteins
  • Affordable

Rated by: Amber

1. Wellness Complete Health for Small Breeds

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

If you're looking for the best Shih Tzu food, you won’t go wrong by opting for this product. What makes it a reasonably good choice is its ingredient profile. It's the best food for Shih Tzu because it contains chicken, turkey, oatmeal, salmon, brown rice, barley, and more.

Thanks to the addition of flaxseed and salmon, this shih tzu dog food provides your dog with a good dose of omega fatty acids. It's also a good source of antioxidants because it has carrots, flaxseed, tomatoes, apples, sweet potatoes, and blueberries.  Antioxidants are extremely important for both large and small breeds. It also improves his immune system and digestive function.

Dog owners appreciate the fact that this shih tzu dog food doesn't contain corn, wheat, soy, or fillers. The absence of by-products is also a good thing. 

The size of the kibble piece is also on the smaller side, which is why it's on top of Shih Tzu food list. The only consideration is that it's going to be a little expensive as compared to many other similar formulas.


  • It contains omega 3 fatty acids
  • It is rich in antioxidants
  • It is free of wheat and soy


  • It may be a bit expensive

2. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Shih Tzu

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

Talk about the best dog food for Shih Tzu and you just can't keep Royal Canin out of the list. This Shih Tzu food is a great choice for small dog breeds not just because it contains omega fatty acids but also because it contains vitamin A, EPA, and DHA.

Another good thing about this Shih Tzu food is that it provides your dog with high quality protein. As it's highly digestible protein, you won't have to deal with stool odor. Similarly, this small dog breed food contains high quality carbs, which provide your with much needed energy he needs to stay playful.

It's also suitable for dogs with allergies. Dog owners say your small dog won't have firm bowels or feel gassy. It saves you from using a separate probiotic supplement to keep everything in control. The only consideration is that the price tag seems a bit high.


  • It contains EPA and DHA
  • It prevents gas and flatulence
  • It contains high quality proteins


  • It comes with a hefty price tag

3. Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

If you’re looking for dog food for Shih Tzu with a sensitive stomach, Hill's Science has the solution.  Its quality formula ensures that it stays light on your dog's digestive system. It uses a good balance of prebiotic fiber and nutrients to ensure that your dog doesn't develop gas and flatulence.

The ingredient profile is good enough to promote the sheen of your dog's skin and coat. It contains a good dose of protein as well, which comes from chicken. But, keep in mind that it may not be the best choice if your dog is sensitive to chicken.


  • It has a balanced formula
  • It promotes the shine of your dog's coat
  • It contains quality proteins


  • It may not be suitable for dogs with chicken allergy

FAQ - A Buyer's Guide

What is the Best Dry Dog Food for Shih Tzu?

When looking for the best dog food for this dog breed, you'll have to decide between wet and dry dog food. While most people prefer dry dog food for Shih Tzu, there are pros and cons to both types. For instance, dry dog food is quite beneficial for the teeth of your Shih Tzu and works great when you need something to fill up treat-dispensing toys.  Moreover, dry food is relatively easier on the digestive system of your dog.

For this dog breed, you can also consider going for wet food, especially for a Shih Tzu puppy. But, keep in mind that it is usually a lot more expensive and you'll have a hard time determining the right portion size.  However, it's possible that your Shih Tzu is in love with wet food, and that's when you can consider mixing wet food into dry kibble to make it beneficial and probably a lot more affordable.

In case, you're looking specifically for the best food for shih tzu, you need to ensure that you go for a popular brand, like Royal Canin, Wellness Core, etc. Read reviews and pay heed to what other dog parents say about specific brands. However, keep in mind that every dog's different, especially when you talk about a smaller dog breed like a Shih Tzu. Therefore, you may have to experiment a little, even if you opt for Royal Canin, Wellness Core, etc. and see how different foods work for your pet. Nevertheless, it's important to ensure that the dry food you choose doesn't contain any fillers or artificial flavors. It should be free of chemicals and use natural ingredients too.

Senior Shih Tzu dogs will have specific dietary needs and therefore, it's important to pick the best dry dog food for them while making sure that it contains some specific ingredients. For instance, the best dog food for senior dogs will contain extra chondroitin and glucosamine to support joint health. Similarly, they need more fiber and probiotics to help with their digestive system.  The best dog food for your older dog will also have the right mix of vitamins and minerals to support immune health. Similarly, the best dog food for Shih Tzu will contain fatty acids to improve the overall coat and skin health of your dog.

What are Shih Tzu not Allowed to Eat?

There are so many foods toxic to Shih Tzu dog breed, so it's important that you steer clear of those food options. For instance:

  • Don't feed your Shih Tzu grapes and raisins or he might develop serious kidney problems.
  • Ensure that you don't give him any chocolate because compounds in chocolate are hard to digest for Shih Tzu. It can cause several health issues, such as coma, seizures, and even death.
  • Keep your dog away from onions because it can damage red blood cells in dogs. Similarly, you should not give any pasta sauce, pizza, or meatloaf that contains onions to your Shih Tzu.
  • Ensure that your Shih Tzu stays away from any tea, coffee, or soda because caffeinated beverages are not good for him.

Similarly, you should not feed Shih Tzu any macadamia nuts, fruit pits, seeds, and baked goods. Foods that contain artificial sweetener, xylitol, should also be avoided. Even if you're picking dog food for your beloved Shih Tzu, it's important to ensure that it's of high quality, as subpar ingredients can cause reactions, such as itching and digestive upset.

When buying the best dog food for Shih Tzu, you need to check the ingredients first. Ensure that there are no fillers, such as hulls, corn bran, wheat mill run, soybean mill run, dried grains, and corn distillers. Similarly, you should avoid any dog food that contains animal by-products, which may include spleens, tails, feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs, and more. If a dog food says it contains "generic meats", you should also look the other way and never give it to your dog. Also, foods with high wheat content, wheat gluten, and soy should be avoided because it can cause upset stomach, food intolerance, and skin issues.

When learning about what you should or should not feed your Shih Tzu, you'll often have to decide if your dog should be on a grain-free diet or not. If your dog develops stomach issues, it's a good idea to stick to a grain free formula.  However, you should also bear in mind that sometimes, grain itself is not the problem, gluten is. Not all grains contain gluten, so it's worth checking if your dog is allergic to gluten only. Moreover, some experts believe that keeping your dog strictly on a grain-free diet could increase his risk of developing heart disease.

It means that it's a good idea to talk to your vet and discuss the symptom of your dog after feeding him a dog food that contains grains. Remember, some dogs are only allergic to gluten, which is present in rye and wheat. It means that you can include healthy whole-grains to your dog's diet – you can go with white rice, brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal because they don't have gluten.  However, you may want to rethink the dietary plan in case your Shih Tzu develops signs of allergy even when you feed him non-gluten grains.  In this case, you should be more careful with the type of dog food you select because it should contain traditional meat such as lamb, chicken, duck, turkey, or fish.

How Much Should a Shih Tzu Eat Per Day?

Finding the best dog food for Shih Tzu is important, but you should also educate yourself about how much and how often you should feed this dog breed.  In most cases, you need to pay attention to the age of your Shih Tzu to decide how many meals he should have per day.

  • Puppy: For a Shih Tzu puppy, it's important to free-feed him until he's 3 months old. It means you should have fresh food available all the time and let him decide how much to eat. It's important because toy breed puppies, such as Shih Tzu are more likely to develop hypoglycemia if they go without food for an extended time.  Ensure that you stay away from topping off the bowl because the puppy would eat the fresh food on top and the food in the bottom would become stale.
  • Puppies Older than 3 Months: You should go for 3 meals a day when your Shih Tzu puppy is 3 months old, and you should keep it the same until he's 12 months old. Just help him understand the schedule and he'll respond well.
  • Adults: After 1-year, your adult Shih Tzu dog should get at least 2 meals a day. You can continue to stick with 3 meals a day if you want. Alternatively, you can change it to 2 main meals a day and some snacks in between. Training treats will also work great here. Just make sure you don't take it to a single meal a day because that's not for a toy breed like Shih Tzu.

Determining how often to feed is important but you should also know how much to feed him. It can be quite difficult because not all Shih Tzu dogs are the same. Some of them are going to eat a lot, while others won't seem to be interested in eating at all. 

When making a decision, you'll have to consider what type of food you're giving him, like fresh, dry, wet, or freeze-dried. The activity level of your dog will matter as well. Similarly, you'll have to consider his health status and metabolism. When going with some manufactured food created for Shih Tzu, you may want to consider the feeding guidelines on the label. You can find recommendations as per the weight of your pup. You can follow that to make a plan. Keep in mind that the serving size mentioned is not per meal – it's usually per day. Therefore, you should learn to divide it properly throughout the day.

What Kind of Food Should I Feed My Shih Tzu Puppy?

You can find a variety of food options these days and find packaged foods to make things even easier. If you want the best dog food for Shih Tzu, you should check its ingredients and ensure that they're of high quality.  It's good when it contains natural, wholesome ingredients, which usually include human-grade veggies, fruits, and meats of course.  It should also contain healthy fats and loads of protein.

The food you feed your Shih Tzu should also contain all-natural preservatives only. Big brands will mention it as mixed tocopherols. It's also okay if there are plant-based natural preservatives, such as rosemary, spearmint, and green tea extract. It's also a good idea to pick a dog food that contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids because they're good for the skin and coat health of your dog. You may also want to include some supplements in his diet if your dog food doesn't provide enough fatty acids.

The Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu

The fact is that buying the best dog food for small breed Shih Tzu is important because malnutrition can cause all sorts of problems and directly affect the immune system and cognitive health of your small breed dog. But if you're confused, you may want to buy Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Shih Tzu, which contains EPA/DHA and offers high quality proteins. Try it to prevent gas and flatulence in your small breed Shih Tzu.

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