Originating from China, the Shar-Pei is one of the oldest dog breeds known for its guardian role and inherent hunting abilities. This rich history brings with it unique dietary needs crucial for their health and energy.
For Shar-Pei puppies, the daily food intake should be between 2 ½ to 3 ¾ cups. Adult Shar-Peis, on the other hand, generally require about 3 ¼ to 3 ½ cups of food each day. When it comes to senior Shar-Peis, a slightly lesser amount of 2 ½ to 2 ¾ cups suffices.
Remember, these guidelines can change based on the type of food you’re using and your dog’s individual weight and activity levels. Read on to uncover more details on how to feed your Shar-Pei properly.
What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Shar-Pei?
When it comes to feeding your Chinese Shar-Pei, several key factors come into play. The type of diet – be it raw, mixed, or dry dog food – is just the start. Here’s what you need to consider:
- Age: It’s vital to choose age-appropriate food for your Shar-Pei. Puppies, adults, and seniors have different nutritional needs, so adjusting their food according to their life stage ensures they get the right nutrients.
- Energy Level: Younger Shar-Peis, brimming with energy, need more food compared to the older, less active ones. The amount of food should correlate with their activity levels to maintain a healthy balance.
- Weight: Keeping an eye on your dog’s weight is crucial. If your Shar-Pei is overweight, you might need to cut back on food. Conversely, underweight dogs may require an increased intake. For those at a healthy weight, stick to the recommended portions.
- Gender and Health: Males often need more food than females, given their size and energy needs. Additionally, health conditions can significantly influence diet. If your Shar-Pei has any health issues, it’s essential to consult with a vet to tailor their diet appropriately.
In summary, a balanced diet for your Shar-Pei considers age, activity level, weight, gender, and health status. Regular check-ins with your vet can help ensure their dietary needs are met perfectly.
Note: Some breeders produce a smaller version of the Shar-Pei, the miniature Shar-Pei, which is just about 25 to 40 pounds.
Since this feeding guide focuses on the standard Shar-Pei, consult with your vet on the specialized dietary needs of this smaller dog.
How Much to Feed Your Shar-Pei?
Shar-Peis require carefully measured food portions to support their daily energy needs and maintain a robust immune system.
The dietary requirements of Chinese Shar-Peis vary across different stages of their life. This means that the amount of food you should provide for Shar-Pei puppies, adults, and seniors will differ.
This guide, along with your veterinarian’s recommendations, can help you figure out the right amount to feed your furry friend.
Shar-Pei Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)
A Shar-Pei puppy obtains nourishment from its mother’s milk for the first few weeks of its life. The weaning process usually starts when they are about three to four weeks old.
By the fifth week, a Shar-Pei puppy is typically ready to transition to solid puppy food. It’s advisable to choose high-quality puppy food to ensure they receive enough calories, protein, fat, and calcium.
Please refer to the provided feeding chart for specific portion guidelines for Shar-Pei puppies.
|Daily Food Quantity (Cups)
|Caloric Intake (Per day)
|2 – 3 months
|2 ½ – 3
|1,136 – 1,294
|2 – 2 ¼
|914 – 1,067
|2 ¼ – 2 ¾
|1,067 – 1,223
|2 ¾ – 3
|1,223 – 1,388
|2 ¾ – 3 ¼
|1,274 – 1,470
|3 – 3 ½
|1,349 – 1,542
|3 – 3 ½
|1,388 – 1,612
|10 – 12 months
|3 ¼ – 3 ¾
|1,432 – 1,704
Remember, along with serving high-quality kibble, it’s also important to ensure your Shar-Pei puppy has constant access to fresh, clean drinking water.
Adult Shar-Pei Feeding Chart (1 to 7 years)
Shar-Peis reach adulthood at one year old, achieving their full size between 14 to 18 months. As they grow from young adults into fully mature dogs, their dietary needs evolve.
It’s essential to switch to adult dog food that caters to these changes. The ideal adult dog food should offer a balanced mix of nutrients to support energy levels, coat and dental health, and prevent excessive weight gain.
For guidance on feeding an adult Shar-Pei, refer to the following chart:
|Daily Food Quantity (Cups)
|Caloric Intake (Per day)
|1 – 7 years
|3 ¼ – 3 ½
|1,252 – 1,418
Common to many Shar-Pei, my sister’s Shar-Pei, Sharpie, is susceptible to food allergies, so we opted for a high-quality dog food with hypoallergenic ingredients, free from gluten and dairy. We found a grain-free diet to be beneficial for Sharpie’s sensitive stomach.
We were also very cautious with certain protein sources like beef, which can trigger allergic reactions in her, leading to itching, skin rashes, and hair loss.
Instead of a high-protein diet, we opted for one with a balanced protein content that aligns with the recommended daily caloric intake.
Senior Shar-Pei Feeding Chart (8 years and above)
Just like other dogs, when Shar-Peis reach their senior years, their activity levels begin to decrease. This typically occurs when they turn eight years old.
Feeding too much food to a less active dog can lead to excessive weight gain and make your senior dog susceptible to health problems such as arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Therefore, it’s crucial for pet owners to modify the food portions of their senior Shar-Peis to ensure they receive adequate nutrition while maintaining a healthy weight.
Here’s a feeding chart for a senior Shar-Pei:
|Daily Food Quantity (Cups)
|Caloric Intake (Per day)
|8 years and above
|2 ½ – 2 ¾
|1.002 – 1,134
Given their reduced activity, senior Shar-Peis require fewer calories. Additionally, incorporating certain supplements into their diet can be beneficial.
For instance, fish oil can improve joint health, prevent skin allergies, and even aid in kidney function. Always consult with your vet to determine the best dietary supplements for your senior Shar-Pei’s specific needs.
How Often Should You Feed Your Shar-Pei?
The feeding frequency for Shar-Pei dogs varies depending on several factors, including their age. For Shar-Pei puppies, two to three meals a day is generally recommended. As they mature into adulthood and later into their senior years, two meals per day are usually sufficient.
Maintaining a consistent feeding schedule is beneficial for your Shar-Pei. It helps establish a routine and allows adequate time for digestion.
Here’s a guideline for Shar-Pei feeding frequency:
|0 – 3 months
|Three times a day
|4 – 12 months
|Two to three times a day
|1 year and above
|Twice a day
Shar-Pei breeders usually give puppies smaller, more frequent meals as their digestive systems are still adjusting to solid food, and this helps maintain steady energy levels throughout the day.
Adult dogs, with their ability to digest food more efficiently, do well with two meals a day. This frequency supports their health by providing sufficient intervals for nutrient absorption and utilization.
Senior Shar-Peis also thrive on two meals a day, but they typically require smaller portions compared to younger adults. This is because their caloric needs are lower due to a less active lifestyle.
How to Transition Your Chinese Shar-Pei to a New Food
During your Shar-Pei’s lifetime, there will be occasions when you need to change its dog food. This might be due to transitioning between life stages or switching to a prescription diet.
It’s important to make this change gradually to avoid digestive upset or loss of appetite.
Here’s a chart to guide you through the transition to a new dog food for your Shar-Pei:
|1 – 2
|3 – 4
|5 – 6
During this transition period, keep an eye on your Shar-Pei for any signs of adverse reactions, such as diarrhea or vomiting.
If such symptoms occur, consult your veterinarian for guidance. They may suggest a different food or a modified transition plan to suit your dog’s specific needs.
Tips on Feeding an Overweight Shar-Pei
If your Shar-Pei is showing signs of obesity, like a sagging waist or difficulty in feeling its ribs, it’s essential to implement lifestyle and diet changes for weight reduction.
Here are some methods to help your overweight Shar-Pei slim down:
- Adopt a healthy diet: Ensuring your Shar-Pei maintains a healthy body weight is vital. Switching to a diet that’s lower in calories but still nutritionally complete can aid in achieving its ideal weight. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables can be a great way to reduce calorie intake.
- Maintain a consistent feeding schedule: Consistency in feeding times and amounts plays a crucial role in effective weight management. Stick to a regular schedule to ensure your Shar-Pei gets the right amount of food at consistent intervals.
- Limit treats and snacks: While treats are a common part of training and bonding, it’s important to moderate them, especially when managing weight. Opt for healthy alternatives like fruits or vegetables instead of high-calorie snacks.
Overall, consulting with your vet is the most reliable way to address an overweight Shar-Pei. They can provide tailored advice on reducing food portions and balancing calorie intake with the energy your dog expends.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Shar-Pei Enough?
To know if your Chinese Shar-Pei is being fed enough, you should regularly check its weight. If your dog is under the normal weight range, that means that they are getting the right amount of food and nutrients in their meals.
Knowing your Shar-Pei’s body condition score (BCS) is also helpful to evaluate if your pup is in shape. A dog’s BCS is equivalent to body mass index (BMI) in humans.
Why Is My Shar-Pei Not Eating?
Stress, changes in dog food, recent vaccinations, and illnesses like Shar-Pei fever and dental disease can cause your Shar-Pei not to eat.
Talk to your vet immediately if your canine shows other symptoms of Shar-Pei fever, like high temperature and muzzle swelling.
Meanwhile, make sure that your dog’s food is always served in a clean and fresh bowl to help avoid bacteria formation that can cause dental disease.
Can I Feed My Shar-Pei With Human Food?
Feeding your Shar-Pei with human food is not advised. Some ingredients can harm your dog’s digestive tract and cause vomiting and diarrhea.
While certain dog foods may contain ingredients similar to human food, feeding them meals cooked for human consumption is not ideal and can even be fatal.
However, it is safe to prepare a chicken meal for your Shar-Pei or brown rice mixed with vegetables and meat.
Do Shar-Peis Eat a Lot?
Appetite can vary for every individual Shar-Pei. With this, some tend to eat a lot, while others can be very picky eaters and consume only a small amount of food.
As the case may be, owners must ensure that their canine attains the required nutrients for its specific lifestyle to avoid overnutrition or malnutrition.
Can Shar-Peis Eat Bones?
Yes, Chinese Shar-Peis can eat bones. In fact, raw meaty bones and ground bones are part of the recommended diet in raw feeding.
However, brittle and cooked bones must never be fed to your dog as this can damage its mouth, throat, and stomach. In addition, owners must make sure to give only one to two raw bones per week to avoid constipation.
We hope this article has been helpful in guiding you on how to feed your Shar-Pei. If you have any further questions or need personalized advice, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to assist you.