Shih-Tzu Puppy Feeding Tips

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Feeding a dog might seem easy to someone on the outside looking in. It may seem at first as simple as buying a bag of food and pouring it into a bowl, but this isn't necessarily the case. Different dog breeds have different nutritional requirements, and even within a breed nutritional needs can change from the time that the dog is a puppy to when it is an adult. Feeding a Shih-Tzu puppy isn't difficult, but to ensure that the puppy is healthy, care should be taken to make sure that its specific nutritional needs are being met.

Scheduled Feedings

  • Feed your Shih-Tzu puppy on a relatively tight schedule if you plan on maintaining specific feeding times. Scheduled feedings can help you to give the puppy some boundaries, and can also make bathroom needs fairly predictable (which is extremely helpful as far as house training goes since they will learn that shortly after they eat it's time to go to the bathroom.) Feed approximately ½ ounce of dry food for every pound of dog four times per day until the puppy is 12 weeks old; once they reach that age, reduce feeding times progressively until they have a morning meal and an evening meal. It is suggested that you have a time limit for your dog, usually about 30 minutes per meal.

Free Feeding

  • Some owners feel that leaving food out for their Shih-Tzu puppy is the easiest way to ensure that their puppy gets adequate nutrition. Allowing your dog to free feed can be an easy solution and can aide your puppy in developing a sense of independence. Free feeding must be monitored, however, as if the food is there your Shih-Tzu may attempt to eat everything in the bowl regardless of whether it feels full. Watch your puppy's feeding sessions to make sure that they aren't going to eat until they become sick; if they don't seem to have any problems with free feeding, it can be a much easier way to handle the feeding of your puppy.

Homemade Foods

  • Some breeders and many veterinarians will suggest that you give your Shih-Tzu puppy high-quality, nutritional foods which can be made at home in order to ensure optimal nutrition. The healthiest foods for Shih Tzu's include organs such as livers and brains, lean cuts of meat such as chicken, lamb, and fish, vegetables such as potatoes or broccoli, and starches like rice and pasta. Quantities should be given in that order, with organ meat making up more of the meal than the starches. Homemade food allows you to be in complete control of what goes into your puppy's tummy, as there are no preservatives, food colors, or artificial flavors in home-made food. These foods should be served with scheduled feedings in order to prevent bacterial growth, and should be prepared in the same manner that you would prepare your own food in order to avoid food-borne illness.

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