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Picky Eaters? 9 Tips to Improve Your Shih Tzu’s Eating Habits

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Shih Tzu healthy diet tips

Hey there, fellow Shih Tzu lover! If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve got a furry friend who’s a bit finicky when it comes to mealtime. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many Shih Tzu pups can be picky eaters, but with the right approach, you can help them develop healthier eating habits and ensure they’re getting the nutrition they need to thrive. In this article, we’ll explore ten practical tips to improve your Shih Tzu’s eating habits and make mealtime a more enjoyable experience for both of you.

Understand Your Shih Tzu’s Preferences

Every dog has their own unique tastes and preferences when it comes to food. Take some time to observe what your Shih Tzu enjoys eating and what they tend to avoid. This can give you valuable insights into their likes and dislikes, allowing you to tailor their meals accordingly.

Gradually Introduce New Foods 

If your Shih Tzu is hesitant to try new foods, introduce them gradually. Mix small amounts of the new food with their regular diet and gradually increase the proportion over time. This gentle approach can help them acclimate to new flavors and textures without overwhelming their taste buds.

Stick to a Consistent Feeding Schedule 

Establishing a regular feeding schedule can help regulate your Shih Tzu’s appetite and make mealtime more predictable for them. Aim to feed them at the same times each day and avoid leaving food out for extended periods, as this can contribute to picky eating behavior.

Offer High-Quality, Nutritious Food 

Invest in high-quality, nutritious food that is specifically formulated for small breed dogs like Shih Tzus. Look for options that contain real meat as the primary ingredient and avoid fillers and artificial additives. A balanced diet is essential for your Shih Tzu’s overall health and well-being.

Keep Meal Portions Small and Manageable 

Avoid overfeeding your Shih Tzu by keeping meal portions small and manageable. This can prevent them from feeling overwhelmed and encourage them to finish their food. It’s also a good idea to divide their daily food allowance into multiple small meals throughout the day to prevent overeating.

Make Mealtime Fun and Interactive

Turn mealtime into a fun and interactive experience for your Shih Tzu by using puzzle feeders or food-dispensing toys. These engaging devices can stimulate their mind and encourage them to work for their food, making mealtime more satisfying and enjoyable.

Stay Calm and Patient

Patience is key when dealing with a picky eater. Avoid getting frustrated or forcing your Shih Tzu to eat, as this can create a negative association with food. Instead, stay calm, patient, and supportive, and continue to offer them nutritious options until they find something they enjoy.

Avoid Feeding Table Scraps

While it may be tempting to share your meals with your Shih Tzu, avoid feeding them table scraps on a regular basis. Human food can be high in calories, fat, and sodium, and may not provide the balanced nutrition that your pup needs. Stick to their regular diet and offer healthy treats in moderation.

Consult with Your Veterinarian

If your Shih Tzu’s picky eating persists despite your best efforts, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian. They can rule out any underlying health issues that may be contributing to their appetite changes and provide personalized advice and recommendations.


Improving your Shih Tzu’s eating habits requires patience, consistency, and a willingness to experiment with different approaches. By understanding their preferences, offering nutritious options, and creating a positive mealtime environment, you can help your picky eater develop healthier habits and enjoy mealtime to the fullest.


Can I spoil my Shih Tzu with treats to encourage them to eat?

While treats can be used as occasional rewards, it’s essential to avoid overindulging your Shih Tzu, as this can lead to weight gain and other health issues. Stick to healthy, low-calorie treats and use them sparingly.

My Shih Tzu refuses to eat dry kibble. What should I do?

If your Shih Tzu prefers wet food over dry kibble, consider incorporating moistening agents like warm water or low-sodium broth into their meals to enhance palatability. You can also try mixing dry kibble with wet food for added flavor and texture.

Should I be concerned if my Shih Tzu skips a meal?

Occasional skipped meals are not uncommon, especially if your Shih Tzu is feeling unwell or experiencing stress. However, if your pup consistently refuses to eat or shows other signs of illness, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

How can I tell if my Shih Tzu is a picky eater or if there’s a more serious problem?

If your Shih Tzu consistently refuses to eat or shows signs of distress during mealtime, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues. They can conduct a thorough examination and recommend appropriate diagnostic tests if necessary.

Are there any natural supplements I can give my Shih Tzu to stimulate their appetite?

While there are various natural supplements available that claim to stimulate appetite in dogs, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new supplements into your Shih Tzu’s diet. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your pup’s individual needs and health status.

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