How much should a Shih-Tzu eat?
Your Shi-Tzu diet is very essential to ensure it’s getting all the minerals, supplements and vitamins that it needs to stay healthy. However, determining how much to feed a Shi-Tzu is quite challenging. There is no one size fits it all and it is hard to know whether you are feeding them with the right amount of food.
Overfeeding puts your dog at increased risk of heart problems, high blood pressure and diabetes. Underfeeding, on the other hand, can lead to nutrient deficiencies. When you feed your pet right amount of food, it is able to maintain a healthy body weight. This is important for their overall wellbeing.
This guide will help you determine how much your Shi Tzu should be eating every day. With that said, we highly recommend seeking advice from your vet prior to implementing any major changes to your dog’s diet.
- A normal Shih-Tzu requires approximately 1 to 1.5 cups of food per day. Nonetheless, this is elicited by the dog's distinct circumstances such as weight, age, and the kind of food. So it is not a one size fits all.
- How much you feed a Shih-Tzu puppy is different from how much you feed a fully grown dog.
Factors that affects how much a Shih-Tzu eats
The initial step in understanding the quantity your Shih-Tzu requires to consume is to discover more about your dog. Here are a few factors that determine how much food to feed your pet:
1. Weight of the dog
Whenever you go to the market to buy dog food, you will notice that most labels or packages have feeding tables with precise instructions. The feeding charts are based on the dog's weight. Therefore it is paramount that you consider weighing your dog and getting its precise weight.
Shih-Tzu’s standard weight is between 10-19 pounds. Where does your furry friend fit across the spectrum? Taking her to the veterinarian for weighing on a dog's recommended weighing scale will give you an exact weight or you can do it yourself at home.
How to weight your dog at home
First, you will need an accurate weigh scale. You will weigh yourself and get your exact weight. You will then proceed to take both your dog and yourself for weighing together. This is how it is done.
- Hold your furry friend in your arms
- Step on the weighing scale
- Take the readings
- Take away your weight from this weight you have just recorded with your dog
- The difference is your pooch’s weight
Be very cautious as you do this because your dog's weight will determine how much it should eat. Having known exactly its weight, you can now look at the feeding charts on dog food packaging and provide the quantity as per their weight.
For example, if your dog weighs 10 pounds, then it will consume approximately 5 ounces of grub per day. And if it weighs about six pounds, then it will need six ounces of grub every day.
2. Dog’s Age
You may be having puppies and adult dogs. Puppies eat more than the adults because they are growing. The adults only need half of what the small dog needs. A puppy may consume 1 ounce of grub per pound of its weight. The puppy is more active and needs this quantity. The adult dog will need half quantity of what the puppy consumes as per its body weight.
An adult dog will not need a lot of calories as compared to puppies but slightly less. Senior dogs will need fewer calories than the other group of dogs – puppies and adult dogs. This dog which is now senior according to its age has become less active and their bodies do not need much fuel like the younger ones.
3. Calorie requirements
Another circumstance is where your dog might be obese. You will need the expertise of a vet to discuss with him nutrition options for your Shi-Tzu. Over weight canines will automatically need lower calories whereas the opposite happens with underweight dogs. An underweight dog will also require the expertise of a vet, with whom you will discuss diet adjustments.
For the overweight dogs, there is a need to give a lower calorie diet or enroll it on a program where it will be feeding on weight management nourishment. This program is best drawn by a vet.
The underweight dog needs a plan of adjusting her diet and increasing the food intake coupled with your vet's input.
4. Activity level
Dogs who regularly get lots of exercise burn more calories than inactive dogs. Thus, they need to eat more.
5. Health conditions
Your Shih-Tzu might be feeling unwell and is not able to eat as you expected. It might be having issues with its teeth and cannot chew its food well or is a picky feeder. Some of the health conditions that need to be taken into consideration include:
- Dental problems
- Joint and bone problems
What is your next step in action?
Any sick dog or one with underlying health conditions may need to eat differently. The much to eat or when to take their food varies. Dogs with a food allergy will need to have an alternative feeding program.
Your point of action is to consult your vet who will fix the problem. In case your dog has any stomach virus, the vet will put it on a diet for one or two weeks, where its diet will be comprised of lean chicken and rice. You may also want to consider yogurt for stomach upsets. For constipation consider pumpkins.
Feed your Shih-Tzu in a clean shallow bowl at the exact feeding time set for her. She ought not to feed the whole day. It can lead to it becoming overweight. The feeding program should be strictly followed and the right amount given according to the factors highlighted above. Puppies will literally eat more than their adult counterparts.