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Maltese Shih Tzu Diet – What & How Much Do They Eat?

The Maltese Shih Tzu is an adorable and affectionate crossbreed between the Maltese and Shih Tzu breeds. As a popular companion dog, their well-being and health are of utmost importance to their owners. One crucial aspect of caring for a Maltese Shih Tzu is providing them with a proper diet that meets their specific nutritional needs.

What Do Maltese Shih Tzus Eat?

Maltese Shih Tzus can be fed a variety of foods, including:

  • Commercial Dog Food: High-quality commercial dog food, whether dry kibble, wet canned food, or balanced freeze-dried options, can provide a complete and balanced diet for these dogs. Look for reputable brands that list meat as the primary ingredient and avoid those with excessive fillers and additives.
  • Raw Diet: Some owners opt for a raw diet, also known as a BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet, which consists of uncooked meat, bones and vegetables. However, it’s essential to ensure the diet is appropriately balanced and does not pose health risks.
  • Homemade Meals: Preparing homemade meals using veterinarian-approved recipes allows for full control over ingredients and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a Maltese Shih Tzu. It’s essential to consult a veterinary nutritionist to ensure the meals are nutritionally complete.

Nutritional Needs of Maltese Shih Tzus

To maintain optimal health, Maltese Shih Tzus require a well-balanced diet that provides essential nutrients in the right proportions. Key nutritional needs include:

  • Protein: As carnivorous descendants, protein is crucial for the growth and maintenance of their lean muscle mass. High-quality animal-based proteins such as chicken, turkey, beef and fish are ideal for meeting their protein requirements.
  • Carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates from sources like brown rice, sweet potatoes and peas provide a steady source of energy and aid in digestive health.
  • Fats: Healthy fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are essential for skin and coat health, as well as supporting their immune system.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is necessary for overall health and proper functioning of their organs.

What is the Best Type of Dog Food for Maltese Shih Tzus?

The best type of dog food for Maltese Shih Tzus depends on various factors, including age, activity level and health status. Some considerations include:

  • Balanced Commercial Dog Food: High-quality commercial dog food that is formulated for small breeds and tailored to their specific age (puppy, adult, senior) is a convenient and reliable option.
  • Grain-Free vs Grain-Inclusive: There has been controversy over grain-free diets and while some dogs may benefit from grain-free options, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian before making this choice.
  • Avoiding Fillers and By-products: Look for dog food that avoids excessive fillers and by-products and instead prioritizes high-quality proteins and whole ingredients.

Maltese Shih Tzus and Human Food

While it can be tempting to share human food with our furry friends, not all human foods are safe for dogs. Some human foods that are safe for Maltese Shih Tzus include:

  • Lean Cooked Meats: Unseasoned chicken, turkey, or beef can be given as an occasional treat.
  • Cooked Vegetables: Plain and cooked vegetables like carrots or green beans can be given in moderation.
  • Fruits: Small amounts of safe fruits like apple slices or blueberries can be offered.

How Much Food Do Maltese Shih Tzus Eat

Life StageAmount of FoodFeeding Frequency
Puppies (2-6 months)0.25-0.75 cup of high-quality dry food, divided into 3-4 meals per day3-4 times per day
Puppies (6-12 months)0.5-1 cup of high-quality dry food, divided into 2-3 meals per day2-3 times per day
Adults (1-10 years)0.5-1 cup of high-quality dry food, divided into 2 meals per day2 times per day
Seniors (10+ years)0.25-0.75 cup of high-quality dry food, depending on health and activity level, divided into 2 meals per day2 times per day

Key Points to Consider:

  • Quality of Food: It’s crucial to choose a high-quality dog food that meets the nutritional needs of the Maltese Shih Tzu’s life stage. The food should support their overall health, including their coat and dental health.
  • Adjust Based on Activity Level: Given their small size, even slight overfeeding can lead to obesity. Adjust the food amount based on your dog’s activity level, ensuring they maintain a healthy weight.
  • Dietary Transition: When changing your Maltese Shih Tzu’s diet, such as transitioning from puppy to adult food or changing brands, do so gradually over a week to prevent digestive upset.

Maltese Shih Tzus and Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for Maltese Shih Tzus to avoid obesity-related health issues. Here are some tips for weight management:

  • Portion Control: Measure your dog’s food to prevent overfeeding.
  • Avoid Table Scraps: Limit or avoid giving table scraps, as they can contribute to excessive calorie intake.
  • Regular Exercise: Engage your dog in regular physical activity to keep them active and help manage their weight.

Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in ensuring the health, happiness and longevity of your Maltese Shih Tzu. By understanding their nutritional needs and making informed choices about their diet, you can provide your beloved canine companion with the best possible care.

Maltese Shih Tzu Diet – What & How Much Do They Eat?