Like many of you, I’d do anything for my Pekingese Butler. He is my life and day. And like many of you, when I first adopted him, I had no real clue what sort of dog food to give.
Now, I always cringe when I see people buying those bulk “kibble n’ bits” style of food with all the crazy bright colors and taking it home to their dogs. That would be like feeding a child McDonald’s every day for every meal. Sure, they might like it, but eventually, their health is just going to fail.
I realize these kinds of food are less expensive, but for a Shih Tzu, they don’t eat very much during the day, so food cost really shouldn’t play a big part in it (and as I always say, if you can’t afford to buy quality dog food for your dog, you might want to stick with goldfish).
How Much and Nutrition
Outside of not going with those bright, neon-colored dog food varieties, I didn’t know where to begin. So, before just feeding Butler any kind of food, I wanted to know how much he should receive.
For starters, a puppy should eat about an ounce of food per pound.
A puppy needs more calories to develop, which is also important why anyone with any sort of dog needs to purchase the “Puppy” labeled dog food.
The calorie count is higher for a reason. Once a dog is no longer a puppy, they should receive about 1/2 an ounce of food per pound.
After Butler turned three months, I learned to never free feed Butler. This is especially a must for all dogs, including the shihtzus. They are typically just going to eat and eat. Instead, there needs to be a specific schedule. Spreading out feedings to three times a day is the way to go.
I know some people split it up into two times a day because of work, but that is like being forced to skip lunch and let’s be frank here. Sometimes I’m a bit grumpy if I don’t get my lunch. Giving the small meals three times a day helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and maintains their active lifestyle.
As Butler has grown older, lowering this down to two meals a day is fine, as he doesn’t eat all of his food at once. This way he can come back and nibble throughout the day. It’s just a more mature form of eating and most dogs should develop into an eating habit like this.
Before I get into the different kinds of dog food out there I give to Butler, I want to quickly cover table scraps. Everyone gives their dog table scraps. However, there are some foods a dog should never eat.
This includes grapes/raisins (can cause kidney damage), chocolate, coffee, tea, soda or anything with caffeine, salt, fruit pits and macadamia nuts.
I do know some people who feed their dog’s home cooked meals. For anyone looking to do this, some healthy options include white chicken meat, lamb, fish, liver, sweet potato, pasta, brown rice, raspberries, baby carrots, sweet peas and green beans.
Monitor the Food
It is important to monitor how the dog acts while on a certain kind of food and also how their coat looks. I have had friends whose dogs would develop scabs on the skin and their hair would fall out in different patches. They didn’t know what caused it until they changed up the diet.
Apparently, their dog is allergic to wheat, soy, grains and other common fillers that come in dog food. Once they switched to a food that didn’t include any of these ingredients their dog cleared right up. So, for someone who wants their dog to eat soy instead of meat, they might want to think twice. After all, dogs by nature eat meat and it is not natural for a dog to eat just vegetables.
The Best Dog Foods For Your Shih Tzu
Royal Canin Shih Tzu Dry Dog Food
With a food made specifically for Shih Tzus, I recommend trying it out for Shih Tzus pet owners.
The kibble is the perfect size for Pekingese and most seem to enjoy eating it. Some dog foods made for smaller dogs are still a bit too big, which can cause jaw problems later on down the road.
I will say, for a dry dog food, this food has a rather powerful aroma. I wouldn’t recommend feeding the dog before the company is set to come over because of the smell, but the dog will love it.
Healthy Breeds Omega-HP Skin and Coat Soft Chews Small Dogs
This is more of a “treat” than an actual dog food. I give Butler one of these after a walk outside once a day. It is a great little treat in between meals and it is perfect for his fur coat.
It is packed with Omega-3 which helps add that extra sheen to his coat and it is easy for him to eat as well. This is a treat that can work for any breed of dog, and it is great for a Shih Tzus’s fur coat.
As a bit of a side note, I have some dog friends who actually purchase a fish oil supplement, poke a hole in it and squeeze the inside of it onto their dog’s dog food. The fish oil is great for their coat. I’ve tried this before and while Butler’s coat does look great, I just didn’t like getting squirted with the oil when poking a hole in it.
That is why I still give him this instead. However, for any dog owner whose pet is suffering from dry skin or the fur isn’t shining, I’d say go for the fish oil. It is a nice addition.
Newman’s Own Organics for Puppies & Active Dogs
I have to admit, I love anything from Newman’s Own.
Not only do they have the best salad dressing, but the other products they make are fantastic quality and the company also gives the profits to charity, which I really support.
Knowing my purchase can help someone else out is special to me, so I always tip my hat to Newman’s and the Paul Newman family for it. I
t comes from organic material so pet owners don’t have to worry about what is going into their pet’s system that they don’t know about.
With all the perks form this food, it really should be a fan favorite for any pet owners, including owners of beautiful Shih Tzu dogs.