|Sneak Peak : Best Dog Food for an Akita in 2018|
A treasured Japanese breed, there is a lot to love about the Akita. These large-breed dogs are incredibly intelligent and affectionate with family but, despite their size, they are apartment-friendly. This breed is known for his loyalty, as you may know if you saw the movie Hachi starring Richard Gere. The Akita is a unique and beautiful breed, but he can be a challenge to keep and to train.
As an ancient breed, the Akita is also a very healthy breed with an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years – this is fairly long for a dog of his size. If you want to ensure that your dog reaches his maximum lifespan, you’ll need to take the time to find the best Akita food for your dog.
If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to shopping for dog food, you’ll be happy to learn that we’ve done all of the hard work for you! Keep reading learn what foods to feed an Akita.
Akita Diet and Nutrition
All dogs require a high-quality diet that is rich in protein to support their growth and development as puppies and then to help them maintain lean muscle mass as adults. Protein should come from animal sources like meat, poultry, and fish because these sources are much more biologically valuable for dogs than plant proteins – this just means that your dog is better able to digest and absorb nutrition from animal versus plant products.
In addition to plenty of protein, dogs need healthy fats to provide a concentrated source of energy. Fats also help support the dog’s immune system and keep his skin and coat in good condition. Like proteins, most of the fats in your Akita’s diet should come from animal sources like chicken fat and salmon oil. An adult dog needs at least 5% crude fat in his diet while a puppy needs 8% minimum.
In terms of carbohydrates, dogs have no specific requirements. In fact, many dog health experts recommend a diet free from carbohydrates. Unless you want to make your own dog food or spend a small fortune on a gourmet diet, however, you’ll probably need to purchase a recipe that contains carbohydrates. Just make sure they are highly digestible, and that the formula contains no more than 5% crude fiber. Avoid any recipe that is made with corn, wheat, or soy because these ingredients provide very little nutrition for dogs and are likely to trigger food allergies.
How Much Should You Feed Your Akita?
This is a very important question to ask but, unfortunately, it doesn’t have a simple answer.
The amount you need to feed your Akita will vary depending on his calorie needs and the calorie content of whatever dog food you choose. You can find the calorie information as well as feeding recommendations on the package, so that’s the best place for you to start in answering this question.
Take a look at the dog food package and you’ll see a chart with feeding recommendations based on your dog’s bodyweight. If you aren’t sure exactly how much your dog weighs, refer to the paperwork from your latest vet visit and use that number – you’re not going to be able to fit a full-grown Akita on a regular bathroom scale. If your dog is currently overweight, follow the feeding recommendations according to his ideal bodyweight.
Once you’ve determined how much to feed your Akita each day, you should divide that amount into two meals – one in the morning and one in the evening. If you want to determine exactly how much food your dog needs, you might try calculating his calorie requirements.
How Many Calories Does My Akita Need?
Every dog is different, so there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question.
The thing you must consider when thinking about your Akita’s calorie needs is that his energy requirements are largely based on three things: bodyweight, sex, and activity level. Generally speaking, adult dogs need about 30 calories per pound of bodyweight to fulfil their basic energy requirements. Large-breed dogs have slower metabolisms than smaller dogs, however, so your Akita’s needs may be closer to 20 or 25 calories per pound. With a weight range of 65 to 120 pounds, your dog’s calorie needs could be anywhere between 1,300 and 3,000 per day.
Want to get a little more specific? Here is the formula for calculating your Akita dog’s specific calorie needs based on his bodyweight:
Resting Energy Requirement (RER) = 70 x (bodyweight in kg)¾
After calculating your dog’s RER, the energy requirement for a healthy, altered adult dog, you can multiply it by one of the following factors depending on his age, sex, and alteration status:
|Puppy 0 to 4 months||RER x 3.0|
|Puppy 4 to 12 months||RER x 2.0|
|Intact Adult Dog||RER x 1.8|
|Altered Adult Dog||RER x 1.6|
|Active, Working Dog||RER x 2.0 – 5.0|
|Weight Loss||RER x 1.0|
|Weight Gain||RER x 1.2 – 1.8|
|Obese or Inactive Dogs||RER x 1.2 – 1.4|
After you’ve calculated your Akita’s RER (according to the formula above) just multiply that number by the correct factor according to this chart. When you have your dog’s daily calorie requirements, you can use the nutrition information on the pet food package to determine how much to feed him each day.
What to Look for in a Good Akita Food
The first thing you should look for in a good Akita food is plenty of high-quality, animal-based proteins. Animal proteins are called complete proteins because they contain all of the essential amino acids your dog needs – they are also more biologically valuable than plant-based proteins. In addition to plenty of animal protein, your Akita’s diet should be rich in animal fats for energy and to help keep his coat in good condition. Carbohydrates should be limited, and they should come from digestible sources like whole grains (unless your dog is sensitive or allergic) or starchy vegetables and legumes.
In addition to making sure that your Akita’s dog food is made with high-quality ingredients, you should look for a product specifically designed for large-breed dogs. As you’ve already learned, larger dogs have slower metabolisms than smaller dogs. This means that they need fewer calories per pound of bodyweight and that is best accomplished by controlling the amount of fat in your dog’s diet. Don’t skimp on protein because your dog needs it to maintain his lean muscle mass.
Large-breed dog foods are also often supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support which is important for the Akita because he is prone to musculoskeletal issues. You should also look for beneficial supplements like chelated minerals and dried fermentation products. Chelated minerals are simply synthetic mineral supplements that have been bonded with protein molecules – this makes them easier for your dog’s body to digest and absorb. Generally speaking, however, fresh fruits and vegetables are more biologically valuable when it comes to vitamins and minerals. Dried fermentation products are probiotics that will support your dog’s digestion.
3 Best Foods to Feed an Adult Akita
When shopping for an Akita, your best bet is to start with a large-breed formula and then look at the guaranteed analysis and the ingredients list to judge the quality. Even narrowing down your options still leaves you with a lot of choices, however. If you want some help getting started, here are our top three picks in the best dog food for an adult Akita:
|The Scoop : Best Dog Food for an Akita in 2018|
First 5 Ingredients : Beef, Pork Meal, Salmon Meal, Tapioca Starch, Peas
The EVO pet food company is known for producing high-quality products that are rich in protein and low in carbohydrates – their tagline is, “the ancestral diet meets modern nutrition”. This EVO Red Meat Formula Large Bites is an excellent example of the quality this company is committed to, being packed with animal proteins and healthy fats as well as fresh fruits and vegetables for natural sources of key nutrients. The top three ingredients are all proteins – beef, pork meal, and salmon meal – plus, there are animal fats as well. Each serving contains more than one-third a pound of animal proteins and the recipe contains five distinctive red meat sources. What more could you ask for?
First 5 Ingredients : Deboned Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Pea Protein
If you’re looking for a more affordable brand of dog food that still offers great quality, the American Journey brand produced by Chewy.com is a great option. Their American Journey Large-Breed Salmon and Brown Rice Recipe is designed specifically for larger breeds like the Akita, so it is rich in protein but limited in fats to control the calorie content. The main ingredients are deboned salmon, menhaden fish meal, and brown rice. There are also plenty of chelated minerals and vitamin supplements in addition to fruits and vegetables for nutritional balance. It contains a balance of omega fatty acids and controlled levels of calcium and phosphorus for bone health.
First 5 Ingredients : Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Salmon Meal, Ground Barley
Though technically not a large-breed formula this Acana Meadowlands recipe is protein-packed and full of healthy nutrients. It features free-run poultry, freshwater fish, and nest-laid eggs in a formula that contains 33% protein – that is more than enough to help your Akita maintain his lean muscle mass. In addition to being rich in high-quality animal proteins, this formula is packed with healthy fats for concentrated energy and It is free from gluten, grains, and potatoes. Simply put, this meat-rich recipe is sure to be a hit with your dog and you’ll love the quality of the nutrition it provides!
3 Best Akita Puppy Foods
As you start shopping for a high-quality puppy food, keep in mind that the Akita is a large breed – he may grow to over 100 pounds. This being the case, you want to choose a puppy formula that will support his growth without causing him to grow too quickly. The best place to start is a large-breed puppy recipe that you feed your puppy until he reaches 80% of his maximum size, at which point you switch to a large-breed formula like one of the recipes reviewed above.
If you want some suggestions for quality brands of puppy food, here are our top three picks:
First 5 Ingredients : Deboned chicken, Deboned turkey, Chicken Giblets (liver, heart, kidney), Turkey giblets (liver, heart, kidney) and Chicken meal
The Orijen company is known for producing high-quality pet foods using only the finest ingredients available. They feature superior animal proteins like free-range chicken, wild-caught fish, and nest-laid eggs, just to name a few. Though most of their formulas are for adult dogs, they do offer a puppy recipe – the Orijen Puppy Large Dry Food Recipe. This formula is packed 85% poultry, fish, and egg ingredients with the remaining 15% made up of fruits, vegetables and botanicals – the recipe is completely free from grains, potatoes, and plant protein concentrates. You’ll also be glad to know that it contains dried fermentation products for probiotic support as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key nutrients.
First 5 Ingredients : Lamb, Lamb Meal, Ground Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Peas
The Diamond Naturals brand of dog food offers decent quality and a large variety of products at an affordable price point. This Diamond Naturals Large-Breed Puppy Lamb and Rice Recipe is a good example because it contains high-quality ingredients like fresh lamb and lamb meal as well as chicken fat, salmon oil, rice, and barley. It is supplemented with dried fermentation products for probiotic support as well as chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption. It contains 27% crude protein and 15% crude fat, so you can rest assured that it will support your Akita puppy’s growth and development without causing him to grow too quickly
First 5 Ingredients : Lamb Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Brown Rice, Dehulled Barley, Rice
The Eagle Pack brand may not be one of the biggest names on the market, but they have been consistent in offering high-quality, nutritious products for pets over the course of more than two decades. This brand focuses each recipe around quality protein sources, wholesome grains and fiber, and natural antioxidants with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives – ever. The Eagle Pack Large & Giant Breed Puppy Food is a great choice for your Akita puppy because it contains dual animal proteins (lamb meal and chicken meal) as well as plenty of healthy animal fats and digestible carbohydrates. It is supplemented with DHA for brain and eye health as well as plenty of vitamins and minerals for immune support and nutritional balance.