Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus: Options for Sensitive Stomachs and Allergies

Last Updated on by Gail Ramirez

Shih Tzu is a small dog breed that weighs about 9 to 16 pounds when fully grown. These dogs are known for their beautiful coats and playful personalities. This dog breed is one of the most showy and affectionate dog breeds out there.

Shih Tzus live to be played with and pampered. Unfortunately, Shih Tzus are one of the fussiest and most delicate breeds. They are also notorious for having sensitive stomachs, which has left many owners spending hours looking for the best dog food for Shih Tzu dogs.

If you own a Shih Tzu, we know that taking care of this dog is already hard enough, which is why we want to ease the process of finding the right food for your pet.

In this article, we will walk you through some of the best dog food for Shih Tzu with sensitive stomachs and allergies. We will also provide you with a comprehensive buying guide, so you will know what to look for when buying dog food for your Shih Tzu puppy or adult.

Our top pick is the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Shih Tzu because it is specifically formulated for Shih Tzus. It is calorie-dense, supports healthy skin and coat, and ideal for Shih Tzus with sensitive stomachs and allergies.

The Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus Are:

ProductDetails
1.Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition, Shih Tzu

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For sensitive stomach
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2.Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small Breed

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For healthy digestion
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3.Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free for sensitive stomach and skin
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4.Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free for healthy digestion
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5.Merrick Limited Ingredients Diet Grain-Free Real Turkey Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free for dogs with allergies
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6.Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Grain-Free

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • Grain-free for sensitive skin and stomach
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7.Fromm Puppy Gold Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • For healthy digestion
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1. Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition, Shih Tzu — Best Overall

Royal Canin is one of the top, most popular brands when it comes to pet foods. The brand makes dog food for all dog breeds and sizes. The Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Shih is one of the best dog food for Shih Tzu, as it is specifically made for this dog breed. This dog food contains all the nutrition that an adult Shih Tzu needs to remain healthy, strong, and happy.

This food also caters to the health concerns inherent to Shih Tzus including kidney and heart diseases. This adult Shih Tzu food is suitable for Shih Tzus that are over 10 months of age, and it features nutrients that are designed to nourish their skin. This formula is also a gem for Shih Tzus that yearn for a lush, soft coat, thanks to the added omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in this food.

Since this dog breed has a flat face, Royal Canin shaped the kibble with that in mind, making it easier for them to eat from a bowl. This food also features an exclusive complex of nutrients including DHA, EPA, and vitamin A.

The precise fiber content, highly digestible proteins, and high-quality carbs help reduce the amount of stools and stool odor. Each cup of this food contains 355 kilocalories of metabolizable energy. The protein content of this food is 22 percent, while the fat and fiber contents are 18 percent and 4.3 percent respectively.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For sensitive stomach

Pros

  • Specifically made for Shih Tzus
  • Calorie-dense
  • Supports healthy skin and coat
  • Ideal for Shih Tzus with sensitive stomachs

Cons

  • It is a bit pricey

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2. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small Breed — Best Dog Food for Shitzus with Sensitive Stomachs

This sensitive stomach & skin dry dog food for small breeds from Hill’s Science is another great dog food for Shih Tzus. It is not uncommon for Shih Tzus to have a sensitive stomach; it is one of the major issues associated with this dog breed.

Fortunately, this dog food is formulated with the sensitivity of this dog breed in mind. With this recipe, everything is sunshine and roses for your Shih Tzu, as it contains chicken meal and barley, which are great for healthy, trouble-free digestion.

The recipe also contains special ingredients for the coat health of your Shih Tzu. All the ingredients used to make this food are a product of the United States. This food also contains optimal levels of probiotics and prebiotics to enhance digestibility. It also contains Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which are good for Shih Tzus with coat and skin allergies.

In addition to improved digestibility, this formula also enhances the immune system of your dog with the help of vitamin C and vitamin E. This dry dog food is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, making it ideal for Shih Tzus with allergies and sensitive stomachs. It is made with high-quality, all-natural ingredients with an optimal blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For healthy digestion

Pros

  • Prebiotic fiber for healthy digestion
  • Boosts coat health and nourishes the skin
  • Made with high-quality, natural ingredients
  • Ideal for Shih Tzus with sensitive skin and stomachs

Cons

  • It contains only 21 percent protein, which is a bit low

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3. Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Small Breed — Best Dog Food for Shitzus with Allergies

This small breed dry dog food from Wellness Core is made with premium, natural ingredients. It is 100 percent grain-free and it contains high-quality protein sources. This high protein formula is also packed with loads of fruits, vegetables, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids in this food are great for the skin and fur of your Shih Tzu.

In addition, this grain-free recipe is great for the teeth, eyes, and immune system of your dog. It contains adequate levels of fiber and probiotics that support healthy digestion. This food will also provide your Shih Tzu with all the energy it needs throughout the day, thanks to the high-quality protein and carb sources.

This formula is also free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. It does not contain any soy, corn, wheat, or meat by-products, making it an ideal choice for Shih Tzus with allergies and sensitive stomachs. It comes with adequate amounts of fat and calories that are ideal for smaller breeds.

It also contains flax seeds and salmon oil, which provide enough omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to maintain your pet’s skin and coat health. The glucosamine and chondroitin in this food also help to support their hips and joints. If your Shih Tzu has sensitivity issues, then this is the ideal food for it.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free for sensitive stomach and skin

Pros

  • Safe and gentle on your dog’s stomach
  • It contains natural ingredients
  • Rich in protein
  • Great formulation and full of meaty protein

Cons

  • Some users say it causes an upset stomach

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4. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed

If you are looking for the best dog food for Shih Tzu with a blend of grain-free and high protein formula, then you should consider this small breed dry dog food from Taste of the Wild. This food contains a perfect mix of high protein with fruits, vegetables, and sweet potatoes, which is a great source of complex carb.

It is supplemented with loads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to provide your Shih Tzu with a complete and balanced diet. This kibble is also very delicious, which is why Shih Tzus find it hard to resist.

The number one ingredient of this food is real venison, which is super rich in protein for strong, lean muscles. This dry dog food contains a blend of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

It is completely grain-free and it does not contain any corn, filler, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It is highly digestible and rich in nutrients and it contains proprietary probiotics to support healthy digestion.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free for healthy digestion

Pros

  • Natural, premium ingredients
  • Gluten-free and grain-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Great for Shih Tzus with food sensitivity

Cons

  • It might take some time for your Shih Tzu to adjust to this food.

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5. Merrick Limited Ingredients Diet Grain-Free Real Turkey Dry Dog Food

If you are looking for the best dog food for Shih Tzu with allergies, then the Merrick Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food is the best option for your dog. This food offers your Shih Tzu complete and balanced everyday nutrition without triggering any allergies. All the ingredients used to make this food are healthy and safe.

The major ingredients of this food are turkey and chickpea. However, it also contains duck, lamb, and salmon. The formula is also 100 percent grain-free and potato-free, which are ingredients that Shih Tzus have allergies to. This poultry-free recipe is also best for Shih Tzus with food sensitivity and it contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

It comes with powerful levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that support healthy skin and coat. The glucosamine and chondroitin in this food will provide your pet with healthy joint and hip function. The protein content is 28 percent minimum, while the crude fat and fiber contents are 15% and 4.5% respectively.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free for dogs with allergies

Pros

  • Made with deboned turkey
  • Simple ingredients for dogs with food sensitivity
  • Gluten-free and grain-free
  • Supports healthy skin and coat

Cons

  • It contains a small amount of chicken.

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6. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Grain-Free — Best Puppy Food for Shih Tzu

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is our number one pick for the best puppy food for Shih Tzu. The first two ingredients of this food are roasted bison and venison, which means you will not feed your dog what it does not need. This food is formulated for small breed puppies, and the tiny kibble is ideal even for the tiniest puppies.

This formula does not contain any grains, making a great option for Shih Tzu puppies with allergies or sensitive stomachs. It features a powerful blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants from real veggies and fruits to support the overall health of your dog.

This food will also leave your dog with a shiny coat and healthy skin, thanks to the omega fatty acids in it. It is also free from artificial additives and other ingredients that often trigger allergies in Shih Tzus. This food contains an impressive 32 percent protein, 18 percent crude fat, and 4 percent crude fiber.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • Grain-free for sensitive skin and stomach

Pros

  • It contains the ideal nutrients for small breed puppies
  • Super rich in protein and fat
  • High carb sources
  • Free from grain and additives

Cons

  • It is a bit expensive

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7. Fromm Puppy Gold Dry Dog Food

Fromm Puppy Gold Dry Dog Food, 5-Pound Bag

This is another great dry dog food for Shih Tzu puppies, as it includes all the vital nutrients that your Shih Tzu puppy needs. This formula is rich in protein, and it contains plenty of vegetables, fruits, and other wholesome ingredients that your pup needs to grow healthy and strong.

The primary source of protein in this food is chicken, but it also contains other protein sources such as lamb, duck, and fish. This is not the ideal food for Shih Tzu puppies with allergies or sensitive stomachs. There are grains in the recipe, and some dogs are allergic to grains.

If your Shih Tzu does not have any allergy issues, you should consider this as one of the best dog food for Shih Tzu puppies. The protein content of this food is 27 percent, while the fat and fiber contents are 18 and 3.5 percent respectively. The calorie content per cup is 417 kilocalories.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • For healthy digestion

Pros

  • Rich in calorie
  • Great protein sources
  • Rich in protein
  • Support healthy digestion

Cons

  • It is not ideal for dogs with allergy

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Buyer’s Guide | Things to Consider When Buying Dog Food for Shih Tzus

When deciding which dog food is best for your Shih Tzu, the first thing you need to put into consideration is the specific needs of your pet. If your pet has sensitivities or allergies to certain ingredients, then you should only opt for foods that do not contain those ingredients.

Nevertheless, if your Shih Tzu accepts all types of ingredients, then you have a degree of freedom when searching for dog food for it. Your major focus should be on ensuring that you pick a diet balanced, complete nutrition and high-quality ingredients.

You should also make sure that the kibble of the food is small enough for your Shih Tzu to pick, chew, and digest.

After considering the specific needs of your dog, here are some ingredients to look for when searching for the best dog food for Shih Tzu:

Protein

The first thing to look for in a dog’s food should be the protein quality as well as the protein count. Within this, you need to make sure that the food contains whole meat instead of by-product meals.

You should avoid dog foods with meat by-products or meals such as tissues, bones, and rendered and dried meat. While these are not bad for dogs to consume, they do tend to be more processed.

You should opt for dog foods with protein sources such as turkey, lamb, beef, fish, and chicken. However, if you have a dog with allergy or sensitivity issues, then the best option is novel proteins such as bison and venison.

Do not buy a product that only lists “meat” as the protein source without specifics, as it might be by-product meat. However, meat is not the only source of protein.

Proteins can also come from vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. You also need to watch out for the protein count, as Shih Tzus need more of it. The best dog foods for Shih Tzus must contain a minimum of 20 percent protein.

Carbs

Carbs are ideal for dog foods that are free from gluten and grains, especially for Shih Tzus with sensitive skin. In addition, fibrous carbohydrates such as whole grain and vegetables are great for digestion.

Nevertheless, you should only buy food with high-quality carb sources to avoid obesity and maintain your pooch’s healthy weight. Shih Tzus have a higher energy requirement, so they need enough carbs, but only high-quality and easily digestible carbs, to keep them going all day.

Fat

Fats are also very important in the diet of a Shih Tzu. The ideal ratio for this dog breed is two grams of protein to one gram of fat. This is because fat contains nine calories per gram while protein contains only four calories per gram.

You should also make sure the food contains healthy oils such as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. You should stay away from foods with generic animal fats.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals provide your Shih Tzu with all the nutrients it needs. They are also vital for the metabolic system, bones, and teeth of your dog.

Vitamins and minerals are usually found in fruits and vegetables. Hence, you need to make sure that the food you want to buy contains plenty of fresh veggies and fruits.

Final Thought

Providing your Shih Tzu the best dog food money can buy is very important. The right food will enhance the overall health and well-being of your dog; it would also help prevent common health issues associated with Shih Tzus.

From the products in this article, our top pick is the Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Shih Tzu because it is specifically formulated for Shih Tzus. It is calorie-dense, supports healthy skin and coat, and ideal for Shih Tzus with sensitive stomachs and allergies.

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