Shih tzus are friendly, calm-tempered dogs that range from 10 to 15 lbs. and were first bred by Chinese royalty for companionship. These lovable dogs are not picky eaters but need to be monitored for certain nutritious needs and weight control. Feeding your shih tzu fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to avoid fatty unhealthy fillers found in most dog foods and treats and to give your shih tzu some added health benefits.
Fruits & Vegetables for a Shih Tzu
Small dogs like shih tzus contract bladder infections and urinary tract problems as they age. Cranberries and papayas have the same health benefits to dogs as humans; they can prevent bladder infections and regulate the digestive and urinary tract.
Baby carrots are a healthy alternative snack versus fat-filled dog treats. Giving a shih tzu a small baby carrot a day will promote dental health by not leaving deposits in the teeth or adding plaque to the gums. The texture of the carrot will actually clean the teeth and gums and remove any leftover food stuck in the teeth. By removing the plaque buildup, you will notice that the shih tzu's breath smells better and the teeth appear cleaner.
Shih tzus have a tendency to prefer sweeter food and treats, so although sweet potatoes are full of sugar and starch, they can can be healthy for your shih tzu in moderation. Sweet potatoes are used in natural dog foods to fill up dogs without using preservatives or bone discards that are used as fillers in other dog foods. Make your own hearty food by cutting up sweet potatoes and giving them to your shih tzu. For older dogs, boil and mash them up to lessen the stress on the digestive system.
Other Fruits and Vegetables
Shih tzus also enjoy eating celery, cabbage, broccoli, summer squash and any pitted fruit or berry. Observe portion control when feeding your shih tzu fruits and vegetables because when smaller dogs become overweight it puts a great deal of stress on their back. When giving your shih tzu a treat or changing her diet, consult your veterinarian and keep a list of poisonous foods handy; for example, grapes and onions are poisonous to dogs.