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Last updated: 10 Sep 2019

The Best Food for Shiba Inu (Review) in 2019

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Food for Shiba Inu

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Food for Shiba Inu

ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Shiba Inu Food

ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Shiba Inu Food

Nature's Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

Nature's Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food

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Dr Tracy Douglas
Published 14:15 pm

Soft, strong and sweet, Shiba Inu’s are an increasingly popular dog breed here in the US- due, in part, to their keen senses and bold personalities. They’re often mistaken for Akita’s, being that they are a fairly recent addition to the US dog breeding society and have the same curly, fluffy tail and muscular body.

Of course, being able to feed these characteristics is naturally what many lovers of the breed are keen on and, as always, we’ve got you covered. Below, we discuss the best dog food for Shiba Inu and what makes these specialist foods ideal for such a faithful, charismatic companion.

The Best Food for Shiba Inu

1

Hitting our list as the best dry food for Shiba Inu breed, this option from Blue Buffalo has been created with their patented Life Protection Formula. Packed full of their LifeSource Bits- small parts of kibble which use a mixture of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants- this is a great choice as a dog food for Shiba Inu’s as the recipe is perfect for small breeds and dogs who need a helping hand from time-to-time with their health.

Related Post: Blue Buffalo Dog Food Review

Created for small breeds

No by-products or fillers

Uses patented LifeSource bits

Specification:
  • Brand: Blue Buffalo
  • Model: 368
  • Weight: 15 pounds

2

A great, grain-free option, this Premium High Protein dog food for Shiba Inu’s from Taste of the Wild is a great choice for any small but mighty breed that needs an extra helping of protein. Since Shiba’s are known for being full of life, this is one of the best options you could give to your pup if you and your dog like to take life by the horns and go on plenty of walks together.

Related Post: Taste of The Wild Dog Food Review

No added fillers

Made in the USA

Added probiotics for a healthy digestion

Specification:
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • Model: 9569
  • Weight: 28 pounds

3

Made with no artificial flavors or preservatives and packed full of farm-raised chicken, the Max Natural Adult dry dog food from Nutro is an ideal dog food for Shiba Inu’s as it made with no added nasties that could affect any allergies or digestive problems. It’s also made for all life stages, so can be used as a Shiba Inu puppy food, right through to senior Shiba stages.

Related Post: Nutro Dog Foods Review

Can be used for all life stages

No added corn, wheat or soy

No added artificial flavorings or preservatives

Specification:
  • Brand: Nutro
  • Model: 10143200
  • Weight: 25 pounds

4

Made with completely organic ingredients, and cooked in an organically certified US kitchen, this is a premium dog food that is perfect for Shiba Inu’s thanks to the lack or any nasty add-ons that you might find in cheaper counterparts. More expensive than many of the options on our list, this is a dog food that centers around completely natural ingredients- so no fillers, hormones, synthetic fertilizers or preservatives have been used at any stage of this kibble, making it perfect for Shiba’s with a sensitive stomach.

100% organic

No added fillers or preservatives

Made in an organic, certified, US kitchen

Specification:
  • Brand: Castor & Pollux
  • Model: 35056
  • Weight: 10 pounds

5

The Limited Ingredient Diet from Natural Balance is a great choice for many dogs but is particularly favorable with breeds that often suffer from allergies or digestive issues, such as the Shiba Inu. Their limited ingredients kibble has no added fillers, colors or preservatives and their food is always a massive hit with our canine companions.

Great, affordable price

Limited ingredients so no added fillers, colors or preservatives

Packed with sweet potato and fish

Specification:
  • Brand: Natural Balance
  • Model: 42034
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds

6

Created for smaller breeds, Nature’s Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food has been broken down to better suit smaller mouths. Packed with chicken meal for a great source of lean meat and therefore extra protein, this is an ideal choice for Shiba Inu’s as they are a small, muscular breed that often requires a little extra protein. This is also a perfect choice as Shiba Inu puppy food, as the smaller bites and tasty ingredients are sure to keep their attention, while giving them the best start.

Smaller bites for smaller mouths

No corn or wheat

Great for all life stages

Specification:
  • Brand: Nature’s Recipe
  • Model: 3052152948
  • Weight: 15 pounds

7

The grain-free option from Victor Super Premium Pet Food is a great choice for Shiba’s as they’re designed with food allergies in mind. Thus, there are no added fillers, preservatives or colors and they have even catered for dogs with allergies to proteins found in lean meats other than fish. Being the only option that has this option, we think it’s worthy of a spot in our Top Picks.

Related Post: Best Dog Food for Allergies

Uses only fish

Designed for dogs with allergies

Ideal for all life stages

Specification:
  • Brand: Victor Super Premium Pet Food
  • Model: 2510
  • Weight: 30 pounds

8

With a primary focus on providing high-quality proteins, this grain-free option from Wellness Core is a great choice for active Shiba Inu’s who spend a lot of their days outdoors. With a high protein percentage of 34%, this isn’t ideal for elderly dogs but it perfect for smaller, bolder breeds such as the Shiba Inu. Better yet, this option uses no filler or preservatives and is made right here in the USA.

Related Post: Wellness Core Dog Food Review

Made in the USA

100% grain-free

Includes probiotics and antioxidants

Specification:
  • Brand: WELLNESS CORE
  • Model: 88403
  • Weight: 26 pounds

9

A colossal bag that provides fantastic value-for-money, this dry fog food from CANIDAE is made with added probiotics and antioxidants, as well as being made without corn, wheat or soy. This is the perfect kibble for Shiba Inu’s in multi-dog households and, as an added bonus, can be used during all of your dog’s life stages.

Related Post: CANIDAE Dog Food Review

Great value for money

Packed with added probiotics and antioxidants

Ideal for multi-dog households

Specification:
  • Brand: CANIDAE
  • Model: 1044
  • Weight: 44 pounds

10

Our final choice is the highly-rated Limited Ingredient Diet from ACANA, which holds up to 60% of it’s total mass from fresh, raw or dried animals- providing that lean meat and a great source of proteins for your Shiba Inu. The remaining 40% is made up of healthy fruits and veg, so you can be sure that your pup is getting all the vitamins and minerals they could possibly need.

Related Post: Acana Dog Food Review

Limited ingredients

Up to 60% natural meat

40% fruit and vegetables

Specification:
  • Brand: ACANA
  • Model: DAC3351-25
  • Weight: 25 pounds

Best Food for Shiba Inu Buying Guide & FAQ

Ingredients to Look for in a Dog Food for Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu food should always be packed full of the good stuff and, while the same can be said for any pet, we know that giving our Shiba’s the best dog food can mean that they are happier, healthier and maintain their full-of-life attitude that we all love so much.

Below are the best ingredients you can find in Shiba Inu dog food, as they carry everything your dog will need to maintain their optimal health and wellbeing:

  • Lean Beef

Packed full of protein and therefore essential fatty acids, good quality beef supports everything from your Shiba’s immune system to their skin and bones- as well as providing the energy required for those long days at your side.

  • Fish

Fish is a great source of Omega-3 and Omega-6, as well as being packed with protein if you choose lean fish such as salmon and sardines. These are great for maintaining eye and skin health too, so are a particularly great choice in the summer, when your dog is likely to be shedding.

  • Papaya

Papaya is packed full of enzymes and is therefore perfect for maintaining optimal digestive health. They’re also full of Vitamin-C and beta-carotene, so are great for reducing heart disease and inflammation- perfect for older Shiba’s who might have joint problems.

  • Brown Rice

As well as being great for the digestion, thanks to their high fiber content, brown rice is also full of antioxidants which can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels in your Shiba Inu. Brown rice also has plenty of selenium and manganese, which help bone development and maintenance.

  • Green Peas

Did you know that green peas are a great anti-inflammatory? Their unique phytonutrients and antioxidants work brilliantly with the omega acids that you’ll find in these little round balls of tastiness, to provide your dog with healthy joint health.

  • Sweet Potato

A fantastic superfood that fills your Shiba Inu full of the good stuff, sweet potatoes are full of Vitamins A, C and E, as well as being high in fiber and healthy carbohydrates.

  • Broccoli

Ideal for reducing levels of cholesterol, broccoli is another superfood that is abundant in Vitamins A, D and K, which helps regulate the heart, calcium levels and bone metabolism.

  • Spinach

Another superfood that helps to combat bone and joint problems, spinach is packed full of antioxidants, phytonutrients and vitamin K, to maintain bone and blood health.

shiba inu puppies eating from bowls at home

Shiba Inu Diet and Nutrition

  • Protein Intake

Protein is perfect for building up muscle mass and maintaining the health of your Shiba’s muscles, as they are quite a heavy-set dog. That said, what intake they should be receiving depends almost entirely on just how active they are.

If you and your Shiba are more likely to be lazing around on a Sunday, then they’ll likely need less protein. Of course, the more you and your dog are out and about, the more protein your dog will need.

Proteins are made up of 22 amino acids- some of which your dog can’t produce on their own. So, investing in food that is laden with the missing 10 amino acids is a great way to ensure your dog is getting their full intake, and therefore are able to stay at their healthiest.

Related Post: Best High Protein Dog Food

  • Carbohydrate Intake

Like every dog’s diet, the Shiba Inu diet needs to have a good level of carbs in their daily mix. These carbs are then broken down into glucose, which is used to create energy. Without carbohydrates, your Shiba Inu simply won’t have the energy they need to go about their day-to-day lives, never mind having the energy required for walkies!

  • Fat Intake

Despite what you might hear in flashy magazines, fat is actually very much necessary in order for your body to live healthily and the same can be said for your Shiba Inu. Having a good level of fat in the body helps your digestive system to absorb the vitamins and minerals, as well as a great way of storing fatty acids that the body can’t produce itself.

Fat is also the first source that’s burned off during exercise and, if you and your Shiba Inu like to take frequent walks, feeding them a good helping with plenty of Omega-3 and Omega-6 is essential for maintaining a healthy body weight, as well as being very healthy for the body in general.

  • Vitamins and Minerals

Often overlooked, particularly in cheaper foods that are packed with more fillers, vitamins and minerals can help your Shiba Inu to maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle. Vitamins A, D and E help to promote good brain and eye health, for example, while minerals help maintain bone structure and growth.

Food to Avoid Feeding Your Shiba Inu

While the following won’t necessarily have a negative impact on your Shiba Inu, it can be beneficial to avoid “fillers” in your Shiba Inu dog food, as they add no real benefit to your dog’s overall diet, health and wellbeing but instead could actually be causing more issues. For example, many dogs are allergic to the ingredients below and, since Shiba Inu’s are known for their allergies, it might be best to avoid these foods entirely.

  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Artificial Colors and Preservatives

These items are also known to cause your dog’s digestive system to slow down, as your pup’s stomach requires more energy to digest them, causing constipation and a sore stomach- especially if your dog isn’t used to these.

Common Health Problems Shiba Inu - How Diet Can Help Them

  • Joint Problems

Shiba Inu’s, like many breeds, often have problems with hip dysplasia or joint issues as they age. In these cases, keeping a close eye on the weight of your dog is key, as any added pounds can exacerbate the issues and cause problems further down the line.

Ensuring that your dog is fed a healthy diet not only helps with their weight, however, as you can also use specialists’ diets and supplements to help ease the pain that comes with joint problems. Foods that have added Omega-3 and Omega-6 can be a great help, as these essential fatty acids can reduce inflammation, while glucosamine and chondroitin can help retain the pet’s cartilage.

Related Post: Best Dog Joint Supplements

  • Allergies

Shiba Inu’s are known for their allergies, and any signs of excessive scratching, eye-watering or similar should always be seen by a vet as soon as possible to help ease these issues. That said, giving your dog food that doesn’t use any fillers can be a huge help, as many dogs are intolerant or allergic to soy, grains, corn and wheat, as well as any artificial colors and flavors.

  • Eye Problems

The final health problem that Shiba Inu’s are known for is eye problems. Many dogs can suffer with Progressive Renal Atrophy and Cataracts, among others, so these issues aren’t necessarily directly linked to the breed. Of course, there’s no harm in providing additional sustenance to stave off these problems and food that is rich in sweet potato, pumpkin and kale can do wonders to help with any eye problems- along with a multitude of others, too.

Shiba Inu dog in the living room

Best Food for Shiba Inu FAQ:

Q: How much food should I feed my Shiba Inu?

A: If you’re new to the breed, you might find yourself wondering how much do Shiba Inu’s eat, since they’re essentially a very muscular breed, yet still considered a member of the small/toy breed group. You should know that all dogs have their own metabolism and ideal weight, in much the same way as us humans have our own rate and BMI. The main thing is that they are kept at a healthy weight- where you can feel their spine, ribs and hips but not be able to see them, and that (when you look at them from above) you can see a slight concave shape around their stomach area.

If that sounds a little confusing, or you aren’t sure of what constitutes the shape or feel of your dog’s weight, you can always follow the feeding guide, below:

30 X Weight (Kgs) + 70 = Daily caloric intake

Again, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule and there’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to any pet, as they’ll have their own lifestyle. Other factors you’ll want to take into account when looking into how much your Shiba Inu needs feeding is to check:

  • How active your dog is – The more active they are, the more food (particularly protein) they will need.
  • Their lifestyle and age – The older your dog gets, the more likely they are to want to laze around and become a lapdog, therefore needing less food
  • Individual differences – Every dog will have his or her own metabolic rate, as well their own energy levels and body shape
  • Body condition score – Rated between 1-9, the body condition score for dogs works in the same way that our own BMI score works for humans. The ideal body condition score for most dogs is around 4-5, and dogs above or below this will need their daily intake altered, to meet these additional needs.

Q: How often should I feed my Shiba Inu?

A: The answer to this depends almost entirely on how greedy your dog is! As puppies, you’ll need to feed your Shiba Inu smaller servings, more regularly- while adults can handle 2 larger servings. These servings usually come as a case of one in the morning and one at night- but it also depends on your family life and working hours.

The main thing is that your pup is fed consistently, with a good servings of healthy dog food for Shiba Inu’s. Remember that, not long after they’ve eaten, they will likely want to nip outside to do their business- which is one of the reasons we recommend placing a serving out in the morning (for your dog’s breakfast) and one around tea time, so they can be let out before bed.

Q: How much should a Shiba Inu puppy eat?

A: As with most puppies, you shouldn’t have to worry about your Shiba Inu eating too much puppy food at first. Unless your puppy is particularly greedy, in which case you might want to ration the food throughout the day.

At first, you can put down your puppy food at any point and just top it up as needs be. However, as the weeks go on, you can start to set up a proper feeding schedule- usually at around 3-6 months, depending on your dog’s appetite. At this point, you should be providing roughly one cup of Shiba Inu puppy food, which will be spread through the day. So, you might choose to start with 3 feeding times, throughout the day, with 1/3 cup each time- moving up to two feeding times with half a cup per serving.

As time wears on, you can keep adding to their daily intake, until you’re feeding your Shiba Inu puppy 1.5 cups of puppy food per day. Which means you should have them on a healthy schedule by the time they’re adults, with 2-3 servings a day, totaling 1.5 cups of Shiba Inu dog food.

Related Post: Best Puppy Food

Jumped dog shiba inu on grass

Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick for Shiba Inu dog food is easily Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Small Breed Dry Dog Food, as it contains everything your Shiba Inu could possibly need without adding in any extra fillers or nasties that can react badly with your Shiba’s natural state.

The smaller kibble size, combined with the added fatty acids and high quality protein makes this the perfect dog food for your Shiba Inu, as it’s less likely to trigger any allergies while still being perfect for sensitive stomachs and digestive systems.

Sources:

  1. A Brief Guide To Shiba Inu Nutrition - Shiba Inu HQ
  2. Shiba Inu - Vetstreet
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Dr Tracy Douglas
Dr Tracy Douglas
General Practice Veterinarian, currently working at the Glenwood Veterinary Clinic, Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Dr. Douglas began her veterinary career as a Veterinary Nurse in Highton Veterinary Clinic, Highton Victoria, and then as an Emergency Veterinarian in Uintah Pet Emergency, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tracy is particularly interested in surgery, neurology and internal medicine, which gives her a well-rounded knowledge on animal health and well-being. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Melbourne, while her undergraduate bachelor of science is from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
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