5 Best Dog Foods For Shiba Inus

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best dog food for Shiba Inus.
We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money
to give you our top recommendations below.

Breed Advisor only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

What is the Best Dog Food for Shiba Inus?

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

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Shiba Inu Dog Food Reviews

Solid Gold Barking at the Moon High Protein Grain-Free Duck, Egg & Pea Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Duck
    2. Turkey Meal
    3. Pea Protein
    4. Dried Eggs
    5. Potatoes

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: All life stages
  • Calories: 440 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 41%
  • Fat: 18%
  • Fiber: 4%

Solid Gold Barking at the Moon High Protein is the ideal diet for an active, high energy breed like the Shiba Inu. Its primary ingredient is duck which is closely followed by turkey meal, another animal-based protein. Peas provide a protein-based carbohydrate to increase fiber and satiation. An extremely high protein diet, Solid Gold hits all the high marks that an adult Shiba Inu needs to thrive.

Probiotics and prebiotics have been added to support optimal digestion. This food is also handcrafted in the United States and is free from corn, wheat, soy, artificial colorings, and preservatives. Solid Gold is one of the best dog foods for Shiba Inus with sensitive stomachs.

Pros

  • Owners are pleased that this exceptional quality food formulation is available at what they believe is a very reasonable price point.
  • Dogs that previously struggled to maintain a healthy body weight saw improvements in appetite and body condition with a switch to this diet.
  • This diet earns high marks for encouraging previously picky eaters to consume their meals with enthusiasm and gusto.
  • Generally speaking, owners were very pleased with the ratio of fat, fiber, and carbs to protein, of particular importance to families looking to keep their dog’s carb content low and their protein amounts high.
  • The emphasis on low carbohydrates makes this diet well-suited to dogs suffering from yeast-related conditions.

Cons

  • In rare instances, some dogs experienced mild gastrointestinal distress when transitioned to this food. This may be the result of the switch occurring too rapidly.
  • Some owners felt the kibble pieces were quite small, making it frustrating for some dogs to eat.
  • A few owners noted some difficulty with loose stool as a result of a change to this diet.
  • Part of the protein in this recipe is derived from pea protein. This means that a portion of the protein contained in this food is plant-based rather than taken from meat.
  • There are no supplements in this diet to support joint health in the active Shiba Inu.

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VICTOR Select Yukon River Canine Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Menhaden Fish Meal (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid)
    2. Peas
    3. Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols)
    4. Garbanzo Beans
    5. Dehydrated Salmon

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: All life stages
  • Calories: 390 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 33%
  • Fat: 16%
  • Fiber: 3.8%

VICTOR Select Grain Free Yukon River Canine Recipe includes fish meal as its first ingredient and also packs a powerhouse punch when it comes to protein and essential fatty acids through its addition of dehydrated salmon. This diet, rated one of the best dog foods for Shiba Inus, has been carefully crafted to exclude foods most likely to induce an allergic reaction such as certain types of grains.

Pros

  • Dogs that had previously expressed itchiness from food-related allergies found relief with a switch to this diet.
  • Stool quality was improved and gastrointestinal distress resolved in dogs that were transitioned to this food formulation.
  • Owners report a dramatic difference in their dog’s coat quality once moved from their former diet to this Victor offering.
  • Owners share that their dogs love the taste of this food, looking forward to mealtimes with great enthusiasm.
  • This grain-free food formulation makes it a great choice for Shiba Inus struggling with food-related allergies.

Cons

  • Some owners expressed they felt this recipe would be better if it included glucosamine and chondroitin to boost canine joint health.
  • A few owners report that this diet is somewhat cost prohibitive for them.
  • On a few occasions, some dogs were disinterested in the smell and taste of this diet and would not eat it.
  • A few owners mentioned that this diet had an unpleasant smell to it. This could possibly be from the salmon included in this formulation.
  • Some owners express distress that this recipe includes both peas and garbanzo beans, ingredients of questionable nutritional value and that may be linked to lowered fertility rates in breeding dogs.

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Merrick Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Beef
    2. Lamb Meal
    3. Salmon Meal
    4. Sweet Potatoes
    5. Potatoes

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 379 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 3.5%

Merrick Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food is a premium quality food for premium quality dogs. Its grain-free formulation helps prevent common allergy flareups. Its main protein source is whole beef, and its carbohydrates are derived from sweet potatoes and other fruits and vegetables.

This food, ranked among the best Shiba Inu dog foods, is free from gluten, artificial colors and flavors, and preservatives. Glucosamine and chondroitin have been added to support healthy joints.

Pros

  • Owners report this food is so flavorful that they are able to use it both for mealtimes and for training treats.
  • This diet encouraged hearty eating in dogs that were previously exceptionally picky eaters.
  • Owners love that there are many different Merrick offerings, allowing them to switch to a different formulation or protein if their dog becomes bored with its meals.
  • Some owners related that dogs suffering from arthritis showed an improvement in joint health with a switch to this diet.
  • The inclusion of foods rich in healthy fats in this recipe ensures dogs eating this food regularly have coats that are soft and healthy.

Cons

  • The high protein content in this food led to mild gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting and diarrhea in some dogs.
  • Some dogs did not enjoy the flavor of this food and would not eat it. This is most likely attributed to preference.
  • Some owners felt the kibble pieces contained in this food were too small.
  • In a small number of dogs, poor stool quality was noted in dogs that ate this food regularly.
  • Some people expressed they felt this diet is quite expensive.

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Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Whole Brown Rice
    4. Brewers Rice
    5. Rice Bran

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 341 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 25%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Fiber: 4%

Nutro Ultra Holistic Superfood Blend is a good quality food for the Shiba Inu. With proteins from three different sources, this diet is chock full of amino acids to encourage a healthy body condition. Sunflower oil is added to promote optimal skin and coat health.

This food is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It has also been enriched with added vitamins, minerals, and taurine.

The main drawback to this food is its inclusion of brown rice as the main source of carbohydrates. It is a little lower than ideal in both protein and fat, but overall, is still a good choice for this breed and is worthy of inclusion on the list of the best dog foods for Shiba Inus, particularly if the dog is free from any allergies.

Pros

  • Owners are pleased to report that their previously picky dogs now look forward to their meals with a switch to Nutro Ultra Adult.
  • Dogs that previously suffered from gastrointestinal distress experienced relief when transitioned to this diet.
  • Some dogs that were suffering from recurring itchiness saw complete alleviation of their symptoms once regularly fed Nutro Ultra Adult.
  • Some owners report an improvement in coat quality as a result of this high quality diet.
  • Owners relate that they like the size of the kibble pieces, making this diet suited to feeding dogs of any size. For those with multiple dogs of different breeds in their home, this is a great selling point.

Cons

  • A small number of dogs struggled to gain ideal digestion with a switch to this diet. This may be the result of transitioning too quickly.
  • Some dogs are uninterested in this food and will not eat it. This is likely simply a matter of individual preference.
  • Some owners indicate some changes in their dog’s bathroom habits as a result of this food. They question if some of the ingredients are harder for dogs to digest, leading to the need for more frequent potty breaks.
  • Some owners expressed that some of the ingredients in this recipe made it unsuitable for dogs with allergies.
  • A very small number of owners expressed they found the smell of this food off putting.

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Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon
    2. Menhaden Fish Meal
    3. Sweet Potatoes
    4. Cassava Flour
    5. Potatoes

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 373 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 24%
  • Fat: 10%
  • Fiber: 4%

For one of the best dog foods for Shiba Inus available for purchase today, it’s hard to go wrong with Natural Balance L.I.D. Grain-Free. A diet comprised of only a finite list of ingredients, each item in this recipe was selected for its high quality and exceptional nutritional profile. Salmon is the main ingredient in this food, a lean meat that provides a powerhouse punch of the essential fatty acids the Shiba Inu needs for optimal coat and skin health. This protein is reinforced by the addition of Menhaden fish meal, a meat blend that is rich in the nutrients dogs need to enjoy optimal health and wellness.

A recipe designed to support dogs suffering from food-based allergies, Natural Balance L.I.D. Grain-Free contains no peas, pea protein, lentils, legumes, corn, wheat, or soy. Its carbohydrate content is based on sweet potatoes, a vegetable that contributes ample servings of dietary fiber and antioxidants to promote good digestion and a healthy immune system.

Pros

  • Owners are very pleased with the improvement in their dog’s coat quality with a switch to this diet.
  • This diet has been associated with reduced flatulence in dogs prone to excess gas.
  • The emphasis on a limited ingredients list comprised of allergy friendly foods resulted in alleviation from such common problems as itchiness, poor skin quality, and gastrointestinal distress.
  • Owners love that there are several different protein options in the Natural Balance L.I.D. line, allowing them to offer their dogs some variety without risking any allergy flareups in skin and stomach sensitive dogs.
  • Most owners report they feel this food is available at an excellent price point.

Cons

  • In rare instances, some owners reported an unusual chemical-based smell came from their dogs’ skin, coat, feces, and urine after a regular diet of this food.
  • Some dogs do not like the taste of this particular diet. However, since Natural Balance L.I.D has a complete line of limited ingredient foods with different protein bases, another food formulation from the same company may be the perfect choice.
  • Some people feel the ingredients list is still too extensive to be suited to dogs suffering from food-related allergies.
  • Though most people feel this diet offers exceptional nutrition at a reasonable price, a few people have also expressed they feel it is cost prohibitive for them.
  • On occasion, some dogs have experienced gastrointestinal distress from this diet. This most likely can be attributed to not transitioning from the previous diet at a slow enough pace.

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How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Shiba Inus

The Shiba Inu, a small breed dog, is well-renowned for its fox-like appearance. The breed is characterized by its high energy levels, a trait that must be fuelled by high-quality nutrition to maintain optimal health.

The Shiba Inu hails from Japan and is a member of the spitz family. Loyal and loving to its family, the Shiba Inu displays a natural wariness towards strangers.

A breed with an impressively muscled frame, the Shiba Inu is a true athlete. As a general rule, the active Shiba Inu adult dog needs a nutritionally balanced diet that is based on high-quality proteins. The best dog foods for Shiba Inus are often supplemented with such items as prebiotics, probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin to support digestion and joint health.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Shiba Inus

When fully mature, the adult Shiba Inu weighs approximately 20 pounds. To best meet their nutritional needs, mature Shibas will require approximately 550-600 calories per day. This typically amounts to two cups of the best dog food for the Shiba Inu which should be evenly divided and fed in two meals with one in the morning and the other in the evening. The individual calorie count will vary depending on factors like activity level and if they are spayed and neutered. The Pet Nutrition Alliance calorie calculator is an excellent guide but it’s best to ask your veterinarian for more detailed nutritional information.  As a basic rule of thumb, the Shiba Inu’s food should consist of approximately 30 percent protein of animal origins and between 15-18 percent of fat.

Dietary Requirements for Shiba Inu Dog Foods

A breed with energy to spare, the Shiba Inu requires a diet that will support their active lifestyle. A breed that can be prone to skin problems, the ideal food for a Shiba Inu should place a high emphasis on a diet that is rich in lean proteins and healthy oils.

The primary ingredient in any diet appropriate to address the Shiba Inu’s needs is protein. Whole protein sources are the best choice; however, a meat meal is also acceptable. The Shiba Inu can be prone to skin allergies and these individual dogs may require a hypoallergenic diet containing hydrolyzed protein or a novel protein and carbohydrate source.

Healthy fats are one of the most important building blocks in any high-quality diet for the Shiba Inu. Not only do they help maintain healthy skin and coat, but fats also help to fuel the Shiba by providing an energy boost to support the dog’s active lifestyle.

No diet would be complete and balanced without the addition of carbohydrates. Because the Shiba Inu can suffer from allergies, some individuals may require a hypoallergenic diet with an alternative carbohydrate source like potatoes. However, this will vary depending on the underlying cause of the allergy and should be discussed with a veterinarian first.

Shiba Inus, like most dogs, typically can  process grains such as barley and oats well. The addition of supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin are an excellent means to support joint health. Probiotics and prebiotics can often be found in high-quality Shiba Inu diets to assist with digestive health.

Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Shiba Inus

Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in the best food for a Shiba Inu:

  • Complete proteins listed at the beginning of the ingredients list

Animal-based proteins should be the basis of any diet for the Shiba Inu. A dog with high energy needs, the Shiba Inu benefits from the inclusion of several types of protein in their food. Whole proteins are the preferred choice but meal meals are also suitable.

A whole protein or a meat meal should be one of the first ingredients on the list of included items in any food for the Shiba Inu.

  • Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements

The addition of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, prebiotics, and supplements can greatly enrich the Shiba Inu’s diet. Some of the most important ones to look for in a food include glucosamine and chondroitin and probiotics and prebiotics.

  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food

The AAFCO seal approval should accompany any food considered for the Shiba Inu. This designation indicates a food has been assessed and found to be complete and properly balanced.

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