Akitas were bred to be hunting dogs, which explains why they have large, sturdy bodies. They have very high metabolism rates, which means their bodies burn calories really fast. This is why they need a diet that can meet their calorie requirements.
When feeding your Akita, try to make sure that you do not stuff him with empty calories. Instead, aim for a nutritious meal that is also filling. Also, make sure the food contains essential nutrients to help prevent thyroid problems. Akitas are particularly susceptible to this disease. They also suffer from elbow and hip dysplasia; therefore, watch what you feed them to avoid excessive weight gain.
These skeletal problems come as a result of the excess weight sitting on the elbow and hip joints, making it hard for the dog to move, leading to joint and bone pains. Here is a deeper look at all the food and nutritional requirements for your Akita.
Typical Feeding Requirements for Akitas
Akitas are among dog breeds that have high energy levels and, as such, require large food portions. To keep them healthy and active, you’ll need to feed them food that has a high nutritional value and is healthy at the same time.
Above all else, always make sure that plenty of water is always within the dog’s reach. Too little water may cause health issues due to dehydration.
Akitas need high protein meals as a significant component of their everyday meal to help build their muscles.
A great source of protein for your Akita is red meat, including mutton and beef. You can also add some vegetables that contain protein like broccoli and lentils. Adding vegetables to their diet is important if you want them to have a wider selection of nutrient sources instead of relying on meat alone.
Because Akitas can’t produce fat, their food needs to contain some. You can add fat into your Akita’s meal to increase its energy levels and to maintain healthy skin and fur.
What Foods Can Akitas Eat?
Akitas can consume foods that other dogs eat, which is usually a high-protein diet of meats. They can also eat Carbohydrates like brown rice. Chicken, fish, and beef are a good source of protein. Include fats, vitamins, and minerals in their meals to boost energy levels and maintain healthy skin and fur.
Safe Fruits for your Akita
An apple a day can indeed keep the doctor away. This is also true for Akitas. Apples help keep the vet away by providing a rich source of fiber, vitamins (A, C, and K), minerals, and fatty acids. They are important for boosting their immunity, keeping skin healthy, and keeping bone diseases at bay. The high fiber content of an apple also helps improve digestion.
However, even with all the nutritious benefits, you have to exercise caution when feeding apples to your pet. If the dog has diabetes, apples may not be a good fruit due to high sugar content in them.
You should also feed them small quantities as too much may bloat their stomachs. Avoid giving the apple’s core to the dog as it can choke on it. Another reason why the core isn’t right is that the seeds can be poisonous when swallowed because they are toxic.
Apart from apples, Akitas can eat blueberries and bananas. Fruits such as avocado, grapes, and cherries aren’t safe for your best pal.
Safe Vegetables for your Akita
Vegetables provide roughage that’s essential to your dog’s digestive system. Apart from fiber, they offer vitamins and other precious nutrients that help keep your dog healthy. You can add carrots, Brussel sprouts, cantaloupe, celery, and sweet potatoes. Vegetables such as onions, mushrooms, and garlic aren’t suitable to include in your dog’s diet.
Other Safe Human Foods
Rice, cheese, and bread are other human foods that you can feed your Akita. Almost anything meaty will be an instant hit with them, so this means chicken, fish, and beef, especially lean steaks, will make your Akita very happy.
You can also feed them peanut butter, but it shouldn’t contain the sweetener, xylitol.
Human Foods to Keep Your Akita Away From
While Akitas can tolerate a wide variety of foods, there are certain foods that can be harmful to them.
Most foods that humans consume tend to have high fat content and lots of oils that can cause stomach upsets and diarrhea. Try to avoid toxic food like chocolate and caffeine as they can cause vomiting, lethargy, irregular heartbeat, and to some extremes, even death. Theobromine and caffeine are ingredients present in darker chocolates, which makes them more toxic to dogs.
Raisins and grapes have been associated with kidney failure. While they may be harmful to your dog, they often lead to mild indigestion that can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy.
If you notice that your Akita is being adversely affected by his diet, you need to seek treatment as soon as you can. This will help you avoid dehydration, decreased or increased urination, and low appetite.
Xylitol that’s present in baked food, sugar-free candy, and sugarless gum is an artificial sweetener not suitable for your dog. If your pet consumes it, there’s a possibility of liver damage, vomiting, and indigestion.
Here are a few other foods that you should not feed your Akita:
- Raw Dough and Alcohol
Alcohol, even in small quantities in certain drinks and the raw dough, can poison dogs. Hops in beer can result in alcohol intoxication and cause vomiting, high temperature, seizures, or even death. Yeast present in bread dough can cause difficulties in breathing and damage the dog’s tissues.
- Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onion and any other plant in the onion family is not a food you can include in your dog’s meal. Poisoning is most likely to occur when consumed by your dog. You can observe signs of lethargy, change in urine color, and indigestion.
- You should also avoid dairy products, avocados, and bones as they can split and enter the dog’s throat.
Foods for Sensitive Stomachs
When you notice that your dog has certain symptoms such as passing loose stool, or vomiting has flatulence, it should signal you that it needs a special meal for stomach sensitivity.
The first thing you have to do is find out what the problem is, and if it’s a severe issue, visit the vet. For instance, stomach cancer is a critical issue that may require urgent intervention over and above a special diet.
If it is a minor issue, you can get a diet suggestion and stick to it until the dog gets better. Giving your pet beef throughout as its primary source of protein could be a contributing factor to sensitivity. If it was meat, you were living to try to change to beef, fish, and mutton and observe if there’s change.
Fiber is essential, and beet pulp is one suitable source that can benefit your pet. For fats, you can give in small portions as large quantities can be hard to digest. You can check the percentage of food on the ingredients’ list before giving it to the dog.
When you feed your dog home-cooked food, there’s a possibility it’s not getting the desired amount of nutrients. Vitamins and minerals are essential as a lack of enough of them in the dog’s meal can cause digestive disorder. You can buy commercial foods that include them to ensure your dog has a balanced meal.
Always Avoid Giving an Akita These Foods
Plants in the allumin family, including chives, garlic, leeks, and onions are toxic to dogs. Garlic takes the lead as the most poisonous and causes anemia, pale gums, weakness, increased heartbeats.
Macadamia nuts and icecream are also not suitable for your dogs. Ice cream contains a lot of sugar, and the lactose in it may affect dogs as they’re intolerant to it. The nuts macadamia, walnuts, and all kinds of nuts are a no-go zone.
Human vitamins are also not suitable for dogs. They can easily overdose on them. Higher doses of iron are mostly present in prenatal vitamins, so if your dog consumes them, you need to consult a doctor.
Foods That Are Okay, But Still Not Recommended
Ham contains high fat and sodium content. However, you can still feed it to your Akita in small amounts.
Liver is another food that dogs can eat but in minimal quantities as it can affect the dog’s bones and muscles because it contains a lot of Vitamin A.
Dairy products in small doses are suitable for dogs, but they tend to cause diarrhea, digestive problems, and allergic reactions.
Bell peppers can be in the dog’s diet, especially in meat, as a tasty vegetable. But don’t put large quantities as they can be hard to chew due to the hard skin.
Raw fish and meat can lead to food poisoning as it contains bacteria. For fish, ensure you remove all the bones to avoid choking. If you have to feed your dog these two meats, be sure to cook them to reduce contamination.
You can feed your dog raw meat only if you are absolutely sure that it is not contaminated.
What to Do If Dangerous Foods Are Consumed?
You may not always be around your dog to monitor everything they eat. Someone may feed them, or they may come across toxic foods by accident. Symptoms may delay as it may take time before the effect takes place.
It’s essential to take the dog to a vet immediately you notice signs of restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, or any other unusual reaction.
What to Watch for With Their Diet?
All dogs require proteins as their primary food. There are over ten amino acids in meat foods that maintain a healthy body, and muscle animal-based proteins such as fish, poultry, and meat are the best.
Include healthy fats in the diet to provide energy levels in your dog. Reduce plant oils as an Akita’s metabolism is low on them. For carbohydrates, you may include minimal ones as having no specific nutritious value for the dog apart from some minimal nutrients and fiber.
For puppies, always include more proteins and healthy fats. More protein is essential as the puppy is growing, and the nutrients will help it to develop appropriately until old age. Be careful not overfeed your dog with a lot of calories as it may grow faster than the ideal rate.
After one year, the Akita can start getting the adult food which should also have fat and proteins. For the senior Akita, their metabolism is down; therefore, you have to offer them a low-calorie diet to prevent obesity. You may need supplementary food to boost the health of its bones.
The size of the dog, energy levels, and age lets know what amount of food to give it. Follow a recipe with the right calories to avoid malnutrition or obesity.
Healthy Eating Regimen
A healthy eating regimen for Akitas needs to start as early as they’re young. The diet of a healthy dog should contain proteins and mostly animal-based. You can supplement with plant-based such as broccoli though they’re less nutritionally valuable. Fresh meats of lambs, goats, and beef and fish are an excellent protein diet. You can add carbohydrates like rice and a moderate amount of fats.
Animal-based fats are good for maintaining energy levels, make the fur and skin shiny, and boost the immune system of your dog. For carbohydrates, choose ones with fiber content like brown rice and include vegetables and fresh fruits. Vitamins and minerals are also necessary to make a meal a complete one.
Wet or Dry Dog Foods
Whether your Akita should eat dry or wet food depends on several factors. You can choose one that has more nutritional value and health requirements for your dog. Each type of food has its advantages and disadvantages.
For dry food, it’s easier to measure it out and is also easy to preserve. Compared to wet food, dry food can stay for a longer time before going bad and will usually have an extended expiry date. As such you can buy in bulk and save an extra coin. Plus, dry food is simply better in some situations, for example if you travel a lot. Dry foods are also cheaper than wet food and tend to leave the dog’s teeth clean.
On the other hand, wet foods will easily be your dog’s favorite meal. They will usually taste like meat and be more flavorful. The protein content is higher in wet foods, helping build stronger muscles. Additionally, the moisture content in the food makes it a better alternative for dogs who suffer from urinary tract disease. Some dogs may not like drinking water so wet foods are a great option for keeping them hydrated. It is also easier to control the dog’s appetite with wet food as it tends to fill their tummies fast.
The choice between wet or dry foods is entirely up to you because you are the only one who understands what is best for your dog. You can even choose to combine them to get the best of both worlds.
Picky/ Slim Eating Akitas
Akitas are voracious eaters, but that doesn’t mean yours can’t be a picky eater. It can be a challenge to try to feed it and it can get on your nerves. It will help if you start training the dog early when it’s still a pup to help stick to a strict routine.
When you notice pickiness in dogs, but there’s notable weight loss, low energy levels, and dull fur, it could mean there’s an underlying problem. One that has a healthy weight, high energy levels, and shiny far shows it’s only a stage, and it’ll go away. You can, however, seek the second opinion from your vet to rule any serious issue.
How Often Should Akitas Eat?
Contrary to popular belief of giving a dog one large meal, feed the dog two times per day, preferably morning and evening. The problem of one large meal creates ore problems that solutions. The dog can suffer from digestive issues such as indigestion and bloating.
How Much Should Akitas Eat?
The body builds, energy levels, metabolism rate, and age are factors you’ll have to consider before giving your Akita food. Akitas have a voracious appetite, but that shouldn’t mean to have food always at its side. Overeating can lead to bloating, and you can curb that by having a designated bowl that can ration the right amount of food.
For puppies provide a cup and a half of food and observe the appetite to see what is suitable for them. For adult Akitas, give 5-6 cups for the two daily meals, and it should be dry food.
Why Your Akita Won’t Eat?
Same as humans, your Akita may reach a point and refuse to eat. Here are some reasons it might not want to eat.
Dislike in Taste
When you introduce a new diet to your pet, chances are they may or may not eat it. your dog may be a picky one and may refuse to eat what you present to it. A dislike in a particular food can make the dog hate it; therefore, it may help to try various foods until you settle on their favorite ones.
A recent vaccination to your dog, even though beneficial for preventing contagious diseases, can make eating a problem. So, after getting a vaccination, you can observe your pet for some time.
If, until the time of traveling your dog was eating well, the different surroundings may be a contributing factor. It may be due to motion sickness or nervousness, and you can give them some time to get used to the environment.
You may observe pickiness in your dog as a response to the surrounding. If they’re uncomfortable, they may refuse to eat as a result.
The same way you may have a loss of appetite, so can your Akita do. Mostly it may be due to illness, and it may help to take him to a vet to treat any underlying condition. Sometimes it can be a toothache or something they ate that caused bloating and indigestion.