Obesity is a major health problem for many Shiba Inus. You need to maintain your dog’s weight so he remains healthy and slim. Obesity can lead to serious health problems, including joint discomfort, digestive distress, metabolic disorder, heart disease, and back pain.
While you may not be able to resist those puppy dog eyes, don’t give in and feed him all kinds of food. Instead, following the simple steps below to maintain 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 to eat more. However, if the bones are hidden under a thick layer of flesh, you need to put him on a diet.
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 and observe if he is getting too much food.
Next, you will need to figure your Shiba’s ideal weight. Most Shiba Inus weigh between 17 and 23 pounds, depending on their height, gender, and age.
The Shiba Inu Maintenance Diet
Shibas are not considered highly energetic dog, so you should keep your dog on a diet to maintain its weight in a normal range. A maintenance diet means that your dog doesn’t lose or gain weight, so if you feed the same amount of food each day and keep your dog active, he will not become obese.
If you prepare raw dog food recipes for your dog, you’ll provide him the protein he needs. 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 boost his energy and keep his immune system in check.
Probably the best way to maintain your Shiba’s weight is to talk to your vet. Your dog will need to eat more if he is active, young, or pregnant.
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 in kilograms) + 70 = the daily calorie intake
For example, let’s say your Shiba weighs 10 kilograms. 10 x 30 = 300 + 70 = 370. If you want to maintain your dog’s weight, 370 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.