How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus
The charming Shih Tzu, a breed that was once exclusively reserved to provide canine companionship for Chinese royalty, is a much-loved family pet. Highly prized for its sophisticated appearance, the Shih Tzu is an amiable little breed that loves to have fun. To keep pace with the Shih Tzu’s daily needs, this breed requires a high-quality diet that is based upon lean, healthy proteins and that is well-balanced to meet this dog’s nutritional requirements perfectly.
A breed that can suffer from stomach issues, a highly digestible food formulation that is enriched with prebiotics and probiotics is ideal for the Shih Tzu. The best dog foods for Shih Tzus include fiber-rich foods to support digestion.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Shih Tzus
Shih Tzus are busy little creatures and benefit from a diet that fuels their daily activity levels. The average adult Shih Tzu requires between 300 and 500 calories per day. Moderately active dogs fall towards the bottom of the spectrum with dogs that engage in rigorous daily exercise requiring the most calories. Whether the dog is spayed or neutered will also impact the recommended calorie intake. The Pet Nutrition Alliance calorie calculator is an excellent guide but remember to consult your veterinarian for more detailed nutritional information.
Shih Tzus are well renowned for eating far past the point of satiation if allowed to do so. To prevent weight gain from occurring, it is best to carefully measure the best dog food for Shih Tzus and monitor all intake. Free feeding is strongly discouraged.
The ideal diet for the Shih Tzu should contain a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat. The total amount of food for the day should be divided between two to three meals that are fed throughout the day to keep hunger at bay.
Dietary Requirements for Shih Tzu Dog Foods
The Shih Tzu will do best on a diet that is based on high-quality, lean proteins derived from animal origins. Whole meats are the ideal protein source; however, meat meals are also an excellent choice.
Though Shih Tzus do suffer from stomach sensitivity on occasion, they are not prone to skin issues as some other breeds are. To ensure the Shih Tzu can process and utilize their food well, any carbohydrate included in their diet should be easily digestible; whether it is derived from a fruit, vegetable, or whole grain.
Healthy fats are an important means by which the Shih Tzu obtains energy to fuel its daily activity and development. As an added bonus, fats help the Shih Tzu’s coat and skin to remain in excellent condition. The ideal source for healthy fats is animal-based such as chicken fat or oils from salmon or mackerel.
The best dog foods for Shih Tzus often contain supplements to support important body functions such as digestion and heart health.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best food for a Shih Tzu:
Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
Protein should be the primary ingredient in any diet that is suited to the Shih Tzu’s needs. Whole, lean meats are preferred but meal meals are also acceptable.
Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
The addition of helpful supplements can greatly aid the Shih Tzu’s health and wellness. Among the most desirable items to look for in a food for the Shih Tzu are glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
All foods appropriate for the Shih Tzu should bear the AAFCO seal of approval, indicating it meets the standards for a complete and balanced food.