25 Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus

25 Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are toy breeds with big appetites. The best dog food for this breed meets their nutritional needs based on their size and energy levels. This petite pup is highly energetic, thus needing foods with enough calories and proteins to boost its activity levels and muscle power.

Most Shih Tzus are picky eaters so their food should be richly flavored. They are also susceptible to hip dysplasia and patellar luxation, so you should look out for foods with supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, and phosphorous for joint and bone health.

Additionally, this breed is prone to obesity and food sensitivities; hence their food should have low to moderate fats and be free from artificial additives and preservatives. The foods should also have omega fatty acids and vitamin A to keep their puffy coats shiny.

Choosing the right format lowers skin, coat, digestive, weight, and allergic problems to keep your pup happy. The most popular brands with high-quality food for Shih Tzu are Nutro, Health Extension, Instinct, Nom Nom, and Whole Earth Farms. The prices range from $13 to $70, with the average price being $44.

Here are the best dog foods for Shih Tzu:

Note: The prices quoted in this article are as of 7th February 2022.

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1. Nutro Ultra Small Breed Dry Dog Food 

This dry dog food from Nutro is designed for small, extra small, and toy breeds like Shih Tzu.

 This formula has been in the market for a long time, with the first production date being May 13th, 2009. It is jam-packed with proteins as the first two ingredients are Chicken and Chicken Meal for muscle power and strong joints with glucosamine and chondroitin from Chicken Meal.

The other ingredients are Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Oats, and Whole Grain Brown Rice for high-quality fiber to boost digestive health. The caloric value of 442 Kcal/cup ensures your tiny pooch stays active throughout the day. The protein value is 26%, while the fat value is 17%. Fiber and moisture contents are 4% and 10% respectively.

This meal includes omega fatty acids to reduce dry skin issues and give your dog a glittering coat. Calcium and phosphorus are doubly beneficial for bone and muscle health. It has antioxidants like vitamin C and E to boost your pup’s memory and support the immune system. It is perfect for Shih Tzus as it has no artificial preservatives or additives, thus safe for sensitivities. Dogs with weights ranging from 10-30 lbs need ⅔ to 1 ½ cups daily. 

2. Health Extension Little Bites Dry Dog Food 200 

This meal by Health Extensions is formulated for small breeds with a production date of December 29th, 2008.

The key ingredients are Organic Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Chicken Fat, and Lamb Meal. it has 418 calories per cup for your active pup energy needs.

The protein value of 24% works together with phosphorus and calcium for strong bones and muscles. The fat, fiber, and moisture values are 18%, 4%, and 10%, respectively. It lowers the risks of skin problems and hip dysplasia with omega fatty acids, chondroitin, and glucosamine. Additionally, it reduces stool odor with yucca schidigera.

It is further crafted with antioxidants and probiotics to protect from inflammation and promote bowel health. The daily consumption varies depending on your dog’s weight, with dogs weighing 1-3 lbs needing ¼  cups while those weighing 4-6 lbs need ⅓ cups. Dogs weighing 7-30 lbs require amounts ranging from ⅔ to 1 ¼ cups. A gradual transition of five days gives your dog’s tummy time to adjust to the new food.

It is better for your  Shih Tzu as it boosts joint health and has sufficient calories. This meal is suitable for dogs’ sensitive digestion. Be careful with dogs who are allergic to grain as this formula is grain-inclusive.

3. Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This meal from Nature’s Variety is specially crafted to suit the needs of extra small, small, and toy breeds.

 It is the best choice for your picky Shih Tzu as it is freeze-dried for a burst of flavor. The production date is March 3rd, 2017. Chicken and Chicken Meal are the first two ingredients contributing to a 35% protein content for muscle health. 

Other primary ingredients are Chickpeas, Tapioca, and Chicken Fat. It is naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid for your sensitive Shih Tzu. The fat, fiber, and moisture contents are 20%, 4%, and 9%. Vitamin C and E work together to protect your dog from infections, while glucosamine, chondroitin, phosphorus, and calcium support joint, muscle, and bone health.

It gives your dog good eyesight with beta-carotene. Moreover, it contains live probiotics for a healthy bowel and gut. Dogs weighing 2-6 lbs need ½ to 1 cup for weight maintenance and 1 ¼  to ½ cups for weight loss. 

This meal is best for Shih Tzu as it tempts them to eat more and promotes joint health while providing high energy levels with 508 calories per cup. It is suitable for dogs with grain allergies and stomach sensitivities. You should serve sparingly due to the high-fat content.

4. Nom Nom Turkey Fare Fresh Dog Food

This is a product of Nom Nom Pet Food company started in 2014.

The company offers the best fresh recipes that appeal to your dog’s taste buds. The company uses natural human-grade ingredients to attract even the selective feeders. It gets better as the food is customized according to your dog’s needs and delivered directly to your doorstep. This diet has 201 Kcal/cup with a protein value of 10%. The fat, fiber, and moisture values are 5%, 1%, and 72%.

Turkey is the number one ingredient for high-quality proteins for lean muscles. Other main ingredients are Brown Rice, Carrots, Spinach, and Eggs.it promotes brain functioning and aids in producing hormones that regulate your dog’s mood with vitamin B6. It is also good for your dog’s bones and teeth as it contains phosphorus. 

Brown rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates for energy production to boost stamina. This meal supports eye and digestive health with beta-carotene and dietary fiber. DHA and EPA for brain functions, better eyesight, and improved mobility. The daily consumption depends on your dog’s weight, with heavier dogs needing more cups than low-weight dogs. It is suitable for picky eaters as it is canned for more flavor.

5. Whole Earth Farms Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Merrick Pet Care manufactures this product for small, extra small, and toy breeds.

The first production date is February 6th, 2015, and it is gaining popularity among pet parents. The first five ingredients are Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Canola Meal, Peas, and Chicken Fat. Chicken and Turkey blend for a high-quality protein value of 27% for a muscular look. 

The caloric content of 381 Kcal/cup with a moderate fat content of 14%  promotes stamina. Consuming this formula boosts eye and cardiac health with beta-carotene and taurine. It also protects from free radicals that cause inflammation with antioxidants from a blend of real fruits.

In addition, this meal ensures your dog’s skin is smooth, and the coat is shiny with omega fatty acids. Probiotics and prebiotics promote digestive health, while the heart-shaped kibble makes chewing easier. It is perfect for Shih Tzu as it is free from artificial additives and preservatives. 

Dogs weighing up to five pounds need ⅓ to ⅔ cups for normal activity and ⅓ to ¾ for athletic feeding.  Be sure to have clean water for hydration. This diet is suitable for dogs with grain allergies and sensitive tummies as it is grain-free and has no soy, corn, or wheat.

6. Nature’s Recipe Chicken and Wild Salmon Trays Wet Dog Food 

If you are looking for a meal with all-rounded benefits for your dog, then this recipe by Nature’s Recipe is a perfect choice.

The manufacturer focuses on providing top-notch proteins for strong muscles and improved immunity. The primary ingredients are Chicken, Chicken Broth, Pumpkin, Salmon, and Brown Rice. 

The protein and fat values are 11% and 2%, respectively, while the fiber and moisture values are 1.5% and 83%, with a caloric value of 73 Kcal/cup. It is richly flavored hence better for your picky eater Shih Tzu. The high moisture content hydrates your dog for more extended activity periods, while beta-carotene promotes eyesight. 

It is crafted with real meat and has no additives, by-products, or artificial preservatives, thus suitable for your Shih Tzu with stomach sensitivities.  In addition, this formula contains vitamin A and B12 for skin and coat health and proper immunity. Adult dogs need 2-3 cups for every five pounds of body weight daily. A transition period of 5-7 days ensures your dog fully adapts to the new food and lowers adverse reactions.

This meal is suitable for dogs with tummy sensitivities as it has no corn, no wheat, or soy. However, you should avoid it in dogs with grain allergies.

7. Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult Dry Food

This meal from Mars Pet Food company is uniquely crafted for your adult Shih Tzu and it is packed with precise nutrients.

 The ingredients are carefully selected for maximum health and nutritional benefits for your petite dog. This diet first came into the market on March 21st, 2010. The primary ingredients are Brewers Rice, Brown Rice, Chicken By-product Meal, Chicken Fat, and Oat Groats.

It has a caloric content of 355 kcal/cup with a protein value of 22% to keep your dog strong and active. The fat, fiber, and moisture contents are 18%, 4.3%, and 10%, respectively. This meal is good for joint health as it is crafted with glucosamine and chondroitin. It also contains L-carnitine, which is doubly beneficial as it converts excess fats into useful energy and boosts cardiovascular health.

This recipe creates a strong barrier on the skin for a super shiny coat and a smooth skin with omega fatty acids. In addition, taurine and vitamin A support heart wellness and protect your dog from infections. The kibble is designed for the small muzzles of Shih Tzus to ease digestion. Dogs weighing 8.8 lbs need ⅞ cups for medium activity and 1 cup for high activity.

8. Blue Buffalo Freedom Small Breed Dry Dog Food For Puppies

This recipe from Blue Buffalo is formulated with perfect Shih Tzu health in mind.

 It targets extra small, toy, and small breeds. The first production date is June 4th, 2014. Deboned Chicken and Chicken Meal are the first ingredients for high-quality protein for the growth of strong muscles in puppies. Other key ingredients are Peas, Pea Starch, and Turkey Meal.

Puppies need lots of energy, and the calorie value of 434 Kcal/cup combined with a fat content of 18% and high-quality carbs provide sufficient energy. The protein value of 30% works together with calcium and phosphorus for bone and muscle health. Yucca schidigera has odor-reducing properties for less smelly stool.

It is also enriched with DHA and ARA for puppies’ brain development and strong eyesight. Antioxidants including vitamin E, are responsible for improved immunity. This meal has L-carnitine and chelated minerals for heart health, energy production, and proper absorption of key nutrients.

Dogs weighing up to 3 lbs need ¼ to ¾ cups while those weighing 4-8 lbs need ¾ to 1 ¼ cups daily. Shih Tzus are better on this meal as it boosts bone health. It suits dogs with tummy sensitivities and grain allergies.

9. Hill’s Science Diet — Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small Breed Adult Formula Dry Dog Food

If your dog has a sensitive tummy and skin allergies, then this delicacy from Hill’s Science is an excellent choice.

It is crafted specifically for sensitive dogs like Shih Tzu to alleviate allergic reactions. The first production date is February 8th, 2016, with the key ingredients being Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, and Cracked Pearled Barley.

It has 392 calories per cup for stamina. The protein value of 21% is essential for lean muscles, while the fat value of 12% also boosts energy. The fiber and moisture values are 4% and 10%, respectively. Vitamin C and E blend for improved immunity. Consuming this meal boosts eye health with beta-carotene and promotes digestive health with prebiotics.

It’s crafted with highly-digestible ingredients for sensitive skin and stomach. Dogs weighing 2 lbs need ¼ cups daily, while those weighing 5 lbs need ½ cups. Dogs with weights ranging from 8-30 lbs need ¾ to 2 cups. You can adjust these portions to suit your dog’s needs. However, you should consult the vet first.

This meal is best for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies. Shih Tzus thrive on this diet as it boosts muscle power and supplies enough energy.

10. NUTRO ULTRA Adult Dry Dog Food

Are you looking for a meal with top-notch ingredients for the overall health of your pooch? Then this diet from Nutro Pet Foods is your best choice.

It is crafted from real and wholesome ingredients sourced from trusted suppliers. It targets all dog breeds, and it first came into the market on June 8th, 2005.

The primary ingredients are Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Barley, and Whole Grain Oats. This meal is better for Shih Tzus as it has 362 calories per cup and a fat value of 15% to provide energy. It also suits Shih Tzus as it is free from artificial preservatives and additives. The protein content of 24%, together with calcium and phosphorus, ensures your tiny dog has strong muscles and bones.

Consuming this meal lowers the risk of dry skin and brightens your dog’s coat with omega fatty acids and vitamin A. it is crafted with real fruits like blueberries to protect from cellular damage. The daily feeding depends on your dog’s poundage, with dogs weighing 15 pounds needing 1 cup while those weighing 25 pounds need 1 ½ cups. It is suitable for dogs with sensitivities as it is free from fillers.

11. Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe Small Breed Dry Dog Food

This formula by Merrick Pet Care features real Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Turkey Meal as the first three ingredients for high-quality proteins for thick muscles.

The caloric value of 412 Kcal/cup and fat value of 17% boosts stamina for non-stop activity. It has DHA for vision and brain health. 

12. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Puppy Dry Dog Food

This meal from WellPet LLC suits Shih Tzus as it has glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health.

It is also packed with prebiotics, probiotics, and fiber for digestive health. The caloric value of 489 Kcal/cup and 19% fat content is perfect for highly active dogs like Shih Tzus. Taurine supports the heart.

13. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dry Dog Food

This brand of The Honest Kitchen is an excellent choice for small dogs as it is crafted from high-quality human-grade ingredients.

Dehydrated chicken is the number one ingredient to boost muscle power with high protein content. It has 446 calories per cup for stamina and is packed with taurine for a strong heart.

14. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Dry Dog Food 

This meal is a product of Nutro, and it features real chicken as the first ingredient for bone and muscle strength.

 The kibble size is ideal for small dogs like Shih Tzus. It supports skin and coat health with omega fatty acids. It also boosts joint health with glucosamine and chondroitin.

15. Merrick Lil’ Plates Small Breed Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe

This formula from Merrick Pet Care is formulated with the needs of small dogs in mind.

 It has a crunchy texture and comes in small kibble sizes to lower the risks of plaque. It also contains prebiotics and probiotics for gut and bowel wellness. It promotes cartilage health with glucosamine and chondroitin.

16. Nutrish Bright Puppy Dry Dog Food

Boost your puppy’s brain and vision health with this tangy food from J.M Smucker Company as it is packed with EPA and DHA.

 It also promotes growing bones with calcium and phosphorus. Real chicken is the first ingredient for the growth of lean muscles. The caloric content of 390 Kcal/cup keeps your puppy active.

17. Cesar Puppy Wet Dog Food 

This formula from Cesar will keep your dog active and hydrated throughout the day with a caloric value of 113 Kcal/tray and 80% moisture value.

 It is richly flavored to delight even your picky eater, Shih Tzu. It comes in easy-to-open trays, thus saving you time. You can serve as a standalone meal or a topper.

18. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food Wet Dog Food

This delicacy from Hill’s Science is designed for puppies to boost their brain and eye development with DHA.

 It is jam-packed with high-quality proteins for the growth of strong muscles. The 482 Kcal/ can caloric value is perfect for highly active dogs like Shih Tzus. the high moisture content hydrates and detoxifies.

19. CANIDAE All Life Stages, Premium Dry Dog Food

This formula from Canidae Pet Food Corporation suits dogs of all life stages and provides premium nutrition.

 It features Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, and Fish Meal for top-notch proteins for ideal body weight. It promotes joint health with glucosamine and chondroitin while boosting the brain and eye functions with DHA.

20. DIAMOND NATURALS Small Breed Chicken and Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food 

Give your dog a shiny coat and smooth skin with this formula from Diamond Pet Foods.

 It is packed with omega fatty acids and antioxidants for the overall well-being of your tiny dog. It comes in a small-sized kibble which is perfect for small breeds. Consuming this meal promotes digestive health with prebiotics and probiotics. 

21. Wild Earth Dry Dog Food 

Wild Earth provides a clean protein formula diet for your dog’s muscle needs.

 It promotes heart health with L-carnitine and methionine. DHA and antioxidants work together for proper eyesight, brain functioning, and protection from free disease-causing radicals. In addition, omega fatty acids give your dog lustrous skin and a shiny coat.

22. Monge Wet Dog Food

This diet from Monge in Italy has a rich flavor to tantalize your picky eater’s taste buds and force them to ask for more.

 The moisture content of 80% ensures your dog stays hydrated and flushes out toxins, while the high-quality protein is perfect for strong, healthy, and lean muscles. 

23. Solid Gold Mighty Mini Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This food from Solid Gold Pet Food Company is suitable for Shih Tzus as it is crafted with high-quality proteins from real chicken.

 It contains probiotics for gut health. In addition, it is free from grain gluten and is formulated with one protein source hence perfect for Shih Tzus with grain allergies and sensitivities.

24. ORIJEN High-Protein, Grain-Free, Premium Quality Meat, Dry Dog Food 

This meal from Champion Pet Foods is made with premium quality meat sources including Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, and Whole Mackerel for top-notch proteins to boost muscle power.

It supports joint and bone health with glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, and phosphorus. The calorie value of 473 Kcal/cup is perfect for Shih Tzus.

25. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food, Grain-Free 

This recipe from Natural Balance is the best choice for dogs with sensitivities and allergies as it has fewer ingredients.

 Omega fatty acids and taurine support heart and skin health while calcium and phosphorus boost bone and muscle power. The novel proteins from real duck promote an ideal body weight.

What facts should you know about the best dog foods for Shih Tzu?

Here are the facts that you should know about the best dog foods for Shih Tzu:

  • Shih Tzus are highly active dogs, and they need lots of proteins, calories, and high-quality carbs. The proteins should come from real meat sources, while carbs should come from wholesome sources like sweet potatoes. 
  • Shih Tzus are brachycephalic breeds with flat faces and small muzzles; hence their foods should come in small kibble to lower the risk of choking.
  • Shih Tzus have a long lustrous coat, and diet helps maintain it. The best foods should, therefore, have omega fatty acids and vitamin A
  • Shih Tzus are picky eaters, and the best food for them should be richly flavored to appeal to their taste buds.
  • Shih Tzus are prone to sensitivities and allergies; hence the best dog food should be free from artificial additives.
  • Shih Tzus are susceptible to hip dysplasia and patellar luxation; hence require calcium, phosphorous, glucosamine, and chondroitin. 

What are the Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzu according to Sizes?

Best Dog Foods for small-sized Shih Tzu:

The best dog foods for medium-sized Shih Tzus:

  • Acana High Protein Adult Dry Food. It is crafted with fresh and raw ingredients to appeal to your dog’s instincts. It has no artificial colors or preservatives hence safe for your sensitive Shih Tzu.
  • Avoderm Weight Support Dry Dog Food. it is crafted with real chicken and brown rice for the best proteins and fiber to boost muscle and digestive health

 The best dog food for large Shih Tzu:

  • Purina Pro Plan Shredded High Protein Chicken & Rice Formula. It is a perfect choice for large Shih Tzus as it is packed with glucosamine and calcium for strong joints and bones. The protein value of 26% aids in the maintenance of lean muscles, while omega fatty acids give your dog smooth skin and a shiny coat.
  • Blackwood Whitefish Meal & Oatmeal Dry Dog Food. it provides superior nutrition for large dogs as it is packed with high-quality protein, fiber, and antioxidants for thick muscles, proper digestion, and improved immunity

What are the best dog foods for Shih Tzu with different health conditions?

The best dog foods for Shih Tzu with itchy skin

The best dog foods for picky eater Shih Tzu:

The best dog food for Shih Tzu with pancreatitis

The best dog foods for Shih Tzu with a sensitive stomach

The best dog foods for Shih Tzu with allergies

What are the best dogs with different ingredients for Shih Tzu? 

The best dog foods with pumpkin for Shih Tzu

  • Weruva Caloric Harmony Chicken Flavor with Pumpkin. The key ingredients are Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Chickpeas, Green Peas, Split Peas, and Pumpkin. These ingredients are proper as they provide protein and fiber for strong muscles and digestive wellness.
  • Farmina N&D Dry puppy Formula. Pumpkin is on the ingredient list to support digestion and boost vision with beta-carotene. Methionine, taurine, and L-carnitine are essential for a healthy heart. Pumpkin is a proper ingredient as it has nutritional benefits for your dog.

The best chicken-free dog foods for Shih Tzu

What can Different Dog Breeds Eat Shih Tzu Food?

Best Shih Tzu Dog Foods for Pugs

These breeds are small in size with short muzzles. However, Shih Tzu has minimal shedding while Pugs have a significant shedding. These foods are common for both breeds:

Best Shih Tzu Dog Foods for Boston Terrier

Shih Tzus and Boston Terriers are petite dogs. However, Shih Tzu is hypoallergenic while the Boston Terrier is not. These foods are common to both breeds:

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Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.