If you wish your Shih Tzu to be healthy and live a long and happy life, then one of the most important things is to make sure that all of his/her nutritional needs are covered. However, as there’s a lot of different dog food brands available, it can be difficult to choose the best one for your dog. So the questions is, what is the best dog food for Shih Tzus?
Some Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Dog Food for Your Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus are excellent little dogs. They are very friendly and playful. Sadly, though, they are quite prone to allergies, including food allergies. A Shih Tzu can be allergic to beef, chicken, corn, eggs, wheat, soy and lamb, all of which are common ingredients in many commercial dog foods. In order to make sure that your dog gets the right food for him/her, it’s important to know if your dog has any food allergies. One of the most common food allergy signs to look out for is itching of the skin, but you also need to monitor your dog for others allergy signs like loss of hair (from the excessive scratching) and ear infections.
Sadly there is no cure for food allergies in dogs, so if you suspect that your dog is allergic to something in his food, the only thing you can do is avoid giving your dog anything that containing the ingredient he is allergic to. You can use the trial method to identify which ingredient your dog is allergic to. However, don’t automatically assume that the ingredient causing problems for your doggy has to be something new you’ve introduced in your dog’s diet. Dogs can develop food allergies throughout their life. So they can easily develop food allergy against something they’ve been eating for years without any problems.
The Small Size of Shih Tzus
Shih tzus are small dogs weighting around 11 to 16 pounds, and therefore they don’t really need that a lot of food. Experts say that a grown up dog should get 1/2 ounce of food for every pound of body-weight. What a lot of dog owners get wrong is that they give their dog a lot more food than their doggy needs and always have food in their bowl. That, though, can lead to obesity in dogs and/or your dog becoming picky about what he or she eats.
It’s best to feed your dog only once a day and give your dog 30 to 40 minutes to eat up and if your dog has not finished his/her meal, remove it.
Remember, though, that the nutritional needs of a puppy are different than those of a grown up dog. A Shih Tzu puppy should be fed 3 times a day.
Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus
Now that we are covered the common food allergies in Shih Tzus and the amount of food your dog should get each day, let’s talk about what is the best dog food for your Shih Tzu dog.
Grain-free or not?
When choosing the right dog food for your Shih Tzu, it’s important to read the list of ingredients on the label. Look for foods that do not contain a lot of corn or other grains. Your dog will still need some carbohydrates to be healthy, so it’s not a good idea to choose a grain-free dog food. Pick a dog food that contain whole grains like whole wheat, whole grain or whole oats (sweet potatoes and brown rice are also good sources of carbohydrates for dog), then you can be sure that the dog food you choose will provide your dog plenty of fiber and energy.
What about Protein?
Meat protein is one of the most important things in a dog’s diet. The most easily digestible for dogs is meat protein, and if you want to provide your Shih Tzu the best dog food, it’s important to make sure that the dog food you choose contain quality sources of protein like lamb and chicken.
As the ingredients of a dog food are listed on the label by weight, starting from the ingredient the food contains the most, it’s best to choose something that has lamb and/or chicken at the top to make sure your dog gets plenty of easily digestible meat protein.
The following are some of the best dog foods you could give to your Shiz Tzu:
- Blue Buffalo
- Holistic Select
- Merrick Classic
- Natural Balance Ultra
- Natural Life Dog Food
- Q Holistic Dog Food
- Wysong Epigen
As there’s many other dog food brands that would be excellent for your Shiz Tzu as well, you do not necessarily have to choose one from the above list, but do make sure that the dog food you do choose for your dog includes plenty of meat protein and whole grains, and doesn’t include artificial ingredients such as artificial flavoring and coloring.