To discover what is the best all natural dog food particularly suited to a shih tzu we need to understand that before dogs became the tamed domestic pets they are today their wild ancestors would hunt and forage for their food which would then be distributed amongst the pack as the alpha dog saw fit. This food would include raw meat, raw vegetables and fruits. Of course, there would be none of today’s artificial colorings and preservatives that are found in the mass-produced processed dog foods we are persuaded to buy from clever advertising campaigns.
Now, I am not saying that you should give your shih tzu raw meat. Far from it, we have over thousands of years changed our pets’ sensitive stomachs to expect cooked protein. However, processed foods are a comparatively recent change made to dogs’ diets and not one for the better, in my opinion. I include as few processed foods as I can in my own diet and I try to do the same for my dogs.
My Bruno will be 12 years old soon despite suffering from Addison’s disease all his life and a heart murmur more recently. He is an otherwise fit and active dog. I believe he has reached this age and in such an active state partly down to the skill of my vet and the rest down to the fact that my wife and I have only ever given him to eat freshly cooked, human standard meats, fish and vegetables plus a selected dry food to provide the necessary vitamins. Processed dog food may have appeared on the market when it did out of necessity but with today’s scientific knowledge, cooking methods and packaging methods that necessity has gone.
Not All Is What It Appears To Be
As they say on TV commercials, “Always read the label.”. Just because a dog food brand claims to contain all natural or all organic ingredients it doesn’t necessarily mean that these ingredients will be healthy for your shih tzu. It is still necessary to read the label to make sure the food contained inside the packaging is made from only wholesome ingredients suitable for a small dog to eat.
25% to 45% of a shih tzu’s meal should consist of protein, the nearer to 45% the better. The protein can come in the form of fresh, lean portions of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey or salmon. Not only will these items provide the necessary protein but also vital vitamins and minerals particularly beneficial to bone health. Further protein and bone strengthening minerals can be provided by the inclusion of eggs to the menu.
Shih tzu need their carbohydrates and these should make up around 45% of a meal. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and rice will build up stored energy levels. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are also a good source of potassium.
The inclusion of beans, peas and green, leafy vegetables will provide dietary fiber as well as further vitamins and minerals. As with humans, carrots are providers of considerable amounts of vitamin A.
The other 10% of the meal should be made up of fats. Apart from those naturally occurring with the protein and carbohydrates, look for the addition of omega 3 fish oils which will help with keeping the skin lubricated and the coat glossy.
For further information on what to give and what not to give your shih tzu to eat, see:
Read On To Find Out What Is The Best All Natural Dog Food For A Shih Tzu
Undoubtedly, the best natural dog food for a shih tzu is that which you cook yourself with quality ingredients selected from those in the guidelines above. These days we are all very busy people and seldom have time to cook for ourselves, let alone our pets.
Enterprising dog food manufacturers are now realizing that we want to give our dogs better, human grade quality food and that we don’t have the time to prepare it ourselves. They are producing full, cooked meals vacuum sealed for freshness. Most manufacturers will produce several different recipes to provide variety and help prevent food boredom. Some of these new pet food companies will even deliver a regular order right up to your door.
As you can appreciate, dog food with ingredients as fresh as these cannot be shipped economically worldwide. For that reason, I will be giving you my top recommendation region by region.
The USA’s Most Outstanding Natural Dog Food Service
There’s a lot of competition as you would expect in this vast nation. Despite the many great brands vying to have their products filling your shih tzu’s bowl at meal times, I believe that the quality of the meals combined with the delivery service makes NomNomNow the outstanding provider.
At the time of writing, they have four different recipe packs available, all meat based. Choose from beef, chicken, turkey or pork. All four are balanced with a selection of nutritious vegetables and fish oils. The meals are portioned according to the weight of your dog and whether he or she needs to lose or gain weight. So, you can be sure that you will be supplied with meals of the correctly sized portions for your shih tzu.
The meals are supplied on a subscription service, delivered every two weeks. The cost of the subscription service represents great value for money when you compare it to what the ingredients would cost you to buy and cook yourself. However, if you first want a tester to find out if your dog likes the meals a “Variety Pack” containing a sample of all four recipes is available as a one time purchase. We all know how fussy our shih tzu can be, so this may be the sensible option.
UK’s Outstanding Natural Dog Food Provider
Again, there is a lot of competition here in the natural pet food market but it was easier to find the best option that stood out from the crowd. For the variety of recipes, categories of dog catered for and, above all, the quality of the ingredients, Barking Heads gets the Shihtzuandyou nomination for the UK’s best natural dog food.
Barking Heads cater for large dogs, small dogs, puppies, senior dogs and dogs on a diet. For the average adult shih tzu there are six varieties of dry food and five of wet food, all made with high quality, nutritious, human grade ingredients guaranteed free of artificial colors, flavorings and preservatives. The recipes include such gems as “Beef Waggington”, “Pooched Salmon”, “Bowl Lickin, Chicken” and “Chop Lickin’ Lamb”.
When making any purchase you have the option of making it a one time purchase or a subscription. Again, there is a variety pack available and also there are certain “Bundles” you can buy at a discount price on what purchasing the items individually would cost.
Shihtzuandyou.com exclusive: Use the code HELLO10 at the checkout to receive a 10% new customer discount at Barking Heads.
Not From USA or UK?
At this moment in time, I do not have any recommendations for natural dog food outside of the USA or UK, for which I apologize. However, my research will continue and I hope to bring more information soon, so keep on checking in to shihtzuandyou.com.
A Healthier Shih Tzu
I hope that you have found the information on this page useful. If you have used natural dog foods from NomNomNow or Barking Heads please let me know how you and your shih tzu enjoyed them and if you notice any improvement in your dog’s health and condition by using the comments box below. Use this also for any thoughts or questions you have regarding the shih tzu diet or anything regarding the shih tzu breed. Alternatively, you can use the contact us form.
Bye for now,
Shih Tzu Steve.