9 Best Dog Food For Shih Tzu In 2023

How much should they be eating? What type of food should they be eating? You may not have considered these questions before, but now is the time! There are many types of foods out there on the market today, and it can get overwhelming trying to figure out which one is right for your pet. Here are the best dog foods for Shih Tzu. Here are the top dog foods for Shih tzus:

Best Dog Foods For A Shih Tzu

Below are the best dog foods for your furry friend.

Royal Canin — Shih Tzu Adult Dry Food 

Royal Canin Shih Tzu dog food has a new formula for Shih Tzus over ten months. It is the best food for shih tzu.

The Shih Tzu is recognized around the world for its abundant coat and high protein.

This Royal Canin formula is designed exclusively for purebred Shih Tzus over ten months. It’s made with an exclusive complex of nutrients to help maintain healthy skin and hair, Omega 3 fatty acids and biotin to promote continuous hair growth, high-quality carbohydrates sources that are easy to digest, and a kibble design encourages chewing. 

Key Features:

  • Made specifically for Shih Tzus
  • It helps promote continuous hair growth, healthy skin, and coat
  • High-quality carbohydrates for better digestion

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food

hill science Shih Tzu dog food

It’s not easy being small. Small and toy breed dogs often have sensitive stomachs, making it hard to find food that they love and support their digestive health.

Hill’s Science Diet understands how important nutrition is for your small buddy, so we created an adult dog food designed just for them – Sensitive Stomach & Skin with real chicken as the #1 ingredient!

Our experts crafted this formula with natural ingredients like prebiotic fiber to help feed their microbiome, omega-6 fatty acids, and vitamin E to nourish skin and promote a lustrous coat, plus antioxidants from fruits and vegetables that fight oxidative stress in the body.

We even added L-Carnitine to support lean muscle mass in active dogs of all sizes!

The Food contains chicken fat and proteins which is good food for small breeds as it supports joint health. Also, it prevents food allergies.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin dry dog food is formulated specifically for small or toy breeds (under 15 lbs.) with sensitive stomachs or skin issues.

Key Features:

  • Helps to maintain healthy digestion
  • Added Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health.
  • Made with real chicken as the #1 ingredient
  • Increased protein levels for energy production

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Small Breed dog food

wellness simple shih tzu dog food

You have a dog with sensitive stomach and skin problems. Your vet has prescribed a special diet for your dog, but you don’t like the ingredients in it and are worried about its long-term effects on your pet’s health.

Imagine feeding your dog food made from only natural ingredients without artificial flavors or preservatives.

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food is specially formulated to be easily digested by dogs with sensitive stomachs while promoting whole-body health.

It contains no corn, wheat, or soy and is free of artificial colors, flavors or preservatives so you can feel good about what you’re giving to your best friend!

It has no chicken by product meal.

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Small Breed dog food is designed to be a natural alternative to prescribed therapeutic diets while promoting whole-body health.

Made in the USA using only the finest globally sourced ingredients, this limited ingredient diet is specially formulated with a single source of protein and easily digestible carbohydrates.

Key Features:

  • Packed with antioxidants and omega 3s to help protect your pet
  • It contains probiotics for a healthy digestive system
  • Supports digestive health
  • Promotes whole-body health
  • Fortified with omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics
  • Made in the USA

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws Chicken & Barley Entree Canned Dog Food

Hill's Science diet shih tzu dog food

Dogs are living longer and healthier lives than ever before, but their nutritional needs remain the same. Most senior dog food brands use ingredients that are not recognizable to humans.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws Chicken & Barley Entree is delicious wet dog food made with real chicken as the #1 ingredient. It also contains other high-quality meat proteins like pork liver, whole grain corn, and cracked pearled barley.

Veterinarians created this recipe to meet the unique nutritional requirements of small breed adult dogs (up to 6 years old) for optimal health and longevity in every stage of life. 

With this veterinarian formulated diet, your dog will have all the nutrients she needs for lifelong vitality!

The first five ingredients in our formula are chicken, pork liver, whole grain corn, cracked pearled barley, and dried egg product – all recognizable human-grade foods that provide complete nutrition for your pet’s body throughout her entire lifetime.

Key Features:

  • Veterinarian recommended
  • 100% balanced nutrition for small breeds
  • Delicious, recognizable ingredients
  • Grain-free

Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food 

Merrick Shih Tzu dog food

Dogs are like little kids. They love to eat, but they can be picky about what they want to eat. 

Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe is made with deboned chicken as the first ingredient and crunchy kibble specially designed for small dogs.

This food has a delicious taste your dog will love! 

Your pup deserves excellent nutrition, too—and this tasty formula provides everything he needs in an easy-to-eat package. It’s free of grains, so there’s no wheat or corn or any other fillers that you might find in cheaper brands of dog food.

Plus, it contains prebiotic fiber and probiotics for healthy digestion and antioxidants, plus vitamins C & E for overall health and immune support. So you can rest assured knowing your furry best friend is getting just what he needs with every bite!

Key Features:

  • Real deboned chicken as the first ingredient
  • Crunchy texture to help reduce plaque
  • Prebiotic and probiotic fiber to aid in digestion

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food 

blue buffalo Shih Tzu dog food

ProPuppies are adorable, but they can be challenging to raise. 

You must give your puppy the best possible start in life with a high-quality diet. With all of these ingredients and nutrients, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula helps support your puppy’s growth and development from 8 weeks through adulthood.

Plus, it has added antioxidants for immune health, so you know they are getting the best nutrition available.

This free dry dog food is best for shih tzu dog, especially for shih tzu puppies.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula offers everything your growing pup needs to thrive! Our tasty formulas feature real chicken meal as the #1 ingredient plus garden veggies and fruit for taste appeal and digestion benefits.

We’ve also added LifeSource Bits – our precise blend of nutrients that have been enhanced with a Super seven package of antioxidant-rich ingredients – to help support his immune system during every stage of life.* This delicious formula was formulated by veterinarians & quality experts at BLUE Wilderness™ to meet the specific nutritional levels established by the AAFCO.

Key Features:

  • The limited ingredient list and holistic formula
  • Digestible kibble made from chicken
  • Provides the nutrient-packed LifeSource Bits to keep your dog healthy 
  • Promotes a natural, grain-free diet for puppies

DIAMOND NATURALS Small Breed Chicken and Rice Formula Adult Dog Food

diamond natural Shih Tzu dog food

Your dog is constantly scratching and biting himself. You’ve tried using different brands of food, but they never work for your dog!

Imagine having a high-quality protein explicitly made for small breed dogs that will help keep them lean, strong, and healthy. This means minor itching and scratching from allergies or skin conditions.

This Shih Tzu food named DIAMOND NATURALS Small Breed Chicken & Rice Formula Adult Dog Food has the highest quality proteins in every bite to provide optimal amino acid profiles for lean muscles.

It’s specially formulated with added vitamins & minerals and fruits & vegetables to support hard-working antioxidants and fatty acids essential to skin health. Plus, it contains our proprietary probiotics, which survive the harsh environment.

Key Features:

  • Made with fresh, wholesome food from cage-free chicken
  • Better for your dog’s muscles and bones
  • All the nutrients needed to be healthy are included in this formula.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Dry Dog Food

blue buffalo Shih Tzu dog food for seniors

Senior dogs have different nutritional needs than younger ones.

Many dog owners are unaware of the specific dietary requirements for senior dogs, and may not realize that their older pet is at risk of developing malnutrition or other health problems if they don’t get the right food.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula was created with a unique blend of nutrients to address these special needs, including high-quality protein sources like deboned chicken and brown rice plus added vitamins and minerals. It’s tasty too!

We love our pets so much we want them around for as long as possible. Our goal is to help you create an environment where your beloved pet can thrive for years to come.

Key Features:

  • High in protein.
  • Nutrient-rich ingredients.
  • Grain-free for easy digestion.


Buying Guide To Buying Dog Food For Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu is a cute Asian breed, and they are very different from most dog breeds because of their long flowy that never seem to stop growing. 

But does having different characteristics make Shih Tzu different when it comes to what they eat or how they live? 

Shih Tzu is different when it comes to looks, but they are just like other regular dog breeds when it comes to nutritional needs, allergies, or other health problems. However, here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. 

Shih Tzu Nutritional Needs

Shih Tzu, like most dogs, needs an adequate amount of calories to maintain their health and the beautiful coat. However, their intake does not differ a lot from what most dogs eat. 

Apart from the fact that every age group has a certain amount of calories they should take, it is not hard to find out what Shih Tzu should eat. 

As always, adult Shih Tzus will need 2 to 3 meals per day to maintain their health. The same goes for growing pups, but you should also free-feed your dogs.

And young Shih Tzus will also require multiple meals throughout the day along with frequent snacks to make sure they have enough nutrients that will allow sufficient growth.

On the other hand, growing Shih Tzus needs many proteins like glucosamine and chondroitin that will aid in the healthy development of their muscles, bones, and hair. 

Try feeding them food based on natural ingredients and does not include fillers or grains that may reduce the quality of the pet food; hence, it can be detrimental for your dog. 

It is also essential you are providing your Shih Tzu proper portion size. You can calculate their portion sizes or amounts of calories when reading the labels or speaking with your vet. 

Similarly, your Tibet friends also want fats that supply them the energy reserves they need to stay healthy and lively. 

All you have to do is inquire a bit about the brand or use a pet from fine quality brands to make sure your Shih Tzu is eating natural ingredients and no artificial food. 

Wet Vs. Dry Food: Which One Is Good For Shih Tzu?

Most Shih Tzu may prefer wet food over dry food because it tastes excellent, but it has its pros and cons. First, wet food is more expensive than dry food, which is why you can’t use it to fill the tummy of your Shih Tzu, or else you might lose your budget. 

Secondly, your poodle may have runny stools. Eating wet food does not give much for the gut to break down. Therefore, your dog would have some stool issues, not that they will suffer from diarrhea or related symptoms. 

Conversely, dry food is suitable for their tummy and helps in producing a firm stool. Dry food is also beneficial for your dog’s teeth and assists in keeping them clean. 

Plus, dry food is expensive, but it also depends on the brand you pick. 

However, what you can do is offer your dog a mix of dry and wet food. Your Shih Tzu can enjoy the benefits of both nutrition, and you would not have to worry much about the cons. 

Mixing wet food with kibble will make it soft, more accessible to digest, and your Shih Tzu will is happy. 

Ingredients To Avoid In Shih Tzu Diet

Shih Tzu is a sensitive dog, and many elements can cause them to have an upset stomach more often than other breeds. For this reason, it becomes vital to know what you have to avoid when feeding your Shih Tzu. 

Such foods can be allergens or are not suitable for their health.


Chocolates are toxic for a Shih Tzu. It contains a substance called theobromine that can make your poor guy sick. Even small amounts of theobromine are highly poisonous and can cause tremors, seizures, irregular heart rhythm, and even death. 

Therefore, you have to be very cautious if you eat chocolates, incredibly dark chocolates, because they contain higher amounts of theobromine. Make sure there are no chocolate crumbs left on the floor. 


Avocados should be avoided in dogs at all costs. Avocados include an ample seed in the center with a fungicide called persin that is harmful to dogs.

Significant amounts are known to evoke a severe reaction in the stomach and cause irritation in the gut and stimulate vomiting. 

Large amounts of avocado also lead to pancreatitis, which is a threatening condition and may become fatal, too. 

Plus, that ample seed can choke your dog’s throat and intestine, and that has its own set of consequences. 

Corn On The Cob

Corn is not toxic for your Shih Tzu, but the cob part of it can lodge in your pet’s stomach and cause serious side effects. You prevent this by giving them sweetcorn which is also easier on your pup’s guts. 

Dairy Products 

Dogs do not have the same digestive tract or digestive enzymes as humans. There are some missing enzymes, including the enzymes that break down the lactose found in dairy products. 

In other words, it is hazardous to feed your Shih Tzu any product that has dairy in it. If they consume dairy food, they will likely suffer from terrible diarrhea, severe stomach upset, and abdominal pain. 

Health-Related Concerns In Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu is a sensitive breed, and there are several health issues associated with Shih Tzus. 

Shih Tzu is otherwise a very playful breed. 

They are super loyal and tend to become your best friend. It is only fair that you pay complete attention to their health problems to prevent your friend from suffering. 

Dental Problems

A Shih Tzu needs to have their teeth brushed at least three times a week to keep them healthy. It is easy for them to develop dental problems because they have a small mouth with many teeth, which is called teeth crowding. 

Teeth crowding is a significant risk factor of building up plaque and tartar. These avoidable problems lead to poor dental hygiene that in turn causes unhealthy roots and gums. 

Apart from frequently brushing their teeth, it would be best to take them to a vet who would examine their teeth and evaluate them to make sure they are well kept. 


Allergies are pretty common in almost all dog breeds. Being allergic to something is not unique to a Shih Tzu.

Most allergies are associated with foods, and Shih Tzus are often allergic to wheat, soy, and proteins from eggs and all food additives. 

To find out more about your Shih Tzu allergies, you can do the elimination technique where you buy smaller bags of every dog food to find out what triggers your dog and keep eliminating it from their diet. 

In addition to this, allergies produce symptoms like itching, red and teary eyes, an upset stomach, or lack of appetite. These symptoms are not life-threatening, but it sure does make your dog uneasy and irritable. 

Joint And Bone Problems

Shih Tzu often develops a condition called luxation of the patella. However, most of the time, it is present since birth. 

It is where the patella is dislocated from its usual site, and this makes it hard for your pup to walk. Patella luxation can later cause other complications like osteoarthritis. 

It is necessary to have a pet examine your dog if you notice a difference in the way they walk. A vet will determine whether they will need medical help or surgical intervention. 


Hypothyroidism is when a gland present in the neck called the thyroid produces fewer hormones than required. 

When this happens, a dog starts to lose its hair, become lethargic, may even gain weight, or if left untreated for a long time, can also go into a coma. 

Fortunately, it is a treatable condition, and with proper medications and compliance, a dog can live a healthy and active life. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What Is The Best Dog Food For A Shih Tzu With Allergies?

The best food for your Shih Tzu that has allergies is the food they are not allergic to. Many food ingredients are allergens and can provoke an immune reaction in your puppy. 

To determine what brings about such reactions and symptoms, you will have to observe what ingredient in the dog food is causing this problem. 

However, the task is not easy. First, you need to find out the foods your dog is allergic to using the elimination method and then make sure they never come close to those ingredients they are allergic to. 

What Vegetables Are Good For Shih Tzu?

Fortunately, Shih Tzus can consume many vegetables that prove to be very nutritious and healthy for them. You can feed them raw vegetables like zucchini, peas, sprouts, bell peppers, and lettuce. 

Likewise, you can also feed them boiled vegetables as snacks. You can give them steamed green beans, cauliflower, and broccoli. 

It would help if you also offered your Shih Tzu some boiled potatoes and carrots. 

All these vegetables are packed with essential minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins to maintain their overall health. Feeding your Shih Tzu vegetables also means they can improve their immune system and their digestive system. 

What Human Foods Can Shih Tzu Eat?

The good news is: a lot of human food is also consumable for Shih Tzus. 

Try giving them human food gradually and over some time to make sure they are consuming it well without any side effects. 

However, the safest foods for Shih Tzus are salmon, chicken, peanut butter, plain over flavored yogurt, apples, and pumpkin. 

If you notice, all these ingredients are incredibly healthy, and it would help improve the quality of life in your Shih Tzus. 

Is Chicken Bad For Shih Tzu?

Absolutely yes!

Your Shih Tzu can eat as much chicken as they like. It is one of the best protein sources, and they would love to eat it like any other breed.

It would be best if you started feeding them chicken once they have weaned, which means you can give them chicken after 6 to 7 weeks of birth. 

The only thing you need to keep in mind is that the chicken should not be even slightly raw as the raw chicken comes with many infections and diseases. 

On the other hand, chicken meat on bone or chicken bones is not recommended for a Shih Tzu. The sharp bones can damage the throat or any part of the digestive tract. The best you can do is to give them boneless chicken that is shredded and may be soaked in soup or water to facilitate your dog in better digestion. 

What are Shih Tzu not allowed to eat?

Shih Tzu should not eat onions, raw garlic cloves, leeks (allium), or chives. These types of foods can be toxic to your pet for a variety of reasons:

Onions contain an enzyme that breaks down hemoglobin into iron. Onions destroy and disable red blood cells, leading to anemia when ingested in large amounts over the course of a few weeks.

Garlic is also high in allicin which binds with hemoglobin and leads to some destruction of red blood cells similar to that produced by oxalic acid from spinach. Leeks emit the same gas as other onion family members like onion and garlic but have not been studied sufficiently for their toxicity risk potential.

Should I Feed My Shih Tzu wet or dry food?

It is recommended that you feed your Shih Tzu dry food.

Dry foods are more digestible and contain less air so they’re much less likely to cause stomach or anal problems than wet foods, which can easily lead to diarrhea. Wet foods also contain a lot of salt, which means that if too many are fed to the dog over time it will become dehydrated – bad for their kidneys.

And finally, note that canned moist dog food has been linked with an increased risk of bloat (which is very dangerous!) due to various additives found in them such as citric acid and artificial flavors. Dogs should usually eat kibble rather than moist diets because their intestines do not require any acids or strong stomach enzymes.

What time should I feed my shih tzu?

Feeding times will vary depending on the dog but in general, puppies should be fed three times a day until they are about nine months old.

Once your puppy is about nine months old she can eat twice a day, usually once in the morning and once at night.

It is preferable to feed grain-free dry dog food to older Shih Tzu.

And, it would be best to feed shih tzu puppy food as per our choice of food.

This schedule may need to be adjusted for certain schedules depending on your work schedule or other events going on with your family.

Shih Tzu’s food for shih tzus should be given with utmost care as we do not want them to become ill. Grain free dog food is best for older dogs as this dog food contains essential vitamins and minerals.

Final Thoughts

Shih Tzu dogs are the most beautiful and playful dog breed you can ever come across. They are easy to train and educate, plus they are family dogs and go along very well with every family member. 

Their gorgeous hair is what makes them stand out, and it is up to you to take good care of their pretty coat and also their health that will keep them playful and active for a very long time. Also, taking care of your pet means they will become your best friends and the most loyal creatures you could come across. 

Your Shih Tzu might want your full attention and love. And the only thing you can do for them is to take good care of these cute little fellas so they can enjoy themselves for as long they can. 

Important References

  1. From Royal Canine: When does my puppy become an adult dog?
  2. From IAMS: How to Transition Your Puppy to Adult Food?

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