Royal Canin Shih Tzu Dog Food Review: Pros, Cons, Recalls

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Published: June 21, 2022

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Royal Canin Shih Tzu dog food is one of the few foods designed specifically for Shih Tzus. It includes nutrients that these dogs need to stay healthy, and it is specifically designed to work with their smaller mouths.

Royal Canin Shih Tzu dog food contains specialized nutrition for these smaller dogs. In this article, we’ll take a look at exactly what this dog food contains and why it may be a good choice for your Shih Tzu. We’ll take a look at each ingredient, as well as other specifications.

Overall Best
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Shih Tzu Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Formulated to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Shih Tzus
  • Kibble shape designed specifically for a Shih Tzu’s short muzzle and underbite
  • Maintain your Shih Tzu’s long coat with omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and biotin
  • Contains highly digestible proteins
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Royal Canin Shih Tzu Benefits and Features

  • Designed specifically for Shih Tzus over 10 months of age
  • Specialized kibble size to work with Shih Tzus’ smaller mouth
  • Includes EPA, DHA, and vitamin A for healthy skin and coat
  • Omega fatty acids added
  • High fiber content to prevent obesity

Royal Canin Shih Tzu: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Includes nutrients for healthy skin and coat
  • Can improve stool quality
  • Designed specifically for Shih Tzus
  • Specialized kibble design

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Some lower-quality ingredients

Where is Royal Canin Shi Tzu Dog Food Made?

All the pet food that Royal Canin sells in the United States is made in the USA. Their manufacturing facilities are in Missouri and South Dakota, primarily. They have offices across the country but do not make their foods at these locations.

We aren’t sure what foods are made in what facility, as Royal Canin does not release this information. However, Royal Canin Shih Tzu dog food is certainly made within the USA.

Royal Canin Shih Tzu Ingredients

Royal Canin Shih Tzu dog food is a grain-inclusive dog food formula with chicken as the main protein. It includes both chicken by-products and chicken fat, which helps improve the flavor of the food.

Whole grains like brown rice and oats are both included high on the ingredient list. These contain a range of nutrients, as well as a decent amount of fiber. This emphasis on fiber may help improve digestive issues and your dog’s stool quality.

While there is some controversy around grains in dog food. Many dogs do well with a grain-inclusive diet. In fact, dogs evolved to eat grain thousands of years ago. Plus, grain-free foods are associated with higher occurrences of DCM, a serious heart condition. Therefore, it is typically best to feed your dog a grain-inclusive diet like this one unless they have a grain allergy, which is quite rare.

This dog food’s first ingredient is brewer’s rice. For the most part, this rice is white rice in smaller pieces than usual. It is typically used in brewing, hence the name. While it is not typically eaten by people in the states, it is used as short-grain rice in other areas.

What Types of Dog is Royal Canin Shih Tzu Dog Food Best Suited For?

As you’d expect, Royal Canin Shih Tzu dog food is best suited for Shih Tzus. While it could be consumed by other small breeds, we don’t necessarily recommend it. Feeding this food to a Jack Russel Terrier or another small breed would not harm the dog or lead to nutritional problems.

However, we don’t see why you would choose a Shih Tzu-specific food for another small dog unless it was the only thing on the shelf.

With that said, most Shih Tzus also do fine on other dog foods that are much less expensive. For this reason, this food may be best for Shih Tzus with underlying health problems or particularly bad teeth.

Because of the unique kibble shape, this dog food is excellent for Shih Tzus that have trouble eating other kibbles due to their teeth.

Royal Canin Shih Tzu Dog Food Recalls

This specific Royal Canin dog food has never been recalled. However, the company itself has had other dog foods recalled over the years – sometimes for very serious problems.

In May and April of 2007, Royal Canin was part of a huge recall that involved multiple dog food brands. This recall was due to melamine contamination, which was in vegetable proteins imported from China for many different dog foods. because Royal Canin got their vegetable protein from this supplier, they had to recall their food.

In February 2006, Royal Canin had another recall involving a few veterinary-exclusive diets. This recall was caused by excessive vitamin D3 in many of the foods, which can quickly lead to death in many dogs.

However, Royal Canin has handled all of its recalls well. For instance, in the 2006 recall, the company sought out affected pets and provided intellectual and financial support. Therefore, they are not a company that simply sweeps things under the rug.

Royal Canin Shih Tzu Dog Food: Where to Buy

There are many places that you can purchase this food, including:

Overall Best
Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Shih Tzu Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Formulated to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Shih Tzus
  • Kibble shape designed specifically for a Shih Tzu’s short muzzle and underbite
  • Maintain your Shih Tzu’s long coat with omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and biotin
  • Contains highly digestible proteins
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Royal Canin Shih Tzu Dog Food Specs

Safety

Royal Canin dog food is generally considered very safe. While some dog foods are regularly recalled, Royal Canin has not been recalled since 2007. Plus, that recall was due to a manufacturing error that affected many dog food brands.

This company is well-known to support those affected by their recalls, as well. For instance, they have previously provided medical and financial support to those affected.

Ingredients

While Royal Canin does include some controversial ingredients, they choose all of their ingredients carefully. For instance, thanks to the use of chicken by-products instead of whole chicken, Royal Canin is able to provide cheaper dog food that they would be able to otherwise without deviating from their nutritional standards.

They also choose ingredients to customize their food for specific breeds and life stages. Therefore, they may have slightly different ingredients than other dog foods that aren’t so specialized.

Grain Inclusion

This food is grain-inclusive, as we have previously stated. Grains can be a healthy choice for many dogs, especially if they have no grain allergies. Whole grains are high in fiber and a range of other nutrients (though this isn’t necessarily true for refined grains).

Most of the grains in this food are whole grains, which means they are quite nutritious.

Royal Canin Shih Tzu Dog Food vs. Diamond Naturals Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Both of these dog foods include grains and have chicken as the primary proteins. Plus, both are also for small breeds, though Diamond Naturals does not have food specifically for Shih Tzus.

However, Diamond Naturals is cheaper and includes more meat. Royal Canin includes a lot of protein from plant materials, while Diamond Naturals includes more whole chicken and chicken meal.

Bottom Line

Royal Canin Shih Tzu dog food is a grain-inclusive option specifically designed for Shih Tzus. It relies heavily on grains for both nutrients and protein, though it does include chicken by-products as well. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, especially thanks to the food’s high-fiber content.