Shih Tzu Diet: What Foods Are Safe?

Shih Tzu Diet: What Foods Are Safe?Shih Tzu Diet: What Foods Are Safe?


As a veterinarian, I often hear concerns from dog owners about what foods are safe to give their pets. Shih Tzus are a popular breed, known for their affectionate and playful personalities. However, like all dogs, they require a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain their health and wellbeing. In this article, we will discuss the foods that are safe for Shih Tzus to eat.

Importance of a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is essential for Shih Tzus to maintain a healthy weight, prevent health issues such as obesity, and ensure that they receive all the necessary nutrients for their overall health. A balanced diet for Shih Tzus should consist of:

  • High-quality protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fiber
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

Foods That Are Safe for Shih Tzus

  1. Meat: Shih Tzus are carnivores, and meat is an important part of their diet. Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and beef are good choices. Avoid feeding them processed meats, as they are high in sodium and preservatives.
    • Organ meats: Liver and kidneys are excellent sources of protein and essential vitamins.
  2. Vegetables: Vegetables provide Shih Tzus with essential vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Some good choices include:
    • Carrots: Rich in vitamins A and K, and fiber.
    • Green beans: Low in calories and rich in fiber and vitamins C and K.
    • Sweet potatoes: High in fiber and beta-carotene.
  3. Fruits: Fruits are a good source of vitamins and fiber. Some good choices include:
    • Blueberries: Rich in antioxidants and vitamins C and K.
    • Apples: High in fiber and vitamins A and C.
  4. Dairy: Dairy products such as cheese and yogurt are a good source of calcium and protein. However, some Shih Tzus may be lactose intolerant, so it’s important to introduce dairy gradually and monitor for any adverse reactions.

Foods to Avoid

  1. Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.
  2. Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.
  3. Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic can damage a dog’s red blood cells and cause anemia.
  4. Avocado: Avocado contains persin, which is toxic to dogs and can cause gastrointestinal distress.
  5. Fatty foods: High-fat foods can cause pancreatitis in dogs, which can be a life-threatening condition.

Feeding Tips

  1. Portion control: Shih Tzus are prone to obesity, so it’s important to feed them the appropriate portion size for their size and activity level.
  2. Avoid table scraps: Table scraps are often high in fat and sodium and can upset a dog’s digestive system.
  3. Provide fresh water: Make sure your Shih Tzu has access to fresh water at all times.
  4. Consider a high-quality commercial dog food: If you’re not sure about preparing a balanced homemade diet, consider feeding your Shih Tzu a high-quality commercial dog food that meets their nutritional needs.


In conclusion, a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for maintaining the health and wellbeing of your Shih Tzu. Make sure to provide them with high-quality protein, carbohydrates, fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Avoid feeding them toxic foods such as chocolate, grapes, and onions, and practice portion control to prevent obesity. If you have any concerns about your Shih Tzu’s diet or nutrition, consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice.


Can Shih Tzus eat human food?
While some human foods can be safe for Shih Tzus to consume, it is generally recommended to stick to a balanced and nutritionally complete diet specifically formulated for dogs. Human foods can be high in salt, sugar, and fat, which can lead to digestive issues, obesity, and other health problems in Shih Tzus.

What types of foods should I avoid feeding my Shih Tzu?
As a general rule, Shih Tzus should avoid chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, grapes and raisins, onions and garlic, nuts, and any foods that are high in fat or sugar. These foods can be toxic to dogs and can cause serious health problems, including pancreatitis, kidney failure, and even death.

What foods are safe for my Shih Tzu to eat?
Shih Tzus can benefit from a diet that includes high-quality protein sources such as chicken, turkey, beef, and fish, as well as complex carbohydrates like brown rice and sweet potatoes. Vegetables such as carrots, green beans, and broccoli can also be added to their diet for additional nutrients. It is important to choose a balanced and nutritionally complete dog food that meets your Shih Tzu’s specific dietary needs, and consult with your veterinarian before making any major changes to their diet.

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