Pets & Animal Dog Breeds

Raw Food Diet for a Shih Tzu

    Benefits

    • Proponents of a raw-food diet, such as the experts at Pet's Raw Edge, believe that feeding your shih tzu a diet of raw, natural foods will increase her energy, give her a healthy, shiny coat, decrease itching and scratching, boost her immune system and increase her overall health.

    Warning

    • The Food and Drug Administration has issued a series of guidelines for giving raw meat to animals. When preparing raw meats for your shih tzu follow the same safety and cleanliness habits you observe when preparing meat for your family. Be cautious of cross-contamination and keep meats refrigerated or frozen before feeding time.

    Expert Insight

    • According to an article published by the American Shih Tzu Club, shih tzu owners should look to their dogs for clues about the best food to feed them. Their teeth are designed for tearing at prey and their short intestinal tracts are meant to process "small amounts of highly concentrated foods." These are indicators that the shih tzu may benefit from a diet of raw foods.

    Considerations

    • Sudden changes in your shih tzu's diet may result in stomach problems including gas and diarrhea, stomach aches and loss of appetite. Introduce new foods gradually over the course of several weeks while slowly decreasing the amount of processed food she receives.

    Cost

    • Advocates of a homemade, raw food diet claim that the extra expense and trouble of preparing fresh food for your shih tzu is mitigated by an increase of health and less money spent on vet bills and medications.

    Ingredients

    • A complete raw food diet should include such ingredients as chicken, beef, turkey, organ meats, carrots, zucchini, peas, green beans, yogurt, apple and cooked sweet potatoes.

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