Homemade Food For Shiba Inus Guide — Recipes & Tips

shiba inu homemade food

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Are you a Shiba Inu parent who wants to give your dog the best food possible?

You’re in luck! Our guide offers recipes and tips for making homemade food for your Shiba Inu. We’ll show you how to make meals that are both nutritious and delicious. With this guide, you can provide your dog with all the nutrients they need to stay healthy and happy. Plus, they’ll love the taste of these homemade meals – even better than store-bought food! Let’s get started!

Table of Contents 📖

Chapter 1: Nutrition, Benefits & Risks

Ch 2 

Shiba Inu Homemade Dog Food Benefits

Here are some of the main benefits of cooking for your Shiba.

  • Healthy eating habits
  • Quality control
  • More affordable
  • Healthier
  • Portion size control
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Dietary requirements can be met

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.

Food And Shiba Inus Health: Why Feed Homemade?

Shiba Inu generally live between 13 to 16 years. Some serious health problems include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and genetic eye problems like cataracts. Diseases like allergies (dermatitis) and dental problems are also common in the breed. Other minor Shiba health problems this breed suffers from include atopy.2

How Can A Homemade Diet Help Shiba Inu Health Issues?

  • Increased lifespan. Research shows that dogs that eat fresh food diets are linked to a 20% longer lifespan than those who don’t. A year-long study of 522 dogs by Lippert and Sapy found that dogs fed high-quality, freshly made, real food had an average life expectancy of 13.1 years versus just 10.4 years for dogs fed commercially processed pet food.3
  • Avoid allergies. Cooking for your dog allows you to pick ingredients that won’t trigger allergies in your Shiba. If you are unsure what ingredients may cause sensitivities or allergies in your pet, we advise doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy test before selecting the ingredients for your dog’s next meal.
  • Obesity & joints. Switching to homemade dog food allows you to easily calibrate the amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs to maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity in dogs can increase their risk for bone and joint problems (i.e., hip dysplasia) and subsequent osteoarthritis. Studies show that dogs maintaining their ideal body weight live almost 2.5 years longer (with significantly fewer diseases) than their overweight siblings.4
  • Bioavailability. Home-cooked dog food is easier to digest — more digestible food means dogs can absorb nutrients more efficiently and faster. Quicker nutrient absorption means minerals, vitamins, and amino acids act quicker in their body to carry out different functions such as decreasing inflammatory responses that can help prevent allergies or help boost overall health.
  • Highly processed & oxidative stress kibble. When it comes to cancer, homemade dog food removes the highly processed food from the equation, which is often linked to cancer issues in dogs. Food processing has been shown to cause free radicals and carcinogenic chemicals to be released. With homemade, you no longer have to worry about oxidative stress due to processed food.5,6
  • Fresh ingredients with no chemicals. Homemade meals ensure your pup always eats fresh, wholesome, and chemical-free foods without additives, fillers, high-glycemic carbs, or colorants normally found in kibble.
  • Easy digestion. Homemade dog food is easier to digest than those hard-kibble mystery balls. Feeding your pet freshly made food puts less stress on their digestive system and liver, reducing the likelihood of bloating or other digestive issues.
  • Excellent taste and smell. Dogs love the taste, smell and texture of fresh dog food.

Shiba Inu Homemade Dog Food Risks

It’s important to understand the risks of home cooking for your Shiba. Here are the top risks you should avoid.

  • Not understanding the nutritional needs of Shiba Inu
  • Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
  • Not preparing a balanced meal
  • Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
  • Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
  • Neglecting your dog’s health conditions
  • Not understanding your dog’s life stages (puppies, adults & senior) nutritional needs

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:

  • 48% of homemade dog diets had an imprecise determination of ingredients and quantities
  • 71.3 % of dog owners did know how much food to serve per meal
  • 30.4% of the pet parents admitted to purposely changing the recipe
  • 40% of owners didn’t measure the proportions of the ingredients well enough
  • 28.3% didn’t use any of the recommended vitamins, minerals, or amino acids.
  • 97% of obesity cases in dogs could be traced to how owners fed and played with their pets.

It’s vital to understand that dogs’ nutritional requirements are unique. We recommend consulting a veterinary nutritionist who can address your Shiba Inu’s dietary requirements and help you make nutritionally balanced recipes or recommend a homemade food service for convenience.

Shiba Inu 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.

NutrientFoodDescription
Protein Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggsBuilds 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.
WaterWaterHydration 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.
VitaminsA, 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 Shiba pup is getting the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals.

Recommended Supplements For Shiba Inus

Here are the top recommended supplements for Shibas based on their main health susceptibility problems.

  • Hipe & joint: Shiba Inus are generally susceptible to hip dysplasia, a hip deformity developed during a dog’s growth that can lead to arthritis. Inus are also predisposed to Patellar Luxation at birth, but it can also develop due to injury. Some cases of patellar luxation are mild and negligible, while others require corrective surgery. It’s wise to supplement their diet with Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help maintain an active lifestyle and support joint tissue. NaturVet Hip Health is an excellent choice.
  • Eye issues: Some Shiba Inus might also develop progressive retinal atrophy, a genetic disease that causes retinal degeneration and vision loss over time. Ocu-GLO Vision supplement can help support healthy eyes in this breed.
  • Dental health: They can also suffer from some fairly serious dental problems. Bark Bright can help keep your Inus’ pearly whites in good health.

Always consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

If you need more advice on Shiba Inu 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 Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu experiencing any of the issues below might benefit from the dietary adjustments outlined in this table.

ConditionDietary 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 Shiba suffers 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.

Shiba Inu Calorie Requirements

The caloric needs of dogs are based on their weight.

An adult Shiba Inu usually weighs between 17 and 23 pounds, which means most Shibas need between 518 and 649 calories a day.

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 a Shiba Inu weighs 20 lbs. he would need 587 calories per day. For those eating treats, that’s 528 calories in food (90%) and 59 in treats (10%). Usually, most full-grown dogs eat two meals per day. So, you need to split 528 into two meals of 264 calories each.

You can use this calculator to find the exact caloric needs for your dog based on his weight.

Pregnant or lactating Shiba Inu 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 Shiba Inu Puppies

A Shiba puppy’s diet is different from an adult Shiba’s.

Compared to adult dogs, puppies need higher levels of protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus. 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 intake every day 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.

Shiba Inu 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 needs to include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water, and vitamins.

Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service

If you love your Shiba Inu but can’t find the time to cook their meals or don’t know anything about dog nutrition, a homemade dog food delivery service like Open Farm is an excellent choice.

Open Farm gently cooked recipes offer the convenience of a homemade dog food delivery service. Gently Cooked is a home-cooked style meal made with 100% human-grade, humanely raised ingredients made in a human-grade facility. It’s home cooking for your pet, without the cooking!

open farms homemade dog food

All their meats are certified Humane and Global Animal Partnership certified. Their seafood is Ocean Wise certified, and fruits and veggies are non-GMO. Even better, Open Farm recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for maintenance.

Their tasty meat recipes combine superfoods like non-GMO leafy greens, pumpkin, turmeric, chia seeds, coconut oil, and more. This brand’s great because they don’t use any nasty chemicals found in kibble, antibiotics, added growth hormones, wheat, corn, potatoes, peas, or legumes. Plus, their gradual cooking process removes bacteria while retaining more flavor, nutrients, and ingredients.

You don’t even need to worry about portions. All meals come in pre-portioned pouches for easy serving and are shipped frozen to preserve freshness. With Open Farm, your dog enjoys the benefits of freshly homemade meals without the hassles of cooking, shopping for the ingredients, and balancing nutrients. With the time you’ve saved by not cooking, you can focus more energy on neighborhood walks or training.

Our readers have access to save 20% off their first Open Farm order. Just use the coupon code “CANINE20” at check out. Click this link to get your Shiba’s first homemade meal.

Chapter 2: Recipes, Cooking Tips & More

Ch 1

Shiba Inu Homemade Food Tips

If you choose to prepare home-cooked meals for your Shiba Inu, here are a few tips you need to implement.

  1. Set a consistent feeding schedule.
  2. Feed your Shiba two times a day (puppies under 12 months, 3 to 4 times a day, check with your veterinarian).
  3. Meal prep weekly or monthly.
  4. Measure and control portion sizes depending on your dog’s calorie needs.
  5. Keep meals frozen for 2 to 3 months or refrigerated for about 5 days.
  6. Make a new batch when the food supply is getting low.
  7. If you want to feed different recipes, you can make multiple batches and color code by ingredients, rotating out the different meals.
  8. Prepare the food in bulk and portion it into containers (one container per meal makes it extra-easy).
  9. Increase portions appropriately as your puppy grows.
  10. Monitor weight to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of calories.

How To Cook Homemade Food For Shiba Inu ( Video)

Watch this step-by-step video on how to cook a day’s worth of food for your Shiba.

Best Shiba Inu Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Browse our favorite recipes for a Shiba that will make your pup begging for more.

We’ve also added a special treat recipe for your Shiba 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 Shiba 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 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a dog cookie baking tray with coconut oil.
  2. Core and grate the apples, then peel and grate the carrots.
  3. 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.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix completely. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once more.
  5. Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, portion out the dog biscuits and press into the dog treat baking pan. Bake, 32-37 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden-brown on the outside.
  6. Store in an air-tight container.

Recipe from: Truth Theory


Macaroni, Quinoa Turkey Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs ground turkey (or any protein)
  • 1 cup uncooked millet (or any other whole grain: quinoa, rice, pasta)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 1 squash, shredded
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 tbsp calcium powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)

Directions

  1. Bring 1 cup of whole-grain to boil in a pot of water. I overcook it so that it’s soft and easily digestible. Drain.
  2. While that’s boiling, shred/chop the veggies.
  3. Cook ground turkey with olive oil and drain excess juices.
  4. Mix everything together—no need to cook the veggies. The cooked turkey and whole grain will warm them up a bit.
  5. Store in Tupperware or ziplock bags and freeze! It makes enough for around 2 weeks of meals (Fira weighs 14 lbs).

Recipe from: WhereSTheFrenchie


Wholesome Ground Sirloin Veggie

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cooked organic brown rice
  • 2 pounds ground lean beef, cooked through, fat drained
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced small
  • 3 carrots, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 1/4–1/2 cup minced fresh parsley or 1/4 cup dried herbs
  • 3 tablespoons of olive or safflower oil

Directions

  1. Start with cooking the eggs.
  2. While the rice is cooking, you can brown the sirloin and get all of the fresh ingredients together.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a large container and stir to combine thoroughly.
  4. Store in the refrigerator in-between feedings.

Recipe from: This Messisours


Crockpot Dog Food

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can 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.

Directions

  1. Stir in ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, peas and 4 cups water into a 6-qt slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, stirring as needed.
  3. Let cool completely.

Recipe from: Damn Delicious

If you are interested in more homemade dog food recipes and cooking options for your Shiba, cookbooks can come in handy for a range of dog food recipes. Our top pick is Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.


What Foods Should Your Shiba Inu Never Eat?

Below is a list of the most common toxic ingredients dogs need to avoid.

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Onions and garlic
  • Avocados
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raw bread dough
  • Alcohol

Here is the full list of toxic ingredients your Shiba should never eat. Please print it out and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder.

Shiba Inu 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 Shiba 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 if you are interested in learning more about the benefits and risks, and get the best commercial raw food diet for your Shiba.

Best Dog Cooking Practices

With these tips, you can ensure that your Shiba Inu 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 Shiba 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 Shiba Inu? Alternatives

As you can see, there are many benefits to feeding your Shiba a homemade diet. Not only will your Shiba Inu love the taste of homemade food, but it is also the best way to ensure a long and healthy life for your pet.

Plus, preparing their meals yourself is easy and affordable – much cheaper than buying expensive commercial dog food brands. You should have a better understanding of what foods to feed your Shiba after reading this guide. It is important to consult your veterinarian about specific dietary requirements.

Read up on vegan dog food if your Shiba 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.


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[1] AKC, [2] Embrace, [3] Lippert & Sapy [4] AVMA [5] Lyka, [6] Hardvard [7] NCBI, [8] PubMed, [9] UC Davis


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