This post may contain affiliate links. Read privacy & disclosure policy for info

How to Know You're Getting The Best Dog Food for Your Shih Tzu 


Two Shih Tzu (Rocky and Max) eating their dog food from their bowls

Shih Tzu dogs don't eat a lot so every bite counts.  And feeding them a high quality, nutritionally packed meal is by far the healthiest choice to make for your furbabies.

So how do you know if you're feeding your Shih Tzu the best dog food?

The best dog foods don't necessarily mean the most expensive.  But it should at least contain quality ingredients, as well as being complete and balanced to meet your dog's nutritional needs.

When looking at labels on dog food, quality ingredients will list...

  • Pure meat and organs as first ingredients.
  • Minimal amount of grain like brown rice, but not corn
  • No by-products or animal digest
  • No BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin, which are artificial preservatives
  • No Fillers

Ingredients must be listed in order from the largest to the least, which means that the first ones listed weigh more than the last ones listed.

So having pure meat as the first ingredient followed by other quality ingredients, provide great nutrients and is probably a good choice.

If the first ingredient listed is corn, may want to put it back on the shelf.

<read our article on "Understanding Dog Food Ingredients">

My personal opinion is that homemade dog food may be the best way to make sure you are only feeding him quality ingredients.

But sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day to add this time-consuming chore onto your already busy schedule.

This is where a quality commercial dog food will help.

Best Dog Food Brands For A Healthy Shih Tzu

With so many choices, it's not easy picking one.

I've compiled a short list which I personally feel are the best quality dog foods for my own Shih Tzu, maybe it will help you with yours.

Stella and Chewy Raw Dog Food

Stella & Chewy offers a raw food diet for your pets.

I get the freeze dried patties when we go on a road trip so I can feed my boys good healthy food without having to open a can.  But they have frozen and toppers too.

They've come out with a new raw coated kibble food which I've recently tried with my boys.

They didn't seem to like the Lamb (not surprising for them), but they did alright with the Chicken flavor.

The ingredients in Stella & Chewy's food is "only the good stuff" sourced from farmers.

Grass fed and cage free meats and poultry, organic fruits and veggies, their foods also contain organs and bone with no added hormones or antibiotics.

I'm super excited that my boys will eat it...they can be quite picky about their food especially since I've been making their food at home more often.

If you're not sure where you can get this, you can use Stella & Chewy's store locator to find it, or you can always try Amazon

Fromm Dog Food

Fromm has become one of the best dog foods available.

Not only because of their ingredients but also because they truly care about their customers....your dogs.

Fromm dog foods come in both a dry and wet.

Our boys are pretty picky when it comes to eating dry foods, and there are very few dry dog food brands that they will eat, but Fromm is one.

We found that out when we went on a vacation with family, where we all brought our dogs along with us, and realized we forgot their food at home (oops...bad mommy)!

My sister generously offered us her dogs Fromm dry food, until we could go to the pet store the next day.

I accepted but didn't really expect them to eat it, but not only did they eat it, they cleaned the plates!

We now buy them a bag of dry food, which they eat a couple times a week, and Fromm's canned food too, which they really like.

So Fromm has become a favorite in our household of picky eaters.

The ingredients are also very high quality and healthy.  However, this does make them a little more expensive compared to other brands.

Wellness Brand 

If you are seeking human grade ingredients or a grain-free, then Wellness just may be the best dog food for your pup.

In addition to their original Wellness line of Super 5 Mix foods, they also have a product line called CORE which is high protein, low carb, and grain-free, with human grade ingredients.

They also have a reduced fat version of this diet if your dog is overweight or can’t eat fat.

Their Simple Solutions product line uses exotic proteins such as duck and venison and is a good choice for dogs with 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

Taste of the Wild by Diamond foods brand is also considered one of the best dog foods for your dog.

They offer several formulas that are higher in protein, grain-free, and lower in carbs.

Some of their proteins are exotic which can make their food good for dogs with food allergies.

Their High Prairie Canine Formula, for example, has both venison and bison in it.

Taste of the Wild is a very good quality food for your dog, and come in both canned and dry foods.

Artemis Pet Food Brand

Artemis advertise they have a “holistic approach to dog food."

Our Shih Tzu like the Artemis dry food probably because the kibble is very small and easy for them to chew.

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 small bites of kibble and walk away from it.

Established in 1998, this California pet food company uses only quality food ingredients like chicken, brown rice, peas, and tocopherol, which is the good kind of preservatives.

They offer samples on their website, so you can try it before you buy it--Win!

Shih Tzu and a Terrier playing together

Innova Brand

Innova was one of the original holistic dog foods and was considered one of the best, when it was manufactured by Natura Pet Products.

However, they are now owned by the industrial giant, Proctor & Gamble, who also own other products such as Iams and Eukanuba foods, which didn't make the grade of best dog foods available.

They still use only natural ingredients.  But that may change in the future, I hope not, but it may.

If you examine the ingredients in different dog foods then you can see that Innova is still one of the best dog foods around.

According to Innova they use ingredients from each of the five food groups such as chicken, turkey, and beef, as well as cottage cheese, fruits, vegetables, grains, essential vitamins and minerals.

However if you're seeing more fillers and not so good preservatives making its' way into the ingredients list, then you may want to consider moving on to a different brand.

Blue Buffalo Brand

There's been some controversy over Blue Buffalo brand lately, and has caused us to think about the brand again.

It seems there are some claiming that it is making their dogs sick, with vomiting and diarrhea which certainly raises concerns for any one who loves their dog.

Also that their ingredients may not be a wholesome as Blue claims they are.

Blue Buffalo has refuted this, saying they are "being set up by their competitors."

All I can say is that our boys have been eating Blue for quite a few years and they don't show any signs of health issues that some are saying they are seeing in their dogs.

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.

Honorable Mention:  TruDog Food Brand

I hadn’t heard of TruDog brand before, but one of our readers has spoken so highly of this brand saying it was the best dog food they've used.

That it  intrigued us.

So we checked out this brand and found it’s list of ingredients were stellar.

The back story on how this food came to be was pretty interesting too.

This dog food is made by a Midwest family inspired by their beloved Great Dane having developed cancer, and sadly passing away.

When they evaluated the food they had been feeding him, they were horrified by the ingredients.

Realizing that the food they had been feeding him was basically "junk food for dogs", they wanted to find the best dog food they could for their other pets.

But instead they were inspired to develope their own raw diet and what resulted from their efforts was TruDog Freeze Dried Raw Food.

The first ingredients at the top of their list are actual meats, not by-products, and has other beneficial ingredients as well.

The ingredients in this product were so good, and since I'm always on the hunt for a quality dog food for my boys, I ordered a bag from Amazon after not being able to find it in any of my local pet stores.

I was so happy when it arrived, I eagerly filled my boys bowls with a small amount and was sure they would gobble it up.

Unfortunately my boys didn't eat any of it, even when trying several times the rest of the week, not one bite.

It's too bad. It really seems like a great product.

But it doesn't matter how good the ingredients are if they won't it eat right?

So for my boys, it wasn't the best dog food.

However, it's not a total loss--my sisters dog really seemed to like it and woofed it down when we gave her a bowl of it.

Shih Tzu Dog sitting on stone wall

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, 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.

Final notes

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!

Remember to make any changes to your dog’s diet slowly by mixing in the new food with your dog’s current food.

Watch your dogs physical condition to see if he gains or loses weight when eating the new food, also observe his coat to make sure it's shiny and healthy after you change foods.

Read our article about the difference between Grain-Free and Hypoallergenic dog foods

You might like these

  1. Home
  2. Nutrition

Have your say!

Does Your Shih Tzu Have a Favorite Dog Food? Let others know!

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.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see what others feed their Shih Tzu...

I have switched what I was feeding and transitioning slowly to TRUDOG BEEF FEED ME. Its 99 percent pure beef from U.S.A grass fed beef and freeze dried …

Fromm Dog Food 
I only feed the kibble and several flavor variety's of FROMM, and not canned dog foods as its my opinion that canned foods put too much weight on dogs …

Blue Buffalo Dog Food 
My Shih Tzu's, Buster and Bella, have been eating Blue Buffalo dog food for a couple of years now. I switched them from prescription ID science hills …

Diet for a Liver Shunt 
I have a 14 month old shih tzu who has a smaller liver and larger kidneys than normal and crystals in his blatter and urine. The veterinarians did …

Only Natural Pet Redmeat Feast 
My Shih Tzu, as we jokingly say, is allergic to being alive and my search for something he would eat and that he COULD eat has been exhausting. We …

Rachel Ray Dog Food - Nutrish 
Gave my girl Rachel Ray Dog Food. My 2 yr old female Shih Tzu, she is a very picky eater. I have tried a lot of different brands of dog food, and …

Health Extensions Little Bites 
I have 2 precious shih tzus puppies and they love Health Extensions Little Bites dry food. It's the perfect size for their tiny little mouths and is conveniently …

Hills Science Diet Dry
for Sensitive Skin and Stomach
My Bella was having very loose stools and infections, until the doctor made me switch from Beneficial to Hills Science Diet. It is more expensive, …

Earthborn Holistic Dog Food 
My Shih Tzu love their Earthborn Holistic dry dog food. It is kinda pricey but well worth the money. I love my fur babies and want to make sure they …

Iams Dog Food 
My dog had very bad allergies in her ears and skin all year round, so I tried taking eggs, beef and soy out of her diet and put her on Iams canned food …

Home Made Dog Food  
We have a beautiful little Shih Tzu girl named Sophie. We started her on Blue Buffalo at 8 weeks old. My wife and I already had a trip planned so we …

Pedigree Wet Dog Food
Suggestions for Alternatives?
I've notice my one year old Shih Tzu has been itching and her skin is irritated. Could it be her food? She is on the Pedigree brand wet dog food. …

Royal Canin Dog Food
for My Shih Tzu
I have been feeding my Shih Tzu Royal Canin dog food since he was a puppy and he goes crazy everytime I pour it in the bowl. It was recommended by my …

Nutri Source Adult Dog Food 
Our breeder was giving NutriSource Puppy food to my Shih Tzu Benny Boo, who is 20 months, he was 3 months old when we got him. When we ran out of …

Ziwipeak 'Daily Dog' Air Dried Cuisine-Lamb, Ziwipeak 
Before Ziwipeaks Dog Food my Shih Tzu, Dawson, was a typical picky eater. He would not eat kibble very well. When he was a puppy I fed him Performatrin …

Dog Food Raw Meat 
Can a raw dog food diet be considered as a good food diet for my Shih Tzu? I really don't know if it helps, but some how my Shih Tzu becomes healthier …

Purina Dog Foods 
I fed her Purina Puppy Chow when I first brought Casey home last year, because that's what she was used to from her breeder. Soon she became very tired …

Acana Lamb and Apple Not rated yet
My five year old female shih tzu Darla enjoys this dry food since she was a year old. No allergies or upset stomach for her but just enjoys eating.

Orijen Six fish dry kibble  Not rated yet
All skin issues resolved, with this food. Best natural quality dog food around. Highly recommended to other Shihtzu owners, with the same results of resolved …

Beneful Not rated yet
Our nine-year-old, very healthy and happy Shih Tzu, Rocky, eats only Beneful. He won't eat dog treats unless they are the vegetable shaped Beneful treats. …

Natural Balance Not rated yet
My little guy loves Natural Balance. I recently found out that this product is Made In the USA! He likes the kibble, but enjoys the roll food very much. …

Pure Balance Dog Food Not rated yet
Pure Balance dog foods is available in both wet and dry. We have a baby boy name Satchie. His eating appetite became low during summer and when we …

Natural Choice Small Bites Not rated yet
My dog loves Natural Choice small bites in lamb, mixed with a steak, lamb or chicken wet food. It's not an easy diet to feed because the canned foods …

Pet Botanics Dog Food Not rated yet
Pet Botanics Dog Food is similar to Blue Buffalo and affordable. My little Bella loves it, and it's so good for her. Pet Botanics is a Solar Powered …

Click here to write your own.

Merrick Brand Dog Food Not rated yet
I started my puppies (Sam and Mia) on Merrick Dog Food as their first food. I used warm water on their food until they had good teeth for chewing. …

Click here to write your own.