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Finding the right amount to feed my growing Shiba was a bit annoying, I struggled to find anything specific or even a recommended schedule. So I made one.
A healthy amount of kibble to feed an adult Shiba Inu, male and female, is 1 to 1½ cups. The amount of food a puppy needs will vary based on its age and gender. Generally, ½ cup of kibble is appropriate for an 8-week-old, ¾ cup for a 16-week-old, and 1 cup for a kibble per day from weeks 24 to 32.
Everything I’ve been able to learn from personal research, along with working directly with my vet, is listed down below.
Feeding Breakdown Based On Age And Gender
The amount of food your Shiba Inu needs daily depends on four key factors:
- Ideal weight
- Level of activity
Those four aspects come together and tell us exactly how much a healthy Shiba should be eating on a daily basis. When those come together we get the following growth and feeding chart.
|Age||Male Daily Intake||Ideal Male Weight||Female Daily Intake||Ideal Female Weight|
|2 months||½ cup||5 – 8 lbs||½ cup||4 – 7 lbs|
|3 months||¾ cup||7 – 10 lbs||½ cup||6 – 8 lbs|
|4 months||¾ cup||9 – 13 lbs||¾ cup||8 – 11 lbs|
|5 months||¾ cup||11 – 16 lbs||¾ cup||10 – 13 lbs|
|6 months||1 cup||13 – 18 lbs||¾ cup||11 – 15 lbs|
|7 months||1 cup||15 – 19 lbs||1 cup||13 – 16 lbs|
|8 months||1 ⅓ cup||16 – 20 lbs||1 cup||13.5 – 17 lbs|
|9 months||1 ⅓ cup||16.5 – 21 lbs||1 cup||14 – 17.5 lbs|
|10 months||1 ⅓ cup||17 – 22 lbs||1 cup||14.5 – 18 lbs|
|11 months||1 ⅓ cup||17.5 – 23 lbs||1 cup||15 – 18.5 lbs|
|12+ months||1 ½ cup||18 – 24 lbs||1 ⅓ cup||16 – 19 lbs|
While male and female puppies start off the same, things quickly change at the 12-week mark. Males are larger on average than females, leading to them needing a bit more food each day.
Male Shiba Inus are considered fully grown at 12 months old, are typically between 14-17 inches tall, and have a body weight between 18-24 lbs.
Female Shiba Inus are considered fully grown at 12 months old, are typically between 13-16 inches tall, and have a body weight between 16-19 lbs.
Shibas are also considered full grown at 12 months old due to their size, large or even giant dog breeds may reach their full size around the 15 to 18-month mark, but since Shiba Inus are a medium-sized breed they quickly peak out.
Meal Count And Portion Sizes
While they’re a puppy it is important you not only feed them the right amount of food but also with an adequate frequency and portion size.
Shiba Inu puppies that are less than 12 weeks old (3 months) should have their daily intake broken up into 4 smaller meals. For males, each meal should be a little over ⅛ of a cup. Females should be fed exactly ⅛ cup of kibble per meal.
As Shibas start to reach their peak growing months, months 3 to month 8, it’s best to pull back their daily meal count to 3. Male Shiba Inus do best when their meal size is just over ⅛ cup and just under ½ cup of kibble. While females are healthiest when fed ⅛ cup to ⅓ cup of kibble per meal.
Once Shibas start getting close to adulthood they should be brought down to two meals per day. Starting around 8 months of age and continuing through their adult years. It’s safe to feed males a bit over ½ cup per meal and females ½ cup of kibble per meal.
Puppy Food Transitioning Schedule
It’s important your puppy is fed specifically puppy-formulated food as they’re growing. Puppy blended food has additional vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that support their growing bodies and developing minds.
While Shiba Inus typically stop growing around 8 months old, the best time to look into transitioning them over to adult food is with your vet’s approval. If everything is going well you may get the green light to start then.
But if your vet thinks your Shiba may have a bit more room to grow they may recommend you wait till they’re around 12 months old before transitioning to adult food.
Once it’s time to start that transition you should take things slow. While dogs love eating anything they can get ahold of they actually have pretty sensitive stomachs. Rapid changes in diet, like switching kibble brands, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or even a lack of appetite.
While it’s best not to rush the process is actually fairly quick, it only takes one week on average to transition your pet to another brand or to adult food. I say on average because you may find out that new food either doesn’t agree with your Shiba or your pet doesn’t agree with it.
That transition should look a little something like this.
Day 1) 75% old food and 25% new food.
Day 2) 75% old food and 25% new food.
Day 3) 50% old food and 50% new food.
Day 4) 50% old food and 50% new food.
Day 5) 25% old food and 75% new food.
Day 6) 25% old food and 75% new food.
Day 7) 100% new food.
Make sure you are feeding your Shiba Inu their recommended daily average, anything over could relate to weight issues. You can also reduce the odds of weight issues and improve their health by feeding them high-quality dog food.
If you realize your pet has a food-related allergy or sensitivity you should contact your vet, get an allergy test taken, and transition them over to a kibble that better suits them.
I realized Faith, my Shiba Inu, was allergic to lamb so I switched her over to a limited-ingredient duck & lentils kibble and she couldn’t be happier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food?
No, puppies are going through considerable growth and hormonal changes, and specially blended foods provide extra nutrition to help support their developing bodies and minds. It’s generally safe to start transitioning your puppy over to adult food at the 8-month mark, but it’s best to check with your vet.
How Often Should You Feed Your Shiba?
Shiba Inu puppies who are less than 3 months old should be given 4 meals per day. Puppies who are 3 to 8 months old should eat 3 meals daily. Shibas older than 8 months old should only eat 2 meals per day.
How Do I Choose The Right Food For My Shiba Inu?
Shiba Inus are at their best when their diet consists of 30% protein and 15-18% fat. Grain allergies are common so it’s best to avoid grain and preservative-based fillers when possible. Most dog foods are also categorized by age and weight range.
Can I Raw Feed A Shiba Inu?
Shiba Inus are able to eat a raw food diet, but it’s recommended you get your vet’s opinion along with an allergy test. Food allergies and sensitivities to chicken, egg, beef, multiple types of grain, as well as various fruits and vegetables are quite common.