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  • mattzmattz
    Posts: 418
    My shiba, Etsuko, is about a year old now... After about a month of being her new owner, I am now attached to her for life and I love her dearly! I'm overly interested in her health and hope to help her sustain life for many years to come. With that being said, what should her food diet consist of?? I've heard positive/negative things about all kinds of diets.

    What has worked best for you?

    What would you recommend?


  • IMO the best diet you could give her is a RAW diet. It keeps them healthy and does wonderful things for their coat/skin. They also poo less and are less smelly. They even sell premade RAW food if you don't want to do it yourself. It can be a bit pricey though.

    If you want to feed kibble you can always use for dog food ratings.

    Shibas seem to be allergic to chicken but not always. Some are also allergic to grains.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Saya is fed prey modal raw and she does fine on it small poops which goes away after a rain and weather.

    Pre made raw is easier to feed, but more expensive you can always feed premade to get used to it and add chicken quarters for something different..

    I find do it yourself raw more cheaper till I buy organic meats which I try to get a little organic meat for Saya once a month..

    Bella my parent's boxer does great on wellness core ocean.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8526
    RAW would be a top choice, if you are okay with it...

    But, if you are keen on kibble, I would most definitely feed a grain free formula. Grains are not part of a dog's natural diet and can cause digestive issues and allergies. I tend to keep my Shibas on a fish based kibble.

    But I have been contemplating going with a pre-made RAW diet for my girls... I am a vegetarian, so I am having a hard time making the decision. (Even though I know that Jessica, who is a complete vegan, feeds her dogs pre-made RAW, it still is a bit of a stretch for me.)
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • I've been feeding Sabi Fromm's Four Star and he totally digs it.
  • Wow, very interesting comments here. I have heard about the RAW diets, but it kind of scares me a little bit.

    That's not the main reason I'm commenting though.

    @frank the tank: Lately, my Yoshi's been itching his paws and legs *non-stop*. I took him to the Vet and they gave him 2 weeks worth of Temerol-P (sp?), which is an antihisthamine and steroid. The vet thinks he has a ragweed allergy or something. (Yes, the medicine's been helping the itching, but it also makes him *extremely* tired and makes him have to pee a lot.) The vet also suggested giving him a new flavor food (he's on a Limited Ingredient Diet because grains do not agree with him, so he has been eating Chicken and Sweet Potato LID formula by Natural Balance). We just bought him a bag of Potato and Duck LID formula to switch up the form of protein he's getting.

    Do you think it's possible that in addition to his having a ragweed allergy he could have been allergic to the chicken too? I ask because we used to give him boiled chicken, rice, ground beef, etc. when we were trying to figure out his sensitive stomach and digestive upset issues. It would be interesting if he was slightly allergic to chicken -- I've never heard of dogs being allergic to a type of protein, just to grains and such. Any input is welcome. =]

  • My dog Ruby is allergic to chicken, eggs, wheat, corn, grass pollen and ragweed. Just like humans dogs can be allergic to many things and are in fact more than likely to be allergic to multiple things.
  • Ugh, I have such a hate-hate relationship with Temaril-P. Bowdu was on the drug all summer, 150 pills total (two taken every other day), and it was quite a challenge to wean him off of it. We eventually found out he is hypothyroid... BUT... in the meantime, some advice we got (in addition to what's already been mentioned above) ...

    It's very possible Yoshi could be allergic to chicken. As told to me, if it's a food allergy, it's *most likely* a *protein* source (i.e. nuts, soy, and of course meats). Chicken, beef, and lamb are among the most common protein sources that dogs are allergic to, and unfortunately, that which is most commonly found in commercial kibble.

    Very generalized advice on allergies --
    -- if the itching comes from underneath, i.e. paws and stomach, it's probably contact allergies. Something your dog is lying in or touching in the great outdoors, like grass or weeds.
    -- if itching around the face/eyes, it's probably an inhalant allergy, like pollen.
    -- if the itching is at the base of the tail or moving up from the back, it's probably fleas.
    -- if the itching is all over and much more generalized, it's probably food allergies.

    I'm not convinced that the above is a hard and fast rule, especially since the problems can come from multiple allergies or underlying systemic issues (i.e. hypothyroidism). But it's a starting point for figuring out what's wrong.
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • @curlytails: Yoshi only has to take 32 of the pills -- first four days it was two at 8 AM, two at 8 PM. The next four days (*we're currently in this stage*) it is two at 8 AM only, then the next eight days it will only be two every other morning.

    When you say it was a challenge to wean him off, what do you mean by that? Did he have bad side effects? As for side effects while on the medicine.. did Bowdu get really tired? He's on a lot less medication than Yoshi, so maybe not.. Yosh has just been totally beat the past few days, like he's been sleeping probably 18 hours each day.

    As for the general info.. that's the exact same thing our Vet told us. Yoshi was scratching his muzzle and his paws, but not his tail or anything. It's kind of funny actually -- he puts his entire back paw in his mouth and chews on it. When he first started, we thought maybe he just wanted to trim his nails (lol) because he was about a week overdue for a trim -- when we got his nails clipped and it didn't stop, we realized he was also scratching at his muzzle and we called the Vet to ask about possible allergies.
  • Yoshi -- by saying it was a "challenge" to wean him off the Temaril-P, I mean a couple things. My boyfriend was convinced that the drugs helped a lot. I disagreed (I thought it helped *some*, but that ultimately things like the cone were doing more to prevent him from itching). My intention was always to find a steroid-free alternative, but I kept doing things to set off his itchiness just as each batch of the prescription was about to run out... For example, he's been on a raw diet for a while now, and I've been rotating various raw meaty bones. A few days before one of the prescriptions was supposed to end, I gave him some raw ox tail, apparently too rich or too much all at once (he's only had nibbles of cooked beef before), and that meal coincided with renewed, vigorous chewing of the paws -- to the point where he was bloody and his paw pads appeared infected (again).

    So we'd go back to the vet, and I'd voice my concerns and desire to find a steroid-free alternative, and they would either disparage other drug options for being less efficacious (such as Atarax) or they'd insist that the amount of pred. in Temaril-P was negligible, that it was mostly antihistamine and that we weren't keeping him on it long enough for him to develop any permanent adverse effects. Five months/150 pills doesn't really count as long term, to them... But he was noticeably more lethargic, extremely sluggish on walks, he gained weight (this could also be the thyroid thing too), just wasn't the same dog. Ultimately it was a matter of benefits outweighing health costs, I think, so we kept getting the prescription renewed.

    He's off Temaril-P now, ever since we got the diagnosis of hypothyroidism. One new thing he's doing that he wasn't before, is he's clawing at his muzzle whenever he gets a chance (he's still in his cone most of the time). But he doesn't seem agitated or miserable when he isn't able to scratch himself there, so I wonder if the need to itch is more psychological than physical.

    In the meantime, I've been trying to read up about glucocorticoids and their side effects. The main issue that we seem to be dealing with now is increased susceptibility to infections. While steroids help decreas subcutaneous inflammation, they also contribute to a thinning and general deterioration of the skin. So his paws, in particular, seem very vulnerable to staph infections. We have him in a cone because if he gets a nice, sustained round of licking in there, his feet immediately become swollen and we're back to the vet for another round of antibiotics. It's pretty ridiculous.

    So this relates to diet (sorry, I feel like I hijacked the thread!) because we're trying to build back his skin health through lots of Omega 3s and 6s, better nutrition all around, and keeping any sore spots or broken skin clean. Skin is the first 'barrier' against germs, after all... Hopefully once his thyroid hormone levels are back in order, his immune system won't be as crazy either.
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • "very generalized advice on allergies --
    -- if the itching comes from underneath, i.e. paws and stomach, it's probably contact allergies. Something your dog is lying in or touching in the great outdoors, like grass or weeds.
    -- if itching around the face/eyes, it's probably an inhalant allergy, like pollen.
    -- if the itching is at the base of the tail or moving up from the back, it's probably fleas.
    -- if the itching is all over and much more generalized, it's probably food allergies.

    That seems about right haha. Severus suffers from 1 and 2.
  • I am feeding my year old Bear a premade raw diet with a little kibble once a day. I have also changed my new dog over to the premade raw too as she was on canned food with kibble before I got her. My concern is who to believe with what is good and not good for a dog in regards to raw. ie: this article the talks about cooking the veggies and fruits. How do you know who is right and who is wrong? I certainly dont want to do anything to harm my dogs but I would like to incorporate other Raw items into their diet.
  • mattzmattz
    Posts: 418
    @velvetkat - I have the same aim as you... I'd like to know what is right and what is wrong for my Shiba, as well as what's the best food diet. It's a lot of material to read over...

    Anyone else have additional suggestions??
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Yeah the whole veggie fruit thing is a hard decision. I feed do it yourself raw I only give Saya fruit when I'm eating it, but it's not something I go out of my way to cook and blend it together or anything..

    I don't know which is right or wrong though..

    I've made fruit Popsicle for the dogs had tons of different things in it blueberries, strawberries, mango, and apple I also put some fish oil in it gross I know, but the dogs loved it for their summer treat. =)

    Most premade raw I think has veggies and stuff mixed in it I think.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
    Post edited by Saya at 2010-09-08 16:46:09
  • for those that feed RAw meaty bones. do you wipe down your pets paws after each meal? How do you make sure there isn't bacteria or germs spreading? Thanks!
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Saya is weird about her food she will not touch meat with her feet she will only eat with just her mouth.. I don't worry much I never wiped her mouth except after she eats her eggs sometimes she gets it on her chin.

    For Bella who has floppy lips and tends to use her paws I wipe her paws and lips with a mixture of vinegar and water she is only fed a chicken quarter once a week so I don't have to do it often. I think some people might use baby wipes I'm not sure which is best..

    Saya eats either outside or in my room on a layer of four towels which I wash the towels once or twice a week.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • has anyone hear of K9 Natural Dog RAW food? They are locals (New Zealand) which for me is awesome, but also ship to the US, Aus, HK etc.
    I have decided to switch my Selene to a raw diet but would really like some advice.
    Got her some bones from the butcher today and let her chew on one for about 5 minutes today. Will increase that by a couple of minutes every day. In the meantime I am going to add a bit of K9 Raw food everyday and keep an eye on her bowel motions.

    What kind of bones are good for dogs to eat? I am pretty sure I am going to buy the K9 meat only and will be the bones from the butcher. I've been reading extensively over the last month or about BARF. They stress that dogs are carnivorous, so do they need fruit and veges at all?
    Would raw meat, bones and a tiny bit of kibble [or none at all] not be enough?
  • My reply is going to be all over the place. Sorrrry.

    "Would raw meat, bones and a tiny bit of kibble [or none at all] not be enough? "
    I practice prey model raw, which is 80% meaty meat, 10% edible bone, 5% liver, 5% other secreting organ.
    Organs are pretty vital to the mix because they are rich in nutrients, even if you feed one meal of kibble, the other meal should follow the 80/10/5/5 model. I personally don't feed raw and kibble together in one meal--I tried it once and Bella had crazy stomach issues--explosive diarrhea. I was told on a raw feeding forum the digestion rates of raw and kibble aren't the same, so if you feed both, there should be some downtime in betwen.

    I don't do BARF with raw veggies and fruits. I don't have a real reason for it except the balancing act between adding the fruit and veggies to the mix looked extra complicated. Yeah, I'm lazy. Every once in awhile, I'll toss Bella something like sweet potato bits or a carrot, but I don't go out of my way to feed these. She hates fruit, so I don't really worry about it.

    "What kind of bones are good for dogs to eat? "
    As far as bones, only feed non-weight bearing bones. Bones such as femurs can cause chipped teeth, etc.
    Bella likes chicken backs, any sort of rib, etc. Be sure the bone is big enough that they can't try to swallow it whole and choke. Always supervise. If I feed Bella something like a chicken wing, I hold it for her, so she has to chew it up instead of gulp it.

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