Having a furry little Shih Tzu running around the house is a dream come true for every dog lover. As cute as they are, they are also very loveable and they can brighten up the atmosphere of your dull house.
However, when it comes to maintaining them and their diet it becomes quite a pickle for some people. They require proper love, attention, and a diet filled with nutrition. Protein should be divided equally amongst each meal.
They cannot be overfed either as it causes health issues. So, here rises a question. How much should a Shih Tzu eat? If you’re looking for the answer then you are at the right place.
How much should a Shih Tzu eat?
The amount of food a Shih Tzu should eat depends on the age and size of the dog. It varies from puppies to adults. Generally, a puppy Shih Tzu should eat 1 ounce of food per pound of its body and an adult Shih Tzu should eat ½ ounce of food per pound of its body.
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Giving your Shih Tzu the correct amount of meal is essential. Overfeeding will cause obesity and other health complications and feeding it less will cause vitamin and iron deficiency along with several other health issues.
As your Shih Tzu grows, its general food intake needs to be reduced. For a puppy Shih, Tzu 1 cup of high-quality dry food is recommended whereas for an Adult Shih Tzu ½ cup is recommended.
However, it is better to give them food according to their weight. We know that for a toy breed, Shih Tzu dogs and puppies are picky eaters and their meals are needed to be measured right and the amount cannot vary from one meal to another.
So, you have to be careful while deciding on how much food you want to provide each meal as they get used to that eating habit. Shih Tzu puppies and dogs are fuzzy when it comes to eating.
Below given is a detailed guide along with a feeding chart to help you understand the food consumption of your Shih Tzu according to its age.
2 to 3-week-old Shih Tzu:
2-3 weeks old Shih Tzu is very fragile and needs to be handled with great care. They should not be separated from their mother at such a young age.
However, in case of an orphan Shih Tzu or any other complication they are needed to be given formulated milk.
For every 100 grams of body weight at this age, a Shih Tzu will require 25-35 ml of Formula. The amount of formula needs to be divided into four meals and needs to be fed using a bottle.
You must make sure to feed the proper formula four times a day with your own hands as they are unable to consume the formula all by themselves at such a young age.
4 to 5 week old Shih Tzu:
At this age, they certainly become able to consume food other than formula. They need to be given 2 ounces of food per pound of their body weight.
For example, if your Shih Tzu weighs 5 pounds then it should be 10 ounces of food and if it weighs 6 pounds it should be given 12 ounces of food.
At this age, the amount of food needs to be divided into 4 equal portions and given four times a day. The timing needs to be maintained strictly. The food should be provided at equal time intervals.
6 to 7 week old Shih Tzu:
The diet of a 6 to 7 week Shih Tzu is similar to the diet of a 4 to 5 week old puppy. However, at this point, the weight of your Shih Tzu will change and it is advised to give 1-2 ounces of food per body weight.
Generally, at 6 to 7 weeks a Shih Tzu weighs 3.5 to 4 lbs so they require approximately 3.5 to 8 ounces of food divided into 4-6 meals as per the owner’s convenience.
8 to 9 week old Shih Tzu:
Shih Tzu weighs around 3.75 lbs to 4.25 lbs at 8 to 9 weeks old. So, with approx estimation, they require 4 to 10 ounces of food divided into 4 meals each day.
The consumption depends on the owner. It is okay to give 1 to 2 ounces of food per lb of weight even though it makes quite a gap between the ranges of amount of food advised to be provided.
10 to 11 week old Shih Tzu:
At 10 to 11 weeks old a Shih Tzu supposedly weighs 4 to 5 lbs so they are advised to give 1 ounce of food per pound of its weight which means they require 4 to 5 ounces of food divided into 4 meals per day.
3 month old Shih Tzu:
To make it easier for you to understand we can rephrase the terms in which we were measuring the amount of food. From 3 months of age 1 cup of food is needed to be equally divided into 4 meals.
So, 1/4th of a cup needs to be given at each meal in 6 hour intervals throughout the whole day.
4 month old Shih Tzu:
A 4 month old Shih Tzu requires 1.25 cups of food equally divided into 4 meals. This is the easier way of putting this. However, you can feed your Shih Tzu one ounce per pound of its weight if you want to be very precise.
1.25 cups is more than enough for the picky eaters too which means 1 and 1/4th of a cup.
5 month old Shih Tzu:
A 5 month old Shih Tzu requires 1.35 cups of food equally divided into 4 meals each day. The amount of food gradually increases till 6 months and then decreases as the Shih Tzu puppy starts becoming an adult.
6 month old Shih Tzu:
As the Shih Tzu becomes 6 months old it becomes less fragile and its delicacy is reduced. From 6 months of age, you can start giving your Shih Tzu 2 meals per day.
6 months Shih Tzu needs 1.35 cups of food per day. It can be divided into 2-3 meals as per your convenience. As the Shih Tzu grows the number of food increases but the number of meals can be decreased.
7 month old Shih Tzu:
7 month Shih Tzu requires 1.5 cups of food per day. You can also provide the food according to its weight.
8 month old Shih Tzu:
There is not much of a difference between 7 months and 8 month old Shih Tzu. So, for 8 months Shih Tzu needs 1.5 cups of food per day.
9 month old Shih Tzu:
9 month old Shih Tzu needs 1.75 cups of food per day. By this age, your Shih Tzu is very close to being an adult so the food intake increases gradually.
10 month old Shih Tzu:
10 month old Shih Tzu needs 1.75 cups of food per day. Comparing the body weight per ounce of food will also give you a similar amount. Using this cupping method to measure food is far more convenient.
|Expected dog weight (pounds)
|Recommended amount of food per day (cups)
|Daily calorie intake (approx)
|25-35 ml formula
|25-35 ml formula
|8 week or 2 month
|12 week or 3 month
Are you overfeeding your Shih Tzu or not feeding enough?
The simplest way would be measuring their body weight and comparing how many ounces of food is given per pound of its body weight.
Other ways will help you to determine whether you are overfeeding or not feeding your Shih Tzu enough. To check whether they are overfed, you can check their abdomen.
The abdomen is supposed to be tucked in towards the body. However, if you find a bit of belly peeking then they are supposedly overweight. You can also check their movements to see if they are too lazy.
Being too lazy and unable to move is also one of the ways of determining obesity. On the other hand, not feeding them enough will lead to weight loss and malnutrition.
You need to check whether your dog is showing tendencies of malnutrition and lethargy. This way you can comprehend that there are lacking in its diet and it needs to be fixed immediately.
In both the scenarios of overfeeding and not feeding enough, your Shih Tzu is exposed to great risks.
How frequently to feed your Shih Tzu?
It depends on the age of the Shih Tzu. Up to 6 months of age they are advised to be fed 4 meals at equal time intervals. As they gradually grow the number of meals is reduced.
From 6 months to 1 year of age, feeding them 3 times a day is highly encouraged. After your Shih Tzu turns 1 year old the number of meals can be reduced to 2 meals per day. However, an evening snack will not hurt their diet.
Recommended feeding time:
If you are giving four meals a day then you need to divide the meals into equal time intervals. Hence, it is better if you match the timing with your Shih Tzu’s sleeping schedule.
If you are giving 3 meals then the recommended time is afternoon during your lunch, evening during your snack time, and at night during your supper.
Finally, for 2 meals per day you are advised to feed your Shih Tzu once during the afternoon and once at night.
To sum up, you can feed your Shih Tzu ½-2 ounces of food per pound of its weight. As they grow the number of meals is reduced. Make sure to refrain from overfeeding your Shih Tzu. Around 1.75 cups of food should be enough for an adult Shih Tzu. Make sure to divide the food in times.