What Do Shiba Inus Eat? Feed Them Right and Feed Them Well

Shiba Inu are Japanese dogs that are naturally trained for hunting prey during Medieval Japan. You won’t believe that when you see one since the dog is neither as large as a German shepherd nor as muscular as a Pit-bull. It’s small in size and is very appealing visually.

But as times have changed, so made the habits of the Shiba Inu. From hunting dogs for the ancient Japanese warriors or samurais, they have become guard dogs for families while retaining their hunter senses and athletic capabilities.

With that much activity, the body of a Shiba Inu demands a large amount of energy from the foods it eats, and that is why it is essential to determine what these dogs should eat.

Shiba Inu Background

The modern Shiba Inu dogs are bred from the three surviving breeds, formerly populating the mountainous parts of Japan that are being carefully mixed. They are products of natural selection and preservation by the Japanese, and since then, they had been used in by the samurais as aides to their hunting sessions.

Therefore, it is expected that these dogs need more energy-providing food rather than mere sustenance. Typically, dogs are omnivorous, but they have certain foods that are forbidden to eat, such as seafood (due to allergies) and chocolates (due to poisoning).

But, if you have a Shiba Inu like me, to keep it healthy, you need to provide the best food possible. I will be recommending tips from three different food categories: commercially-bought, home-prepared, and raw diet.

Food that is Commercially Bought

One of the most common misconceptions is that dog food is suitable for all types of dogs. Technically, it can, but I had done some trial-and-error since not all dogs quickly eat what is being fed to them. I even found that my Shiba Inu is a picky eater, and so, I did my research on what dog food should I feed to it since dog food is the most accessible type of meal to prepare.

Since the Shiba Inu can suffer from grain allergies, you need to be more careful in selecting the right dog food. Here are my tips for you on your picking:

  • Make sure that the kibble or the dog food pellet has meat as the first ingredient.
  • Be careful of dog foods with more non-meat contents such as wheat, corn, and soy.
  • If there is confusion in terms between ‘poultry meal’ and ‘chicken meal,’ choose the latter since it specifies that the meat content comes from a chicken.
  • Be careful of the amount of the food colorings and preservatives of the kibble.
  • Avoid dog foods with too much protein in each serving.
  • Make some variety by preparing the dry dog food as wet by adding milk or just supply an ample amount of water
What Do Shiba Inus Eat 2

Food that is Home Prepared

If you have some time to spare or someone who is also taking care of your Shiba Inu, then it will better if you prepare a meal from different ingredients. I find the preparation time-consuming, but I see to it that I made a home-prepared meal for my Shiba Inu during my rest days.

The most significant advantage of this is that you will be able to pick the ingredients with consideration to their health value. It is common for pet owners to feed the pets from the leftovers. Our ancestors did it, and it sure still can work in modern times.

However, if the food we ate makes us unhealthy, then that also can make the dogs sick too. I am not encouraging to cook food just to feed it to the dogs since that would be unfair to most humans suffering from hunger.

I suggest that when you feed your dog with leftovers, see to it that it does not look like trash. Since the Shiba Inu is a Japanese breed, its genetics are wired to like the foods that most Japanese eat, such as rice, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, beef, fish, and poultry.

Sort out the parts of the leftover that can hinder their eating momenta like fish bones, hard seedlings, sauce dips, and the forbidden foods.

Raw Food

Feeding dogs with bones doesn’t mean that they are eaten. They are just meant to be chewed for amusement and teeth strengthening. Meat leftovers with bones attach can be fed directly to the Shiba Inu, but some experts say that brushing the dog’s teeth is much beneficial to them rather than bone chewing, especially when the risk of choking is high.

I somehow beg to differ since dogs existed way before tooth brushing existed. If you are unsure of feeding a bone, then you can provide the dog with raw vegetables instead.


You can prepare a meal for your dog with a mix of dog food kibbles, vegetable leftovers, or raw meat attached to its bone. I can guarantee that it would be a feast for the dog.

However, be careful when preparing a meal since the Shiba Inu, like any other dog, is a creature of habit, and therefore, what you are feeding constantly tends to either develop a liking or prefer starving.

Also, be mindful of your own time and make your schedule compatible with the food choices you are providing to your pet. Do not also forget to consider the dog’s behavior and physical condition after you fed a specific type of food and make adjustments when it causes problems.

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While taking Shiba Inus on a walk, you will turn many heads and get many compliments.