We all love our Shih Tzus, but feeding them can be very challenging, especially for new owners. You probably already know that toy breeds have faster metabolisms than larger dogs. However, did you know that Shih Tzus eat a larger amount of food compared to other toy breeds?
So how much food should a Shih Tzu eat?
Different factors dictate the amount and frequency of feeding your cute one. It depends on their age, body condition, size, level of activity, and other factors.
An extra ounce of pet food could be the difference between obesity and malnutrition.
To keep your dog happy and healthy, they must receive the right amount of nutrition their bodies need. Here’s how to determine the amount of food and the frequency of feeding for your Shih Tzu.
How Much Food Should a Shih Tzu Eat?
You should base how much food to give to your Shih Tzu on three factors. These are weight/body condition, age, and level of activity.
The weight of the dog is needed to calculate their daily calorie intake. A fit and healthy Shi Tzu should weigh anywhere between 8 to 16 pounds. You can use an online calculator or just multiply the body weight (in lbs) by 35 to get the total number of daily calories.
For example, a 10 lb adult Shih Tzu would need 350 calories a day or about 1 cup of premium dry food from ProBalance. However, if you have an older dog, you should reduce the calorie multiplier to 30. The same 10 lb senior Shih Tzu would only need 300 calories a day.
Keep in mind that the body condition trumps weight when gauging food consumption.
If your Shih Tzu is emaciated or underweight (if the bony areas are visible), increase their daily calorie intake. Likewise, if your dog is visually obese, then you should decrease the amount of food per day. Make 10% adjustments each week to their Shih Tzu diet.
What About Puppies?
Puppies are a special case because they naturally need to consume more food. They need extra energy for growth and to compensate for their higher metabolism. Puppies also tend to have higher activity levels.
If an adult Shih Tzu requires a half-ounce of food for every pound of body weight, a puppy demands double that amount. Shih Tzus in their growing years will always eat more compared to an adult.
How Often Should You Feed a Shih Tzu?
While a large dog can get all his nutritional needs from one large meal, that’s not the case for small dog breeds. A Shih Tzu’s tiny stomach can’t accommodate a single, large portion that represents their daily requirement.
In general, puppies need more frequent feedings because they’re prone to hypoglycemia. You can let them free feed until three months old. From three to six months, you can feed them four times a day.
Some adult Shih Tzus thrive on two meals a day, with treats or snacks in between. You can also increase the Shih Tzu feeding to three meals a day if you notice that their energy levels aren’t consistent throughout the day.
A Healthy Shih Tzu Eats Well
As a pet parent, it’s important to know the answer to the question, “how much food should a Shih Tzu eat?” Proper feeding plays a vital role in keeping your dog fit and healthy.
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