As a Shih Tzu owner, deciding whether to feed your furry friend wet or dry food can be a perplexing decision. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and it can be challenging to choose the best one for your pup’s health and happiness. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of wet and dry food for Shih Tzu and offer some tips and considerations to help in your decision making process. So, grab a cup of tea, sit back, and let’s dive into the world of dog food.
What to Consider Before Choosing Wet or Dry Food
Choosing the right type of food for your Shih Tzu is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Whether you opt for wet or dry food, there are several factors to consider before making a decision. Age and health status, cost and convenience, as well as your furry friend’s preferences are some of the important factors to keep in mind. It’s also essential to know which types of food to avoid and which ones are the best for your Shih Tzu. If you’re looking for more tips on Shih Tzu feeding, our Shih Tzu Feeding Tips article is a great resource to check out.
Age and Health Factors
When it comes to choosing between wet and dry food for your Shih Tzu, it’s important to consider some important factors, such as age and health. As Shih Tzus age, their nutritional needs change, and their health concerns may become more prevalent. For example, older Shih Tzus may have dental issues that require softer or smaller kibbles, while younger Shih Tzus may require food with higher protein content for growth and development.
Another important health factor to consider is any existing health conditions your Shih Tzu may have. For example, if your Shih Tzu has a history of urinary tract infections, wet food may not be the best choice, as it has a higher water content and may increase the risk of another infection. In this case, dry food with lower water content may be a better option. Additionally, Shih Tzus with food allergies or sensitivities may require a specific type of food, such as homemade or specialized dog food. Consulting your veterinarian is crucial in determining the best type of food for your Shih Tzu based on their age and health.
If you’re considering switching your Shih Tzu’s food, it’s important to do so gradually to prevent any digestive issues. Check out our guide on switching your Shih Tzu’s diet for helpful tips and tricks.
It’s also important to note that overfeeding a Shih Tzu can lead to a variety of health problems, such as obesity and digestive issues. Even if your Shih Tzu seems to enjoy wet food more, it’s important to consider the overall nutritional value and portion control when making a decision. Check out our guide on overfeeding dangers for more information.
In some cases, adding supplements or vitamins to your Shih Tzu’s diet can be beneficial. However, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before doing so to ensure the supplements are safe and necessary. Check out our guide on diet supplements and vitamins for more information.
Lastly, keep in mind that not all wet or dry food options are created equal. Some may be higher in quality or have better ingredients than others. Be sure to check out our guide on which food options to avoid and which to choose, as well as our guide on DIY Shih Tzu food recipes for even more options.
Cost and Convenience
Cost and Convenience: When it comes to choosing between wet and dry food for your Shih Tzu, you should think about both the cost and convenience factors. Dry food is generally more budget-friendly and lasts longer than wet food. It is also easier to store in large quantities, so you won’t need to worry about stocking up as often.
On the other hand, wet food provides a convenient option for owners who do not have enough time for food preparation. It is also a good choice for dogs who are picky eaters or have difficulty chewing dry kibble due to dental issues. However, wet food is more expensive than dry food, and its short shelf life means that you may need to purchase smaller quantities more frequently.
When deciding between wet and dry food, you should consider both the cost and convenience factors along with your Shih Tzu’s nutritional needs and preferences. Remember to choose quality, balanced dog food that meets your furry friend’s dietary requirements. In certain cases, such as food allergies, you may even need to seek advice from a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist to ensure that your dog’s diet is optimal for their health. If you suspect your Shih Tzu has food allergies, check out our article on food allergies in Shih Tzus for more information.
Shih Tzu’s Preferences
Before choosing between wet or dry food for your Shih Tzu, it’s important to take into consideration their specific preferences. Shih Tzus are known to be picky eaters, and their taste preferences can vary widely from dog to dog. Here are some factors to keep in mind when determining what your Shih Tzu prefers:
|Some Shih Tzus may prefer wet food because it has a softer texture and is easier to chew, especially for older dogs with dental problems.||Shih Tzus may have specific flavor preferences. Some may enjoy beef or chicken, while others may prefer lamb or fish.||The aroma of the food may be important to some Shih Tzus. Wet food tends to have a stronger scent than dry food, which can make it more enticing for some dogs.|
It’s important to pay attention to what your Shih Tzu enjoys and what they don’t. Don’t be afraid to try different flavors and textures to find out what suits your dog best. Additionally, some Shih Tzus may be more susceptible to developing allergies, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any adverse reactions to certain ingredients. By taking your Shih Tzu’s preferences into account, you can make a more informed decision when choosing between wet or dry food.
Pros of Wet Food for Shih Tzu
As the debate between wet and dry dog food continues, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each option when choosing the best food for your Shih Tzu. While dry food may have its advantages, wet food also offers several benefits that cannot be overlooked. In fact, feeding your furry friend with wet food can be a great way to ensure their optimal health and well-being. Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages of wet food for Shih Tzu that may convince you to switch your dog’s diet.
Wet food for Shih Tzu provides a significant hydration boost that dry food simply cannot match. This is especially beneficial for dogs that may not drink enough water throughout the day. According to the National Research Council, dogs require approximately 1 milliliter of water per calorie of food consumed. With wet food, a portion of that liquid requirement is already being fulfilled, reducing the burden on your dog’s kidneys.
Why is hydration important for Shih Tzu?
As with all dogs, staying properly hydrated is vital for Shih Tzu’s overall health, especially when it comes to their urinary tract. A lack of water intake can lead to the formation of urinary crystals, which can cause a variety of health issues. Additionally, dehydration can lead to constipation, dry skin, fatigue and a wide range of potential health issues. By choosing wet food for your Shih Tzu, you can provide them with an additional source of moisture to ensure they stay healthy and hydrated.
Wet vs Dry: A Hydration Comparison Table
To help make the comparison between wet and dry food clearer, here is a hydration comparison table:
|Type of Food||Amount of Water|
|Wet Food||Approximately 75-80%|
|Dry Food||Approximately 10%|
As you can see from the table, wet food contains significantly more water and can provide a Shih Tzu with an important hydration boost. However, it is important to note that while wet food can provide a significant amount of hydration, it should not replace your dog’s water intake entirely. It is still essential to make sure they have access to clean, fresh water at all times.
Choosing wet food for your Shih Tzu can provide many benefits, including a significant hydration boost. However, it is important to consider all the factors before making a decision. Consulting with your veterinarian can also help you make an informed decision that is tailored to your dog’s individual needs.
When it comes to wet food for Shih Tzu, one of the most significant advantages is its high palatability. This means that wet food tends to be more flavorful and appealing to dogs. Wet food typically contains more moisture, which helps to enhance the taste and aroma.
Additionally, wet food often contains more real meat, which can be very appealing to dogs. It can be difficult for dogs to resist the smell and taste of meaty wet food. This is especially true for picky eaters or dogs who have lost their appetite due to illness or medication.
To illustrate the point, let’s take a look at a table comparing the palatability of wet and dry food for Shih Tzu:
|Criteria||Wet Food||Dry Food|
|Flavor and Aroma||High||Low|
|Real Meat Content||More||Less|
|Texture and Consistency||Soft and Moist||Hard and Crunchy|
As you can see, wet food has a higher palatability score in terms of flavor and real meat content. It also offers a softer and moist consistency that dogs tend to enjoy.
The high palatability of wet food can be a great advantage for Shih Tzu owners who are struggling to get their dogs to eat. However, it’s important to keep in mind that wet food is not a one-size-fits-all solution and may not be suitable for all dogs, especially those with dental problems.
Helpful for Choosy or Anorexic Dogs
For choosy or anorexic Shih Tzu dogs, wet food can be a helpful solution. Here are some reasons why:
- More Palatable: Wet food generally has a stronger aroma and taste compared to dry food. This means that even picky Shih Tzu dogs are more likely to eat it without hesitation. The wet texture of the food also makes it easier to chew and swallow, which can be beneficial for dogs with dental issues.
- Increased Hydration: If a Shih Tzu is not drinking enough water on its own, wet food can provide an extra source of hydration. This is particularly important for dogs with kidney or urinary tract issues, who need to stay hydrated to maintain their health. Wet food has a higher moisture content compared to dry food, which can help prevent dehydration and related health problems.
- Stimulates Appetite: Shih Tzu dogs who are experiencing a loss of appetite or have a low appetite may respond better to wet food. The strong aroma and taste can stimulate their appetite and make mealtime a more enjoyable experience. This is especially important for dogs who are recovering from an illness and need to eat to regain their strength.
It’s important to note, however, that not all wet foods are created equal. Some contain more fillers and artificial ingredients than others, which can be harmful to your Shih Tzu’s health. It’s always best to research the ingredients and choose a high-quality option. Additionally, wet food can be more expensive and has a shorter shelf life compared to dry food, which are important factors to consider before choosing a feeding option for your Shih Tzu.
Cons of Wet Food for Shih Tzu
While wet food may have its advantages, it’s not always the best option for every Shih Tzu. In fact, there are several potential drawbacks that pet owners should consider before deciding on a diet solely composed of wet food. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to the negative aspects of wet food for your furry friend.
Poor Dental Health
When it comes to wet food for Shih Tzu, one of the main concerns is its negative impact on dental health. This is due to the soft texture of wet food, which does not require much chewing, and can easily stick to teeth and gums. This can create an environment for bacterial growth and lead to various dental issues.
|Effects of Wet Food on Dental Health||Description|
|Gum Disease||Wet food can leave a residue between teeth and gums, leading to inflammation, tenderness, and even periodontitis.|
|Tooth Decay||The sugars and artificial flavors in wet food can promote the growth of bacteria that erode the enamel and lead to cavities.|
|Halitosis||The bacteria and debris that accumulate in the mouth due to wet food can cause bad breath, which can be a sign of more serious dental issues.|
While it is possible to counteract the negative effects of wet food on dental health through regular brushing, dental chews, and professional cleanings, it is important to consider the potential impact on your Shih Tzu’s overall health. Consult with your veterinarian before making a final decision on whether to feed wet or dry food to your furry friend.
When it comes to wet food for Shih Tzu, one of the drawbacks is that it may be less nutritious compared to dry food. This is because wet food has a higher water content, which means that it has less room for essential nutrients. Here are some examples of nutrients that may be lacking in wet food:
- Protein: Wet food may have lower protein content than dry food. Protein is vital for muscle growth and repair, so it’s essential to ensure that your Shih Tzu is getting enough of it.
- Fiber: Wet food may have less fiber compared to dry food. Fiber promotes bowel regularity and can help prevent constipation.
- Vitamins and minerals: Wet food may have lower levels of essential vitamins and minerals compared to dry food. This can be a concern if your Shih Tzu is not getting all the nutrients they need from their food.
It’s important to note that not all wet food is less nutritious than dry food. Some high-quality wet food products contain the same or higher nutrient levels as dry food. It’s essential to choose the right type of wet food for your Shih Tzu and read the labels carefully. Additionally, you can consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your Shih Tzu is getting all the necessary nutrients from their diet, regardless of whether it’s wet or dry.
Short Shelf Life
One concern with wet food for Shih Tzu is its short shelf life. Unlike dry food, wet food needs to be refrigerated and used within a few days of opening. Leaving wet food out for too long can cause it to spoil, leading to gastrointestinal issues for your Shih Tzu.
However, this downside can be mitigated with some careful planning and storage. It is recommended to store wet food in airtight containers in the fridge, and only take out what is needed for each meal. This can help prevent bacteria growth and extend the shelf life of the food.
Another option is to freeze wet food in smaller portions, allowing you to thaw just what you need for each meal. This can be especially helpful if you buy wet food in bulk to save money.
While the short shelf life of wet food can be a concern, taking proper storage precautions can help ensure your Shih Tzu can safely consume it and reap its benefits.
Pros of Dry Food for Shih Tzu
When it comes to feeding your furry companion, dry food can be a fantastic option for Shih Tzus. There are several benefits to choosing dry food, which can make it a practical and convenient choice for pet owners. By opting for dry food, you can help support your dog’s dental health, enjoy a high level of convenience, and also stay within your budget. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of dry food for Shih Tzu.
Dental Health Benefits
When it comes to choosing the right type of food for your Shih Tzu, you must consider their dental health. And this is where dry food has an edge over wet food. Dry food requires more chewing, which helps in removing plaque and tartar buildup from your Shih Tzu’s teeth. This, in turn, helps in preventing bad breath and gum disease.
Dry food also has the added advantage of:
- Helping to maintain healthy gums and teeth through the abrasive texture of the kibble.
- Reducing the formation of dental plaque, tartar, and gum disease.
- Supporting the mechanical removal of bacteria and debris.
- Promoting fresh breath and healthy oral hygiene, which can help reduce the risk of developing serious illnesses or infections.
However, it is important to note that not all dry foods are created equal. You should look for kibbles that are specially designed for dental health, such as those that are larger in size and require more chewing. Additionally, your Shih Tzu’s dental health must already be in good shape before giving them dry food exclusively. If your dog already suffers from dental issues or has a sensitive mouth, they might struggle with crunching on dry kibble. In such cases, it’s best to consult your vet regarding the safety of dry foods for your Shih Tzu.
While dry food may have significant dental health benefits for your Shih Tzu, it’s vital to choose an appropriate kibble for their individual needs, preferences, and health conditions. You can always supplement your dog’s diet with wet food or dental chews to maintain a healthy balance between their oral and overall health.
Convenient and Easy-to-Store
When it comes to choosing between wet and dry food for your Shih Tzu, one of the factors to consider is the convenience and ease of storage. Dry food is a popular choice for pet owners who lead busy lifestyles and want to make feeding their furry friend as hassle-free as possible.
Here are some ways that dry food is convenient and easy to store:
- Long shelf life: Dry food has a longer shelf life than wet food, which means that you can stock up on it without worrying about it going bad. This is especially helpful for pet owners who have multiple dogs or who don’t have the time to run to the store frequently.
- Easy to portion out: With dry food, you can easily measure out the amount that your Shih Tzu needs using a scoop or measuring cup. This helps avoid overfeeding or underfeeding your pet, which can lead to obesity or malnutrition.
- No need for refrigeration: Unlike wet food, which needs to be refrigerated after opening, dry food can be left out in a bowl for your pet to graze on throughout the day without spoiling. This is especially convenient if you’re out of the house for a long period of time.
- Comes in various sizes: Dry food bags come in a variety of sizes, from small 3-pound bags to larger 30-pound bags. This means that you can choose the size that’s most convenient for you and your lifestyle.
- Easy to transport: Dry food is lightweight and easy to transport, which makes it ideal for travel or for bringing to the office if you take your pet to work with you.
Dry food is a convenient and easy-to-store option for pet owners who want to simplify their feeding routine. While it may not offer the same hydration boost as wet food or be as palatable, it does have its own set of benefits that make it a popular choice among Shih Tzu owners.
One of the main advantages of dry food for Shih Tzu is that it is incredibly budget-friendly. This is particularly true when compared to the cost of wet food options for your furry friend. If you’re looking for an affordable, long-term solution for feeding your Shih Tzu, then dry food may be the way to go. Here are some specific reasons why:
- Bulk pricing: Dry food is often sold in larger quantities, which means you can purchase more food at a lower cost per ounce. This can save you a significant amount of money over time.
- No refrigeration: Because dry food doesn’t need to be refrigerated, you can save money on energy costs associated with keeping it cool.
- Less preparation: Unlike wet food, you don’t need to take the time to prepare dry food for your Shih Tzu. This means you won’t need to spend extra money on expensive kitchen equipment or waste money on pre-packaged, pre-prepared meals.
- Longer shelf life: Dry food has a much longer shelf life than wet food, which means you can stock up on a large supply without worrying about it going bad.
Of course, it’s important to remember that just because dry food is budget-friendly doesn’t mean it’s right for every Shih Tzu. Always take into account your dog’s individual needs and preferences before committing to a particular diet. If you’re unsure about what type of food is best for your Shih Tzu, consult with your veterinarian for their professional advice.
Cons of Dry Food for Shih Tzu
It’s important to note that, while dry food is a popular choice for many Shih Tzu owners, there are a few downsides to this option. While it may seem like the most convenient and budget-friendly choice, there are a few cons to consider. Let’s take a closer look at some of the potential drawbacks of feeding your Shih Tzu dry food.
Possible Health Issues
When it comes to dry food for your Shih Tzu, there are a few possible health concerns that you should keep in mind. While it is a convenient option, there are some potential drawbacks that you need to be aware of.
One of the biggest potential health issues with dry food is the risk of dehydration. Since dry food doesn’t contain as much moisture as wet food, your Shih Tzu may not be getting the hydration they need. This can potentially lead to issues with kidney health and urinary tract infections. It’s important to make sure your dog always has access to plenty of fresh water, especially if they are eating mostly dry food.
Another possible health issue with dry food is the risk of obesity. Many dry foods are high in carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain if your dog isn’t getting enough exercise. Obesity can lead to a variety of health issues including joint problems, heart disease, and even diabetes.
Some dogs may have trouble digesting dry food. This can be due to a number of factors, including a lack of digestive enzymes or certain food intolerances. If you notice that your Shih Tzu is experiencing digestive issues like gas, bloating, or diarrhea after eating dry food, it may be time to switch to another option.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of dry food for your Shih Tzu. While it is a convenient and budget-friendly option, it’s important to be aware of the potential health concerns and make sure you are providing your dog with a balanced and nutritious diet. Consider talking to your veterinarian about the best options for your individual dog’s needs.
|Health Issue||Possible Cause||Solution|
|Dehydration||Dry food lacks moisture||Ensure your dog always has access to fresh water|
|Obesity||Dry food can be high in carbohydrates||Monitor your dog’s portion sizes and make sure they get enough exercise|
|Digestive Issues||Lack of digestive enzymes or food intolerances||Switch to a different type of food or consult with your veterinarian|
Remember, the right food for your Shih Tzu will depend on many different factors, including their age, health, and personal preferences. Take the time to consider all of the options and choose the one that will provide your furry friend with the best possible nutrition and overall well-being.
One of the major drawbacks of dry food for Shih Tzu is that it is often less palatable compared to wet food. This means that it may not be as appetizing for picky eaters, leading to a decreased appetite and potential nutritional deficiencies.
Several factors can contribute to the less palatable nature of dry food. Firstly, dry food contains less moisture compared to wet food, which can make it less appealing to dogs who have a strong natural instinct to hunt for moisture-rich food. Additionally, dry food may contain more processed ingredients and artificial flavors, which can impact the taste and smell of the food.
It’s important to note that some Shih Tzu may still prefer dry food over wet food, and palatability can also vary between different brands and flavors of dry food. However, if your Shih Tzu is particularly choosy or appears to be turning their nose up at their dry food, it may be time to consider switching to a wet food diet or trying out different brands of dry food to find one that they enjoy more.
To improve the palatability of dry food for Shih Tzu, there are several strategies that you can try. Mixing in a small amount of wet food or warm water with the dry food can help to enhance the flavor and aroma, making it more appealing for picky eaters. Alternatively, adding a bit of real meat or vegetables to the kibble can also increase the food’s appeal while adding bonus health benefits.
While dry food is a convenient and budget-friendly option for feeding your Shih Tzu, it may not appeal to all dogs due to its less palatable nature. By experimenting with different brands and flavors, as well as incorporating other ingredients to enhance the food’s appeal, you can find a dry food that your Shih Tzu will happily devour.
May Not Meet All Nutritional Needs
When it comes to dry food for Shih Tzu, one of the cons to keep in mind is that it may not meet all of your dog’s nutritional needs. While some dry foods are formulated to meet the standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), not all brands do. This means that your dog might not be getting all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy and thrive.
Even AAFCO-approved dry foods may only meet minimum nutritional standards, leaving some room for improvement. For example, some dry dog foods may contain fillers, artificial colors, and preservatives that are not necessary for your dog’s health.
Not all dogs are the same and have the same nutritional requirements, especially as they age. Your Shih Tzu may have unique nutritional needs based on factors such as their activity level, health condition, and size. It’s important to talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s specific dietary needs and to carefully read the labels on dry food packages to ensure that they contain appropriate ingredients and nutrition.
While dry food can be a convenient and affordable option, it’s important to keep in mind that it may not be the best choice for every Shih Tzu. Be sure to do your research and consider your dog’s individual needs before deciding on a type of food for them.
After considering the pros and cons of wet and dry food for Shih Tzu, it can be a tough decision to make. It ultimately depends on the individual preferences and needs of your furry friend. However, there are some general points to consider.
First and foremost, it’s important to prioritize your Shih Tzu’s health and well-being. If your dog has dental issues, dry food may be the way to go. If your pup is a picky eater, wet food may be more palatable and encourage them to eat more. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure that you’re providing a balanced and nutritious diet.
Another factor to consider is cost and convenience. Dry food tends to be more budget-friendly and easier to store, while wet food can be more expensive and has a shorter shelf life. Evaluate your budget and lifestyle to determine what works best for you and your furry friend.
Finally, keep in mind your Shih Tzu’s preferences. Some dogs may love wet food and turn their nose up at dry kibble, while others may prefer the crunch of dry food. Pay attention to your dog’s reactions and adjust accordingly.
In conclusion, the decision between wet and dry food for Shih Tzu can be a tough one. Consider their age, health, and preferences, as well as cost and convenience. Ultimately, prioritize their health and well-being above all else and consult with your veterinarian for guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best type of food for a Shih Tzu?
The best type of food for a Shih Tzu depends on several factors, including their age, health, and personal preferences. Both wet and dry food options can be suitable for Shih Tzus, and it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each before making a decision.
How much food should I be feeding my Shih Tzu?
The amount of food you should be feeding your Shih Tzu depends on their age, weight, and activity level. Typically, adult Shih Tzus should be fed two small meals per day, while puppies may require more frequent feedings. It’s important not to overfeed your Shih Tzu, as obesity can lead to health problems.
Is wet food or dry food better for Shih Tzus with dental issues?
Dry food is generally considered better for Shih Tzus with dental issues, as the chewing required to eat dry food can help clean their teeth and promote better dental health. However, if your Shih Tzu has severe dental problems, wet food may be a better option to avoid exacerbating any existing issues.
Can I mix wet and dry food together for my Shih Tzu?
Yes, you can mix wet and dry food together for your Shih Tzu. This can help ensure they’re getting a well-rounded diet with plenty of nutrients, and can also make their meals more appealing. Just be sure to follow the recommended serving sizes for each type of food to avoid overfeeding.
Should I be giving my Shih Tzu any supplements?
Whether or not you should be giving your Shih Tzu supplements depends on their individual health needs. If they’re getting a balanced diet from their food and are generally healthy, supplements may not be necessary. However, if they have specific health concerns or dietary restrictions, supplements may be beneficial. Always consult with your vet before giving your Shih Tzu any supplements.
What should I look for when choosing wet or dry food for my Shih Tzu?
When choosing wet or dry food for your Shih Tzu, it’s important to look for high-quality ingredients that will provide them with the necessary nutrients. You’ll also want to consider factors such as the food’s palatability, shelf life, and price. Additionally, if your Shih Tzu has specific dietary needs or restrictions, you’ll want to choose a food that meets those requirements.
Is it safe to give my Shih Tzu human food?
Some human foods can be safe for Shih Tzus in small amounts, such as lean meats, vegetables, and fruits. However, many human foods can be harmful to dogs and should be avoided, such as chocolate, grapes, and onions. Always consult with your vet before giving your Shih Tzu any human food.
What should I do if my Shih Tzu is a picky eater?
If your Shih Tzu is a picky eater, there are several things you can try. You may want to offer them a variety of different foods to see if there’s something they prefer. Additionally, you can try adding some wet food or a small amount of chicken broth to their meals to make them more appealing. If your Shih Tzu still refuses to eat, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.
Can I switch my Shih Tzu’s food abruptly?
It’s generally not recommended to switch your Shih Tzu’s food abruptly, as this can upset their digestive system and lead to vomiting or diarrhea. Instead, it’s best to gradually transition them to their new food over the course of several days or weeks, mixing the new food with their old food and gradually increasing the amount of new food.
What should I do if my Shih Tzu has food allergies?
If your Shih Tzu has food allergies, it’s important to identify the allergen and avoid it in their diet. Your vet can help you determine what your Shih Tzu is allergic to through diagnostic tests or elimination diets. Once you know what foods to avoid, you can choose a food that meets their nutritional needs while avoiding the allergen.
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