Best Dog Foods For Shih Tzu

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Shih Tzu are fussy eaters with extremely sensitive stomachs. This makes it difficult for owners to figure out the right food for their canine friends. 

To help you make an informed decision, we put together the best dog foods for Shih Tzus that we recommend in 2023.

We rate each product based on the added ingredients, the kibble size, and how each ingredient promotes your pup’s health. 

Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus Review 

1. Blue Buffalo homestyle recipe – Best overall

The Blue buffalo homestyle recipe is our top pick, and for good reasons. 

This formula is pre-portioned and specially formulated to Shih Tzu’s tastes and health. Blue buffalo has its ingredients sourced from small, native farms, so you know you’re buying real, wholesome food. 

One of its key ingredients is omega-3 fatty acid, which reduces inflammation and relieves arthritis pain in your Shih Tzu. In addition, the food is pre-portioned to prevent your dog from overfeeding and being overweight. 

The Blue buffalo homestyle recipe is prepared in USDA approved kitchens and does not use feed-grade ingredients. Instead, the food includes fresh produce, meat protein, veggies, and essential minerals and vitamins. 

According to Blue buffalo, “providing your dog with our food will surely contribute to their overall health.” 

The Blue buffalo homestyle recipe is undoubtedly the best food for your Shih Tzus.

However, it is only available online


  • Available in specialized nutrition depending on weight, food sensitivity, age, and activity level 
  • Includes USDA proteins 
  • Free of fillers or preservatives 


  • Only available online 

2. Stella & Chewys raw coated biscuit— Best Value

If you’re looking for the best Shih Tzus food that offers the most value for money, consider checking out the stella & chewy’s raw coated biscuit.   

This biscuit comes with non-GMO and farm-raised ingredients such as pumpkin, chicken liver, and chicken. The omega three and omega six fatty acids present in this formula improve skin and coat health of your furry friend. 

This biscuit contains premium ingredients and doesn’t include by-products of meats, wheat, corn, colors, preservatives, and flavor. That means the ingredients are tailored to your pup’s health and not unnecessary ingredients that won’t do them any good. 

Although this kibble is an excellent budget option, we choose the blue buffalo because it is formulated only for a small dog breed and not particularly for Shih Tzus. But the quality is top-notch. 


  • Amazing Value for money
  • USA-made formula 
  • Contains omega three and omega six to promote health. 


  • Not enough protein 

3. Royal Canin Shih Tzu Small Puppy Dry Food — Best for Puppies

If you just got a new Shih Tzu puppy, check out this food from Royal Canin

The feed is rich in protein and can help your new pup develop lean muscle for proper fitness. 

Royal Canin is also rich in antioxidants to support their immune system as they settle down in your new home and explore the environment. 

Its Vitamin A, EPA, and DHA, improve your pup’s skin and coat by giving it a brighter and fresher appearance.  

Remember that once your pup is 11 months of age, change their feed to one of the brands we mentioned for adults Shih Tzus


  • Formulated for puppy 
  • Rich in protein 
  • Available in Small kibble size 


  • Includes meat by-products

4. CANIDAE All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula Dry Dog Food

If you own more than one Shih Tus and want a bigger bag of feed at an affordable price, you should check out the CANIDAE All-Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula

This feed is suitable for all sizes, ages, and breeds of Shih Tzus. The CANIDAE All Life Stages contains turkey, lamb, and chicken sourced from real meat. 

This feed includes everything your pup needs to live healthily. The formula is free from ingredients that trigger allergies such as corn, wheat, and soy. So you’re safe even if your pup has an allergy. 

There’s a high amount of protein present in this feed. However, your pup only needs a small amount to thrive, which makes this food economical to buy. 


  • Contains probiotics for proper digestion 
  • Made of premium ingredients for optimal benefit
  • Free from dangerous ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy


  • Kibble too large 
  • Not suitable for small pups  

5. Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult Dry Dog Food

Here’s another Shih Tzu dog food from Royal Canin but for adults. This kibble comprises premium quality ingredients to support your pup’s health. While many dog formulas are dedicated to small breeds, Royal Canin feed targets the older Shih Tzus above ten months. 

Because Shih Tzus are usually prone to dental problems, Royal Canin designed this kibble for easy crunch for your dog. 

Although this kibble is expensive, it made it to our list because it’s specifically designed for adult Shih Tzu.  


  • Improve coat health 
  • Includes averagely shaped kibbles
  • Created especially for adult Shih Tzus


  • Expensive

6.  Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

If your pup craves for a grain-free diet, check out the Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

The main ingredient of this feed is farm-raised turkey blended with a combination of minerals, vitamins, fruits, and vegetables which pup needs to thrive. 

Rachael Ray dog food is an excellent grain-free food. However, remember that this feed is not created specifically for  Shih Tzus. Also, remember that the kibble is larger, and your pup may find it challenging to eat. 


  • Available in multiple bag sizes
  • USA product.
  • Grain-free product 


  • Expensive 
  • Some dogs hate the flavor 

7. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This Shih Tzu food from Wellness CORE contains a rich amount of protein with no grains or filler. 

It is uniquely formulated to provide everything your small pups need to stay healthy and fit. The key ingredient in this food is the real turkey for protein, and the pre and probiotics to aid proper digestion.  

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Dry Dog Food contains a high amount of fat and protein, which can cause your dog to become overweight. The solution is to adjust their feeding routine accordingly. 

It also contains peas which can cause allergies in particular dogs. 


  • Available in two bag sizes 
  • Rich in protein 
  • No fillers or preservatives 


  • Expensive 
  • include peas which cause allergies.  

8. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Dry Dog Food

And lastly is the Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Dry Dog Food. This food contains 27% protein which is suitable for dry kibble. Toy breeds like the Shih Tzu will love the small-sized kibble of this food

The first ingredient in this kibble is the Real turkey. 

Merrick Classic is not a good fit for puppies, so feel free to feed them when they’re above ten months old.  Some dogs will love the high-fat content, but avoid feeding your less active pups because it can make them become overweight. A fussy dog may not enjoy the kibble tastes. Some users claimed that their dog disliked the saint of this food. 


  • Available in multiple sizes 
  • Rich in protein 
  • Grain-free


  • Expensive 
  • Not suitable for puppies 

Buyers Guide – All you need to know about the Best Dog Food For Shih Tzus

Choosing the right food for your Shih Tzus is one of the most important decisions you can make for them. 

After reading our review of the best food for Shin Tzu, choose one of our recommendations.

However, continue reading below if you want to learn about factors to consider before choosing your dog food.

We’ll discuss the essential things you should remember when looking for the right food for your Shih Tzu. 

Shih Tzus are fragile and can suffer from health conditions that affect their digestive systems, so you should get the right food for these little pups. 

The small sizes of their jaws are usually prone to dental conditions due to crowded teeth. They also struggle to eat large kibbles. Regularly checking your pup’s teeth, giving them only small-sized kibble, and cleaning them regularly can help them live a healthy life. 

These dogs are susceptible, intolerant, and can develop allergies to certain food. That means it is best to choose a feed that doesn’t include common allergen in its ingredient. 

Soy and wheat are the most common allergies in pups, so avoid foods that contain these ingredients.  

Compared to other mega proteins like chicken, lamb, and turkey, beef can be difficult to digest. Peas can cause allergies in some dogs. So if you think your pup is reacting negatively to peas, switch to brands that don’t contain pea protein. 

In addition, be careful of feeds that contain meat by-products. By-products are not suitable for certain breeds of dog. 

While these usually make up a large percentage of ingredients in budget brands, feeding them to your dogs is not practically the best idea. However, if you’re comfortable providing your dogs with these, no problem. If not, check the label thoroughly because even some big brands can contain meat by-products. 

Choosing the right dog food that matches their current life stage is also essential to help them fully utilize the nutrition specific to that age. 

Puppy food is super rich in protein and fats that support them throughout their growth until maturity. When they’re about ten months old, switch to food specially formulated for older adult dogs. 

Shin Tzu’s thick coat needs extra attention when it comes to grooming. However, you can also support their coat and skin when you choose feeds that contain a high percentage of fatty acids. This will promote healthy growth and ensure your puppy’s coat is strong and shiny. 

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Food For A Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are a unique breed with specific needs. Before choosing the dog food to feed your pup, let’s talk about essential factors to consider. 

Knowing what to consider can help you differentiate between the right food for your dog and what only looks good on the surface. 

The Ideal Food For A Brachycephalic Breed

As a Shih Tzu owner, you must have heard your pups snoring, snorting, or even breathing profusely. Those are common occurrences among brachycephalic breeds like Shih Tzus

Brachycephalic breeds have their unique syndrome, responsible for their smushed-looking faces. 

Feeding your dog with a large kibble can choke their esophagus. The brachycephalic syndrome can lead to problems related to eating and breathing in your pups. So choosing the right kibble size is super important.  

A Vibrant And Healthy Coat

The unique characteristic of a Shih Tzu breed is its luscious coat. Not feeding them the proper diet can affect their coating quality. To maintain the coating quality, their diet requires extra protein and fat. In addition, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are crucial. 

Picky pup issues 

The common problem with Shih Tzus is that they’re incredibly picky. That’s why it’s complex to choose the right food that your pup will love. You can spend all day guessing what they’ll like, but the best way to choose the right food is by following our recommendations and seeing how it goes.  

Allergies and skin issues 

Shih Tzus are known for allergies and skin issues. They usually experience redness, inflammation, dry skin, scratching, hair loss, etc. In most situations, the food they eat is the culprit. Be careful not to feed your dog foods that contain allergies. 

Coloring, chemicals, and additives

Shih Tzus are extremely sensitive to food additives, coloring, and chemicals. So feed your pup with foods that don’t contain these artificial additives. Even Shih Tzu may have trouble digesting natural additives, so thoroughly check the ingredient lists of the food you want to feed your dog. 

Final thoughts 

As you probably know, the best diet is one of the best ways to support your furry friend’s health.

After thoroughly reviewing the best dog food for Shih Tzu, our best overall is the Blue buffalo homestyle recipe. 

With ingredients designed to cater to your pup’s needs, you can rest assured that your dog will get the proper nutrition to make them look healthy and feel their best.  

Our budget option is the Royal Canin Shih Tzu Puppy Dry Dog Food. This food blends wholesome and non-GMO ingredients with beneficial fatty acids that support your pup’s skin health.

All the products we reviewed are top-notch and unique in their own way.

Make sure the diets you choose are appropriately formulated for your little sensitive dog. 

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I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

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