Food is one of the most important parts of all of our lives. For our dogs, it’s even more important because they don't get to choose their food.
When you are shopping for a new kind of dog food for your Shih Tzu, you should look at the same kinds of things that you would look at for buying food for a human member of your family.
You will need to do some research when it comes to which brand of food you're willing to trust for your dog’s little stomach. Since you are here, you're off to great start. Check the reviews on a variety of different stores, and make sure that there are no active recalls out for the type of dog food that you want.
While cost does not necessarily correlate with the quality of food, you should expect to pay a little bit more for food from a reputable brand.
You can often get a discount, if price is an issue, by ordering in bulk or buying large bags.
If your dog has specific medical needs through his diet, you’ll want to talk to your veterinarian.
The first choice you made to make is whether you want to feed your dog wet food, dry kibble or a combination of both. There isn't a lot of difference between the two.
If your dog has issues with ingesting the air while they eat, a softer food or a wet food might be the best choice for them. This is common in dogs that have flatter faces, and can cause upset stomachs. You can also make your kibble softer by mixing it with a soup-style wet food.
Dry kibbles tend to be less expensive to buy in large quantities, but make it a little harder to control proportions. Dry kibble is also less appealing for picky eaters, which Shih Tzus and other toy dogs are known to be.
Dogs love routines. They like to go out at the same time every morning, and they like to eat at the same time every day. They also tend to want to eat the same flavor.
Their digestive system is sensitive, and building that routine can help keep it in the shape your dog needs to feel and be their best.
An easy way to start this is to pick a flavor and stick with it. You can try different ones for treats and things like that, but pick one main type of food for all of their eating needs.
You should also pick a food that is appropriate for your dogs age. Puppies need a different formulation of nutrients than adult dogs or senior dogs.
Just like with your food in the grocery store, there are some words that should help you make your decision. If the food that you are looking at is labeled with just the meat, then it is required to be 70 percent that meat. If it’s labeled as a dinner, entrée or platter, it must have at least 10 percent meat in it. If it’s labelled as “with meat,” it must be 3 percent that meat.
If a bag of food is labelled “complete and balanced,” that means that it has been inspected by the Association of Animal Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). With that label, it means that the food includes all of the necessary nutrients for a healthy dog. If you want to learn more about the proportions of ingredients, you can contact most dog food companies.
Allergies can manifest in several different ways when it comes to small dogs like your Shih Tzu. They can show themselves through sensitive skin, excessively dry skin or regular upset stomachs. if your dog has a food allergy, they will be very uncomfortable, and so will you.
With their comfort in mind, have a discussion with your veterinarian. If they have a history of sensitive skin or dry skin, you may want to add a supplement to their diet.
If you notice a distinct change after you change foods, you should go back to whatever they were eating before until you can get a new kind of food. Look at the differences in the ingredients between the two foods and note what those ingredients are.
When you look for that new kind of food, try to find ones with the least Number of the different ingredients to cut down on the possibilities of an allergy. You'll want to buy small bags of food until you find one that doesn't upset your dog.
When you're looking at ingredients, you want a food that is high on protein and fat, but it doesn't require them to eat several cups of food. Shih Tzus and other toy dog breeds have small stomachs, so you want something that isn't going to make them feel overly full without getting the nutrition that they need.
Aim for about 25 percent protein, and make sure that the ingredients list includes these three things for a luscious coat to die for: Omega 3, Omega 6 and Vitamin A.
Add Healthy Treats for Supplements
Keep a small, healthy treat - like a training treat - on hand so that when your dog does something good, you can treat them for it. It also helps when you have visitors over, because it will allow them to give the dog something nice without feeding them table scraps.
Last but not least, you should make sure to find a food that your dog is happy to eat. If they don't want to eat the food that you've bought, then that's okay. Try again with a new kind as soon as you run out to find the right kind of food for your beloved dog.