What Is The Average Weight For a Shih Tzu?
If you feel like your beloved Shih Tzu has put on some weight or maybe they're not eating enough, you might be curious to find out what a Shih Tzu should weigh.
Well, on average at the adult age of 1 year and over, your Shih Tzu should weigh between 4 - 7kg depending on multiple factors such as their parents, food given and exercise.
Any weight in between this range is considered healthy for your Shih Tzu and you should be able to feel its ribs but not prominently through there skin.
Common Weight Chart & Ages For a Shih Tzu
It's hard to give a specific age that corresponds to a particular weight for a Shih Tzu as this varies between litters and many other factors.
We've taken the average weights of Shih Tzu's below and listed them out so as you can get a general idea of what to be looking for.
- Baby Shih Tzu - A newborn Shih Tzu should weigh around 140g on average.
- 4 weeks old - At 4 weeks old your puppy should weigh 10% of its adult body weight which is ideally around 500g.
- 8 weeks old - 20% of your dogs adult bodyweight is expected at this point so around 1kg.
- 3 months old - For 3 months old weight of around 1.8kg is great.
- 4 months old - 2.7 kg or 2.8 is expected at 4 months due to a growth spurt.
- 6 months old - At this age, you can expect you, Shih Tzu, to be either half its body weight or more, in this case around 4.6kg.
- 7 months old - 5.5kg is the average weight for a Shih Tzu puppy of 7 months.
- 1 year old - Your Shih Tzu at this stage should be a fully grown adult and weigh around 5.6kg - 7kg.
How Can I Calculate How Much My Shih Tzu Will Weigh As An Adult?
You can calculate how much your puppy will weigh as an adult with an estimate calculation - (12 weeks old) - Current Weight X 2 plus 1 pound = adult weight.
Weight variation, however, is common depending on different dogs and their genes.
Tips To Help Your Shih Tzu Gain Weight
Many tips focus around maintaining your Shih Tzu's weight or helping them lose weight, however, many don't consider that your dog might be underweight.
We've put together some important tips below to help you with weight gain for your dog.
Add Snacks/Free Food Into Your Dogs Diet
Adding snacks such as high vitamin treats or letting your dog have food down whenever he wants it can encourage weight gain.
Free food should only be used for weight gain however and not maintenance as this could lead to a dog overeating.
Choose High-Calorie Food
Choose to feed your Shih Tzu higher calorie options such as rice or fattier meats, maybe up the portion sizes if you would prefer to keep to the same type of food.
Feed More Small Meals Per Day
Instead of two large meals per day try feeding your dog lots of smaller ones throughout the day. This will give you dog more opportunity to take in more calories.
Stressed dogs may have a hard time eating if they are constantly anxious about their environment. For this to improve you need to get to the root cause of your dog's stress before they can start to gain any weight.
Avoid Dry Food
Dry food can be unappealing to many dogs due to the lack of smell, making it hard for picky eaters to gain weight. Instead try feeding your dog wet or fresh food as this will be more appealing to your dog's nose, making your Shih Tzu more likely to eat.
Tips To Help Your Shih Tzu Lose Weight
Now, if you have an overweight dog and you are struggling to help it lose weight, we also have some no-fail tips below that will be sure to reduce the weight of your dog with consistency.
Stop The Table Scraps
Table scraps can be an easy way for your dog to gain weight without you noticing. Most of the scraps we are giving our dogs are too high in calories and are not needed in addition to their treats and meals that are given per day.
Try taking your Shih Tzu out on two walks instead of one and increasing the time they spend outside by 5 or 10 minutes, these extra minutes can help burn much more calories for your dog.
You could also schedule games such as fetch or tug of war throughout the days to keep your dog more active and burn calories.
Begging is a bad habit for dogs to develop and you should not give in to it as this could be a reason for your Shih Tzu's excess weight. Begging is a habit developed by dogs as they see the food as a reward for when they beg, making them more likely to do it again.
Reduce your dog's overall portion size for his meals to cut back on calories, try reducing by 1/4 of a cup at a time to get started as a huge cut back may make your dog fatigued.
How Often Should I Feed My Shih Tzu
The amount of times you feed your Shih Tzu depends on how old it is and whether you are trying to maintain, grow or help your dog lose weight.
Under 3 months
Puppies under 3 months can be what we call 'free fed' which in other words means leaving food out at all times for your puppy, this can stop form getting low blood sugar and keep there energy levels topped up for growing.
Between 3 - 12 months
Between 3 and 12 months your Shih Tzu should be fed three balanced meals per day at regular time intervals, this is vital for the growing stage of your Shih Tzu.
Adult Shih Tzu's can be fed twice daily with snacks throughout the day till mealtime. You should never feed this toy breed only one meal per day.
What Foods Should I Avoid Feeding To My Shih Tzu?
There are some foods to never feed your Shih Tzu that can cause serious problems if a large amount is ingested by your dog.
- Onions - Onions are very common in sauces, pies and pizza and should never be given to your Shih Tzu as they cause problems with their RBC.
- Chocolate - A small amount of chocolate given to Shih Tzu's can result in death or seizures for a small dog of this size.
- Raisins - Raisins are very toxic to your Shih Tzu and can cause serious damage to your dog's kidneys if consumed.
- Fruit seeds - The seeds within fruits can cause many issues to a Shih Tzus breathing and heart and go bad quickly after consuming.
- Salt - Salt in small amounts is not deadly to your Shih Tzu but can be harmful to your dog's kidneys when given in excess, so you should avoid giving your dog salty snacks or scraps too.
- Macadamia nuts - These type of nuts can cause issues with your dogs like paralysis and tremors and should be avoided at all costs, even in small amounts.
- Tea/coffee - Never let your dog have a lick of your morning tea and coffee, these liquids can be very upsetting your dog's stomach and even cause seizures in small pets like Shih Tzus.
Can I Make My Shih Tzu's Food Myself?
As long as you are feeding to your Shih Tzu's nutritional requirements there is no reason why you can't be feeding your dog fresh human foods and veg.
Food such as chicken rice and veg can be made up for your dog's meals, as well as peanut butter, eggs and salmon can be given to your dog.
Other vegetables like sweet potato, apple and carrots can additionally be nutritional for your dog.
Make sure to monitor your dog on this new fresh food diet and see if it agrees with his stomach, also check with your vet to ensure your dogs is getting the right nutrition from your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shih Tzu's Weight & Age
Can my Shih Tzu eat rice?
Yes, most of these dogs can eat rice, however, you should introduce rice slowly into your dog's diet as some may not agree with this grain.
Rice is a great food to reduce allergies too if your dog is suffering from unknown food allergy issues.
How many calories should I be feeding my dog?
This depends on your Shih Tzu's exercise level and age but on average you should be feeding your dog around 35 calories per pound of body weight, this can be reduced by 5lbs when your dog reaches senior age as they will be less active.
What is a raw diet for Shih Tzu's?
A raw diet for Shih Tzu's can be beneficial when done right and should contain around 50% of high-quality protein for your dog, this could be from raw eggs, muscle meats and organ meats such as the liver.
Fruit and vegetables for your dog should only make up 30% of its diet if you are feeding the dog carbohydrates, if not raise it to 50%.
On average, your one-year-old Shih Tzu should weigh between 4-7kg depending on its exercise level and genes, if you want your dog to have a healthy balanced weight, ensure it's staying active and eating a balanced diet of protein, carbs and veg.