Shih Tzu Food and Health
When feeding your Shi Tzu, you should aim to tick many of the same boxes that you do when feeding yourself.
Getting the correct dog food will ensure that they have a healthy and complete diet. Just like us, dogs need to have a balanced diet with protein, carbs, and vitamins and minerals which can affect everything from the shine on their coat to the strength of their bones.
The best way to ensure that your dog is getting those things is to feed them a dog food brand that has been made using natural ingredients and that doesn’t have an overabundance of unwanted additives. Particularly dangerous for small dogs are large amounts of sugar, and for that reason, you should try to avoid any products that have a lot of it added. And this goes tripled for Shih Tzus in particular, as this breed is prone to hypothyroidism. You need to make sure that your little dog doesn’t get too many sugar spikes as this can lead to a slower metabolism which causes weight gain and resulting joint issues.
Try reading the back of the packaging and this should give you some idea.
Two examples of brands that will tick these boxes and provide a healthy balance for your Shih Tzu include:
This is a grain-free formula which makes it ideal for a Paleo puppy diet. It is also filled with particularly bio-digestible energy that your dog needs while growing and includes lots of fruits and vegetables to fortify your dog with antioxidants and micronutrients. These can help to combat cancer as your dog gets older. Puppies love this mix and overall, it’s ideal for supporting an active lifestyle.
Another excellent choice if you want to give your dog a more natural diet. The key ingredient in this specific recipe is deboned chicken, which makes it a convenient way to give your dog the protein it needs to build muscle. What’s more, is that the food contains ‘industry leading’ levels of glucosamine and chondroitin, which can help to support your dog’s joint health and happiness as it grows!
Also important is to consider the size of your dog and the type of food that you give them. Smaller dogs need food that is aimed at smaller dogs. This makes a difference because not only will the pieces be smaller to chew, but the contents will be better designed for their smaller stature.
Keep in mind though that there is no evidence to suggest that ‘breed specific’ foods will have any benefit.
If your dog has a specific problem, or even if it doesn’t, a supplement such as cod liver oil can help keep your pet’s joints pain free while even giving them an intelligence boost (so they can think of new ways to cause trouble).
Supplements can also provide a useful way for you to ensure that your Shih Tzu is getting all of the nutrients that they need in their diet. Things like omega 3 can help to reduce inflammation and help your dog to keep healthy joints even as they age.
That said, the best way to ensure your dog gets all of its nutrients is instead to feed it one of the healthy and natural food brands that we listed above. These should contain all of those natural elements in the right balance for your dog to absorb and use.
Your dog won’t likely just consume the food you give it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In all likelihood, you will also feed it dog treats, things from the table, etc.
If you are wondering whether it is safe to provide your dog with food from the table, then the answer is a ‘yes’ for the most part – as long as you are sensible.
Think about what your dog would normally eat in the wild. Is this something that you can share with your dog? For instance meat off the bone is actually very healthy for your dog, and especially because they can also benefit from some of the cartilage and the other nutrients found in the bones. Just remember that Shih Tzus have small jaws and you should avoid anything that might have small bones. Fish can be dangerous for this reason.
Do NOT feed your small dog foods that have a lot of added sugar.
Chocolate is man’s best friend right alongside dogs. Unfortunately though, dogs and chocolate don’t go well together and if your pup gets ahold of that box of Thorntons, then this can actually be very dangerous indeed for them.
This is of course because eating that much sugar can cause all kinds of internal damage. If a human ate an entire box of chocolates in one sitting then they wouldn’t feel very well either but humans are much larger than dogs and are able to stop when they feel sick. Dogs on the other hand will inhale food so quickly that they don’t feel ill until it’s too late. And because they’re so small, this amount of chocolate is highly dangerous and potentially even lethal.