What are the nutritional needs of a Shih Tzu? A Shih Tzu, and all other dog breeds need to have:
- Amino acids from protein
- Fatty acids
Protein and Amino Acids
- Dietary protein contains 10 amino acids that a dog cannot make on its own. They provide the building blocks for many important biologically active compounds and proteins for the Shih Tzu. Also, they give the carbon chains needed to make glucose for the dog's energy. High-quality proteins have a good balance of all of the essential amino acids. Studies show that dogs can sense when their dog food lacks a single amino acid and will usually avoid eating it. A Shih Tzu should be feed a high quality dog food that contains the 10 essential amino acids.
Fatty Acids -
Dietary fats, mainly derived from animal fats and the seed oils of various plants, provide the most concentrated source of energy in a dog's diet. Fatty acids play a role in cell structure and function. Essential fatty acids are needed to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Puppies fed ultra low-fat diets develop dry, coarse hair and skin lesions that become increasingly vulnerable to infections. Omega 3 and Omega 6 are most crucial.
Dogs need a certain amount of energy to sustain the normal activities of their daily lives. Growth, pregnancy, lactation, and exercise all increase these normal energy requirements. This energy comes from 3 major dietary components: carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Vitamins & Minerals-
These are extremely important:
- K actives bone proteins
- B1 and Pantothenic Acid helps with metabolism
- Riboflavin, Niacin and B12 - helps with enzyme function
- B6 helps with glucose generation, red blood cell function, nervous system function;, immune response, hormone regulation and gene activation
- Folic acid helps with protein synthesis
- Choline is a Phospholipid cell membrane component
How much water does a Shih Tzu need? As much as they want! Fresh, clean & preferably filtered water should be available at all times.
Often, how much you feed your Tzu depends on the type of food; 1 cup of calorie dense food is not the same as 1 cup of filler filled kibble. Also, how many calories a Shih Tzu needs
will vary depending on age and activity level.
Using the Right Bowls
Don't let the bowls be an afterthought. The right dishes will help with everything from preventing facial hair staining to easing stomach distress. You'll want stainless steel, non-skid bottomed bowls, being sure to avoid plastic at all costs. Whether you plan on bringing home a new puppy or your current dog's dining ware may need an update, be sure to choose the best bowls for the Shih Tzu
Proper feeding includes many issues! These can include:
- Finicky Eaters
- Home cooking
- When a slow change in food changes is absolutely necessary
- Salt issues
- When a change in food is necessary based on the age of your Tzu
- When supplements are & are not needed - and which type are needed
- Odd eating habits
- Hiding food
- Begging for food...and Much More! Find out about how you can read about all of these issues in the new-edition AllShihTzu Book. Now in both print & eBook.
Food and Eating Red Flags
The relationship between your Shih Tzu and their dog food can give you an early warning sign of many issues. If your dog suddenly begins to eat less food there may be many reasons including:
- Your dog may be ill. Changes in appetite - either being ravenously hungry or a sudden lack of appetite - are the early warning signs of many health issues.
- Heat - The Shih Tzu is very sensitive to heat and hot weather stress can cause a dog to stop eating. A dog will also eat less during hot summer months.
- Your Shih Tzu may be allergic to an ingredient in his food and because of an upset tummy, is eating less.