Cooking up Love: Best Homemade Food for Shih Tzu

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: August 14, 2023

shih tzu dog looking at snack
Shih Tzu dog looking at snack

For many of us, Shih Tzu aren’t just pets; they’re family. Their small size, playful nature, and flowing coats make them irresistible companions. Ensuring they get the best nutrition is paramount for every owner. Homemade diets have become increasingly popular for those aiming to provide the best possible meals. But what exactly is the best homemade food for Shih Tzu ? Let’s dive deep.

1 Why Consider Homemade Food for Shih Tzu?

With so many commercial dog food options available, why would one consider homemade food for their furry friend? The answer is simple: control and customization. By preparing homemade food for Shih Tzu, you can monitor the ingredients, ensure they’re of the highest quality, and tailor the meals according to your dog’s specific needs.

2 Understanding the Basics of Shih Tzu Nutrition

Before you embark on creating the perfect meal plan, it’s essential to understand the basic dietary requirements of a Shih Tzu. This breed has unique needs that differentiate them from others, and a proper shih tzu diet chart is invaluable.

A balanced diet for Shih Tzu will comprise:

  • Proteins: Lean meats like chicken, turkey, or beef are great sources.
  • Carbohydrates: Think sweet potatoes, brown rice, or quinoa.
  • Fats: Essential for skin and coat health. Salmon or flaxseed oils are top choices.
  • Fibre: Crucial for digestion. Foods like pumpkin or carrots can serve this need.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Found in various fruits and vegetables.

3 The Ideal Shih Tzu Food List

There’s a range of ingredients that can be considered the best food for Shih Tzu. Here’s a brief Shih Tzu food list that you can reference:

  • Proteins: Chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, and eggs.
  • Carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes, peas, brown rice, oats, and barley.
  • Fruits: Blueberries, apples (without seeds), cranberries, and bananas.
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, green beans, spinach, and zucchini.

4 Crafting Meals for Different Life Stages

Shih Tzu Puppy Food

cute shih tzu puppy looking with curious eyes and lying down on wooden floor
Cute Shih tzu puppy looking with curious eyes and lying down on wooden floor

Your Shih Tzu puppy’s nutritional needs differ from an adult’s. Their fast growth means they need more calories, protein, and certain vitamins. A good rule of thumb is to follow a Shih Tzu feeding chart tailored for puppies.

Consider including ingredients like:

  • Chicken or turkey: These are lean proteins ideal for growth.
  • Brown rice or oatmeal: Easily digestible carbs for energy.
  • Carrots and peas: For fibre, vitamins, and a hint of sweetness that puppies love.

For those questioning what the best puppy food for Shih Tzu is, it’s one that promotes healthy growth, ensuring they don’t gain weight too quickly. Overfeeding can lead to skeletal issues.

Adult Shih Tzu Food

portrait of a young and happy shih tzu dog
Portrait of a young and happy Shih tzu dog

As your Shih Tzu matures, their calorie needs may decrease. This means focusing on maintaining a healthy weight and keeping their coat shiny. Foods like salmon, rich in omega fatty acids, can be added to enhance coat health. Vegetables like spinach and broccoli are also excellent choices, filled with essential nutrients.

Senior Shih Tzu Food

senior shih tzu standing
Senior shih tzu standing

Older Shih Tzu may have reduced metabolism and activity levels. Therefore, their diet should be adjusted accordingly. Consider incorporating more fibre-rich foods like pumpkin to aid digestion.

Now, let’s delve into formulating the best food for Shih Tzu at home.

  • Lean Protein Source (40%): This can be chicken breast, turkey, or lean cuts of beef. For fish lovers, salmon or trout is excellent.
  • Complex Carbohydrates (30%): Choose from options like brown rice, barley, or sweet potatoes.
  • Vegetables (25%): A mix of fibrous veggies like broccoli, carrots, and peas.
  • Healthy Fats (5%): A drizzle of flaxseed oil or a small piece of avocado.
  • Calcium: Especially for puppies, consider adding ground eggshell or a calcium supplement.

For those sceptical about crafting their own dog food for Shih Tzu, worry not. The Shih Tzu diet chart can guide you on portion sizes and frequency.

5 Benefits of Homemade Food for Shih Tzu

Why consider homemade food for Shih Tzu?

  • Control: You know precisely what goes into their meals.
  • Variety: Allows a varied diet, enhancing their overall nutrient intake.
  • Allergen-free: You can easily avoid ingredients your Shih Tzu might be allergic to.

6 Beware of Harmful Ingredients

While we’ve discussed the best food for Shih Tzu, it’s equally essential to know what NOT to include. Grapes, chocolate, onions, and garlic are toxic to most dogs, including Shih Tzu. Always consult a vet if unsure.

7 The Importance of a Shih Tzu Feeding Chart

A shih tzu feeding chart is a guideline to ensure you’re feeding your pet the right amount. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which Shih Tzus are prone to. On the other hand, underfeeding can result in malnutrition. Adhering to a feeding chart tailored for your Shih Tzu’s age, weight, and activity level is crucial.

8 Making the Switch

If you’re transitioning from commercial dog food for Shih Tzu to homemade meals, do so gradually. Start by mixing the new homemade food with their current diet, gradually increasing the homemade portion over a week.

9 What About Shih Tzu Puppy Food?

The diet of a Shih Tzu puppy differs slightly from an adult. Puppies are growing, which means they need more protein and fat. If you’re searching for the best puppy food for Shih Tzu, consider adding more protein sources and healthy fats to their meals.

For the best food for Shih Tzu puppy, opt for softer, easily digestible ingredients. Minced chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, and rice porridge are ideal components of food for Shih Tzu puppy.

10 Shih Tzu Feeding Chart – An Overview

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Hungry Shih Tzu puppy holding an empty bowl

A Shih Tzu feeding chart is essential for ensuring your pet gets the right amount of food. While it varies based on activity level, age, and health, a general Shih Tzu diet chart is as follows:

  • Puppies (up to 6 months): 3-4 times a day.
  • Adults (6 months to 8 years): 2 times a day.
  • Seniors (8 years and above): 2 times a day but with reduced portions.

It’s also crucial to consult your vet when determining portion sizes, as they can provide a customized Shih Tzu feeding chart based on your dog’s specific needs.

11 Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Too Many Grains: While grains aren’t bad, over-reliance can deprive your Shih Tzu of other essential nutrients.
  • Not Enough Variety: Constantly feeding chicken and rice? Time to introduce other proteins and veggies.
  • Overfeeding: Always refer to the Shih Tzu feeding chart. Obesity can be a problem in this breed.

12 Wrapping Up

Feeding your Shih Tzu the right diet is crucial for their health and longevity. While commercial dog foods have their place, there’s no denying the appeal and benefits of the best homemade food for Shih Tzu. By following the above guidelines and the Shih Tzu food list, you’ll be on your way to ensuring your pet gets the best nutrition possible.

Remember, each dog is unique. What works for one Shih Tzu might not necessarily work for another. Thus, it’s always a good idea to monitor your pet’s reaction to new foods and consult with a veterinarian when making significant changes to their diet.

So, the next time someone asks, what’s the best food for Shih Tzu puppy or adult? you’ll have the answers at your fingertips. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and well-fed Shih Tzus!

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About This Article

Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

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Updated: August 14, 2023
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