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Making homemade dog food is one way to ensure that your Akita is getting a healthy diet. Making homemade dog food is not as difficult as it may sound. And, it has many benefits over store-bought dog food. Store-bought dog food often contains fillers and preservatives that can harm your dog’s health.
When you make homemade dog food, you know exactly what ingredients are going into your dog’s food. This allows you to avoid ingredients that may be harmful to your Akita’s health.
This guide teaches you everything you need to know about cooking homemade dog food for Akitas.Table of Contents 📖
- Why Feed Homemade?
- Nutritional Guidelines
- Health Dietary Changes
- Calorie Requirements
- Homemade Food For Akita Puppies
- Homemade Food Delivery Service
Akita Homemade Dog Food Benefits
Here are some of the main benefits of cooking for your Akita
Board-certified veterinary nutritionists and diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, MS, Ph.D., and Joe Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., also agree that switching to homemade dog food comes with great advantages such as diet management, appeasing picky eaters, bond-building, combatting food intolerance and allergies issues, and avoid concern over food recalls.1
Further benefits include preventing many conditions associated with a poor diet, such as obesity, poor skin, coat condition, pancreatitis, diabetes, and reduced immunity.
Why Feed Homemade To Akitas? Food & Akita Health
Akita generally live between 11 to 14 years. Some of the most common health problems in this breed include hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and autoimmune hypothyroidism.
Diseases like allergies and eye problems such as VKH (uveomeningoencephalitic) type syndrome, glaucoma and entropion are also common in the breed.
Other minor and less common Akita health problems this breed suffers from including sebaceous adenitis, pemphigus and other skin problems.2
How Can A Homemade Diet Help Akita Health Issues?
Akita Homemade Dog Food Risks
Cooking for dogs has some risks you must understand to avoid. Below are the most common ones.
Research by the University of California Davis, School of Veterinary and two studies published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine and The Journal of Nutritional Science found that most homemade dog food recipes lack key essential nutrients, and other recipes used dangerously high levels of some nutrients.7,8,9
Here are the findings:
It’s vital to understand that dogs’ nutritional requirements are unique. We recommend consulting a veterinary nutritionist who can address your Akita’s dietary requirements, help you make nutritionally balanced recipes, or recommend a homemade food service for convenience.
Akita Nutritional Guidelines to Follow
According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO), the entity that supervises the nutritional value of commercial dog food, there are six essential nutrients all dog meals must contain to ensure a balanced and healthy diet for dogs. Below is a breakdown of each nutrient and its importance.
A proper homemade diet should also consider your pup’s weight, health conditions, size, and activity level.
|Protein||Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggs||Builds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. Needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones, enzymes and more.
|Carbohydrates||Oats, brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat||Source of energy for dogs and supplies glucose needed by the brain, nervous system and other critical organs for normal function.
|Fat||From meats and oils such as olive or sunflower oil, fish oil, canola oils among others||Responsible for providing quality energy. Necessary for the normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues
|Minerals||Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc.||Common functions include the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream and hormone production.
|Water||Water||Hydration is critical in dogs. A dog that loses too much water (10% to 15% of the water in his body) can get very sick and even die. Ensure they have water available throughout the day.
|Vitamins||A, B, C, D, E, and K||Keeps skin and coat healthy, strengthens bones and teeth, and gives them the overall energy that they need to function.
You may also want to add a multivitamin like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews to ensure your Akita pup gets the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals.
Recommended Supplements For Akita
Here are the top recommended supplements for Akita based on their main health susceptibility issues.
- Hip & joint: Akita is generally susceptible to hip dysplasia, a hip deformity developed during a dog’s growth that can lead to arthritis. To prevent or alleviate these problems, it’s advised to supplement their diet with Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help maintain an active lifestyle and support joint and bone tissue. Open Farm Hip & Joint is one of the best.
- Eye health: Akitas can benefit from eye supplements throughout their lives to help maintain their eye health and vision. Akitas tend to suffer from a variety of eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy, a genetic disease that causes retinal degeneration and vision loss over time.
Always consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
If you need more advice on Akita nutrition, an excellent resource is Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a long-time expert in veterinary medicine. This book it’s considered by many pet nutritionists to be the Bible of healthy homemade dog nutrition.
Health Dietary Changes In Akita
Akita experiencing any of the issues below might benefit from the dietary adjustments outlined in this table.
|Condition||Dietary Needs & Adjustments
|Coat Color Changes||Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)|
|Concurrent GI Signs||Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats (yes, this includes bacon); try a simple ingredient food trial
|Chronic Itching and Dermatitis||Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; add a dog probiotic; try a simple ingredient food trial|
|Dull Coat and Scaling||Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet (added fish oil being the most common way); try a food that has added zinc
|Dandruff and Crustiness||Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels
If your Akita suffers from skin allergies or joint pain, adding dog fish oil may help bring relief. The AKC states that fish oil promotes healthier coats by reducing itchiness and flakiness in the skin due to its omega-3 fatty acid content. Other significant effects include promoting improved immunity (especially against cancer) while strengthening heart health in dogs.
Akita Calorie Requirements
The caloric needs of dogs are based on their weight.
An adult Akita usually weighs between 80 and 130 pounds, meaning most Akitas need between 1449 and 2086 calories daily.
Make sure you follow the 10% rule when feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treats the remaining 10%.
For instance, if an Akita weighs 105 lbs. he would need 1776 calories daily. For those eating treats, that’s 1598 calories in food (90%) and 178 in treats (10%). Usually, most full-grown dogs eat two meals per day. So, you need to split 1598 into two meals of 799 calories each.
You can use this calculator to find the exact caloric needs of your dog based on his weight.
Pregnant or lactating Akita may need up to 2 to 4 times the amount of food they normally need as the mother’s energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.
Homemade Dog Food For Akita Puppies
An Akita puppy diet is different from an adult Akita.
Compared to adult dogs, puppies need higher protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus levels. Too few (or too many) of these nutrients can cause deficiencies, stunted growth, or lifelong complications.
According to the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN), puppies need about twice as many calories per pound of body weight as an adult dog of the same breed.
Most people worry that their puppy requires more food and calorie daily because they are rapidly growing. This isn’t necessarily the truth. Dr. Justin Shmalberg, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist at Nom Nom, advises that to promote normal growth, most puppies need about the same number of calories and the same type of food from 4 months to 12 months of age.
Akita puppies should eat 3 to 4 times a day. When your puppy is a bit older (6 – 12 months), you can switch to 2 to 3 meals daily at scheduled intervals.
For proper growth and development, it is not advised to skip meals while your puppy is growing and developing. As our nutritional guidelines previously outlined, a puppy’s diet must include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water, and vitamins.
Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service
If you are a dog owner struggling to find time to cook for your Akita and wish your dog could eat whole, fresh homemade foods more often, a homemade dog food delivery service is your best alternative.
Nom Nom is one of our favorite options. They deliver fresh, prepared homemade dog food tailored to your pup’s dietary needs straight to your door. Everything is made from real, human-grade ingredients (meats, veggies, grains, etc.).
Their food is developed with the input of a veterinary nutritionist and following the AAFCO nutritional guidelines. They do all the cooking for you, so you never have to worry about using the wrong ingredients, proper nutrition guidelines, portion sizes, and more.
All their meals are customizable to your dog’s unique dietary needs, age, nutritional goals, weight, and other key factors. For instance, if your Akita has food-related health issues like allergies or an illness, they will create a recipe that caters to this.
Our readers have access to save 50% off your first order of Nom Nom. Just use this link to get your Akita’s first homemade meal.
Check out our GSD trying out Nom Nom. She definitely recommends it.Chapter 2: Recipes, Cooking Tips & More
Akita Homemade Food Tips
Below keep these tips that can help better handle your home-cooking for your Akita.
- Set a consistent feeding schedule.
- Feed your Akita twice daily (puppies under 12 months, 3 to 4 times a day, check with your veterinarian).
- Meal prep weekly or monthly.
- Measure and control portion sizes depending on your dog’s calorie needs.
- Keep meals frozen for 2 to 3 months or refrigerated for about 5 days.
- Make a new batch when the food supply is getting low.
- If you want to feed different recipes, you can make multiple batches and color code by ingredients, rotating out the different meals.
- Prepare the food in bulk and portion it into containers (one container per meal makes it extra easy).
- Increase portions appropriately as your puppy grows.
- Monitor weight to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of calories.
How To Cook Homemade Food For Akita ( Video)
Check out this step-by-step video on how to cook your first meal with your dog.
Akita Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Browse our favorite recipes for an Akita that will make your pup begging for more.
We’ve also added a special treat recipe for your Akita that is tasty and packed with remarkable health benefits. This recipe has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil. CBD oil can help with seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, wellness and other health problems.
Note: Please consult your pet’s veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your dog’s diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portions will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and dog’s health. A common recommendation is to feed your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups to what you would usually feed in kibble BUT check with your vet to be certain.
CBD-Infused Dog Treats
Treat your Akita with these nutritious, therapeutic, and delicious homemade CBD dog treats. They are made with Pumpkin, a great source of essential vitamins and minerals (like vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and iron). Pumpkin also aids with digestion and hydration. Coconut is added for skin and coat, digestion and helps reduce allergic reactions.
Just be sure to check with your vet before to ensure CBD is safe for your pup and that you are giving the correct dosage.
You can also purchase already made CBD dog treats so your pup can experience all the benefits of CBD without the cooking.
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 apple, cored and grated
- 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup water
- dash of sea salt
- 120 mg CBD oil
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a dog cookie baking tray with coconut oil.
- Core and grate the apples, then peel and grate the carrots.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oats, and coconut sugar. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the egg. Then, add coconut oil, water, and grated apples and carrots.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix completely. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once more.
- Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, portion the dog biscuits and press them into the dog treat baking pan. Bake for 32-37 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden-brown on the outside.
- Store in an air-tight container.
Recipe from: Truth Theory
Crockpot Dog Food
- 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 1 (15-ounce) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups chopped butternut squash
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup peas, frozen or canned.
- Stir in ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, peas and 4 cups water into a 6-qt slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, stirring as needed.
- Let cool completely.
Recipe from: Damn Delicious
- 2 and 1/4 Pound 85% Lean Ground Beef
- 4 Eggs, white or brown
- Kidney Beans
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Sprig Rosemary – 1 Teaspoon
- 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 Carrots Shredded
- 3 Medium Size Potatoes Shredded (skins on)
- Using your hands, fold the mixture until well combined
- Using a Muffin Tin, make a ball and pack the muffin hole. Don’t overfill as they can leak out over your pan.
- Pop into preheated 350F (180c Oven). After 50-55 minutes, the Meatloaf will be ready.
- You can use larger loaf pans instead of muffin tins. However, the muffin tin allows you to make individual portion sizes. If you do use a larger tin, It will also take longer to cook, usually around 1 hour 10 minutes
- Allow the Meatloaf to cool down before feeding them to your pup.
Recipe from: The Whoot
Turkey, Rice And Veggie Mix
- 6 cups of water
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 cups brown rice
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 (16 ounces) package of frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower combination
- Place the water, ground turkey, rice, and rosemary into a large Dutch oven.
- Stir until the ground turkey is broken up and evenly distributed throughout the mixture
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the frozen vegetables and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate until use.
If you are interested in more homemade dog food recipes and cooking options for your Akita, cookbooks can come in handy for various dog food recipes. Our top pick is Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.
What Foods Should Your Akita Never Eat?
Below is a list of the most common toxic ingredients dogs need to avoid.
- Onions and garlic
- Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw bread dough
Here is the complete list of toxic ingredients your Akita should never eat. Please print it out and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder.
Akita Raw Diet (BARF)
Raw dog food is meant to mimic dogs’ diet in the wild millions of years ago. Raw dog foods, organs, muscles, whole or ground bones, fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are usually included. Several raw dog foods are available, including homemade raw dog food and store-bought (frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated).
As the risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance is higher when handling raw foods, preparing a BARF diet for your Akita requires a lot of extra care and planning.
Raw dog diets are gaining popularity because of their fantastic health benefits for teeth, coat, digestion, and allergies. Read our raw dog food diet article to learn more about the benefits and risks, and get the best commercial raw food diet for your Akita.
Best Dog Cooking Practices
With these tips, you can ensure that your Akita’s meals are safe and nutritious.
- Never use unsafe or toxic ingredients for dogs
- Use only boneless meats (no cooked bones)
- Cook all animal products thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria
- Cook all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest
- Research every ingredient before using it for safety
- Follow recipes as instructed
- Add supplements to their diet if needed
- Run any questions by a vet nutritionist
Monitor Weight And Health
A dog’s weight is an essential indicator of its health, and you need to track it when switching to a new diet (i.e., homemade). Maintaining a healthy weight is easier when your Akita is fed the right dog food. If your dog’s weight increases or decreases rapidly, it might be due to food-related health issues.
Skin or coat issues, excessive tiredness, allergies, weight loss, malnutrition, and obesity can be caused by unbalanced and insufficient meal plans. If you detect any of these symptoms while feeding your dog meals, stop doing it immediately and seek expert advice.
Should You Feed Homemade Food to Akita? Alternatives
Akitas are large, powerful dogs that need plenty of exercises and a good diet. While they can eat commercial dog food, many people choose to feed their Akitas homemade food instead. Both feeding options have pros and cons, so it’s essential to consider what is best for your dog. If you’re considering switching your Akita to a homemade diet, talk to your veterinarian first to ensure you’re providing him with the proper nutrients.
Other alternatives to traditional kibble include vegan dog food. If your Akita is prone to food allergies or food-related health issues. Plant-based diets are also becoming increasingly popular for dogs with food sensitivities and other health issues.