How Much to Feed a Shiba Inu (Feeding Chart & Guide)

Shiba Inu eating dog food from bowl

If you’re a proud owner of a Shiba Inu or you’re considering getting one, it’s vital to understand proper feeding guidelines to maintain their health and well-being.

The Shiba Inu has a uniquely fox-like appearance paired with a high metabolism and specific dietary requirements. Providing incorrect food or improper serving sizes could lead to health issues.

In this guide, we’ll tell you the recommended feeding amounts for Shiba Inu from puppyhood through senior years, as well as other important considerations when feeding a Shiba Inu.

What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu with bowls of food and water

Several factors can influence the quantity of food that a dog requires. It is important to know these factors when making a diet plan for your Shiba Inu.

Some important aspects determining Shiba Inu feeding quantities are:

  • Weight: The food requirement for a Shiba Inu varies based on the dog’s weight. Naturally, a larger dog will need more food than a smaller one. Maintaining your dog’s optimal weight is essential for their overall health and diet.
  • Age: As dogs age, their nutritional needs change. They may require a different type or amount of food compared to their younger days. For example, Shiba puppies need more calories to support their growth and development, while senior dogs might need a diet with fewer calories but richer in nutrients to suit their aging bodies.
  • Activity Level: The activity level of your Shiba Inu also dictates their diet. Highly active dogs need food rich in healthy carbohydrates and calories for energy. Conversely, less active dogs require a lower-calorie diet with less fat and more fiber to prevent obesity.

Now that you’re aware of the various factors that determine how much to feed a Shiba Inu, it’s important to consider these when feeding your Shiba Inu.

How Much to Feed Your Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu waiting for food

This section provides a guide for the recommended daily feeding amount based on your Shiba Inu’s age.

It’s important to use this chart as an initial reference and then adjust the food portions as needed. This ensures your Shiba Inu receives the right amount of food to maintain optimal health and energy levels.

Shiba Inu Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)

The nutritional needs of a Shiba Inu puppy evolve from birth until they reach 12 months. To bolster their immune system, they require key nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

In the initial eight weeks, responsible breeders allow the pups to depend on their mother’s milk, which provides essential nutrients, including colostrum. Gradually, solid foods can be introduced.

After weaning, you can safely feed your Shiba Inu puppy solid food, including wet food options available in various flavors, like sweet potatoes and salmon.

The National Shiba Club of America recommends feeding high-quality puppy food containing about 30% protein and 15 to 18% fat.

The feeding chart provided here can assist you in figuring out the right quantity of puppy food for your Shiba Inu:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
2 – 3 months¾ – 1 ½ 328 – 701
4 – 5 months1 – 1 ¼ 402 – 590
6 – 7 months1 – 1 ½ 499 – 676
8 – 9 months1 ¼ – 1 ¾590 – 732
10 – 12 months1 ½ – 1 ¾619 – 813
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Although this chart serves as a helpful guide, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice. Remember, each Shiba Inu puppy has unique nutritional needs.

My personal encounter with feeding Shiba Inus was with my friend’s dog, Roger. He had this beautiful red sesame coat, one of the standard colors of the Shiba Inu, which my friend wanted to highlight.

Hence, even as a puppy, I already supplemented Roger with fish oil that contains omega-3 and 6 fatty acids that help maintain coat health and shine. This was very effective for Roger’s thick, double coat.

Adult Shiba Inu Feeding Chart (1 to 7 years)

As Shiba Inus transition into adulthood, their dietary requirements and food portions need to be adjusted accordingly. This change is crucial for maintaining their health as they mature.

Typically, an adult Shiba Inu weighing between 17 to 23 pounds may need about 1 ¼ to 1 ¾ cups of dry dog food daily, divided into two meals.

Below is a feeding chart that outlines the recommended food and calorie intake for an adult Shiba Inu:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
1 – 7 years1 ¼ – 1 ¾518 – 650
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

When selecting food for your Shiba Inu, ensure that the primary ingredients are healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Additionally, it’s important that their diet includes a balance of vitamins and minerals.

Senior Shiba Inu Feeding Chart (8 years and above)

As Shiba Inus enter their senior years, their nutritional needs change, and it is important to adjust their food intake accordingly. Senior Shiba Inus generally need fewer calories compared to when they were younger.

Below is a feeding chart tailored for senior Shiba Inus:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
8 years and above1 – 1 ¼ 415 – 520
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

For senior Shiba Inus, their diet needs additional attention and careful planning to maintain their strength, especially given the effects of aging.

Adding food supplements, natural ingredients, and essential vitamins to their diet is recommended to support their gut health and well-being.

How Often Should You Feed Your Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu with a bowl of dog kibble

Shiba Inu puppies should be fed three to four small meals daily until they reach three months of age. Between three to twelve months, they can be fed three smaller meals per day. Once they hit the one-year mark, it’s advisable to switch to two meals per day. Senior Shiba Inus typically do well with one or two meals daily.

While some adult Shiba Inus might adapt to one larger meal a day, it’s generally better to divide their daily food intake into two meals. This approach can help prevent digestive issues.

Here’s a table summarizing the recommended feeding frequency for Shiba Inus based on age:

AgeFeeding Frequency
0 – 3 monthsThree to four times a day
3 – 12 monthsThree times a day
1 – 7 yearsTwice a day
7 years aboveOnce or twice a day

It’s crucial to observe your dog’s response and overall health. If a certain feeding schedule or amount doesn’t seem to suit them, consult with a veterinarian to find the best approach for your pet.

Meanwhile, I recall how I disciplined Roger when he was just a 10-year-old puppy. He was very stubborn to follow his feeding schedule back then, which was twice a day. This is not surprising for me since I’ve known Shibas to be quite stubborn.

What I did was to first ensure that I followed the same exact feeding time of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. In case Roger doesn’t touch or fails to finish his food, I give him just 10 minutes to touch his food again before I remove his bowl.

When that happens, he would need to wait until his next mealtime before he can eat again. I stuck to this routine until Roger finally gained the discipline to finish his food every mealtime.

How to Transition Your Shiba Inu to a New Food

Two cute Shiba Inus waiting for their feeding time

Transitioning your Shiba Inu to a new dog food diet is a delicate process that requires patience and attention. Abrupt changes can cause digestive issues and discomfort for your Shiba Inu.

This process involves mixing the old and new food and gradually increasing the proportion of the new food for over a week.

The following table summarizes the suggested feeding portions when transitioning your Shiba Inu from old food to new food: 

DayNew DietOld Diet
1 – 225%75%
3 – 450%50%
4 – 575%25%
7 – 10100%0%

If they experience any digestive issues, slow down the transition process and maintain the previous ratio for a few more days before attempting to increase the new food ratio again.

Tips on Feeding an Overweight Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are energetic and active dogs, but if they become overweight, it can lead to health problems such as joints, diabetes, and heart disease.

If you have an overweight Shiba Inu, you need to take steps to help them lose weight and maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Here are some tips on feeding an overweight Shiba Inu:

  • Reduce food intake: To help your Shiba Inu lose weight, reduce their food intake gradually. Instead, feed them smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Monitor the amount of food given and decrease it until a steady weight loss is observed.
  • Choose high-quality food: According to the National Shiba Club, look for high-quality, low-calorie foods that are appropriate for their age, weight, and activity level. Avoid foods with fillers, preservatives, artificial colors & lactose, which can contribute to weight gain and potential food allergies.
  • Limit treats: Treats can add extra calories to your Shiba Inu diet, so it’s essential to limit them. Choose low-calorie homemade meals given as treats, such as carrots or green beans, and only give them in moderation.
  • Consult with a veterinarian: Consult with a veterinarian before making any significant changes to your Shiba Inu diet to ensure healthy digestion. They can help you determine the appropriate amount of food and exercise needed to help your dog lose weight safely. Your veterinarian may also recommend a specific diet or exercise plan.

By implementing the tips mentioned above and being consistent, you can help your Shiba Inu lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Just remember to take it slow, as weight loss in dogs may take several months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Owner feeding her Shiba Inu

How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Shiba Inu Enough?

To ensure you’re feeding your Shiba Inu the right amount, it’s important to monitor their weight and energy levels.

Additionally, you can refer to the feeding guidelines provided on the food packaging, or for a more tailored approach, consult with a veterinarian.

A healthy Shiba Inu should have a visible waistline and ribs that can be felt without pressing too hard. If your Shiba Inu is overweight, you may need to adjust their diet to include low-calorie foods or reduce their food intake.

Also, observe your Shiba Inu’s energy level — lethargy may indicate they’re not getting enough calories, while hyperactivity may indicate they’re getting too many.

Why Is My Shiba Inu Not Eating?

When a Shiba Inu stops eating, it could be due to various reasons such as illness or injury, a change in routine, dental problems, aging, food quality, or gut health issues. 

If other symptoms, such as vomiting or lethargy, are accompanied by loss of appetite, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.

Can I Feed My Shiba Inu With Human Food?

Feeding Shiba Inu with human food can be safe or dangerous, depending on the food. Safe human foods include lean meats, vegetables, and fruits, but a Shiba Inu puppy should not be introduced to human food during puppyhood.

If your dog eats toxic human food, it can cause severe health problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, and even death. Furthermore, it would be best to avoid human foods with added artificial flavors and preservatives.

So, feeding in moderation and considering nutritional needs is crucial. It’s best to avoid toxic foods, stick to balanced commercial dog food, and consult with a veterinarian when in doubt.

Do Shiba Inus Eat a Lot?

Dogs such as Shiba Inu require a substantial amount of food to maintain their energy levels and overall health. Typically, they eat between 1 and 1 ½ cups of dry kibble per day.

Overfeeding or underfeeding your Shiba Inu can lead to various health problems, so it’s crucial to strike a balance and monitor your dog’s weight.

Can Shiba Inu Eat Bones?

Dog owners should be cautious with Shiba Inu feeding bones as they can pose serious health risks such as choking, dental fractures, or intestinal blockages.

Sharp bone fragments can also cause damage to a dog’s digestive system. As an alternative, you can let your Shiba Inu chew bones, but it doesn’t have the necessary benefits such as carbs, fatty acids, vitamins, and proteins.

However, this should be done under your supervision to avoid choking. It is also recommended to give uncooked, large bones and never cooked bones.

If you have any further questions about feeding a Shiba Inu, we would be delighted to assist you! Please feel free to leave them, along with any thoughts you have, in the comments section below.

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