Shih Tzu can eat chicken, yes. Chickens were natural food for Shih Tzu when they were wild and untamed. Also, chicken is a good source of protein. But make sure you Shih Tzu always eats cooked chicken because raw chickens can have diseases like salmonella, and avoid giving chicken bones to your puppy.
Chicken can be one of our go-to foods for our Shih Tzus. For this reason, I compiled some common questions that you may have asked yourself.
Let’s get into it!
Is chicken good for Shih Tzu?
No commercial food could ever replace fresh meat, vegetables, and grains for our pups.
When it comes to meat, chicken is not only good. It is probably the best meat you can offer your pet.
Chicken is an excellent source of protein, which Shih Tzus and all other dog breeds need.
The chicken meat has a lesser risk of contamination than the pork, but it still needs cooking.
Another thing is that chicken is accessible in pretty much every place. You can find it in the market, groceries, and even in local stores near you.
HealthLine states that 172 grams of the chicken breast include:
- Calories: 284
- Protein: 53.4 grams
- Carbs: 0 grams
- Fat: 6.2 grams
In short, chicken meat contains a lot of protein, which is good for the muscles. At the same time, it has less fat, which dogs don’t need much.
Feeding freshly cooked chicken gives your pet an ample amount of protein it needs.
More than that, you’re lessening the chances of making your dog obese by avoiding fatty foods.
The only thing you should mind is to determine how much it can eat.
Generally, limit its food intake to one cup of food per day. Overfeeding can lead your pet to become overweight.
How about the puppies, though?
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Can Shih Tzu puppies eat chicken?
Shih Tzus can eat chicken. But, it would be best if you didn’t feed them something substantial, as long as they are still puppies.
Before Shih Tzus became domesticated, they fed on natural foods to survive. For this reason, they can eat chicken, but not until they weaned.
Shih Tzu puppies tend to explore more as soon as they become 3-4 weeks old. That’s the time you can introduce solid food to them.
Still, don’t give your pups dry food immediately. Train them by starting with soft food mixed with water.
You can feed some kibbles and mix it with water. You can eventually decrease the water as your puppy grows older. It will train your pet to eat solid food.
As soon as they can eat dry food, you can start feeding chicken to it. It usually takes place within 5-6 weeks.
However, try to make chicken easy food to eat for them. Shredding and soaking it will make it easier for these pups to eat.
One thing to remember about chickens is the bone.
Can Shih Tzu eat chicken bones?
Chicken bones can be very hazardous to your Shih Tzus, and they shouldn’t eat one, both cooked and raw.
Cooked chicken bones become brittle, and it is sharp if broken into pieces. Feeding cooked chicken bones can damage your dog’s throat, and it can even get stuck inside.
Raw chicken may be soft, but you shouldn’t feed it as well. The reason is that it may carry bacteria that can cause disease to your pet.
Another thing is that bones have a high calcium content. While it can be a good thing, too much calcium can cause constipation in your dog.
The thing about Shih Tzus is that they’d probably eat bones if you offer it. While they will, it doesn’t mean it’s alright for them to do so.
Thus, avoid feeding chicken bones, and remove it first before feeding chicken to your pet.
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What to do if Shih Tzu ate chicken bone?
Your best bet is to consult a vet immediately if your dog ate a chicken bone.
Your vet will tell you if your dog needs to get checked up in the clinic.
Some vets will recommend feeding bulk food like bread. Doing so may help cover the sharp edges.
It will also help soften the bone eventually as it gets soaked.
Still, to avoid such incidents, make sure to remove all chicken bones before feeding it to your dog.
As always, prevention is better than cure, even in our pets.
What human foods can Shih Tzus eat?
Aside from chicken, Shih Tzus can eat a variety of other food. Feeding it some various food will help create a balance of nutrition.
Here’s a list of food that you can let your Shih Tzu eat:
Other than chicken meat, these food are also a great source of protein:
- Organs (liver, heart)
You can also offer some fruit & vegetable treats such as:
- Sweet potato
- Green beans
- Sweet peas
- Baby carrots
Dairies, if offered in small amounts, can also provide some nutrients:
- Cottage cheese
- Ice cream
- Whole yogurt
Grain-based food is an excellent source of energy, as well:
- Plain white or brown rice
The key to healthy growth is a balanced meal, and it applies to all pets.
Always make sure your pet gets the adequate amount of nutrients it needs from its daily meals.
What are Shih Tzu not allowed to eat?
Shih Tzus may have a wide range of options to eat. Still, it doesn’t mean everything is safe for them.
Here’s a list of food you should not allow your pet to eat:
- Chocolate (huge red flag)
- Grapes and Raisins (toxic to most dogs and even cats)
- Onions (both raw and cooked is harmful even in small amounts)
- Tea and coffee (the caffeine in both is lethal to these animals)
- Salt (too much sodium is also a bad thing)
- Soda (has a lot of toxic chemicals)
- Fruit pits and seeds (naturally dangerous for them)
Keeping these out of your pet’s reach will help you avoid danger.
However, if you accidentally fed your pet some, it would be best to consult your vet for it. Do so, especially if your dog shows signs of poisoning or adverse reactions.
Shih Tzus can eat chicken, and it’s probably the best meat you can give them. Still, while you’re at it, avoid feeding raw chicken meat, as it can be harmful to your pet.
Moreover, avoid feeding chicken with bones still attached. Both raw and cooked chicken can harm your dog.
Aside from chicken, feed various other safe food to make sure your pet gets different nutrients.
Image credits – Photos by Helena Lopes and Tim Bish on Unsplash