how much should a shih tzu eat

How Much Should A Shih Tzu Eat in 2023: Feeding Tips

Portion control is key. So, how much should a shih tzu eat to maintain optimal health and weight?


Shih Tzus are a toy breed of dog that originated in Tibet. They are known for their adorable fluffy hair and friendly personalities. Shih Tzus have become a popular family pet due to their small size and charming nature. However, like any other dog breed, they require proper nutrition to thrive.

Brief Overview of Shih Tzu Breed

Shih Tzus are a small breed, typically weighing between 9-16 pounds and standing around 9-10 inches tall. They have long, silky hair that requires regular grooming to prevent mats and tangles. The breed has a sweet and affectionate temperament, making them great companions for families with children or seniors. While Shih Tzus may be small in size, they are known for having big personalities. They love to play and can be quite active despite their size. It’s important to provide them with proper nutrition to support their energy levels and overall health.

Importance of Proper Nutrition for Shih Tzus

Proper nutrition is essential for all dogs but is particularly important for small breeds like the Shih Tzu. These dogs have high metabolisms and require a nutrient-dense diet that provides them with the energy they need to stay active throughout the day. Feeding your Shih Tzu a well-balanced diet can also help prevent health issues such as obesity, dental problems, skin allergies, and digestive issues. A healthy diet can also improve your dog’s coat quality and promote good immune system function.

Purpose of Article: To Provide Feeding Guidelines And Portion Sizes For Shih Tzus

The purpose of this article is to educate owners on how much food an adult Shih Tzu should eat daily based on its age range or activity level along with feeding guidelines specifically tailored towards puppies and senior Shih Tzus. We will also discuss the different types of food available and the pros and cons of each. With this information, you can ensure that your furry friend receives all the necessary nutrients to lead a healthy life.

Understanding Your Shih Tzu’s Nutritional Needs

Age and Activity Level

Just like humans, dogs have different nutritional needs depending on their age and activity level. For Shih Tzus, puppies require a higher calorie intake than adult dogs because they are in a period of growth and development. As they become adults, their calorie needs will decrease but still require a well-balanced diet to maintain their health. Senior Shih Tzus may also have different dietary needs. They may require less protein and fat but more fiber to aid in digestion. In addition to age, activity level plays a significant role in determining your Shih Tzu’s nutritional needs. If your dog is very active, they will need more calories than a dog that lives a sedentary lifestyle. However, overfeeding can lead to obesity which can cause severe health problems for your pet.

Health Conditions and Dietary Restrictions

Certain health conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease may require specific dietary restrictions for your Shih Tzu. Consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has an underlying health condition that requires dietary adjustments. Allergies or intolerances to certain foods can also impact the type of food you feed your Shih Tzu. Keep an eye on any reactions or digestive issues after feeding certain foods to determine if there is an issue.

Breed-Specific Considerations

Shih Tzus have a unique jaw structure that makes it difficult for them to chew larger kibble pieces; therefore, feeding smaller sized pieces is recommended. Additionally, flat-faced breeds like the Shih Tzu are prone to respiratory issues; thus, they should be fed small meals throughout the day rather than one large meal which can cause bloating and discomfort. Another factor is their tendency towards dental issues like tooth decay or gum disease; this can be addressed by feeding them dry kibble instead of wet food or incorporating dental hygiene treats into their diet. Ultimately, it is vital to understand your Shih Tzu’s nutritional needs to ensure they receive a balanced and healthy diet. Consult with your veterinarian for personalized recommendations based on any particular considerations or restrictions for your pet.

Types of Food for Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus are small breed dogs that require a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet to thrive. As a responsible pet owner, you must choose the right type of food that suits your dog’s age, health status, and activity level. There are two main types of dog food available – commercial and homemade.

Commercial Dog Food Options

Commercial dog food is readily available in grocery stores and pet supply shops. It comes in three forms: dry, wet, and semi-moist. Dry Kibble – This type of commercial dog food is the most common form and often the least expensive. Dry kibble is convenient to store and has a longer shelf life than other types of commercial dog food. Some brands offer specialized dry kibble for small breeds such as Shih Tzus to meet their specific nutritional needs. Wet Canned Food – Wet canned foods are made up of mostly water with some form of meat or fish product mixed in. They tend to have higher protein content than dry kibble which makes them ideal for pregnant or nursing Shih Tzu mothers. Semi-Moist Dog Food – This type of commercial dog food is often considered more palatable than dry kibble but can have a higher sodium content which can lead to health issues if fed consistently over time.

Homemade Dog Food Options

Homemade meals are an excellent option for pet owners who want complete control over their Shih Tzu’s diet. Homemade meals consist of raw or cooked meat, vegetables, fruits, grains or starches. Raw Diets – Raw diets consist primarily (or exclusively) of uncooked meat and bones and can be beneficial if prepared properly as they do not contain preservatives that commercial diets may contain. However, raw diets may be difficult to balance correctly with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed to maintain optimal health. Cooked Diets – Cooked meals can be made from a variety of ingredients including lean meats (chicken or turkey), green vegetables (spinach, carrots or peas), and grains. Homemade diets require a lot of effort and preparation time but can be more affordable than commercial diets.

Pros and Cons

Commercial dog food may be the easiest option for pet owners as it is readily available in grocery stores or pet supply shops. However, homemade dog meals have the advantage of being customizable to your Shih Tzu’s needs, while commercial dog foods are made for all breeds and may not account for your Shih Tzu’s specific nutritional needs. While commercial brands are convenient, they can also contain additives which some dogs may have an allergic reaction to. A homemade diet eliminates the need for preservatives that are often present in commercial brands. Homemade dog food is also less processed than commercial dog food which means it retains more of its nutritional content. However, if homemade meals are not prepared correctly by missing essential vitamins and minerals required by Shih Tzus or having an unbalanced diet this could lead to nutrient deficiencies. When choosing between commercial or homemade dog food options for your Shih Tzu always research each option carefully and consult with a veterinarian before making any dietary changes.

Feeding Guidelines for Adult Shih Tzus

Recommended Daily Calorie Intake Based on Weight and Activity Level

One of the most important aspects of feeding a Shih Tzu is ensuring that they receive the proper amount of calories each day. The recommended daily calorie intake for an adult Shih Tzu can vary based on their weight and activity level. Generally, adult Shih Tzus should consume between 280 and 320 calories per day. However, if your dog is more active or has a higher metabolism, they may require more calories to maintain a healthy weight. To determine how many calories your Shih Tzu needs each day, you can use a simple calculation based on their weight. Multiply their weight in pounds by 10-12 (depending on activity level) to get an estimate of how many calories they should be consuming daily. For example, if your adult Shih Tzu weighs 12 pounds and has a moderate activity level, they should be consuming around 288 calories per day.

Frequency of Meals (Once or Twice a Day)

Shih Tzus are known to have sensitive stomachs and can be prone to digestive issues if they are not fed regularly. It is generally recommended that adult Shih Tzus be fed one or two meals per day at the same time every day to help regulate digestion. Some owners choose to feed their dogs once per day in the morning or evening, while others prefer to split their meals into two smaller portions throughout the day. Ultimately, it is up to you and what works best for your dog’s schedule and needs.

Portion Sizes Based on Calorie Intake

Once you have determined how many calories your adult Shih Tzu should be consuming each day based on their weight and activity level, you can calculate appropriate portion sizes. For example, if your dog needs 300 calories per day and you are feeding them twice a day, each meal should consist of around 150 calories. You can use the calorie information on your dog’s food packaging to help determine how much food to feed them for each meal. It is important to monitor your Shih Tzu’s weight and adjust their portion sizes as needed. If they start to gain or lose weight, you may need to adjust their daily calorie intake and portion sizes accordingly.

The Importance of Proper Feeding

Proper feeding is crucial for the health and well-being of your Shih Tzu. A balanced diet with appropriate portion sizes can help prevent obesity, which can lead to a variety of health issues such as joint pain, heart disease, and diabetes. In addition to providing proper nutrition through food, it is important to ensure that your Shih Tzu always has access to fresh water. Dehydration can also lead to a variety of health issues and should be avoided at all costs. By following these feeding guidelines for adult Shih Tzus, you can help ensure that your furry companion stays healthy and happy for years to come.

Feeding Guidelines for Puppies and Senior Shih Tzus

Puppy-Specific Feeding Guidelines

When it comes to feeding a Shih Tzu puppy, it’s important to keep in mind that they have different nutritional needs than adult dogs. Puppies require more calories and nutrients to support their rapidly growing bodies. As a general rule, puppies should be fed three to four times a day until they reach six months of age, and then two meals a day thereafter.

How Much to Feed a Puppy

The amount of food you should feed your Shih Tzu puppy will depend on its weight, age, and activity level. A good guideline is to feed your puppy 55-75 calories per pound of body weight per day. For example, if your puppy weighs 5 pounds, they should be eating between 275-375 calories per day.

How Often to Feed a Puppy

As mentioned earlier, puppies should be fed three to four times a day until they reach six months of age. This is because their stomachs are smaller and cannot hold as much food as an adult dog’s stomach can. After six months of age, you can reduce the number of feedings to two meals per day.

What Types of Food Are Appropriate for Puppies?

When it comes to choosing the right type of food for your Shih Tzu puppy, it’s important to choose one that is specifically formulated for puppies. These foods contain higher levels of protein and fat than adult dog foods and are designed with the nutritional needs of growing puppies in mind. Look for brands that use high-quality ingredients like real meat or fish as the first ingredient.

Senior-Specific Feeding Guidelines

As dogs get older, their nutritional needs change again. Senior dogs are less active and have slower metabolisms, which means they require fewer calories than younger dogs. However, it’s important to feed them a well-balanced diet that is easy to digest and provides all the nutrients they need.

How Much to Feed a Senior Dog

The amount of food you should feed your senior Shih Tzu will vary depending on their weight, age, and activity level. As a general rule, senior dogs need about 20% fewer calories than adult dogs. This means that if your adult Shih Tzu needs 400 calories per day, your senior Shih Tzu will only need around 320 calories per day.

How Often to Feed a Senior Dog

Senior dogs can be fed the same way as adult dogs – twice a day is sufficient for most seniors. However, if your dog has health issues or dental problems that make it difficult for them to eat larger meals at once, you may need to split their meals into smaller portions throughout the day.


Feeding your Shih Tzu the right amount of food is crucial for their overall health and wellbeing. Whether you have a growing puppy or an aging senior dog, it’s important to adjust their diet accordingly and ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need. By following these feeding guidelines and portion sizes based on calorie intake recommendations provided in this article, you can help keep your furry friend healthy and happy for years to come!

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