Calorie Requirements of Shih Tzu Dogs for Weight Management

Many people consider pets to be their family members and want them to live long, healthy lives. One way to ensure your Shih Tzu dog lives a healthy life is to properly manage their weight. However, weight management for dogs can be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding their calorie requirements. By understanding your Shih Tzu’s unique needs and factors affecting their calorie requirements, implementing a feeding and exercise plan with guidance from your veterinarian, and monitoring their progress, you can help your furry friend maintain a healthy weight for a happier and longer life. Let’s dive deeper into the world of calorie requirements for Shih Tzu dogs.

What is weight management?

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for the overall well-being and longevity of your furry friend. So, what actually is weight management? It refers to the process of keeping your Shih Tzu at a healthy weight through proper diet, exercise, and regular monitoring. A healthy weight can help prevent various health problems and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. To learn more about how to keep your Shih Tzu in shape, refer to our guide on Shih Tzu healthy weight.

Why is weight management important for Shih Tzu dogs?

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for the overall well-being and quality of life of your Shih Tzu. Here are some reasons why weight management is important for Shih Tzu dogs:

Joint HealthExcessive weight puts extra pressure on your dog’s joints, which can lead to arthritis and other joint-related issues. This is particularly important for Shih Tzus, as they are already at a higher risk for orthopedic problems due to their small size and short legs. Keeping them at a healthy weight can significantly reduce the risk of joint problems.
Overall HealthBeing overweight can increase the risk of several health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and breathing difficulties. Shih Tzus can already face respiratory issues due to their short snouts, and extra weight can exacerbate these issues.
LongevityObesity is one of the top preventable causes of death in dogs. A healthy weight can significantly improve your dog’s quality of life and increase their lifespan. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight are all key factors in keeping your Shih Tzu healthy and happy.

In order to ensure that your Shih Tzu maintains a healthy weight, it’s important to provide them with a balanced diet, daily exercise, and regular check-ups with their veterinarian. Incorporating weight management into your dog’s routine can provide a multitude of benefits for both their physical and mental health. In the next section, we’ll cover the steps to calculate your Shih Tzu’s daily calorie requirements to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, we’ll also discuss ways to implement weight management in your Shih Tzu’s daily routine, including exercise and playtime.

Factors affecting calorie requirements

Before we can calculate the calorie requirements of our Shih Tzu dogs, it is important to understand the various factors that can affect their daily calorie intake . Here are some factors to consider:

  • Age: Puppies and senior dogs have different metabolic rates and activity levels, which can affect their calorie needs.
  • Weight: Overweight or underweight dogs will require different calorie intakes to achieve their ideal weight.
  • Activity level: More active dogs will require more calories than sedentary dogs.
  • Breed: Different breeds have different metabolic rates and activity levels, which can affect their calorie requirements.
  • Gender: Male and female dogs may have different calorie requirements due to differences in size and activity level.
  • Health conditions: Certain health conditions, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism, may affect a dog’s metabolism and require adjustments to their calorie intake.
  • Dietary factors: The type and quality of food being fed can affect a dog’s calorie intake and overall health.

It is important to keep these factors in mind when determining the appropriate daily calorie intake for your Shih Tzu. Consult with your veterinarian for specific recommendations tailored to your dog’s unique needs.

Calculating calorie requirements

Calculating Calorie Requirements
When it comes to weight management for Shih Tzu dogs, calculating their calorie requirements is an essential step. By doing so, you can determine the right amount of food to feed your furry friend and provide them with the necessary nutrients without overfeeding them. However, determining the calorie needs of your Shih Tzu can be a bit perplexing at first. But fear not, with a few simple steps, you can calculate your dog’s daily calorie requirements, keeping them healthy and happy for years to come. Let’s dive into the process!

Step 1: Determine your Shih Tzu’s current weight

Before you can start managing your Shih Tzu’s weight, it is crucial to determine their current weight. This step is essential as it provides a baseline for calculating the calorie requirements needed for weight management. To determine your Shih Tzu’s current weight, follow these simple steps:

Step 1:Get a reliable scale
Step 2:Weigh yourself on the scale
Step 3:Pick up your Shih Tzu and step back on the scale
Step 4:Subtract your weight from the combined weight to determine your Shih Tzu’s weight

It is recommended to repeat this process a few times to make sure you have an accurate reading. Additionally, it is best to weigh your Shih Tzu around the same time every day to ensure consistency. Once you have your Shih Tzu’s current weight, you can move on to the next step in calculating their calorie requirements for weight management.

Step 2: Determine your Shih Tzu’s ideal weight

Determining your Shih Tzu’s ideal weight is an important step in managing their calorie requirements. Knowing the ideal weight for your Shih Tzu will help you determine their daily calorie needs and create a feeding plan that will help them reach and maintain their healthy weight. Here are some steps to determine your Shih Tzu’s ideal weight:

  • Consult with your veterinarian: Your veterinarian can help you determine your Shih Tzu’s ideal weight based on their age, breed, and overall health condition. They will also consider any medical conditions that may affect your Shih Tzu’s weight.
  • Body condition score: A body condition score is a way to assess your Shih Tzu’s body fat. It ranges from 1-9, with 1 being very thin and 9 being obese. Your veterinarian can help you determine your Shih Tzu’s current body condition score and ideal score.
  • Breed standard: The breed standard for Shih Tzu dogs typically ranges from 9-16 pounds. However, your veterinarian may recommend a different weight range for your individual Shih Tzu based on their body condition score and overall health.
  • Observation: Observe your Shih Tzu’s body and behavior. Your Shih Tzu’s ideal weight should be a weight that allows them to move comfortably, walk without difficulty, and have a waistline visible when viewed from above.

Determining your Shih Tzu’s ideal weight can be a bit perplexing, but it is one of the most important steps in managing their weight. By consulting with your veterinarian, assessing their body condition score and breed standard, and observing their behavior and movement, you can determine an ideal weight range that will help your Shih Tzu maintain their healthy weight.

Step 3: Determine your Shih Tzu’s activity level

When it comes to calculating your Shih Tzu’s daily calorie requirements, one of the key factors to consider is their activity level. An inactive Shih Tzu will have different calorie needs from a highly active one. To determine your Shih Tzu’s activity level, consider the following factors:

Activity LevelDescription
SedentaryShih Tzu spends most of their day lying down or sleeping. Minimal exercise and playtime.
LightShih Tzu engages in daily walks and short play sessions. Generally calm and quiet indoors.
ModerateShih Tzu has daily walks and play sessions, and also engages in more active games or sports. May have bursts of energy but generally calm indoors.
HighShih Tzu engages in regular and vigorous exercise or sports, such as agility training or running. May have high energy levels indoors as well.

Note: Keep in mind that individual Shih Tzus may have different activity levels based on their age, health, and personality. It’s also important to adjust their calorie intake accordingly, as an over or underfed dog can lead to health problems.

Step 4: Calculate daily calorie requirements

To calculate your Shih Tzu’s daily calorie requirements, you will need to follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Determine your Shih Tzu’s Resting Energy Requirement (RER) using the following formula:

RER = 70 x (body weight in kilograms ^ 0.75)

  • Step 2: Multiply your Shih Tzu’s RER by their activity level:
  • Sedentary: RER x 1.2
  • Lightly active: RER x 1.4
  • Moderately active: RER x 1.6
  • Very active: RER x 1.8
  • Step 3: Adjust the result based on your Shih Tzu’s body condition score:
  • Underweight: Increase by 10-20%
  • Ideal weight: Maintain current amount
  • Overweight: Decrease by 10-20%

Remember that these calculations are estimates and your dog’s actual calorie needs may vary. Always consult with a veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet or exercise routine.

By following these steps, you can get a good idea of your Shih Tzu’s daily calorie requirements for weight management. Proper weight management can help prevent obesity and other health issues, ensuring a long and happy life for your furry friend.

Implementing weight management

After calculating your Shih Tzu’s calorie requirements for weight management, it’s time to put the plan into action. But where do you start? The process can seem daunting, but with the right tools and guidance, you can make positive changes that will benefit your furry companion’s health and well-being. In this section, we will explore some of the key steps you can take to implement weight management for your Shih Tzu. From consulting with your veterinarian to creating a feeding plan and incorporating exercise, we will cover everything you need to know to get started on the path to a healthy weight. Let’s dive in!

Consult with your veterinarian

Before starting any weight management plan for your Shih Tzu, it is recommended that you consult with your veterinarian first. Your veterinarian can help you determine a realistic and healthy weight loss goal for your dog based on their history, breed, and individual needs.

Your veterinarian can assess any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to your dog’s weight gain, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease. These conditions may require specific dietary management and medication, which your veterinarian can help you implement.

During your veterinary consultation, you can also discuss your Shih Tzu’s current diet and feeding schedule. Your veterinarian can provide recommendations for appropriate portion sizes, frequency of feeding, and the type of diet that is best for your dog’s weight management plan.

It is important to note that sudden changes to your dog’s diet or exercise routine can be harmful or even dangerous. Your veterinarian can help you create a gradual and safe weight loss plan for your Shih Tzu that will minimize the risk of health complications.

By working with your veterinarian to develop a tailored weight management plan, you can ensure that your Shih Tzu is on track for healthy weight loss and overall wellness.

| Consult with your veterinarian |
| —————————- |
| – Determine realistic and healthy weight loss goals for your dog |
| – Assess any underlying medical conditions contributing to weight gain |
| – Discuss appropriate diet and feeding schedule recommendations |
| – Create a gradual and safe weight loss plan |
| – Ensure overall wellness for your Shih Tzu |

Create a feeding plan

When it comes to weight management in Shih Tzu dogs, creating a feeding plan is a crucial aspect. A feeding plan will help you keep track of your dog’s calorie intake and ensure that they are consuming the appropriate amount to reach their ideal weight. Here’s how you can create a feeding plan:

1. Choose the right food: Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best type of food for your Shih Tzu. You’ll want to choose a high-quality dog food that is specifically formulated for weight management. Look for foods that have high protein and fiber content but low levels of fat.

2. Determine portion size: Once you’ve chosen the right food, you’ll need to determine how much to feed your Shih Tzu. Use the calorie requirements you calculated in the previous steps as a guide. Most dog food brands will have feeding guidelines on the packaging, but adjust as necessary based on your dog’s individual needs.

3. Establish a feeding schedule: Dogs thrive on routine, so establish a consistent feeding schedule for your Shih Tzu. Divide your dog’s daily calorie intake into two or three meals throughout the day, and feed at the same times each day. Avoid free-feeding or leaving food out all day, as this can lead to overeating.

4. Monitor treats: Treats can quickly add up and throw off your Shih Tzu’s calorie intake. Limit treats to no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake, and choose low-calorie options such as carrots or green beans.

Here’s an example of a feeding plan for a Shih Tzu:

MealFoodPortion sizeCalories
BreakfastDry dog food1/2 cup200
Midday treatCarrot sticks2 sticks10
LunchDry dog food1/2 cup200
Afternoon treatGreen beans1/4 cup10
DinnerWet dog food1/4 cup100
Evening treatSmall piece of apple1 piece5

Remember, this is just an example and your Shih Tzu’s feeding plan will depend on their individual calorie requirements and food preferences. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian to develop a feeding plan that is appropriate for your dog.

Incorporate exercise and playtime

One of the most important aspects of managing your Shih Tzu’s weight is incorporating regular exercise and playtime into their routine. Exercise not only helps burn calories and maintain a healthy weight, but it can also improve their overall health and well-being.

Here are some ideas for incorporating exercise and playtime into your Shih Tzu’s routine:

  • Take daily walks: Walking is a great low-impact exercise for dogs of all ages and fitness levels. Aim to take your Shih Tzu for a daily walk around the block or to a nearby park. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of the walks as your dog’s fitness level improves.
  • Try new activities: Mix up your Shih Tzu’s exercise routine by trying new activities, such as swimming, agility training, or fetch. These activities can help keep your dog mentally stimulated and prevent boredom.
  • Play with interactive toys: Interactive toys, such as puzzle toys and treat dispensers, can provide mental stimulation and physical activity for your Shih Tzu. These toys can help keep your dog entertained and engaged, while also providing a fun way to burn calories.
  • Make playtime a part of their daily routine: Schedule regular playtime sessions with your Shih Tzu throughout the day. This can include throwing a ball around the backyard or playing tug of war with a rope toy. By making playtime a part of your dog’s daily routine, you can help ensure they get the exercise and activity they need to maintain a healthy weight.

Remember to always monitor your Shih Tzu’s activity level and adjust their exercise routine as necessary. If your dog has any health concerns, such as joint problems or breathing difficulties, consult with your veterinarian before starting a new exercise routine.

Monitor progress and adjust as necessary

It is crucial to monitor your Shih Tzu’s progress and make necessary adjustments to their weight management plan. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your dog is on track:

  • Weigh your Shih Tzu regularly: Regular weigh-ins will help you track your dog’s progress and adjust their diet and exercise plan accordingly. Weigh your Shih Tzu once a week at the same time of day and on the same scale to get accurate measurements.
  • Track food intake: Keep track of the amount and type of food your Shih Tzu is eating. This will help you make adjustments to their diet, such as reducing portion sizes or changing the type of food, if necessary.
  • Track exercise and playtime: Keep a log of your Shih Tzu’s daily exercise and playtime. This will allow you to monitor their activity level and adjust it as necessary to help them reach their weight management goals.
  • Observe behavior: Pay attention to your Shih Tzu’s behavior and energy level. If your dog seems lethargic, it may be a sign that they are not getting enough exercise or are overeating. If your dog seems hungry or is begging for food, it may be a sign that they are not getting enough to eat.

By regularly monitoring your Shih Tzu’s progress and making necessary adjustments to their weight management plan, you can help your dog achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which will lead to a longer and happier life.


In conclusion, managing your Shih Tzu’s weight through proper calorie intake and exercise is crucial for their health and overall well-being. It’s important to monitor their weight and adjust their diet and exercise routine as necessary to maintain their ideal weight. Remember that every Shih Tzu is unique and may have different calorie requirements based on their age, activity level, and overall health.

Consulting with your veterinarian is a crucial step in ensuring your Shih Tzu’s weight management plan is appropriate for their individual needs. They can provide insight on any health issues your dog may have that could impact their weight management plan and offer guidance on appropriate calorie intake.

Creating a feeding plan that incorporates the appropriate amount of calories for your Shih Tzu’s ideal weight and activity level is crucial. This may involve measuring the amount of food you give them and dividing it into multiple meals throughout the day. Avoid feeding your Shih Tzu table scraps, as these can contribute unnecessary calories to their diet.

Incorporating exercise and playtime into your Shih Tzu’s daily routine is important for burning calories and maintaining a healthy weight. Taking your dog for daily walks, playing fetch or engaging in other fun activities that get them moving are great options.

Monitoring progress and adjusting as necessary is vital for ensuring that your Shih Tzu is on track with their weight management plan. Regular weighing and assessments of their body condition score can provide insight into whether adjustments need to be made to their diet or exercise routine.

Overall, with proper attention to calorie intake, exercise, and regular veterinary check-ups, your Shih Tzu can maintain a healthy weight and enjoy a happy and healthy life.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is obesity common in Shih Tzu dogs?

Yes, obesity is a common health concern for Shih Tzu dogs. This can lead to various health problems, such as joint issues, heart disease, and diabetes.

2. What is the ideal weight for a Shih Tzu?

The ideal weight for a Shih Tzu varies depending on their gender and size. Generally, a healthy adult Shih Tzu should weigh between 9 and 16 pounds.

3. How do I know if my Shih Tzu is overweight?

You can assess your Shih Tzu’s body condition score (BCS) by feeling their ribs and looking for excess fat. A BCS of 4-5 out of 9 indicates a healthy weight, while anything higher may indicate overweight or obesity.

4. Can feeding my Shih Tzu table scraps contribute to weight gain?

Yes, feeding your Shih Tzu table scraps can contribute to weight gain since these foods are often high in calories and fat. It’s important to stick to a balanced and measured diet to manage your dog’s weight.

5. Is it necessary to adjust my Shih Tzu’s calorie intake as they age?

Yes, it is important to adjust your Shih Tzu’s calorie intake as they age since their metabolism slows down. As they become less active, they may require fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight.

6. Can certain medical conditions affect my Shih Tzu’s weight?

Yes, certain medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, can cause weight gain in Shih Tzus. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian if you suspect that your dog has an underlying medical condition contributing to their weight management.

7. Should I switch my Shih Tzu to a low-calorie diet to manage their weight?

It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your Shih Tzu’s weight management. In some cases, simply adjusting portion sizes or reducing calorie-dense treats may be enough to manage their weight.

8. Will increasing my Shih Tzu’s exercise alone help manage their weight?

While increasing your Shih Tzu’s exercise can help manage their weight, it is important to also adjust their calorie intake to ensure they are not consuming too many calories. A balanced approach of diet and exercise is best for weight management.

9. How often should I weigh my Shih Tzu?

You should weigh your Shih Tzu regularly, ideally once a month, to monitor their weight management progress. This will help you determine if any adjustments to their diet and exercise plan are necessary.

10. Can weight management improve a Shih Tzu’s overall health?

Yes, weight management can lead to improved overall health for your Shih Tzu. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of various health problems and improve their quality of life.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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