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Best Dog Food of Shih Tzus: Top Picks of 2024

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best dog food for shih tzusShih tzus are a beloved breed, but they need the right nutrition to stay healthy and happy. To ensure you’re feeding your Shih Tzu pup or adult dog the best diet possible for its life stage, it’s important to research what constitutes quality ingredients in canine food.

With so many brands on store shelves these days – both wet and dry – how do you know which is best? We’ve done our homework by researching some of 2021-2022’s top rated dog foods for Shih Tzus so you can make an informed decision about what your pup should be eating.

From Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food to Natures Recipe Dog Food, we’ll review 9 of the most popular options this year that provide complete nutrition while meeting their unique dietary needs!

Key Takeaways

  • Shih Tzus require proper nutrition for health and happiness.
  • Consider your Shih Tzu’s specific needs when choosing dog food.
  • AAFCO nutrient profiles ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
  • Top dog food brands for Shih Tzus include Royal Canin, Iams, Nutro Ultra, Blue Buffalo, and Instinct.

9 Best Dog Foods for Shih Tzus

Are you looking for the best dog food for your Shih Tzu? With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide. This article will provide an overview of some of the top-rated dry and wet foods available on the market today.

Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, Blue Buffalo Puppy Dog Food, Health Extension LittleBites Chicken Brown Rice Dog Food, Merrick Lil Plates Steak Tips Dog Food, and Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Chicken are among the top-rated dry and wet dog foods for Shih Tzus.

Wellness Small Breed Senior Turkey Peas and Royal Canin Shih Tzu Puppy Dog Food are also highly recommended for Shih Tzus. These brands are specifically formulated to meet the unique needs of senior and puppy Shih Tzus, respectively.

Nature’s Recipe Dogs Foods and Now Fresh Small Breed Puppy Dogs Foods are also worth considering. These brands offer a variety of options for Shih Tzus, ensuring that you can find the perfect food for your furry friend.

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing the best dog food for your Shih Tzu, it’s important to consider their specific needs and preferences. The brands mentioned in this article offer high-quality options that are sure to keep your Shih Tzu happy and healthy.

1. Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro Ultra Small Breed HighView On Chewy
If you’re looking for a high-quality, protein-rich diet that will keep your Shih Tzu healthy and happy without any artificial preservatives or flavors, Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice.

It is made with real chicken as the first ingredient and 15 superfoods like coconut, chia seed, kale, and blueberries to provide balanced nutrition with no fillers or by-products. This natural grain-free formula has been rigorously tested for quality assurance and food safety while also being Non-GMO certified.

The small kibble size of this dog food ensures it’s easy to eat even for dogs with tiny mouths such as Yorkies or Shih Tzus, making it ideal for picky eaters! Customers have praised its taste in addition to improved coat health results from feeding their pup this premium brand of dry dog food.

  • High-quality ingredients
  • Protein-rich formula
  • No artificial flavors/preservatives
  • Rigorous testing & Quality Assurance
  • Natural Grain Free Formula
  • Ideal Kibble Size For Small Breeds
  • More expensive than many other brands

2. Blue Buffalo Puppy Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection FormulaView On Chewy
You’ll love Blue Buffalo Puppy Dog Food for its high-quality proteins and grain-free formula tailored to the nutritional needs of growing puppies. It is formulated with real deboned chicken as its primary protein source. This food contains DHA and ARA for healthy brain and eye development, plus LifeSource Bits – a blend of nutrients with antioxidant-rich ingredients to support immune system health.

The food is free from corn, wheat, soy, or chicken by-product meals. It also includes vitamins like Vitamin A and B12 to support your pup’s developing immune system.

Customers have praised how much their dogs enjoy this nutritious meal while benefiting from improved coat health and shiny fur due to added Omega fatty acids supporting sensitive digestion.

  • High-quality proteins
  • Grain-free formula
  • Supports developing immune systems
  • Kibble specifically designed for smaller jaws and reduces tartar buildup
  • Natural omega fatty acids improve coat health and shiny fur
  • Improved digestion through probiotics
  • Pricey compared to some other brands

3. Health Extension LittleBites Chicken Brown Rice Dog Food

Health Extension Little Bites ChickenView On Chewy
Health Extension LittleBites Chicken Brown Rice Dog Food is crafted with organic ingredients to provide balanced nutrition for small breed puppies and adult dogs. This natural, non-GMO recipe includes flaxseeds, lamb, and brown rice for a complete diet tailored to the nutritional needs of teacup, toy, and miniature breeds.

The kibble size is ideal for tiny mouths and teeth, while probiotics aid digestion. It also contains omega fatty acids, as well as CoQ10, to support heart health, plus vitamins A & B12 that boost immune system defenses.

Customers have praised this food’s ability to help with dental issues in older dogs, along with its suitability even for picky eaters like Yorkies and Maltese!

  • Suitable for small dogs with tiny mouths/teeth
  • Liked by picky eaters, including finicky Yorkies/Maltese
  • Small kibble size makes it easy to consume
  • Ideal choice if your dog has dental issues
  • Recommended by breeders due to its palatability
  • Some reported dry skin after consuming this product
  • Mixed reviews about breath freshness improvement
  • Concerns about price increases & shrinking bag sizes

4. Merrick Lil Plates Steak Tips Dog Food

Merrick LilView On Chewy
Merrick Lil Plates Steak Tips Dog Food is packed with real deboned beef and prebiotics, probiotics, and essential minerals to support your pup’s digestion. This food is formulated for complete and balanced nutrition suitable for small breeds in any life stage.

The high levels of omega fatty acids help promote healthy skin and coat, while glucosamine and chondroitin provide hip and joint support.

Customers have praised the small serving size, which makes it easier for their tiny mouths to eat, as well as its quality ingredients that improve coat health by making fur soft and shiny. While there may be mixed reviews on palatability due to picky pups who don’t like the taste, most customers agree that it’s worth the price tag considering how much nutrition this product offers compared to others out there.

  • Real deboned beef is the first ingredient
  • Prebiotics/probiotic blend supports digestive health
  • Omega fatty acids aid in skin and coat health
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin promote hip and joint strength
  • Varieties available without poultry
  • Some picky eaters may not like the taste
  • Can be pricey

5. Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Chicken

Instinct Raw Boost Small BreedView On Chewy
Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Chicken provides your pup with boosted nutrition and a unique blend of kibble and freeze-dried raw meat pieces for an ideal balance of protein, fat, and calories. It contains 80% more real chicken than other leading brands and is formulated specifically for adult small breed dogs.

This natural grain-free food is free from corn, wheat, soy, and chicken by-product meals.

Its ingredients also include probiotics to support digestive health, omega fatty acids to encourage healthy skin and coat, and glucosamine and chondroitin to promote joint health.

  • High-quality proteins sourced from cage-free chickens as the first ingredient
  • Contains probiotics for optimal digestion
  • Free from grains like corn, wheat, or soy
  • Natural omegas and antioxidants support skin and coat
  • Guaranteed levels of live natural probiotics
  • Price is a bit high
  • Customers noticed a decrease in the amount/size of raw pieces over time
  • Inconsistent distribution in some bags

6. Wellness Small Breed Senior Turkey Peas

Wellness Small Breed Complete HealthView On Chewy
Wellness Small Breed Senior Turkey Peas is designed with smaller kibble sizes and premium proteins to give senior Shih Tzus the balanced nutrition they need. It is formulated to provide whole body support, including immune system defense, energy levels, coat and skin health.

This all-natural food contains omega fatty acids for joint support, plus antioxidants and probiotics for digestive health. With no meat by-products or artificial preservatives added, this high-quality meal can help manage weight gain in older dogs while keeping them full of life.

Customers have praised Wellness Small Breed Senior Turkey Peas as a great choice for Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers alike; however, some dogs may simply prefer other flavors, so results may vary from pup to pup.

  • Formulated specifically with senior Shih Tzus in mind
  • No meat by-products or artificial preservatives
  • Contains omega fatty acids plus antioxidants & probiotics
  • Limited flavor options
  • Pricey compared to other brands
  • Only available in a 4lb bag

7. Royal Canin Shih Tzu Puppy Dog Food

Royal Canin Breed Health NutritionView On Chewy
Royal Canin’s Shih Tzu Puppy Dog Food is an ideal choice for small breed puppies. It contains a specialized kibble shape to fit your pup’s short muzzle and underbite. This food also supports the immune system and skin health with antioxidants, vitamins E & B12, and prebiotics – all in one 2.

This food specifically caters to growing Shih Tzu pups from 8 weeks to 10 months old. It provides tailored nutrition that helps reduce stool amount and odor while promoting healthy coat growth. With added omega fatty acids, glucosamine chondroitin for hip support, as well as probiotics for digestive health, this puppy formula has been praised by customers who have seen improved teething problems in their pets thanks to its unique ingredients list.

  • Specialized kibble shape fits a Shih Tzu’s mandible
  • Supports the immune system with antioxidants (including vitamin E)
  • Promotes healthy skin & long coat with specific nutrients
  • Aids in reducing stool amount/odor with high-quality proteins prebiotics
  • Added omega fatty acids glucosamine chondroitin provide hip support
  • Probiotic blend promotes digestion
  • Small bag size compared to price may be concerning

8. Natures Recipe Dog Food

NatureView On Chewy
Natures Recipe Dog Food is an all-natural, complete diet packed with real animal protein and essential vitamins to help your pup thrive. It comes in a savory broth with bits of ingredients that make it look and smell like human food.

Each tray contains added Vitamin A for immune system support, as well as Vitamin B12 for digestive health. And this food has no artificial flavors or preservatives so you can rest assured knowing that your four-legged friend is getting the best nutrition possible.

This highly palatable blend of ingredients also helps picky eaters enjoy their meals while providing them with balanced proteins, fats, minerals, and fiber they need to stay healthy during adulthood.

Customers have praised Natures Recipe Dog Food for being easy on digestion even in older dogs – plus many love how they can hide pills inside the delicious broth!

The small bite-size kibble makes eating easier during the teething phase too, making it ideal not only for puppies but also for adult Shih Tzus who may have trouble chewing larger pieces due to jaw conditions such as brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS).

With multiple flavors available at a premium price tag per 2 oz serving size, however, customers may find this product’s cost prohibitive depending upon their budget restrictions when compared to other options on the market today.

  • Real animal protein & no byproduct meals
  • Added Vitamins A & B12
  • No Artificial Flavors/Preservatives
  • Easy On Digestion
  • Multiple Flavors Available
  • Bite Size Kibble Ideal For Teething Phase
  • Premium Price Tag Per Serving Size
  • Smaller Serving Sizes Compared To Other Brands

9. Now Fresh Small Breed Puppy Dog Food

Now Fresh Grain-Free Small BreedView On Chewy
Discover how Now Fresh Small Breed Puppy Dog Food can make your pup’s life so much brighter with its natural, wholesome ingredients and delicious taste! This grain-free dog food is made with fresh deboned turkey, salmon, and duck, plus omega fatty acids to support healthy brain and heart development.

It also contains prebiotics for digestive health, as well as pumpkin, which is rich in fiber.

Plus, the addition of 20+ natural superfoods provides powerful antioxidant protection for overall wellness. And there are no byproducts or meat meals used here – only real ingredients such as whole eggs! The smaller kibble size makes it suitable for extra small breeds while being easy on sensitive stomachs too.

Your puppy will love the flavorful broth that comes along with this nutritious diet, which helps them grow strong without any fillers or artificial preservatives whatsoever!

  • Supports growing puppies through balanced protein, fat & minerals
  • Contains DHA & EPA Omega 3 fatty acids for healthy brain & heart development
  • Prebiotics added to promote digestive health
  • Real animal proteins; no byproduct meals or artificial flavors/preservatives
  • Suitable even for tiny breed pups; small kibble size suited well
  • More expensive than other options

Special Considerations for Shih Tzu Nutrition

Special Considerations for Shih Tzu Nutrition
When it comes to caring for a Shih Tzu, nutrition is an incredibly important factor. Puppies require tailored diets that provide essential nutrients for healthy growth and development, while adult dogs need proper nutrient balance and reduced calorie intake in order to maintain their ideal weight.

Sensitivities can be managed with carefully chosen ingredients, while eye health should also be supported through diet with the right combination of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and other vital nutrients.

Nutritional needs for puppies

When considering what to feed your Shih Tzu puppy, look for a balanced diet that provides essential nutrients and supports healthy growth. Puppy diets should include high-quality proteins and complex carbohydrates, as well as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, probiotics, and antioxidants.

Meal frequency is also important. Puppies typically require 3-4 meals per day, while adult dogs will need 2 meals daily. To ensure proper nutrition at each stage of growth, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian or pet nutritionist about the specific dietary needs of your Shih Tzu pup.

Additionally, seek out foods made specifically for small breeds like Royal Canin’s Shih Tzu formula, which contains specialized ingredients designed to meet their unique nutritional requirements.

Managing allergies and sensitivities

For Shih Tzus with allergies and sensitivities, exploring novel protein diets can help reduce triggers and keep your pup feeling their best. It’s important to carefully examine ingredients for potential dietary culprits and consider hypoallergenic options tailored to the breed’s needs.

Skin sensitivity issues should also be taken into account when selecting a food. Look for products free from artificial additives or preservatives that may irritate delicate skin. Additionally, premium dog foods provide essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, which help support healthy coats and digestive health in dogs prone to allergies or sensitivities.

The best dog food for Shih Tzus should contain quality proteins such as lamb meal or deboned meat without by-products.

Supporting eye health

Take care of your Shih Tzu’s eyesight to keep them bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with the right diet. Antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, omega fatty acids, vitamin A, zinc, and other minerals are all important for eye health in dogs.

These nutrients help support healthy vision by protecting against oxidative stress that can lead to cataracts or age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Certain supplements may also be beneficial in supporting eye health during aging. Look for ones containing nutrients specifically designed for vision care, such as bilberry extract or N-acetylcarnosine.

Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus

Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus
When it comes to finding the best dog food for Shih Tzus, it’s important to consider their unique nutritional needs by life stage. From puppies who need extra calories and protein for growing bodies, to adults who require a balanced diet with plenty of natural fats and vitamins, all the way through senior dogs whose dietary requirements change as they age – having an understanding of your pet’s specific needs is essential in order to choose the right food.

Nutritional needs by life stage

It’s important to provide your Shih Tzu with the right nutrition based on their life stage—from puppyhood to adulthood and senior years. Puppies need high-quality protein, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids for muscle growth.

Adult dogs require a balance of proteins from meat sources plus vegetables for energy needs.

Senior dietary needs focus on weight control as well as joint health, while managing allergies is also key in the prevention of tear stains.

Premium dog foods can help meet nutritional demands while providing healthy protein sources such as meat meal, and novel diets are beneficial when it comes to allergy management or digestive issues.

Providing tailored diet recommendations that consider age-specific nutrient profiles will ensure your Shih Tzu stays healthy throughout its lifetime!

  • High-quality proteins & fatty acids for puppies’ muscle growth
  • Balanced proteins & veggies for adult dogs’ energy requirements
  • Weight control & joint health support during senior years
  • Allergy management preventing tear stains
  • Premium dog food providing nutritious ingredients
  • Novel diets aiding digestion issues

Top dog food brands

Discover the protein-rich, tailored nutrition of top dog food brands to support your Shih Tzu through every life stage. From Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food for adults and Blue Buffalo Puppy Dog Food for puppies, to Health Extension LittleBites Chicken Brown Rice and Merrick Lil Plates Steak Tips – there’s something to fit their dietary requirements.

Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Chicken is perfect for active dogs, while Wellness Small Breed Senior Turkey Peas ensures healthy aging. For breed specific needs, Royal Canin Shih Tzu Puppy offers an ideal balance of nutrients or try Nature’s Recipe with its real ingredients in a savory broth.

Finally, Now Fresh provides grain-free options with added omega fatty acids and prebiotics that aid digestion!

Specific dietary considerations

Understand the specific dietary considerations for Shih Tzus, from weight control to allergies and eye health, to ensure your pup is getting all of the nutrients they need. Weight management is important as Shih Tzus are prone to obesity. Allergies should be managed by avoiding common triggers like beef or wheat and opting for novel proteins such as turkey or salmon instead.

Eye health also needs consideration, with ingredients that reduce tear stains being beneficial in combination with adequate nutrition. Premium diets can provide a balanced meal, while tailored recommendations help manage certain conditions like BAS in senior dogs.

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus
Choosing the best dog food for Shih Tzus requires understanding their specific nutritional needs by life stage. With careful consideration, you can provide a tailored diet that meets your pup’s individual dietary requirements and supports optimal health throughout all stages of life.

Nutritional needs by life stage.

When it comes to caring for your Shih Tzu, you’ll need to consider the nutritional needs of each life stage. Puppies should eat a high-quality puppy food with DHA and ARA for healthy brain development.

Adult diets must provide adequate nutrients while accommodating allergies or sensitivities; premium foods are typically best for this purpose.

Senior dogs require lower calories in their diets and an increased amount of joint support ingredients such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Tear stains can be reduced through specific dietary choices like avoiding wheat gluten or adding omega fatty acids.

Consider all these factors when selecting dog food tailored to your Shih Tzu’s life stage!

Top dog food brands.

With so many options, it can be difficult to choose the right food for your Shih Tzu.

From Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food and Blue Buffalo Puppy Dog Food to Health Extension LittleBites Chicken Brown Rice and Merrick Lil Plates Steak Tips, there’s something for every adult or puppy Shih Tzu.

Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Chicken offers an ideal balance of protein and fat while Wellness Complete Senior Turkey Peas is tailored nutrition for seniors.

Royal Canin’s Shih Tzu Puppy formula meets all dietary needs with added vitamins plus Natures Recipe has real animal proteins without by-products or fillers.

Now Fresh provides omega fatty acids, prebiotics, fiber-rich pumpkin & more! With appropriate diets tailored towards each stage in life & special considerations like allergies, weight control & tear stains – you’ll have no problem finding a perfect fit!

Specific dietary considerations

Knowing the specific dietary considerations of your Shih Tzu can help you make an informed decision about their nutrition and ensure they get the best food for their individual needs. Weight management, allergies, tear stains, and premium ingredients in meals and snacks should be taken into consideration when selecting a dog food.

Age-specific nutrition is important to manage nutritional requirements tailored to each stage of life, as well as hereditary conditions such as brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS). Homemade recipes or commercially available products with novel proteins could also be beneficial for dogs with allergies.

Adding supplements like multivitamins may further support overall health, while avoiding ingredients that cause tear staining can reduce unpleasantness around the eye area due to excessive tearing. Ultimately, finding what works best requires trial and error, but understanding these specific dietary considerations will provide pet owners peace of mind, knowing they are investing in quality solutions for their beloved Shih Tzu companion’s wellbeing.

Our Criteria: How We Chose the Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus

Our Criteria: How We Chose the Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus
Choosing the best dog food for Shih Tzus requires an understanding of their unique dietary needs. To ensure that your pup is getting all the essential nutrients they need, you should look for products that meet AAFCO nutrient profiles to provide complete and balanced nutrition.

AAFCO nutrient profiles

To provide the best nutrition for Shih Tzus, it’s important to be familiar with AAFCO nutrient profiles.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets canine dietary guidelines based on the nutrients needed for a dog’s growth and health. These regulations ensure quality control in commercial pet foods by setting nutrient levels through extensive research and testing protocols.

Each year, dog food must meet or exceed the recommended daily nutritional requirements set forth in an approved AAFCO Nutrient Profile. This guarantee ensures the safety and effectiveness of the food across all life stages, from puppies to seniors.

With this guide, choosing the right food solution for your Shih Tzu will become simpler than ever before!

Top dog food brands

For your Shih Tzu’s best health, you’ll want to consider the top dog food brands formulated specifically for their dietary needs.

Consider Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Shih Tzu Adult Dry Dog Food and Iams Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food – both of which are tailored towards providing optimal nutrition for this breed.

Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult dry dog food is also a great choice as it contains 15 superfoods like coconut, chia, and kale – all without any artificial preservatives or flavors!

Blue Buffalo Puppy formula provides a balanced diet with real meat and LifeSource Bits that support the immune system health, while Instinct Raw Boost provides tailored nutrition with natural omegas and antioxidants.

Finally, Merrick Lil Plates Steak Tips offer small bite-size kibble perfect for tiny mouths!

Shih Tzu dietary considerations

When it comes to Shih Tzus, their dietary considerations are important to keep in mind. For instance, 80% of the time, a dog’s diet can be linked directly to skin and coat health. Weight management is essential for small breeds as they tend towards obesity if overfed.

Allergies should also be managed through tailored diets like Ollie or Canidae that address common triggers. Eye health needs specific nutrients, while tear stain prevention requires careful ingredient selection when choosing food.

Premium diets rich in animal proteins are recommended for optimal nutrition and overall wellbeing.


It’s no secret that proper nutrition is essential for the health and well-being of Shih Tzus. With so many varieties of dog food on the market, finding the best food for your pup can be an overwhelming task.

Fortunately, this guide has provided a variety of the best dog food for Shih Tzus in 2023.

From Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food to Now Fresh Small Breed Puppy Dog Food, you can now confidently select a food that meets the needs of your pup.

As you embark on this journey, remember to keep the focus keyword in mind: best dog food for Shih Tzus. With the right food and a little love, your Shih Tzu will be happy, healthy, and thriving for years to come.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.