Shih Tzu puppies are undoubtedly one of the most adorable dog breeds out there.
If you have adopted or are considering adopting a Shih Tzu puppy, you will need to know how much to feed a Shih Tzu puppy in order to ensure that he grows as healthy as you would like him to.
But, knowing how much to feed the puppy is only part of the equation. You should know what the feeding needs are for the puppies at different ages and what kind of food your puppy should be eating.
How Much Should A Shih Tzu Puppy Eat?
Knowing how much to feed your Shih Tzu puppy is incredibly important to maintaining a healthy, growing dog.
The amount will vary a bit based on your puppy’s age and the type of food that you are feeding him because you need to look at his caloric needs and intake.
That said, if we are making generalizations, your puppy should be getting somewhere between three-fourths cup and one cup of food a day per 10 pounds of weight. Since they are such small dogs, it is likely going to be even less than that.
Shih Tzu Puppy Feeding Chart
When you are considering how much to feed a Shih Tzu puppy, you should understand how to calculate your puppy’s resting energy requirement (RER).
This refers to the amount of calories a body needs for basic organ function, like the brain and heart. You can calculate this by multiplying your dog’s body weight in kilograms to the three-fourths power by 70.
Say your Shih Tzu puppy weighs 3 pounds. Then, he will need about 88 calories based on his RER, but if he is under 3 months of age, that number needs to be tripled. If your Shih Tzu puppy is over 4 months of age, the number should be doubled.
2 Week Old Shih Tzu Puppy
At 2 weeks old, you should not be feeding your puppy anything really. If you are with a 2 week old Shih Tzupuppy, it should mean that you have the mother as well.
A 2 week old Shih Tzu puppy still needs to be with his mother and should be nursing on demand. You should not be giving your puppy any kibble or food at all.
When a puppy is this old, he will start to gain a mild awareness of the world around him, but he will not be leaving his mother’s side yet.
4 Week Old Shih Tzu Puppy
At 4 weeks old, your Shih Tzu puppy should still be with his mother. Chances are good that the mother is still not too willing to leave her puppies for too long, but is likely to separate herself to get breaks now and then.
If you would like to see whether your puppy is interested in puppy food, you can try to tempt him with only a tablespoon or so of puppy kibble and see whether he wants to eat it. If he has no interest, then it is not quite his time to be introduced to it.
6 Week Old Shih Tzu Puppy
By the time that your Shih Tzu puppy is 6 weeks old, you should be introducing him to more and more food.
The mother of the puppies should be leaving the puppies by now and will likely be less and less willing to feed the puppies. You can feed the puppies kibble by now and move toward having it be the primary food source.
You should just have the food available for the puppy to eat at will, putting out three-quarters of a cup of food a day for one puppy, but you will need more if you are working with a litter.
8 Week Old Shih Tzu Puppy
When a puppy is 8 weeks old, it is usually the time to have the puppy rehomed, away from his mother. He should be completely reliant on kibble at this point, with no nursing from the mother at all.
You should still be freefeeding the puppy, which means putting the puppy’s daily allotment of food out at a time and allow him to graze on the food at will.
That way, he will eat when he needs to. Still measure how much you put out to see whether he is eating it all by the end of the day.
10 Week Old Shih Tzu Puppy
At 10 weeks of age, your Shih Tzu puppy will still need to have food available for him to eat when he is hungry.
He should be eating a little bit more by now, but since they are still very small dogs, you might not need to alter the quantity of food that you are giving your puppy.
Your puppy likely still has the round puppy tummy at this point, which will make it hard to know whether your puppy is getting too many calories or not, so you will want to rely on knowing how many calories your puppy should be getting, using the RER calculation as a guide.
12 Week Old Shih Tzu Puppy
You will not want to freefeed your puppy past 12 weeks of age, but you can still be freefeeding your puppy at this point. Remember to measure how much food that you have been putting out in the morning to see how much he is eating throughout the day.
His waist should be more defined by this point, making it easier to determine whether your puppy looks like he is a healthy size or whether he is over or underweight.
It is always good to have weight checks done by the vet and to always confirm that he is staying on his growth curve.
Best Puppy Food For Shih Tzu
#1. Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy Food
Our choice for the best Shih Tzu puppy food is the Eukanuba Small Breed Puppy Formula. This dry dog food has been designed to support the nutritional needs for a growing small breed dog.
The food is loaded with good nutrition, including calcium and phosphorus, as well as DHA, ensuring that your dog will have what he needs to become a healthy adult.
- Chicken is the first ingredient
- Calcium and Phosphorus
- Made for dogs under 23 pounds
- Supports brain health
- Some dog owners have reported trouble with their dogs digesting this food
Now Fresh Small Breed Puppy: Our second choice for the best Shih Tzu puppy food is the Now Fresh Small Breed Puppy food.
This is another food that has been especially formulated for small breeds of dogs.
It also is grain-free, so you will not need to worry about unnecessary fillers or calories that will not help with nutrition. It also has both DHA and EPA for brain development.
- Formulated for small breeds
- Has turkey, salmon, and duck
- Both DHA and EPA for brain development
- Balanced proteins
- The kibble size is too small for some dogs
#3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Food
Another great food choice for your Shih Tzu puppy is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy. This food is small for small breeds and it meets all of the nutritional needs that your puppy might have.
It is also grain free and by-product free, showing you that it contains the best ingredients possible. The only complaint with this food is that some dogs don’t like the taste.
- Made for small breeds
- Full of Calcium and Phosphorus
- DHA and ARA for brain development
- No by-product meals
- Some dogs are not happy about the taste
#4. Royal Canin Shih Tzu Puppy Dog Food
The Royal Canin Shih Tzu Puppy Food is another great food for your Shih Tzu puppy. This food is different than the others that we have reviewed, because it is made especially for the Shih Tzu breed rather than just small dogs.
That means that they have focused on the nutritional needs of Shih Tzu’s especially, which includes the size of kibble, the flora used to help digestion, antioxidants and DHA.
- Easy to eat kibble
- Made for Shih Tzu Puppies
- EPA and DHA for healthy skin and coat
- Complex antioxidants
- Good for digestive health
- We didn’t find any
#5. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Small Breed
The final food that we will recommend for your Shih Tzu puppy is the Purina Pro Plan Puppy Small Breed Formula. This formula focuses heavily on brain health and development and still meets all of the nutritional needs that you will want for your puppy.
The food also contains a high amount of live probiotics and is high in protein, both of which will ensure that your dog is as healthy as he can be.
- Delicious flavour
- High protein
- Live probiotics
- No artificial colors or flavours
- Real chicken
- Contains grains
Understanding Shih Tzu Puppy Nutritional Needs
Looking through all of the food options, it can easily become confusing about which dog food is the right choice for your Shih Tzu puppy.
Understanding what the Shih Tzu puppy’s nutritional needs are can help you decide which food choice is really the better option for your dog.
You will want to feed your dog a high-quality dog food that has natural preservatives rather than added preservatives.
You will want to look for wholesome ingredients as well, which includes human-grade meats, veggies, and fruits. Some owners prefer to give their dogs a grain-free diet, so that is something else to look at when looking at food.
Kibble vs Wet Food For Shih Tzu Puppies
When it comes to kibble, or dry food, versus wet food, there are pros and cons to both. Wet food is generally more appetizing for dogs than kibble is and it is easy to get picky dogs to eat it.
It is also bad for their teeth, more expensive, and can cause diarrhoea.
Meanwhile, kibble is better for your dog’s teeth, is easier on the stomach, and is more cost effective. It is the better food overall, though the taste is just not as preferred as wet food is.
You also could mix a little bit of wet food with kibble to get the benefits of both.
2-Month-Old Shih Tzu Puppy Weight
When your Shih Tzu puppy is 2 months old, he could weigh anywhere from 11 ounces up to about 2 pounds.
The variation in the weight depends a lot on the sex of the pup and the genetics, but regardless, you know that the puppy is going to be very small at this age.
This is a toy breed, so they are never going to weigh very much. This weight is mostly determined by their birth weight as well.
3-Month-Old Shih Tzu Puppy Weight
You will not notice much of a difference in size between 2 and 3 months old when it comes to your Shih Tzu puppy. The puppy is still going to be very small.
He might weigh a pound at this point, but he could also weigh as much as 2.5 pounds, depending on the natural size of the dog. Every ounce matters when it comes to a dog this size, so watching his weight is important.
4-Month-Old Shih Tzu Puppy Weight
By the time your Shih Tzu puppy is 4 months old, you can expect your Shih Tzu puppy to weigh just over a pound, but he also might weigh as much as 3.5 pounds at this point, depending on the size of your Shih Tzu puppy.
If he is not staying on his growth curve, make sure to check in with your vet and make sure there isn’t anything wrong.
How Much Do Shih Tzu Grow Each Week?
The amount that your Shih Tzu puppy grows each week depends on the size of your Shih Tzu puppy. Some of the smaller Shih Tzu puppies will only gain around an ounce a week, but the larger Shih Tzu puppies can gain as much as 3 or even 4 ounces every week.
The larger Shih Tzu puppies will grow bigger faster than the smaller dogs will and the smaller dogs will reach their final adult size at a younger age than larger dogs will.
Switching From Puppy Food To Adult Food
When your puppy is about 9 months to a year old, it will be time to switch your Shih Tzu puppy from puppy food to adult food. When you do this, you will want to do it very gradually over the course of a week.
Start by adding in a tablespoon or so of adult food and removing the same amount of puppy food. Do this slowly until there is only adult food by reducing the puppy amount and increasing the adult amount a day.
What If My Shih Tzu Won’t Eat?
It can be concerning if your puppy isn’t eating his food. There are a few different explanations for it, however. The first question is whether you have changed your puppy’s food recently.
If you have, your puppy might not be quite used to it yet or appreciate the new flavor. You can mix a little bit of wet food with his kibble to help with the taste.
If you haven’t changed your puppy’s food and he has suddenly stopped eating, it is time to talk to your vet to make sure there isn’t anything wrong.
Can You Freefeed A Shih Tzu Puppy?
When your Shih Tzu puppy is less than 3 months old, freefeeding is a good idea. This is where you just have fresh food available at all times for your puppy.
While you should not do this with large breeds, with toy breeds, the dogs are more prone to drops in blood sugar and should have access to food so that they can eat when they need to.
When your Shih Tzu puppy is over 3 months old, it is time to stop freefeeding and opt to feed your puppy 3 meals a day up until he reaches his first birthday.
Should You Feed A Shih Tzu Puppy Supplements?
All of us naturally want the best for our pups, so it can be really tempting to give your puppy nutritional supplements. After all, supplements are there to ensure that the dog isn’t missing any essential nutrients, right? This is not the case in actuality.
Supplements are required when there is something lacking in a diet or in the body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients.
If you give them to an otherwise healthy puppy, you risk overdosing your dog and making him sick. If you truly believe your puppy needs supplements, you must discuss the matter with your vet first.
How Much Water Should A Shih Tzu Puppy Drink?
Toy dog breeds should have about 8 ounces of water per 5 pounds of water a day. That means that if your Shih Tzu puppy weighs around 2.5 pounds, you would need to make sure that your puppy drinks about 4 ounces of water a day.
That said, unlike with feeding, your puppy should always have access to water if he needs it. You can remove it at night time if you are working on housebreaking, but otherwise, make sure there is water available to drink.
How Much Exercise Does A Shih Tzu Puppy Need A Day?
Puppies are still growing animals, so too much exercise for them can be a really bad thing. Their bones and joints have not finished growing and overexertion can cause injury.
But they still need some exercise. Before his first birthday, it would not be a good idea to take your dog out for longer than 20 minutes at a time.
You should aim to take him out for a walk twice a day, but for brief intervals that have more to do with going to the bathroom than the exercise.