With a laughable name and never-ending energy, Shih-poo might be the cutest dog breed in the world. They love to play and cuddle, especially with kids. This dog breed is known to be a mixed breed of Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle, and that is why they look so lovely and love to chase balls thrown at them.
It is true that Shih Poo does not need to exercise a lot, but they just cannot stop playing and running after you. We are sure that they will tire you out before getting tired themselves.
Shih Poo dogs adapt to many different lifestyles because they can always find a way to burn off their energy somewhere. That is where dog food plays an important role. Because Shih Poos cannot burn off energy if they do not have any.
You have to provide Shih Poo Dogs with the best dog food, especially because they are one of the most energetic and active breeds. However, we know how hard it is to find the right dog food for small breeds like Shih Poo. Your task gets more difficult because of how active Shih Poos are.
But do not worry about it anymore because we will help you choose the best dog food with our selections. Here we picked the best 5 dog food for Shih Poos.
Let’s look at our selections list first:
- Our Top Pick: Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken Dog Food
- Runner Up: Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dog Food
- Best for Budget: NUTRO ULTRA Adult Dry Dog Food
- Best Grain Free: Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Best Natural Recipe: Acana Singles Formula, Duck and Pear Dog Food
Our Top Pick: Merrick Lil' Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken Dog Food
About: If your dog loves the taste of fish, this dog food from Merrick has small, and crunchy kibbles with amazing salmon taste, which you’re Shih Poo will surely love.
Features: Real meat is essential in dog food because it is the primary source of protein. This dog food has real deboned salmon as the first ingredient, which is an excellent thing for Shih Poos, who love the taste of fish. Also, this product has no grains in it. So that is very beneficial for dogs with gluten sensitivities.
What we liked the most is that Merrick Lil Plates is rich with omega-3 fatty acids. Fats are essential in dogs’ diets to keep their fur and coat shiny and healthy. Another excellent quality feature is the probiotics and prebiotics used in this dog food. If your Shih Poo has digestives issues, it is essential to support his digestive system, those with supplements.
Another feature worth mentioning is the small and crunchy kibbles. Kibble size is essential for small breeds so that they can eat it with ease. It is a good thing that the kibbles are crunchy so that your pooch’s teeth and the gum will stay healthy.
Runner Up: Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dog Food
About: This one is the perfect option for small Shih Poos with sensitive stomachs. We could not decide which one to put on our top pick, to be honest. This is just as good as our top pick.
Features: Let’s start with the most important thing for dog food: the ingredients. This product has a limited ingredient list, which makes it the perfect option for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
If your dog loves the taste of fish, we safely recommended this dog food since real salmon is listed as the first ingredient. However, some of the users complained about the strong fish smell. If you or your dog is not a fan of the fish smell, maybe look for the other options in our list.
The producer made an excellent job when deciding on the amounts of macros because this one has a very balanced protein, carb, and fat content for a small dog like Shih Poo. Another feature we are amazed by is how all of the ingredients are natural, and no additives are used in it.
Since this one is the USA made product, we recommend it to pet parents without a doubt of quality. With its small and crunchy kibble size, your dog will have no difficulty eating it while keeping his teeth healthy. Crunchy kibbles are also good for the gums of your Shih Poo.
Best for Budget: NUTRO ULTRA Adult Dry Dog Food
About: The combination of chicken, lamb, and salmon comes in one product with the best price. For that reason, Nutro adult dog food is the best dog food you can find at this price.
Features: The first thing to look in dog food is what kind of meat is used. Luckily, you can find all types of meat in this dog food because it contains a trio of proteins from chicken, lamb, and salmon. The ingredients used in this product are all high-quality, so it is a great way to support your dog’s diet with complete and balanced nutrition.
You might feel curious about the quality of the product because there is a mix of meats, but do not worry because not only the meat used are real, but also they contain high-quality protein. Another good feature we liked about this relatively low-priced product is that it includes superfood like coconut, chia, kale, and blueberries.
Having fruits and vegetables instead of grains in dogs’ diets is very important. However, along with the fruit and veg, this one also has grains, so it is not a gluten-free product. However, you can be sure that there are no additives or artificial flavors used in Nutro Ultra adult dog food.
We can safely say that all the meat in this dog food is real, and no by-product meal is used.
Best Grain Free: Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
About: If your dog is sensitive to grains or allergic to them, we can confidently recommend this one for him because there are no grain, gluten, or potatoes in Earthborn dog food.
Features: The best thing about this dog food is that it is formulated without any grain, gluten, or potatoes. The first thing you should look for in dog food is real meat so that your dog can get the protein he needs for the functioning of his muscles. Unfortunately, this one does not have any real meat.
Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Dry Dog Food mostly consists of fish meal and peas. These two things – meat meals and pea protein- are the things we do not like seeing in dog food packs. But it does not change the fact that this product is very high in protein content.
If you are looking for some high-protein content dog food, this one might be the one for your Shih Poo. Also, protein is not the only thing this dog food has high levels of. It also has antioxidant-rich veggies and fruits to support the immune system.
Another beneficial component of this product of Earthborn Holistic is that it has an optimum amount of omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids. These two are very good for your dog to maintain his shiny and healthy coat.
Also, it might be a little detail, but the package of this dog food is environment friendly, BPA-free, resealable, and 100% recyclable.
Best Natural Recipe: Acana Singles Formula, Duck And Pear Dog Food
About: Acana Singles Formula is all about the natural ingredients because they are working collaboratively with people from farms and ranches. The duck meat used in it is delivered to their kitchen in Kentucky, fresh and raw.
Features: The first thing to look at in this product is the real duck meat. Acana Singles Formula is made according to a limited ingredient and nutrient-dense recipe to meet the protein need of energetic Shih Poos. Since it is made of duck meat, the protein amount is very high in this dog food.
Dogs need the other parts of the meat, such as organs, cartilage, and bone, and they would eat them if they are in the wild. Acana Singles Formula contains meat, organs, cartilage, and bone that dogs need in their diet.
The ingredients used in this product are very rich and natural such as pumpkin and squash. Instead of gluten, potato, or tapioca, they preferred to use whole vegetables and fruits. That is very good for Shih Poo dogs with stomach sensitivities or gluten allergies.
The only thing we did not like is the duck meal in it. Even though they are as good as meat, we do not advise pet parents to buy dog food that has meat meals. Real meat should be the first source of protein for dogs for the health of their bones and muscles.
Shih Poo is a small dog breed, and they usually reach their adult size half the time that it takes for other dog breeds. For instance, Shih Poo dogs grow up and reach their full size in a year while it takes two years for another dog breed.
That is why they need to eat dog food specially designed for them when they are growing up. It is also a fact that puppies require more calories to keep up with the growth of their bones and muscles.
What Should I Look for In A Healthy Shih Poo Dog Food?
High Protein Content for Your Shih Poo to Grow Muscles and Bones
Since Shih Poo dogs grow up so fast, they also need more protein than adult-sized Shih Poos. However, adult Shih Poos also need high protein to maintain. So, the need for protein does not change with the age of the dog. However, puppies indeed need twice the amount of protein to grow their muscles and bones than adults.
However, there are not many things that can boost up the protein levels in dog food other than the real meat. So, you should look for dog food with real meat as the first ingredient to ensure that your dog is actually eating what he needs. The meat should be actual meat, such as salmon, chicken, or lamb.
Whether the origin of the protein is vague or somewhat obscure, it is not likely to come from raw meat sources. Like human food, food labels on dog food containing additives that you do not know or can’t identify can be a clear sign of food containing unhealthy and needless chemicals.
Omega Fatty Acids for Your Shih Poo’s Healthy Skin, Fur, Organs and Joint Tissues
Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for dogs, especially for Shih Poo dogs. We recommend Shih Poo parents to buy dog food that contains these fatty acids because they are necessary for healthy muscles and organs.
However, we can say that the most important thing omega fatty acids are responsible for is keeping the fur of your dog healthy and shiny and making joint tissues stronger. If your dog does not consume omega fatty acids as a part of his diet, he can face numerous diseases and health issues.
Among those problems, he can face skin and coat disorders, which might result in over shedding and fungal growth. Another problem might include heart or digestion issues, or maybe sight problems.
Omega-3 fatty acids are the best when they come from real meat, especially from fish meat and flaxseed. We should mention how beneficial flaxseed is in this sense because it is another good source for omega-3 fatty acids for Shih Poo dogs. If you spot flaxseed in the ingredients list in dog food, you can safely say that it is a good source of fatty acids.
Other nutrient dogs need omega-6 fatty acids. They are also known as linoleic acid, and arachidonic acid and vegetables are the most common source you can find them. Omega-6 fatty acids are often found in soybean and canola oils, chicken, and other animal fats.
Water for General Well Being of your Shih Poo Dog
Food should not be the only concern that you should have and provide for your dog as a pet parent. There is another important thing for the survival of all living beings: water. Make sure that you always have fresh and clean water available for your Shih Poo. Because hydration is as important as being nourished.
The amount of water your dog needs will vary on many things: his size, activity level if he is on medication or not, the things he eats, and the weather. The standard amount of water for dogs is one ounce of water per pound of weight. You can do the math for your dog here.
If your dog is very active, the amount of water you should provide for him will increase. The same applies to hot weather conditions and if he is on certain medications. If he is on a dry food diet, make sure that he is also getting enough water to balance it out.
Your Shih Poo will definitely be fine with fresh tap water. You do not need anything fancy with the water. However, if the tap water in your house is labeled as harmful for human consumption, it is also harmful to your Shih Poo. Some pet parents prefer to serve bottled spring water, which is totally fine if it is not distilled water.
Because distilled water is a processed product and some healthy minerals, your Shih Poo needs are removed during that process. We recommend not giving distilled water because Shih Poos will not be hydrated enough.
Calcium and Phosphorus for Your Shih Poo’s Bone Health
Calcium and phosphorus especially play a significant role in puppy Shih Poos’s development since they are constantly growing. So, you have to make sure that they are getting enough calcium and phosphorus for their bone structure.
It is a fact that puppies need more calcium and phosphorus for their health than adult Shih Poos. On the one hand, too much calcium can also lead to an increased chance of getting hip dysplasia in adult dogs. On the other hand, too little calcium can result in bone fractures and stunted growth. So, it is crucial to have a balance.
If you are wondering where to supply calcium and phosphorus for your dog’s diet, it is commonly found in whole meats such as chicken, beef, turkey, and fish. It can also be found in chicken backs and wings. So, if you want to provide enough calcium, you have to look for dog food with these meats.
Even though it lacks phosphorus, eggshells are an excellent source of calcium. Balanced dog food would generally have more calcium than phosphorus. But the gap should never be more than 50%.
Vitamins and Minerals for Your Shih Poo’s Immune System
Vitamins and minerals are essential when it comes to a balanced diet. They promote the immune system as well as bone structure and teeth of dogs. Also, vitamins might do wonders in case of inflammation, which is very important for dogs with joint problems. Minerals are required for the replacement of and building new tissues.
It is true that whole grains are very rich in vitamins and minerals, but they should not be the first thing you should look for in dog food. Actually, it is best to avoid grains to be on the safe side because dogs can develop allergies to them. An excellent and dependable source of vitamins and minerals is vegetables and meat for dogs.
Fish oil, eggs, carrots, spinach, or sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A for instance. For Vitamin B, green vegetables, beans, and whole brown rice are rich in it. Vitamin C is found in potatoes, green beans, and zucchini.
In addition to the above-mentioned calcium and phosphorus minerals, sodium, potassium, chloride, copper, magnesium, iron, iodine, sulfur, and zinc are among the other essential minerals your Shih Poo requires for healthy living.
Fiber for the Digestive System of Shih Poo Dogs
Fiber is essential for the digestive system in both humans and dogs. It is not surprising, but your Shih Poo needs dog food that has plenty of fiber. If he is constantly eating dry food, he might face with constipation, and fiber is essential for the solution to that problem.
Fiber will make your dog feel full, reducing the risk of overeating and all of the risks and negative outcomes of eating more than he needs.
Also, fiber can help preserve bowel health, support metabolism of your Shih Poo. For dogs with diabetes, it can help sustain daily blood sugar levels. Good sources of fiber can be found in oat bran, whole brown rice hulls, and even peanut hulls. Make sure that your dog’s food has some of it.
Conclusion: Best Dog Food for Shih Poo (2020 Reviews)
Shih Poo is an adorable and small dog breed with endless energy. It might seem like you cannot contain them, but there is actually an endpoint. When that happens, as a pet parent, you should be able to feed him with the best dog food to replenish his energy sources.
But picking the dog food according to the needs of their Shih Poo might be a challenge for some pet parents who do not know much about dog food. That is why we wanted to help you out by picking the 5 dog food for Shih Poo dogs.
We hope that this article was helpful. Make sure that you read our Buyer’s Guide section to get extra information on dog food. Because picking the right dog food for your Shih Poo might seem easy, but actually, it requires some effort.