For all new members, please check out the thread New to the Forum? What to do and forum guidelines.
How much do you feed your Shibas?
  • MiaGMiaG
    Posts: 28
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    How tall is he at the shoulders? It is really hard to tell from photos of him laying or sitting down, and you can't judge how thick his coat is from the photos either. There are a few shibas that are taller than average and thus weigh more. I've got two shiba and the older one, who is almost 3 is getting smaller by the day when compared to Kaji, who is 9 months old and keeps growing. But both boys are still under 25 lbs. Taisho is about 22 and Kaji might be closer to 25. He has filled out the past month but we haven't weighed him. Kaji is 16.5 inches at the shoulder, and I don't know what Taisho is since he's at my mom's, but he's about 1/2-1 inch shorter.

    As far as feed, I used to give Kaji 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup at night, but lately, he hadn't been interested his morning kibble since I've started giving him raw at night. On raw, he gets about 150-200gms of meat for dinner. Taisho gets 3/4 cup kibble in the morning and also the same at night. But he has access to food all day long since we need him to gain a little weight. It doesn't seem like you're feeding Banjo that much, but also look at how many snacks he gets a day. Those calories can add up.
    Post edited by amti at 2013-04-07 13:20:05
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2013-04-07 13:31:51
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
  • Tre26Tre26
    Posts: 96
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Conker is around 24 pounds, but he's tall and lanky. On kibble he gets about 1 1/2 to 2 cups, depending on the brand, but I no longer feed him that. He gets around 1/2 - 3/4 of a pound of raw food a day, not including treats, which he gets a lot of. He is a very active Shiba.

    I'm going to agree with the others who have said this. Your Shiba is overweight. He either needs more exercise, less food, or both.
  • ShibaLoveShibaLove
    Posts: 554
    Some shibas can be that heavy but not overweight because they are just kind of giant, however your guy does look overweight from the photos. You might want to cut down the food a little and increase his activity. I usually give Nikko 1/2 cup in the morning and at night but have decreased that a bit when he needs to lose a couple lbs.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    My Shiba is taller than standard at about 17-18" at his whithers. He looks very lean but weighs in at about 32lbs.

    What does your vet think based on his height and build?

    I agree the pictures make him look a little overweight, but they do say a camera can add 10lbs don't they?
  • MiaGMiaG
    Posts: 28
    Ok, first off.. Thanks for all of the wonderful feedback!
    I also have some answers to a few of the questions that were asked:

    I measured him to the shoulder at about 15".
    Our vet has never mentioned any concern, or brought up his weight at all. His most recent visit was a week and a half ago for annual shots.
    Also, one thing I forgot to mention before and I am not sure if it matters, but he is a rescue so we are not sure of his actual age, but our vet has guessed him at 6. We've had him a year.
    Also, as far as exercise, we walk about two miles per day. 1 mile in the AM and 1 mile in the PM. My husband plays catch and other playful activities some throughout the day with him, as well. But his main source of exercise is our walks.
    I took a picture of him standing up and from the side so you can see his stature. I am going to try to upload it here along with a video.
  • MiaGMiaG
    Posts: 28
    I couldn't figure out how to get the pic or video up, so that might be later, but I did change my profile picture here, so just refer to that for now for a side image of him :) Thanks so much... Looking forward to some more feedback :)
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    My Bootz is around 30-33 lbs and I feed her 1/2 kibble morning and 4-5 oz of raw at night. I don't feed her a lot of treats...and I walk her twice a day.

    Now I'm curious if Bootz is overweight but people have told me she looks fine. And the last vet visit, the doctor mentioned she was perfect weight but a tiny bit on the fat side (which is why I cut down from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup kibble).

    Bring it up with your vet next time. Since Shibas normally have thick coats your vet will have to do the rib test. Also the more treats you feed your shiba, you will have to decrease her meals accordingly.

  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
  • MiaGMiaG
    Posts: 28
    That is a very helpful chart! Thanks so much!
  • At that height, 36 lbs is a lot. My girl is 15.25 at the withers and 17. My boy is 16.5 and 25. The girl is particularly lean, but they're both fit and the guidelines for standard weight are not wrong.

    He doesn't look like he has a waist tuck which indicates that he Should lose some weight. Canned food is very calorie dense. Try cutting the canned and decreasing the kibble slightly and increasing his walking (maybe start with an extra quarter mile each walk and go from there). We typically do 4 daily walks, 2 short and 2 long. The longer walks range 2-2.5 miles, the shorter ones 0.5-0.75 miles. He should probably be doing more than 2 miles a day.

    Edited to add: we used to worry in the beginning about food quantity for feeding, and our breeder said he always just eyed it. If they looked skinny he increases, if they're looking chubby he decreases. I never thought my anxiety would allow me feed that way but it's how we feed now. Every dog metabolizes differently so there isn't a hard and fast rule about quantity. The chart @rikka posted is great. I am surprised though that your vet didn't say anything. Unfortunately, based on the photos you posted he look overweight rather than chubby.

    Good luck. Let us know how you decide to approach it.
    Post edited by violet_in_seville at 2013-04-08 02:16:28
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I used a running app last weekend for fun on every walk we did, Saturday was a pretty normal day, not very active, and on 3 walks we walked a total of 8 miles, plus playing in the park etc.
    So I think up the exercise could be a good idea.
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    In regards to exercise, I would say 2 miles is not a lot even with play time during the day doing other activity. My boys and I walk about 45 minutes-1.25 hours every morning, which equates to anywhere from 2.5-4 miles depending on our pace. We also walk 20-30 minutes every night, which equates to anywhere from .5-1 mile. So just the walking without daytime walks/play is 3-5 miles.

    In addition on week days when I work, my husband has the two boys out during the day and plays with them, coupled with them spending a lot of energy playing with each other. On the weekends, they get no rest, we spend a good amount of time in activity from formal training sessions (agility related), to dog parks, to swimming, to park walks, ect.

    At this activity level my older boy who is 16 months, gets about 1-1.5 cups of kibble and a few scoops of canned food a day. My younger boy who is 6 months, gets about 1.5-2 cups of kibble and a few scoops of canned food a day. This is in addition to training reward treats.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @Juni, thanks for the app idea! Just got it for my iphone.

    I walk Bootz and Jackie 1.6 ~ 2 miles a day depending on the weather. Since i'm from the bay area...70% of the walk itself is on a hill which I think gives much more of a work out than flat ground.

    I'm in the same boat as @MiaG since people mentioned Bootz is 'slightly' overweight. I don't think i can cut back on the 1/2 cup + 4-5 oz of raw. I think thats the right amount. :( i guess i'll have to integrate more walking time into our schedules.
    Post edited by Bootz at 2013-04-09 16:13:15
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    The app is very addictive, isn't it? We also walk lots on hilly grounds, good for both me and her I would say.
    If you don't want to reduce the volume of food given you can probably add something more low calory in it like rice and cut down on the kibble or raw. So the volume stays the same but they get less calories.
  • wufanwufan
    Posts: 78
    My little dude is 21.5lbs at 7months. Besides leash walking, he runs crazy everyday in back yard for 10 minutes. I figured that' gave him the exercise he needed. I feed him about 1 cup a day.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    I use to never bring my phone during walks, but now I do with the app.

    Adding rice as a filler? Hmm... my vet recommended broccoli or green beans....but never rice. She stops eating the greens after a week so I stopped trying that :( I don't think she's hungry on the current amount I'm feeding her, so I'm upping her exercise. As I spoke with others today...she's fine weight-wise but just a TAD overweight.
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    The raw food brand I give Juni has one 'diet' version which has rice in it. I give it to Juni mainly because her stomach works better when the protein level is lower.
    As with human diets I don't think you can say all carbs are bad, but I'm sure there must be other edible things one can mix with the food if one wants to keep the dog satisfied with the amount of food but with less calory intake.
  • [tried to edit but I lost my edited version five times. Trying again.]

    @juni - I understand that you're not saying that rice is an addition but suggesting it as a substitution. I think that there are less calorie dense options than rice.

    I come at this from the opposite perspective though since I have a dog I have to try to put weight on (she's a 3) and we go to adding extra fat and carbs. She eats a lot already, and while we tried to increase her volume of food consumed, after long discussions with my breeder and vet, the conclusion was to switch out some of the type of food she was getting for something with higher calorie density while maintaining health (both breeder and vet don't want us switching for commercial dog food with lots of filler). That's why I tend to think in terms of calorie density, and carbs are more efficient in helping to put on weight without the risk of stomach upset that really high fat food has (though I'm sure my dog would love to switch out some of her food for brie).

    @curlytails has written a helpful post on nutrition, thanks!

    @bootz, @MiaG - perhaps try subbing in some cooked chickpeas? That's a protein dense, low calorie food (also delicious). Even toasting it on a non-stick skillet (no oil or seasonings) would probably make it even tastier.
    Post edited by violet_in_seville at 2013-04-10 15:58:38
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I am not saying add carbs, plus normal amount dog food. I am saying reduce normal dog food and mix with rice instead. 100 gram rice is around 100-130 calories, as an example the raw food I use is 200 calories and up (depending on contents) per 100 gram.
    Diet foods usually reduce fat contents and add carbs instead.
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    Well here in Sweden the big thing in dieting is cutting all carbs, for humans at least, that is why I wrote what I did.
    Of course the simplest is to just cut down on food full stop :-) But to avoid a very hungry dog I only meant to suggest to cut calories but keep the volume.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Who's Online (0)