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Imagine you’re at a candy store with rows of delicious treats lined up just for you. Now, picture how your Shih Tzu feels whenever you open a bag of their favorite snacks! Like us, our furry friends love a good treat, but finding the perfect one can be like solving a puzzle. Not all treats are created equal, especially for our special Shih Tzus, which have unique tastes and tummy needs.
We’re on a mission to make that puzzle much more effortless. We understand that it’s not just about the wagging tails and eager eyes; it’s about keeping your fluffy companion healthy, happy, and full of energy. From tiny puppies to wise old dogs, every Shih Tzu deserves a treat that’s just right for them.
We’ve scoured the pet world to bring you the top 11 dog treats for Shih Tzus in 2024. These aren’t just any treats; they’re the cream of the crop, handpicked for their yummy flavors, health benefits, and Shih Tzu-friendly ingredients. Plus, we’ve got some tips on using them wisely for training.
Best Treats for Shih Tzu
|Top 5 Picks for you
Good’n’Fun Triple Flavored Rawhide Kabobs for Dogs
Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Dog Treats
Wag Soft & Tender American Jerky Dog Treats
Blue Buffalo True Chews Natural Dog Treats
Milk-Bone MaroSnacks Dog Treats are a delightful treat that combines the crunchiness of a biscuit with the rich taste of bone marrow. These treats are more than just a tasty snack; they’re a fusion of flavors and textures that dogs love. The outer biscuit shell offers a satisfying crunch, while the real bone marrow center provides a meaty flavor irresistible to canines.
These treats are made with calcium, promoting strong bones and teeth, and they use natural ingredients for color, reflecting a commitment to quality. The large 40-ounce pack is perfect for dog owners who want to keep a good supply of their pet’s favorite treats.
However, while these treats are great for small dogs, larger breeds might need more to feel satisfied. Additionally, the crunchy texture may not be suitable for older dogs with dental issues. Monitoring your dog while they enjoy these treats is important, ensuring they chew them properly.
- Crunchy and meaty texture combo
- Enriched with calcium
- Natural ingredients for color
- Large pack size
- Not ideal for dogs with dental issues
The Wellness Soft Puppy Bites With Soft Wellbites Dog Treats, Lamb & Salmon Bundle, is a gourmet delight for your growing puppy. These treats stand out for their grain-free formula, offering a healthy alternative to conventional treats. Made with real lamb and salmon, they provide not just one but two kinds of fresh meat, making them a protein-packed choice for your little companion.
These soft treats make them perfect for puppies still used to chew. Their all-natural composition, free from corn, soy, artificial colors, or flavors, ensures you’re giving your puppy a wholesome snack. Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients, they come with the Wellness Guarantee, assuring their quality and safety.
However, it’s important to note that these treats are specifically designed for puppies, which might be unsuitable as your dog grows older and their dietary needs change. Also, the premium quality of the ingredients might make these treats a bit pricier than other options.
- Two types of meat (lamb & salmon)
- Grain-free, all-natural ingredients
- Soft texture ideal for puppies
- Made in the USA
- Specifically for puppies, not suitable for older dogs
- Higher price point due to quality ingredients
Blue Buffalo True Chews Natural Dog Treats in Chicken and Apple flavor is a delightful combination with a new twist to dog treats. These treats are crafted with the promise of high-quality, simple ingredients, making them a healthy and delicious reward for your dog.
What stands out about these treats is their primary ingredient – real meat. This not only ensures a flavor that dogs love but also provides a valuable source of protein. Adding apple adds a sweet nuance to the treat, making it an exciting and tasty choice for your pet. The fact that these treats belong to the Blue Buffalo family, a name synonymous with quality in pet food, adds an extra layer of trust for pet owners.
However, while the chicken and apple combination is generally a hit with dogs, some pets might have specific protein allergies or dietary preferences that could limit their ability to enjoy these treats. Also, the natural ingredients and brand reputation might make these treats more expensive than other options.
- Real meat as the primary ingredient
- Addition of apple for a unique flavor
- High-quality, natural ingredients
- Belongs to the trusted Blue Buffalo family
- Not suitable for dogs with specific protein allergies
- Slightly more expensive due to premium ingredients
The Himalayan Dog Chew Original Yak Cheese Dog Chews offer dogs an exotic and natural chewing experience. Made from yak and cow milk, these chews are a traditional treat from the Himalayas, providing a unique and long-lasting chewing pleasure.
What sets these chews apart is their meticulous preparation process. The milk is boiled and then dried for several weeks, resulting in a hard, durable chew that dogs must work on for hours. This keeps them engaged and aids in dental health by gently scraping off tartar and plaque as they chew. The natural, preservative-free recipe ensures you’re giving your dog a safe and healthy treat.
However, due to their hard texture, these chews might not be suitable for all dogs, especially those with sensitive teeth or older dogs. Also, the size and quantity can vary, which might be unpredictable when buying them.
- Long-lasting chew
- Natural, preservative-free ingredients
- Dental health benefits
- Unique traditional treat
- Not suitable for all dogs, especially those with dental issues
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Bones Grain Free Dental Chews are a natural and wild-inspired treat that caters to your dog’s primal instincts. These dental chews are not just a treat; they blend oral care and the spirit of the wild. Made to resemble the bones that a wolf pack would forage for in the forest, they offer a unique chewing experience that most dogs will love.
The grain-free formula of these chews is a standout feature, making them a suitable option for dogs with specific dietary requirements or sensitivities. The natural ingredients in these chews help clean your dog’s teeth and freshen their breath, making them a great addition to your dog’s dental care routine.
However, as with any dental chew, it’s important to supervise your dog while they enjoy it. While great for dental health, the hardness of the chew might not be suitable for all dogs, particularly older dogs or those with sensitive teeth.
- Grain-free and natural ingredients
- Aids in dental health
- Freshens breath
- Appeals to natural chewing instincts
- Not suitable for dogs with dental issues
The Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Chicken, Salmon, & Turkey Bundle offers various flavors that cater to any dog’s taste preferences. These treats are more than just a snack; they’re a nutritious and delicious way to reward your dog, whether for training or just as a token of love.
Each flavor in this bundle – chicken, salmon, and turkey – is packed with real meat, providing a high-quality protein source that’s both delicious and beneficial for your dog’s health. One of the standout features is the inclusion of DHA, an essential fatty acid in mother’s milk known to aid in cognitive development. This makes these treats tasty and supportive of your dog’s brain health.
These semi-moist treats are perfect for dogs of all life stages, thanks to their soft texture. Blue Buffalo ensures these treats are made with wholesome ingredients, free from chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial flavors or preservatives.
However, it’s important to note that these treats are intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. They’re not a replacement for a balanced diet but a healthy addition.
- Variety of flavors
- High-quality protein sources
- Contains DHA for cognitive development
- Wholesome, natural ingredients
- Suitable for all life stages
- It might be pricier than other treats.
Wag Soft & Tender American Jerky Dog Treats – Duck Bites are a flavorful and wholesome treat that will delight dogs of all ages and stages. These treats stand out for their premium quality and simplicity, making them a snack and a healthy addition to your dog’s diet.
The primary ingredient, American duck, gives these treats a unique and rich flavor, a welcome change from the usual chicken or beef. This choice of protein is especially beneficial for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to more common meats. Additionally, the absence of grain, corn, soy, wheat, added colors or artificial flavors speaks volumes about the product’s commitment to natural, wholesome nutrition.
Their jerky form is another plus, offering a satisfying chew that most dogs love. This texture also aids in keeping your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. The 16-ounce pack is generously sized, ensuring you have plenty of treats for training sessions or just as a reward.
However, it’s important to remember that these treats are best used in a balanced diet. Also, the rich flavor of duck might not be to every dog’s liking.
- High-quality duck as the main ingredient
- Grain-free and natural
- Beneficial for dogs with common meat allergies
- Satisfying jerky texture
- Duck flavor may not appeal to all dogs
PLATO Turkey Real Strips and Small Bites Natural Training Dog Treats offer a wholesome and delicious treat experience for dogs of all sizes. The Turkey Real Strips, featuring turkey and pumpkin, provide a grain-free, soft-textured option that supports healthy digestion. Similarly, the Small Bites, made with organic chicken, are perfect for training, being bite-sized and easy to chew.
The primary ingredient in both treats is real meat, ensuring a high-quality protein source. The air-dried process in their USA facility helps retain more ingredients’ inherent nutrients, offering a healthier alternative to traditional baked treats. These treats are free from added corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors, or chemical preservatives, making them a safe and natural choice for your dog.
However, it’s important to note that these treats are supplements to a regular diet and should be fed in moderation. The rich flavors, while appealing, might not suit all dogs, especially those with specific dietary sensitivities.
- High-quality real meat ingredients
- Air-dried for nutrient retention
- Grain-free and natural
- Ideal for training and healthy digestion
- It may not suit dogs with specific dietary sensitivities.
Hill’s Natural Dog Treats, Jerky Strips Variety Pack, offers a delightful trio of flavors to cater to your dog’s snacking desires. With options including Real Chicken, Real Beef, and Jerky Mini-Strips with Real Chicken, this bundle is a treasure trove of meaty delights that any dog would relish.
However, the variety of flavors, while an advantage, may present a challenge if your dog prefers one over the others. Additionally, these treats are best enjoyed as part of a balanced diet and should be given in moderation.
Each of these treats is crafted with the texture that dogs inherently love – the chewy, jerky consistency that satisfies their urge to chew and aids in dental health. Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients, Hill’s maintains a high-quality standard, ensuring that these treats are both delicious and safe, free from artificial flavors and preservatives.
- Variety of meaty flavors
- Chewy, jerky texture
- High-quality, safe ingredients
- Suitable for all life stages
- Flavor preference may vary.
Good’n’Fun Triple Flavored Rawhide Kabobs are a carnival of flavors for your dog’s palate, combining natural beef hide, chicken, duck, and chicken liver in one treat. These kabobs are a tasty snack and a journey of delightful textures and flavors, offering a long-lasting chewing experience that most dogs eagerly embrace.
The standout feature of these treats is their variety of flavors, wrapped around natural beef and pork hide. This combination keeps your dog engaged and satisfies their instinctual urge to chew. The act of chewing these kabobs aids in reducing tartar buildup, contributing to better dental health. The protein-rich nature of these treats makes them a healthy addition to your dog’s diet.
However, it’s important to supervise your dog while they enjoy these kabobs. The nature of rawhide requires careful monitoring to prevent any choking hazards. Also, these treats should be given in moderation, complementing a balanced diet.
- Variety of flavors
- Promotes dental health
- High in protein
- Long-lasting chew
- Moderation in feeding
Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Dog Treats with Chicken offer a delightful blend of flavor and nutrition, making them an excellent treat for dogs of all life stages. These treats stand out for their soft texture and savory chicken taste, ensuring they’re enjoyable and easy for dogs of all sizes to eat.
Made with real chicken and fortified with 12 essential vitamins and minerals, these treats do more than satisfy your dog’s taste buds. They contribute to their overall health, providing a balanced, nutritious, and delicious snack. The treats’ soft texture is particularly suitable for senior dogs or those with dental issues who might struggle with harder snacks.
However, it’s worth noting that, despite their health benefits, these treats should be given in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Also, dogs with specific poultry allergies might need to avoid this chicken-based treat.
- Real chicken as the main ingredient
- Fortified with vitamins and minerals
- Soft texture suitable for all dogs
- Long-standing brand reputation
- Not suitable for dogs with chicken allergies
Shih Tzu’s Dietary Needs
Shih Tzus aren’t picky eaters, but their tummies can be a bit fussy. They need a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Think of it as their daily dose of superpowers! Proteins keep their muscles strong, while carbs give them energy to play and explore. Fats make their coats shiny; vitamins and minerals are their secret health shield.
Know the No-No’s
Just like some of us can’t handle spicy food, Shih Tzus have their no-go’s, too. Foods like chocolate, grapes, and onions are a big no-no. They can make your little pal feel pretty lousy. So, remember, what’s yummy for you might not be for your furry friend.
Allergies and Sensitivities
Some Shih Tzus are like superheroes with a weakness. They might be allergic to certain foods, leading to itchy skin or upset stomachs. It’s like their kryptonite! Watch for signs like scratching a lot or looking unhappy after snack time.
Treats are like desserts for us – too much, and we might need more oversized pants! It’s the same for your Shih Tzu. Treats should only be a small part of their diet, like the cherry on top of a sundae.
A Little Bite Goes a Long Way
Remember, your Shih Tzu is smaller than you, so even a tiny treat for you is big for them. Think of it like giving a whole cake to a little kid – way too much, right?
Treats for Different Life Stages and Health Conditions
Puppy Stage: Tiny Bites for Tiny Paws
When your Shih Tzu is just a fluffy little ball of energy, they need tasty treats for their growth.
- What to Look For: Pick treats high in protein and nutrients to support their rapid growth. Soft textures are easier on their baby teeth.
- Fun Tip: Use these treats to teach them new tricks. It’s snack time, and school all rolled into one!
Adult Stage: Keeping the Wag in the Tail
Adult Shih Tzus are like the cool kids on the block – they know what they like, but they also need to keep in shape.
- What to Look For: Balance is essential. Go for treats that are both delicious and healthy. Keep an eye on calories to avoid weight gain.
- Cool Owner Alert: Mix it up! Alternate between different types of treats to keep your dog’s interest.
Senior Stage: Gentle on the Teeth, Big on Taste
As your Shih Tzu ages, they might not have the same chomping power, but their love for treats never fades.
- What to Look For: Choose softer treats that are easy to chew and digest. Look for supplements like glucosamine for joint health.
- Heartwarming Tip: Spending time with your senior dog and giving treats is a sweet way to show you care.
Health-Specific Treats: Because Every Shih Tzu is Unique
Some Shih Tzus have special needs, like allergies or weight issues. They deserve treats that keep them healthy and happy.
- What to Look For: For allergies, seek hypoallergenic treats. For weight management, find low-calorie options.
- Pro Move: Talk to your vet about the best treats for your dog’s health conditions.
Treats and Training: Using Rewards Effectively
The Art of Treat-Based Training
Training your Shih Tzu isn’t just about teaching them new tricks and strengthening your bond. And what’s a better way to do that than with their favorite treats?
1. Treats as a Motivational Tool
- The Magic of Positive Reinforcement: When your Shih Tzu does something good, a treat immediately tells them, “Hey, you did great!” It’s like getting a gold star in doggy school.
- Keep It Fun: Mix up the types of treats to keep training exciting. Think of it like getting different stickers for a job well done.
2. Size and Frequency Matter
- Small Bites for Big Success: Shih Tzus are small, so their treats should be too. Too many big treats can lead to a not-so-little tummy.
- Timing is Everything: Give the treat right after they do something good. It’s like a high-five at just the right moment.
3. Balancing Treats with Health
- Healthy Treats, Healthy Pup: Choose treats that are good for them. It’s like eating your veggies but in a yummy way.
- Count Those Treats: Keep track of how many treats they get. It’s part of keeping your furry friend fit and fabulous.
4. When to Treat and When to Retreat
- Not Every Time: Sometimes, a pat or a “good dog” is enough. You don’t want them thinking they’ll get a treat every time.
- The Surprise Factor: Giving treats unexpectedly keeps your dog eager and ready to learn.
Treats as Part of a Balanced Diet
Think of treats as a sprinkle on top of a well-balanced diet. They’re important for training and bonding but are just one part of your Shih Tzu’s healthy lifestyle.
Safety Considerations: What to Avoid in Treats for Your Shih Tzu
The No-No List: Foods to Avoid
Think of yourself as a food detective regarding your Shih Tzu’s treats. Some ingredients might look harmless, but they’re sneaky villains for your pup.
1. Harmful Ingredients and Additives to Avoid
- Chocolate: The Not-So-Sweet Danger: It’s delicious for us but a big no for dogs. It can make them sick.
- Xylitol: The Sweet Menace: It is found in sugar-free gum and candy and is toxic for dogs.
- Onions and Garlic: Not So Flavorful for Fidos: These can mess with your dog’s tummy and more.
- Grapes and Raisins: Tiny but Terrible: Even a small amount can be harmful, so keep them away.
2. Signs of Treat Intolerance or Allergy in Shih Tzus
- Itchy Skin and Ear Problems: It could be a sign if your Shih Tzu starts scratching like there’s no tomorrow after a treat.
- Tummy Troubles: Upset stomachs or changes in bathroom habits can mean the treat isn’t sitting well with them.
3. Keeping Treats Safe and Enjoyable
- Size Matters: Make sure the treats are the right size for your Shih Tzu. Too big, and they might have trouble eating it.
- Hardness Check: Some treats are really hard and can hurt tiny teeth. It might be too hard if you can’t dent it with your finger.
4. When in Doubt, Check it Out
- Vet Approval Is Cool: Ask your vet if you’re unsure about a treat. They’re like the detectives in the food mystery world.
- Keep an Eye on the Prize: Watch your dog when they try a new treat. It’s the best way to see if they like it and if it agrees.
Expert Opinions and Veterinarian Recommendations for Shih Tzu Treats
Vets Know Best: Why Their Advice Matters
Think of your vet as your Shih Tzu’s nutritionist. They have the scoop on what’s good and what’s not-so-good for your furry friend.
1. The Inside Scoop from Veterinarians
- Tailored Advice: Your vet knows your Shih Tzu’s health history and can suggest treats that fit their needs.
- Weighty Matters: They can help you pick treats that won’t lead to weight gain, which is super important for small breeds like Shih Tzus.
2. Insights from Pet Nutritionists
- Balanced Diet Basics: Nutritionists can guide you on balancing treats with regular meals, ensuring your pup gets all the necessary nutrients.
- Special Diets for Special Pups: A nutritionist can recommend safe, yummy treats if your Shih Tzu has allergies or sensitivities.
3. Why It’s Cool to Consult Before Snack Time
- Prevent Health Hiccups: Getting advice before trying new treats can save you and your Shih Tzu from potential health issues.
- Treats with Benefits: Some treats have added health perks, like improving dental health or joint mobility, and experts can point you to the best ones.
4. What’s Trending in Dog Treats?
- Healthy is Hip: Natural, grain-free, and limited-ingredient treats are all the rage, focusing on wholesome nutrition.
- Function Meets Flavor: Treats that serve a purpose, like dental health or calming aids, are getting popular, combining utility with tastiness.
Getting the Expert Stamp of Approval
Before you fill your shopping cart with new treats, a quick chat with your vet or a pet nutritionist can make all the difference. They’ll help you choose treats that are not just delicious but also beneficial for your Shih Tzu’s overall well-being.
Conclusion: Making the Best Choice for Your Shih Tzu
As we wrap up this journey through the world of treats for your Shih Tzu, let’s take a moment to remember the key morsels of wisdom we’ve uncovered. From understanding your Shih Tzu’s dietary needs to exploring the top treats of 2024, we’ve covered a lot of ground. We navigated through the different life stages of your Shih Tzu, ensuring each wagging tail and perky ear gets the right kind of treat.
Remember the importance of safety, avoiding harmful ingredients, and the value of expert opinions from vets and nutritionists. Each section has offered insights to help you make informed, loving decisions about your furry friend’s snacks.
Now, it’s time for you to take action. Use this guide as your treasure map to find the perfect treat for your Shih Tzu. Experiment with homemade recipes, consult your vet for tailored advice, and, most importantly, enjoy the process. After all, the joy of seeing your Shih Tzu’s happy dance at snack time is priceless.
Our final nugget of advice? Treats are more than just food; they express your love and care. So go ahead, make your Shih Tzu’s day with treats as unique as they are. Happy treating!