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The Role of Best dog food in Dietary Care of Shih Tzu

Best Dog Food for Shih TzuIt is a little contested fact that Shih Tzu are wonderful dogs, but it is also a fact that they can have some strict dietary needs to keep them healthy. Many people find that their furry friend is prone to digestive issues. Allergies, and, at times, overeating and obesity. Thankfully, there is a plethora of information available on what steps one can take to prevent those issues from occurring by being selective in when buying dog food for Shih Tzu.

The Right Dog Food

First and foremost, it is important to find the right food for your Shih Tzu! Many of today’s dog foods are filled with unnecessary additives that do not benefit your pet and may end up causing them the same issues that you are trying to prevent! With these unhealthy options so readily available, which dog food should you choose? How to find that elusive best dog food for Shih Tzu?

Some standard off the shelf options are… Royal Canin Shih Tzu Dry Dog Food! Royal Canin has created a specialized formula specifically for the Shih Tzu breed with minimal additives that is supplemented with a slew of vitamins, minerals, and even fermentation products that help your beloved pet with digestion! This recipe is also found to benefit their immune system and improve the health of their skin and fur with Omega 3 and Omega 6! Given that Shih Tzu’s are naturally small in size, Royal Canin Shih Tzu Dry Dog Food comes in small kibble sized bits which makes it easier for them to eat and reduces the risk of choking.

Have a puppy rather than an adult Shih Tzu? Not to worry! Royal Canin also makes a dog food expressly for puppies. This formula focuses on the prevention of digestion and stomach related issues making it a wonderful option for any Shih Tzu with a sensitive stomach as well!

How to Feed Your Shih Tzu

Here is an infographic about what to look for when buying dog food for your Shih Tzu which was originally published at ShihTzuExpert.com


How to find the best dog food for Shih Tzu?

Best dog food for Shih TzuNow that you understand the benefit of selecting the right food, you should also learn the proper amounts to feed your fury friend! Puppies need anywhere from ½ cup to 1 cup a day. An adult Shih Tzu can eat anywhere from 1 cup to 1¼ a day. Keep in mind that these amounts vary from dog to dog, but they are a healthy basis to start from.

There are a few ways to offer food to your pet, and both options have their benefits. Some pet owners prefer to allow their furry friends to “free feed”, meaning they offer the full allotted amount of food at the beginning of the day and allow their dog to snack freely. This helps ward off hypoglycemia and can allow a new puppy to acclimate the location of their food and water bowls!

Other pet owners insist of dividing the amount of food into three separate meals a day. This prevents the Shih Tzu from eating too much too quickly and inevitably making themselves sick. The method you choose all depends on personal preference and your dog! No one knows your pet better than you!

Healthy Treats

Aside from dog food, Shih Tzu’s love receiving treats, but due to all their allergies and sensitivities you may ask what can they safely have? There are many “table” foods that are not only safe for Shih Tzu’s but healthy for them as well. For instance, blueberries and cranberries are full of antioxidants which protect your dog’s cells.

Apples are an amazing source of vitamins and fiber. Green beans and broccoli offer your pet a combination of vitamin C and calcium.

Even peanut butter, oatmeal, and pumpkin have their benefits! Peanut butter contains vitamins E and B as well as niacin and healthy fats. Pumpkin contains vitamin A and keeps the Gastrointestinal Tract moving smoothly further preventing digestive issues. Oatmeal is a wonderful source of soluble fibers which especially benefits older dogs who suffer from bowel irregularities.

Looking for something geared specifically towards dogs? Check out Fruitables Crunchies Dog Treats! They are all natural and made with a pumpkin base.

Watching for Allergies

As you decide upon dog food and treats, be mindful of your Shih Tzu’s reaction to them. Since these dogs are prone to allergies, it is best to monitor them closely and watch for any warning signs!

These signs include scratching at their ears, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and even asthma-like symptoms. If your pet begins to demonstrate any of these characteristics it is best to take them to a vet to double check that there are no underlying issues.

Even though there are many things to consider like grooming  (How to groom?, groom at home?  if grooming at home what is the best clipper for Shih Tzu?  or what is the best brush for Shih Tzu?or would grooming at a salon will be safer? and easier?) whenever it comes to the health wellbeing and diet of a Shih Tzu, they make wonderful pets and can enjoy a rich and full life with their owner if they are properly cared for!

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Foods to Avoid : Dangerous food for dogs

Shih Tzu's dietEven though some “table” foods are favorable for Shih Tzu’s, there are some foods which should be avoided. Most of these should not be given to any dog, and will likely cause health problems and potentially death. The most well-known of these  is chocolate. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which cannot be properly broken down by canines. Consumption could lead to coma and death.

Onions can cause dogs to develop hemolytic anemia, a condition that can damage red blood cells and potentially make them burst.

Grapes are also extremely toxic. It is unknown exactly what causes them to be so unhealthy, but in many cases dogs who have consumed large amounts have become fatally ill.

Artificial sweeteners, especially xylitol, have also been linked to canine deaths, but it can also cause liver failure, seizures, and hypoglycemia.

Other unsafe foods include fruit seeds and pits, large amounts of salt, almonds, garlic, cinnamon, etc.

This might seem like an obvious one, but dogs should never be fed food or drinks with alcohol in them. This includes any bread or cake that is cooked with an alcoholic drink. Alcohol can be damaging to dogs’ livers and would be harmful much faster than it would in humans. The symptoms of consumption include vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, and sometimes death. The effects will be worse and the problems more serious in smaller dogs.

Caffeine is another one that can be very dangerous for any dog’s health. Drinks high in caffeine, such as coffee, have methylxanthines in them. These substances come from cacao seeds which are used to make coffee and certain types of soft drinks. Caffeine can also be found in some common painkillers. When ingested by dogs, caffeine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, seizures, and even death.

Dog training concept. Man holds treat in hand.Milk and dairy products should also never be given to pet dogs. Lactase is the enzyme produced by many organisms which makes milk digestion possible by breaking down lactose. Lactose is the sugar in milk. Dogs are incapable of producing high amounts of lactase, so their bodies cannot easily break down milk. Therefore, the consumption of dairy can cause diarrhea or an upset stomach. They could cause food allergies to flare up as well.

Avocados contain a toxin called persin which can be poisonous to dogs if given in large quantities. The wrong type of mushroom can be fatal to dogs as well, so they should be avoided when it comes to feeding your dog.

Macadamia nuts are not to be eaten by dogs, and neither are any foods containing these nuts. Even very small amounts could make a dog very sick and cause muscle spasms, vomiting, and weakness in the legs.

Raw meat and bones should never be offered to dogs. The bones could result in choking, pancreatitis, or cuts in the dog’s stomach. Pieces of bone could also block the airway or become stuck in the digestive tract.

bigstock--161264402Raw meat and raw eggs could contain harmful bacteria like salmonella or E. coli. There is an enzyme found in eggs called avidin which lowers the capacity for absorption of a certain B vitamin in dogs. This can lead to a duller coat and fur or even loss of fur.

Citrus is another unhealthy food for dogs. All parts of the citrus plant have citric acid. These are oils which can trigger irritation or possibly cause central nervous system depression if consumed. Small amounts or pieces of the fruit, however, will most likely not cause any more damage than an upset stomach.

Types of fish, especially trout and salmon, can be extremely unhealthy for dogs. Raw salmon can cause death if the fish carries a parasite called Neorickettsia helminthoeca. If you suspect that your dog has eaten fish like this, immediately go to the vet because if it is detected early, the dog will likely recover.

It is very important to keep in mind that even the tastiest or most natural human snacks can wreak havoc on a dog’s health and wellbeing. Because of this, it is important to stay informed about which “people foods” can and cannot be fed to pets. If your dog consumes any of these foods and exhibits serious symptoms, call the Animal Poison Control Center or your regular vet as soon as you can.

It’s not all bad news 🙂 there are so many good food for Shih Tzu!

Here is a visual summary of good, bad and OK food

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Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu with Sensitive Stomach

Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu with Sensitive StomachHill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Food eases your Shih Tzu’s stomach without compromising on quality. The ingredients are natural with no preservatives, and added Vitamin E for healthy skin and a shiny coat. It is also available in small breed so it is specifically tailored to your toy breed pup. Dog owners have given this brand of food outstanding reviews, stating that it does fulfill its promise in aiding digestion and giving a healthier coat. Dogs didn’t react to this food as they had with others, stopped scratching so much, and had beautiful fur.

Another great option for both adult and puppy Shih Tzus is Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food. Anchovy, sardines, and chicken are in this formula especially for the needs of small breeds. It contains no meat by-products, gluten, wheat, or fillers. Your dog’s stomach will thank you with these all-natural ingredients that won’t cause problems. Many reviewers love this brand in generally, but especially those whose pets have sensitive stomachs. They even found it helped with skin allergies as well.

 

Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dogs is also a great option. What’s great about this brand of dog food is that the individual pieces are very small so dogs will be able to chew and digest them easily. The kibble has added superfoods such as flaxseed, chia seeds, quinoa, and kale. It also contains naturally occurring microorganisms, which would have a positive impact on any dog’s health. Not only does the kibble have many natural whole ingredients like chicken and other vegetables, but it also has many vitamins, including B12 and vitamin D. A bonus is that the dry food can reduce plaque buildup and clean the teeth of your furry friend. Customers raved about this product in reviews, describing it as their “go-to dog food” for small dogs and recommending it to all those reading. Many customers said that although their dogs are usually picky, they can’t get enough of this kibble.

Rich in nutrients and full of natural ingredients like cage-free chicken, Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe by Nature’s Variety is a must-try for any dog owners. It is high in protein, is free of artificial flavors and preservatives, and is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin E. It also contains no wheat or gluten, so it is very useful in aiding digestion and preventing an upset stomach. Another perk is that the kibble contains calcium and phosphorous to help bones and teeth grow to be strong and healthy. This dog food is very versatile because it works for any age or breed of dog. However, it is a good fit for small dogs like Shih Tzus because of all the nutritional benefits and natural qualities. Almost 70% of dog owners who purchased this on Amazon rated it five out of five stars. They reported how much their dogs love the taste and how much they appreciate the natural ingredient list.

Halo Spot’s Stew Natural Dry Wholesome Chicken for Small Breed Dogs is a great choice as well. This is a great pick if you’re looking for something that’s more specifically aimed at small breed dogs. Although it is a bit pricey, the great quality of this kibble makes up for it. Halo only uses real, whole meats like turkey, duck, and chicken. Like others on this list, it contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives that might be difficult for dogs to digest. It is free of corn or wheat and works for any life stage. It is particularly good that the food has no wheat or gluten because canines have extremely little support for digesting these types of food, as the ancestors of most dog breeds survived off of meat and the digestive system in dogs has not changed much since then. Customers said they could tell their dog enjoyed this kibble and that they scarfed it down as soon as it was in the bowl.

Any of these options would be a good fit for a Shih Tzu with a sensitive stomach. Many of these brands are aimed towards small breed dogs and created with the digestion of these dogs in mind.

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Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu Puppy

9#7 Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu PuppyWellness Natural Pet Food has a small breed puppy dry food that is perfect for you new, little Shih Tzu. It is imperative to begin feeding your pup well from the very beginning. This will ensure they are set up for success throughout their adult life.

This brand of dog food is specially tailored for small breeds, so your dog will get the most out of it. The puppy version has smaller pieces of kibble to more easily eat and digest. It is made with turkey, oatmeal, and salmon and no wheat, corn, soy, meat by-products, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The very first few ingredients are deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal, oatmeal, ground barley, and ground brown rice. Each of these ingredients uniquely aids your sweet pet’s growth in his first stages of life.

Blue Buffalo also provides a small breed dry food. They claim that it is formulated specifically for small, high-energy pups. Their Small Breed Chicken and Oatmeal Dry Puppy Food is perfect for keeping your new puppy happy and satisfied. Besides chicken and oatmeal as the first ingredients, this food also contains wonderful additions like peas, whole ground barley, egg, whole potatoes, and tomato pomace. These other ingredients are all still within the first line on the list.

While feeding your Shih Tzu puppy the best food possible, it is also important to know how to feed them as well. While your dog is eight to twelve weeks old, you should allow him to feed freely. This means that you constantly leave small amounts of food in his bowl for him to graze as he wants. The reason for doing this is because Shih Tzus are prone to hypoglycemia when they are small. Feeding them frequently throughout the day staves off any large shifts in blood sugar.

After those first initial months with your new dog, begin feeding him three times a day. Be sure to continue feeding your Shih Tzu high-quality food, and follow the directions on the bag as to how many cups he should be getting. If you are unable to be home for the second meal of the day (as many busy Shih Tzu owners are), then invest in a feeder that can dispense food for him while you are gone.

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Best Dog Food for Shih Tzu with Allergies

Shih Tzu AllergiesShih Tzus can be allergic to a whole host of foods. The most common of which are grains, corn, soy, eggs, pork, turkey, chicken, and beef. There can be many side effects of allergies to certain types of food. These can include itching, swollen paws, coughing, sneezing, yeast infections, gas, vomiting, or diarrhea. It can be a process identifying the source of the allergy. You will have to test out various foods and note any reactions to them. Once you have pinpointed the allergy’s source, it is much easier to find a food that will be right for your Shih Tzu. It will be vital to read through all the ingredients of food to see if it contains something your dog will have an allergy to.

Grains

If your pup is allergic to grains, there are quite a few options available. Blue Buffalo has a line of completely grain-free canned food. The flavors combine duck, lamb, turkey, or salmon with potato, for both large and small breeds. The first few ingredients are the actual foods promised in the description. For example, the first three ingredients of the turkey and potato canned food are turkey, turkey broth, and potatoes. Unlike many brands of dog food, this line has limited ingredients, giving you peace of mind that you know what your dog is ingesting.

For a dry version, California Natural has five different flavors of grain-free food. They include lamb meal, chicken meal, salmon meal and peas, venison and green lentils, and kangaroo and red lentils. While it sounds strange, consumers reported the kangaroo and red lentil food to be very beneficial to their dogs. It was an option when their pets were allergic to grain and other proteins. Lentils are also a nice alternative to potatoes in your dog’s diet.

Corn

Purina Beyond Simply 9 Natural White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley dry dog food is an excellent choice if your Shih Tzu is allergic to corn. It also does not contain wheat or soy. The very first ingredient is chicken. It is nice to know that you won’t be feeding your pet fillers that are present in many other brands. Pet owners stated that this food eased their dogs’ bad allergies and caused ear infections to subside. They also claimed that their pets were itching less as well.

Another option for corn-free dog food is the brand, Taste of the Wild. None of their flavors include corn, which can cause an allergic reaction in your Shih Tzu. They provide five different sizes of bags to choose from, as well as bison & venison, boar, lamb, salmon, venison, and waterfowl flavors of food. This dog food helped not only ease dog allergies, but also gave pets shiny hair and better breath.

Soy

If your Shih Tzu is allergic to soy, Natural Balance provides limited ingredient foods that do not contain soy. Not only that, there are less carbohydrates in their recipes than other brands. Natural Balance even claims that their products are perfect for dogs with food sensitivities. Pet parents reported that their dog had better digestion and fewer bouts of diarrhea with this brand of food. It has also been said to cure skin rashes due to food allergies.

Eggs

While it can be difficult to find egg-free dog food, California Natural has been reported to be the perfect solution for those pet owners whose dogs are allergic to eggs. It is easily digestible and has helped dogs who got sick off of other types of food.

Protein

It is much easier to find dog food that does not contain a protein that your dog is allergic to than it is to find food without grains, soy, and corn. Especially if the brand has limited ingredient recipes, it will be simple to find a flavor that works for your dog. Many of the aforementioned brands carry multiple types of protein flavors, so it is a matter of choosing one that is won’t upset your Shih Tzu. As previously mentioned, California Natural carries a kangaroo food if your dog doesn’t do well with most proteins.

When you feed the Shih Tzu, always make sure to follow the general guidelines and follow best practices that we have outlined at the best dog food for Shih Tzu