We feed our Shiba Inus Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice dry dog food. This food has No Corn, No Wheat, and No Soy fillers which are all very poorly digested by your pet. It comes in 20 and 40 pound bags and is not found on a grocery store isle. We also think very highly of several other high quality premium dog foods. We like the dog food made by Blue as it is very good and we also like Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul. For this reason we wrote this guide to help you in feeding your Shiba Inu.
You want to feed your dog lamb, fish, or chicken based food. Beef is too harsh on a Shiba’s stomach. It’s alright to have the occasional snack or treat with beef in it, just don’t make it their main staple or you’ll have problems. You also want rice or sweet potatoes as the filler carbohydrate. Corn is not good and will cause bad stools and less than optimal health. It is important that you read the label of your dog food and understand what the ingredients are. You don’t want to see meat byproduct near the top of the list. I would explain why, but that would require explaining what it is and too keep this simple, let’s just assume it is everything that is not allowed in human food including hair, and waste excrement. Just take note that meat byproduct does not mean meat. Byproduct for a dog food is more like hoof, skin and hide. You also don’t want to see a lot of grain and filler near the top. You should always feel free to call the company that makes the food and ask them about it. We have not only talked to many breeders, but also to the companies that manufacture our preferred dog foods in order to confirm the quality of the ingredients before we chose it to compliment our dog’s raw diet.
For treats, we highly recommend Freshies, which we buy from Wal-Mart or Fred’s. They are green bones and we give one a day to our adult dogs. They are good for the teeth and breath and if you get the larger size they become an activity for your dog to eat and Shibas love the challenge! Our dogs love these because there are few ingredients and they are made with quality chicken breast fillet. This is nearly unheard of in dog food/treats. These are not Greenies… they are Freshies. There is a big difference in ingredients and price. Greenies were reformulated in recent years to be fully digestible but we still prefer Freshies.
We do recommend you feed your dog homemade food as much as possible. Chicken, rice, eggs, bones, sweet potatoes, fish, and cheese are all good options. When giving chicken bones to your dog be careful. If your dog eats quickly, gulps or inhales food rather than thoughtfully chewing, then stay away from chicken bones or they could choke. They are known to splinter and should only be given to a dog that chews slowly & thoroughly. Before feeding your dog human food, check on the internet to make sure it is safe for dogs. Some foods you wouldn’t expect can be very bad and even lethal in some cases for dogs.
Quality food is key to your Shiba Inu’s health. Don’t buy something just because it is at your vet’s office. Remember, a vet is running a business and unfortunately some vets will choose to sell the dog food that makes them the most money, not what is best for your dog. Most dog food is made with ingredients that were deemed unhealthy for human consumption. Grains that turn moldy or go bad to any extent can still be used in dog foods. Purina Mills and other grain companies purposefully use these grains to make cheap grocery store brand dog foods lacking much of any nutrients your dog needs to grow. Due to this many dogs die from kidney failure every year. Quality food will keep your Shiba Inu healthy and happy. Read labels and don’t feed your dog anything that you don’t think promotes good health. Everything either promotes good health or bad, there is no in between. Choose to promote good health with good food and your Shiba Inu will stay out of the vet’s office and live 15+ years.