Picky Eating Epidemic Strikes Shih Tzus

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Are you tired of coaxing and hand-feeding your picky Shih Tzu just to get them to eat? Many Shih Tzu owners are facing the same frustrating challenge.

In this article, we’ll explore the signs and reasons behind picky eating in Shih Tzus and provide steps to fix this behavior. We’ll also discuss how to make their meals more appealing and offer behavioral approaches to help your furry friend develop a healthier relationship with food.

Don’t worry, with persistence and guidance, you can tackle this picky eating epidemic together.

Common Causes of Picky Eating in Shih Tzus

Are you aware of the common causes of picky eating in Shih Tzus?

Picky eating behavior in Shih Tzus can be caused by several factors. One reason is their sensitivity to certain additives or a lack of proper protein in their diet. Shih Tzus may also express their like or dislike for certain foods. Additionally, they have the ability to sense when their food lacks necessary amino acids.

To deal with picky eaters, it’s important to rule out any health issues with a vet visit and understand appropriate serving sizes. Establishing a consistent feeding schedule and reassessing the quality of the food being offered can also help. Making the food more appealing can be achieved by drizzling low-sodium broth over dry kibble or mixing in a small amount of canned food.

Behavioral approaches such as giving the dog space and avoiding fussing over their eating habits can also be effective. Persistence and seeking veterinary help when necessary are key in dealing with picky eaters.

Steps to Address Picky Eating Behavior

Try incorporating these steps to address picky eating behavior in your Shih Tzu’s feeding routine.

  1. Establish a feeding routine: This is crucial to help your picky eater develop a consistent eating pattern.
  2. Try different brands and flavors of food: This can be helpful in finding a food that your Shih Tzu enjoys.
  3. Rule out any health issues: Schedule a vet visit to ensure there are no underlying health problems affecting your dog’s appetite.
  4. Understand appropriate serving sizes: Consult with your vet to determine the correct portion sizes for Shih Tzus.
  5. Reassess the quality of the food: Consider home cooking or recommended brands to provide variety and potentially increase your dog’s interest in eating.
  6. Make the food more appealing: Drizzle low-sodium broth over dry kibble, mix in a small amount of canned food, or warm the food before serving.
  7. Use behavioral approaches: Give your dog space during mealtime and remain nonchalant to reduce any anxiety or pressure associated with eating.

Enhancing Food Appeal for Picky Eaters

To make the food more appealing for your picky eater, consider drizzling low-sodium broth over their dry kibble and mixing in a small amount of canned food with it.

Drizzling broth over the kibble adds moisture and flavor, making it more enticing for picky eaters. Mixing in a small amount of canned food further enhances the taste and texture, increasing the chances of your dog enjoying their meal.

But what about the impact of temperature? Does warming the food really make a difference for picky eaters? Some dogs may prefer their food warm, as it can release more aromas and make the meal more appetizing.

However, it ultimately depends on your dog’s preference. Experiment with different temperatures to see what works best for your picky eater.

Behavioral Approaches to Combat Picky Eating

Stay consistent and remain calm during mealtime to combat picky eating in your Shih Tzu. Behavioral approaches are effective in addressing this issue. Creating a calm mealtime environment is crucial. Avoid hovering or fussing over your dog’s eating habits. Give your Shih Tzu space and remain nonchalant during feeding. Remove attention-seeking behavior from the equation and stand your ground. Encourage a relaxed atmosphere during meals.

Positive reinforcement techniques can also be utilized. Reward your Shih Tzu with praise or small treats when they eat their food without fuss. This will help them associate mealtime with positive experiences. Consistency is key. Set a firm tone that games around food won’t be played. Walking away and being firm shouldn’t be seen as callous, but rather as a means to establish boundaries.

Persisting Through Picky Eating Challenges

You can overcome picky eating challenges by remaining patient and consistently implementing the strategies discussed.

Dealing with picky eaters can be frustrating, but maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for the well-being of your Shih Tzu.

Start by ruling out any health issues with a vet visit and understanding appropriate serving sizes for your dog.

Establish a consistent feeding schedule and reassess the quality of the food being offered.

Consider home cooking or recommended brands to provide high-quality, nutritious meals.

To make the food more appealing, try drizzling low-sodium broth over dry kibble or mixing in a small amount of canned food.

Warm the food before serving and be consistent with these methods.

Use behavioral approaches by giving your dog space during mealtime and avoiding fussing over their eating habits.

Be persistent and seek veterinary help if necessary.

Seeking Veterinary Assistance for Picky Eaters

If your Shih Tzu continues to refuse food at the next mealtime, visit the vet or consider a nutritional gel to stimulate their appetite. Addressing underlying health issues is crucial when dealing with picky eaters.

It’s important to rule out any potential health problems that may be causing the loss of appetite. A vet can conduct a thorough examination and provide necessary treatment or recommendations.

Nutritional supplements can also be beneficial for picky eaters. These supplements are designed to provide essential nutrients and stimulate the appetite. They can be used as a temporary solution while addressing the underlying issues.

It’s essential to choose high-quality supplements recommended by a vet to ensure the best results. By addressing health concerns and incorporating nutritional supplements, you can help your Shih Tzu overcome picky eating and maintain a healthy diet.


In conclusion, picky eating in Shih Tzus can be a frustrating challenge for owners. However, by understanding the common causes and implementing the steps outlined in this article, you can address this behavior and make mealtime more enjoyable for your furry friend.

Remember to enhance the food’s appeal and consider behavioral approaches to develop a healthier relationship with food. Persistence is key, but if the issue persists, don’t hesitate to seek veterinary assistance.

With patience and guidance, you can ensure your Shih Tzu receives the nutrition they need.


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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