Why Proper Nutrition is Crucial for Your Shih Tzu’s Health

As a Shih Tzu owner, you want the best for your beloved furry friend. One of the most important factors in maintaining their health and happiness is proper nutrition. But with so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to determine what exactly your Shih Tzu needs to thrive. In this article, we will explore the crucial components of a healthy canine diet and provide tips on what to avoid, as well as common health problems associated with poor nutrition. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to make informed decisions about your Shih Tzu’s diet and help them live their best life.

What Your Shih Tzu Needs

What Your Shih Tzu Needs
Ensuring that your Shih Tzu has proper nutrition is critical to their overall health and well-being. Feeding your furry friend a well-balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs is essential to keep them healthy and happy. A good diet provides your Shih Tzu with the necessary nutrients to maintain healthy bones, muscles, and organs, and can also help strengthen their immune system, protecting them from illnesses and diseases. In this section, we will discuss the specific nutrients and components that your Shih Tzu needs and how to integrate them into their diet properly.

To maintain good health for your Shih Tzu, it is also important to address any potential health issues that may arise. Check out our article on Shih Tzu Allergies: Causes and Treatment to learn how to help your furry friend with their allergies.

Protein and Fat

Nutrition plays a critical role in maintaining the health and well-being of your Shih Tzu. Protein and fat are essential nutrients that your furry friend needs to thrive. These nutrients are necessary for maintaining healthy skin and coat, supporting healthy brain function, and building and repairing muscles and organs.

Protein: Quality protein is an important part of your Shih Tzu’s diet as it provides the necessary amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Protein is required for the growth and maintenance of tissues, the production of enzymes, and the synthesis of hormones. When choosing a dog food for your Shih Tzu, look for high-quality protein sources such as chicken, lamb, turkey, or fish.

Fat: Fat is a crucial source of energy for your Shih Tzu and provides essential fatty acids that support good skin and coat health, healthy brain function, and proper immune system function. It can also help your dog maintain a healthy weight. Opt for dog food that contains healthy fats like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, found in sources like fish oil, flaxseed, and canola oil.

It is essential to pay attention to the amount of protein and fat in your dog’s diet. Make sure you do not overfeed your Shih Tzu with foods that are high in either of these nutrients, as excess intake can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount and ensure your dog’s diet is balanced.

For information on other common health issues related to Shih Tzu, please see our article on Shih Tzu Dental Prevention, Shih Tzu Eye Problems, Shih Tzu Skin Problems, Shih Tzu Joint Mobility Issues, Mental Health Enrichment for Shih Tzu, Shih Tzu Respiratory Issues, Shih Tzu Exercise Benefits and Shih Tzu Vaccination Prevention.


Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for Shih Tzu dogs. They provide fuel for their daily activities and help to maintain proper bodily functions. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal, and it is essential to choose the right kind for your furry friend’s health.

Good Carbohydrates:

| Foods | Description |
| Brown Rice | Great source of complex carbohydrates |
| Sweet Potato | High in fiber and vitamins |
| Oatmeal | Provides sustained energy throughout day |
| Pumpkin | Filled with fiber and beta-carotene |

These foods are ideal sources of carbohydrates for Shih Tzu and should form a significant portion of their daily diet. Complex carbohydrates, like those found in brown rice and oatmeal, take longer to digest, keeping your dog feeling full and satisfied for longer periods.

Bad Carbohydrates:

| Foods | Description |
| Corn syrup | Empty calories with no nutritional benefits |
| White bread | Lacks fiber and important nutrients |
| Processed snacks | High in sugar and unhealthy hydrogenated oils |
| Potatoes | Rich in simple starches, causing blood sugar spikes |

These kinds of carbohydrates should be avoided, as they offer little to no nutritional value and can lead to weight gain, obesity, and other health problems.

When choosing foods for your Shih Tzu, look for high-quality dog food that includes good sources of carbohydrates like brown rice or sweet potatoes. Avoid feeding them table scraps or foods that are high in sugar or salt. By paying close attention to your Shih Tzu’s diet and including healthy carbohydrates, you can help ensure that they live a long, healthy, and happy life.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are incredibly important for maintaining the overall health and wellbeing of your shih tzu. These essential nutrients help with everything from bone development to immune system function. Below is a table with some of the key vitamins and minerals your shih tzu needs and the benefits they provide:

Vitamin ASupports vision, growth and development, and immune system functionCarrots, sweet potatoes, liver
Vitamin CBoosts immune system function, promotes healthy skin and connective tissueBroccoli, bell peppers, strawberries
Vitamin DHelps with bone growth and development, aids in calcium absorptionSunlight, egg yolks, fatty fish
Vitamin EFunctions as an antioxidant, supports immune system functionAlmonds, sunflower seeds, spinach
CalciumEssential for bone growth and development, also helps with muscle and nerve functionMilk, cheese, yogurt, leafy greens
PhosphorusHelps with bone and teeth formation, also plays a role in energy metabolismPoultry, fish, eggs, dairy
PotassiumAids in muscle and nerve function, also helps to regulate blood pressureBananas, sweet potatoes, yogurt

It is important to note that while vitamins and minerals are necessary for your shih tzu’s health, too much of certain ones can be harmful. Always follow the recommended dosage guidelines for any supplements or fortified foods.


Water is an essential nutrient that is often overlooked in discussions about proper nutrition for Shih Tzus. However, it is just as important as protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. This clear liquid is vital for promoting healthy bodily functions and maintaining your furry friend’s overall health.

Why is water important?

Water is crucial for maintaining the normal functioning of your Shih Tzu’s body. It is necessary for body temperature regulation, digestion, absorption of nutrients, and hydration. Water is also needed for the elimination of waste products through urine and feces.

How much water do Shih Tzus need?

The amount of water a Shih Tzu needs can vary based on several factors, including their age, size, activity levels, and overall health. On average, an adult Shih Tzu needs about 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight every day. For example, a 10-pound Shih Tzu should drink between 5 to 10 ounces of water daily.

Dehydration in Shih Tzus

Dehydration can be a serious health problem for Shih Tzus. It can lead to lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and even death in severe cases. It is important to make sure your furry friend has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Dehydration can occur when a Shih Tzu doesn’t drink enough water or loses too much water due to illness, heat, or exercise.

Hydrating your Shih Tzu

In addition to providing access to fresh water, you can also help keep your Shih Tzu hydrated by feeding them wet dog food or adding water to their dry food. You can also offer your furry friend low-sodium chicken or beef broth as a tasty and hydrating treat.

Below is a table summarizing the importance of water in a Shih Tzu’s diet:

BenefitsAmount NeededConsequences of Not Enough
Body temperature regulation1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight every dayDehydration, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and even death in severe cases
Digestion and absorption of nutrients
Elimination of waste products

Water is an often overlooked but crucial nutrient in a Shih Tzu’s diet. Providing access to fresh, clean water and monitoring your furry friend’s hydration levels is essential for maintaining their overall health and well-being.

What to Avoid Feeding Your Shih Tzu

What To Avoid Feeding Your Shih Tzu
As much as it’s important to know what your Shih Tzu needs to eat, it’s equally crucial to be aware of what you should avoid feeding your furry friend. Our canine companions have different dietary needs than humans, so it’s essential to steer clear of certain foods that could potentially harm them. From human foods to certain treats, you’ll want to read on to ensure you’re not unknowingly feeding your Shih Tzu something that could lead to health issues. While it can be tough to resist those pleading eyes begging for a bite, keeping a close eye on what you’re feeding your furry friend will help them live a long and healthy life.

Human Foods

Feeding your Shih Tzu with human foods can be tempting, especially when they beg with those big, adorable eyes. But it’s important to resist the temptation and stick to a well-balanced, nutritional dog food.

Why? Well, human foods are not designed for a Shih Tzu’s digestive system, which means they can cause gastrointestinal problems, and even worse, toxicity. Here are some examples of human foods to avoid feeding your beloved pet.

  • Chocolate: Chocolate is harmful to dogs because it contains theobromine, which can lead to a range of symptoms from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures and even death.
  • Onions and Garlic: These two common ingredients can cause anemia in dogs, and in severe cases, can result in organ damage and failure.
  • Avocados: Avocadoes contain persin, which, in large amounts, can be toxic to dogs and cause gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Grapes and Raisins: These otherwise healthy snacks for humans can be toxic for dogs and lead to kidney failure, which can be fatal.
  • Alcohol: Even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous for dogs and lead to vomiting, breathing problems, and even coma or death.

As you can see, it’s important to avoid feeding your Shih Tzu these human foods to ensure they remain healthy and happy.

Junk Food

Feeding your Shih Tzu junk food is a big no-no when it comes to their health. This type of food contains high amounts of sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, which can lead to a number of health problems. Below is a list of junk food items you should avoid feeding your Shih Tzu:

  • Processed meats: These are high in sodium, preservatives, and unhealthy fats which can lead to obesity and other health issues in your Shih Tzu.
  • Fast food: Like humans, consuming fast food regularly can cause a decline in your Shih Tzu’s health. This leads to health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and other related diseases.
  • Candy and sweets: Sweets and candy contain high amounts of sugar which is not suitable for your Shih Tzu’s health. This can lead to tooth decay and obesity.
  • Chips and other salty snacks: Similar to humans, sodium is not good for dogs in large doses. Excess consumption of salty snacks can lead to dehydration, high blood pressure, and other related issues.

Remember, it’s essential to provide your Shih Tzu with a balanced diet, free from excess unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt. Feeding them a diet with these unhealthy options can lead to long-term health issues that can be detrimental to their overall health and well-being.


Feeding bones to your Shih Tzu can lead to serious health problems, and therefore it is important to avoid doing so. Even though it may seem like a natural thing to provide your Shih Tzu with bones to chew, they can cause more harm than good.

Why bones are bad for your Shih Tzu

Bones can be a choking hazard for your Shih Tzu, especially if they are small in size. They can also splinter and cause internal injuries such as cuts and punctures in the digestive system. This can lead to severe pain and may even be fatal. Some types of bones can cause obstructions in the digestive tract, leading to constipation or even a life-threatening blockage.

What to feed instead of bones

To provide your Shih Tzu with a healthy and safe alternative to bones, consider adding some raw vegetables or fruits to their diet. Carrots or apples, for instance, are great options as they are low in calories and high in fiber. They can also help in maintaining your Shih Tzu’s dental health and hygiene.

What to do if your Shih Tzu ingests a bone

If your Shih Tzu accidentally ingests a bone, it is important to take immediate action. In case of any signs of choking, you must perform the Heimlich maneuver or take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. You may also observe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation if the bone has caused any internal injuries. In such cases, it is best to seek medical attention for your Shih Tzu.

Don’t Feed These Bones to Your Shih TzuSafe and Healthy Alternatives
Chicken bonesRaw vegetables such as carrots and celery
Fish bonesApples or pears
Pork bonesBroccoli or green beans

It is crucial to ensure that your Shih Tzu’s diet is well-balanced and free from any harmful substances such as bones. Being a responsible pet owner means that you put your Shih Tzu’s health and safety before everything else. By avoiding feeding bones and providing healthy alternatives, you can keep your furry friend healthy and happy for years to come.

Raw Meat and Eggs

Raw meat and eggs are often touted as healthy and natural options for dogs, but they come with a number of risks. Here are some reasons why you should avoid feeding your Shih Tzu raw meat and eggs:

  • Increased risk of bacterial infections: Raw meat and eggs can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can cause serious illness in dogs. These bacteria can also be transmitted to humans through handling the food or the dog’s feces, putting the entire family at risk.
  • Poor nutrition: Raw meat and eggs can have imbalanced nutrient profiles, which can lead to malnourishment or nutrient deficiencies in your dog. Additionally, raw eggs contain avidin, which can prevent the absorption of biotin, a vital nutrient for healthy skin and coat.
  • Interference with digestion: Raw meat and eggs can be difficult for dogs to digest, leading to an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting. This can also interfere with the absorption of other nutrients in their food.
  • Potential for choking: Raw meat and bones can pose a choking hazard for dogs, especially smaller breeds like Shih Tzus. Bones can splinter and cause internal damage or blockages.

It’s best to stick to a balanced and nutritionally complete dog food formulated specifically for your Shih Tzu’s needs. If you want to give your dog a special treat, cooked lean meats and eggs (without the shell) can be a safe and healthy option, without the risk of bacterial contamination or nutrient imbalances. As always, consult with your veterinarian about your Shih Tzu’s specific nutrition requirements and any concerns you may have.

Common Health Problems Associated with Poor Nutrition

Common Health Problems Associated With Poor Nutrition
As a Shih Tzu owner, it’s important to understand the significant impact that proper nutrition can have on your dog’s overall health and well-being. However, neglecting their dietary needs can also result in a range of serious health problems that can greatly affect their quality of life. In fact, poor nutrition is a leading cause of many common health issues that Shih Tzus face today. From obesity and dental problems to food allergies and gastrointestinal issues, the consequences of feeding your dog an inadequate diet can be devastating. In order to provide your furry friend with the best possible care, it’s crucial to learn more about these potential health problems and how they can be avoided through proper nutrition.


One major health issue that can arise from poor nutrition in Shih Tzus is obesity. Obesity is a condition that occurs when a dog consumes more calories than they use, leading to excess weight gain. This can be a result of overfeeding, feeding table scraps, or feeding low-quality dog foods that are high in fillers and carbohydrates.

Obesity in Shih Tzus can lead to a variety of health problems, including joint pain, diabetes, heart disease, and even a shorter lifespan. In fact, one study showed that overweight dogs have a decreased lifespan of up to two and a half years compared to dogs at a healthy weight.

To prevent obesity, it is important to monitor your Shih Tzu’s weight and body condition regularly. This can be done by feeling their ribs and waistline to ensure they are not too thin or too chubby. Additionally, you can follow a few guidelines for feeding your Shih Tzu:

Guidelines for Preventing Obesity in Shih Tzus
Measure your dog’s food carefully and adjust the portion size as needed.
Limit treats and table scraps and use healthy, low-calorie alternatives.
Choose a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for your dog’s age, weight, and activity level.
Ensure your dog gets enough exercise and physical activity, such as daily walks or playtime.

By following these guidelines and providing your Shih Tzu with proper nutrition and exercise, you can help prevent the development of obesity and promote a healthy, happy life for your furry friend.

Dental Problems

Dental problems are a common issue among Shih Tzus, and proper nutrition can play a crucial role in preventing them. Poor nutrition can lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth, which can eventually result in dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. It’s essential to ensure your Shih Tzu is receiving the proper nutrients to maintain proper dental health.

The first step in preventing dental problems is to brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth regularly. Not only does this help remove plaque, but it can be a bonding experience for you and your furry friend. In addition to regular brushing, providing your Shih Tzu with high-quality dog food that contains crunchy kibbles can also help remove plaque and tartar from their teeth.

It’s also important to avoid feeding your dog table scraps and other human foods that can be detrimental to their oral health. Some of the worst offenders include sugary, sticky, or chewy snacks such as candy, caramel, and gummies that can stick to your dog’s teeth and promote the growth of harmful bacteria.

In addition to the right diet, chew toys and bones can also be beneficial for your dog’s dental health. These items can help remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth while also satisfying their natural chewing instincts. However, it’s important to choose chew toys and bones that are designed for your Shih Tzu’s size and chewing style to avoid the risk of choking or other injuries.

By taking the proper steps to ensure your Shih Tzu is eating a healthy diet, and practicing good dental hygiene, you can help prevent dental problems and keep your furry friend’s smile bright and healthy.

  • Feed high-quality dog food with crunchy kibbles
  • Brush your Shih Tzu’s teeth regularly
  • Provide appropriate chew toys and bones
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups with your vet
  • Feed table scraps and human foods
  • Give sugary or chewy treats
  • Ignore your dog’s dental hygiene
  • Give inappropriate chew toys or bones

Food Allergies/Intolerances

Food allergies and intolerances can be a major issue for Shih Tzus and can cause a variety of health problems. Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to a particular protein in a food, whereas intolerances are difficulty digesting food due to a lack of a certain enzyme. Some common signs of food allergies and intolerances in Shih Tzus include itching, diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive flatulence.

To prevent these problems, it is important to identify the ingredient causing the issue and eliminate it from the dog’s diet. Common allergens for dogs include grains such as wheat and soy, as well as certain proteins like beef, chicken, and dairy. Lamb and fish are often used as alternative protein sources for dogs with food allergies.

To help avoid food allergies and intolerances in Shih Tzus, it is recommended to choose a high-quality dog food with limited ingredients. Look for foods that have novel protein sources, such as duck or venison, and limited carbohydrates, like sweet potato or green peas. These types of limited ingredient diets can help prevent the development of food allergies and intolerances.

If you suspect your Shih Tzu has a food allergy or intolerance, consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. They can conduct an allergy test or an elimination diet to identify the problem ingredient and recommend suitable food options. Remember, feeding your dog a healthy and balanced diet is essential for their overall health and well-being.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Gastrointestinal (GI) issues can arise from poor nutrition in Shih Tzus. GI issues can be uncomfortable for your furry friend and can lead to other health complications if not addressed. Common symptoms that your Shih Tzu is experiencing a GI issue include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.

One of the main causes of GI issues is improper feeding. Some foods can irritate your Shih Tzu’s stomach lining and cause inflammation, while others can cause constipation or diarrhea. Processed foods that are high in preservatives and additives can be difficult to digest and can cause inflammation in the GI tract.

Another cause of gastrointestinal issues is rapid changes in diet. If you switch your Shih Tzu’s food suddenly, their digestive system may react negatively. While transitioning to a new food, it’s important to gradually introduce it over a few days to minimize the risk of GI issues.

If your Shih Tzu is experiencing gastrointestinal issues, it’s important to seek veterinary attention immediately. While waiting for your appointment, it’s crucial to ensure your Shih Tzu is drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration. You may also need to limit their food intake until the issue has resolved.

SymptomsPossible Causes
Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetiteImproper feeding, processed foods that are high in preservatives and additives, and rapid changes in diet.

To prevent gastrointestinal issues in your Shih Tzu, it’s important to feed them a balanced diet of high-quality protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Avoid feeding them table scraps, bones, and raw meat that can cause irritation in their stomach. Additionally, make sure to introduce new foods gradually and always consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your Shih Tzu’s GI tract.

Feeding Your Shih Tzu

Feeding your furry friend is one of the most important responsibilities when it comes to being a pet owner. It is imperative to provide your Shih Tzu with proper nutrition to maintain their overall health and wellbeing. As a pet parent, it can be overwhelming to navigate the endless options for dog food and ensure that your dog is getting all the necessary nutrients. In this section of the article, we will explore the essential aspects of feeding your Shih Tzu, from portion control to choosing the right quality dog food. Let’s dive into the ins and outs of providing your Shih Tzu with a balanced and nutritious diet to keep them happy and healthy.

Portion Control

Maintaining proper portion control is a crucial aspect of ensuring your Shih Tzu gets the necessary nutrition without overindulging. Here are some tips to help you monitor your dog’s portion sizes:

  • Read the Label: Dog food packages generally come with guidelines on how much to feed based on weight and activity level. Be aware of those recommended portions, and avoid overfeeding your dog.
  • Observe Your Dog’s Body: Every Shih Tzu has a unique metabolic rate and activity level. Watch your dog’s eating habits and body condition, and adjust portions accordingly. You should be able to feel your dog’s rib cage without having to press hard.
  • Avoid Free-Feeding: Leaving food out all day encourages constant snacking, which can lead to obesity in the long run. Instead, measure out meals and offer them at appropriate times during the day.
  • Avoid Over-Treating: Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily food intake. Use them sparingly and avoid offering human foods as treats.

Proper portion control not only ensures that your Shih Tzu is getting the necessary nutrients, but it also helps prevent common health problems associated with overfeeding, such as obesity and dental issues. By paying attention to your dog’s unique needs and dietary requirements, you can help them live a long and healthy life.

Meal Frequency

Proper meal frequency is an essential component of a healthy diet for your Shih Tzu. The frequency with which you should feed your dog depends on various factors, such as their age, activity level, and overall health.

Puppies typically require more frequent feeding than adult dogs because they have smaller stomachs and need more nutrients to support their growth and development. It is recommended to feed your puppy three to four small meals a day until they are around six months old, after which you can switch to two meals a day.

Adult Dogs
Adult Shih Tzus should be fed two meals a day, ideally at the same time each day, to help regulate their digestive system. Feeding your adult dog two meals a day also helps to prevent overeating and obesity.

Senior Dogs
Senior dogs may have changes in metabolism and digestion, meaning that they may require more frequent meals to prevent weight loss. Alternatively, they may require fewer calories overall, so it is essential to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action.

Meal Frequency
Puppies3-4 meals a day until 6 months old, then switch to 2 meals a day
Adult Dogs2 meals a day at the same time each day
Senior DogsMay require more frequent meals, consult with your veterinarian

It is important to note that meal frequency is only one component of a healthy diet for your Shih Tzu, and you should also consider the quality and quantity of the food you are feeding them. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best feeding schedule and diet plan for your Shih Tzu based on their individual needs.

Choosing a Quality Dog Food

When it comes to choosing a quality dog food for your Shih Tzu, you have plenty of options to consider. However, not all dog foods are the same and picking the wrong one can be detrimental to your furry friend’s health and well-being. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting the best dog food for your Shih Tzu:

  • Look for high-quality protein sources: Shih Tzus require a diet rich in protein to maintain their muscular and skeletal health. Look for dog foods that list high-quality protein sources such as chicken, beef, lamb, or fish as the first ingredient.
  • Check the ingredients: When choosing a dog food, look for those that do not contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives as these can be harmful to your dog’s health. Also, avoid dog foods that contain fillers like corn, wheat, or soy, as these can be tough for your Shih Tzu to digest.
  • Consider your dog’s age and activity level: Different stages of a dog’s life require different nutritional needs. Puppies need more calories and nutrients, while senior dogs require a lower-calorie diet. Choose a dog food that is appropriate for your Shih Tzu’s age and activity level.
  • Read reviews: Dog food brands vary widely in quality, and it can be tough to tell which ones are best. Read reviews from other dog owners to see which brands have consistently received high marks for quality and nutrition.

Keep in mind that not all Shih Tzus have the same nutritional needs, so it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before choosing a dog food. Your vet can help you determine the best diet for your Shih Tzu based on their age, weight, and health history. With the right diet, your Shih Tzu can enjoy a long, healthy, and happy life.


Proper nutrition is essential for the health of your Shih Tzu, but sometimes a well-balanced diet may not provide all the necessary nutrients. This is where supplements come in. Here are some types of supplements that can help enhance your Shih Tzu’s health:

  • Probiotics: These supplements contain live bacteria and yeasts that help improve your Shih Tzu’s digestive function and strengthen their immune system. Probiotics can also help alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and bloating.
  • Vitamins: Just like humans, dogs need vitamins for their overall health. While a well-balanced diet can provide most of the vitamins your Shih Tzu needs, sometimes supplements may be necessary to ensure they get enough. Vitamin B, for example, is important for the nervous system, while Vitamin E is essential for healthy skin and coat.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These supplements are great for promoting heart health and reducing inflammation. They also have positive effects on brain function, making them a great choice for older Shih Tzus or those with neurological problems.
  • Joint Supplements: As your Shih Tzu ages, joint problems such as arthritis can become more prevalent. Joint supplements containing glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with joint problems.
  • Herbal Supplements: Some herbs can provide health benefits for your Shih Tzu, such as turmeric which has anti-inflammatory properties, or echinacea which can help boost the immune system. However, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before giving your Shih Tzu any herbal supplements.

While supplements can help enhance your Shih Tzu’s health, it’s important to keep in mind that they should not replace a well-balanced diet. Before giving your Shih Tzu any supplements, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to ensure they are appropriate for your dog’s specific needs.


In conclusion, proper nutrition is incredibly important for the overall health and well-being of your Shih Tzu. It’s important to provide your furry friend with a balanced diet that meets their specific nutritional needs. This includes providing adequate amounts of protein and fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water.

While it may be tempting to feed your Shih Tzu table scraps or human food, it’s important to avoid doing so. These foods can contain harmful ingredients that may lead to health problems such as obesity, dental issues, and food allergies.

Instead, focus on feeding your Shih Tzu high-quality dog food that is formulated specifically for their breed and size. Be mindful of portion control and meal frequency to prevent overfeeding, which can also contribute to health problems.

Supplementation may also be necessary, especially if your Shih Tzu has specific health concerns or dietary restrictions. Speak to your veterinarian about the best supplements to add to your pup’s diet.

Overall, providing proper nutrition for your Shih Tzu can have a positive impact on their health, energy levels, and behavior. By taking the time to understand their nutritional needs and providing the right food, you can help your furry friend live a happy and healthy life. So, make sure to prioritize nutrition for your beloved Shih Tzu!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I feed my Shih Tzu a vegetarian or vegan diet?

While it is technically possible to feed a Shih Tzu a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is not recommended. Dogs are primarily carnivorous animals, and require a balanced intake of protein and fat to remain healthy.

How much should I feed my Shih Tzu?

Portion sizes for Shih Tzus depend on their age, weight, and activity level. Generally, adult Shih Tzus should be fed twice a day, with a total of 1/2 to 3/4 cups of food per day.

Can I give my Shih Tzu table scraps?

It is not recommended to give your Shih Tzu table scraps. Human food can be high in calories, fat, and sodium, and can cause health problems over time.

Is it safe to give my Shih Tzu bones?

No, it is not safe to give your Shih Tzu bones. Bones can splinter and cause internal damage to your dog’s digestive system.

What are some signs of food allergies or intolerances in Shih Tzus?

Signs of food allergies or intolerances in Shih Tzus can include vomiting, diarrhea, itchy skin, and excessive licking or scratching. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, talk to a veterinarian.

How do I choose a quality dog food for my Shih Tzu?

Look for a dog food that lists meat as the first ingredient, and try to avoid foods with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It’s also important to choose a food that is appropriate for your dog’s age and activity level.

What are some healthy treats I can give my Shih Tzu?

Healthy treats for Shih Tzus include small pieces of cooked chicken or vegetables like carrots or green beans. Always make sure to give treats in moderation.

How can I help prevent dental problems in my Shih Tzu?

Brushing your Shih Tzu’s teeth regularly, providing dental chews, and avoiding sugary treats can help prevent dental problems in your dog.

What are some common gastrointestinal issues in Shih Tzus?

Common gastrointestinal issues in Shih Tzus include vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. These issues can be caused by a variety of factors, including food allergies or intolerances.

Do I need to give my Shih Tzu supplements?

Most Shih Tzus do not require supplements if they are eating a balanced diet. However, if you are concerned about your dog’s nutrition, talk to a veterinarian about whether supplements may be beneficial.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DoggoLab, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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