Underweight or overweight dogs is a major sign of poor health that will eventually lead to complicated health issues. Once you noticed that your dog is not at its ideal weight, you have to keep a close eye on their food intake and diet. One of the most common health issues that dogs are facing is being underweight and as an owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are giving them the right kind of food and diet in order to reach a weight that is considered healthy for their size. The weight loss among Shibas can be attributed to diarrhea, health problems, and poor appetite. If you are not that certain, it will be best to check for advice from a veterinarian.
Dogs might look thin but there are cases when it is actually on its ideal weight. To ease your worries when to comes to weight, it is a great practice to regularly check your pet’s weight and compare it with the ideal weight of its breed. In terms of dietary requirements, breeds like Shiba Inu, need an owner who is knowledgeable in the in’s and out’s of weight maintenance.
Here are some tips that can helpful in maintaining your Shiba’s weight.
Check Your Shiba’s Weight
To see if your Shiba needs to lose weight, feel around his spine and ribs. You should be able to feel the dog’s bones through a thin layer of flesh. If you can see the ribs, he needs more to eat. However, if the bones are hidden under a thick layer of flesh, you need to put your Inu on a reducing diet. If those soulful eyes are causing you to cave in to your Shiba’s requests for treats, you only have yourself to blame for your dog’s weight gain.
To manage your Shiba’s weight, you need to be aware how much you are feeding him. Therefore, get into the practice of measuring his food. Keep a diary – like the record you might keep if you were trying to lose weight yourself. Observe how some of those excess treats could be getting him into trouble. By writing down the information, you can keep track of your Shiba’s snacks and treats and make the appropriate reductions if he is getting too much food.
Next, you will need to figure your Shiba’s ideal weight. Most Shiba Inus weight between 17 and 23 pounds, depending on their height, gender, and age. To ensure your pet’s continued health, you need to keep his weight range in mind
The Shiba Inu Maintenance Diet
A Shiba Inu is not considered a highly energetic dog, nor is he considered high-maintenance. Therefore, you can keep your dog on a maintenance diet to maintain its weight in a normal range. A maintenance diet means that your dog is not losing or gaining weight, so if you feed the same amount of food each day and keep your dog exercised, he will not become obese.
If you prepare raw dog food recipes for your dog, it will give you a chance to significantly increase its protein. Protein repairs muscles, creates new cells, improves the looks of your dog’s coat, and regulates the Shiba’s endocrine system. By giving your Shiba Inu raw dog food, you will boot up its energy and keep its immune system in check.
The more your Shiba is exercised the more protein it will need. If your dog is older, you can give it less of the nutrient. Protein is the building block of life for good reason. It contains 22 amino acids. By giving your dog the right amount of protein in its diet, it will receive the amino acids it needs to stay healthy and strong.
Carbohydrates, another energy source, produces energy in the form of glucose. However, you have to be careful about giving your Shiba too many carbs because glucose, when produced in high amounts, turns into the fatty deposits that lead to obesity. With that said, you still need to make sure your Shiba gets enough fat. Healthy dietary fats provide energy to the body and supply your dog with the fatty acids that his body cannot produce itself.
Probably the best way to maintain your Shiba’s weight so it stays normal is to talk to your vet. Your dog will need more dietary energy if it is active or if it is a puppy. Additional energy is also needed for pregnant and lactating dogs.
Here is a list of remedies you can do to maintain your Shiba Inu’s weight.
Change its feeding schedule
Next on the list is changing your Shiba’s schedule for feeding. If you are trying to add weight, it is encouraged that you let them eat shortly before bedtime since this results to food stored into its body as fat. If you are to use this kind of technique, it will help your dog gain a few pounds.
If you feed your Shiba twice a day, try giving them smaller portions during the daytime and a bigger portion at night so that calories is stored while it is asleep instead of being burned as energy throughout the day.
Determine the cause
Next to remember is for you to look into the cause of its weight problem. One simple scenario that you might deduce is if you are living with other dogs at home, your Shiba’s meal might be stolen by its housemates. A more serious cause can be stomach problems. You have to observe your dog’s eating habits. Is it eating enough food? How about its appetite? Is it experiencing diarrhea?
In the event where you cannot determine the issue by observing, it would be best to consult a veterinarian and narrate the start of the problem, when it began, and the home remedies you have applied. This is for the vet to give the right assessment and diagnosis of your dog.
The next thing you have to consider is to promote regular exercise. When we hear this word, we often think of losing weight or reducing our body fats but this is a good way to maintain healthy and strong muscles such as walking them for 20 minutes twice a day. Make sure they are well-rested after doing intense physical exercise.
Talk to your vet
It is essential that you talk with your veterinarian with any concern and health issue you might have with your Shiba. If possible, schedule a regular check-up with your veterinarian so that you are aware with an underlying health issue your Shiba might be having. In regards to weight, veterinarians know the appropriate amount of calorie intake that is ideal for every dog breed so make sure to ask such vital information.
Regular check-ups are something dog owners often neglect but this is actually one of the most important thing that you must bear in mind if you decided to adopt or purchase a dog.
Follow good feeding behaviors
Next, is to stick to eating habits that best fits your dog. One rule that every dog owner should know is to feed them in the right place, with the same bowl, with the same amount of food and in the same time every day. This is to help accustom your furry friend to specific mealtimes. It is also important that you prevent them from consuming scraps and to not give in their begging. Make it a habit to weigh them once a month to see and compare their weight progress.
Introduce new and healthy food
Lastly is to introduce a good quality dog food that is high in fat and protein content. This is one legitimate way to gain weight over time. Aside from that, you can also mix in other healthy food that is rich in nutrients. But remember, introducing your dog to new food must be done gradually since a new diet can cause stomach ache.
These are only a few of those important tips and tricks that you can apply in maintaining the weight of your Shiba. You can ask your friends or neighbors who have the same breed as you have as they might be able to share good tips and ideas about your dog that you haven’t heard yet. Remember, you as the dog owner has the full responsibility in maintaining your Shiba’s weight. Having the right mindset will make the whole experience enjoyable.
Getting the Right Vitamins and Minerals
While vitamins and minerals may be overlooked, you need to supplement your dog’s diet so it contains the right amount of these elements too. Dogs need minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and selenium, and vitamins like A, D, and E. These nutrients are good for your dog’s eye health, motor functions, and brain.
If you do need to put your Shiba on a weight loss plan, you might check with your vet about placing your dog on the Show Dog Diet. This diet features a regular raw meat diet in the morning and a meal that is made up of mostly low-sodium green beans. Include the green beans in your dog’s diet while supplementing the plan a multiple vitamin. You can switch back to a more conventional diet later by cutting your dog’s normal meal size by approximately 10%. Use a low-calorie kibble so your Inu can eat more kibble while consuming fewer calories.
If you also would like to lose weight or stay fit and trim, you will find it fun and helpful to exercise with your Shiba Inu. You and your companion dog can play ball, hike, walk, and jog together. By putting the brakes on your Shiba Inu’s appetite and exercising with your dog, you can ensure that he will continue to remain trim and healthy.
Figuring the Calories
To figure you Shiba’s daily calorie intake, use the following standard formula:
30 x (Your Shiba’s weight) + 70 = the daily calorie intake
For example, let’s say your Shiba weighs 20 pounds. 20 x 30 = 600 + 70 = 670. If you want to maintain your dog’s weight, 670 represents its daily calorie intake. Maybe you want your dog to be lighter. If so, you can use the same formula to determine the calories for reducing your Shiba’s food intake.
While you can use the above formula as a guide, you cannot make it a template. You also need to figure out what and how much you can feed your dog according to its engagement in activities, age, and physical condition.
What You Can Give Your Inu in Fruits and Vegetables
Shibas can eat fruits and veggies as well. Some of the fruits and vegetables you can add to your dog’s diet include bananas (a good source of potassium), green beans, seedless watermelon, sliced apples, cucumbers, and blueberries.
Now that you know a little bit about weight loss and maintenance for your Shiba, you can work with your vet in setting up a meal plan and exercise regimen. If you want to keep your own weight maintained, exercise with your companion dog by walking, jogging, or hiking. It’s the ideal way to forge an owner-dog bond that will keep both of you happy, slim, and active.