If you’re getting a Shih Tzu puppy, one of the first things that you’d ask is, “How much food should I feed him?” This is a valid question since it’s important to know your fur baby’s nutritional needs. Giving him less than his daily caloric needs will make him underweight and more prone to illnesses, while giving him more than his fair share will result to obesity and expose him to various health problems.
In general, Shih Tzu puppies need an ounce of food (or 28.4 grams) for every pound of his body weight. So, if you have a three-month-old puppy that weighs four pounds, you can give him four ounces (or around 113 grams) of food per meal. Shih Tzu puppies are highly active and burn a lot of calories, so they need to eat more often than their adult counterparts. Because of this, it’s advisable to feed your pup three to four meals a day.
From puppy to adult
Of course, your dog’s feeding habits should change as he grows older. Free feeding, or leaving out a full bowl of food for your puppy to eat, is okay until he reaches three months old. From three months onward, your Shih Tzu pup should be placed on a structured meal schedule. This way, you know exactly how much food he consumes in a day, and you’ll help him avoid overeating and developing obesity.
The amount of food that your puppy should eat per meal also changes as he grows older. Once he reaches adulthood, he’ll need only half an ounce of food (or 14 grams) per pound of his body weight. So, if your adult Shih Tzu weighs around 8 pounds, he’ll need to eat four ounces of food (or 56 grams) per meal.
Types of food
Whether you go to the pet store or head off to the supermarket, you’ll inevitably be greeted by a wide range of options when you reach the pet food aisle. Dry, wet, frozen, raw, freeze-dried — these are just some of the types of dog food available on the market. The sheer number of choices can be confusing and daunting particularly if it’s your first time to buy food for your puppy.
There’s no need to feel overwhelmed, though, since you can always get the help of your veterinarian. Since he knows your puppy’s specific needs and health condition, he can give you excellent suggestions on the brand and type of dog food that you should buy.
Of course, your puppy always has the final say. Even if you buy the most expensive dry dog food, he still won’t eat a lot of it if he prefers canned wet food (or vice versa). Be ready to experiment with different products until you find one that suits your little Shih Tzu’s taste buds.
Commercial or home-cooked
Many Shih Tzu owners advocate giving home-cooked meals to puppies. By doing so, you know exactly what’s going into your puppy’s food and you have the assurance that he’s eating the freshest and healthiest meals. Unfortunately, this isn’t a feasible option for everyone, especially for those with hectic schedules. If you’re constantly busy with your work or business, the next-best thing you can do is to find a commercial dog food brand that uses high-quality ingredients and provides your Shih Tzu puppy with optimum nutrition.