The super wrinkly adorable Shar Peis need a very balanced diet. So, it can be challenging to pick the right dog food unless you’ve done your research.
To save your time, I’ve done the hard work. Now all you have to do now is pick one of the following dog foods that best suit your dog.
The Best Dog Foods for Shar Peis
Here’s a list of the top dog foods for shar peis….
1. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Ocean Whitefish, Herring & Salmon Recipe Dry Dog Food
Some dogs are very picky with the protein sources in dog foods. For such difficult dogs, this recipe works wonders. Briefly, the unique mix of whitefish with other ingredients appeals to all dogs. If your Shar Pei develops taste for this recipe, your life will become way easier.
With all the omega fatty acids from the healthy fat and seafood, your dog’s skin infections will disappear. In fact, your pet’s coat will be shinier than ever! Additionally, ingredients like spinach, broccoli, and kale will ease the process of digestion. Despite being a dry food, this formula will not be difficult to digest for your dog.
2. Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
As a matter of fact, most dog foods have chicken as the main ingredient. Certain dogs dislike the overpowering flavor of chicken in their food. Beef is a good alternative for such dogs. It mixes up the taste pallet while maintaining the protein content in your dog’s diet. The good thing is that this recipe has enough proteins but it doesn’t go overboard. Such proportions are perfect for Shar Peis.
Moving on, the mix of real fruits and veggies is a plus point. These wrinkly buddies need all the support possible to improve the appearance of their coat. The omega fatty acids and vitamins in the fruits and vegetables do just that. Not only is the formula easy to digest, but the addition of K9 probiotics further enhances the condition of the dog’s digestive system.
3. VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food
If your little one is highly energetic, this dog food is the best one you can offer. Encourage the growth of lean muscles with the beef, chicken, and pork combination in this recipe. Not to mention, the mix of flavors is appealing to the tongue and fulfilling to the stomach.
It can be fed to Shar Peis in any life stage except for seniors since they don’t need as much protein. This formula is also safe for pregnant and lactating dogs. The additional vitamins and amino acids are perfect for growing dogs.
4. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Medium Adult Dry Dog Food
You may perceive targeted dog foods to be harder to find a use for. But in reality, they are more effective than any other option. This product is no different. It has been precisely made for dogs above the age of 12 months who are classified as a medium breed. Basically, this is perfect for an adult Shar Pei.
It has the perfect amount of nutrients that a dog of this age will need. The flavors are formulated accordingly too. Moreover, the targeted recipe has almost no chance of causing a digestive problem. It does only good things so you can trust this dog food without a worry!
5. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Formula Dry Dog Food
Here’s another chicken alternate dog food for picky eaters. High-quality turkey is the first ingredient. It is a limited ingredient diet with only the highest quality ingredients. Since it is grain-free and gluten-free, it is also well-suited for dogs who are sensitive to food allergies. However, the presence of potatoes in the ingredient list may not be the best for such dogs.
Mt favorite thing about this dog food is that every single ingredient is of the best quality. It is completely free of artificial preservatives and colors. As long as your dog isn’t allergic to one of the ingredients, there is no chance of a side effect with this diet.
6. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet GI Gastrointestinal Support Dry Dog Food
If you don’t trust the claims of a manufacturer and are very skeptical about the dog food you choose, you’re not wrong. In fact, as a pet parent, I totally understand your concern. This is why I’ve included a veterinary diet on the list. It has been formulated by professionals who are well-aware of dog needs.
This dog food is suitable for all life stages, although it is perfect for adults. You will have to get a prescription to be able to purchase this food. If your vet thinks your dog is need of this wholesome, specialized diet, only then will you be able to access it.
7. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Great Plains Red Recipe with Beef, Lamb & Rabbit Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
It is recommended to go for kibbles over canned food for Shar Peis. But this can cause dehydration and digestive problems in dogs that aren’t very good at drinking water. Freeze-dried food like this one can prove helpful for such animals.
This particular recipe is rich in omega fatty acids. The salmon oil is an animal-based fat which is very healthy for Shar Peis. It improves the condition of the coat. Moreover, your dog will also get glucosamine from this recipe. This is a mandatory nutrient for dogs with weak bones or joints.
8. Taste of the Wild Pine Forest Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
You can never go wrong with a sensitive digestion formula. Taste of Wild is known for its unique and highly digestible recipes. This particular one is made of venison. Your dog will have enough protein to grow lean muscles with this recipe. It is free of grains but rich in prebiotic. These minerals help your dog recover from health issues and strengthen the immune system to fight against bacteria.
Other than the basic requirements, this dog food is also easy on the stomach. The highly-digestible formula keeps your dog energized and healthy. Legumes such as peas and beans tick off the requirement of natural antioxidants.
9. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Real Lamb & Chickpeas Recipe Dry Dog Food
Gluten-free, grain-free, and sensitive digestion, this recipe couldn’t have been made in a simpler form. It is also free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Glucosamine, omega fatty acids, and chondroitin work together to keep the joints in check. Shar Peis tend to dislocate their bones quite often but the chances minimize with a diet like this one.
The majority of the protein is in the form of amino acids. This encourages the healthy growth of muscles without the gain of excess weight. Since the protein source is animal-based, there is a little chance of allergic reactions.
Best Dog Food for Shar Peis FAQs
It’s time to clarify certain confusions about the breed before we move onto more food options. Without these answers, you won’t be able to make the right decision.
So without further ado, let’s get to the chase!
Are Shar Peis good family dogs?
Once your Shar Pei gets familiar with you, it will be very friendly and loving. These dogs are independent but protective of those that they love. Basically, they have all the qualities that make them perfect family dogs. You’ll get guaranteed cuddles with the toughness of an alert dog too!
Can Shar Pei eat pasta?
Pasta is ultimately a source of carbohydrates. So, if your dog isn’t sensitive to gluten, you can go for recipes with boiled pasta. Mix it in with chicken and vegetables to create a homemade meal for your buddy. However, one thing you will have to do is test out pasta in a small quantity to double-check that your dog’s immune system won’t react negatively.
Why are Shar Peis so wrinkly?
Shar Peis are known for their wrinkly coat. It is, of course, genetic. The explanation of these wrinkles is the excess amount of an enzyme in these dogs. This enzyme produces hyaluronic acid in huge amounts. When this gathers under the skin, it forms wrinkles.
Are Shar Peis intelligent?
Yes, these dogs are very smart. They are quick to train. Their intelligence paired with their loyalty makes them great companions. However, their aloof nature in the presence of strangers may make them behave unusually.
Can Shar Peis be left alone?
You can leave your Shar Pei alone but it won’t be something your dog will appreciate. They can also be left with other pet dogs. However, there is a slight risk of aggressive behavior in scenarios involving a stronger dog. It is best to stay close to your Shar Pei, but if the need arises, you can leave it alone for a little while.
A dog’s diet affects every part of its life. In order to ensure a healthy dog, you need to be aware of these effects. Simply being knowledgeable can keep your dog from a lot of common issues. A balanced diet also increases the chances of a healthier, longer lifespan.
Let’s find out more about Shar Peis so that you can make the best decision for your dog.
Origin of Shar Peis
These super wrinkly, medium-sized dogs originated in China. The name Shar Pei means to ‘sandy skin’ which describes this breed’s physical appearance perfectly. These dogs have a rough, brown coat. The short hair and wrinkles make it look no different than sand dunes in a desert. You’ll find Shar Peis in black, red, and lilac colors in addition to shades of brown.
Shar Peis are classified as a medium-sized breed that grows no more than 46cm to 51cm in height. As for weight, the females stay within the range of 18-25kg whereas the males are slightly heavier with a weight between 25kg and 30kg.
If taken care of, a Shar Pei can live for as long as 11 years. On average, the life expectancy of this breed is no less than 9 years so you’ll have your wrinkly companion for almost a decade. When it comes to temperament, Shar Peis are a very typical dog breed. They are affectionate yet independent, loving yet reserved, and very curious in nature. Moreover, their keen behavior makes them even more suspicious in their daily life. A Shar Pei will want to observe and uncover everything and anything that seems slightly unusual.
All these qualities combined make Shar Peis the perfect family dog. Enjoy their protective nature while also getting some cozy cuddles side by side. They aren’t the most tolerant of weather changes. Summer, especially, is their least favorite. But they do fancy a good run to get them all heated up. So it is best to own a Shar Pei if you live in a mildly cold environment.
There aren’t a lot of specifications you need to look for in dog food for Shar Peis. They can be fed any good quality meal as long as it fulfills their caloric requirements. A well-balanced ingredient list free of fillers and by-products is just fine for these dogs. Kibbles are preferred over wet food but make sure your dog stays hydrated to compensate for the lack of moisture. The few conditions that must be fulfilled for Shar Peis are as follows:
Before I move on with the detailed feeding requirements, I’d like to emphasize one thing:
You should determine your dog’s portion size, not the other way around.
Once this part of the process is taken care of, the rest falls into place. With Shar Peis, the portion size plays a huge role. It should be enough in terms of nutritional value, yet the calories must be monitored to prevent obesity.
A puppy needs 900 to 1000 calories per day. These calories should comprise of higher protein content as puppies need amino acids to build new muscles. For a Shar Pei, a growth rate of 2-3 pounds per week is ideal. Generally, dog foods recommend a higher intake than a Shar Pei pup’s needs. Measure this out using the ratio 1 cup to 6 pounds of bodyweight. Divide the calories into 3 meals for the first 4-5 months of the puppy’s life. Then, gradually shift to 2 meals per day.
As your dog grows, shift to a lower protein diet. There is no harm in feeding proteins, but the risk of excess weight gain does increase. 8 months onwards, your Shar Pei becomes an adult. The caloric requirement now increases to 1000 to 1300 calories per day. If your dog seems to be underweight, you can go for high-protein food options.
At the age of around 7 years, these dogs are considered seniors. You’ll notice that your dog will not be as active now. Since there isn’t a need for as much energy, the calories should be brought down to 1000. It is also recommended to shift to a special senior diet since they are easier to digest. However, it isn’t mandatory. This breed does not have special requirements based on their life stage.
A Shar Pei is more likely to overfeed if you offer the circumstances. Usually, these dogs can eat more canned food. This is why it is recommended to stick to kibbles for the most part. However, do mix in one part of wet or canned food after every 3 to 4 portions of dry food to prevent dehydration. Allergies are very subjective so you’ll have to avoid the specific ingredient that isn’t suitable for your dog. Other than that, there are no special diet ingredient requirements.
Common Health Risks
All pets are prone to certain health risks. As for Shar Peis, they have a few unusual problems on top of the average health problems of a dog. Here are some of the common issues you may face as the owner of a Shar Pei.
The warm and moist wrinkles in these dogs’ coats are the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. Therefore, there are a number of skin infections that a Shar Pei can be affected by. Most of these are a result of the release of mucin. This fluid results in the formation of painful blisters.
There’s not much you can do to control these infections through food. But you can definitely encourage the healing of such infections by increasing the amount of Omega Fatty Acids in your dog’s diet. Other than that, food that is specially designed for healthy skin can also be used.
Hypothyroidism is common in all dogs. It is a condition in which the thyroid glands fail to produce enough hormones for the regular functioning of the body.
If your dog is suffering from hypothyroidism, use dog food that has liver among the top ingredients. Iron and folic acid make it easier for the body to cope with the lack of thyroid hormones. Moreover, stick to food with animal-based fat only. High-quality protein is mandatory. Hypothyroidism cannot be cured, but the condition can be made easier on the dog by altering the diet accordingly.
Not a lot of dogs suffer from bloating. But with Shar Peis, this is one of the most commonly occurring issues. There are a number of solutions to avoid bloating, many of which have to do with the dog’s diet.
The first thing to consider is your dog’s behavior. If it’s anxious or nervous, it is at a higher risk of getting bloated since it will overfeed. The meal size plays a big role in this issue. It is best to go for multiple small-sized portions instead of feeding one big meal once a day. Moreover, a diet that comprises only dry food can also be a contributing factor.
As for ingredients, avoid rendered meat. Also, stay away from food that has some sort of fat among the top 4 ingredients. Never moisten a dog food that has citric acid in it. Lastly, refrain from mixing kibbles with canned food. You may feed the two separately to maintain a balance.
Shar Peis are super wrinkly. The nature of their coat and skin makes them vulnerable to skin allergies. However, these usually have no connection with food. Flea bites or other environmental factors may be the cause behind such allergies. Similarly, stomach allergies may also be a result of an external reason.
But, at the same time, there is a possibility of food allergies in the breed too. Only a vet can identify whether food is the root of the problem or not. However, one thing you can do is try to eliminate ingredients that you think are causing the issue.
Chicken, beef, dairy, and egg are some of the most common ingredients that dogs are generally allergic to. You can use the elimination technique to know for sure if these ingredients are disturbing your pet. In general, a dog that is prone to food allergies should be fed a low protein diet. Furthermore, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and grains should also be avoided as they are harder to digest. Lower the number of carbs and switch to sensitive digestion formulas to minimize the effects or risks of food allergies in Shar Peis.
Alternative Recipe Ideas
It is actually extremely easy and budget-friendly to make dog food at home. In addition, you can alter the ingredients according to your dog’s requirements, making sure there is nothing that will trigger an allergy or side effect. It is definitely a healthier and cheaper option.
But, it is also time-consuming. Since the recipe has to be altered according to your dog’s needs, you should thoroughly research the nutritional requirements beforehand. On top of that, you’ll have to experiment with different ingredients to find out which ones your dog likes the best.
Once you’re done with the research phase, follow this recipe to make the perfect home-cooked meal for your Shar Pei:
Start with a protein source. This can be chicken, beef, seafood or a plant-based option. The quantity also depends on the amount of protein your dog needs according to its life stage. You should also include liver in the meals once a week. It is up to you if you want to boil these ingredients or keep them raw.
The next ingredient should be a mix of fruits of vegetables. These will fulfill the requirement of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Boiled potatoes, leafy greens, carrots, peas, apples, and bananas are good options. Avoid grapes, onions, and raisins.
Top it off with rice, quinoa, oatmeal, wheat or whatever else your dog prefers. Grains are pretty good for Shar Peis so don’t skip on this step unless your dog is allergic.
Add in some boiled pasta to add a variety of textures as well as to compensate for the carbohydrate requirement. Eggs and cheese are also optional.
Mix it all together and you have your homemade dog food ready to serve!
4 More Top Rated Dog Foods for Allergic Shar Peis
If your Shar Pei is among the sensitive ones, one of these dog foods will be a better option. All these are sensitive digestion formulas that are free of ingredients that are commonly the cause of allergies in Shar Peis. Most of these are chicken options. However, most of these recipes are available in alternative ingredient options too. So if you wish to avoid chicken, you can still find some help from this list.
10. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
There’s nothing better than a sensitive digestion formula for an allergy-prone dog. The good thing about this recipe is that it is free of peas and potatoes. Yet, it still provides enough carbohydrates and proteins. Oatmeal is the main source of carbs whereas salmon fulfills the need for high-quality proteins. Overall, it is easy to digest this formula.
The omega fatty acids and zinc are good ingredients to boost the appearance of the skin and strength of the bones. Regularly feeding this diet will reduce the risk of skin infections and bone dislocation which is pretty common in Shar Peis.
11. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food
Once again, this potato-free recipe is a sensitive digestion formula. It fulfills the basic needs of a dog. But what makes it a top choice is the presence of antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and vitamins. Expect a shinier coat and a stronger immune system. With a diet like this one, your dog is at minimal risk of health problems.
On top of that, this recipe is delicious. Your dog will actually look forward to mealtimes with a delicious formula like this one. There are no artificial colors or preservatives in this recipe. It is made of 100% real flavors only.
12. Iams ProActive Health Sensitive Skin & Stomach with Real Chicken & Peas Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
What’s better for a dog with skin issues than a dog food that is designed specifically for sensitive skin? The Iams ProActive Health Sensitive Skin & Stomach formula is made to be easier on the digestive system. The easy digestion allows all nutrients to be absorbed fully so that the skin can heal from infections.
Not only does it fulfill the need for proteins, but it also accommodated vegetables. This delicious blend of flavors is grain-free but full of antioxidants and minerals. Even if your dog hates the taste of veggies, this palatable recipe will be its favorite.
13. Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
You can opt for this dog food for your dog in any life stage. Since Shar Pei dogs don’t have very strict requirements in different age groups, this formula will work fine throughout your dog’s life. It is a sensitive digestion recipe free of grains and other ingredients that may trigger allergies.
Moreover, it has a blend of prebiotic which further encourages the strengthening of the digestive system. Your dog will build lean muscles while also boosting its immune system. The addition of real fruits and vegetables alongside chicken ticks off the requirements of protein, minerals, fiber, and omega fatty acids.