Feeding Your Shih Tzu Treats Responsibly

Feeding Your Shih Tzu Treats by Karol King   |Last Updated 11-08-2023

Did you know that 56% of dogs in the United States are either overweight or obese, according to The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention? When it comes to caring for your Shih Tzu, proper nutrition plays an important role.

You can give your dog treats in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Moreover, since dogs have such as a powerful sense of smell, they’re particularly useful for training.

Remember, however; it’s important to be consistent in how you give treats to avoid confusing your Shih Tzu. It’s also important to choose healthy treats to protect your dog’s health and ensure a long, healthy life.

Rewarding Good Behavior

If you’re teaching your Shih Tzu commands, using treats can be a useful training method along with praise.

Treats work because they let your dog know right away his behavior is being rewarded, encouraging him to repeat the same good behavior in the future. It’s a good idea to keep one specific type of treat to use solely for training and reinforcing good behavior.

How to Feed Treats to Your Shih Tzu

Only give your Shih Tzu treats when he’s in a calm, submissive mood. Feeding treats to an over-excited dog will merely reinforce that behavior. So, always let him smell the treat before giving it to him.

Hold it up to let him see it. If he tries to jump up, use speech and body language to show your dissatisfaction, step back slowly, and wait. Your Shih Tzu will eventually realize he needs to sit down and wait to get the treat.

As soon as he does, give him the treat. Being patient with your Shih Tzu will install good behaviors in him for life.

Choosing Healthy Shih Tzu Treats

Shih Tzu’s tend to have sensitive tummies, so choosing healthy treats is essential. Look for treats made with natural, organic, easy-to-digest ingredients (no corn, soy, or cheap fillers).

Avoid treats with chemical flavorings, colorings, and preservatives. These can trigger allergic reactions, including, a dry, thin coat, irritated skin, and gastrointestinal upset.

Additionally, treats made from rawhide (or similar materials) can pose choking hazards and risk intestinal blockage, so avoid these ingredients.

Consider Total Daily Calorie Intake

Lastly, it’s important to give your Shih Tzu appropriately-sized treats. Treats should be bite-sized, so he’s still hungry for main meals and doesn’t gain weight. If you’re ever concerned about how much your Shih Tzu is eating, consult your vet for professional advice. 

Alternatives to Store Bought Treats

If you prefer to provide a more natural treat, consider offering a few bite-size pieces of fruits or vegetables

Both of these delicious types of foods are packed with a high-quality source of vitamins and minerals and do not have the calories that many commercially prepared treats may have.

Love to cook?  There are many different dogs treat recipes to try, and most contain fresh, healthy ingredients.  But don’t assume anything.  Look for the nutritional information on the recipe.  At the very least, there should be information on the calorie content.

Using Supplements as Treats?

Many food supplements available for dogs comes in a handy chewable form.  Some are so tasty to dogs that they gobble them up. You could consider them treats for good behavior, but it is essential to give the recommended daily amount.

If your dog is especially fond of his vitamin supplement, break it into smaller pieces and insist he works for it.  (Sit, Stay, Down, etc.)  Want to know my favorite treat that is also an excellent supplement?

Author Bio:

Karol King "Karol is an animal lover who has dedicated her life to helping dogs to find a safe and happy home. She now works as a freelance writer, which is her passion, and has the freedom to spend more time at home with her wonderful family."

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About Janice

Janice is the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu. Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, she served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu.

When not writing, reading, or researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, her husband, and her family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Small Dog Place and Smart-Knit-Crocheting.