Feeding Your Shih Tzu: What Can They Safely Eat?

Feeding Your Shih Tzu: What Can They Safely Eat?

As a veterinarian, I often get asked by pet owners about what they can safely feed their Shih Tzu. Shih Tzus are adorable and loyal dogs that require a balanced diet to stay healthy. In this article, we will discuss what Shih Tzus can safely eat and what foods to avoid.

Feeding Your Shih Tzu: What Can They Safely Eat?

Basic Nutritional Requirements for Shih Tzus

Before we delve into specific food recommendations, it is essential to understand the nutritional requirements of a Shih Tzu. A balanced diet for a Shih Tzu should consist of 50% carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 25% fat. The diet should also include high-quality ingredients, vitamins, and minerals.

Safe Foods for Shih Tzus

The following foods are considered safe for Shih Tzus to consume:

  • Lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and turkey
  • Fruits such as apples, bananas, and blueberries
  • Vegetables such as carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes
  • Cooked brown rice, oatmeal, and pasta

These foods are safe for Shih Tzus because they provide essential nutrients without causing digestive problems. However, it is crucial to avoid certain foods that can be harmful to Shih Tzus.

Foods to Avoid

The following foods should be avoided when feeding your Shih Tzu:

  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can be toxic to Shih Tzus and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.
  • Grapes and Raisins: These foods can cause kidney failure in Shih Tzus.
  • Onions and Garlic: These foods can damage a Shih Tzu’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.
  • Avocado: Avocado contains persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in Shih Tzus.
  • Fatty Foods: Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis in Shih Tzus, which is a painful inflammation of the pancreas.

Feeding Tips for Shih Tzus

Here are some feeding tips to keep in mind when feeding your Shih Tzu:

  • Feed your Shih Tzu a small meal several times a day instead of one large meal.
  • Avoid giving your Shih Tzu table scraps as they can upset your dog’s stomach and lead to weight gain.
  • Provide access to clean water at all times.


As a responsible pet owner, it is essential to understand what foods are safe and unsafe for your Shih Tzu. A balanced diet consisting of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help keep your Shih Tzu healthy and happy. Remember to avoid feeding your Shih Tzu chocolate, grapes, onions, avocado, and fatty foods. If you have any questions regarding your Shih Tzu’s diet, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian.


Sure, here are three popular FAQs with answers for “Feeding Your Shih Tzu: What Can They Safely Eat?”

Can Shih Tzus eat fruits and vegetables?

Yes, Shih Tzus can safely eat fresh fruits and vegetables in moderation. Some good options include apples (without the seeds), blueberries, carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes. Be sure to avoid feeding them grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and avocados, which can be toxic to dogs.

Can Shih Tzus have human food?

While it’s best to feed your Shih Tzu a well-balanced diet of high-quality dog food, they can have some human food in moderation. However, you should avoid feeding them anything that is high in fat, salt, or sugar, such as fried foods or sweets. Additionally, avoid feeding them any food that contains onion, garlic, or chocolate, which can be toxic to dogs.

How much should I feed my Shih Tzu?

The amount of food your Shih Tzu needs will depend on their age, weight, and activity level. Generally, adult Shih Tzus should eat about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of high-quality dog food twice a day. Puppies will need to be fed more frequently, typically three to four times a day. It’s important to measure your dog’s food and avoid overfeeding, as obesity can lead to health problems.

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