According to legend, there was a Tibetan Buddhist who traveled with a small lion dog that could transform into a full-sized lion. In Mandarin, “Shih Tzu” refers to a “little lion.” It is probably where our adorable little friend gets its name from.
Generally, it is pretty simple to look after a Shih Tzu when it comes to animal care. With a mix of comfort, love, and care, they light up the lives of their owners. Although, certain dietary requirements have to be met to sustain a healthy lifestyle for your Shih Tzu.
You can create a perfect balance of meals for your pup with the following items:
- Organs such as the liver or heart
- White chicken meat
- Sweet potato
- Green beans
- Sweet peas
- Cottage cheese
- Baby carrots
- Whole yogurt
- Plain white or brown rice
Dogs do prefer wet food and find it more appealing. Although, it may be more beneficial for their teeth for them to have dry food.
Furthermore, arranging for wet food can get costly, and you cannot use it to fill treat-release toys.
A diet with wet commercial foods as its chief component can cause runny stools.
While dry food options are generally gentler on the stomach and result in healthier stools.
With all these factors in consideration, a diet of dry kibble may be the most suitable choice for your Shih Tzu.
If you notice your dog’s preference for wet food, you can dribble some chicken broth over it.
However, take note that the broth is low-sodium.
The primary aspect of being extremely careful about the meals’ quality.
It is crucial that you feed your dog good standard food.
It will ensure that your Shih Tzu remains in shape and give them a long, healthy life with you.
The basic thing to remember is that any meal you provide to your pet should have a good nutritional balance of protein and carbohydrates. An adequate example of such as meal would be plain chicken served over plain brown rice in about a half-half ratio.
While measuring how much food is being fed to your pet. It is also imperative to keep an eye on how often you are feeding them.
A Shih Tzu dog is susceptible to becoming obese, and this does not give them access to food all day long.
Sticking to the rule of quality over quantity, let’s break down the best food items for your Shih Tzu. As the likelihood of a Shih Tzu gaining weight as they grow older is high, it is better to limit their carbohydrate intake.
The component to have in abundance, however, is protein. For a healthy growth pattern, include these major sources of lean protein for a Tzu in the meal plan:
Focus on integrating healthy fats into their diet with a combination of nutritious carbs such as sweet potatoes, oats, rice, and barley.
Also, let’s not forget about our plant friends. You can give veggies to fulfill the demand for minerals and vitamins.
The endearing month-old Shih Tzu is at the age where tiny teeth are beginning to appear in the gums. It is the moment when the transition from mom’s milk should begin.
You should start supplementing dog food to the little champ.
Options for this diet include using canned food, soaked dry kibbles in warm water, or a mixture of them. These soft items will motivate the pup to eat on its own.
A Shih Tzu puppy at this age should eat four meals a day, divided into a portion of 0.75 cups.
At this stage, start introducing lean proteins to them.
Chicken meals, turkey, fish, and eggs are all viable alternatives.
It is a quick and easy fix to whip up with the ingredients in your pantry or refrigerator.
Taking 2-3 scrambled eggs and serving them over vegetables with cooked grain is another suitable meal for your dog. Fruits can also be a good option if you want to give your dog something sweet to munch on.
If you choose inferior elements for your Shih Tzu diet, it might end up causing you immense trouble in the future. Subpar food options consist of additives and low-quality ingredients. These can cause a range of issues and reactions.
These often include itching or upset digestive systems. If you find your Shih Tzu chewing on the paws, having a rash, hot spots, or hives, become conscious.
It is highly likely they may be responding negatively to an ingredient in their food.
No one will argue the significance of the nutritional value of the food. However, it is also equally vital, if not more, that the food you give your pet is safe for them to consume.
Our pets blindly trust us to provide for them the best of everything.
We have to ensure that their well-being is at the top of our minds. Some everyday safe options for Shih Tzu comprise peanut butter, yogurt, salmon, pumpkin and sweet potatoes, rice and pasta, apples, peas, and green beans.
Knowing the preferences of your Shih Tzu will make the entire process easier for you.
The diet regimen for your dog does not need to be too complicated.
A fun fact is that even plain popcorn is safe for your Shih Tzu to nibble on. Just be consistent with regular checkups and try to include healthy alternatives as a part of their meals.
Keep in mind that animals find it difficult to align their actions with what is good for them. For instance, they might continue to eat well past their requirement when it comes to food. They might not realize when to stop.
They have unpredictable behaviors, which can make the entire process of figuring out their diet plan quite daunting.
To give you an idea, feeding a Shih Tzu four times a day for the first six months should be fine. After the initial period, two meals per day will be perfect.
A core factor to include when deciding the quantity of food that you can give to a Shih Tzu is their age.
The older your dog gets, the slower its metabolism becomes. Your Shih Tzu’s build and activity level will largely impact the quantity of food they can digest properly.
The suggested amount of dry food categories for a Shih Tzu is ½ – 1 cup every day.
However, there is a distinction in calories in multiple foods that are fed to a dog.
Before making these decisions, it is important to weigh your dog. A Shih Tzu dog anywhere between the weight of 10 to16 pounds is considered fit as a flea.
The quantity of food deviates due to the higher levels of activity which in return requires more calories for growing.
Just as we do detailed homework for ourselves when working on a diet plan, we should do the same for our pets.
Certain foods could be bad for the digestive system of your Shih Tzu. As the accountability for their health falls on your shoulders, be vigilant that your dog does not intake any of the following food items:
- Grapes and Raisins
- Tea and coffee
- Fruit pits and seeds
Given the number of dog foods out there that consist of chicken as one of the main ingredients. It is a safe option to feed your dog. It is even a good source of protein, and cooked chicken can be traded with or put into your dog’s daily meal.
Additionally, it is perfectly okay for your dog to have a piece of bread every now and then.
Staying within moderate limits, dogs can consume it pretty much in a similar manner as us humans. Plain white and wheat bread are generally safe choices for dogs to eat.
Certain food groups have been identified as being toxic to canines. For instance, fruit seeds and puts can create breathing complications and fill the dog’s abdomen and heart. Caffeine can result in seizures, coma, and ultimately death.
It is better to steer clear of these ingredients altogether. To sum it up, the potentially poisonous food items for a Shih Tzu include the following:
- Grapes and Raisins
- Coffee, Tea, and Soda
- Macadamia nuts
- Fruit pits and seeds
There has been some speculation about how grain food may be dangerous to a Shih Tzu’s health.
There have been numerous cases where dogs have exhibited signs of having grain allergy and issues with gluten.
A major concern that some Shih Tzu dog owners have is how fussy their dog is when it comes to eating.
A select few people become proud owners of Shih Tzus who are fussy eaters, while others can eat with an open heart.
When your Shih Tzu gets older, their dietary requirements have to be adjusted accordingly. We have to avoid excessive weight gain in older pets strictly.
Obesity can become the cause of numerous other medical conditions and make your dog sick.
A few health issues can make a Shih Tzu picky about what they choose to eat. Decreased appetite is one of the main symptoms that manifest due to dental issues such as painful tooth decay, tooth infections, or loose teeth.
Make sure to get your dog tested for food allergies if you notice any symptoms, such as skin outbreaks, chronic itching, or stomach troubles.
A Shih Tzu is a relatively small dog that tends to exhibit variable eating behavior.
How your pet eats is just as important as how much they eat. Properly chewing the food is significant, and swallowing food whole is a habit that dogs fundamentally possess.
Numerous things can initiate this instinct in them.
If your Shih Tzu is giving you trouble eating, there are a few strategies that you can try.
You must avoid providing them any kind of treats or snacks in the middle of their meal for twenty-four hours; it also includes foods that Greenies or any other edible material.
It is definitely not the safest option for your dog to eat their food quickly and not chew. It can result in an upset stomach and might even cause your Shih Tzu to choke.
As a dog owner, ensure that you arm yourself with any knowledge of your dog’s special diet.
Diet contributes significantly to the standard of life that any living being spends. Being conscious about your dog’s diet and hygiene is vital. Using the right bowls is important, along with feeding accessories.
The correct dish will assist you with everything ranging from preventing facial hair staining to relieving any stomach distress. Look for stainless steel and non-skid-bottomed bowls, and keep away from plastic at all costs.
It will guarantee that there are no problems later on linked to digestion. It is always better to err on the side of caution. Take your Shih Tzu to the vet if they refuse to eat their food or display abnormal feeding patterns.
Comment below your recommendations of what should a Shih Tzu eat and if this article was helpful.
More Shih Tuz questions are answered below:
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