If you are a pet parent, you already know what it means to have a pet that serves as a companion and a friend. That is why choosing a diet is an important consideration, especially when it comes to your Shiba Inu. You may have heard of raw dog food diets before, but today we’ll sort through the information together and end with a simple raw dog food recipe to try out.
If you are looking for the best dog food for Shiba Inus in general, check out our list of best dog food options.
A Significantly Longer Life
Studies reveal that a raw dog food diet contributes to a dog’s continual health and longevity. In fact, statistics show that introducing a raw food diet into a dog’s meal plan can lengthen its lifespan significantly.
Beagles, who like Shiba Inus live an average of twelve years, have been proven to live an additional three years to the age of fifteen with a raw dog food diet. Shibas could potentially see similar results.
Reviewing the Ingredients
Although commercial dog food manufacturers tout the nutrition of their products, many dog owners question the addition of certain byproducts or ingredients. Below are some examples.
Cheap waste products derived from human food manufacturing processes
These products include foods that contain wheat gluten, rice protein concentrate, or corn gluten, all of which supply incomplete nutrition. For example, a rice protein concentrate offers plant protein but is insufficient when compared to animal protein. Soy protein, another common ingredient, is also lacking in this respect.
Lentils and peas
These foods are used to increase protein in dog food as well. However, the plants do not supply all the amino acids that a dog needs in its diet. While you cannot fault the plants for being inadequate as secondary food sources, they should not be included in the main ingredients.
Any dog foods that rely on plant products to supply protein, may not meet all of your dog’s nutritional requirements. This may be true, even if a food is approved by the AAFCO, or the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
That is because the AAFCO is not a regulatory governmental agency. Instead, it operates as a private corporation. While the organization does not directly regulate what is included in commercial dog foods, it has been instrumental in establishing labeling guidelines.
When you consider that wild dogs never eat grains, concocting raw dog food recipes for your dog makes sense. A wild dog’s digestive tract cannot convert grains into sugar for later consumption. Therefore, dog food ingredients should be added with a dog’s special digestive and nutritional needs in mind.
A Major Finding
One Belgian study, conducted over a period of five years and involving over 500 dogs, showed that raw dog food recipes do, in fact, impact a dog’s lifespan. The researchers reviewed a variety of factors, including diet, housing, the number of human family members in a household, and sterilization.
The study showed that sterilization and food significantly impacted a dog’s health and life expectancy. Researchers discovered that sterilization increases a dog’s lifespan by 15 months while a raw food diet boosted longevity by almost three years or 32 months.
Moreover, dogs who ate a raw food diet enjoyed a better quality of life. Raw foods, it was found, reduce allergies, increase stamina, boost energy, and impart mobility in a dog’s later years.
Coming Up with a Recipe
To give you an idea of where to start when creating a raw meal plan, you need to refer to the basic structure of a raw dog food concoction. There are many good resources and guidelines, but let’s use the following guide to make your own raw dog food recipes.
Add 1.5 cups of raw meat
Using some of the meat on the bone. Meat may include tuna, steak, pork chops, lamb chops, or hamburgers. Make sure you don’t give your dog any bones that could get caught in its throat – one of the main reasons for emergency vet visits. Initially, mince a small part of the bone with the meat.
Include an organ in your recipe
Organs, such as livers, spleens, or kidneys, are like vegetables to a dog. Also include 1.5 cups of veggies and/or fruits and dog superfoods.
Lightly steam vegetables
Or run fruits through a juicer or food processor. Doing so adds fiber. Finally, add vitamin and mineral supplementation. Add some fish oil to make your Shiba shine!
Your Shiba Inu should also receive plenty of fresh water to drink. This will help eliminate any internal toxins and keep your dog and friend’s feelings its best. Any pet parent who wants to ensure his or her Shiba’s quality of life should consider nutrition first and foremost in the care of their pet.
What else do we need to look out for?
In the summer, the summer heat can reach a sweltering 100°F in some places which puts humans and their pets in danger of heatstroke. How can you keep your Shiba Inu safe from the summer heat?
A dog suffering from heatstroke will have a body temperature above 103°F. What causes this is the high humidity and temperature outside which make panting ineffective at cooling down the dog.
To Avoid Heat Stroke Keep Your Dog Inside
So keep your dog inside the house because it is easier to control the temperature and humidity inside your home if you have air conditioning. In case you don’t have air conditioning, provide your dog with a shade outside using patio umbrellas or just build a DIY shade. Obviously you don’t have to build a shade if you have trees in your backyard.
Exercise and Water
Another protective measure is to take your dog for a walk early in the morning or in the evening hours when the sun is going down. You can let your dog rest in the middle of the day when it’s hottest outside. Make sure your pet has access to cool drinking water throughout the day. If temperatures rise in your home, drape a wet towel over your dog’s neck or under the dog’s limbs so that the dog can cool down faster. To encourage your dog to stay hydrated, freeze low sodium chicken broth and place it in a metal bowl full of water.
Avoid Car Travel
You may also have to avoid taking your dog for car rides because temperatures rise quickly in cars during hot days. There are numerous cases where dogs have died of heatstroke because they were confined in a parked vehicle in the middle of a hot summer day. Some people try to avoid this by having their pet ride in their truck beds. But these truck beds are made of metal which can burn a dog’s paw pads and increase their body temperature.
Dogs That Are Vulnerable To Summer Temperatures
Knowing what type of breed is more susceptible to heatstroke can help you plan adequately for the summer months. Breeds that have a significant risk of heatstroke include Chow chow, Bulldog, French bulldog, French mastiff, Greyhound, Pug, English springer spaniel, Jindo, and Golden retriever. The risk rises significantly for purebred dogs compared to crossbred dogs.
Talk to your veterinarian if you want more information about keeping dogs hydrated and how to treat dogs that are in distress because of hot weather. Best to keep your dog cool and avoid the chance of heatstroke altogether!