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The Best Dog Food Brands For a Shih Tzu 2019

Finding the best dog food for a Shih Tzu is one of the most important decisions you can make as a dog owner. The Shih Tzu responds well to a diet that’s nutritionally rich in protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, dog food that’s packed with healthy meats, wholesome vegetables and antioxidant-rich fruits will add additional health benefits for a Shih Tzu.

Unfortunately, finding the best dog for a Shih Tzu can become quite the headache with the endless varieties available online. There’s over 400 dog food brands that are compatible with a Shih Tzu’s diet and they all claim to be the best.

So what’s the best dog food for a Shih Tzu? Our team of dog food nutritionists analyzed over 400 small and toy breed dog food brands for the very best based off the nutritional needs of a Shih Tzu.

To qualify each dog food brand must meet the following requirements to qualify:

  • Real Meat is #1 Ingredient
  • Small Breed Specific Formula
  • Protein and Fat Levels Balance
  • No Corn, Wheat or Soy
  • No Artificial Flavors, Colors or Preservatives
  • Exceeds AAFCO Standards



The Best Dry Dog Food For Shih Tzus 

If you are looking for a premium dry dog food brand for your Shih Tzu, check out our 5 top-rated brands below.

5. Wellness CORE® Grain Freed Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Dry Dog Food

Wellness CORE Small Breed is made up of a proprietary blend of whole ingredients, essential antioxidants, vitamins and mineral. The formula delivers the nutritional needs for a Shih Tzu. The dry dog food is packed with optimum proteins and fats that is completely balanced per guaranteed analysis.

Wellness CORE includes deboned turkey, turkey meal and chicken meal which extend the protein level to a high 36.0% min. Additional glucosamine and chondroitin are also included to help maintain Shih Tzu bone and joint health. Made in the USA, the recipe is free of grains, gluten, corn, wheat and soy as well.


Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Taurine, Spearmint, Mixed Tocopherols Added to Preserve Freshness, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Chicory Root Extract, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

Caloric Content: 396 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 36.0% min
CRUDE FAT 16.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 5.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
CALCIUM 2.0% max
PHOSPHORUS 1.3.0% max
VITAMIN E 400 IU/kg
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS 3.0% min
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS 0.5% min
GLUCOSAMINE 250 mg/kg min
CHONDROITIN SULFATE 200 mg/kg min
BETA-CAROTENE 5 mg/kg min
TOTAL LACTIC ACID MICROORGANISMS* +80,000,000 CFU/lb min



4. Halo® Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Recipe All Life Stages Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Halo’s Small Breed Chicken and Chicken Liver Recipe is a perfect option for a Shih Tzu. The formula is meant for all life stages which means its suitable for puppy, adult and senior Shih Tzus. Additionally, the recipe is loaded with fresh chicken and chicken liver for a protein-rich diet.

The kibble is highly digestible and contains a healthy amount of fiber as well. Made in the USA, Halo not only has been recognized for its great dog food selection but also for charitable contributions and sponsorships.


Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Dried Peas, Oatmeal, Pearled Barley, Pea Protein, Soy Protein Concentrate, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), flaxseed, Pea fiber, Natural flavor, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Dried Blueberries, Dried Cranberries, Dried Carrots, Dried Sweet Potatoes, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Dried Golden Algae, Inulin, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin), Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Methionine Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), L-Carnitine.

Caloric Content: 3,760 kcal/kg, 413 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 27.0% min
CRUDE FAT 17.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 5.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
VITAMIN E 250 IU/kg min
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS 3.75% min
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS 0.90% min



3. Castor & Pollux® Organix Grain-Free Organic Small Breed Recipe Dry Dog Food

If you have yourself a picky Shih Tzu you may want to consider feeding a flavorful organic dry dog food formula. Castor & Pollux Organix Small Breed Dry Dog Food is made with over 95% organic ingredients including chicken, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, chickpeas and peas.

The formula is then mixed with a variety of superfoods including flaxseed, blueberries and coconut oil for additional health benefits. To complete the formula prebiotics and probiotics are introduced to help support proper digestion as well. If you are looking for a palatable dog food that your Shih Tzu will enjoy, check out Castor & Pollux Organix.


Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Organic Chickpeas, Organic Peas, Organic Tapioca, Organic Pea Protein, Organic Sunflower Seed Meal, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Organic Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Organic Chicken Liver, Organic Blueberries, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Organic Sunflower Oil, Salt, Salmon Oil, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Potassium Chloride, Inulin (from chicory root), Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Organic Rosemary Extract.

Caloric Content: 3,679 kcal/kg, 368 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 26.0% min
CRUDE FAT 15.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 5.0% max
MOISTURE 11.0% max
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACID 3.0% min
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID 0.30% min
GLUCOSAMINE 800 mg/kg min
CHONDROITIN SULFATE 800 mg/kg min
BACILLIUS COAGULANTS 90,000,000 CFU/LB



2. Blue Buffalo® Wilderness Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe Adult Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness is extremely popular among Shih Tzu owners and when you compare price to ingredient quality, you can see why. This 5 star dry dog food is packed with deboned chicken, chicken meal and turkey meal. A variety of complex carbohydrates from sweet potatoes, peas and potatoes in addition to antioxidant-rich blueberries, cranberries and carrots makes this a healthy option for a Shih Tzu. 

Blue Buffalo uses LifeSource Bits, which is a precise blends of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals selected by holistic Veterinarians. If you are looking for a high-protein, weight control diet for your Shih Tzu, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight is an excellent choice.


Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Peas, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Pea Starch, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Tomato Pomace, Powdered Cellulose, DL-Methionine, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Choline Chloride, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, L-Carnitine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

Caloric Content: 3,269 kcal/kg, 353 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis
PROTEIN 30.0 % Min
FAT 10.0 % Min
FIBER 10.0 % Max
MOISTURE 10.0 % Max
CALCIUM 1.3 % Min
PHOSPHORUS 0.9 % Min
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS* 0.5 % Min
OMEGA 6 FATTY ACIDS* 1.75 % Min
L-CARNITINE* 100 mg/kg Min
GLUCOSAMINE* 400 mg/kg Min
CHONDROITIN SULFATE* 300 mg/kg Min



1. Nutro® Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Farm Raised Chicken Dry Dog Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials is one of the best for a Shih Tzu. The protein-rich formula contains a perfectly balanced mix of chicken, chicken meal, split pea and brown rice. Natural fiber is also included for proper digestion as well as antioxidants for immunity health in your Shih Tzu.

Optimal levels of omega-6 fatty acid and zinc are included to help promote healthy skin and shiny coat as well. The palatable flavor and unique kibble shape makes Nutro not only flavorful but easily digestible. Additionally, the formula is made to reduce plaque and tarter buildup which is common in a Shih Tzu.


Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Split Peas, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Barley, Lamb Meal, Whole Grain Oatmeal, Rice Bran, Dried Sweet Potato, Natural Flavor, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Dried Apples, Dried Blueberries, Dried Carrots, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (preservatives), Zinc Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Inositol, Biotin, Niacin Supplement, Marigold Extract, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Selenium Yeast, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Caloric Content: 3,712 kcal/kg, 377 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 24.0% min
CRUDE FAT 15.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
VITAMIN E 400 IU/kg min
ASCORBIC ACID 100 mg/kg min
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS 0.2% min
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS 2.0% min
TAURINE 0.2% min

The Best Wet Dog Food For Shih Tzus 

If you are looking for a premium wet dog food brand for your Shih Tzu, check out our 5 top-rated brands below.

5. Instinct by Nature’s Variety® Original Small Breed Grain-Free Real Beef Recipe Natural Wet Dog Food

Real beef is the #1 ingredient in Instinct Original Small Breed. Beef is palatable and Shih Tzus respond well to the hearty meat flavor. The protein-rich diet also includes beef liver, cod, ground dried peas and flaxseed as well. A variety of antioxidant rich fruits is also found at the bottom of the ingredient list and help support a healthy immune system.

Additionally, there’s no grains, wheat, soy, potatoes, by-products, artificial colors or preservatives. In addition to being healthy on the digestive system, the delicious pate texture loaf also includes rich omega fatty acids to help promote optimum coat and skin health as well.


Ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Beef Liver, Ground Dried Peas, Cod, Pea Fiber, Tricalcium Phosphate, Montmorillonite Clay, Ground Flaxseed, Guar Gum, Sunflower Oil, Dried Kelp, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Proteinate, Potassium Iodide), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley

Caloric Content: 1,013 kcal/kg, 153 kcal/5.5 oz can, 86 kcal/3 oz can

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 8.5% min
CRUDE FAT 4.5% min
CRUDE FIBER 2.0% max
MOISTURE 78.0% max
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS 0.% min
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS 0.45% min



4. Whole Earth Farms® Grain-Free Small Breed Recipe Chicken Dinner Wet Dog Food

Per guaranteed analysis, Whole Earth Farms Small Breed Recipe is perfectly balanced for a Shih Tzu’s dietary needs. Chicken is the #1 ingredient along with chicken liver, peas, carrots and sweet potatoes as well. The stew is easily digestible and also includes Yucca Schidigera Extract which helps reduce stool odor. 

Additionally, the nutrient rich formula helps reduce shedding, strengthen nails and promotes a shinier coat in a Shih Tzu. Furthermore, the recipe is grain-free and made without corn, wheat, soy, by-products or artificial colors and preservatives. 


Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Peas, Carrots, Natural Flavor, Sweet Potatoes, Dried Egg Product, Yeast Culture, Apples, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Guar Gum, Choline Chloride, Dried Cranberries, Xanthan Gum, Cinnamon, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodate, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Yucca Schidigera Extract.

Caloric Content: 994 kcal/kg, 84 kcal/3 oz can, 1193 kcal/kg, 108 kcal/3.2 oz can

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 9.0% min
CRUDE FAT 5.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 1.4% max
MOISTURE 78.0% max



3. CANIDAE® Grain-Free PURE Petite Terrine Style Dinner with Chicken & Peas Small Breed Dog Food Trays

CANIDAE PURE is a limited-ingredient formula that’s perfect for a Shih Tzu with allergy or food sensitivities. The easy-to-serve tray is loaded with 6 whole ingredients including  chicken, turkey, chicken liver and peas. The palatable flavor is moistened with nutrient-rich  chicken broth that’s slow cooked. The recipe is grain-free and made by a independent, family-owned dog food company out of Texas USA. 


Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Liver, Dried Peas, Peas, Dicalcium Phosphate, Cassia Gum, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Natural Flavor, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Potassium Iodide), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Menhaden Fish Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Rosemary Extract.

Caloric Content: 1101 kcal/kg or 109 kcal/bowl

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 8.5% min
CRUDE FAT 5.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 1.5% max
MOISTURE 78.0% max



2. Solid Gold® Leaping Waters Chicken, Salmon & Vegetable Recipe Grain-Free Small & Medium Breed Wet Dog Food 

Solid Gold Leaping Waters is a holistic grain and gluten-free wet dog food your Shih Tzu will love. The pate texture is formulated with whole vegetables, which provides healthy support for proper digestion. Taking a look at the ingredients list shows the formula is protein packed.

Chicken, whitefish, chicken liver and salmon are all stewed in salmon broth for a protein power pack nutrient dense diet. A variety of complex amino acids are also included. Salmon and flaxseed oil help with cognitive brain development and helps promote a healthy coat. Calcium and Vitamin B12 minerals also help with strong bones and healthy teeth in Shih Tzus as well.


Ingredients: Chicken, Salmon Broth, Whitefish, Chicken Liver, Salmon, Carrots, Pea Fiber, Potatoes, Peas, Alfalfa Meal, Ground Flaxseed, Salt, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Cranberries, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Pumpkin, Spinach, Blueberries, Apples, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Caloric Content: 1,193 kcal/kg, 446 kcal/can

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 8.0% min
CRUDE FAT 6.5% min
CRUDE FIBER 1.5% max
MOISTURE 78.0% max



1. Castor & Pollux® PRISTINE Grain-Free Small Breed Cage-Free Duck Stew Wet Dog Food

Needing a flavorful wet dog food for a picky Shih Tzu? Castor & Pollux PRISTINE is a great wet dog food option. This formula is focused on on using the freshest, locally sourced, ingredients from the most trusted suppliers. The #1 ingredient is lean duck meat.

PRISTINE protein level gets an additional boost with adding organic chicken liver to the wet dog food. Real organic spinach, carrots and peats are also included to help balance out the optimum protein. This organic produced is proudly made without any harmful synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides as well.


Ingredients: Duck, Chicken Broth, Water Sufficient For Processing, Organic Chicken Liver, Chicken, Dried Egg Whites, Organic Spinach, Organic Carrots, Organic Dried Peas, Organic Apples, Guar Gum, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Tricalcium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum.

Caloric Content: 878 kcal/kg, 87 kcal/bowl

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 9.0% min
CRUDE FAT 3.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 1.4% max
MOISTURE 81.0% max