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Does your shar-pei has specific nutrition needs, and you have no idea how to satisfy them? Do you know which is the best food for a Shar-pei, how many times to feed him, of how to treat his health conditions?

You’ll have to agree on the fact that you are dealing with quite a dominant breed. Pair shar-pei features with intelligence, and you got yourself a mind reader.

Don’t be fooled by their lazy demeanor because these canines won’t hesitate to tackle the enemy and protect people they consider family.

Therefore, a proper diet is crucial to keep them in peak condition.

Today, we are going to review some of the top rated dog food option, which will promote a healthy lifestyle in your pet.

Highest Rated Dog Food For Chinese Shar-Peis - Compared

Our Top Pick

Small Product image of Taste of Wild food
Taste of the Wild
Our Top Pick
Chicken Meal
Lamb Meal
Sweet Potatoes
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All Life Stages

CANIDAE Small Product Image
All Life Stages
Chicken Meal
Lamb Meal
Turkey Meal
White Rice
Brown Rice
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Best Value

Small Product image of American Journey Grain free
American Journey
Best Value
Deboned Salmon
Turkey Meal
Chicken Meal
Sweet Potato
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Grain Free

Small Product image of Zignature Trout
Grain Free
Salmon Meal
Pea Flour
Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal
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Small Stella & Chewys Super Beef
Stella & Chewy's
Beef Kidney
Beef Liver
Beef Tripe
Beef Heart
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Adult Dogs

Small Product image of Solid Gold Wolf King
Solid Gold
Adult Dogs
Ocean Fish Meal
Brown Rice
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Small Product image of Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Real Chicken & Sweet Potato
Deboned Chicken
Chicken Meal
Sweet Potato
Turkey Meal
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Taste of the Wild - Our Top Pick

First Five Ingredients:

  • Buffalo
  • Chicken Meal
  • Lamb Meal
  • Peas
  • Sweet Potatoes

Taste of the Wild High Prairie is an excellent dry dog food with significantly above average protein and fat content. For that reason, it’s our #1 choice, and many pet parents seem to agree with us.

The recipe features a wide variety of high-quality meats, including bison, chicken, lamb, venison, and more. Easily digestible carbs, such as peas, lentils, and chickpeas, will promote digestion in your pet, and keep his GI tract healthy.

We should point out this food is grain-free, so it’s perfect for canines with food sensitivities and allergies. Additionally, it has zero preservatives, artificial flavors, and cheap fillers.

Overall, the substantial number of components makes this formula ideal for shar-peis. Considering his lack of activity, Taste of the Wild High Prairie will perfectly suit their dietary needs.

CANIDAE - Ideal For All Life Stages

First Five Ingredients:

  • Chicken Meal
  • Lamb Meal
  • Turkey Meal
  • White Rice
  • Brown Rice

The upper hand of “all life stages” recipes is that they work well for pups, as well as for senior canines. That’s why Canidae formulated this brilliant nutrition for all breeds, ages, and sizes. It features all the necessary ingredients for one dog to feel good and be healthy.

The combination of protein sources, like chicken, lamb, fish, and turkey make this diet packed with high-quality meats. Furthermore, ingredients such as white rice, oatmeal, peas, potatoes, cranberries, and others will promote your pet’s digestion, considering they are full of fibers and antioxidants.

Obviously, the recipe is enriched with naturally present vitamins, minerals, and supplements, featuring chondroitin and glucosamine.

To conclude, if you want to avoid the hassle and still have a premium dog product, then Canidae is the right choices for you.

American Journey - Best Value

First Five Ingredients:

  • Deboned Salmon
  • Turkey Meal
  • Chicken Meal
  • Sweet Potato
  • Peas

It’s quite evident that American Journey is going an extra mile to supply pet parents with quality, but yet affordable dog food. If price determines whether you buy some recipe or not, then this brand comes with an excellent selection of ingredients, while being budget-friendly.

Three protein sources, deboned salmon, chicken and turkey meal, will maintain lean and healthy muscles in your pet. The omega fatty acids will further promote beautiful skin and shiny coat, while grain-free recipe minimizes all allergies.

Moreover, sweet potatoes add a special touch, enabling your pooch to enjoy this delicious nutrition. Therefore, it’s excellent for pets in the growth and reproduction phase.

The bottom line: If money is a limiting factor, then you won’t find a better meal at this price range.

Zignature - Best Grain Free

First Five Ingredients:

  • Trout
  • Salmon Meal
  • Pea Flour
  • Chickpeas
  • Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal

The Zignature brand focuses on fish, which is an essential element in their dog food line. Trout and salmon meals found this recipe originated from the waters off the Northwestern United States.

Since fish is the primary ingredient, it’s natural to be packed with omega fatty acids. They boost up heart health and are excellent for young pups.

This grain-free formula features low glycemic carbs and has powerful antioxidants to stimulate your pet’s immune system. On top of that, here you’ll find a broad spectrum of necessary vitamin and minerals essential your canine’s health.

With their selection of proteins, you will help your furry companion thrive and enjoy each meal.

In all, the Zignature’s limited ingredient formula doesn’t contain poultry, eggs, wheat, corn, or soy, which makes it perfect for pets with food allergies.

Stella & Chewy's - Best Freeze-Dried Raw Food

First Five Ingredients:

  • Beef
  • Beef Kidney
  • Beef Liver
  • Beef Tripe
  • Beef Heart

Stella and Chewy’s dog food company built their reputation only on the high-quality ingredients their recipes have. Through our review, we haven’t managed to find a single nutrient that is useless for your pets, which left us shocked.

The manufacturers are focused on organic compounds, considering it’s a freeze dried raw food. This recipe has a stable shelf life and quite comfortable to use. The meal contains 95% of grass-fed beef, plus 100% organic fruits and vegetables.

Formulated to meet the nutritional needs of canines, the Stella and Chewy’s super beef dog food doesn’t contain gluten, grains, no cheap fillers.

To sum up, numerous shar-pei owners are concerned about a raw diet. However, Stella and Chewy’s recipe is the best choice you can make.

Solid Gold - Fit For Adult Dogs

First Five Ingredients:

  • Bison
  • Ocean Fish Meal
  • Peas
  • Brown Rice
  • Oatmeal

Solid Gold formula with bison and brown rice takes a holistic approach, and it’s specially designed to fit the needs of manure canines. The combination of complex carbs and digestible proteins, such as bison meat, sweet potatoes, and brown rice, will provide your shar-pei with enough energy to remain active throughout the day.

To support his immune system, this formula features more than 20 fruits and vegetables. They will offer plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which will additionally stimulate digestion.

This meal contains omega fatty acids, sourced from olive, canola, and salmon oil, crucial for skin and coat.

In all, shar peis who have switched to Solid Gold nutrition experienced better digestion and healthier coat. On top of that, due to a complete and balanced set of ingredients, they were able to lose weight.

Merrick - Best Hypoallergenic

First Five Ingredients:

  • Deboned Chicken
  • Chicken Meal
  • Sweet Potato
  • Turkey Meal
  • Peas

Merrick is probably the most popular brand across the U.S. We can bet you won’t find any pet owner who hasn’t bought Merrick at least once. Due to Merrick’s broad manufacturing line, the company has developed various products, targeting different health conditions and breeds.

However, today we’ll review real chicken and sweet potato recipe. If you require quality dog food, rich in protein and moderately rich in fats, then Merrick should be your pick.

A lot of fresh and whole ingredients that originate from local farmers in Texas will add essential mineral and vitamins to this meal. Additionally, probiotics will improve your pet’s digestion and better nutrient absorption.

Even though this formula is mostly suited for highly active canines, your shar-pei will experience tremendous benefits in terms of energy and health.

Image of Cute small puppy shar pei

Shar-Pei History And Information

The Chinese shar-pei is an ancient breed. In the past, it was a peasant dog, used for hunt and protection, due to his intelligence and versatility. Some believed he also had an entertainment purpose because of his loose skin. The Hong Kong Kennel Club recognized this breed in the 1960s.

  • Weight – 45 to 55 pounds
  • Height – 18 to 20 inches at shoulders
  • Lifespan – 10 years
  • Appearance – it’s quite challenging to find a dupe of shar-pei because no other dog has similar characteristics.  The most distinctive feature is his loose and wrinkled skin. This canine has small triangular ears that lie flat against head and blue-black tongue.
  • Personality – shar peis are entirely independent and willful dogs. Therefore, they require a firm hand in training. Their alert nature makes them excellent guard canines. Even though they crave the independence, shar peis can be great companions for single people, or family with kids.
  • Health – the most common conditions affecting this breed are allergies, hip dysplasia, entropion, cataracts, cherry eyes, demodicosis, and urinary infections.
  • Activity requirements – despite their large size, shar peis don’t require rigorous exercise to maintain good health. A couple of walks per day will be enough.

Common Health Concerns

Skin Problems

The loose and wrinkled skin puts shar peis at risk of developing numerous skin issues. They are particularly sensitive to the Demodex Canis mite, which causes a skin disorder called demodectic mange. It a highly contagious disease and can be very difficult to cure completely.

The demodectic mange causes loss of hair creating patches on the skin. This disease often affects the legs, head, and trunk. Considering it challenging to treat, a versatile approach is required.

Pet owners will need to apply topical ointments, give their pets immune system supplements, and use cleansing shampoos. The loose skin requires continuous maintenance, to eliminate further issues.

Eye Issues

Eye conditions commonly affect shar peis. Ectropion and entropion are usual disorder this breed faces.

  • Entropion – causes eyelids to fold inwards, which irritates the eye and creates discomfort
  • Ectropion – it has the opposite effects, where eyelids fold outward, exposing sensitive tissue

Canines with severe entropion or ectropion condition may undergo a surgical procedure, considering both disorders can be quite painful and irritating. Later on, it can affect canine’s sight, and if left untreated, it can lead to developing painful ulcers on the surface of the eye.

Bacterial Ear Infections

Due to their small ears, shar peis are often prone to ear infections. The various conditions caused by mites, bacteria, or years can appear.

Initial symptoms:

  • Sensitivity
  • Head shaking and scratching, similar to trying to remove wax or irritation
  • Red Ears
  • Odor
  • Black of yellow discharge  

In this case, vets help is required to treat this condition. The examination involves cleaning the ear canal with the syringe and cleanser, to remove any foreign bodies, while the laboratory exam will further reveal the type of infection.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting and diarrhea can often happen when shar-pei is sensitive to food. They are also prone to IBD, inflammatory bowel disease and colitis. For that reason, nutrition plays a crucial part in their health.

If you notice some of these symptoms, take your pet to the vet. He will be able to identify the reason for gastrointestinal distress.

Image of canine shar pei and white background

Gastric Dilation

It often occurs in large deep chested breeds like shar peis. With gastric dilation gut will fill with gas and then turn around its axis. This condition usually happens after eating.

The first signs include unsuccessful vomiting or bloating and require immediate veterinary attention. The gastric dilation stops the blood supply to the upper organ, and your pet can die within 30 minutes. Therefore, quick action can save his life.


Current research indicates that one if five shar peis are deficient in thyroid hormone, which is crucial, considering it controls metabolic rate. Without a thyroid hormone, the entire body shuts down while the effects on the skin become most apparent.

Hypothyroidism mostly slows down the immune system, which leads to secondary infections.

Familial Shar-Pei Fever

Familial Shar-Pei Fever is an ongoing state of inflammation, which cases joints and feet swelling. It often occurs as a random event, with fever ranging between 103-107F, and can last up to 36 hours.

Possible signs:

  • Painful and swollen muzzle
  • Swelling around the wrists and joints
  • Doesn’t want to move
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • General discomfort and shallow breathing

The veterinarian will perform necessary tests to rule out the other disorders. Aspirin is often used to treat this condition.

Swollen Hock Syndrome

The swollen hock syndrome usually causes high fever for 24 hours and is followed by a built-up fluid around the ankles and feet.

A range of symptoms depend on canine’s condition, and they may include:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malaise
  • Swollen limbs

However, no one has been able to determine what causes swollen hock syndrome. Although, there are some speculations indicating that swelling and fever come from a subcutaneous tissue in the breed.


Amyloidosis is often linked to shar-pei fever. This disorder is caused by unprocessed amyloid proteins, within your pet’s body organs. It affects mostly the liver and kidneys and in severe cases can lead to kidney failure.

Careful monitoring and continuous care are required for the duration of canine’s life. If the illness is kept under control, then your canine can lead a normal life.

Image of grey dog shar pei and watch

Tips In Feeding A Shar-Pei

Diet & Nutrition

To have a healthy shar-pei, it’s highly recommended to feed him with a quality dry food. Nowadays, there are a lot of popular brands in the market, which will satisfy your pet’s dietary requirements.

The nutrition should be complete and balanced, featuring the right amount of proteins and carbohydrates. You should avoid giving your canine a human food, which is a common habit for many pet parents. His digestive system is entirely different than the human one, and human food consumption can cause various GI tract disorders.

Food containing turkey, chicken, and lamb protein will be sufficient to promote health in shar peis and improve their lifestyle.

Eating Habits

Eating habits mostly depend on pet owners and how they train their dogs. In general, shar peis aren’t picky eaters, and they can adjust to any type of nutrition. However, responsible pet owners already know what’s the best food for their canines.

This breed requires a firm hand in feeding, considering they are prone to obesity. For that reason, a limited calories intake and strict timetable should stimulate metabolic rate and improve weight management.

By creating healthy eating habits, you will prolong your pet’s lifespan and enable him to stay active throughout his life. Make sure to incorporate all-natural ingredients, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as high-quality meats. They will supply your pet with a sufficient amount of nutrients and provide necessary vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients To Look For

  • Protein

Meat is an integral part of your pet’s nutrition, and all top rated brands have meat listed as their first ingredient. The recipe can combine various protein sources, or only have one. However, it shouldn’t exceed the amount of 26% crude protein.

Since Shar Peis are prone to obesity, pet owners need to pay attention to protein and fat content. Although this breed is quite resilient and can handle various types of meat, we recommend proteins such as chicken, turkey, or fish.

  • Fat

Dogs require a good source of fat to boost up their energy levels. While some may think that fats are unhealthy, it’s not always the case. Common fats used in dog’s nutrition are chicken or pork fat, and balanced diet provides about 10-15 percent of them.

They are particularly crucial for mature canines. However, shar peis need to have a well-balanced and regulated diet, to minimize the weight issues. For that reason, keep in mind your pet’s health and recommended dose of fats before you purchase some food.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid

The majority of high-quality dry dog foods contain healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. It improves canine’s skin and promotes a healthy coat, which is crucial for shar-pei, due to their skin sensitivities.

This breed can suffer from severe allergies, resulting in loss of hair, intense itching, and ear infection. Therefore, a sufficient amount of fish oil can minimize these conditions and prevent numerous disorders.

  • Carbohydrates

Another significant part of shar pet’s nutrition, carbs supply dogs with a proper amount of energy. Considering this breed is highly energetic and vital, it requires an optimum level of carbs. One other hand, if you are dealing with a couch potato, then you need food with a limited amount of carbohydrates.

  • Vitamins

Last, but not least, minerals and vitamins need to be included in your pet’s nutrition to maintain good health. Vitamin E stimulates shar pei’s immune system, while vitamin A promotes healthy skin and hair.

On the other hand, minerals help the body perform specific functions and eliminate deficiencies. Therefore, the formulas should contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, and zinc.

Ingredients To Avoid

Particular components seem to be toxic for our canines, even though we aren’t aware of them.

  • By-products – they represent the waste, or what is left from the production for feed animals. In most cases, they don’t contain the real meat, but lungs, kidneys, brain, liver, and so on.
  • Artificial additives and preservatives – pay attention to BHA, BTA, and ethoxyquin due to their carcinogenic effect.
  • Corn and soy – common allergens which are associated with numerous health issues in canines.
  • Propylene glycol – often used to maintain moisture content and add flavor to low-quality dog nutrition. Even though pet companies advertise this component as a pet-friendly antifreeze, it’s actually not.

How Much And How Often To Feed

Each pei has different nutritional needs, therefore, knowing your pet’s habits will help you determine how much food to feed him.

However, we can offer a general feeding schedule which can serve you as a guideline.

  • Puppies up to 12 months – they should be fed with a medium size puppy food, three times per day. The dose depends on their weight and type of food. Usually, you have instructions on the packaging.
  • Adult – the mature shar peis can use adult dry dog food, appropriate for their dietary needs.
  • Elderly – for seniors we recommend nutrition tailored to their health condition. They need to maintain a healthy metabolic rate, to avoid obesity. Two meals per day will be sufficient.

Overweight canines require low or limited ingredient diet, to keep them in excellent shape, without feeling hunger.

How To Deal With Food Allergies

Symptoms To Look For

If your pet has suffered from an allergic reaction, then you know how painful it can be. On the other hand, many pet owners face this condition for the first time. For that reason, determining potential allergens can be a long and challenging process.

Possible symptoms include:

  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Excessive scratching
  • Biting and licking
  • Paw chewing
  • Watery eyes
  • Ear infection
  • Watery eyes
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Shallow breathing

Read our recommendation for: Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods

Treatments And Natural Remedies

If discovered on time, an allergic condition can be treated easily. In most cases, possible allergens include food, medications, pollen, and grass. You only have to minimize your pet’s exposure, and he will be good as new.

However, in some cases, medical attention is required. Therefore, you will have to increase the omega-3 fatty acid intake, to restore your pet’s immune system.

Some of the popular natural remedies involve oath baths and Aloe Vera. They are powerful antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory medicines applied directly onto the skin. Oath baths and Aloe Vera can minimize itchiness, skin patches, and might be used to treat burns.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shar-Peis

When do they stop growing?

The growth chart indicates that Shar Peis stop growing at 16 months. While baby shar peis look like an adorable pile of wrinkles, when they grow up, the lines may disappear from legs and bellies. The majority of dogs will keep their heavily wrinkled faces.

What brand is recommended for picky eaters?

If you are dealing with a picky shar-pei eater, then we recommend Nature’s Variety. It’s famous for its high-quality and delicious set of ingredients, which picky eaters can hardly resist.

This nutrition features all-natural components. It’s high in proteins, while free from artificial additives and preservatives. Nature’s Variety comes in different flavors such as lamb, beef, chicken, turkey, duck, and salmon. It’s suitable for all life stage and various breeds.

Read our recommendation for more High Quality Dog Food for Picky Eaters.

Can food contribute to healthy skin and coat?

Food is one of the primary allergens known to cause numerous health issues. For that reason, shar-pei owners should pay extra attention to their pet’s diet.

If your canine is sensitive to certain types of food, then you should use a limited ingredient diet. Nutrition can eliminate the symptoms and improve their health condition.


Shar peis are very intelligent and also quite sensitive creatures. They require continuous care and diet tailored to their needs. Unfortunately, many pet parents don’t know where to start.

Considering the number of brands and companies on the market, it’s challenging to find one that will suit your pet’s nutritional needs. We hope our choice of food will help you make the right decision.

Our list contains only premium dog food, where you will undoubtedly find your pick here.