Chicken is one of the most popular and widely consumed food items among humans. It’s a nutrient-rich food and has a low cost, which is why many Shih Tzu owners are tempted to feed it to their Shih Tzus as well. But can you really feed chicken to your Shih Tzus? The short answer is yes; you can absolutely feed chicken to your Shih Tzus. But there are lots of things you need to consider before starting with that…
Will answer every question regarding feeding chicken to your Shih Tzu and will tell you the best ways in which you can do it. Let’s start with the most important question that comes in mind when we talk about feeding chicken to our Shih Tzus:
Is chicken safe for Shih Tzus?
Yes, any unseasoned roasted, poached, grilled, or baked chicken is safe for your Shih Tzu to eat. Cooked chicken is a better option than raw because raw meat could contain harmful bacteria.
Be sure to remove the skin and bones before feeding your Shih Tzu chicken. Keep your portions small and introduce new foods slowly. It is best not to feed your Shih Tzu too much chicken at once as it could cause gastrointestinal upset. If you observe any abnormal symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea after serving a new food, take your Shih Tzu to the vet immediately.
Benefits of chicken in Shih Tzus
Here are some benefits of feeding your Shih Tzu chicken:
Protein: Chicken is a great source of protein, and protein is necessary for just about every single function in your Shih Tzu’s body.
Omega-6 fatty acids: These are essential fatty acids that Shih Tzus need to have a healthy coat and skin.
Vitamins: Chicken is also high in many vitamins, including B vitamins that help your Shih Tzu convert its food into energy.
Minerals: Minerals like calcium and phosphorus help ensure your Shih Tzu’s bones stay strong. They also play roles in blood clotting, nerve signaling, and muscle contraction.
Glucosamine: This helps protect your Shih Tzu’s joints by building up cartilage. As Shih Tzus age, their cartilage can wear down. Glucosamine can help repair those areas to keep them pain-free and active.
Do all Shih Tzus like chicken?
No, all Shih Tzus don’t like chicken. We wish it were true! Unfortunately, some Shih Tzus just don’t care about the taste of chicken. If your Shih Tzu doesn’t seem to be interested in eating chicken, talk to your vet about what might go on. It could be an allergy or other health concern.
Instead of forcing your Shih Tzu to eat chicken, try another protein source like beef or turkey. You can also talk to your vet about supplements that are safe for your Shih Tzu to take and might help them eat more regularly.
Can my Shih Tzus have chicken every day?
There’s no rule on how often Shih Tzus can eat chicken, but if you’re feeding your pups chicken, it’s important to make sure that you aren’t feeding them too much.
Shih Tzus should get about 30% of their diets from meat-based protein sources. This is because Shih Tzu bodies need to process meat differently than plants—they can’t just get all the nutrients from plants that they need. So if you’re feeding your pups only chicken every day, make sure that the rest of their diet makes up the other 70%. If you’re feeding them a pre-made Shih Tzu food mix, they’ve probably already got enough of the other stuff in there, so you shouldn’t have to worry.
As long as your vet thinks it’s okay and your Shih Tzus aren’t allergic to chicken, give it to them.
Can Shih Tzu puppies eat chicken?
If you have a Shih Tzu puppy, you’ve probably wondered if it’s okay to feed them chicken, or if you should wait until they’re older. Fortunately, the answer is yes! However, it is best to wait until your puppy is at least two months old.
During their first two months of life, puppies should be on a specialized puppy diet to help them grow and develop properly. When your puppy reaches the two-month mark, you can start introducing them to different food—including chicken! Just remember to start small: a small bite of cooked chicken is enough for your puppy to get used to the new flavor and texture of meat. You can gradually increase the amount of chicken you give your puppy.
It’s important to remember that puppies have delicate digestive systems, so it’s always best to consult with your vet before introducing any new food into your puppy’s diet. Your vet will be familiar with your individual pup and can help you decide what foods are best suited for them.
How much chicken can Shih Tzus eat?
Shih Tzus can eat chicken in a variety of ways. How much chicken your Shih Tzu can eat depends on their age, size, and activity level. Always consult your vet for best serving sizes for your pup.
If your pup is not suffering from any health issues and you’re feeding them a balanced raw food diet, they should eat about ⅛ to ⅙ cup of meat protein per 10lbs of body weight per day.
If your pup is suffering from diarrhea, follow a 2:1 ration with rice (⅓ cup chicken to ⅔ cup rice if your Shih Tzu is eating one cup of food per day) until their symptoms have subsided.
Remember the rule: portion control is important for your Shih Tzu’s diet! Start small and if there are no signs of stomach upset or diarrhea, you can offer more.
How to serve chicken to your Shih Tzus?
There are many ways to serve chicken to your Shih Tzu, which we’ll discuss below.
Along with a smaller serving of your Shih Tzu’s usual food: You can add a little cooked and unseasoned chicken to your Shih Tzu’s regular meal. This is a good way to introduce new foods and is a popular choice for picky eaters.
On its own as a treat: You can also just feed chicken on its own as a treat, whether it’s cooked or dehydrated and as long as it’s unseasoned. For example, you could choose to give your Shih Tzu some cooked chicken breast after dinner and before dessert. Or you could use dehydrated chicken strips as a tasty training treat.
Dehydrated as a chewy treat: A lot of Shih Tzus love chewing on rawhide, but that can be dangerous for them, so dehydrated chicken is a great alternative. So long as the meat is hormone-free and has no preservatives, additives, or artificial colors, you can feel good about giving this kind of chewy treat to your pup.
Tasty meatballs: Another popular option is cooking up some meatballs with ground turkey or beef and adding in some shredded chicken breast for extra protein.
When is chicken bad for Shih Tzus?
Chicken is a staple ingredient in Shih Tzu food and is safe for Shih Tzus. There are, however, a few caveats to this—some of which can have serious health consequences for your Shih Tzu.
If your Shih Tzu has underlying health issues like an allergy or an immune system disorder, chicken can cause some undesirable effects. Allergies are not uncommon among Shih Tzus and often manifest themselves as itchy skin or gastrointestinal upset. If you think this might be the case with your Shih Tzu, consult a veterinarian.
You should never let your Shih Tzu overindulge in chicken—or any food. Feeding your Shih Tzu the right amount is important to maintaining their overall health.
Chicken containing bones—like chicken wings or legs—can be harmful to Shih Tzus because they are small enough that your Shih Tzu might accidentally swallow them and choke on them. The bones can also splinter and cause injury to your Shih Tzu’s mouth or throat if they chew too hard on them. This isn’t just true of chicken bones—bones from any animal can be harmful to Shih Tzus.
Chicken skin is high in fat, which can cause digestive upset for Shih Tzus that are not used to consuming fat in their diet and can lead to weight gain.
Raw chicken contains bacteria like salmonella and E-coli that may cause food poisoning in your fido.
Other human foods Shih Tzus can eat
What other human foods can Shih Tzus eat? Here is a list of some other human foods your Shih Tzus can eat.
So, can Shih Tzus eat chicken?
Yes, Shih Tzus can eat chicken. Chicken is a good source of protein and contains essential amino acids that keep your Shih Tzu healthy. Some Shih Tzus may have allergies to chicken and you should check with your veterinarian if you suspect this to be the case. If you are feeding your Shih Tzu raw chicken, ensure the meat is fresh. If a Shih Tzu eats spoiled raw chicken, it could develop food poisoning.
For the best possible benefits, feed your Shih Tzu chicken breast meat that has been thoroughly cooked with no harmful additives or preservatives. You should take cooked chicken off the bone before giving it to your Shih Tzu as bones can splinter or get caught in their throats.