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BY MOLLY | EVERYTHINGSHIHTZU.COM
As a small breed, Shih Tzu dogs don't eat a lot, so every bite counts. Feeding a quality, nutritionally packed meal will help keep them healthy for a long time.
So how do you know if you're feeding your Shih Tzu the best dog food?
Feeding your Shih Tzu the best dog food doesn't necessarily mean the most expensive. Although, at a minimum, it should contain quality ingredients and be complete and balance to meet your dog's nutritional needs.
When looking at labels on dog food, quality ingredients will list:
Ingredients must list in order from the largest to the least. What this means is the first ones listed weigh more than the last ones listed.
So by having pure meat as the first ingredient, followed by other quality ingredients, it provides the healthiest nutrients for your dog.
If the first ingredient listed is corn, well, you may want to put it back on the shelf.
To get a better sense of what all these ingredients mean, our article "Understanding Dog Food Ingredients" helps to clarify some of the terms you'll see on the label.
Homemade dog food may be the best way to make sure you are only feeding your dog quality ingredients.
Although with schedules being as they are, there isn't always enough time to cook a homemade meal for your dog.
Here is where a quality commercial dog food will help.
With so many choices, it can seem overwhelming.
We've put together a list that may help make your decision easier. Our Shih Tzu's love them, perhaps your dogs will love them too.
Stella & Chewy offers a raw food diet for your pets. It comes frozen and freeze-dried.
The freeze-dried patties are a great alternative when going on a road trip as it doesn't require refrigeration. It's a great way to make sure your dogs have good healthy food while traveling.
The ingredients in Stella & Chewy's food is "only the good stuff" sourced from farmers.
They use grass-fed and cage-free meats and poultry, along with fruits and veggies. It also contains organs and bone with no added hormones or antibiotics.
Our boys can be rather picky about what they eat, so we're pretty happy they like this food.
If you've been thinking about a raw food diet for your dog, there's a good chance your picky eaters will like it too.
To find where you can get Stella & Chewy's near you, use their store locator.
Or save yourself the trip and have it delivered directly to your door when you order online at Amazon.
Fromm has become one of the best dog foods available.
Not only because of the ingredients but also because they genuinely care about their customers, your dogs.
Fromm dog foods come in both dry and wet.
Our boys are pretty picky when it comes to eating dry foods. There are very few dry dog food brands that they will eat, and Fromm is one.
We found this out when we went on a family vacation with our dogs and discovered we had forgotten their food at home.
My sister-in-law generously offered us some of her dogs Fromm dry food until we could go to the pet store the next day.
I didn't expect them to eat it, yet surprisingly, they ate the entire contents of the bowl!
The ingredients are very high quality and healthy. However, this does make them a little more expensive compared to other brands.
You may be able to save a little money when you buy online. Compare the price on Amazon.
In addition to their original Wellness line of Super 5 Mix foods, they also have a product line called CORE. CORE is a high protein, low carb, and grain-free dog food, with human-grade ingredients.
This diet also comes in a reduced-fat version for dogs that are a little overweight, or can't eat fats.
The Simple Solutions line uses exotic proteins such as duck and venison if your dog has food allergies.
Wellness has a canned food that reads that it is 95% beef, or chicken, or lamb.
Although this is a great product, this is only supposed to be used as a mixer or topper and not a meal by itself.
If you are having trouble getting your little guy to eat his kibble, you
can scoop out a teaspoon or two of the 95% meat product and mix it in
with his kibble.
Taste of the Wild by Diamond foods brand rates as one of the best dog foods for your dog.
They have several formulas that are higher in protein, grain-free, and lower in carbs.
The High Prairie Canine Formula, for example, has both venison and bison in it and is excellent for dogs with food sensitivities.
Overall, Taste of the Wild is a good option for your dog. It comes in both canned and dry foods.
Artemis market themselves as having a "holistic approach to dog food."
The dry kibble is on the petite side, making it much easier for a small dog to chew.
Our dogs will eat this on occasion. However, I usually have to mix it with either warm water or a little bit of canned food, or they will only take a couple of mouthfuls and walk away from it.
Not their favorite, but it is healthy food for dogs.
Artemis opened for business in California in 1998. This pet food company uses only quality food ingredients like chicken, brown rice, peas.
Artemis does offer samples on their website, so you can try it before you buy it--Win!
There's been some controversy over Blue Buffalo brand lately and has caused us to think about the brand again.
It seems some are claiming that it is making their dogs sick with vomiting and diarrhea.
Blue Buffalo refuted this, saying they are "being set up by their competitors."
Our boys have been eating Blue for quite a few years but, we haven't had any of the issues with them.
However, we don't just feed them Blue Buffalo, we use multiple other brands as well as some home cooking, so they don't get bored with eating the same thing over and over.
You will have to judge whether or not to use Blue Buffalo.
If you have had some experience with Blue positive or negative, we'd love to hear from you in the comments below.
Another option is having food delivered right to your door, freshly cooked for your dog.
This has become a popular alternative for those who would like to make a home cooked meal for their dogs, but just don't have time to do it themselves.
You will likely pay a little more for the convenience, but you will get a quality meal for your best furry friend.
These are just a few of the choices to consider when you are trying to find the best food for your dog, depending on what your dog needs.
Usually you won’t find these in groceries stores, but will find them in specialty stores like Petco, and Pet Source, or our particular favorite store Especially For Pets.
Or you can usually save a little money by ordering them online at places like Amazon.com, and Chewy's which typically give you better pricing.
Another way to find these dog food brands is to go to their websites and see where you can buy it from.
I highly recommend you ask your local pet stores if they have samples, and see how your dog likes these foods so you're not throwing money out the window.
There has been some controversy about feeding a grain-free diet to our dogs and how it may be affecting them. Learn more about what a grain-free diet means for your dog with our article "Is A Grain-Free Diet The Right Choice For Your Dog," and if you think it's worth the risks.
A high quality food is ideal for your dogs health, but it isn't necessary for them to survive.
But it has been said "You are what you eat".
This is not only true for ourselves, but for animals too.
Our dogs used to get Caesars and Purina canned foods which they seemed to like it as they ate it when we put it in their bowl.
But their coats were dull, and they had more health issues like poor digestion.
I wanted more for my beloved dogs, so we decided to feed them higher quality foods.
When they switched to a higher quality food their was a noticeable change in not only their appearance but also their health.
Softer, shinier coat, clearer eyes, and firmer, less stinky stools.
This was a welcomed change!
Not all dogs are alike. What one Shih Tzu likes, another may not.
If your Shih Tzu has a favorite dog food, please share it with others!
Also, we all like photos of Shih Tzu. Feel free to upload your pups photo too.
Click below to see what others feed their Shih Tzu...
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