7 Best Dog Foods for Chinese Shar-Peis

Best Dog Foods for Chinese Shar Peis

The Chinese Shar-Pei is one of the most ancient dog breeds in the world. DNA research has shown that the Shar-Pei is one of the 14 oldest breeds – one of the breeds first domesticated by humans from wolves. Reportedly, the breed originated in the Kwangtung (also called Guangdong) Province. They have been found for centuries in the southern provinces of China. They have been recognizable as they look today in China since at least the Han Dynasty (c. 200 BC). Furthermore, they can be seen in ancient statues. A manuscript from the 13th  century AD refers to a wrinkled dog with Shar-Pei characteristics. 

People who own Shar-Peis will tell you they are unlike any other canine companions. Whether mischievous, begging for treats, or downright lazy, Chinese Shar-Pei parents can’t help but adore their precious snub-nosed, wrinkle-face pups. Chinese Shar-Peis, like many other short-muzzled breeds, Shar-Peis are Brachycephalic dogs, and often have breathing issues, which are worse at mealtimes. 

Their noses get pressed up against the food or the bowl’s wall, restricting the airflow even more. This is why choking is such a big issue in our furry friends with smooshed faces. Their large gulps of food and air simultaneously also explain the frequent cute but stinky farts these dogs are known for – it has to come out somewhere.

Another potential problem related to feeding your Chinese Shar-Pei is their chances of becoming obese. Chinese Shar-Peis tend to miss their bodies’ signals telling them that they’re full. If their owners don’t monitor them, they will over-eat, and they are not fussy. You’ll need to feed them a complete, balanced dog food to keep them slim and healthy.

Because Chinese Shar-Peis always seem hungry, it is good to divide their daily food into three meals for feeding breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A regular feeding schedule has proved to help prevent obesity in dogs, and three meals per day will help keep your pup full throughout the day. Chinese Shar-Peis are sensitive to various foods that are typically not an issue for other breeds. 

What are the Six Essential Nutrients your Chinese Shar-Pei Needs?

Before discussing Dog Food Care’s recommended dry, low-fat, fresh and healthy dog foods, let’s look at your Shar-Pei’s nutrient needs. When buying kibble or canned dog food, you have likely often looked at the labels wishing you knew what it all meant. Many dog food labels say “Complete and Balanced,” but what is required for dog food to be complete and balanced? 

The product is formulated to meet the nutrient levels established by AAFCO for a particular life stage or all life stages.‍ It says you can feed only this food, and your dog will get all the required nutrients. The six essential nutrients are listed below. 

1. Water: 70% to 80% of your Chinese Shar-Pei’s mature body weight is made up of water. It’s essential to make sure your dog has access to an adequate, clean water supply daily. Dogs should drink approximately one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. Without sufficient water, your dog’s body will be unable to maintain critical bodily functions shown below.

  • Dissolve and transport nutrients to cells
  • Regulate body temperature 
  • Digest foods
  • Flush away waste, and much more.

2. Proteins: Your Chinese Shar-Pei’s body uses 23 amino acids to build tissues. However, your canine companion’s body can only produce 13 of those on its own. The remaining 10 amino acids must come from proteins in the dog’s diet. To ensure your dog is fueling their day and body with enough protein, the dog foods must have natural, high-quality proteins as the first ingredient.

3. Fats: Fatty acids, as they are called when talking about dietary needs, are essential for energy and also for your furry doggo’s skin and coat health. Your dog’s body cannot produce essential fatty acids and relies on you to include them in its diet to maintain optimal health. Some essential fatty acids for your dog are:

  • Linoleic acid
  • Omega-6
  • Omega-3

4. Carbohydrates: Carbs are necessary to power the tissues in your dog’s body and for healthy digestion. Carbohydrates are plant-based, coming from grains, barley, brown rice, whole corn, potatoes, etc. It provides the dog’s body with

  • Sugars
  • Starches
  • Fiber

5. Vitamins: Proper growth and health maintenance are impossible without including vitamins in your Shar-Pei’s diet. Vitamins support many critical roles in your dog’s diet. As long as your choice of dog food is a complete and balanced meal under AAFCO’s guidelines, your pup should be receiving many of the vitamins necessary to keep them healthy and happy. 

  • Vitamin D helps to regulate calcium and phosphorus levels 
  • Vitamin A helps to boost the immune system 
  • Vitamin E and C serve as antioxidants 
  • Vitamin K helps with blood clots and 
  • Vitamin B12 helps maintain a healthy nervous system. 

6. Minerals: Like vitamins, minerals support several critical roles in your dog’s diet. While different minerals provide different benefits, some general functions include bone and cartilage formation, hormone regulation, oxygen flow, and nerve and muscle function. Recipes with chelated minerals promote mineral attachment to proteins for maximized absorption during the digestive process. Below are some specific attributes of essential minerals for your dog. 

  • Calcium and phosphorus comprise a large portion of bone matter 
  • Iron helps to carry oxygen through the body 
  • Zinc supports proper wound healing 
  • Selenium helps provide antioxidant support 
  • Sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium help with nerve transmission and fluid balance.

What to look for on your dog food labels

If your chosen food for your Chinese Shar-Pei is a commercial dry or wet product, here are some pointers to what you want to see on the ingredient labels, and what you don’t want to see on them. Your Shar-Pei’s food labels show what ingredients it contains and the percentage of essential nutrients in each bag. The ingredients are listed from highest to lowest content by weight and the percentage it represents, with 80% of the food made up of the first 5 ingredients. Studying the ingredients list will help you understand what you feed your dog.

Another part of the information on dog food labels is the Guaranteed Analysis (GA). It is the nutrient profile found on the back of the bag or can. GA’s divulge the diet’s basic nutrient composition regarding minimum crude protein, minimum crude fat, and maximum crude fiber. GA’s let you know the proportions of protein, fat, fiber, etc. in your pup’s food. 

The name game when decoding the label

The first five or 10 ingredients on the list will give you a good idea about the quality of the ingredients. You always want to see the protein listed in the first position, and then it must be the real thing. If the list of a bag of Beef Dog Food shows the beef first, followed by whole-grain corn, the percentage of whole-grain corn will be less than the beef. And if the soybean meal follows the whole grain corn, the amount of soybean meal will be less than the whole-grain corn.

So, if you buy a bag of kibble called Beef Dog Food, beef must be number one on the list, and as per the FDA, it must make up 95% of the product. In contrast, if that bag of dog food’s label says, “Beef Dinner,” “Beef Recipe,” “Beef Flavor,” or similar descriptions, the beef percentage need not exceed 25%. 

What you want to see on your Chinese Shar-Pei’s dog food labels:

  • Real meat is the first ingredient 
  • Fillers, if any, (corn, wheat, soy) should be listed low on the ingredients list. 
  • If a “meal” is listed, be sure it’s from a specific source like chicken meal, beef meal, or salmon meal. You would not want to see a general “meal” like poultry meal, fish meal, etc., which leave you guessing as to the source of the meal. The fact that it is a meal is not a bad thing. It is significantly more concentrated than the fresh product because the source product is dehydrated and worked into a fine meal, losing no nutrients in the boiling process. 
  • Specific protein by-products like beef by-products are high in nutritional value and generally not an issue. However, watch out for general statements like by-product meals, as these are lower in quality, and could include anything. 

What you don’t want to see on your Chinese Shar-Pei’s dog food label:

  • The name of the food contains the statement “with” or “flavor,” like “with beef” or “beef-flavored,” as this indicates a small percentage of real meat. 
  • The same ingredient is listed multiple times using different names, such as high fructose corn syrup, sugar, sucrose, and corn syrup. This tactic is often used to hide high levels of an unwanted ingredient by dividing them and using different terms on the ingredients list. The same goes for manufacturers trying to hide high filler contents like corn, cornmeal, and ground corn, which, if shown under one name, might even exceed the amount of the primary protein at number one on the ingredients list.
  • Fillers in foods and treats or too many fillers in dog food may not be biologically appropriate for your Chinese Shar-Peis.
  • Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

What are fillers?

In most dog foods, especially kibble, there are added ingredients to help your dog feel full but provide little nutritional value. Usually, fillers are bulky, starchy and carbohydrate-rich ingredients that could have been replaced by healthier, more natural ingredients.

Typically, these products are cheap and easy for manufacturers to keep costs low. Some common fillers in commercial dog foods are so cheap that they will irritate your dog, causing allergies or sensitivities. There is no official list of fillers, and what some dog owners regard as fillers, others believe they are healthy. Examples include corn, wheat, rice, unspecified by-products, potato protein, pea protein, and more. 

The presence of these non-nutritional ingredients to serve no more than the manufacturer’s bottom lines are the primary reason for doggy parents to search for fresh alternatives.

Dog Food Care reviewed a range of dog food options for your precious Chinese Shar-Pei and found 10 Dry Dog Food brands worth our recommendation.

Dry Dog Foods for your Chinese Shar-Pei are listed below

After reviewing many dog food brands, Dog Food Care recommends those that stood out as best for your Chinese Shar-Pei.

  1. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Fruit & Veggie Dog Food Base Mix. 
  2. Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  3. Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Puppy Food
  4. American Journey Active Life Formula
  5. Solid Gold Wolf King Bison and Brown Rice Recipe with Sweet Potatoes Large-Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  6. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior Real Chicken, Sweet Potato and Garbanzo Bean Recipe Dry Dog Food
  7. Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food

The packaging of the above dry dog foods ranges from 12-lb bags to 24-lb bags, and prices from $24.99 to $70 per bag. When broken down to prices per pound, the average is $3.02 per pound. The fresh foods for Chinese Shar-Peis cost between $3 and $6 per day.

Best Dry Dog Food options for Chinese Shar-Peis recommended by Dog Food Care are listed below

1. The Honest Kitchen Fruit & Veggie Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Base Mix

Lucy Postins founded the Honest Kitchen in 2002 in San Diego, CA, with a mission to help as many pets as possible get on the road to good health through good food.

The Honest Kitchen was the first-ever Human Grade pet food, meaning the finished product meets human food production standards (unlike conventional pet food, which is Feed Grade). Each Honest Kitchen product is made with uncompromising quality & safety standards by a company of pet lovers.

The Honest Kitchen Fruit & Veggie Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Base Mix is a little different from most in that it doesn’t have any meat in it at all — you have to add it yourself. Instead, this base offers all the nutrients your dog needs to be healthy. Leaving the choice of meat up to you gives you a ton of control over the quality of the food. You can pick an ingredient your dog likes, control the portion sizes, and bring some variety without the responsibility of home cooking and creating complete and balanced meals. 

Each Non-meat ingredient in the pack is there for a reason.  Sweet potatoes are the first ingredient, and it also has spinach, coconut, kelp, and peas, just to name a few. The fiber levels are pretty high at 8%, and the base offers 10.5% protein before you even add meat. The fat levels are extremely low, though, so you may want to throw in a fattier type of meat like beef to balance it out.

It is free of gluten and grains, to avoid offending your doggy dude’s sensitive stomach, making it great for dogs with allergies.  And if you’ve always wanted to give your dog human-grade food, this is the perfect opportunity. 

Dog Food Care recommends this Honest Kitchen Recipe for dog parents who want to feed their canine kids human-grade food instead of dry kibble, and have the choice of which protein to feed them. 

  • First 10 Ingredients: Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes, Dehydrated Peas, Dehydrated Cabbage, Dried Organic Coconut, Dried Apples, Dried Bananas, Dehydrated Spinach, Dehydrated Pumpkin, Dehydrated Celery, Dehydrated Organic Honey
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 10.5% min, Crude Fat 8% min, Crude Fiber 8% Max 
  • Calories: 337 kcal per 8-oz cup
  • Suitable for which dogs: The Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated meals with human-grade ingredients meet the requirements of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for Maintenance of Adult and senior dogs of medium to large breeds. 
  • Feeding: The amount of food to feed your dog depends on its age, life stage, metabolism, weight, overall health and activity level. The rule of thumb is to give the dog 30 to 35 calories for every pound of body weight, plus 70 more. Therefore, if your teenage Shar-Pei weighs 20 pounds, you should feed him 20×30+70 calories per day, which is 670. 

The Honest Kitchen’s Grain-Free Fruit & Veggie Dog Food Base Mix contains 337 calories per cup, so your precious pup should get about 2 cups per day. However, your choice of protein or other additives will increase the calorie count per cup, so ensure you consider that when deciding on the size of the servings.  

  • Key Benefit: This Grain-Free Fruit & Veggie Dog Food Base Mix is ideal for rotational feeding to avoid flavor fatigue in your furry friends. The list of meals you can create for your doggy dude by adding to the nutritious base is endless.  A box that only weighs 3 lbs makes 12 lbs of fresh food. Gentle dehydration not only retains more nutrients, but it’s also highly concentrated. So, simply adding water gets you 4 times a box’s weight in meals.
  • Price: $32.99 per 3-lb bag makes 12 pounds = $2.75-lb

2. Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Diamond Pet Foods in Meta, Missouri manufactures Taste of the Wild dry dog foods at Diamond’s company-owned plants in South Carolina, Arkansas, California, and Missouri. Diamond Foods were established in Missouri in 1970.

Nourish your Chinese canine companion with the balanced diet nature intended with Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food formulated with novel proteins including roasted, smoked fowl. This grain-free recipe includes peas and sweet potatoes that deliver the highly digestible energy your active pup needs.

The kibble provides natural antioxidant support from real fruits and vegetables and dried chicory root for prebiotic support and healthy digestion. Essential minerals are chelated with amino acids to optimize their absorption and ensure maximum benefit, for complete and balanced nutrition with a taste of the wild your furry friend constantly craves.

It is fortified for whole-body health with omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, and taurine. It does not contain any GMOs, meat by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives. Dog Food Care highly recommends this exceptional product as the Best Dry Dog Food for active dogs like Chinese Shar-Peis and it’s Chinese cousins, Chow Chows and Tibetan Mastiffs.

  • First 10 Ingredients: Duck, Duck Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Ocean Fish Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 32% min, Crude Fat 18% min, Crude Fiber 4% Max
  • Calories: 425 kcal per 8-oz cup
  • Suitable for which dogs: Taste of the Wild Ancient Wetlands Canine Recipe with Roasted Fowl is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages, including growth of large size dogs (70 lbs. or more as an adult). 
  • Feeding: The amount of kibble to feed your dog depends on its age, life stage, metabolism, weight, overall health and activity level. The rule of thumb is to give the dog 30 to 35 calories for every pound of body weight, plus 70 more. Therefore, if your adult Shar-Pei weighs 50 pounds, you should feed him 50×30+70 calories per day, which is 1570. 

Taste of the Wild Ancient Wetlands has 425 calories per 8-oz cup, which means you should feed your wrinkly doggy-dude between 3½ to 4 cups, divided into two or three meals per day. However, a puppy eats a lot of food. From birth up to six months of age, he’ll need to eat two to four times as much as an adult dog to support all that growth, which you must consider when feeding your Shar-Pei puppy.

  • Key Benefit: Real duck is the #1 ingredient in this roasted fowl dry dog food. It is high in protein (32%) to help support bones, joints and lean muscles. Formulated with vitamins and minerals from real fruits and superfoods, omega fatty acids for skin and coat health and nutrients for the energy your furry friend needs to thrive.
  • Price: $54.99 per 28-lb bag = $1.96-lb

3. American Journey Active Life Formula

American Journey is exclusively made for and distributed by Chewy, who works closely with production partners to create and develop their own recipes and oversee production to ensure it adheres to their quality standards. American Journey’s dog food is produced in Chewy’s partner facilities, located in Kansas. 

Although the Chinese Shar-Pei breed is not known for high activity, each dog is unique, and often the product of its owner’s way of life. If your Shar-Pei was an active juvenile and grew up joining you on jogs or hikes, he will likely not fit the typical lazy-faced Shar-Pei typically depicted on the web and in print. 

All this means that the nutrition you provide must suit your doggy dude’s activity level. If your Shar-Pei’s life is one filled with adventure, feed him a meal to fuel his adventurous spirit while keeping him healthy with American Journey Active Life Formula. Every recipe provides a well-rounded, balanced diet, starting with real protein as the first ingredient plus nutrient-rich vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots. Every bite delivers a precise blend of nutrients and antioxidants to support a healthy immune system and overall well-being, and balanced omegas to support a healthy skin and coat. There’s also natural fiber from wholesome, easy-to-digest grains like brown rice and barley. Plus, there is never any wheat, corn, soy or artificial ingredients, so you can feel good about filling the bowl with this complete and balanced meal for your sidekick at an affordable price.

  • First 10 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Rice Bran, Peas, Turkey Meal, Natural Flavor, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 25% min, Crude Fat 15% min, Crude Fiber 16% Max
  • Calories: 344 kcal per 8-oz cup
  • Suitable for which dogs: All breeds from small Shetland Sheepdog to Shar-Peis, and the Dogue de Bordeaux.  
  • Feeding: Feeding guidelines are recommendations only, and should be adjusted based upon your dog’s health, body condition, life stage, sex, activity and climatic temperature. If your Shar-Pei is more active than its precious wrinkled-face cousins, you will need to add more calories to generate enough energy. 
  • Key Benefits: Every ingredient is carefully selected for its nutritional value, including antioxidant-rich vegetables and whole grains. You won’t find any poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy or artificial ingredients.
  • Price: $49.99 per 28-lb bag = $1.78-lb 

4. Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Puppy Food

Merrick Pet Care was founded over 30 years ago in Garth Merrick’s family kitchen in Hereford, Texas.

That’s when Garth began home-cooking food for his dog to ensure she was eating the most wholesome and nutritious food possible. Merrick Pet Care was founded in 1988. Then in 2015, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company acquired Merrick Pet Care in a buyout agreement. The company is a leading producer of natural and organic pet foods, and Merrick’s foods are made in the USA.

Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipes provide balanced nutrition with real whole foods sourced from trusted local farmers. This formula dog food is natural, and grain free. It is specifically formulated to support healthy digestion and ensure maximum nutritional benefits, with a focus on naturally nutrient rich ingredients to support overall health for all breeds of puppies.

With deboned meat first on the ingredient list, this high-quality protein helps build and maintain healthy muscle tissue, support healthy skin and coat with omega fatty acids. Added DHA helps support a puppy’s healthy brain development. Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipe features 75% of protein from animal sources.  Leading levels of Omega fatty acids support healthy skin and coat, and packed with glucosamine and chondroitin to foster joint health. We use real whole foods like apples and blueberries full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, plus easily digestible carbohydrates like potatoes and sweet potatoes offer the benefit of sustained energy without upsetting grain-sensitive systems. Merrick formulates all its recipes in the company’s Hereford, TX kitchen and cooked in the USA, in facilities that uphold strict FDA guidelines.

Dog Food Care is enthusiastic about recommending Merrick Grain-Free Puppy Recipes to all Chinese Shar-Pei owners who believe their precious puppies deserve meals that help them play longer, zoomie faster and snuggle happier. 

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Whitefish Meal, Tapioca, Peas, Pork Fat, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 28% min, Crude Fat 15% min, Crude Fiber 4.5% Max
  • Calories: 400 kcal per 8-oz cup
  • Suitable for which dogs: This natural, grain-free formula dog food is ideal for all breeds of puppies. It is specifically formulated to support healthy digestion and ensure maximum nutritional benefits, with a focus on naturally nutrient-rich ingredients to support overall health for all breeds of puppies.
  • Feeding: Growing puppies will also consume more calories than adult dogs, and so do young adult dogs. A Shar-Pei puppy weighing 30 pounds (4-12 months of age) needs an estimated 933 calories per day. 
  • Key Benefit: Perfect for pups with allergies and sensitive stomachs. This recipe provides digestive support and healthy fats for skin and coat health and contains DHA, leading levels of Omega fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat. It’s packed with glucosamine and chondroitin to foster joint health.
  • Price: $64.98 per 22-lb bag = $2.95-lb

5. Solid Gold Wolf King Bison and Brown Rice Recipe with Sweet Potatoes Large-Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Solid Gold pet food was founded in 1974 by Sandy Harrington McGill as a holistic nutrition provider for dogs and cats.

The company is headquartered in a suburb of St. Louis. In November 2020, Solid Gold Pet was acquired by a Chinese company based in Hong Kong: “Solid Gold Pet, which markets itself as “America’s first holistic pet food,” has been purchased by Health & Happiness Group International Holdings Ltd. (H&H Group) but it is still manufactured in the U.S.

 Solid Gold Wolf King Bison and Brown Rice Recipe with Sweet Potatoes Large-Breed Adult Dry Dog Food cleanse with whole superfoods to provide healthy fiber to aid digestion, antioxidants, and phytonutrients to help your pet thrive, and prebiotics to help feed good bacteria in the digestive system. Formulated with pasture-raised, USA bison, healthy fats, whole grains, living probiotics and our unique blend of functional superfoods, this recipe is designed to help build and maintain your dog’s muscles and provide gut health and immune support, as well as skin and coat health. 

The food our pets eat directly impacts their digestive system, a complex system comprised of trillions of microorganisms. The healthy functioning of this system is critical for good gut health, which positively affects both the immune system and overall wellness. In fact, up to 80% of the immune system is influenced by the gut. Supporting the immune system through proper diet and digestive health enables pets to better fight environmental allergies, which are more common than food allergies. 

  • First 10 Ingredients: Bison, Ocean Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Pearled Barley, Chickpeas, Peas, Potatoes, Dried Eggs, Sweet Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 22% min, Crude Fat 9% min, Crude Fiber 4% Max
  • Calories: 340 kcal per 8-oz cup
  • Suitable for which dogs: Ideal for normally active medium to large breed dogs like the Chinese Shar-Pei.
  • Feeding: Feeding amounts are guidelines only and may vary based on activity level, health condition, life stage and temperature. It is important to maintain your dog’s ideal body condition for their long-term health, and a Shar-Pei weighing between 30 and 60 pounds should have 2 to 3½  cups of Solid Gold dry food per day, divided into two or three meals.
  • Key Benefit: Never made with soy, corn, wheat or artificial preservatives.
  • Price: $38.99 per 15.5-lb Bag = $2.52-lb

6. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior Real Chicken, Sweet Potato and Garbanzo Bean Recipe Dry Dog Food 

Canidae is a family-owned company, founded in 1996 by owners Scott Whipple and John Gordon. Along with the introduction of its farm, located in Kansas, USA, Canidae also operates a cooking facility and distribution center in Texas, USA.

Canidae PURE Grain-Free limited ingredient formulas offer older Shar-Pei a well-rounded meal that’s been crafted with their health and well-being in mind. Each recipe uses 10 or fewer key ingredients that are easily recognizable. Formulated with real meat, poultry or fish first, paired with whole ingredients like sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, or chickpeas – never corn, wheat, or soy.

This recipe has everything your senior Shar-Pei needs to thrive, and nothing he doesn’t. Protein-rich chicken is the first ingredient, for healthy muscle tone as your canine companion ages, with wholesome veggies in the mix to provide the whole food energy and nutrition he needs. Probiotics for digestive health, antioxidants for good immunity as well as vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids give your doggy dude all the tools he requires for living healthy during his golden years.

  • First 10 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Potatoes, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavor
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 28% min, Crude Fat 10% min, Crude Fiber 5% Max
  • Calories: 409 kcal per 8-oz cup
  • Suitable for which dogs: CANIDAE PURE Senior Real Chicken, Sweet Potato & Garbanzo Bean Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance of your Precious Shar-Pei.
  • Feeding: Your Chinese Shar-Pei would likely weigh between 30 and 50 pounds during its senior years. Although overall health, activity level, and metabolism play roles in the amount of kibble you feed your furry friend, guidelines show that 1½ to 2½ cups of Canidae Pure Senior food should be the bases of the calculation.
  • Key Benefit: CANIDAE PURE Senior Real Chicken is packed with Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty Acids, all 9 amino acids, Taurine to avoid cognitive decline and Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate to ease joint pain.
  • Price: $74.99 per 24-lb bag = $3.12-lb

7. Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food

Instinct Pet Food was founded in 2002 and had been producing frozen and freeze-dried raw pet food in their company-owned Lincoln, Neb., facilities. The corporate offices are located in St. Louis.

Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Freeze-Dried Recipe ingredients are responsibly sourced. Included are meat, non-GMO fruits and vegetables plus other wholesome ingredients in a complete and balanced raw meal. Raw is never cooked and is less processed than kibble, cans, or refrigerated dog food—keeping most nutrients intact. Nutrient-dense raw, uncooked foods retain natural flavors, valuable antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals — for more nutritious and healthy food. Freezing raw protects nutrients at their peak for maximum freshness.

Raw diets don’t have to be all-or-nothing for your pet to reap the raw benefits. Grain-free options for dogs of all sizes and ages, working with recipes made with functional ingredients for common health concerns. The benefits of the Instinct Raw Freeze-Dried range include a probiotic boost, Omegas and antioxidants to support coat, skin, and gut health while boosting your Shar-Pei’s immune system. 

Satisfy your canine companion’s need for real food with Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food. Guided by Instinct’s belief in raw nutrition, this recipe unlocks your dog’s ability to thrive. It’s thoughtfully balanced with wholesome foods, like real chicken and vegetables, plus guaranteed levels of probiotics, natural omegas and antioxidants. The result is a tasty, high animal protein diet that promotes maximum digestibility, a healthy coat and skin, and immune health.

  • First 10 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Tapioca, Herring Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Natural Flavor, Dried Tomato Pomace
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 37% min, Crude Fat 12% min, Crude Fiber 2.5% Max
  • Calories: 520 kcal per 8-oz cup
  • Suitable for which dogs: Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages, except for growth of large size dogs (70 lbs or more as an adult).
  • Feeding: Your Chinese Shar-Pei would likely weigh between 30 and 50 pounds as an adult. Overall health, activity level, metabolism, weight, and other aspects play roles in the amount of kibble you feed your furry friend. Guidelines show that 1½ to 2½ cups of Instinct Original dog food should be the bases of the calculation for health maintenance. If it is for weight loss, ¾  to 1¼ cups per day should be sufficient.
  • Key Benefit: Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken is made with high levels of real animal ingredients and responsibly sourced meat, poultry, or fish. Each piece of kibble is coated with freeze-dried raw chicken for the added nutrition and taste of raw chicken.
  • Price: $65.53 per 22.5-lb bag = $2.91-lb

What are the facts you should know about feeding Chinese Shar-Peis?

Growing puppies and young adults use a lot of energy. They require a diet that features good quality protein. According to the National Research Council of the National Academies, an active adult Shar-Pei weighing 50 pounds requires an average daily caloric intake of 1312 calories. Dogs that have been spayed/neutered, or that are older, may need slightly fewer calories. Some dogs may need more calories, depending on their level of activity and their individual metabolism.

If you and your Shar-Pei are doing agility training or other active training, you may need to bump up your dog’s daily calories to 1457 kcal/day or more (50 lb dog), depending on how much training/work he is doing. Growing puppies will also consume more calories than adult dogs, and so do young adult dogs. A Shar-Pei puppy weighing 30 pounds (4-12 months of age) requires an estimated 933 calories per day.

However, each dog is unique, and it is always best to discuss your Chinese Shar-Pei’s caloric requirements at each life stage with your veterinarian.

What is the Ideal Daily Calorie Intake for Chinese Shar-Peis?

Growing puppies and young adults use a lot of energy. They require a diet that features good quality protein. According to the National Research Council of the National Academies, an active adult Shar-Pei weighing 50 pounds requires an average daily caloric intake of 1312 calories. Dogs that have been spayed/neutered, or that are older, may need slightly fewer calories. Some dogs may need more calories, depending on their level of activity and their individual metabolism.

If you and your Shar-Pei are doing agility training or other active training, you may need to bump up your dog’s daily calories to 1457 kcal/day or more (50 lb dog), depending on how much training/work he is doing. Growing puppies will also consume more calories than adult dogs, and so do young adult dogs. A Shar-Pei puppy weighing 30 pounds (4-12 months of age) requires an estimated 933 calories per day.

However, each dog is unique, and it is always best to discuss your Chinese Shar-Pei’s caloric requirements at each life stage with your veterinarian.

Are There Foods to Avoid for Brachycephalic Dogs, like Chinese Shar-Peis?

Brachycephalic dogs are those with condensed snouts that often cause respiratory distress. Some brachycephalic breeds include:

  • Boston Terriers
  • English Bulldogs
  • French Bulldogs
  • Chinese Shar-Peis
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • Shar-Pei
  • English Mastiff
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pekingese
  • Shar-Peis

Unlike most dogs with upper airways that enable air to pass freely through the trachea, the anatomy of brachycephalic dogs can present issues and hamper clear easy breathing.

Brachycephalic dogs have small mouths and frequently have overlapping or baby teeth that do not fall out. Tartar tends to build up quickly, with the resulting problems of gingivitis and other mouth disorders. They suffer from dental malocclusion and may have difficulty chewing their food.

Furthermore, the anatomy of brachycephalic dogs causes their small nostrils to press against the food bowl wall when they eat, causing them to inhale through their mouths while they eat. That causes them to swallow a lot of air, explaining their frequent farting after meals. At the same time, tiny particles of food can enter the trachea when they inhale while eating.

Since the Shar-Pei is a medium to large-sized dog, it’s not hard to find many good foods that are appropriate for their size. You also have many choices for Shar-Pei puppies, since they don’t normally have any special food requirements based on size. Elbow dysplasia has been more of an issue in the breed than hip dysplasia. Patellar luxation (sliding kneecap) also occurs in the breed.

For these reasons and for general good health, it is wise to encourage slow growth in puppies and to keep them lean instead of fat. You should also watch the weight of your adult Shar-Pei, since being overweight or obese can worsen any potential bone or joint problems.

Bottom Line: Although Chinese Shar-Peis and other brachycephalic dogs can eat most of the foods other dogs eat, their people-parents should monitor them closely during meal times to act if anything goes wrong.

Are homemade foods good for Chinese Shar-Peis?

Some Chinese Shar-Pei owners have switched from kibble to homemade meals for their flat-nosed friends. However, that may be a more significant responsibility than expected. Not everyone has the knowledge to ensure the meals include all the necessary nutrients in the correct proportions to make perfectly balanced meals. Not to mention the time, it takes to have fresh meals available every mealtime. You will have to work closely with your vet before proceeding with homemade meals for your Chinese Shar-Pei. Errors and omissions in this quest can have severe consequences.

However, other options are available, including fresh meals designed for your Chinese Shar-Pei’s unique needs. The meals are delivered to your door on scheduled days to ensure you never run out of ready-packed, freshly prepared meals. More options include freeze-dried food, holistic kibble, and more. You might find it challenging to make the best choice for you and your pup, but Dog Food Care is here to provide the information you need to ease the process.

Our overall best dog food option for this article is The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Fruit & Veggie Dog Food Base Mix. This option will provide the opportunity to have the best of both worlds. Specialists in formulating dog food recipes can design a recipe that contains everything required for a complete and balanced meal, except the primary protein source. As the Shar-Pei owner, you can add any meat of your choice to make each meal for your precious Shar-Pei pup.

Please be careful what you feed your Chinese Shar-Pei because they are more fragile than most other breeds. Be sure to look out for any signs of allergic reactions, and discuss them with your vet sooner rather than later.

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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.