Wet Vs Dry Food Shihtzu: Exploring the Best Food Options for Your Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are adorable and affectionate dogs known for their long, flowing coats and friendly personalities. As a Shih Tzu owner, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is whether to feed your furry friend wet or dry food. Both options have their own set of benefits and considerations, so it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before deciding what to feed your beloved pet.

Health Benefits of Wet Food for Shih Tzus

Wet food, also known as canned food, can offer several health benefits for Shih Tzus. One of the primary advantages of wet food is its high moisture content. Since Shih Tzus are prone to dental issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease, wet food can help keep their teeth clean and healthy. The moisture in wet food also aids in hydration, which is crucial for Shih Tzus, especially during hot weather or if they have a low water intake.

Easy to Digest

Another benefit of wet food for Shih Tzus is that it is easier to digest compared to dry food. The soft texture of wet food can be more gentle on your Shih Tzu’s digestive system, making it an ideal choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues. Additionally, the higher protein content in some wet dog foods can promote muscle growth and maintenance, which is essential for the overall health of your Shih Tzu.


Shih Tzus are known for being picky eaters, and wet food is often more palatable to them due to its stronger aroma and taste. If your Shih Tzu is a fussy eater or has a decreased appetite, offering wet food may encourage them to eat more consistently and maintain a healthy weight. The variety of flavors and textures available in wet dog food can also prevent mealtime boredom and ensure that your Shih Tzu remains interested in their food.

Considerations for Wet Food

While wet food can provide numerous health benefits for Shih Tzus, there are also some considerations to keep in mind when choosing this type of diet for your furry companion. One of the main drawbacks of wet food is its higher cost compared to dry food. Canned dog food can be more expensive per serving, which may not be sustainable for some pet owners, especially if you have multiple dogs or are on a tight budget.

Dental Health

Despite its benefits for dental health, wet food can also pose a risk to your Shih Tzu’s teeth if not supplemented with proper dental care. The soft texture of wet food does not provide the same level of dental benefits as crunchy dry food, which can help remove plaque and tartar buildup on your dog’s teeth. To mitigate this risk, it’s essential to incorporate dental treats or regular teeth brushing into your Shih Tzu’s routine if you choose to feed them wet food exclusively.

Storage and Shelf Life

Another consideration when feeding your Shih Tzu wet food is its shorter shelf life once opened. Canned dog food needs to be refrigerated after opening and consumed within a certain period to prevent spoilage. This can be challenging if you have a small dog that eats smaller portions or if you prefer to feed your Shih Tzu on a free-choice basis. Additionally, storing and handling wet food can be messier compared to dry kibble, requiring proper storage containers and utensils to maintain freshness and prevent contamination.

Weight Management

Due to its higher moisture content and potentially higher fat content, wet food can contribute to weight gain in Shih Tzus if not portioned correctly. Monitoring your dog’s caloric intake and adjusting their portion sizes based on their activity level and body condition score is crucial to prevent obesity and related health issues. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate feeding amount and frequency for your Shih Tzu to maintain a healthy weight while enjoying the benefits of wet food.

Benefits of Dry Food for Shih Tzus

Dry food, also known as kibble, is a popular choice for many dog owners, including those with Shih Tzus. Dry food offers several benefits that make it a convenient and practical option for feeding your furry friend. One of the primary advantages of dry food is its affordability and convenience. Dry food is generally more cost-effective per serving compared to wet food, making it a more budget-friendly option for pet owners looking to provide their Shih Tzu with a balanced diet.

Dental Health Benefits

One of the key benefits of dry food for Shih Tzus is its positive impact on dental health. The crunchy texture of kibble can help remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth, reducing the risk of dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Chewing on dry food can also promote healthy gums and jaw muscles, which is essential for your Shih Tzu’s overall oral health. Additionally, some dry dog foods are specifically formulated to support dental health by incorporating ingredients that help clean teeth and freshen breath.

Longer Shelf Life

Dry food has a longer shelf life compared to wet food, making it a convenient option for pet owners who prefer to buy in bulk or feed their Shih Tzu on a free-choice basis. Kibble can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for an extended period without spoiling, reducing the need for frequent trips to the pet store or worries about food going bad. The convenience of dry food storage also makes it easier to measure out portions and maintain a consistent feeding schedule for your Shih Tzu.

Considerations for Dry Food

While dry food offers numerous benefits for Shih Tzus, there are also some considerations to take into account when choosing this type of diet for your canine companion. One of the main drawbacks of dry food is its lower moisture content compared to wet food. Shih Tzus are prone to dehydration, so it’s essential to ensure that your dog has access to fresh water at all times, especially if they primarily consume dry kibble.


Some Shih Tzus may have difficulty digesting dry food, particularly if they have existing digestive issues or sensitivities. The high carbohydrate content in some dry dog foods can be harder for some dogs to digest, leading to gastrointestinal upset or discomfort. To address this issue, consider selecting a high-quality dry food with easily digestible ingredients and incorporating wet food or additional water into your Shih Tzu’s diet to improve overall digestibility and prevent digestive issues.

Palatability and Variety

Dry food may be less palatable to picky eaters like Shih Tzus due to its bland taste and texture compared to wet food. If your Shih Tzu is a selective eater or shows signs of disinterest in dry kibble, consider mixing in wet food or incorporating food toppers such as broth or fresh ingredients to enhance the flavor and encourage your dog to eat. Offering a variety of textures and flavors can also prevent mealtime boredom and ensure that your Shih Tzu receives a well-rounded diet.

Portion Control

Since dry food is more calorie-dense than wet food, it’s crucial to practice portion control when feeding your Shih Tzu kibble to prevent overfeeding and weight gain. Follow the recommended feeding guidelines on the packaging or consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate portion size for your dog based on their age, weight, and activity level. Monitoring your Shih Tzu’s body condition score and adjusting their food intake as needed can help maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity-related health issues.

Looking for the best food options for your Shih Tzu? Check out our articles on wet vs dry food for Lhasa Apso, Shih Poo bathing vs dry shampoo, Shih Poo sensitive stomach foods to avoid, Shih Tzu food allergies, and best wet dog food for Shih Tzu for helpful insights on feeding your furry friend!


In conclusion, the decision between feeding your Shih Tzu wet or dry food ultimately depends on your dog’s individual needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Both wet and dry food offer unique benefits and considerations that can impact your Shih Tzu’s overall health and well-being. When choosing a diet for your furry companion, consider factors such as dental health, digestibility, palatability, cost, and convenience to determine the best option for your Shih Tzu. Whichever type of food you choose, remember to provide your Shih Tzu with a balanced and nutritious diet, regular exercise, and plenty of love and attention to ensure they lead a happy and healthy life.

Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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