Best Shih Tzu Homemade Dog Food Recipes: Puppy & Adult [Guide]

Shih Tzu homemade dog food

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This content was reviewed and fact-checked by veterinarian Dr. Aukse Caraite, DVM.

Are you searching for the best homemade food for Shih Tzu puppies or adults? You’re in the right place. This definitive guide will teach you everything about homemade dog food recipes for Shih Tzus. Cooking for your Shih Tzu may seem easy, but it’s crucial to follow essential nutritional guidelines to avoid risks like malnutrition. By following these tips and expert advice, you’ll learn the intricacies of preparing home-cooked meals for your Shih Tzu. We’re confident your dog will adore your homemade meals and treats almost as much as they love you. Let’s get started!

Nutrition, Benefits & Risks
Jump to: Recipes & Cooking

Shih Tzu Homemade Dog Food Benefits

Here are some of the main benefits of cooking for your Shih Tzu.

  • Healthy eating habits
  • Quality control
  • More affordable
  • Healthier
  • Portion size control
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Dietary requirements can be met

Board-certified veterinary nutritionists and diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, MS, Ph.D., and Joe Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., state that feeding homemade dog food comes with significant advantages, such as diet management, appeasing picky eaters, bond-building, combatting food intolerance and allergies issues, and avoid concern over dog food recalls.[1]

Further benefits include preventing many conditions associated with a poor diet, such as obesity, poor skin, coat condition, pancreatitis, diabetes, and reduced immunity.

Why Feed Homemade Food to Your Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu generally lives between 10 to 16 years. This breed’s most common health problems include sensitive stomach, obesity, hip and knee problems, entropion, and patellar luxation. Diseases like allergies, portosystemic shunt (liver shunt), distichiasis, ectopic cilia, and fold dermatitis are also common in the breed. Other minor and less common health problems this breed suffers include hypoglycemia.

Top Reasons to Consider Homemade Food For Your Shih Tzu

Increased lifespanResearch shows that dogs eating fresh food diets are linked to a 20% longer lifespan than those that don’t. A year-long study of 522 dogs found that dogs fed high-quality, freshly made, real food had an average life expectancy of 13.1 years versus just 10.4 years for dogs fed commercially processed pet food.[2]
Increased lifespanResearch shows that dogs eating fresh food diets are linked to a 20% longer lifespan than those that don’t. A year-long study of 522 dogs found that dogs fed high-quality, freshly made, real food had an average life expectancy of 13.1 years versus just 10.4 years for dogs fed commercially processed pet food.[2]
Obesity & jointsHomemade dog food cooking allows you to easily calibrate the amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs to maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity in dogs can increase their risk for bone and joint problems (i.e., hip dysplasia) and subsequent osteoarthritis. Studies show that dogs maintaining their ideal body weight live almost 2.5 years longer (with significantly fewer diseases) than their overweight siblings.[3]
Cancer preventionWhen it comes to cancer, homemade dog food removes the highly processed food from the equation, which is often linked to cancer issues in dogs. Food processing has been shown to cause free radicals and carcinogenic chemicals to be released. With homemade, you no longer have to worry about oxidative stress due to processed food.[4],[5]
Easy digestionHomemade dog food is easier to digest than those hard-kibble mystery balls. Feeding your pet freshly made food puts less stress on their digestive system and liver, reducing the likelihood of bloating or other digestive issues.
Avoid allergiesCooking for your dog lets you pick ingredients that won’t trigger allergies in your Shih Tzu. If you are unsure what ingredients may cause sensitivities or allergies in your pet, we advise doing an at-home dog food allergy test before selecting the ingredients for your dog’s next meal.
BioavailabilityHome-cooked dog food is easier to digest — more digestible food means dogs can absorb nutrients more efficiently and faster. Quicker nutrient absorption means minerals, vitamins, fatty acids and amino acids act quicker in the body to carry out different functions, such as decreasing inflammatory responses that can help prevent allergies or help boost overall health.
Fresh ingredients with no chemicalsHomemade meals ensure your dog always eats fresh, wholesome, and chemical-free foods without additives, fillers, high-glycemic carbs, or colorants commonly found in kibble.
Excellent taste, smell & varietyDogs love the taste, smell, texture and variety of fresh ingredients.
Avoid unsafe commercial dog foods While commercial dog food is generally healthy, studies show that feed-grade kibble, compared to human-grade dog foods, may not always be the healthiest option.

Shih Tzu Homemade Dog Food Risks

Research by the University of California Davis, School of Veterinary and two studies published in The Journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine and The Journal of Nutritional Science found that most homemade dog food recipes lack key essential nutrients, and other recipes used dangerously high levels of some nutrients.[6],[7],[8]

48%

of homemade dog diets had an imprecise determination of ingredients and quantities

28.3%

didn’t use any recommended vitamins, minerals,
or amino acids.

30.4%

of the pet parents admitted
to purposely change
the recipe.

40%

of owners didn’t measure the proportions of the ingredients well enough.

Key Considerations When Feeding Your Shih Tzu A Homemade Diet

  • Understand your Shih Tzu’s nutritional needs
  • Do not use inadequate or dangerous recipes
  • Ensure your dog’s meal is balanced
  • Do not use toxic ingredients
  • Understand the impact of food and dietary changes
  • Do not neglect your dog’s health conditions
  • Switch to homemade gradually
  • The diet must be based on your dog’s life stage nutritional needs (puppies, adults or seniors)
Always work with your vet before changing your dog’s diet.

You can get personalized nutritional advice from a registered vet nutritionist through Vetster anytime, anywhere. You can also chat with an online vet and ask them questions about your dog’s nutritional needs. For further dog nutrition guidance, consult “Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative” by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a renowned veterinary expert. This book is the go-to resource for healthy homemade dog nutrition for most pet nutritionists.

How to Make Homemade Food For Shih Tzu

Homemade food for Shih Tzu must include the six essential nutrients for a dog’s proper growth, body function, and health. These nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, fats, and water. It’s also important to consider your pup’s weight, health conditions, size, and activity level.

Below is a detailed breakdown of each nutrient and its importance.

Shih Tzu Nutritional Guidelines to Follow

Proteins

Protein plays a vital role in your dog’s diet, providing essential amino acids necessary for bodily processes, including the creation of blood glucose for energy. Protein also helps build and repair muscles and other body tissues. It’s needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones and enzymes. The proteins in your dog’s diet must have a balanced amino acid profile and are provided in appropriate amounts.

Protein dietary recommendations for Shih Tzu´s homemade food:

  • Adult Shih Tzu. 18% dry matter protein (45.0g for every 1,000 kcal ME).
  • Puppies & Pregnant or Lactating Shih Tzu. 22.5% dry matter protein (56.3g for every 1,000 kcal ME).

Protein sources for homemade Shih Tzu food include:

Carbohydrates

Dogs need energy for daily activities, growth, pregnancy, lactation, and exercise. This energy, measured in calories, comes from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Omnivorous animals, including dogs, derive some energy from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates supply glucose needed by the brain, nervous system, and other critical organs for normal function in dogs. You can use our dog calorie calculator to find the exact caloric needs of your dog based on his weight. Ensure you follow the 10% rule if feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treats the remaining 10%.

Energy dietary recommendations for Shih Tzu’s homemade food based on life stage, weight and activity level.

Type of Dog10 lb15 lb
Puppies990
Inactive Shih Tzu200340
Adult Active Inactive Shih Tzu400550
Pregnant Shih Tzu500+600+
Young Active Shih Tzu400550
Senior Active Shih Tzu350550
*Energy Requirements for Shih Tzu | Nursing Shih Tzu kcals vary depending on the number of puppies & weeks into lactation | Carbohydrates should also include 2.5-4.5% fiber

Carbohydrate sources for homemade Shih Tzu food include:

  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Whole wheat

Fats

Fats play a multifaceted role in a dog’s diet. They are a dense energy source, provide essential fatty acids for skin and coat health, enable absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, improve food palatability, offer insulation and organ protection, support reproductive health, are critical for nervous system function, and serve as a reserve for energy storage.

Fat dietary recommendations for Shih Tzu’s homemade food:

  • Adult Shih Tzu. 5.5% dry matter fat (13.8g for every 1,000 kcal ME).
  • Puppies & Pregnant or Lactating Shih Tzu. 8.5% dry matter fat (21.3g for every 1,000 kcal ME).

Fat sources for homemade Shih Tzu food include:

  • Meats fats
  • Fish oils
  • Olive
  • Sunflower oil
  • Canola oils

Minerals

Minerals in a dog’s diet are indispensable for bone and dental health, nerve function, enzymatic reactions, fluid balance, oxygen transport, and maintaining the body’s pH level, making them essential for overall health and metabolic processes. Proper mineral balance is crucial and should be carefully managed to avoid deficiencies or excesses.

These 12 minerals are known to be essential nutrients for dogs:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Magnesium
  • Iodine
  • Chlorine
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Selenium
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus

Mineral sources for homemade Shih Tzu food include:

  • Sweet potatoes and pumpkin (Magnesium)
  • Fish (Iodine)
  • Beef, eggs, and liver (Zinc)
  • Poultry, nuts, and legumes (Copper)
  • Bananas and carrots (Potassium)
  • Chicken and duck (Iron)

Vitamins

Vitamins in a dog’s diet are integral for maintaining overall health and bodily functions. They support vision, immune health, aid in energy metabolism and nervous system function, provide antioxidant benefits, reduce inflammation, prevent diseases and ailments and more. Dogs require vitamins, but only in small amounts, and excessive doses of certain vitamins, like vitamin D, can harm them.[9]

These 12 vitamins are known to be essential nutrients for dogs:

  • Vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, D, E & K
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folic Acid
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Choline

Vitamin sources for homemade Shih Tzu food include:

  • Sweet potatoes and spinach (Vitamin A)
  • Eggs, chicken, and beef (Vitamin B)
  • Broccoli (Vitamin C)
  • Kale and parsley (Vitamin K)
  • Vegetables (Vitamin E)
  • Meats and fish (Vitamin D)

Water

Water is vital in a dog’s diet for maintaining hydration, supporting body functions such as digestion, nutrient absorption, and waste excretion, lubricating joints, regulating body temperature, ensuring proper organ function, and facilitating metabolic processes. Continuous access to clean water is as crucial as providing nutritious food for overall health and well-being. Generally, Shih Tzu should drink 2 to 3 times the amount of their dry food intake daily. However, if water is readily available from various sources, Shih Tzu can naturally regulate its water consumption each day.

Source: We compiled the data for the table above by referencing the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines and the Nutrient Requirements of Dogs Report by the National Research Council (NRC). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) utilizes the information from these reports to regulate and ensure the safety of pet foods.

Homemade Dog Food For Shih Tzu Puppies

A Shih Tzu puppy’s dietary requirements differ from an adult’s Shih Tzu. Compared to adult dogs, puppies require higher protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus levels. Inadequate or excessive amounts of these nutrients can lead to deficiencies, hindered growth, or lifelong health complications.

  • 6 weeks to 5 months puppies. 3-6 meals a day
  • 6-12month puppies. 2-3 times a day
  • Do not skip meals. Skipping meals is not advisable during your puppy’s growth and development
  • Puppy feeding needs are unique. The science isn’t exact. Fine-tune their diet. If your puppy is getting a bit chunky, then cut back a smidge and vice versa.

Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service

The Farmer’s Dog

Who It’s For: The perfect homemade dog food recipe if you don’t have time to cook for your Shih Tzu or are unable to balance nutrients to provide a balanced diet.

The Farmer’s Dog is one of our homemade dog food delivery options. They offer various fresh, homemade dog food options tailored to your dog’s unique dietary needs, age, health conditions, and nutritional goals. For example, if your Shih Tzu suffers from food-related health issues such as allergies or illnesses, The Farmer’s Dog can create a customized recipe that caters to those needs. Their meals are made with real, human-grade ingredients and delivered to your doorstep.

The food is developed by veterinary nutritionists who adhere to AAFCO nutritional guidelines. In our experience, using The Farmer’s Dog saves you time, allowing you to focus on more important things like walks or training your dog. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about the hassle of meal planning, grocery shopping, or cooking, and you can mitigate the risks of cooking for dogs.

Our readers get 50% off their first The Farmer’s Dog order with Canine Bible’s link.

Best Homemade Food For Shih Tzu

The best homemade food for Shih Tzu is a balanced diet that provides optimal nutrients for proper function while considering your dog’s nutritional goals and health. We highly recommend The Farmer’s Dog or Ollie as the best homemade food for Shih Tzu puppies and adults.

Don’t feel like cooking for your Shih Tzu? Here is the most comprehensive guide to help you find the best dog food for Shih Tzu.

Recipes, Cooking Tips & More
Jump to: Benefits & Nutrition

Best Shih Tzu Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Browse the best homemade dog food recipes for Shih Tzu that will make your pup beg for more. We’ve also included a special treat recipe for your Shih Tzu, enriched with the health benefits of our favorite ingredient: dog CBD oil. CBD oil might help with issues like seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, and overall wellness.

Note: Consult your vet before adjusting your dog’s diet. The recipes below don’t specify serving sizes since they depend on your dog’s breed, weight, age, activity, and health. As a guideline, consider feeding the equivalent amount you’d give in kibble, but always consult your veterinarian for proper portioning.

Chicken and Vegetable Meal Recipe

Chicken and Vegetable Meal for Shih Tzu

This Chicken and Vegetable Meal for Shih Tzus is a nutritious, easy-to-make recipe combining lean chicken, brown rice, and a mix of vegetables. It's designed to provide a balanced diet for your Shih Tzu, ensuring they get essential proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Perfect for maintaining your pet's health and energy.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Calories 740 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 0.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 0.25 lbs brown rice
  • 0.1 lbs carrots, peeled and diced
  • 0.1 lbs green beans, chopped
  • 0.15 lbs sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Cook the brown rice as per package instructions.
  • Boil the chicken breast until fully cooked, then let it cool and shred it.
  • Steam the carrots, green beans, and sweet potato until they are soft.
  • Mix the shredded chicken, cooked rice, and steamed vegetables.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and mix well to evenly coat the ingredients.
Keyword homemade food for Shih Tzu

Blueberry-Banana CBD-Infused Dog Treat For Shih Tzu

Treat your Shih Tzu with these nutritious, therapeutic, and delicious homemade CBD dog treats. They are made with bananas, a great source of essential vitamins and minerals (like potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6). Banana also aids with digestion and energy. Coconut is added for skin and coat, digestion and helps reduce allergic reactions.

Remember to consult your vet to ensure CBD is safe for your dog and that you are giving the correct dosage. Alternatively, you can buy commercially available CBD dog treats so your pup can experience CBD’s benefits without the cooking.

Ingredients

  • 120 mg of the best CBD oil for dogs
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tbsp honey (optional, for a hint of sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • A pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. Oven preparation. Preheat oven to 350ºF and brush a dog biscuit baking tray with coconut oil.
  2. Banana preparation. Mash a ripe banana in a bowl until smooth, ensuring no large chunks remain.
  3. Dry ingredients. Blend gluten-free flour and oats in a medium-sized bowl.
  4. Wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk an egg until beaten. Add coconut oil, water, mashed banana, unsweetened applesauce, and fresh blueberries. Mix well.
  5. Combining ingredients. Combine the wet mixture with the dry ingredients, stirring until even. Drizzle in CBD oil, stirring again for even distribution.
  6. Mold filling. Scoop portions of the mixture with a tablespoon and press firmly into the dog treat baking mold.
  7. Baking. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the treats are firm to the touch and slightly golden.
  8. Cooling and storage. Let the treats cool before transferring them to an airtight container for storage.

Chicken & Rice Delight Recipe For Shih Tzu

Many dogs have a soft spot for chicken, making this dish a universal canine favorite. This easy-to-make recipe ensures your Shih Tzu gets a nourishing and delightful meal. This batch yields approximately four servings, which can be stored in your refrigerator.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 cup brown rice (or white rice if preferred)
  • ½ cup peas
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup flour (whole grain is preferable, but white flour is acceptable)
  • ½ cup water or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. Chicken preparation. Cut the chicken into half-inch pieces. In a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, cook the chicken on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until fully cooked. Remove the chicken pieces and set aside the pan drippings.
  2. Rice preparation. In a pot, cook the rice according to the package instructions or until it’s soft and fluffy. Once done, set aside.
  3. Gravy creation. Over medium to low heat, warm the chicken drippings in the pan. Combine ½ cup of water or chicken broth with ½ cup of flour. Gently stir until it becomes a smooth mixture. Continue cooking until it evolves into a thick gravy consistency.
  4. Combining ingredients. Add the cooked chicken, rice, peas, and carrots to the gravy. Simmer the mixture for approximately 10 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
  5. Cooling. Let the stew cool down to room temperature before serving to ensure it’s safe for your dog.

Turkey, Vegetable & Quinoa Feast Recipe For Shih Tzu

As a lean protein, Turkey is excellent for Shih Tzu aiming for a healthy weight. This enhanced dog food recipe combines the richness of turkey with the nourishment of vegetables and quinoa – a superfood known for its protein and fiber content. A nourishing blend of lean protein and wholesome veggies, it’s the ideal meal for your Shih Tzu.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of green beans, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fish oil
  • A sprinkle of turmeric (for anti-inflammatory benefits, optional)

Directions

  1. Cooking the turkey. Over medium heat, cook the ground turkey in a non-stick skillet until fully done. Ensure it’s crumbled well to make it easier for your dog to digest.
  2. Preparing the feast. Combine the quinoa, cooked turkey, and water in a large pot. Bring this mixture to a boil.
  3. Simmering. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the quinoa becomes soft and translucent.
  4. Adding vegetables. Introduce the carrots, green beans, and spinach to the pot. Allow the mixture to cook for another 10 minutes, ensuring the vegetables are tender but not overly soft.
  5. Finishing touches. Once off the heat, stir in the fish oil and sprinkle turmeric, ensuring it’s mixed well.
  6. Storing. Let the meal cool to room temperature before serving. Extra portions can be refrigerated and consumed within five days.

Beefy & Veggie Medley Recipes For Shih Tzu

Packed with lean protein from grass-fed beef and fortified with the nutritional punch of veggies, this recipe is both delicious and nourishing. Adding eggs and beneficial herbs ensures your Shih Tzu gets essential vitamins and nutrients.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups organic brown rice
  • 4 eggs (hard-boiled, peeled, and finely chopped)
  • 2 pounds lean ground sirloin (preferably grass-fed, cooked through, with excess fat drained off)
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, either shredded or finely diced
  • 1 cup fresh green peas or chopped green beans
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons of olive or safflower oil
  • A sprinkle of ground turmeric

Directions

  1. Egg prep. Begin by boiling the eggs until they are hard-boiled. Once done, peel and finely chop them.
  2. Beef cooking. Brown the ground sirloin over medium heat in a large skillet, ensuring it’s thoroughly cooked. Once done, drain off any excess fat.
  3. Mix & combine. In a large mixing bowl or container, combine the cooked brown rice, browned sirloin, chopped eggs, diced or shredded carrots, peas or green beans, minced parsley, and the optional sprinkle of turmeric. Drizzle with olive or safflower oil.
  4. Stir together. Using a large spoon or spatula, gently mix all the ingredients until they are evenly distributed and well combined.
  5. Serve & store. Serve the mixture in your dog’s dish, ensuring it’s cooled to a safe temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

More Shih Tzu Homemade Food Recipes

If you want more homemade dog food recipes and cooking options for your Shih Tzu, check out our article on the best vet-approved homemade dog food recipes. Cookbooks can be useful for various recipes. Our favorite book for Shih Tzu homemade food recipes is Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.

How to Cook Homemade Food For Shih Tzu ( Video)

Watch this video and learn how to cook homemade meals for Shih Tzu.

Shih Tzu Homemade Cooking Tips

Before sharing our favorite Shih Tzu homemade food recipes, follow these best practices when preparing your dog’s next meal.

  • Set a consistent feeding schedule
  • Meal prep weekly or monthly
  • Measure and control portion sizes depending on your dog’s calorie needs
  • Keep meals frozen for 2 to 3 months or refrigerated for about 5 days
  • Make a new batch when the food supply is getting low
  • If you want to feed different recipes, you can make multiple batches and color code by ingredients, rotating out the different meals
  • Prepare the food in bulk and portion it into containers (one container per meal makes it extra easy)
  • Increase portions appropriately as your puppy grows
  • Monitor weight to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of calories

At-Home Health Dietary Changes In Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu experiencing any of the issues below might benefit from the dietary adjustments outlined in this table.

ConditionDietary Needs & Adjustments

Coat Color Changes


Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)
Concurrent GI Signs

Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats. This includes bacon. Try a simple ingredient food trial.

Chronic Itching and Dermatitis

Fortify the diet with vitamin E, vitamin B, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Add a dog probiotic. Try a simple ingredient food trial.
Dull Coat and Scaling

Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet. Adding fish oil can promote healthier coats by reducing itchiness and flakiness in the skin due to its omega-3 fatty acid content.
Dandruff and Crustiness

Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels

Recommended Supplements For Shih Tzu

Here are the top recommended supplements for Shih Tzu based on their main health susceptibility issues.

  • Hip & joint: Shih Tzus are generally susceptible to hip dysplasia, a hip deformity developed during a dog’s growth that can lead to arthritis.
  • Eye health: Some Shih Tzus might also develop progressive retinal atrophy, a genetic disease that causes retinal degeneration and vision loss over time.
  • Hormonal problems: One of the hormonal diseases often found in Shih Tzus is hypothyroidism. It affects the dog’s thyroid gland and results in a lack of thyroxine, a hormone that controls the dog’s metabolism.
  • Multivitamins: Incorporate a multivitamin such as Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews to ensure your Shih Tzu gets the optimal amount of vitamins and nutrients.

Monitor Weight And Health

A dog’s weight and gut health are essential indicators of their health, and you need to track them when switching to a new diet (i.e., homemade). Maintaining a healthy weight is easier when your Shih Tzu is fed the right dog food. If your dog’s weight increases or decreases rapidly, it might be due to food-related health issues. A healthy gut can confirm a smooth transition to your dog’s new diet, among other health issues. However, identifying a healthy gut is not an easy task. Fortunately, an at-home dog gut health test can provide insight into your dog’s gut health.

Skin or coat issues, excessive tiredness, allergies, weight loss, malnutrition, and obesity can be caused by unbalanced and insufficient meal plans. If you detect any of these symptoms while feeding your dog meals, stop doing it immediately and seek expert advice.

Foods Should Your Shih Tzu Never Eat

Below is a list of the most common toxic ingredients dogs need to avoid.

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Avocados
  • Raw bread dough
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol

Here is the complete list of toxic ingredients your Shih Tzu should never eat. Please print it out and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder.

Shih Tzu Raw Diet (BARF)

Raw dog food mimics dogs’ diet in the wild millions of years ago. Raw dog foods, organs, muscles, whole or ground bones, fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are usually included. Several raw dog foods are available, including homemade raw dog food and store-bought (frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated).

As the risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance is higher when handling raw foods, preparing a BARF diet for your Shih Tzu requires a lot of extra care and planning. Raw dog diets are gaining popularity because of their fantastic health benefits for teeth, coats, digestion, and allergies. Read our raw dog food diet article to learn more about the benefits and risks and get the best raw food diet for your Shih Tzu.

Homemade Dog Food For Shih Tzu — Conclusion & Alternatives

Can I feed homemade fog food to my Shih Tzu? Yes, feeding homemade dog food to Shih Tzu is okay as long as your pet gets the proper nutrition levels they need to live a healthy, allergy-free life. The best diet for Shih Tzu should consider all the above factors, from your dog’s health status to providing the right portions and calories per meal. Switching your Shih Tzu’s food from kibble to homemade is slow and should be done progressively. Before starting a new diet, consider factors like your dog’s eating history, weight, and overall health. Read up on vegan dog food if your Shih Tzu is prone to food allergies or food-related health issues. Plant-based diets are also becoming increasingly popular for dogs with food sensitivities and other health issues.


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Sources

Canine Bible uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process and product review methodology to learn more about how we fact-check, test products, and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

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  2. Lippert G, Sapy B. (2003). Relation Between The Domestic Dogs Well-Being and Life Expectancy.
  3. American Veterinary Medical Association. (2019, February 13). Study finds overweight dogs live shorter lives.
  4. Podolsky, A. (2019, November 28). Feed the dog not the cancer: The danger of processed dog food. Lyka.
  5. Harvard Health Publishing. (2018, May). Eating highly processed foods may raise cancer risk. Harvard Health; Harvard Health.
  6. Pedrinelli, V., Gomes, M. de O. S., & Carciofi, A. C. (2017). Analysis of recipes of home-prepared diets for dogs and cats published in Portuguese. Journal of Nutritional Science, 6.
  7. Bland, I. M., Guthrie-Jones, A., Taylor, R. D., & Hill, J. (2010). Dog obesity: Veterinary practices’ and owners’ opinions on cause and management. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 94(3-4), 310–315.
  8. WebDev, I. E. T. (2013, July 15). Homemade dog food recipes can be risky business, study finds. UC Davis.
  9. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2023, February 9). Vitamin D toxicity in dogs.
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