Is your Shiba Inu not enthused about his food? Does he look like he’d rather eat something else? Or maybe he gets digestion from the formula he’s currently on?
Maybe you want to avoid some common pitfalls with the choice of food? Or, maybe you don’t own a Shiba, but are considering getting one, and need some information about the breed and how to feed them?
Whatever the case, this guide should help you find a perfect dog food for a Shiba Inu. We will present our choices of the best formulas you can get, along with some information about the breed and common problems and diseases they can develop.
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7 Top Rated Dog Food for Shiba Inus
American Journey – Our Top Pick
Among a selection of dog food for your Shiba Inu, American Journey is one of our top choices. Based on real deboned salmon, the recipe contains all the protein your pet needs to maintain its muscles.
The deboned salmon is also a rich source of amino acids so your dog can stay healthy, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to maintain the health of your pet’s coat and skin, on the one hand, and eye and brain activity on the other.
The formula also includes sweet potatoes and chickpeas as a source of energy, keeping your pup in motion no matter what. As a source of vitamins and minerals to keep your dog’s immune system strong, the diet includes blueberries, carrots, and dried kelps.
It is also free of grain, wheat, corn, or soy, so pooches with sensitive stomachs can enjoy this rich formula without worry.
This is overall one of the best-rounded formula you can find for your Shiba Inu, and as such, it has our highest recommendations.
Merrick Grain-Free – Best Hypoallergenic Food
If your Shiba is suffering from allergies, and you’re looking for a formula that will be the least upsetting, Merrick Grain-Free is our choice. The formula is grain-free, doesn’t contain gluten or any artificial ingredients, flavors, colors, or preservatives, and it is free of poultry, so it’s safe for dogs with poultry related sensitivities.
The primary ingredient is deboned beef to make sure your pet has a good source of protein to keep him healthy. Along with beef, the diet also contains fruits and vegetables as a source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, so you know your dog will get everything he needs.
It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to protect the health of your dog’s joints, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are there to maintain his hair and skin, as well as brain and eyes.
This formula is the safest bet if your dog has food sensitivities or allergies, while also including everything your pooch needs from a balanced daily diet.
Victor Yukon – Best Dry Food
If your Shiba prefers dry one over canned food, then look no further try Victor Yukon. The recipe is based on fish, and as such, it is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which means your dog’s coat and skin will be as healthy as they can.
It also contains fruits and vegetables as a source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, all ensuring your pet maintains a balanced daily diet. The diet is also free of grain and gluten, so it should be safe for canines with sensitive stomachs.
The formula is also free of artificial ingredients, such as flavors, colors, or preservatives, and it doesn’t contain any anonymous meat sources. As it derived most of its protein from fish, it should also be safe for dogs with meat allergies.
This is the best dry food formula you can get for your Shiba, and if he prefers it to canned food, this is the grub you should get him.
CANIDAE – Fit for All Life Stages
If your household has multiple Shibas running around, all in different stages of their life, CANIDAE All Life Stages is the formula you’ll find essential. And even if your household has only one dog, this formula should provide all he needs throughout his life.
It is based on a mix of chicken, turkey, lamb, and fish meals, so it should contain all the protein your pet may need regardless of his age. It includes all the vitamins and minerals to meet your dog’s daily needs. It also contains supplements of probiotics, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids to ensure the health of your canine’s digestion, immune system, coat, and skin.
While it does contain grain, it is free of soy, wheat, and corn, so it should be safe for pooches with sensitive digestion. It is also free of artificial ingredients, colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Overall, whether you have more than one dog, or you want to stick to a single diet throughout your dog’s life, this formula is great choice.
Instinct by Nature's Variety – Ideal for Strong Muscles
For your active Shiba you’ll need food that will keep his muscles lean and healthy, so Instinct by Nature’s can be your choice.
It is based on free-roam chicken as the primary ingredient and source of protein, so you know you get the best for your pet. It contains all the fruits and vegetables your dog needs so you can be sure this formula contains all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your pet needs every day.
It also contains supplements of probiotics and omega fatty acids, protecting the health of your dog’s digestion, skin, and coat.
The diet is also free from grain, corn, wheat, soy, or potato, making it appropriate if your pooch has allergies or sensitive digestion. It is free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, colors, or flavors, and it doesn’t contain any meat byproducts.
This formula contains the best balance to ensure the health of your pet’s muscles, and if your dog is active, this food will give him all he needs to stay fit.
Wellness CORE – Best High-Protein Food
Wellness CORE Grain-Food is our recommendation if you’re looking for high protein formula. Formulated from deboned turkey, turkey, and chicken meals, it makes the perfect protein-focused diet for your Shiba Inu.
The formula contains spinach, broccoli, and kale as a source of nutrients so you can be sure your pet is getting all the vitamins and minerals he needs. Omega-3 fatty acids ensure the health of your dog’s coat and skin, and glucosamine and chondroitin are there to maintain the health of your pet’s joints.
The diet is also free of grain, wheat, corn, or soy, so it’s suitable for sensitive pups. It also doesn’t contain any meat by-products or artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors, making it safe for dogs with allergies.
Overall, this diet is the best choice if you’re looking for a formula rich in protein, while providing all the nutrients your furry friend needs.
Taste of the Wild – Best Budget Option
If you’re looking for the quality food, while also keeping an eye out for the price, Taste of the Wild provides the most bang for your buck. The formula is based on an unusual primary ingredient—buffalo—so you can be sure your pet is getting all the protein he needs.
The diet also contains antioxidants from real fruits and vegetables to maintain the health of your pooch’s immune system. It also has all the vitamins and minerals your pet needs to meet his daily requirements, and it is full of omega fatty acids to protect his coat and skin.
It is also free of grain, wheat, or corn, and it doesn’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, making this diet perfect even for canines with sensitive digestion or allergies.
This formula is the overall great choice for those with a budget. It provides all the nutrients your dog needs, doesn’t include cheap or unknown ingredients, and is sure not to break your bank.
Shiba Inu Facts and Information
Shiba Inus are a curious and energetic breed. Originally bred for hunting in the Japanese mountains, they need a high amount of daily activity. In general, they don’t get along with cats, other dogs, or small children, and are usually not recommended as family pets.
They are a small to medium sized breed, usually weighing around 25 pounds. Their height is normally between 14 and 17 inches, and the females are about an inch shorter than the males.
Their color can range from white, tan, red, to black. They are generally a clean breed, almost cat-like. They do, however, go through a period of excessive shedding around seasonal changes, but that doesn’t usually last longer than a week or two.
Their lifespan can range anywhere from 12 to 16 years. The oldest recorded Shiba was 26 years old.
Common Health Concerns
Shiba Inus are normally a healthy breed, but they have been known to be more prone to some diseases than other dogs. This guide should help you understand the possible problems you may encounter as an owner. Again, this is not a comprehensive list, merely a look at the most common diseases Shibas can develop.
Of all the problems Shiba Inus can develop, allergies are the most frequent. Food allergies can manifest as itchy skin, foot or ear infections, or digestive problems, such as diarrhea or vomiting.
If you notice these symptoms, you should consult your vet to find out what exactly your Shiba is allergic to, and once you find the culprit, to find a diet that doesn’t contain the ingredient. Usually, your dog can be allergic to beef, lamb, chicken, or dairy.
Eye problems are also more common among Shibas. They are more predisposed to diseases such as glaucoma, entropion, or cataracts. Glaucoma is the most frequent among them. Fortunately, it is treatable, depending on the severity, by eye drops or surgery.
They are also prone to developing cataracts in their old age, which can also be surgically treated. Additionally, they can develop progressive retinal atrophy, which can cause some difficulties, particularly in the dark. Unfortunately, progressive retinal atrophy is a progressive disease, there is no cure, and it can lead to complete blindness.
Hip dysplasia usually troubles larger breeds, but Shibas are also prone to it. Its symptoms indicate that there is a displacement between the hip and the thighbone, and will usually develop as your pooch grows. Frequently, it will end with the dog adjusting his stride and living normally. In more extreme cases, though, it is only treatable surgically.
Patellar luxation usually refers to your dog’s kneecap shifting in and out of its proper position. It can be a genetic disease, or it can occur because of an injury. In any case, the disease isn’t life-threatening, and it can be treatable in a wide variety of ways, depending on the severity.
The less severe cases are treatable with medication and diet while keeping the dog’s weight down, and in the extreme cases, good results can be achieved with surgery.
Distichiasis, or distichia, is a disease in which some of the dog’s eyelashes grow in an abnormal location, mostly towards the eye. It can vary in severity from a smaller nuisance to a threat to the eye, and depending on the severity, it can either be left alone or treated surgically.
In any case, the disease is not life-threatening, and the dog has a good chance of a full recovery.
How To Feed A Shiba Inu?
Since Shiba Inus are an active and energetic medium sized breed, their metabolism burns faster than larger dogs. This guide should help you navigate the complexities of dog food choice and find the perfect formula for your Shiba Inu.
Generally, your Shiba’s eating habits depend on many factors. Puppies, for instance, can eat 3 or 4 times a day, while adults eat only twice.
The amount of food in the bowl can vary with the level of activity your pet gets. More active dogs eat more, as they need more sustenance to maintain their weight. Inactive or older canines need fewer calories and should eat less to prevent weight gain.
Nutritional and Dietary Needs
The most important aspect regarding dog food selection for a Shiba Inu concerns the number of calories they need. As with all canines, that amount varies with the age, weight, and activity level.
Generally, puppies should get around 600, adult dogs above 700, and elders about 600 calories. Active adult dogs may need more than 800 calories every day. As always, you can judge how active your pooch is and adjust the amount of food he gets.
Ingredients to Look For
The formula for your Shiba should contain, primarily, protein and fat. You should make sure the protein comes from named whole meat. After making sure the protein comes from meat, and not vegetables, you should make sure the food contains whole grains, as they can be beneficial for your dog’s digestion.
The formula can also include fruits and vegetables as a source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Useful additives include glucosamine and chondroitin to help maintain the joints and omega fatty acids for skin and coat.
Ingredients to Avoid
You should generally avoid food containing unidentified meat, usually labeled simply ‘meat,’ ‘meat meal,’ or ‘meat by-product.’ You can also choose grain-free food if your dog has difficulties digesting food containing grain.
Other than that, the only ingredients to avoid are those your dog is allergic or sensitive to. If your dog displays symptoms of food allergies or digestive problems, consult your vet to find what ingredients your dog should avoid, and then find a formula that doesn’t contain them.
How Much Food and How Often to Feed?
How much food you give your Shiba depends on the caloric value of your chosen formula, as well as his energy level, activity, and age. Generally, you should feed Shiba puppies three times a day, and at about 1/3 of a cup. Adult Shibas usually eat around 2/3 of a cup twice a day.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much calories do they need?
Active adult Shiba Inus generally need about 700-800 calories, while puppies and elders require roughly 600. This number can also vary with other factors. Highly active or working dogs may require even higher caloric amounts, even more than 800 calories.
As always, the best way to be sure your dog is getting enough calories is to watch his weight and regularly consult your vet.
Are kibbles recommended for them?
Generally, kibbles are safe for your Shiba, provided he doesn’t have food allergies. Even then, there are so many different formulas with so many different primary and secondary ingredients that it shouldn’t be too difficult to find kibbles your dog can enjoy.
This also depends on your dog’s preferences. Some dogs prefer canned food, some prefer raw, and some like dry food. The only rule is that you shouldn’t mix kibbles with raw food within a few hours of each other.
Is a raw diet safe for puppies?
Even though raw food can have a positive impact on your Shiba, it can also have some drawbacks. First and most serious among them is a higher risk of serious bacterial infections such as salmonella or Escherichia coli.
It can also lead to a condition called hypervitaminosis A, where the amounts of vitamin A, usually positive, can become toxic. Puppies should generally be even more sensitive to those conditions, so if you decide to feed them raw food, you should proceed with caution.
What is the best treat brand?
Zuke’s Mini Naturals are our recommendation among training treats. They come in a variety of flavors, so it should be simple to find something your pup will enjoy.
Shiba Inus are a curious and energetic breed. They can be independent and headstrong, and they may not be the best choice for a family dog, but they are intelligent and can be trained to a high degree. They can be perfect companions for singles or families with older children.
Generally, they are a healthy breed, even though they may develop some problems with their eyes or bones. It is for that reason they need high-quality food to remain healthy, happy, and energetic pups throughout their lives.
And, after reading this guide, you should have all the information you need to take better care of your Shiba Inu.