Akitas are a giant breed of dog that can stand as high as 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 130 pounds. They are heavy-boned, burly dogs that have a thick coat of fur and a broad head. Because of their size, many people find them intimidating. They are very affectionate with their owners but remain suspicious of strangers. They are protective, loyal, and loveable dogs, but may not get along so well with other dogs unless they’ve been socialized to be around them at an early age.
Chicken is a good source of animal protein and is completely safe for Akitas to eat as long as it is fully cooked and deboned. Due to their size, many people wonder what to feed such a large dog. Akitas need a lot of protein and an active adult requires a daily caloric intake of about 2200 calories. How much food an Akita needs every day will depend on whether the dog has been spayed or neutered as well as their weight and age.
A dog that is fed a diet that includes chicken will get enough quality protein to stay fit and active and maintain a healthy coat of fur. When feeding chicken to an Akita, there are a few things to keep in mind about what you should and shouldn’t do.
Health Benefits That Eating Chicken Provides for Akitas
Feeding an Akita lean meats, which includes chicken, has several health benefits. Chicken is high in protein and low in unwanted calories. It also contains omega 6 fatty acids that are essential for a healthy and shiny coat.
Chicken also provides amino acids and glucosamine that support bone health, along with helping to build strong muscles. It is also important to keep in mind that puppies, adults, and senior dogs all have different dietary requirements.
For a puppy, at least 22 percent of their diet should be quality animal proteins. For adult dogs, this drops to 18 percent. As dogs age, their metabolisms slow down. For that reason, their diet needs to be adjusted so they don’t gain too much weight.
Senior dogs still need the protein that chicken provides, but not in the same amounts as younger dogs. There are senior recipe dog foods available that take this into consideration.
Dangers of Chicken Bones
The main danger associated with chicken bones is that they present a choking hazard. The thin, brittle bones can easily break in a dog’s throat. Splinters can also cause gastrointestinal problems. This is more of a problem with cooked bones than raw bones as the cooking process dries them out. This makes the bones brittle so they are more likely to splinter and break when the dog chews them.
As any dog owner can attest, dogs are always looking for opportunities to sneak a treat and chicken bones are pretty hard to pass up. If your dog manages to get ahold of chicken bones while you’re not looking, keep an eye on them. The danger isn’t just that they pose a choking hazard to the dog, the bone splinters may also cause damage to the intestines. Look for any signs of blood in their stool over the next few days.
Also keep an eye out for other indicators such as constipation, nervousness or discomfort, vomiting, and swelling of the stomach. If you notice any of these things, or if you don’t see any evidence that your dog has passed the bones in their stool after three days, consult your vet right away.
How to Feed Your Akita Chicken
The first thing to remember is that you never want to feed your Akita raw chicken. It is just as dangerous for dogs as it is for humans. The chicken should be fully cooked and portioned out. You do not want to give your dog the entire bird.
If freshly cooked chicken makes up your Akita’s main meal, make sure that it is completely deboned. Even the tiniest splinter can cause health problems. You can also give your dog chicken as a treat or snack. Even a tiny portion three or four times a week has health benefits.
Why Choose Chicken/Meat Based Dog Food over Grain Based Dog Foods that Have Chicken in Them
Dogs are carnivores. This means that they are primarily meat-eaters. Dogs need protein and amino acids that are found in chicken and other types of meat. This is not saying that dogs do not need the carbohydrates found in grains for energy, only that it should not be the primary ingredient.
Grain-based dog foods often contain chicken but you should read the ingredients carefully. Often you’ll find chicken and other meat by-products that are lacking in the essential nutrients dogs need but full of unwanted calories instead.
Dog food that is chicken- and meat-based often does not contain by-products. If they do, it is generally for added flavor. They also contain lower amounts of grain so dogs get the carbohydrates they need but without the added calories. Overall, vets generally recommend chicken/meat-based dog food over one that lists several grains as the main ingredient.
What to Watch Out for When Feeding Your Akita Chicken
There are only a few things you need to look out for before you give any chicken to your Akita. You want to check the chicken to make sure it is fully cooked, and that you have removed all the bones.
If this is the first time giving chicken to your pet only give the dog small bites to start. You also want to watch for any signs of an allergic reaction. Some dogs do have allergies to chicken and other foods. This includes chicken-based dog food.
When You Should Not Feed Chicken to Your Pet Akita
If your Akita is refusing to eat chicken, do not force it. This might be a sign of allergies or that your pet is not feeling well. Hot weather can also turn your Akita off of its normal diet. This isn’t necessarily a cause for concern unless it lasts for a few days. If it does, it is time to call the vet. It could be an indicator of a more serious problem.
Other Meats Your Akita Can Eat
Like all dogs, Akitas are natural meat-eaters. Along with some chicken, Akitas can also eat beef, lamb, and pork. Fish is also a favorite with most canines. Fish is a lean like chicken, it is also rich in the amino acids these large dogs need to stay healthy.
What Akitas Should and Shouldn’t Eat
Akitas can have a wide variety of foods, including most meats. Lean meats like chicken and fish are best, but they also like beef and pork. Grains, dairy products, and even pumpkin and carrots are all healthy foods that most Akitas enjoy. They can also eat
There are also some foods that Akitas should not eat. These include.
- Citrus fruits
- Salty snacks and food
- Foods with a lot of sugar
- Fried food
- Raw dough
- Macadamia nuts
- Ice cream
Akitas can have baked bread, though only in small quantities. While dairy is usually okay for dogs, some are lactose intolerant. If you notice diarrhea or vomiting after your Akita eats dairy, it could be a sign of a dairy allergy.
It’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s weight no matter what they eat. An overweight dog faces the same health risks as obese humans.
Several signs could indicate your Akita is allergic to chicken. The most obvious is vomiting and diarrhea. Some of the other signs of a chicken allergy include scratching around the face, ears, rear, and feet. These signs would indicate a reaction to something else, but if it is combined with gastrointestinal problems you should make a vet appointment.
If the scratching continues it could lead to skin problems such as bald spots and even an infection if the skin is broken.
Caring for a Sick Dog
It’s heartbreaking when your Akita is sick. You feel bad, especially since you can’t explain to your pet why it feels so bad. There are a few things you can do to speed up your pup’s recovery and make him a little more comfortable.
The first thing to do is to create a quiet and comfortable place for your pup to rest. Just like when humans get sick, dogs need plenty of rest. It is also important to keep a fresh bowl of water near the dog. It is easy for them to get dehydrated when they’re sick.
Do not try and force a sick dog to eat. They will on their own when they’re ready. When you do try and feed your Akita, stick to bland food that won’t upset their stomach. This means that you’ll want to avoid treats until your dog is fully recovered. Then only in small quantities.
If your Akita is bouncing back after a couple of days it is time to call the vet. You also want to call the vet if the vomiting or diarrhea is extensive.