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					Shih Tzu
Best balance of nutrients for Shih Tzus

S u m m a r y
Key points Nutritional responses A particularly sensitive skin Helping the skin defend itself from exterior aggressions A sumptuous coat that needs care The Shih Tzu: a small dog rarely troubled by weight gain Helping maintain an ideal weight A dog exposed to age-related disease Slowing down the development of degenerative diseases Teeth and jaws in need of protection Slowing down the development of dental plaque and tartar A nutritional program for every stage of the Shih Tzu‘s life The history of the Shih Tzu The morphology of the breed Scientific references Glossary A history of innovation at Royal Canin

4 5 6 8 10 14 15 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 28 30 31

The history of the Shih Tzu goes back to Asia. The breed is actually the result of a cross between the Lhasa Apso from Tibet and the Pekingese from China. Step by step, the Shih Tzu left the confines of the Imperial Court to become a highly prized companion dog with large populations in a number of countries. So much so that in Japan, for example, only three other breeds are born in greater numbers every year. The length of its coat, the abundance of hair on its head and body and its long moustaches give it an altogether unique aesthetic character. Diet is one of the major factors ensuring the Shih Tzu remains in good health. Whatever the natural qualities of the coat, the hair needs a daily supply of all the nutrients essential to its regeneration if it is to retain its silkiness, shine and volume. Just like the Yorkshire Terrier and the Lhasa Apso, the hair of the Shih Tzu never stops growing: as a result it requires a controlled intake of amino acids, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. Any nutritional deficiency will alter the condition of the coat, as it really does mirror the dog’s health. For more than 30 years, Royal Canin has made a series of major breakthroughs in humankind’s understanding of canine nutrition. Its teams of veterinarians and nutritionists have an ongoing daily partnership with breeders in which they study ways to help dogs express the best of themselves, in terms of physical performance and aesthetic qualities. In the particular case of the Shih Tzu, we now have a great deal of objective experience with respect to the role played by nutrients in keeping the skin healthy and the coat beautiful. For this breed, the main concern is limiting irritations that undermine the integrity of the skin, facilitating the penetration of allergens and infectious agents. Nutrition is a considerable help in strengthening the protective skin barrier. This is the target we set ourselves in developing food tailored to the needs of the Shih Tzu.


Royal Canin’s enduring challenge is to successfully satisfy the nutritional requirements of breeds as diverse as the Shih Tzu, the Yorkshire Terrier, the German Shepherd and the Labrador. The differences in size and weight are accompanied by differences in anatomy, physiology and even behavior, which lead us to develop an optimal nutritional response for each individual breed. - The physical form and texture of the kibble is dictated by the size of the breed’s teeth and the sensitivity of its gums. - The nutrients in the food that combat the effects of aging (a higher quantity of antioxidants that protect the joints) are especially important for small dogs, which are more susceptible to degenerative diseases (heart, joints, eyes) due to their longer life expectancy. - Lifestyle – the dog’s relationship with its owner – also influences the dog’s dietary behavior and pre f e rences. A small dog tends to be more demanding than a large dog. We want to offer the most balanced nutritional response to the needs of all dogs, giving them the best chance of a long, healthy life. We are no longer content to simply provide for the dog’s basic needs through its diet. Nowadays, our foods have a role to play in combating the risks that threaten the health of the dog. We offer a food that is tailored to the age and size of the dog, but we also pay close attention to the particularities of the breed, which means we target specific threats and provide an optimal nutritional response. Once again, I would like to stress that it’s only by leveraging the unrivaled expertise of breeders and the foremost specialists across the world that Royal Canin’s R&D has been able to develop this exceptional food to meet the needs of an exceptional dog.

Henri Lagarde Chief Executive Off i c e r Royal Canin Group







SHIH TZU 24: Nutritional responses!
1 Helping the skin defend itself from exterior aggressions (p. 8)
G strengthening the effectiveness of the skin barrier G controlling inflammation with essential fatty acids

2 Promoting the hair’s natural beauty
G providing all the amino acids essential to the regeneration of the coat

(p. 11)

G promoting the coat’s sheen by providing a diverse, well balanced range of fatty acids in the food G guaranteeing vitamin intake corresponding to the considerable requirements of the hair G facilitating the assimilation of trace elements

3 Helping maintain an ideal weight
G providing sufficient energy in a low volume G instilling dietary behavior

(p. 15)

4 Slowing down the development of degenerative diseases (p. 18)
G facilitating the heart function with antioxidants to combat oxidative stress, taurine essential G reinforcing antioxidant defenses to slow down the appearance of cataracts G limiting phosphorus intake to compensate for the loss of kidney filtration capacity G protecting the joints with glucosamine and chondroitin

for proper cardiac contractility, and limiting sodium intake in the diet

5 Slowing the development of dental plaque and tartar (p. 21)
G mechanical action of the kibble on plaque and tartar G chemical action of salivary calcium chelating agents G antiseptic action of green tea polyphenols



A particularly sensitive skin

Longitudinal cross-section of a hair follicle
1 - Sweat gland 2 - Sebaceous gland 3 - Ceramides (cement) 4 - Muscle

The secretions of the sebaceous and sweat glands mix to form a protective emulsion that covers the hair and restores the surface of the skin.

For Shi Tzus aged between two months and seven years, the main reason for a visit to the veterinarian is dermatology-related. The risk of skin complaints is six to seven time greater than in the average dog population (Purdue Veterinary Medical Data Base, 1981-2001). The Shi Tzu’s skin sensitivity is proven by the high incidence of atopy*. Atopy (or atopic dermatitis) can be caused by allergens such as dust mites and pollens ( Willemse, 2000). It is the second most common allergic skin disease among dogs, behind hypersensitivity to flea bites. Around 5% of dogs will be atopic and the Shih Tzu is one of the 20 worst affected breeds (Prélaud, 1999).

* see glossary on p. 30


The incidence of allergic diseases is rising strongly in human populations in industrialized countries, so it is logical that the same tendency has been observed in dogs, which share the same environment (Hillier & Griffin, 2001). Clinically speaking, skin irritation provokes pruritus, the intensity of which depends on the time of the year. If the dog scratches itself a lot it may cause lesions in the interdigital spaces, on the internal surface of the ears and in the auditory canal, on the abdomen and in the axillary spaces, on the face (around the eyes and on the periphery of the lips) and on the ventral surface of the neck. Depending on the degree of inflammation, symptoms range from simple red spots on the skin to more severe lesions. More than 55% of atopic dogs exhibit otitis (Harvey & Mc Keever, 2000). Indeed, otitis is a warning sign of atopy in 45% of cases (Willemse, 2000).

Reaction of the epidermis during acute pruritus

Scales (crusts)


Healthy skin

In the event of pruritus, scratching damages the epidermis, which reduces its barrier function. Skin under attack is unable to limit water loss. This facilitates penetration by allergens and infectious agents.

Broken skin


Helping the skin defend itself from exterior aggressions
Recent studies show that the skin barrier in atopic dogs does not contain sufficient lamellae (ceramides) between the cells. This deficiency in ‘cement’ means that the skin cannot carry out its protective tasks correctly, which, facilitates penetration by allergens (Inman & al, 2001).

I m p o rt nce of intercellular lipids a for the skin barrier function
Outer surf a c e Epidermis 500 microns 25 microns

Objective #1: strengthening the effectiveness of the skin barr i e r
Twenty-seven nutrients that can have a beneficial effect on the skin barrier function have been evaluated at the Waltham Research Centre. The selection criteria are based on limiting water loss through the epidermis and synthesizing skin lipids, particularly ceramides*. The effect of the various substances was evaluated in vitro, then confirmed in the dog. Four B vitamins and one amino acid* acting in synergy have been found to have a beneficial effect on the skin barrier (Watson & al, 2003a). B vitamins are water soluble and they are not stored in the body. In general, a balanced food and the intestinal bacteria guarantee a sufficient intake. The intake can become marginal, however, due to major water loss, antibiotic treatment or competition from other substances. For example, prolonged consumption of raw egg whites will disrupt biotin absorption.

Cells (keratinocytes) Intercellular lipids

Distance traveled t h rough epiderm i s compared with epidermal thickness

The skin barrier is composed of overlapping cells that are held together by layers of lipid (ceramides, fatty acids, cholesterol) in a brick and m o rtar analogy. The skin barrier prevents excessive water loss and the penetration into the body of infectious agents and allergens.

* see glossary on p. 30


Effect of a skin barrier cocktail (niacin, pantothenic acid, choline, inositol and histidine supplementation) on the synthesis of skin lipids by keratocytes in vitro
( f ro Watson & al, 2003) m A layer of keratocytes (epidermal cells that produce keratin) was incubated in the laboratory, in the presence of radioactive precursors for the synthesis of lipids. The lipid syntheses are quantified by counting the number of markers integrated by the cells.



Objective #2: controlling inflammation with essential fatty acids
Some fatty acids are said to be ‘essential’ because the body is incapable of synthesizing them. For dogs these are linoleic acid* (omega 6) and gamma linolenic acid* (omega 3). Deficiency of these essential fatty acids will lead to desquamation of the skin and the skin barrier function will be altered (Scott & al, 2001). Essential fatty acids have a dual role: they balance the composition of the superficial lipid film to limit dry skin phenomena (Watson & al, 2003b), while also slowing the synthesis of inflammatory mediators. The anti-inflammatory properties of long chain omega 3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA* are also widely used in human and veterinarian dermatology ( B y rne & al, 2000). Their regular administration often permits a reduction in the dogs of medication need to relieve some skin irritations (Prélaud, 1999).

- Niacin (or nicotinamide) is synthesized from tryptophan. It is essential for cellular respiration. Niacin deficiency causes pruriginous dermatitis of the dog’s abdomen and the hind limbs (it’s called pellagra in humans). - Pantothenic acid is involved as a coenzyme in many synthetic reactions, including those of fatty acids. - Choline and inositol work in tandem and play a role in the generation of cell membranes. Choline forms phospholipids in combination with phosphoru s . - Histidine is essential to the growth and maturation of epidermal cells (keratinocytes).


* see glossary on p. 30


A sumptuous coat that needs care
Its abundant coat is unquestionably the Shih Tzu’s main weapon in its attempt to seduce you: the opulence of the fur is a major trait of the breed. The hair is long and dense, with a thick undercoat. The hair is abundant everywhere on the head. - The hair will fall into its eyes if it is not tied back - The large drooping ears are very hairy and run seamlessly into the collar hair - The moustache and beard are thick - The facial hairs are pressed upwards, giving the dog a highly identifiable aspect that gives it the name ‘Chrysanthemum dog’ The long hair is ubiquitous on the rest of the body. The tail forms an abundant plume, even the feet look big due to the profusion of hair. Such a coat naturally demands brushing and combing at least once a day. Not less than thirty minutes a day is required to ensure the coat gets the care it needs and to prevent any knots from forming. If it is not maintained regularly, the hair quickly will become a focal point for parasites and skin infections. The ear hairs must be plucked. It is advisable to tie back the hair from the eyes so that it can see and to prevent irritation to the cornea. The Shih Tzu is particularly sensitive to this type of lesion. The position of the eyelashes cause them to rub against the cornea and the Shih Tzu is known to produce few tears (Lin Chung Tien & Wu-Szu, 2002). In certain cases, that may lead to progressive bilateral keratoconjunctivitis*. Daily cleaning of the eyes is recommended to help prevent this problem.

© Lanceau

* see glossary on p. 30


Promoting the hair’s natural beauty
The beauty of the coat obviously depends on genetics and the selection by the breeders, but its natural qualities will only be expressed when the food provides the elements essential for growth and regeneration.

Objective #1: providing all the amino acids essential to the regeneration of the coat
The syntheses necessary for maintaining the skin and the hair can represent up to 30% of an adult dog’s daily protein requirement. The most interesting proteins are those that provide a high level of sulfur amino acids (methionine, cystine), as they are essential to the synthesis of keratin*, the main protein of hair.

Objective #2: promoting the coat’s sheen by providing a diverse, well balanced range of fatty acids in the food
The luster of the coat is connected to the composition of the sebum, a natural oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands and stored in the hair follicles. Sebum also has the task of preventing the hair from matting by eliminating scale. The sebum makes the keratin more elastic and supple. The lipids in the sebum are species and breed specific, but sebum production and quality are also influenced by the food (Dunstan & al, 2000). Some nutrients help achieve a significant improvement in the beauty of the dog’s coat. This is particularly true of polyunsaturated fatty acids* from vegetable sources.


* see glossary on p. 30

Linoleic acid (omega 6 series), which acts in synergy with zinc (Marsh & Watson, 1999) and gamma linolenic acid (GLA) * help achieve the hair’s sheen. GLA alters the metabolism of fatty acids towards the synthesis of anti-inflammatory substances. Borage oil, which is widely used in human dietetics and cosmetology, is the only oil to contain more than 20% of GLA.

The presence of borage oil in the food provides interesting results in relation to various skin complaints, such as allergic manifestations and the excessive production of sebum by the skin (seborrhea) (Quoc & Pascaud, 1996). It must be noted that the efficacy of borage oil is even greater when it is used in association with fish oils (Sture & Lloyd, 1995). These contain very long chain omega 3 fatty acids, which inhibit the metabolism of arachidonic acid* and its derivatives, which are responsible for inflammation.

Borage (Borago officinalis) is a plant originally found in Asia, although it’s cultivated in North Africa and various Euro p e a n countries. The seeds are pressed to obtain the oil.

Objective #3: guaranteeing vitamin intake corresponding to the considerable re q u i re ments of the hair
Vitamin A regulates the growth of epidermal cells as well as the production of sebum. It helps combat seborrhea* and the dandruff that often forms after pruritus. Vitamin A acts in synergy with zinc and sulfur amino acids. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are very sensitive to oxidation. Increased quantities of vitamin E in the food will help to minimize the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Biotin is essential to skin integrity. Biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss.

Objective #4: facilitating the assimilation of trace elements
Trace elements are minerals that act in a very low concentration in the body. The trace elements most directly connected to the beauty of the coat are iron, zinc, copper and iodine. - An iron and copper deficiency may explain certain anomalies of hair pigmentation - An iodine deficiency prevents the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and leads to dry, brittle hair - Zinc acts in synergy with linoleic acid to enhance the hair’s sheen. A deficiency is expressed in dull hair and scales. * see glossary on p. 30


The quantity of trace elements in the food does not correspond to the quantity actually available to the body. The level of absorption depends on the chemical form that the trace element is provided in and the other ingredients, as there are interactions between the various elements. For example, the absorption of calcium is in competition with the absorption of zinc, copper and iodine. The absorption ratio of trace elements is often less than 30%. However, this proportion is clearly improved when they are provided in an organic form (chelated* with amino acids). This means they are used more efficiently by the body. For example, it has been shown that a surplus of calcium in the food inhibits the absorption of zinc, more of which is evacuated in the feces. However, if zinc is provided in a chelated form; its assimilation is not altered by excess calcium (Lowe & al, 1994).

Influence of the form of zinc intake on hair growth
( f rom Lowe & al, 1994)

zinc chelate + calcium zinc oxide + calcium zinc chelate zinc oxide

Speed of hair growth (mg/d/cm2) Zinc binding in the hair (micrüg/10 cm2/25 day) The chelated zinc binds to the hair more easily than zinc in inorganic form (zinc oxide) and the speed of hair growth is significantly faster. When the dietary intake of calcium, a zinc antagonist, is excessive, the zinc binding in the hair falls for zinc oxide, while it is identical if the zinc is supplied in chelated form .


* see glossary on p. 30


The Shih Tzu: a small dog rarely troubled by weight gain
The rapid growth of a small-breed dog generally goes together with a risk of gaining weight in adulthood. The development of fatty tissue begins after weaning and excessive energy consumption during growth encourages the multiplication of lipid storage cells. On the other hand, developing the habit of frequently giving a small dog tidbits has a much more serious consequence for it than for a large dog. It is, however, necessary to qualify this general tendency to weight gain based on the genetic factors particular to each breed. Unlike many small dogs, the Shih Tzu is not prone to become overweight (Edney & Smith, 1986). As its long hair can hide his figure, it is important to regularly check the dog’s weight and adapt the ration to its dietary requirements. The ideal weight stated in the FCI standard is between 10 lbs and 16 lbs, depending on the sex and the line.

A few errors to avoid…
1. To feed your dog just before you eat yourself. If the dog begs for food, it isn’t because it is hungry, but because it is trying to attain dominance over its owner. 2. To give food from the table. This will change the dog’s image of its owner. 3. To encourage the dog to eat by giving it food in your hand and do not watch the dog while it eats. This will encourage the dog to refuse its food in its desire to move up the pecking order. 4. To try to win the dog’s affection by giving it tidbits. The ration is there to satiate the dog’s hunger, while play and walks are the foundations of the dog-owner relationship (Müller, 2004).


Helping maintain an ideal weight
Objective #1: providing sufficient energy in a low volume
The energy content in the ration must be relatively high to maintain an optimal weight: Shih Tzu 24 contains 20% fatty acids and provides more than 4200 kcal/kg. Such an energy concentration allows dogs that do not eat a large quantity of food to take in all the calories they require in a fairly small ration. A 13-lb Shih Tzu should consume between 3.5 oz and 4.5 oz of kibbles per day.

Objective #2: instilling dietary behavior
Spreading the ration over at least two meals a day is strongly recommended, so as to make digestion easier. This regularity particularly suits the Shih Tzu, which often vomits after eating (Henroteaux, 1996). These complaints are sometimes due to muscle fiber hypertrophy in the pylorus (the sphincter at the end of the stomach), which slows down stomach evacuation. This disease, known as hypertrophic pyloric gastropathy is traditionally observed in brachycephalic breeds* , for the most part Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu males (Hall, 2003). Every supplement must be excluded so as not to upset the dietary balance. Shih Tzu 24 is a complete food that meets all the breed’s requirements. To benefit fully from all its nutritional qualities it should be consumed exclusively. The way in which the food is given also influences the dog’s general behavior, particularly that of a small dog that is very close to its owner. The following four points must be remembered to avoid errors.

Basic rules for dog food
(source: Royal Canin, 2001)

Same place Same conditions Remove the bowl after 10 minutes

2-3 servings/day After the owner at fixed times Complete food Rationing Fresh water

The establishment and maintenance of a dietary ritual for the dog is essential from the earliest age. The dog adapts well to a certain dietary monotony, which it experiences as a reassuring regularity. Changing its diet regularly goes against its natural behavior.


* see glossary on p. 30


A dog exposed to age-related disease
The breed is known for its longevity: breeders have affirmed that some Shih Tzus live to age 17 or longer. Based on data on 3000 dogs provided by a UK company offering animal insurance, the average life expectancy of the breed is 13.4 years (Michell, 2000). Age-related symptoms appear insidiously: the body is able to compensate the gradual wear on organs through mechanisms of adaptation that mask the development of certain degenerative diseases. By the time they become perceptible, they have generally been developing over a protracted period and only palliative medical treatment is possible. Nutrition is the only means of anticipating and slowing down the aging processes.

The main age-related ailments in the Shih Tzu
The risk of a cataract i n c reases with age Endocardiosis a ffects 60% of dogs over 7 years of age 80% of osteoarthritic dogs are over 8 years of age The most commonly observed ailments in an elderly dog include: cataracts, kidney disease, osteoarthritis of the joints and heart failure .

Lens and retina diseases
Ocular diseases are fairly frequent among Shih Tzus. Young dogs are screened for retinal diseases to prevent the transmission of hereditary faults (Christmas, 1992), whereas cataracts are the most common disease among elderly dogs (Slatter, 1990). A cataract is caused by the progressive sclerosis of the crystalline lens. The eye gradually becomes opaque and the eyesight is reduced, sometimes failing altogether. A study has been conducted on 42 dogs, including 13 Shih Tzus in Japan to study the use of intraocular prosthetics in silicone to replace the lens (Yogo & al, 2001).


Kidney failure
According to the available epidemiological data, kidney failure is the most common disease among Shih Tzus when all age classes are taken into consideration. The risk is twelve times greater than in the dog population as a whole (Purdue Veterinary Medical Data Base, 19812001). This observation is undoubtedly partly explained by kidney dysplasia. The non-functional nephrons* are replaced by fibrous tissue, which can represent up to 50% of the kidney (Ohara & al, 2001). The disease is genetic and transmitted recessively*, and there is now a test on the market to identify defective genes. Eradication programs have been set up (Hoppe & al, 1990).

Prevalence of chronic kidney failure based on age
(Adams, 1995) P revalence of chronic kidney f a i l u rebased on age (%)


1 to 2

2 to 4

4 to 7

7 to 10 10 to 15


Age (years)

Articular osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is an expression of an abnormality in the articular cartilage and underlying bone tissue. The disease is characterized by painful surges. Loss of movement (ankylosis) is variable. It is caused by abnormal movements of the joint, following the poor congruence between the surfaces of the joint. Among the diseases that predispose the ultimate development of osteoarthritis, we would mention: - Medial patellar luxation, frequent among small dogs. - Hip dysplasia, linked to hyperlaxity of the coxofemoral joint. While particularly frequent in large dogs, this disease is not rare among Shih Tzus: 18.8% of the dogs exhibit a predisposition (OFA: years 74-2003) - Degeneration of the intervertebral disks: the Shih Tzu is one of the six breeds most at risk (Priester, 1976)

Heart pathology
Bearing in mind its long lifespan, like all small dogs, the Shih Tzu is at risk of endocardiosis, which is the most common heart disease. It is caused by modifications in the stiffness of the heart valves, which disrupt general circulation. The males suffer more than the females. Generally speaking, brachycephalic breeds like the Shih Tzu suffer from bradycardia, which is the slowing of the heart rate. In some cases, it can produce symptoms of weakness and fainting (Fabries, 2002).


* see glossary on p. 30

Slowing down the development of degenerative diseases
Objective #1: slowing down the appearance of cataracts
Strengthening the body’s defenses through a synergic cocktail of antioxidants (vitamins E and C, taurine*, polyphenols and lutein) is a very effective way to protect the dog from light-accelerated lens oxidation (Jacques & al, 2001). Of all antioxidants, the most important is lutein, a xanthophyll* pigment, which belongs to the carotenoid class and is present in high concentrations in the lens and the retina. An increased dietary intake helps boost the density of the pigments in the retinal macula ( B e rendschot & al, 2000). In humans the risk of cataracts is inversely proportional to the serous content and the quantity of lutein ingested (Gale & al, 2001). Its incorporation in Shih Tzu 24 enables the dog to benefit from its protective power at an early age.

Lutein helps limit lens degeneration

The macula (retinal zone of maximum visual acuity) owes its yellow color to carotenoid pigments such as lutein. These pigments absorb UV rays and act as a protective filter for the cells of the retina.

1 - Macula 2 - Retina 3 - Optic nerve 4 - Corn e a 5 - Lens 6 - Vitreous liquid

* see glossary on p. 30


Objective #2: compensating the loss of kidney filtration capacity
When the kidney function is disturbed, phosphorus tends to accumulate in the body. The restriction of dietary phosphorus is an effective means of slowing down the development of kidney disease. Several studies show that a diet low in phosphorus extends the life expectancy of dogs suffering from kidney failure (Finco & al, 1992). On the other hand, the reduction of ingested proteins has no recognized effect on the speed of deterioration of kidney filtration in dogs that do not display any clinical signs (McCarthy & al, 2001).

Influence of limiting the phosphorus content in the diet on the life expectancy of dogs suffering from chronic kidney failure
( f rom Finco & al, 1992) % dogs still alive

Objective #3: protecting the joints
The intake of glucosamine and chondroitin* contributes to protecting the joints (Innes, 2001). Glucosamine stimulates the regeneration of cartilage, while chondroitin inhibits the action of enzymes responsible for cartilage destruction.

0.4% phosphorus (n = 12) 1.4% phosphorus (n = 12)


After two years, 75% of the dogs on the limited phosphorus diet were still alive, as opposed to only 33% of the dogs on a high phosphorus diet.

Objective #4: facilitating the heart function
G Vitamins E and C: in dogs, the administration of vitamin E can limit oxidation phenomena in the membranes of red blood cells, which helps attain a better resistance to physical effort (Grandjean & al, 1998). The presence of vitamin C enhances the effect of vitamin E by facilitating its regeneration. G Green tea polyphenols*: some polyphenols limit platelet aggregation and so contribute to slowing the formation of obstacles to blood circulation (Osman & al, 1998). G Limiting the intake of sodium in the food: the sodium content in the Shih Tzu’s food must remain moderate. The target is below 100 mg Na/100 kcal, so as not to aggravate any hypertension (Freeman & al, 2003). G Intake of taurine: taurine improves heart contractions by facilitating the transfer of ionized calcium in the myocardium cells (Schaffer & al, 1994).


* see glossary on p. 30


Teeth and jaws in need of protection
Eighty percent of dogs older than 6 years of age exhibit a moderate to severe inflammation of the supporting tissue of the tooth, the periodontium (Hamp & al, 1984). Periodontal disease* is the result of a battle between the bacteria that accumulate on the dental crowns (bacterial dental plaque) and the body’s defense system. Periodontal disease affects all dogs in the course of their life, but the impairment varies depending on the breed and the individual. Dogs weighing 22 pounds or less are affected at an earlier age and are more severely affected (Harvey & al, 1994). Periodontal disease naturally becomes worse with age. A number of common factors in small dogs (reduced masticatory activity, dental malocclusion*, persistence of deciduous teeth and absence of oral hygiene) can favor the accumulation of dental plaque. A milligram of dental plaque contains around 10 million bacteria (Loesche, 1988). These bacteria provoke an inflammatory reaction in the gingiva, called gingivitis. They can also provoke even deeper lesions (destruction of the gingiva, lesions of the alveolodental ligament, lesion of the alveolar bone that supports the tooth). These deep lesions that loosen the tooth are typical of periodontitis.

Jaw thickness is not pro p o rtional to tooth size
( f rom Gioso & al, 2001)



In a dog weighing more than 65 lbs., the ratio between D and C (mandible thickness/height of the first molar) is close to 1. In a dog weighing less than 25 lbs., the ratio between D and C (mandible thickness/height of the first molar) is close to 0.6-0.7 from 0.76 +/- 0.02. The slightest thickness of the bone weakens the mandible in the event of periodontal disease.

* see glossary on p. 30


Slowing down the development of dental plaque and tartar
Objective #1: mechanical action of the kibble
As a general rule, the dog exhibits an increased accumulation of dental plaque/tartar and more severe gingivitis when it is given soft and sticky food than when it is given hard and fibrous food (Egelberg, 1965). Dogs that have several things to chew have less tartar and less gingivitis compared to those who have little or nothing to chew. The shape and the texture of the kibble have been studied specially to achieve a mechanical brushing action. By biting into the kibble the dog attains contact between the crown of the tooth and the hard surface of the food, which limits the accumulation of dental plaque.

Action of sodium polyphosphate

Calcium available Without sodium polyphosphate

Objective #2: chemical action of sodium polyphosphate
Sodium polyphosphate* belongs to a family of calcium chelating agents. Sodium polyphosphate temporarily traps the calcium ion (Ca ++) so that it is unavailable to form tartar. The calcium ion is later released in the digestive tract where it can be absorbed according to the body’s needs.

With sodium polyphosphate

Objective #3: antibacterial action of green tea polyphenols
Green tea polyphenols slow bacterial growth in the oral cavity. Some germs active in periodontal disease (e.g. porphyromonas assacharolytica) are highly sensitive to the action of polyphenols (Isogai & al,1995).

Calcium trapped

Polyphosphate belongs to a family of calcium chelating agents. It reduces the quantity of calcium available for the mineralization of the dental plaque. Its role is to slow down the formation of tartar.


* see glossary on p. 30

2-n1h0 mo t s


MINI babydog
Optimal nutrition that supplies everything a growing Shih Tzu needs.




Source of greater nutrition to cover the needs of a body that grows fast over a short period of time.

Hyperdigestible to guarantee balanced intestinal flora and regular digestive transit.

Kibble size, shape and texture adapted to the teeth and jaws of small-breed dogs.






Tailor-made nutrition exclusively formulated for the Shih Tzu.

Promotes the growth and shine of the coat. Contains borage and fish oil to maintain the hair’s silkiness.

Protects the skin through the balanced association of essential fatty acids, an intake of sulfur amino acids and a complex reinforcing the skin’s barrier effect.

Slows down the effects of aging thanks to a synergistic complex of antioxidants.


History of the Shih Tzu…

Tibetan origins In all probability the Shih Tzu is a cross between the Lhasa Apso, a Tibetan breed, and the Pekingese, a Chinese breed. As the name may suggest, Lhasa Apsos lived in the temples of Lhasa where they were used in various religious rites. These dogs were the private property of the Dalai Lama. In 1643, three of these dogs made the journey from Lhasa to Beijing as a gift to the Chinese emperor during the Manchu dynasty. It’s from this trio that the Shih Tzu we know descends.

A cross with the Pekingese At the imperial court, the Chinese gave the breed the name Shih Tzu Kou, or Tibetan Lion Dog, due to its lion-golden color – the lion was the symbolic charger of the Buddha. The kou or ‘dog’ was later dropped as the breed simply became the Shih Tzu, Tibetan Lion.
The dowager empress Tsu Hsi then received a number of tousled Lhasa Apsos from the Dalai Lama. The empress, who ran her kennel strictly, was ahead of her time as a dog fancier and a well informed breeder of Pekingese dogs. She separated the two breeds and interested herself in the golden ‘imperial honey’ color, which she favored above all others. A white line or band extending from the stop to the crown of the skull was considered to be the mark of Buddha. In 1908, Tsu Hsi died, bringing to an end her 64-year reign and so too the practice of sending Tibetan Lion Dogs to the emperors of China as tribute. The eunuchs of the Imperial Palace continued their breeding program, albeit not so rigorously, leading to crosses between the Lhasa Apso and the Pekingese. That resulted in a divergence in type, structure and size. That leads us to believe that the progenitors of the Shih Tzu breed were almost certainly crosses between these Tibetan Lhasa Apsos and Chinese Pekingeses.


A popular dog in Asia Before the takeover of southern Vietnam by the north, Shih Tzus were very well known in the Saigon region. The Vietnamese – as well as the Chinese – were especially fond of the black and white dogs bearing a white blaze on the forehead and a white color at the ends of the feet, as having ‘a forehead and feet in the snow’ was a symbol of fortune. In 1923, the Shanghai Kennel Club classed these dogs as Lhasa Terriers. Later, the Peking Kennel Club was established, programming ‘Lhasa Lion Dog’ categories in its shows. The Shih Tzu was shown in two weight classes: under 12 lbs and over 12 lbs. Introduction in the West All Shih Tzus descend from only thirteen basic lines. Twelve of them came from China between 1930 and 1950, and a cross with a Pekingese was introduced in the British population in 1952. Afterwards it was no longer possible to import new subjects from China due to the war. The genetic variety of Shih Tzus is consequently relatively meager; all the more so as the first dogs imported from China were probably blood relations. The Shih Tzu was recognized by the Kennel Club in 1946. The FCI recognized the breed in 1954.
Soldiers brought the dog back to the USA after World War Two and the AKC recognized the breed in 1969. Now very popular in the USA, it has been crossed with Toy Poodles to produce the Shih Poo.


The morphology of the breed
Origin: Tibet Patronage: United Kingdom Group 9: Companion and Toy Dogs, section 5 (Tibetan breeds)

General appearance: sturdy dog with abundant hair, arrogant carriage and c h rysanthemum-like face. Weight 10-18 lbs. The ideal weight according to the FCI standard is 10-16 lbs. Height No more than 10 1/2 inches. Coat and hair All colors are permitted. White blaze on the forehead and white tip on the tail are desirable in parti colors. The most common coats are black and white, gray and white, and fawn and white.
The opulence of the coat is an important trait of the breed. The hair is long and dense, not curly, although a slight wave is permitted. There is a good undercoat. Tying back the hair on the head is recommended.

Morphology (FCI standards 1998) Head Wide and round, with well spread eyes. The stop is marked. There is a tousled topknot with hair falling over the eyes. The moustache and whiskers are thick. The nose is black or dark brown in brown (liver) colored dogs. The top of the nose must be leveled or slightly lower than the lower rim of the eye. The nostrils are open wide. The muzzle displays a good width. It is short and square. The face is flat and measures around an inch from the tip of the nose to the stop. It is straight or slightly tilted. The pigmentation of the muzzle is as unbroken as possible. The jaws are of equal width or exhibit slight prognathism. The mouth is wide. The lips are close fitting. The eyes are large, round and dark, or lighter if the robe is liver colored. The white of the eye (sclerotic) is not visible. The eyes are well spaced, but prominent.


The ears are large, with long leathers. They are carried drooping, covered with abundant hair. The set-on is a little below the crown of the skull. The neck is well proportioned, attractively arched. It is long enough to carry the head proudly. The body Fairly long (the length from withers to tail set-on is greater than the height to the withers). The chest is broad and deep; the back is straight; the loins well coupled and sturdy. The tail Forms an abundant plume, taking the shape of a teapot handle. It is carried cheerily over the back, set on high. It extends to

the height of the skull, which gives it a well balanced figure.

Limbs The forequarters are short and muscular, with a good bone structure, and as straight as possible. The shoulders are well coupled and diagonal. The hindquarters are also short and muscular with a good bone structure. Straight when viewed from the rear. The feet are rounded, firm and well padded.


Scientific references
1. Purdue Veterinary Medical Data Base Publishing Award - 1248 Lynn Hall, Purdue University; West Lafayette, IN 47907, time period: Jan 01, 1981 to Nov 30, 2001.

Helping the skin defend itself from exterior aggressions
2. Byrne K Campbell KL, Davis C et al – The effects of dietary n-3 vs n-6 fatty acids on ex-vivo LTB4 generation by canine neutrophils. Veterinary Dermatology 2000; 11: 123-131. 3. Harvey RG, Mc Keever PJ - Manuel de dermatologie canine et féline, 2000. Masson Ed: 20-27. 4. Hillier A, Griffin CE - The American College of Veterinary Dermatology Task Force on Canine Atopic Dermatitis (I): incidence and prevalence. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology (Special Issue); Olivry T (Ed), (81) 2001, Elsevier Science: 147-151. 5. Inman AO, Olivry T, Dunston SM et al – Electron microscopy of stratum corneum intercellular lipids in normal and atopic dogs. Vet Pathol 2001; 38: 720-723. 6. Prélaud P - Cas cliniques de dermatitis allergiques. Réunion GTV 56, 31p, 3 mai 1999. 7. Scott D, Miller W, Griffin C - Muller & Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology; 6th Edition, 2001, Saunders. 8. Watson AL, Baker CD, Bailey J et al (a) - Dietary constituents can improve canine epidermal barrier function in vitro. Waltham International Symposium, Oct 2003; Bangkok, Thailand: 11. 9. Watson AL, Baker CD, Bailey J et al (b) - Dietary constituents can increase epidermal lipid synthesis by canine keratinocytes in vitro. Waltham International Symposium, Oct 2003; Bangkok, Thailand. 10. Willemse T - Maladies cutanées allergiques chez le chien. Congrès Mondial WSAVA-FECAVA 2000 ; Amsterdam, NL: 84-86.

Promoting the hair’s natural beauty
11. Dunstan R, Herdt TH, Mei L et al - The role of Nutrition on Canine Sebum Secretion: A Preliminary Report, Recent advances in Canine and Feline Nutrition (vol 3), Iams Nutrition Symposium, 2000: 23-35. 12. Lin-Chung T, Wu-Szu Y - Diagnosis and medical management of keratoconjunctivitis sicca in the dog. Taiwan Veterinary Journal 2002; 28 (2): 99-105. 13. Lowe JA, Wiseman J, Cole DJA - Zinc source influences zinc retention in hair and hair growth in the dog. J Nutr 1994; 124: 2575S2576S. 14. Marsh KA, Watson TD – Zinc and linoleic acid containing food. International application published under the patent cooperation treaty: PCT/GB98/01719; 17 December 1998. 15. Quoc KP, Pascaud M - Effects of dietary gamma-linolenic acid on the tissue phospholipid fatty acid composition and the synthesis of eicosanoids in rats. Ann Nutr Metab 1996, 40(2): 99-108. 16. Sture GH, Lloyd DH - Canine atopic disease: therapeutic use of an evening primrose oil and fish oil combination. Veterinary Record 1995, 137 : 169-170.

Helping maintain an ideal weight
17. Edney ATB, Smith PM - Study of obesity in dogs visiting veterinary practices in the UK. Veterinary Record 1986; 118: 391-396. 18. Hall EJ - The case of…the vomiting dog. Waltham Focus 2003;13 (1): 27-31. 19. Henroteaux M - Les affections héréditaires et congénitales des Carnivores Domestiques : la sténose pylorique. Le Point Vétérinaire 1996 ; N° spécial (28) : 145-146. 20. Müller G - A paraître : Encyclopédie Royal Canin de la Nutrition Santé du Chien. 21. Royal Canin - Le Livre Blanc de l’Appétence chez le chien et le chat ; 19, (ed : Créatom), 2001.


Slowing down the development of degenerative diseases
22. Adams LG - Phosphorus, protein and kidney disease. Proceedings Petfood Forum 1995: 13 -26. 23. Berendschot TT, Goldbohm RA, Klopping WA et al - Influence of Lutein Supplementation on Macular Pigment, Assessed with Two Objective Techniques. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2000; 41 (11): 3322-3326. 24. Christmas RE - Common ocular problems of Shih-Tzu dogs. Canadian Veterinary Journal 1992; 33 (6): 390-393. 25. Fabries L - Arythmies et prédispositions raciales chez le chien. Congrès AFVAC ; 62-63 Paris, France 2002. 26. Finco DR, Brown SA, Crowell WA et al – Effects of dietary phosphorus and protein in dogs with chronic renal failure. Am Vet Res 1992; 53: 157-163. 27. Freeman LM, Rush JE, Cahalane AK et al - Dietary patterns in dogs with cardiac disease. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003; 223: 1301-1305. 28. Gale CR, Hall NF, Phillips DI et al - Plasma antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids and age-related cataract. Ophthalmology 2001; 108 (11):1992-8. 29. Grandjean D, Sergheraert R, Valette JP et al – Biological and nutritional consequences of work at high altitude in search and rescue dogs: the scientific expedition Chiens des Cimes-Licancabur 1996. J Nutr 1998; 128: 2694S-2697S. 30. Hoppe A, Swenson L, Jonsson L et al - Progressive nephropathy due to renal dysplasia in Shih-Tzu dogs in Sweden: a clinical pathological and genetic study. Journal of Small Animal Practice 1990; 31 (2): 83-91. 31. Innes J – Nutraceuticals in the management of joint disease. BSAVA Congress 2001; Birmingham, UK: 261-263. 32. Jacques PF, Chylack LT Jr, Hankinson SE et al - Long-term nutrient intake and early age-related nuclear lens opacities. Arch Ophthalmol 2001; 119 (7):1009-19. 33. McCarthy RA, Steffens WL, Brown CA et al – Effects of dietary protein on glomerular mesangial area and basement membrane thickness in aged uninephrectomized dogs. Can J Vet Res 2001; 65: 125-130. 34. Michell AR - Longevity of British breeds of dogs and its relationships with sex, size, cardiovascular variables and disease. Veterinary Record 2000; 14 (24): 695-696. 35. Ohara K, Kobayashi Y, Tsuchiya N, et al - Renal dysplasia in a Shih-Tzu dog in Japan, Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 2001; 63 (10): 1127-1130. 36. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals: 37. Osman HE, Maalej N, Shanmuganayagam D et al - Grape juice but not orange or grapefruit juice inhibits platelet activity in dogs and monkeys. J Nutr 1998; 128 (12): 2307-12. 38. Priester WA - Canine intervertebral disc disease; occurrence by age, breed, and sex among 8117 cases. Theriogenology 1976; 6 (2/3): 293-303. 39. Schaffer SW, Ballard C, Azuma J et al - Mechanisms underlying physiological and pharmacological actions of taurine on myocardial calcium transport. In: Huxtable R et al editors. Taurine in health and disease. Plenum press, NYC, 1994: 171-178. 40. Slatter D - Breed predisposition to eye disease. Fundamentals of Veterinary Ophthalmology; 2nd Edition Saunders Company, 1990: 585-592. 41. Yogo T, Kudo S, Tsuchida S et al - Postoperative follow-up study of silicon intraocular prosthesis on 46 eyes in 42 dogs. Journal of the Japan Veterinary Medical Association 2001; 54 (11): 847- 850.

Slowing the development of dental plaque and tart a r
42. Egelberg J - Local effect of diet on plaque formation and development of gingivitis in dogs. I. effect of hard and soft diets. Odont Revy 1965; 16: 31. 43. Gioso MA, Shofer F, Barros PS et al - Mandible and mandibular first molar tooth measurements in dogs: relationship of radiographic height to body weight. J Vet Dent 2001; 18 (2): 65-68. 44. Hamp SV, Olsson, Farso-Madsen K et al - A macroscopic and radiologic investigation of dental diseases of the dog. Vet Rad 1984; 25(2): 86-92. 45. Harvey CE, Shofer FS, Laster L - Association of age and body weight with periodontal disease in North American dogs. J Vet Dent 1994; 11(3): 94-105. 46. Isogail E, Fijii N et al - Inhibitory effects of Japanese green tea extracts on growth of canine oral bacteria. Department of preventive dentistry, Japan 1992, 11 (2); 53-59. 47. Loesche WJ - Ecology of the oral flora. In Newman and Nisengard (eds). Chp 25: Oral microbiology and immunology; Philadelphia, WB. Saunders, 1988. 48. Mellinger R - Les affections héréditaires et congénitales des Carnivores Domestiques. Le Point Vétérinaire1996, N° spécial dentisterie, 28 (118).


Amino acids: nitrogen-bearing molecules that are the building blocks of proteins. There are 22 amino acids,

10 of which are essential and so must be present in the dog’s foods
Atopy: hereditary predisposition to hypersensitivity to environmental antigens Brachycephalic: type of dog whose head is short, wide and round, with a short, compressed muzzle Ceramides: skin lipids necessary to the integrity of the outer layer of the epidermis Chelate: compound formed by the ion bond between a molecule and its base; examples:

- calcium polyphosphate: the calcium is trapped by the polyphosphate molecule - chelated zinc: the zinc is bonded with 1-3 amino acids
Chondroitin: natural cartilage extract. Its administration slows down the production of enzymes that cause

cartilage deterioration
Glucosamine: base element in the cartilage structure. It encourages the regeneration of cartilage by stimulating

the synthesis of its constituents
Keratin: main protein in the hair. A compound formed by 17 different amino acids, but very high in sulfur amino acids

(methionine and cystine)
Keratoconjunctivitis: inflammation of the conjunctiva (mucus covering the eyelids) and the cornea in the eye Malocclusion: improper alignment of the upper and lower dental arcades Nephron: functional unit in the kidney with filtering, secretion and reabsorption tasks leading to the formation of urine Periodontal disease: attack on the supporting tissue of the tooth by bacteria in dental plaque Polyphenols: vegetable substances (e.g. green tea polyphenols) that possess antioxidant proprieties utilized

in the fight against age-related ailments (e.g. cataract)
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: constituents of fats that contribute to the beauty of hair and skin, a well balanced nervous system,

immune reactions etc. They are found in vegetable oils (corn, soy) or animal oils (fish) and poultry fat - Linoleic acid: unsaturated fatty acid; precursor of all omega 6 unsaturated fatty acids - Arachidonic acid: exclusively animal unsaturated fatty acid (omega 6 series). Precursor of inflammation mediators - Gamma linolenic acid (GLA): unsaturated fatty acid (omega 6 series) that contributes to hair sheen and skin suppleness; abundant in borage oil - EPA/DHA: omega 3 long chain fatty acids that possess an anti-inflammatory power; abundant in fish oils
Sodium polyphosphate: antitartar agent that traps the salivary calcium Recessive: genetic trait expressed only when two chromosomes carry an identical gene Seborrhea: increase in the secretion of the sebaceous glands, accompanying various dermatoses Taurine: sulfonated amino acid that remains in a free form. A constituent of the retina that is essential

to the heart function, it also possesses an antioxidant power
Xanthophyll (pigment): e.g. lutein and zeaxanthine, pigments of the carotenoid family, abundant in the retina.


A history of innovation at Royal Canin
A history of commitment to developing its knowledge of and respect for the needs of small, medium and large breeds. 1980 Launch of AGR, the first food for large-breed puppies and the first “cynotechnic” range dedicated to breeders. 1990 Launch of the first RCCI nutritional program for dogs, sold through specialist outlets, including PR 27 – specially for small breeds. 1997 Launch of RCCI SIZE, the world’s first nutritional program for dogs to take into account age, activity and especially the size of the various breeds. 1999 Launch of the first weaning food, STARTER, for use by breeders.
Launch of Vet Size, the first nutritional program for small, medium and large breeds, for exclusive use by veterinary surgeons.

2002 Launch of the first immunity program for medium breeds (MEDIUM IMMUNITY PROGRAM), which helps strengthen the dog’s natural defenses during every stage of its life.
The passion for the Yorkshire Terrier and nutritional precision resulted in the launch of Mini Yorkshire 28.

2003 Since 1980, Royal Canin has enjoyed a reputation as the world’s expert in Nutrition for large-breed dogs. Based on its commitment to listening and responding to the comments of users, especially breeders, Royal Canin presents its best balance nutrition for two breeds with outstanding characteristics: the German Shepherd and the Labrador Retriever.

Launch of best balance nutrition dedicated to the Poodle and the Dachshund : Poodle 30 et Dachshund 28. Launch in the United States and Japan – ahead of the global launch – of best balance Chihuahua 28 and Shi Tzu 24 foods dedicated to these two breeds.

2000 Launch of SIZE NUTRITION, 3 nutritional programs adapted to the needs and physiological characteristics of small, medium and large breeds. 2001 Launch of GIANT, the first nutritional program especially developed for large breeds (>100 lbs.).

Brochure éditée par Aniwa Publishing pour le compte de Royal Canin. Réalisation : Diffomédia Paris. Imprimé en UE. © Royal Canin 05/2004 Direction artistique : Élise Langellier, Guy Rolland © Illustrations : Diffomédia/Élise Langellier, Mickaël Masure, Alizon Rafani Coordination éditoriale : Céline Davaze Photo couverture : Yves Lanceau



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