If you want to enjoy your Shiba Inu’s company for as long as possible, you need to ensure that his nutritional needs are met – this means taking the time to find the best Shiba Inu food out there. If you aren’t sure where to start looking, simply keep reading learn what foods to feed a Shiba Inu.

A breed native to Japan, the Shiba Inu is a little slice of heaven. This dog weighs no more than 25 pounds at maturity but he is full of spunk and a lively sense of humor. In many ways, this breed has a foxlike appearance with pointed ears and a bushy tail – he’s also intelligent and always up for a game. He may not be the best choice for young children but he makes an excellent companion, especially for active individuals and families.

The Shiba Inu is a very old breed descended from the ancient Spitz type and, as such, he is a healthy breed in general. Like all dogs, however, the Shiba is prone to certain illnesses such as allergies, eye problems, and musculoskeletal issues. Even so, he has a long lifespan of 12 to 16 years.

Shiba Inu Diet and Nutrition

The basics of dog nutrition are relatively uncomplicated.

Like all living things (yourself included!) your dog requires a balance of certain nutrients in his diet in order to support his health and longevity. Not only does he need certain nutrients for proper health, but the quality of the source from which those nutrients derive plays a role in his long-term health and wellness. The quality of your dog’s food matters!

When it comes to basic canine nutritional needs, protein and fat are the two most important nutrients.

Protein is made up of amino acids which provide the building blocks for healthy cells, tissues, and muscles. The protein in your dog’s diet helps to fuel his growth and development as a puppy and then, when he reaches adulthood, it helps him maintain lean muscle mass. Fat helps to cushion and protect his organs while also playing a role in nutrient absorption and hormone production. It is also a highly concentrated source of energy for your dog.

Carbohydrates are not something a dog needs in any specific amount. In fact, many canine health experts would argue that carbohydrates have no place in a dog’s diet. Most commercial dog food do contain carbohydrate, however, but you should look for a recipe that uses high-quality, digestible carbs like whole grains or fresh fruits and vegetables. Your dog can also benefit from dietary fiber which largely comes from carbohydrates.

How Much Should You Feed Your Shiba Inu?

This may seem like a simple enough question.

If you start to really think about it, however, you’ll realize that a lot goes into the equation when it comes to determining how much to feed your dog. Although all dogs have roughly the same nutritional requirements, there are differences in energy needs depending on your dog’s age, sex, and activity level.

Generally speaking, the Shiba Inu is a very active breed. This combined with the fact that he is also a small dog breed means that his metabolism is probably going to burn through energy much more quickly than a larger dog’s would.

What exactly does this mean?

Simply that your Shiba Inu might need more calories per pound of bodyweight than a larger dog, even if the total amount of food he eats is less. In order to determine exactly how much to feed your dog, you need to factor in his bodyweight and then make adjustments according to his activity level.

The easiest way to determine how much to feed your dog is to follow the recommendations on the dog food bag. The problem is that these recommendations may not take your dog’s activity level into account. If you want to be a little more exact, you can calculate his actual calorie needs – keep reading to learn how.

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How Many Calories Does My Shiba Inu Need?

Though every dog is different, the average energy requirement for an adult dog is about 30 calories per pound of bodyweight.

Keep in mind, however, that small dogs have very fast metabolisms while large dogs have slower metabolisms. The Shiba Inu fits into the first of these categories, having a maximum weight around 25 pounds. Dogs of this size usually need more calories because their daily energy burn is higher – probably something a little closer to 35 or 40 calories per pound of bodyweight. That would give you a range between 595 and 1,000 calories per day based on the breed’s size.

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Want to get a little more specific? Here is the formula for calculating your Shiba Inu’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:

Description Factor
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

Simply plug in your Shiba Inu’s RER (according to the formula above) then multiply by the right factor according to chart above. Once 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 Shiba Inu Food

Now that you have a better understanding of your Shiba’s energy needs as well as his nutritional requirements, you may be wondering exactly what kind of dog food might meet all of those needs.

All it takes is a quick trip to your local pet store to see just how many options are out there when it comes to dog food. So, how do you make the right choice? You’ll need to factor in everything you’ve learned here about your dog’s nutritional needs and his calorie needs as well. What does that leave you with? Here’s what you should be looking for:

  • A high-quality product formulated for small-breed dogs.
  • A kibble made with a quality animal protein as the first ingredient.
  • A product rich in animal fats like chicken fat and fish oil.
  • A recipe limited in carbohydrates and, ideally, free from grains.
  • A dog food supplemented with beneficial additives like probiotics and chelated minerals.

The first dog food you grab off the shelf might not meet all of these requirements, though it certainly could! But just because that first option seems to be a good one doesn’t mean that it is. You’ll need to compare multiple options to see which one really is the best choice for your dog.

Top 4 Best Foods to Feed an Adult Shiba Inu

Shopping for dog food can be challenging, even overwhelming at times. With so many options available, making a single choice can be hard. That’s why we’ve done the research and have come up with a list of options to give you a reference point to start from.

If you want some help getting started, here are our top three picks:

Castor & Pollux Organix Small Breed Recipe

First 5 Ingredients : Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Organic Chickpeas, Organic Peas

Castor & Pollux Organix Small Breed Recipe

Though the name of this company may be a bit strange, it is definitely one you will remember. Castor & Pollux offers two different products lines – Organix and Pristine. The Organix line features USDA certified organic ingredients and a healthy blend of superfoods to deliver optimal nutrition. This particular recipe is designed for small-breed dogs, so you can rest assured that it contains plenty of premium proteins and a whole lot of energy. Organic chicken and chicken meal are the top two ingredients, followed by grain-free carbohydrates like organic sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and peas. This formula is loaded with natural flavor as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure balanced nutrition.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Recipe

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chickpeas, Turkey Meal, Tapioca

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Recipe

Nature’s Variety is easily one of the top pet food companies in the industry because they offer such a wide variety of high-quality, nutritious pet food products. There are over half a dozen different product lines to choose from, making it easy to find the perfect formula to suit your dog’s needs. As a small breed, the Shiba Inu requires a protein-packed and energy-rich formula which is why we recommend this Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Recipe. Available in both chicken and duck flavors, this product is power-packed with nutrition and natural flavor. It’s not just a product you are going to love – your dog is going to love it as well. It contains more than 36% crude protein and 16% fat, plus it is supplemented with chelated minerals for maximum absorption and probiotics for digestion.

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Natural Balance Original Ultra Small-Breed Bites

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken, Brown Rice, Oat Groats, Chicken Meal

Natural Balance Original Ultra Small-Breed Bites

The name of this pet food company says it all – Natural Balance. This company makes pet food products using only the healthiest natural ingredients and every recipe delivers a wholesome boost of balanced nutrition. The Original Ultra line of products is designed to support whole-body health from development and digestion to immunity and bone health. This particular recipe is optimized for smaller breeds like the Shiba Inu and it features chicken and brown rice as the top two ingredients. You’ll also be glad to know that it is supplemented with chelated minerals to ensure maximum nutrient absorption as well as fibers for healthy digestion.

Whole Earth Farms Small-Breed Dry Food

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken Meal, Dried Potatoes, Peas, Chicken Fat, Dried Sweet Potatoes

Whole Earth Farms Small-Breed Dry Food

The Whole Earth Farms brand is actually produced by Merrick Pet Care, but it is one of their more affordable lines of products. Just because the price tag for these products is a bit lower, however, doesn’t meant that they don’t still deliver excellent quality. This small-breed recipe is a great example of the power-packed nutrition this brand has to offer. This formula features chicken meal as the main ingredient and a concentrated source of quality animal protein. There is also plenty of healthy fat from chicken fat and salmon oil as well as beneficial supplements like chelated minerals and dried fermentation products, or probiotics. Your Shiba Inu would be lucky to enjoy this recipe.

Top 3 Best Foods to Feed a Puppy Shiba Inu

If you have a Shiba Inu puppy, you’ll need to find a product that will meet his unique nutritional needs. A small-breed puppy recipe is a great place to start, but not all of these pet food products are created equal. You need to read ingredients lists and make comparisons to find a high-quality product.

If you want some suggestions for quality brands of puppy food, here are our top three picks:

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Small-Breed Puppy Recipe

First 5 Ingredients : Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Tapioca Starch, Peas

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Small-Breed Puppy Recipe

Even if you’re a new dog owner, you’ve probably heard of the Blue Buffalo brand. Known as much for the quality of their products as for their variety, Blue Buffalo is a top choice no matter which product you select. This grain-free, small-breed recipe is an excellent option for your Shiba Inu because it contains only natural ingredients and it is devoid of grains and artificial additives. This formula features both fresh chicken and chicken meal as the main ingredients, followed by grain-free carbohydrates and nutrient-rich chicken fat. Like all of Blue Buffalo’s products, this recipe is supplemented with LifeSource Bits – a proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help ensure complete and balanced nutrition in every bite.

NutriSource Small & Medium Breed Puppy Formula

First 5 Ingredients : Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice and Chicken Fat

NutriSource Small & Medium Breed Puppy Formula

The NutriSource brand is one of the few pet food companies that offers formulas for medium-sized dogs. The Shiba Inu’s weight range is 17 to 25 pounds, so it walks the line between being a small and a medium-sized breed. This small & medium breed puppy formula is a great option to consider because it is loaded with healthy ingredients and designed for easy digestibility. The formula starts off strong with both chicken and chicken meal as the top two ingredients, followed by brown rice, white rice, and chicken fat. You’ll also find plenty of chelated minerals and probiotics on the list as well as supplemental sources of protein and fiber for healthy digestion.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Food

First 5 Ingredients : Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Egg Product, Pea Protein

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Food

Although this recipe isn’t specifically formulated for small-breed puppies, it is definitely one of the better puppy food products on the market. Taste of the Wild is a top brand in the pet food industry, known for using premium roasted meats in all of their formulas. This particular recipe features buffalo, lamb, bison, venison, and beef – all in one recipe! There is also plenty of healthy fat in the form of salmon oil, canola oil, and several fish ingredients, plus digestible grain-free carbohydrates. To bring it all together, this recipe is fortified with healthy vitamins and minerals as well as probiotics.

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

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