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.