What’s The Best Dog Food For Shih Tzu? 2022 Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

best dog foods for small breed Shih Tzu dogs - feature image

Despite being so small, your Shih Tzu has a lot of personality. Shih Tzus are known for their cute looks and fierce personality, and aptly fit the term “little lion dog.” These dogs, just like other tiny breeds, are quite easy to maintain. Although they tend to get hungry often, their feeding and diet requirements are minimal.

Some are picky eaters, but most of them are not. Therefore, you need to be extra careful when selecting dog food for your little companion.

With so many dog food brands currently available out there, we want to help narrow down your options in choosing the best dog food for Shih Tzus that is suitable for your pup’s nutritional needs and taste preferences.

So, here are our picks for the best dog food for Shih Tzu (puppies, adults, and senior dogs). These brands provide a wide range of the best product choices out there, including wet dog food options and dry dog food options.

We already did all the research for you. If you’re in a hurry and just want to see the best dog foods for Shih Tzus, here are our top choices.




Royal Canin Shih Tzu with brewers rice to promote healthy coat

1. Royal Canin Adult Shih Tzu Tailor-Made Kibble for Healthy Skin, Coat Health & Stool & Odor Reduction

Blue Buffalo for Shih Tzus dog breeds

2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula for Adult, Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Merrick Natural grain-free small breed with glucosamine and chondroitin

3. Merrick Grain-Free Natural Dry Food for All Adult Breeds, Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe

Top 8 Best Dog Food For Shih Tzus

1. Royal Canin Adult Shih Tzu Tailor-Made Kibble For Healthy Skin, Coat Health & Stool & Odor Reduction

Royal Canin Shih Tzu with brewers rice to promote healthy coat

The Royal Canin for Shih Tzu is a top-rated brand of dry dog food that keeps in mind the fact that different dog breeds have different nutritional requirements and health issues. That’s why their products are designed for a specific breed.

This breed-specific formula implies that it is perfect for your dog and his nutritional needs. The Shih Tzu Royal Canin dog food helps to minimize tartar & plaque buildup and it comes in small kibbles that your Shih Tzu can easily grab with their tiny mouths.

Moreover, some nutrients in this Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult dry food formula helps to protect the Shih Tzu’s long coat. This includes omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. If your pup is a picky eater, don’t worry – this product has a strong flavor and aroma, which will make them gobble up the food in an instant.



2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula For Adult, Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Blue Buffalo for Shih Tzus dog breeds

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is one of the most high-quality dog foods, which can be a great addition to a Shih Tzu’s regular diet.

First of all, this dog food contains the unique ‘LifeSource Bits’, which refer to small size kibble pieces that are rich in antioxidants. In addition, these bits of kibble are cold-pressed to maintain the nutrients. This makes it a wonderful option to keep your dog healthier for a long period of time.

There’s a reasonable amount of animal protein from deboned chicken and high-quality fat from flaxseed and chicken fat. Flaxseed offers a reasonable amount of omega oils for skin health and the omega 3 fatty acids can also be beneficial to Shih Tzus suffering from skin issues like inflammation.

Although this formula is not grain-free (since it contains barley and brown rice), it doesn’t contain allergens such as wheat, corn, or soy. Blue Buffalo Life Protection is also a good source of iodine, which helps to boost your dog’s thyroid function.



3. Merrick Grain-Free Natural Dry Food For All Adult Breeds, Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe

Merrick Natural grain-free small breed with glucosamine and chondroitin

You and your dog will definitely love this grain-free dry dog food recipe for small breeds and puppies. It comes in different flavors, including salmon meal, lamb meal, chicken meal, and Texas beef protein sources, and all of these are combined with sweet potato. This is a great option even for Shih Tzus with sensitive stomachs.

It is a high-quality dog food that is designed to provide the best nutrition for a Shih Tzu. It includes 7- percent meat and fish and 3 percent vitamins, fruits, and vegetables.

Furthermore, Merrick offers great ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega fatty acids, which are essential for bones and joints. Another great thing is that there is no wheat, corn, soy, by-products, or artificial flavor, preservatives, colors, or fillers of any type.



4. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Non-GMO Ingredients For Small Breed Adult, Farm-raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe

Nutro Wholesome Essentials with no meat products for dogs

This recipe is one of the best dog foods for Shih Tzu adults and seniors because made with toy breeds in mind. The first ingredient is farm-raised chicken, which is GMO-free and sourced from the USA.

It is totally free of artificial ingredients and flavors, including by-product meals. The shape of the kibble is also perfect for the Shih Tzu’s flat face. The product is not only easy for your puppy to eat but also reduces tartar and plaque buildup on their teeth.

It also contains omega 6 fatty acids, which help to prevent skin problems. Other benefits include a healthy heart and excellent vision.



5. Hill’s Science Diet Veterinarian Recommended For Sensitive Stomach & Skin In Small & Mini Adult, Chicken Recipe

Hill's Science Diet for food sensitivities in dogs

This Hill’s Science Diet Veterinarian Recommended pet food is ideal for Shih Tzu with sensitive stomachs or food allergies due to its limited ingredient list. It contains high-quality ingredients like barley and chicken meal, which are suitable for easy and healthy digestion. All the ingredients in this formula are made in the USA.

Prebiotics are included in this product which enhances digestibility even further. It also contains omega 6 fatty acids and probiotics that are a godsend for pooches with coat and skin allergies. This is not only ideal for easy digestion, but it also boosts the immune system thanks to the presence of vitamin E and C.



6. Diamond Naturals Complete & Balanced Food For Small Breed Adult Dog, Chicken & Rice Formula

Diamond Natural for dogs things to consider

Your Shih Tzu deserves great nutrition, and he will get it from this quality product from Diamond Naturals. Formulated with the highest quality ingredients, this premium dog food is a good choice for the best Shih Tzu food because it provides a reasonable amount of protein, fat, and other essential nutrients.

Superfoods such as pumpkin, kale, and blueberries offer antioxidant properties while flaxseed and coconut promote coat and skin health.

Probiotics will improve your Shih Tzu’s digestion and well-being while dried chicory root and dried kelp fiber will help with regulation. This adult dog food option is made safely in the United States.



7. Eukanuba Healthy Active Lives Small Breed Puppy, Chicken Recipe

Eukanuba combination of vitamin for dogs

If you are looking for the best food for Shih Tzu puppies, look no further than the Eukanuba Healthy Active Lives recipe. And if your dog is adding on some weight, then you need to switch for a toy breed weight control recipe.

Fortunately, this limited ingredient formula is specifically formulated for small breeds and is one of the best Shih Tzu puppy food brands available out there.

It includes 40 percent less fat in comparison with the ordinary adult formal. Moreover, the L-Carnitine contained in this product helps to use excess fat while converting it into energy. The main ingredients include chicken, chicken by-product meal, barley, wheat, and corn.



8. Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition, Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor

Pedigree high protein content and balance of mineral for dogs

Pedigree dog food for Shih Tzu is extremely popular and very affordable. In fact, many dog owners love this dog food due to its availability and reasonable price point.

Although this toy breed formula contains gluten and by-product meals, they are beneficial to non-allergic pups. With a reasonable blend of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This recipe has proven to be a wholesome dog food diet.

This limited ingredient diet also contains beneficial omega 6 fatty acids, which boost coat and skin health. Their hard texture also helps to improve your Shih Tzu’s oral hygiene.



health concerns and ingredients to consider in Shih Tzus dog food choices for pet owners 2020 best

4 Common Health Problems in Shih Tzu

Most dog owners are not always able to find the best dog food for their Shih Tzu. Some puppies are picky feeders and even after getting them the best dog food Shih Tzu option out there, you may be tempted to feed them from your own plate.

Although this is a dietary and not a health problem, it should be addressed since it can result in sensitive stomachs. As a dog owner, you don’t want to be searching for the best dog food for a Shih Tzu with sensitive tummies, when you could simply buy ordinary dog food for Shih Tzus.

Here are the most common health conditions in Shih Tzu:

1. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism in Shih Tzu occurs if the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough amounts of a hormone essential for metabolism. Some common signs and symptoms of underactive thyroid are lethargy, hair loss, and weight gain. This health issue can be well managed with medication recommended or prescribed by a professional vet.

The best dog food for your Shih Tzu should contain fruits and vegetables, which help your dog to remain healthy. This is because most pets with hypothyroidism do not get enough vitamins and minerals.

Iodine is also necessary for feeding dogs with hypothyroidism since it improves thyroid function. Kelp and iodine supplements can help provide the necessary iodine.

2. Dental Problems

Periodontal disease [1] is a common condition in Shih Tzus and occurs where there’s plaque buildup. This can lead to tissue damage and tooth loss.

Therefore, you should make sure to feed your Shih Tzu dry dog food since the hard kibbles help to eradicate plaque. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is also recommended.

3. Allergies

Some Shih Tzus are allergic to grains like wheat. You can learn which food causes allergic reactions in your Shih Tzu over time. You may also want to purchase dog food for Shih Tzus with food allergies and intolerance.

4. Bone & Joint Problems

Shih Tzus are prone to bone and joint conditions such as hip dysplasia and intervertebral disk disease. Regarding both concerns, it is important to make sure your dog is at a healthy body weight to avoid putting pressure on their joints, neck, or spine.

For Shih Tzus with these problems, vets recommend a high-protein diet to help improve muscle mass as well as glucosamine and chondroitin, which helps enhance cartilage and joint health.

information to prevent food allergy, increase activity level and promote weight loss

Important Features To Consider

Here are a few factors to consider when looking for the best food for your Shih Tzu:


Shih Tzus need good amounts of calories from a calorie-dense and high-quality protein source. Moreover, they need a high-protein diet to strengthen their muscles and to support their backs and joints. A full-grown Shih Tzu dog food should contain at least 18 percent protein.

Make sure the Shih Tzu food (dry kibble or wet food) you pick contains high-quality protein from sources like beef, chicken, fish, turkey meal, or eggs. Not only are such foods high in protein content, but they are also highly digestible – unlike various meat by-products.


Since Shih Tzus have a dense, double coat, they need moderate amounts of fat, including omega oils to keep their coat shiny and healthy. Good sources of fat in puppy food include flaxseed and salmon oil.

For Shih Tzu breed dogs, around 15 to 20 percent is recommended. Anything more than that can lead to weight gain.

variety of omega 6, omega fatty acids, protein source like turkey meal for small breed food choice


For Shih Tzus and most other small dogs with low to moderate energy levels/activity levels, a low-carb, high-protein diet is recommended. Canines don’t require too many carbohydrates since that can lead to weight gain. Buy a dog food containing at most 25 percent carbs.

Grains are common allergens so choose a grain-free dog food if your pet has allergies. Such a dog food contains quality carbohydrate sources like chickpeas or veggies like sweet potatoes.

Vitamins And Minerals

Shih Tzus are known for their longevity and have a lifespan of up to 16 years. Healthy vitamins and minerals are necessary for strengthening the immune system and maintaining the glossy long hair of your Shih Tzu dog.

To avoid the damaging effects of free radicals, it’s important to provide them with a diet containing antioxidants. Good sources of powerful antioxidants in the best dog foods include a mix of fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens, peas, and blueberries.

benefit of carbohydrate source, plenty of vitamins, minerals, proteins for shih tzus

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I not feed my Shih Tzu?

The list of the foods that you should not be feeding your Shih Tzu dog is actually quite long. This includes macadamia nuts, which causes paralysis and muscle tremors in dogs.

While grapes can damage the kidney, soda, tea, coffee, or chocolate can lead to seizures or even death. Salt, onions, and fruit seeds and pits are also a no-no since they can cause various problems in Shih Tzu.

What human food can Shih Tzus eat?

Human foods that Shih Tzus can eat include lamb, fish, and chicken as well as organ meat like liver or heart. Shih Tzus also enjoy eating vegetables such as carrots and broccoli. Other foods that you can feed to your Shih Tzu include sweet peas, blueberry, raspberry, and sweet potatoes.

Why won’t My Shih Tzu eat?

Shih Tzus are generally energetic. This means that if your dog is not eating it may be because of health issues and you should contact your vet immediately.


The Shih Tzu is one of the most adorable and affectionate small breed dogs on the planet. These lap dogs love playing and being pampered. Unfortunately, they are also some of the most delicate and picky eaters out there. Therefore, the nutritional needs of this delightful dog breed should be closely monitored.

Giving your little companion the best dog food for Shih Tzus is very important. While the best Shih Tzu dog food is beneficial to their overall wellness and helps to prevent any medical problems in the future, feeding them the wrong food will have dire consequences.

This is why we suggest Royal Canin Adult Shih Tzu Tailor-Made Kibble for Healthy Skin, Coat Health & Stool & Odor Reduction, for your Shih Tzu friend.

Apart from buying your Shih Tzu best dog food, you should follow a strict feeding schedule and if unsure, contact your vet or follow the recommendations of the manufacturer.

Royal Canin Shih Tzu with brewers rice to promote healthy coat

Editor's Choice

Royal Canin Adult Shih Tzu Tailor-Made Kibble for Healthy Skin, Coat Health & Stool & Odor Reduction