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10 Best (Healthiest Options) Dog Foods for Shiba Inus in 2019

Shiba Inus are small, muscular dogs that were previously used with hunting practices. However, this dog’s responsibilities have shifted, and it is now a favorite companion dog. These dogs can become accustomed to any environment, whether out in the country or in a busy city. These dogs can even do well adapting to apartment living. Shiba Inus are friendly dogs that demonstrate affection with their human family and are friendly with strangers. They are intelligent and energetic and require a consistent exercise routine (nothing too rigorous) to keep them happy and satisfied.

According to the American Kennel Club, Shiba Inus have an “alert, active, and attentive” temperament. They have white markings on their red, black, or tan coats, making them similar in appearance to a fox. They keep a smooth stride and a watchful expression – their confidence is visible from a distance. These dogs have a tendency to shed but luckily, they are easy to groom.

Your Shiba Inus has specific feeding requirements, from types of ingredients to serving sizes. Read on to learn more about the dietary and nutritional considerations for Shiba Inus and become acquainted with the puppy feeding chart for this breed. We have reviewed some of the best dog food for Shiba Inus to make it easy for you to feed your pup well. After reading through this guide, you will feel confident about what types of nutrients your dog requires, how to feed him throughout the different stages of his life, and which dog food option is best for your adored life companion.

6 Special Dietary and Nutritional Considerations of Shiba Inus

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  • Animal Proteins – Your Shiba Inu needs animal proteins – this means whole foods like fish, chicken, lamb, and turkey. Although your pup will benefit from plant-based protein, that should come as a supplementary protein source. Check those food labels to be sure the primary ingredient in a dog food recipe is always from animal protein.
  • Digestive Supplements – Many dog food formulas incorporate probiotics and prebiotics that aid with ensuring optimal digestion and also support immune system health. Some dog food brands have created their own proprietary blend of digestive supplements, knowing just how important it is for your pup to experience smooth digestion. A healthy digestive tract allows for nutrients to travel throughout his body and for waste to be excreted in a healthy manner.
  • Water – Water will not only deliver hydration for your pup on a hot summer’s day, it is also vital for regulating his temperature. Water serves to transport nutrients to your Shiba Inu’s body, making sure that everything he is eating is getting delivered to the right place. Water lubricates joints as well, assisting with mobility and is especially important during his senior years.
  • Vitamins and Minerals – Fruits and vegetables contain the vitamins and minerals required for your Shiba Inu’s overall health. Dog food recipes incorporate real fruits and veggies to ensure this foundational requirement of your pup’s diet is being met. Vitamins serve many purposes, including hormone regulation, immune and cell function, and energy regulation. Minerals support the development and maintenance of healthy organs and tissue.
  • Grain-Free Ingredients – Grains have developed a reputation as being a hard to digest food for dogs. They are often included as a filler in dog food recipes and can make it difficult for your pup to pass through his body. In some dogs, grains can cause an allergic reaction, making grains in dog food a bit of a gamble for pet parents. It is advised to avoid grains altogether in your Shiba Inu’s diet to prevent allergy flare-ups or digestive issues. Grain-free formulas are marked as such, usually printed boldly on the front of food packaging.
  • Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are incorporated in dog food formulas because they are packed with the vitamins and minerals your dog needs for optimal health.

best shiba inu dog food

5 Key Nutritional Needs of a Shiba Inu Puppy

  1. Protein – Protein contains the amino acids required to assist with the creation of healthy muscles, tissues, and cells. Protein delivered by your dog’s diet helps with development during puppyhood and helps with the maintenance of lean mscle mass in adulthood. The ideal source of protein for Shiba Inus is whole meats that come from animals. Additional protein sources may be included, like those obtained from vuegetables, but they should not be the main source of protein for your pup.
  2. Fiber – Fiber serves two primary purposes in your dog’s diet: it delivers the energy required to keep him active and it promotes a healthy digestive system, which makes potty time always a breeze. With fiber, your dog gets the energy to enjoy playtime with you while he keeps a comfortable tummy after mealtime. This makes it so you don’t need to worry about anything other than enjoying the presence and playfulness of your Shiba Inu.
  3. Carbohydrates – Carbs should be used sparingly in your Shiba Inu’s diet. They are a great source for rapid energy but too many carbs can be detrimental to your Shiba Inu’s system. Luckily, high-quality dog food formulas have already taken care of the protein to fat and carb ratios, so all you need to do is make sure you are abiding by feeding instructions.
  4. Omega 3 and 6 – Omega 3 and 6 are a crucial component that aids with your Shiba Inu’s skin and coat health. The gorgeous coat of your Shiba Inu will shine when he is getting enough Omega support in his diet. Review labels to be sure omega fatty acids are included in the formula of your choice so your beloved pup can look as good as he feels.
  5. Fat – Fat is required to assist with the absorption of nutrients and hormone production and also plays an important role by helping to protect organs. Contrary to popular belief, fat does not cause weight gain. Rather, it assists with delivering sustained energy so your pup can enjoy his walks and playtime without becoming prematurely tired. If you notice your pup is showing signs of lethargy, he may not be getting enough fat or other nutrients in his diet. Review symptoms with your vet to get him back on course.

Shiba Inu Puppy Food Feeding Chart

  • 6 Week Old Shiba Inu – When your Shiba Inu is only six weeks old, he should not be apart from his litter. Ideally, at this stage, your puppy is still obtaining his meals and nutrition from his canine mother, as this is a critical stage during his development that mom is best equipped to handle.
  • 10 Week Old Shiba Inu – At ten weeks, your Shiba Inu puppy should be weaned from mom’s milk and should be enjoying the transition from milk to dry dog food. As a way to assist with the transition, pup parents often mix their dry food with a little bit of water or broth to soften the kibble and make it easier to chew and digest. Other pet parents opt to feed wet food during this period of transition, as it has a much softer consistency and will be better received by your puppy’s tummy. Either option is appropriate, just be sure to make it easy for your puppy as he fully transitions to eating his dry kibbles.
  • 12 Week Old Shiba Inu – At this stage, if you started off by feeding wet food, you should be transitioning into feeding dry dog food. Be sure to make this process a gentle one so you don’t shock your puppy’s system. Start incorporating little bits of dry kibble along with the wet food until it’s mostly kibble and just a little bit of wet food. Before you know it, your Shiba Inu will have successfully transitioned from wet food to dry food like a big boy.
  • 3 Month Old Shiba Inu – At three months, your Shiba Inu should be well acquainted with his dry dog food. You should ideally be selecting formulas that are specially crafted for the puppy stage of life, as these will have the right amount of nutrients to support your puppy’s development. Other formulas that are meant for the adult stage of life are crafted differently and don’t support the extra nutritional requirements of a growing puppy.
  • 5 Month Old Shiba Inu – At the five-month mark, your Shiba Inu will be well accustomed to his regular dry dog food diet; however, he will be requiring less feeding times. During his earlier months, he should have been enjoying an average of four mealtimes per day but at five months, that amount should drop to two feeding times per day. Just adjust the amount of food per feeding depending on his weight and the food bag’s instructions, and you’ll be on track to have a full grown Shiba Inu in a few short months.
  • 1 Year Old Shiba Inu – At one year, you have a fully matured Shiba Inu. This means you can transition from puppy food to adult stage dog food and keep his mealtimes at two per day. His nutrient requirements at this age have changed so be sure to feed according to the new adult formula’s feeding instructions.

Overall Best Shiba Inu Foods in 2019

Ollie Healthy Turkey Fare

  • Main ingredient is a protein animal source: turkey
  • Crafted with human-grade ingredients
  • Added fruits and vegetables for extra nutrition
  • 11% protein, 7% fat, and 2% fiber

Overall Best Food for Shiba Inus – Ollie’s Healthy Turkey Fare is formulated with fresh ingredients that are safe enough for human consumption. This is a meal specially made for dogs though so even though it might look and smell tasty, the nutritional components are curated specifically for your pup. The nutrients included in this recipe are preserved through a slow cooking process and minimal processing, so each meal is packed with the good stuff your dog needs to maintain great health.

Ollie only incorporates real ingredients into their recipes and they omit any artificial flavors. Who needs artificial additives when the food is natural and high-quality? Also omitted from Ollie’s recipes are unnecessary fillers like soy, corn, and wheat. With this dog food option, your Shiba Inu can enjoy a healthy meal with zero fillers and only the highest quality human-grade ingredients! Plus, Ollie delivers right to your front door, making it super convenient for you as a busy pet parent.

Pros:

  • Made with high-quality human-grade ingredients
  • Delivered fresh to your front door
  • No fillers or artificial flavors

Cons:

  • Pricier compared to other dog food options on the market

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Key Features:

  • Grain-free formula
  • Added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Main ingredient is an animal protein source: real buffalo
  • Easy to digest formula for pups with sensitive tummies

Most Popular Food for Shiba Inus –This grain-free formula by Taste of the Wild is easy to digest and filled with nutrients that are specially prepared for your adult Shiba Inu. Taste of the Wild incorporates a K-9 strain probiotic blend that also assists with moving food along the digestive tract, keeping your pup comfortable during and after mealtime. All natural ingredients deliver vitamins and antioxidants that help with maintaining long-term health.

Real buffalo is the main animal protein source in this formula, but that’s not all. This recipe also includes roasted venison, bison, and even beef, packing this formula with protein that encourages the growth and maintenance of lean muscle mass your pup needs. If your Shiba Inu is still in the puppy stage, this is not the recipe for him. But once he turns one year old, you can definitely give this formula a try, as it is meant for adult pups.

Pros:

  • Grain-free formula is also gluten free
  • Ingredients encourage easy digestion
  • Formula is packed with protein
  • Recipe includes antioxidant support

Cons:

  • Not an organic formula
  • Not guaranteed to be free of genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)

American Journey Salmon and Sweet Potato Recipe

Key Features:

  • No fillers like corn, wheat, or soy
  • High-protein recipe
  • Encourages skin and coat health
  • Added vitamins and minerals

Most Inexpensive (Cheap) -This salmon and sweet potato dry dog food recipe by American Journal omits fillers like wheat, soy, and corn and is also grain-free to keep your dog’s digestive system healthy. The formula includes fruits and veggies for extra nutrition along with antioxidants to promote a strong immune system.

Deboned salmon offers a distinctive flavor your Shiba Inu will thoroughly enjoy while it delivers the protein and amino acids required to maintain long-term lean muscle mass. Omegas are incorporated via salmon oil and flaxseed to keep your Shiba Inu’s coat and skin looking healthy. Omegas also assist with the development of both cognitive function and vision. Chickpeas and sweet potatoes deliver fiber to keep your little guy full of energy.

Pros:

  • Fiber-rich recipe
  • High protein
  • Grain-free and gluten-free formula
  • Zero fillers incorporated in recipe

Cons:

  • Formula is not guaranteed to be free of genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)

Farmina Natural & Delicious Chicken & Ancestral Low-Grain Puppy Formula

Key Features:

  • 90% of protein is derived from animal sources
  • Crafted specifically with puppies in mind
  • Coating system with vitamins for ultimate freshness

Best Shiba Inu Puppy Food – This Farmina dry dog food is made with quality ingredients that include the best protein, fat, and carb ratios for growing puppies. This chicken recipe omits whole peas, legumes, meals, and by-products to help pets who have trouble digesting these ingredients or those who are develop allergic reactions following consumption of these food components.

The vitamins in food are specially coated after cooking so that their freshness remains throughout shelf life. All the ingredients in this recipe are low glycemic and free from fillers like wheat, corn, or soy.

Pros:

  • Protein-rich formula
  • Designed specifically for the puppy life stage
  • No fillers
  • Free from genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)

Cons:

  • Pricier than other available dry dog food options

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

Key Features:

  • Limited ingredients for pups with sensitive digestion
  • No fillers
  • Grain-free formula

Best Sensitive Stomach Food for Shiba Inus – Natural Balance’s sweet potato and fish formula dry dog food contains limited carbs without any artificial flavors or colors. It includes sweet potatoes because they are fantastic for digestive health and because they contain high amounts of dietary fiber.

Omega 3 fatty acids are incorporated to support skin and coat health. The main animal protein source is salmon which provides a tasty meal for your Shiba Inu while making sure not to kick up any allergies or make for a difficult digestive process. This formula is for the adult stage of life and comes in three bag sizes, the smallest being 4 lbs. and the largest being 26 lbs.

Pros:

  • Formula contains limited ingredients
  • Suitable for pups with delicate digestion
  • Grain-free recipe

Cons:

  • Not an organic formula
  • Not guaranteed to be free of genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)

5 More Top Rated Foods for Shiba Inus:

True Acre Foods Chicken & Vegetable Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This dry dog food by True Acre Foods was created for the adult phase of life and is free from gluten and grains. Its main ingredient is chicken to deliver protein and also includes real vegetables and fruits like carrots, peas, and cranberries. The kibbles are balanced nutritionally and also incorporate Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to keep your Shiba Inu’s skin and coat looking good. This formula also assists with digestion by incorporating natural fibers. The recipe is free from any fillers like wheat, corn, or artificial colors. This product is available in three bag sizes: a 15-lb bag, a 30-lb bag, abd a 40-lb bag.

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food

This dry dog food recipe by Nature’s Variety contains high animal protein and extra nutrition with small bits of freeze-dried meat incorporated throughout the kibbles. It was crafted for your pup’s ultimate benefit, made with cage-free chicken as the primary ingredient for sturdy muscle development. There are additional ingredients that support digestive health and immune system health. This formula does not contain gluten, grains, soy, wheat, or corn and is available in three different sizes: a 4-lb bag, a 10-lb bag, and a 21-lb bag.

Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken Dry Dog Food

This Gentle Giants dry dog food recipe is formulated for canine adulthood and is a great choice for pups with sensitive digestion. It is free of gluten and fillers like soy, corn, and wheat. This formula contains balanced nutrition and includes a host of quality ingredients like farm-raised chicken, rice, fruits and vegetables, and probiotics and prebiotics for extra digestive support. This product is available in multiple sizes, ranging from a small 4-lb bag to a large 33-lb bag.

Merrick Grain-Free Real Texas Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Merrick’s real Texas beef and sweet potato recipe delivers powerful nutrition in a grain-free recipe that is perfect for pups who are prone to allergy flare-ups. The formula contains real, deboned beef as its primary protein ingredient and includes fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, peas, blueberries, and apples. Also included are high doses of glucosamine and chondroitin which help with mobility throughout the life of your pup.

Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food

This dry dog food by Wellness is made for the adult stage of life and has a special mix of proteins and whole grains that provides your dog with a balanced set of nutrients. The recipe is supplemented with antioxidants to support immune system health and keep doggy colds at bay year-round. The added fruits and vegetables include sweet potatoes and apples and aid with providing the energy your Shiba Inu needs throughout his days. Yucca Schidigera is added to this dry dog food to reduce stool odor and chondroitin sulfate is added to support joint health and mobility.

Our 2019 Shiba Inus Feeding Guide

  • Puppy Life Stage – The puppy stage is arguably the cutest life stage of your Shiba Inu’s life and it is also the most important because it is when bones, organs, and cognitive function are developing. Your Shiba Inus will require lots of nutrition delivered throughout the day, so you should be providing mealtimes between four to five times a day. These meals should be small and in line with the feeding instructions of your preferred brand. Generally, this ends up being around one cup of food per day, spread into those smaller meals to keep your pup satisfied and energized. At this age, your Shiba Inu should weigh between 5 – 20 lbs., depending on gender and age.
  • Adult Life Stage  – When your Shiba Inu reaches one year of life, he has entered into adulthood. During adulthood, you will no longer need to feed four to five times a day and can reduce mealtimes to twice per day. Be sure to pay attention to your chosen recipe’s feeding instructions, as each formula will have a different nutritional and caloric content. So long as you are providing enough food during those two feeding times, your Shiba Inu will be happy and full of energy to enjoy walks and play time with you. Your adult Shiba will cap out at about 18 – 25 lbs., depending on gender and overall size.
  • Senior Life Stage – During the senior life stage, feeding looks very much the same as during adulthood. However, during this final stage of life, weight control will be a primary concern. He should neither be losing weight or gaining weight at this stage. Since Shibas will oftentimes reduce their level of activity as they get older, their caloric requirements will need to be adjusted as well. With attentive monitoring of weight and adjustments made as necessary, your Shiba Inu will maintain his health and happiness throughout the rest of his days.

FAQ

  • Should a Shiba Inus eat dry or canned food? Shiba Inus can eat either dry or canned food, depending on their preference and your budget. Canned food is a more flavorful option and can be enjoyed as a supplementary aspect of a dry dog food diet or as a treat during training to reward good behavior. It is the more expensive option, however, and can be optimal because it contains a higher water content, making sure to keep your pup hydrated year-round. Dry dog food will need a steady supply of fresh water to be sure all nutrients are being delivered throughout the body. It is a great option for pups as well, so long as the ingredients are all natural and high-quality, these recipes contain the balanced nutrition your pup needs to thrive.
  • Should my Shiba Inus eat a grain-free diet? Grain-free diets are suggested for pups with sensitive digestion and allergies because grains can be difficult for a dog’s body to process, resulting in uncomfortable digestion and even allergy flare-ups. Since grains were not an original component of a canine’s diet, most pups have a hard time passing this ingredient. Each dog is different, however, and what may be difficult to pass for one pup could work well in another dog’s diet. As you explore different food options, you will come to know how your pup reacts to different ingredients so you can make the best decision for your unique pup!
  • How much food should I feed my Shiba Inu? How much food you feed your Shiba Inu is entirely dependent on his age, size, and activity level. During puppyhood, your little guy will need lots of nutrition to support his growing body so you will be feeding him four to five times per day. These will be small meals, totaling the required daily amount as instructed by the food label. In adulthood, nutritional needs change so you’ll only be feeding twice per day, making sure to provide adequate amounts per feeding as instructed by the dog food label. During your Shiba Inu’s senior years, his activity levels may decrease, which means you’ll want to reduce the total calorie intake but keep the two mealtimes per day.
  • How often should I feed my Shiba Inu puppy? Shiba puppies should be fed four to five times per day. Be sure to keep mealtimes short and sweet and just keep an eye on your pup to be sure he’s looking satisfied and full of energy.
  • Do Shiba Inus needs special food? Shiba Inus do not require a special diet and much like any dog, their individual preferences and requirements will shine through as you get to know your pup. Some dogs are prone to allergic reactions with certain ingredients while others gobble down those same ingredients without consequence. As you get to know your Shiba, you will come to find what foods don’t settle well in his tummy and what his ultimate preferences are so you can be sure to provide only the best for your favorite furry companion.

Conclusion

After having reviewed some of the best dog food for Shiba Inus, you are better prepared to embark on making the next commitment and purchasing a new product! If you have just inherited a gorgeous Shiba Inu puppy or you are looking to change dog foods, we hope this guide provided you with the details you need to make a well-informed decision.

Your active and attentive Shiba Inu makes a great lifetime companion, no matter where you live. To keep his personality happy and energetic, he’ll need his nutritional needs met. With enough protein, fat, and moderate carbs, you have a great starting point. Vegetables and fruits deliver vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support organ health. You’ll notice many of these formulas add additional supplements like omegas to support eye and brain development and even glucosamine and chondroitin to help with joint mobility. With enough water, your Shiba will get all these nutrients delivered to just the right spots and he will be thriving alongside you!

 

 

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