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10 Best Dog Foods for Shih Poos in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on June 14, 2024 by Dogster Team

10 Best Dog Foods for Shih Poos in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

shih poo sitting on a grassIf you have a Shih Poo, you know all about little dog preferences and demands. All pup owners want the best for their pooch—big or small. But diet needs change depending on body structure—just like with humans. So, we have you covered if you need something to appease their appetite or cater to a health issue.

Here, we’re going to look at the top ten dog food choices for little dogs like your beloved Shih Poo. We have something for every Shih Poo, so hang around and check out the options! Hopefully, our reviews help you better decide the best dietary choice for this spunky little dog breed.

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A Quick Comparison of the Winners in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription
  • Fresh ingredients for optimal health
  • Subscription-based, dog-specific deliveries
  • Risk-free
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Purina Beneful IncrediBites Purina Beneful IncrediBites
  • Small kibble size
  • Affordable price
  • Great for moderate energy
  • Third place
    Walk About Grain-Free Wild Kangaroo Recipe Walk About Grain-Free Wild Kangaroo Recipe
  • Novel protein
  • Allergy-friendly
  • Water hydration
  • Diamond Naturals Small & Medium Puppy Food Diamond Naturals Small & Medium Puppy Food
  • Species-specific probiotics
  • Excellent all-around nutrition
  • Easily digestible grain
  • Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe
  • No irritating ingredients
  • Ultra-digestible
  • Grain-inclusive
  • The 10 Best Dog Foods for Shih Poos

    1. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription – Best Overall

    The Farmer's Dog Fresh Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Beef, Chicken, Turkey or Pork
    Protein content: Up to 41%
    Fat content: Up to 32%
    Calories: Up to 361 kcal per 1/2 lb

    The dog food industry is changing drastically, and we think The Farmer’s Dog Food is keeping up with the times. It’s easily our pick for the best overall dog food for Shih Poos. This fresh food is rocking the market, providing a more canine-specific formula designed to boost the health of any dog of various life stages.

    It is beneficial for small breeds like your Shih Poo. The Farmers Dog’s dog food is a holistic approach to two standard commercial diets. It is incredibly nourishing for the system, containing visible ingredients that you can see with just the right amount of vitamins and minerals

    The Farmer’s Dog contains an unbeatable protein source including chicken and beef, with valuable dietary choices of which you can get a variety pack or one specific protein. The Farmer’s Dog is a subscription-based service, meaning that you have to set your pooch on a monthly payment plan for the food to order from them.

    However, you can try it out anytime risk-free.

    • Fresh ingredients for optimal health
    • Subscription-based, dog-specific deliveries
    • Risk-free and convenient
    • Excellent nutrition
    • Expensive

    2. Purina Beneful IncrediBites Dog Food – Budget Buy

    Purina Beneful IncrediBites With Farm-Raised Beef, Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients
    Beef, whole grain corn, barley, soybean meal, whole grain wheat, chicken byproduct meal
    Protein content 26%
    Fat content 13.5%
    Calories 404 per cup

    If you want to give your little one proper nutrition without the high prices, we recommend Purina IncrediBites with Farm-Raised Beef. We checked prices and quality, and this is a good budget option

    This dish is incredibly excellent for small breeds due to its kibble size and ingredients. In this recipe, beef is the number one ingredient, providing a whole protein source. Then, they use a combination of whole-grain corn, barley, and soybean meal as carbohydrate sources.

    This formula is designed to give small breeds like your Shih Poo just the right ingredients to keep up with muscle tone and body functions. It has a decent amount of protein and fat to keep up with its moderate energy levels.

    Overall, for the price, we were so impressed with the composition of this recipe. We highly recommend this dog food if you’re on a budget—and you can find it just about anywhere online or in-store.

    • Small kibble size
    • Affordable price
    • Great for moderate energy
    • Potentially irritating ingredients

    3. Walk About Grain-Free Wild Kangaroo Recipe Dog Food

    Walk About Pet

    Main ingredients
    Kangaroo, kangaroo broth, herring, liver, pea protein, sweet potato, peas, salmon oil
    Protein content 8%
    Fat content 2%
    Calories 71.5 per cup

    If you don’t have a specific budget in mind, Walk About Grain-free Wild Kangaroo Recipe dog food might be a little pricey but well worth every penny! This recipe contains 100% Australian kangaroo as the first ingredient and several ingredients after that.

    Kangaroo is typically a novel protein for most American canines. It is packed with extremely excellent protein content to nourish your little dog’s muscles. This recipe contains a single protein source to eliminate the risk of protein-specific allergies.

    This specific wet dog food is excellent for all different sized breeds of all different ages in any life stage. It is a highly digestible formula that contains no grains, fillers, or artificial colors and flavors. This particular recipe can get quite expensive if you use it as a standalone diet, which we don’t recommend unless your dog is grain sensitive.

    However, it makes an amazing wet food topper for a standard dry kibble. It gives your pooch a kick of flavor and nutrition that can help their small bodies stay in top-notch shape.

    • Novel protein
    • Allergy-friendly
    • Water hydration
    • Grain-free might not work for all dogs

    4. Diamond Naturals Small & Medium Puppy Food

    Diamond Naturals Small & Medium Breed Puppy Formula

    Main ingredients
    Chicken, chicken meal, ground white rice, chicken fat, cracked pearled barley, egg product
    Protein content 32%
    Fat content 22%
    Calories 453 per cup

    Raising a little one can be difficult, especially when you’re doing all you can to make sure you get the right nutrition. We think that Diamond Naturals Small & Medium Breed Puppy formula will give your Shih Poo the best start in life, down to the size.

    This specific recipe caters to the health of young, small dogs, providing the proper levels of DHA and species-specific K9 strain proprietary probiotics for brain and gut support. Plenty of omega-fatty acids are also available for healthy skin and shiny coats.

    The first ingredient of this recipe is chicken, closely followed by chicken meal. Chicken meal is concentrated for a higher amount of protein content. It also has easily digestible grains to ensure the digestive tract operates optimally.

    All-in-all, we think this recipe is the best pup nutrition you can get, and it comes at a very fair price.

    • Species-specific probiotics
    • Excellent all-around nutrition
    • Easily digestible grain
    • Contains common proteins, which might aggravate some dogs

    5. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe Dog Food

    Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients
    Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, turkey meal, oatmeal, chicken fat, quinoa
    Protein content 27%
    Fat content 16%
    Calories 404 per cup

    Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Small Breed Recipe is another top-of-the-line option. It has a nutrient-rich base, providing just the right combo to keep your little one doing their best. This is Merrick’s baseline recipe which might not work for all dogs because of food sensitivities. So, if your Shih Poo has a protein issue, they might need another recipe.

    This recipe contains 27% protein and is somewhat high calorie, but perfect if your Shih Poo is higher energy. The first ingredient is deboned chicken, providing a whole protein source. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support your petite cutie’s joints and bones.

    Merrick is known for their clean recipes. This recipe contains no peas, legumes, or potatoes. Instead, it contains easily digestible grains like brown rice, barley, and oatmeal—all ultra-digestible. So, it really gives them a solid base with a grain-inclusive formula to get all necessary food groups in one bite.

    • No irritating ingredients
    • Ultra-digestible
    • Grain-inclusive
    • High calorie

    6. Instinct Healthy Cravings Grain-Free

    Instinct Healthy Cravings Grain Free Recipe Variety Pack Natural Wet Dog Food

    Main ingredients
    Chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, Beef broth, beef, chicken, beef liver, Lamb broth, lamb, beef, beef liver
    Protein content 8–9%
    Fat content 2–5%
    Calories 73–85 per container

    If you need a grain-free recipe and want to give your picky dog some savory hydration in their diet, consider Instinct Healthy Cravings Grain-Free Cuts & Gravy Recipe. It has just the right texture and multiple flavors—and it works exquisitely as a topper to dry kibble.

    This flavor pack combo uses beef, chicken, and lamb to satisfy your dog’s cravings. Each recipe contains a mouthwatering gravy base without corn, wheat, soy, potato, or byproduct meal. Each recipe is carefully constructed with USA-raised, cage-free animal content.

    There are very few ingredients in any of these three recipes. Only the good stuff counts. But because these pouches are designed to be individual servings as an addition to existing dog food, you can’t use these pouches as a standalone diet. However, this is a really healthy option if your Shih Poo is picky.

    We might also want to add that even though healthy adult dogs benefit most from grain-inclusive recipes, as long as the main dry kibble contains grains, you can feed your dog this grain-free topper guilt-free.

    • Several flavor selections
    • Added hydration
    • Caged-free meat source
    • For gluten allergies or topper only

    7. American Journey Active Life Formula Small Breed

    American Journey Protein & Grains Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, brown rice, rice bran, peas
    Protein content 27%
    Fat content 17%
    Calories 458 per cup

    American Journey Active Life Formula Small Breed is explicitly designed to keep up with your little dog’s active lifestyle. This dog food contains a higher amount of protein in comparison to American Journey’s other recipes.

    This recipe contains bite-sized kibble that is perfect for your little guy’s mouth. It’s super easy to chew, and each piece of kibble contains essential ingredients like taurine, vitamin E, glucosamine, chondroitin, and tons of omega fatty acids.

    Rather than using irritating grains, this particular recipe uses a comprehensive list of rice bran, brown rice, and brewer’s rice. These carb sources are plentiful, so make sure it isn’t too high calorie for your dog’s activity level.

    We want to point out that this dog food contains a quite high calorie count, so we recommend it for very energetic dogs only. If your dog has a moderate to low activity level, it could cause unnecessary weight gain, as they won’t use the number of calories this dog food provides.

    • Health boosting ingredients
    • Easily digestible grains
    • Carb-dense

    8. Cesar Classic Loaf in Sauce

    Main ingredients Beef, filet mignon, chicken, or porterhouse steak
    Protein content 8.5–9%
    Fat content 4%
    Calories 91–105 per container

    If your picky pooch needs a kick of ultra-flavorful wet dog food, we think you’ll rave about Cesar Classic Loaf in Sauce. Some pet owners are hesitant to feed their dog solely wet food due to its potential for weight gain and impacts on dental health.

    However, we think that this delicious dog food will work wonders for your little dog’s health. Each container is individually packaged for excellent portion control.

    There are two flavors to choose from: filet mignon or porterhouse steak. In both recipes, beef, chicken liver, beef lung, chicken broth, and water are the first five ingredients. There are also other meat and plant-based proteins in the recipe as well.

    Each recipe contains an incredible list of healthful ingredients containing complete vitamins and minerals for canine health. Even though these pouches are designed for any dog, we find that they work exquisitely with the dogs around your Shih Poo’s size.

    • Excellent wet food formula
    • Different savory flavors
    • For all dogs
    • Not small-breed specific
    • Might cause plaque

    9. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Senior

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Senior Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal, peas
    Protein content 23%
    Fat content 13%
    Calories 370 per cup

    Blue Buffalo seems to have a recipe for every occasion, including one for small seniors—introducing Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Senior. This recipe is explicitly designed for small dogs that have entered their golden years and need a sustainable recipe for optimal health.

    This recipe contains all the health-appropriate nutrients needed for your older guy or gal. It has glucosamine and chondroitin, which support joints and increase mobility. It’s also packed full of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy immune system and coat.

    Real chicken is always the first ingredient in any Blue Buffalo recipe. Instead of using irritating grain sources like corn, wheat, or soy, Blue Buffalo sticks with brown rice and sweet potatoes.

    This kibble is just the right bite size for your little Shih Poo. If your senior is having a little trouble crunching on this dry kibble, you can always add Blue Buffalo’s wet canned food additions or another brand of your choice. The dry kibble alone might not be the best for seniors with any type of dental issue.

    • Perfect bite size for small dogs
    • All the right ingredients for senior health
    • Trusted brand
    • For seniors only

    10. Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition

    PEDIGREE Small Dog Adult Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients
    Ground whole grain corn, chicken byproduct meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat
    Protein content 21%
    Fat content 11%
    Calories 332 per cup

    We liked a few things about Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition, but we must warn you about a few key points. This dog food has corn as the first ingredient, which isn’t always a good sign. However, byproduct meal contains concentrated protein levels higher than whole meat.

    Because of the number of artificial flavors and preservatives in this recipe, it comes in as our number 10 pick for best nutrition. Pedigree is a well-known brand name that has been around for several years, trusted in the pet food industry to provide healthy well-balanced meals at affordable prices.

    However, with such light being shown on the needs of canines, this recipe lacks some perks of modern-day dog food diets. They haven’t yet removed potentially irritating ingredients from their products.

    However, it’s an affordable option for mediocre nutrition for small breeds. It also contains lower protein, which we don’t recommend. If you feed your dog Pedigree, adding a high-quality wet food topper might set things off.

    • Readily available
    • Excellent paired with wet food
    • Well-known brand
    • Mediocre formula
    • Tons of irritating ingredients

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    Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Best Dog Foods for Shih Poos

    When you’re selecting the best diet choice for your Shih Poo, you should explore all avenues. Here is some valuable information to help you pick the best recipe.

    Small Breed Nutrition

    Small dogs can be picky eaters, but they also require a little bit different nutrition than others. While all balanced diets are considered completely fine, breed-specific diets get a bit more specific if you notice that many foods designed for smaller dogs contain a higher amount of protein, fat, and fiber.

    That is because a little dog’s metabolism is typically much higher, depleting energy faster. That is not the case in all small dogs, especially as they age, so you might notice that over time, you’ll have to tailor their recipe to match their energy levels and dietary restrictions. But most healthy dogs require a boost to keep them feeling their best.

    Diet Options for Small Dogs

    Not all dogs are created equal. Despite the breed, your individual dog could have health ailments or dietary sensitivities apart from others in your household. If that’s the case, you’ll probably have to tailor the diet around the individual dog.

    Even if your dog has no known health sensitivities, you might be looking for better nutrition around the board. It seems that many mainstream recipes that have been entirely acceptable for years are being put under the limelight, showing just how bad these preservative-filled foods are for any canine.

    As pet food shifts into a much more species-friendly environment, it’s up to people like us to give pet owners the scoop on exactly what to look for and what to avoid. Below we will discuss the different categories of dog food so you can get a really good idea of the types of foods you have to choose from.

    Everyday Nutrition

    Small breed everyday nutrition recipes are catered to the average health of the small adult. If you’re buying a breed-specific formula, these recipes aim to give a well-balanced diet specifically for your dog’s size.

    You can find everyday nutrition recipes anywhere, both in-store and online. These recipes are grain-inclusive, protein-dense, and well-formulated for dogs (just make to choose one labeled for small breeds).

    Shih Poo sitting in grass
    Image by: Bonita R. Cheshier, Shutterstock


    Grain-free diets are recipes that contain other carbohydrate sources in place of traditional grains. In 2019, many companies offering grain-free recipes were involved in a lawsuit that claimed grain-free diets, particularly pea ingredients, were causing heart issues in otherwise healthy dogs.

    For this reason, companies really started to tailor their recipes to avoid any type of health-associated issues. However, we still recommend only purchasing grain-free dog foods if your vet recommends it or if your dog truly has a gluten allergy.

    There are tons of completely valuable and valid dog food options that are grain-free, and they can work for more than just grain allergies as well. But unless your veterinarian explicitly recommends it, we think that you will find grain-inclusive recipes can be just as comprehensive.

    Limited Ingredient Diet

    Limited ingredient diets contain as few additives as possible while remaining completely balanced and meeting all new treatment profiles. These recipes can differ depending on the area of health that is targeted.

    Ultimately, these recipes were designed for dogs that have trouble digesting common additives in commercial dog foods. They avoid using fillers, artificial flavors, preservatives, and certain allergy-triggering ingredients like eggs, dairy, and others.

    Depending on your dog’s particular sensitivity, you might ask your vet to recommend a brand or a recipe of dog food that might suit them the best. Chances are, if your dog is sensitive in terms of digestion, they will end up on some type of limited-ingredient diet or holistic formula.

    High Protein

    All dogs benefit from high protein diets, as this is single-handedly an essential ingredient in any dog food. However, high-energy breeds need a larger amount of protein in their diet to feed their muscles and grow healthy tissues, supporting joints, tendons, and ligaments.

    If you have a high-energy breed that is constantly on the go or exerts a lot of physical energy, you’ll want to find a high-protein recipe. But be careful. Some high-protein recipes are equally high in fat, which can lead to obesity or simply weight gain.

    You only want to give your dog the amount they will be depleted. Otherwise, they will store it in their fat reserves.

    man checking dog food label
    Image by: BearFotos, Shutterstock

    Weight Management

    Speaking of fat reserves, some dogs have been cheating on their diet for far too long. If you have a pudgy pooch that could benefit from some pound shedding, there are plenty of weight management options available. We want to point out that some of these recipes contain a very low amount of protein, which can be concerning.

    We recommend buying dog food with at least 24% protein on the guaranteed analysis, although certain recipes are technically complete with lower percentages.

    Sensitive Stomach

    If your little one has a sensitive gut, a common theme among smaller breeds, you might purchase a recipe for sensitive stomachs. Rather than having potentially irritating ingredients like dairy, egg, and harsh grain, these recipes contain easier-to-digest carbohydrates like pumpkin, sweet potato, and others.

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    Final Thoughts

    The Farmer’s Dog Food is an excellent subscription-based dog food brand that is exceptional with up-and-coming fresh recipes. These recipes contain ingredients you can see, giving your dog a more holistic eating experience. This type of dog food is incredibly excellent for small dogs like your Shih Poo, as it is easier to eat and contains invaluable ingredients.

    Purina IncrediBites with Farm-Raised Beef is a super price-friendly nutritious choice that can fit into virtually any budget. The formula was specially designed for small dogs to help improve their overall body health, and the bite-sized kibble is super easy for them to eat.

    No matter which recipe you pick, we’re sure one of these dog foods on the list will be more than substantial for your Shih Poo. You should always consult your veterinarian for professional advice if you have any questions or concerns regarding your dog’s diet.

    Featured Image Credit: Castorly Stock, Pexels

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