Diet, Health

Best Food For A Shih Tzu’s Coat – How To Choose The Best Food

dog food


hills dog food shih tzu coat
Best Choice Dog Food For Healthy Coat – Hill’s Science Diet For Small Breeds.

This article will provide information on what is the best food to feed your Shih Tzu to improve the health and quality of their coat. Just as with us humans, our diet is extremely important for all areas of our health and your dog’s coat is no exception.


We will look into the necessary nutrients to keep your dog’s coat healthy, what you should be looking out for and avoiding in dog foods, and finally we will review and recommend what we think is the best dog food for your Shih Tzu – not just to improve the quality of their coat and keep it healthy, but also for their overall health.


Our best choice award for quality dog food for your Shih Tzu goes to Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food For Small Breeds. It has been specially formulated to meet the needs of smaller breeds, contains only natural ingredients, has an excellent protein source, and contains all the necessary nutrients and vitamins to keep your dog healthy. You can read our extended review here.


You can click on the link below to jump straight to our reviews of the best dog food for your Shih Tzu but we would recommend you also read the rest of the article so you have a more informed opinion of what specific nutrients your dog will need to keep their coat healthy.


Jump straight to Dog Food reviews…


Article Contents



A dog’s coat is one of their most distinctive features and as dog owners, we all like to see their coat looking soft, shiny, and healthy. Yet, your dog’s coat is not only for appearances but is essential for your dog’s overall health.


Your Shih Tzu’s fur serves many protective purposes. First, having a healthy coat assures that your dog’s skin will be protected from the weather and other environmental factors. A dog’s fur will insulate their skin in the winter and protects them from the sun in the summer.


Necessary Nutrients For A Healthy Dog Coat


One of the best ways to assure your dog’s coat is healthy is to assure they are receiving the necessary nutrients. Dogs need to be consuming essential fatty acids and both omega-6 and omega-3. This will preserve their coat for longer and make it look healthy and shiny.


Essential Fatty Acids


You may think that adding fat to your dog’s diet is counter-productive for health. However, there are essential fatty acids your pet should be consuming. Healthy fats are necessary to keep your Shih Tzu’s coat looking and performing at its best. Generally, higher-quality dog foods will include the proper nutrients necessary for your dog’s coat.


The issue arises with low-quality or weight-loss foods, as well as with homemade diets. A low-fat diet may be beneficial to your dog’s weight, however, it can have other negative effects. Low-fat diets are generally also low in omega-6 which is also a crucial nutrient. These weight-loss diets also promote skin lesions that can develop into infections.


Many dog owners swear that homemade diets are the best choice for their dogs. Homemade or raw diets can be healthy as long as they contain the correct nutritional balance. That being said, well-made manufactured dog foods assure that all nutrients necessary will be consumed. With a homemade diet, it can be hard to know for sure that your dog is eating everything they need for a healthy coat.


Essential fatty acids are key to keeping your dog’s coat healthy. Unfortunately, low-quality dog foods may skimp out on this necessary component. We all try to be conscious of what we are putting into our bodies. Why should what goes into our dog’s bodies be any different? It is very important to pay attention to the ingredients and nutrients in your dog’s food.




Luckily, most common dog foods are made with a high amount of omega-6. Omega-6 fatty acids help to add shine to your dog’s coat and replace oils in their skin. If you notice your dog scratches itself often, it is possible that it’ll be removing important skin oils. This may cause them to lose omega-6, however, supplements are an easy fix to this issue.


Most pet stores will sell omega-6 supplements, though vegetable oils can work as well. A spoonful of sunflower oil or safflower oil in every meal will replace commercial options. So long as the oil is fresh it will be effective in replacing any lost omega-6 nutrients.


Even if your chosen dog food has omega-6 and your dog does not scratch, it is possible they could be deficient in omega-6. A tip to assure you are getting the most out of your dog food is to keep the bag closed. Fatty acids in the food can oxidize if the food is left out, and open to the air.




Omega-3 is a necessary nutrient for a healthy dog coat. However, these fatty acids do more than keep the coat shiny. Omega-3 fatty acids are great for your furry friend’s skin as well. They are extremely helpful for preventing and healing skin problems and diseases. If your pet has allergies, inflammation, or itchy and inflamed skin, omega-3 supplements may be beneficial.


Flaxseed oil and fish oil are perfect to add just a bit more omega-3 into their diet. But, if your dog has more serious skin problems supplements containing EPA and DHA are recommended. These can come in capsules or liquid form. Both options are good depending on whichever one your dog prefers.


Introducing more omega-3 into your dog’s diet is generally a good idea. That being said, it is important not to give them too much. Too much omega-3 in your dog’s diet can induce vomiting or an upset stomach.


If you are careful and supplement in moderation, effects should take place pretty soon. Generally, you will notice positive skin and fur effects six weeks after supplementing omega-3.



However, it should be noted that if you are feeding your Shih Tzu good quality food they should be getting all the omega-3 they need. But they are some instances when you might need to use a supplement for your dog’s coat and you can read about that in our article – Vitamins For A Shih Tzu’s Coat.


What To Look For In Dog Food For A Healthy Coat


  • Find Foods With Several Sources Of Omega Fatty Acids.
  • Avoid Food with Unnamed Meats.
  • Avoid Food With Potential Allergens.
  • Buy Food From Countries With High Food Safety Guidelines.


As it is not long after the beginning of the New Year, many of us made resolutions and are trying to keep them. One of the most popular resolutions people make is to keep healthier diets. Why should this be any different for your pooch? If you want to keep your dog healthy and happy and give it a long life, it is important that they eat well.


Your Shih Tzu’s dog food affects every aspect of their health. Their diet is the key factor in ensuring they have a healthy coat. Though brands may seem like they sell healthy food, it is possible they are skimping out on necessary nutrients. Many lower-quality foods, unfortunately, use cheaper ingredients that don’t have the necessary nutritional value to keep your dog healthy. These foods will not provide the same benefits as higher-quality options. It is important to take these factors into consideration when purchasing food for your pooch.  


Find Foods With Several Sources Of Omega Fatty Acids


dog food soft coatAs mentioned above, one of the most important ingredients for a healthy coat is fatty acids – omega-6 and omega-3. These nutrients not only promote a healthier, shinier coat but also prevent and heal skin issues. Above we listed ways to supplement these nutrients if they are missing in your pet’s diet. However, the easier alternative is just to purchase food that already includes them in the correct amount and quality.


Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are extremely beneficial components in dog food. These can be found in ingredients such as flaxseeds, salmon, and algae for example. Other foods will add them in separately. Either way, it is extremely important to assure your dog is receiving this nutrient from their food.


Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in linoleic acid also an extremely important ingredient to look out for. Dog foods including omega-6 rich ingredients will promote healthier skin and a healthier coat.


Avoid Food with Unnamed Meats


Purchasing cheaper dog foods helps you pinch some pennies. However, did you know that long term it will likely have negative effects on your Shih Tzu? Low-budget foods are generally made with cheaper ingredients to allow for cheaper prices. While this is great for those trying to save money, it is extremely unhealthy for your dog.


You would not put something into your body without knowing what it is. So why would you do that to your dog? Unnamed meats included in foods may cause a variety of health problems. These dog foods may also not include necessary nutrients and proteins which are generally found in the meat in dog foods.


Avoid Food With Potential Allergens


Whether your dog has known allergies or not, it is advised to avoid common allergens regardless. If you are in the process of treating your dog’s skin or coat, unknown allergies can hold you back immensely.


Allergies can cause dry and itchy skin, which may also lead your pup to scratch their skin and lose nutrients in the form of oils. Commonly known dog allergens include dairy, egg, soy, and corn. For a shiny, healthy coat, generally, try and avoid these ingredients in your pooch’s food.


Buy Food From Countries With High Food Safety Guidelines


Most countries where owning a dog is common have put in place health food guidelines for dog foods. These assure that companies have safety standards when manufacturing your dog’s food.


Countries that have high food safety guidelines include Canada, the United States, Western Europe, and New Zealand. Though other countries still produce healthy dog foods, there is no way of being sure how regulated the process is. In these countries listed dog food companies are required to avoid adding any dangerous or harmful ingredients.


Best Food For A Shih Tzu’s Coat – Reviews


Below we will review and recommend 3 quality dog foods that will provide excellent nutrition for your Shih Tzu. They contain all the necessary nutrients and vitamins that will not only help to keep your dog’s coat healthy but also contribute to their general health.


Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food For Small Breeds


hills dog food shih tzu coat


best choiceHill’s Science Diet Dog Food gets our best choice award. It is specially designed for small breeds and provides a healthy nutritional balance for all your dog’s needs. It contains calcium and high-quality protein to support bone and muscle strength in smaller dogs. It also contains antioxidants and added vitamins such as vitamins C and E. And with specific regard to your Shih Tzu’s coat it has all the necessary nutrients and vitamins including essential fatty acids. Importantly, it only contains natural ingredients and has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. 



Hill’s Science Dog Food has an excellent 4.8 out of 5-star rating on Amazon and you can read the review for yourself here.




  • Specially designed for small breeds.
  • Easy to digest ingredients.
  • Balanced nutrition.
  • Nourishes skin and coat.
  • Includes probiotic fiber.
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
  • Contains omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other nutrients.
  • Antioxidants with vitamins C and E. 


Check the price of Hill’s Dog Food on Amazon


Royal Canin For Shih Tzu


royal canin shih tzu foodroyalcanin junior shih tzu food


Royal Canin Dog Food is a great option for dog food for a Shih Tzu. Royal Canin dog food is specially designed for specific dogs having studied their lifestyle, life stage requirement, and the health issues they are most likely to suffer from. It will serve all their nutritional needs and I very much like the “V” shape design of the kibble.


Due to the Shih Tzu having a flattened face and small jaw structure, it can sometimes give them problems biting and chewing foods and this design will help with that. With regards to keeping your Shih Tzu’s coat healthy, it contains quality essential fatty acids, has a good quality protein source, and is also rich in several other vitamins. It’s also available for both puppies and adults.



Royal Canin For Shih Tzu has an excellent 4.8 out of 5-star rating on Amazon and you can read the reviews for yourself here.


Other benefits:


  • Supports healthy skin.
  • Excellent nutritional balance.
  • Quality protein source.
  • Contains essential fatty acids.
  • Specially designed kibble.
  • Helps maintain a healthy coat.
  • Reduces stool and odor.


Check the price of Royal Canin Adult Dog Food on Amazon


Halo Holistic Natural Dog Food


halo shih tzu dog foodhalo shih tzu puppy food


Halo holistic Dog Food is another good choice for quality food for your Shih Tzu. It contains all the necessary nutrients and vitamins to keep your dog’s coat healthy as well as their overall health. It has a whole meat protein source rather than a meat meal or a dehydrated meat source. The ingredients include fresh chicken as the primary protein source with digestible carbohydrates like oats, pearled barley, and whole peas.


It has been shown to have excellent digestibility providing more available nutrients to your dog during the digestion process. It also has reduced calories and fat, plus L-Carnitine to improve metabolism and help smaller dogs to achieve the perfect weight.



Halo Holistic Dog has a 4.7 out of 5-star rating on Amazon that you can read for yourself here.


Other benefits:


  • Made with whole salmon, whitefish, or chicken.
  • Rich in essential fatty acids.
  • No rendered meat meal.
  • Superior Digestibility.
  • Grain-free.
  • Non-GMO vegetables and fruits.
  • Reduced calories and fat.
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
  • No factory farming or animals raised with antibiotics are used in the ingredients.



Check out the price of Halo Holistic Dog Food on Amazon


Further Reading


You might like to read some of our other related articles on improving the coat and health of your Shih Tzu:


Shih Tzu Food List – What They Can & Can’t Eat.

Vitamins For A Shih Tzu’s Coat.

How To Groom Your Shih Tzu At Home.

Best Shampoo For A Shih Tzu.


If you would like to dig deeper into all areas of caring for your Shih Tzu we recommend you check out the book below.


shih tzu complete guide book cover


Using interviews with 17 top Shih Tzu breeders, author and experienced Shih Tzu owner Molly Weinfurter has created an in-depth look at what it takes to successfully live with, raise, and train a Shih Tzu.


This book has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon with over 220 reviews.


Buy On Amazon




In a family, the only member you have complete control over how healthy they are is your pet. As this control is in your hands, it is up to you to ensure your pooch gets the proper nutrients and food they need to be healthy and live a long time.


One of the essential keys to a healthy dog is a healthy coat. This includes both their fur coat and their skin. Keeping your Shih Tzu’s coat healthy is for more than just their appearance. A healthy coat is necessary as it protects your dog’s skin from harmful weather.


To ensure your dog has a healthy coat it is essential that your monitor what they consume. There are certain nutrients such as fatty acids which promote healthy coats. It is important to purchase foods that include these nutrients, or supplements if necessary. Though figuring out the best regiment may take multiple tries, it is well worth it.


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