Best Dog Food for Shih Poo

By Evelyn Gray | Updated January 26, 2021

Our Top Picks at a Glance

In a hurry? Here's a list of all our top picks with product links to save you time.

We independently research and recommend the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the links below.

Best Overall: Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Adult Dry Dog Food at Chewy
"This adult dog food comes specially formulated for small breed dogs like the Shih Poo because it has small kibble pieces that are easy to eat."
Best for Seniors: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula for Small Breed Seniors at Chewy
"There are no poultry by-product meals, soy, wheat, corn, artificial preservatives, or flavors that could present problems for your dog, and it supports strong bones and teeth in your senior dog."
Best for Puppies: Pedigree Puppy Growth & Protection Dry Dog Food at Chewy
"This food gives your puppy 100% balanced and complete nutrition with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that support healthy bones and teeth."
Best Wet Food: Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food Variety Pack at Chewy
"This food all comes naturally fortified and balanced with minerals and vitamins to help your small breed dog grow and stay healthy throughout their life. "
Best Budget Food: Purina Dog Chow Little Bites for Small Dogs at Chewy
"There are a host of vitamins and minerals in this food that can boost your dog's immune system to help keep them healthy and thriving."
Best for Sensitive Stomach and Allergies: Nature's Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food at Chewy
"Dogs that have allergies or sensitive stomachs could benefit from this food as it has real lamb as the first ingredient on the label with minerals, vitamins, and nutrients added in."

Reviews of the Top 6 Dog Foods for Shih Poo

1. Best Overall: Hill's Science Diet Small Paws for Small Breeds

Hill's Science Diet Small Paws for Small Breeds

This is an adult dog food that comes specially formulated for small breed dogs like the Shih Poo because it has small kibble pieces that are easy to eat, and this food also comes packed with highly digestible ingredients that are easy on your dog's stomach. There is a high amount of Omega-6 fatty acids with vitamin E in this food to promote a shiny coat and healthy skin.

The high-quality protein in this dog food help your dog gain and maintain lean muscle throughout their life, and there is a unique antioxidant blend that will boost your dog's immune system to help keep them healthy while improving their coats and skin. The ingredients are natural, and they come sourced from trusted sources around the world.

What Customers Have to Say About This Product...

Shih Poo parents who bought this food for their dog liked that the ingredients were easy on their dog's stomach, and they also liked that the kibble was slightly smaller and rounded. They did mention that the food could leave a greasy residue on the bag when they first opened it.

Pros

  • No by-product meal
  • High level of antioxidants
  • Easily digestible ingredients

Cons

  • Can leave a greasy residue
  • Contains a lot of filler like grains
  • Kibble can be very hard for older dogs to eat

2. Best for Seniors: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Senior

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Senior

Chicken is the first ingredient with this dog food, and the chicken helps your dog build lean muscle mass well into their senior years with support from garden veggies, fruit, and whole grains. It has a slightly higher amount of chondroitin and glucosamine in each serving, and this helps support mobility and joint health with carbohydrates and protein to increase your dog's energy levels.

The kibble size is ideal for smaller dogs, and it comes packed with LifeSource Bits that have a blend of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals picked out by veterinarians to support your dog's life stage requirements, immune health, and oxidative balance. There are no poultry by-product meals, soy, wheat, corn, artificial preservatives, or flavors that could present problems for your dog, and it supports strong bones and teeth in your senior dog.

What Customers Have to Say About This Product...

Senior dog parents who bought Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula were happy that it had ingredients that supported teeth, joint, and bone health, and they liked that it had a blend of high-quality protein, antioxidants, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. They did say that the LifeSource Bits are much harder than the other kibble, and some dogs preferred to leave them in the bowl.

Pros

  • Supports mobility and joint health
  • LifeSource Bits have antioxidants
  • Packed with fruit, whole grains, and vegetables

Cons

  • LifeSource Bits can be too hard
  • Price for a smaller bag
  • Kibble can be slightly crumbly

3. Best for Puppies: Pedigree Puppy Growth & Protection

Pedigree Puppy Growth and Protection Dog Food

You can choose from steak or chicken for the main protein in this food with three different sizes that allow you to tailor your order to your needs, and it comes packed with DHA to help support your puppy's healthy brain development. There are a host of key nutrients in this food that mimic the mother's milk for puppies up to 18 months old to help encourage healthy growth and high energy levels.

This food gives your puppy 100% balanced and complete nutrition with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that support healthy bones and teeth, and it has high-quality proteins to encourage lean muscle development. There are no artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, or sugar to make it easier to digest food for your puppy that won't cause upset, and it's made in the United States with trusted ingredient sources.

What Customers Have to Say About This Product...

Puppy parents were happy that they could choose from three sizes and two main protein sources when they picked out this food, and they also liked that it had a high amount of DHA for brain development. Puppy parents did note that meat wasn't the first ingredient, and there is a higher amount of grain-based filler.

Pros

  • DHA blended into the formula
  • Supports healthy teeth and bones
  • Lean protein content with two protein choices

Cons

  • Meat isn't the first ingredient
  • Higher grain-based filler content
  • Kibble may be too large

4. Best Wet Food: Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food Variety Pack

Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food

There is a huge range of flavors and sizes with food that allows you to customize your choices, including 14 flavors that comes with a variety of pate flavors that you can feed your dog alone or with dry food. There are no grains in this food to make it easier for your dog to digest, and it has meat as the first ingredient on the label.

This food all comes naturally fortified and balanced with minerals and vitamins to help your small breed dog grow and stay healthy throughout their life, and this food is made in the United States using high-quality ingredients. You get individual servings that ensure the food is fresh each time your dog eats, and the gravy on the food can help encourage your dog to eat at mealtimes.

What Customers Have to Say About This Product...

People who bought this wet dog food liked that there were so many flavor options available in each variety pack, and they also liked that they could use it by itself or use it as a topper for their dog's food. People didn't like that this food had a slightly stronger smell when they first opened it.

Pros

  • Large range of flavors and two sizes
  • Balanced with minerals and vitamins
  • Individually portioned and packaged

Cons

  • May have a stronger smell
  • Uses a lot of plastic packaging
  • Could cause diarrhea in more sensitive dogs

5. Best Budget: Purina Dog Chow Little Bites for Small Dogs

Purina Dog Chow Little Bites for Small Breeds

This dog food features a natural recipe that offers your dog 100% balanced and complete nutrition each time they eat it, and it has farm-raised chicken and beef for the lean protein sources. It has 25% protein that will help your dog develop strong muscles while keeping them lean and energetic throughout their lives.

There are a host of vitamins and minerals in this food that can boost your dog's immune system to help keep them healthy and thriving. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in this food, which means that it's healthier and less likely to upset their stomach when they eat it.

What Customers Have to Say About This Product...

People on a budget who purchased this food for their small breed dog liked that it had two protein sources and 25% protein in the formula with vitamins and minerals. People didn't like that the kibble was slightly larger or that it had a lot of filler ingredients like corn, soybean meal, or by-product meal instead of healthy ingredients.

Pros

  • Has steak and chicken
  • Relatively cost-effective for the amount you get per order
  • No artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors

Cons

  • Contains grain and by-product meals
  • Sacrifice ingredients for price
  • Not suited for dogs with grain allergies

6. Best for Sensitive Stomach & Allergies: Nature's Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Nature's Recipe Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Dogs that have allergies or sensitive stomachs could benefit from this food as it has real lamb as the first ingredient on the label with minerals, vitamins, and nutrients added in. It has nutrient-dense pumpkins and sweet potatoes as the filler ingredients, and these are easier for your dog to digest than traditional grains.

There are no wheat, corn, soy, artificial flavors, poultry by-product meal, or artificial preservatives in this formula to reduce the risk of digestive upset, and it has fiber to support your dog's digestive health with taurine to support heart health. You can choose from chicken, salmon, or lamb for the lean protein source, and there are fatty acids in the formula to support coat and skin health.

What Customers Have to Say About This Product...

Shih Poo parents, who bought is sensitive stomach blend food for their dogs, liked that it used sweet potatoes and pumpkin instead of grains, and they also liked that they got three lean protein source choices. It does have a lot of beans and chicken meal to bulk up the formula and add flavor.

Pros

  • Contains pumpkin and sweet potatoes
  • Easy to digest
  • Supports heart, immune, coat, digestive system, and skin health

Cons

  • Has chicken meal and beans
  • May be too hard for older dogs
  • May cause gas or minor digestive upset

Shih Poo Dog Food Buying Guide

Shih Poo resting in bed

Finding the right dog food for your Shih Poo can be a challenge due to this being a mixed-breed that can carry digestive problems from both parent's breeds. However, there are several high-quality options available that we'll explore for you, and you can compare them side-by-side while using the buyer's guide to narrow down your choices for the best dog food for Shih Poos below.

Important Ingredients to See in Your Shih Poo's Food

Not all dog food is created equal, and the goal is to find a nutritionally-balanced food that your dog likes to eat. There are a few things you should see in your dog's food, and we listed them for you.

  • Calcium, Minerals, and Vitamins - You want to see higher amounts of calcium, minerals, in vitamins in your dog's food to help support healthy growth throughout your dog's life. Minerals and vitamins can help strengthen your dog's immune system to fight off sicknesses, and they can help strengthen your dog's teeth and bones to prevent breaks or tooth decay.
  • Fatty Acids - Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids can help to keep your dog's coat and skin healthy and shiny, and it can help ward off breakage and dry or flaky skin. Flaxseed and fish are rich in fatty acids, and they can also help boost your dog's organ health and how they function.
  • Fruits and Vegetables - You want to see fruits and vegetables in your dog's food formula because they provide a host of nutrients, vitamins, and they can help fill out your dog's food formula while adding nutritional value. Many foods include carrots, pumpkin, legumes, blueberries, cranberries, cucumbers, broccoli, peas, green beans, and more.
  • Healthy Carbohydrates - A lot of low-quality dog food uses carbohydrates like grains, by-product meals, wheat, corn, or soy for filler agents to bulk up the formula that is hard for your dog to digest and can lead to stomach issues. Healthy carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and whole grains are better for your dog's health.
  • Proteins - Proteins help to encourage healthy bone and muscle growth in your dog, especially in puppies. Lamb, salmon, beef, or chicken are popular proteins, and they should be the first ingredient on the bag to ensure that there is a higher protein content in the formula.

Why Kibble Size is Important

Unfortunately, the Shih Tzu is one of the Shih Poo's parent dogs, and they have well-known problems with their jaws that can make eating difficult like overcrowding and misalignment. If the kibble size is too large or oddly-shaped, it can make it challenging for your dog to pick up the kibble and eat it without a lot of struggle.

Ideally, you'll get dog food that is a smaller size for your smaller breed dog, and it should be rounded instead of flat to help your dog pick it out of the bowl at mealtimes. If it's hard, it can help clean your dog's teeth since this breed is prone to plaque buildup and dental problems that can lead to tooth extractions or decay.

Buying Considerations

There are several things you want to weigh when you start shopping for a new food for your Shih Poo and keeping these considerations in mind will help you pick out a healthy option that your dog loves.

Brand

You should always go for a more well-known brand than one that many people don't use because these brands typically use better-quality ingredients from trusted sources. More well-known brands like Blue Buffalo, Purina, Pedigree, and Taste of the Wild all have to follow strict quality control guidelines to ensure that you get a good food for your dog each time you buy.

Cost

Your budget will also play a role in which dog food you pick out, but you don't necessarily want to sacrifice quality for the price. More expensive dog foods typically use higher-quality ingredients that help you feed your dog a balanced food each time they eat it, and you have to remember that you won't need a huge bag of dog food for your smaller breed dog.

Dry or Wet

Since this breed can have dental problems, you may want to feed them dry dog food exclusively or dry dog food with a wet dog food topper. The dry food can help clean your dog's teeth when they eat and remove any stuck-on wet food to prevent dental decay or gum problems.

Life Stage

It's important that you can match your dog's food to their life stage to ensure they get all of the supporting nutrients they need to grow or stay healthy and strong. Puppy food usually has higher DHA levels for brain development and higher calories to support growth, while senior food has ingredients that support bone and joint health. Adult food is slightly fewer calories and focuses on maintaining a healthy weight with strong muscles.

Our Top Pick

Our pick for the best dog food for Shih Poo is Hill's Science Diet Small Paws Dry Dog Food because it features a lot of high-quality ingredients that are easy for your dog to digest while meeting their needs. It can support your dog's inner and outer health, and it has a nice antioxidant blend that can boost your dog's immune system. Finally, it has a high-quality formula sourced from trusted places, and it comes with smaller kibble that is easy for your dog to eat.

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