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I have a lovely little Shih Tzu who has always been a fussy eater so I tried him on the Royal Canin Shih Tzu 24 because I presumed it would suit him as it was especially for this bread. He loved it for the first 3 or 4 weeks then he got the runs so I took him to the vets and they sent off samples to be analyzed and came back with the results showing it was it food he was allergic to and therefore it did not suit his stomach. I was a little bit annoyed about this so I rang Royal Canin and they said that he must be allergic to one or some of the ingredients in the kibble, they advised I try a different variety, so I put him on the Royal Canin adult 27 mix and he has been on that now for 4 months and never had any problems, I really don't know what the difference is in ingredient but it does seem to suit him. Also if you buy it from Pets at Home they often have offers on this range of buy one get one free, so stock up in the weeks they have this offer. The other thing I forgot to mention is that this is the only food I have been able to buy that has small kibbles for adult dogs, although my dog is adult he is only small and enjoys smaller kibbles.
Royal Canine is a well respected manufacturer of pet foods, and a fairly recent addition to their range of foods has been the breed specific dried kibbles for dogs.
I have always used the Persian cat food for my hungry cats because they love it, and it has certainly suited their digestion over the years. They have shiny coats and are generally in good health, and the convenience of the dried food, and the general lack of smell, make it a good choice for them as they live indoors.
With this in mind I decided a few months ago to try a sachet of the Shih Tzu food for my little dog,Molly, as I saw it on a stand at the vets where clients are encouraged to try little samples for free. Shih Tzu food seemed a real novelty to me, I assume the dog breed, I so adore, must be a very popular one nationwide for there to be a food specifically for them. Hopefully however what I say about this food will apply to other dogs as Royal Canine makes a food specifically for many of the popular breeds.
One of the most important aspects to remember if you are making any changes to diets you feed to your pets is you must introduce them gradually. Dogs and cats have very delicate stomachs, and a sudden change can have disastrous consequences in terms of diarrhoea and so on so,if you are planning to use this food, or to try it ,then sprinkle a few kibbles on to their normal food, increasing it daily, making sure they can tolerate it without ill effects.
To purchase this food you have many alternatives. I recently got a supply from the online retailer Pet Supermarket where £10.37 will buy you a bag weighing 1.5kgs.
It is also available in many retail outlets, though not supermarkets, and many vets can order it in for you.
This 1.5 kg bag will supply an adult Shih Tzu for about 18 days, so it works out at 57p per day, which is good value, so cost wise there are no complaints here.
On the front of the packet it claims that tartar reduction is one of its attributes. Now I have mixed feelings about this, which have been confirmed by my own vet, and by my daughter who is also a vet. Loss of teeth in dogs is often due more to the type of saliva a dog has, rather than the type of food eaten. Many claims are made in the area of feeding, some say hard food encourages chewing and so removes plaque, but clinically vets see equal numbers of animals with poor teeth on wet and dry food diets, and many with appalling molars eat only dry food, as indeed one of my Persians does. He has lost most of his teeth despite regular cleaning by me with a toothbrush and veterinary supplied paste. My own dog used to have Dental Rask Bones intended to help preserve teeth in tip top condition, but sadly her front bottom teeth have fallen over and out like little dominoes over the years. I think the best way to prevent tooth decay is not to feed them sweet biscuits or human tit bits, other than that I'm afraid I think this claim is not that significant and certainly not a reason to purchase.
Secondly it claims to reduce stool odour and volume. Well sad to say this isn't the case with Molly. Lets just say she has plenty of wind, and as for her stools- well no change there.
Thirdly it claims the kibble size is perfect for a brachycephalic jaw, and I would say that this claim is 100% justified as Shih Tzus do have quite a squashed face, and find these kibbles a doddle to eat.
The next claim is with regards to the coat condition and here Royal Canine say that it soothes irritations as it is rich in borage oil, vitamin A and zinc. I would say that on this food Molly's coat condition improves, and it is shinier and is softer, so this claim is certainly justified and something I have found in my Persians who eat their breed specific food.
You can use this food from age 10 months and it is high in protein. I think its best attribute comes with the dry nature of the product which is easy to transport, so I tend to take this food with me when travelling as it is easy to serve and prepare. No messy bowls to wash up and less smell too!
The bag is resealable and the smell of the product is a mild meaty smell- nothing too trying for a veggie like me! The little kibbles are pale brown and crunchy, and I have to say that Molly adores them. She wolfs down the entire bowl I give her with no hesitation, which has to be the best recommendation than anything I could say.
I think it is really important with dry foods to keep lots of fresh water available, and to promptly remove any uneaten food which is of course not a problem with Molly!
If you are thinking of buying this you may like to know the ingredients which are listed below.
Ingredients: rice, dehydrated poultry meat, animal fats, vegetable protein isolate, hydrolysed animal proteins, vegetable fibres, beet pulp, vegetable oils (soya and borage), fish oil, minerals, fructo-oligo-saccharides, DL-methionine, sodium polyphosphate, L-tyrosine, taurine, green tea and grape extracts (source of polyphenols), L-lysine, hydrolysed crustaceans (source of glucosamine), marigold extract (source of lutein), L-carnitine, hydrolysed cartilage (source of chondroitin).
If you visit the Royal Canine website there are accurate feeding instructions for different life stages, and an excellent table makes it easy to determine accurate details.
I think this food is an excellent choice for Shih Tzus and I certainly think it suits Molly in most ways, other than I think certainly wind is generated more with this food than when she eats tinned food like Cesar. It is something to consider and try yourself, as if your dog has this little side effect you may want to think before feeding them if you are planning to have guests over!
It represents good value for money, and is made by a firm who are well respected in the Veterinary world.
This review also appears on Ciao under my user name there Violet1278.