Shiba Inus have a weird habit of being picky eaters and grazers as they age. So, they may leave the food in their bowl for some time and feed bit by bit, and they won’t overfeed themselves.
This stage often comes after their first or second birthday. This can worry you or cause you panic since your canine friend may be.
Unlike most other dog breeds, the grazing habit in Shiba Inus may worry you, especially if you’re a new owner and want to free-feed your pooch friend.
In addition, the recommended number of cups is usually an average number to give you an idea of how much your dog can have but not a staple.
This Shiba Inus feeding guide takes you through some causes of Shibas weird eating habits and what you should do.
Table of Contents
What Causes Picky Shiba Inu Eating Habits?
- Shibas Are Naturally Grazers
- Plenty Of Treats
- Transition From One Food Brand to Another
- Poor Food Mixing
- Mealtime Add-Ons
Shibas Are Naturally Grazers
Shiba Inus are naturally born grazers and like eating at their own pace. They can regulate the amount of food they take without overfeeding or starving themselves.
That said, free feeding is more likely the best feeding method if you have a Shiba Inu. However, if you have other heavy-feeder pets around, like bulldogs, free feeding isn’t something you can try.
So, it’s pretty hard you find an oversized Shiba Inus unless they don’t exercise. With normal free feeding plus exercise, Shibas maintain a proportionate body shape throughout their lives.
If your Shiba Inus has sporadic eating patterns, it shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. Despite leaving the food in the bowl for hours, your Shiba Inu will eventually eat the amount they feel is enough for them.
Eating when they’re hungry and not based on your schedule is such a Shiba Inu thing. Thankfully, they self-regulate and thus are free from bloating issues and other risks.
Plenty Of Treats
Plenty of treats can be a cause for picky eating in Shiba Inu. Since Shibas like to free-feed, treats can be enough to keep them going.
So, you ought to regulate the amount of treats you use for your Shiba Inu to avoid affecting their feeding schedule.
If your canine friend has plenty of access to treats, they’ll sooner or later start acting finicky about their food and eating sporadically.
This doesn’t mean you should starve your sweet friend of treats. However, have some limits since “scarcity builds demand,” as they say in the business world.
The point is that treats should be there but not in plenty. Regulate them to ensure they’re somewhat scarce; your canine friend will always show gratitude.
Transition From One Food Brand to Another
The transition from one food brand to another can, in one way or another, affect your Shibas appetite.
So, when interchanging brands, you should make it a gradual transition so that your canine friend still has some access to previous food as you try the new brand.
That way, you can tell if your Shiba Inu prefers the former or the new food brand. In addition, different brands contain different ingredients. Always check with precision, as Shibas are prone to food allergies.
When transitioning from one brand of food to another, ensure to split your Shibas meals 3 or 4 times a day. More small means can help with improving appetite.
Poor Food Mixing
When mixing your Shibas food, be extra keen on what foods you mix. This breed has a sensitive stomach, and mixing foods can cause stomach upsets sometimes.
Also, mix brands that correspond to one another in terms of ingredients and the dryness or wetness of the food.
If you mix good food with low-quality one, your Shiba Inu might start behaving awkwardly as they find it difficult to separate and get what they want.
Where possible, avoid mixing foods unless they comprehend one another. So, mix one proper wet food with another wet food and do the same for dry dog food.
Mixtures of homemade food have no issues with Shiba Inus, though. Thankfully, Shibas like homemade food even more than kibble brands.
There are a variety of mealtime add-ons available for dog foods. These are things that owners add to their dog’s meal to spice it up.
So, your Shiba Inus can easily develop a bad habit of wanting the add-ons before the meal making them wait to eat.
In addition, if you constantly have different meal add-ons, they may start to wait and see what new goodies await them.
Mealtime add-ons aren’t bad; however, ensure they come some minutes after your Shiba Inu is done eating.
Shiba Inu Suddenly Lost Interest in Food
Shiba Inus have a habit of suddenly losing interest in food, especially when feeding on the same brand or food type for a long time.
Therefore, you should rotate certain food types that work well with your canine friend. You can have a schedule of the period between which you rotate your Shibas diet.
Keeping your Shiba Inu puppy under a rotational diet helps with picky behavior. However, this won’t always help as some Shibas might lose interest naturally.
Also, they easily get bored with their food if maybe they want a change of diet or brand. So, this could signify that it’s time you visit your food source for another brand.
How To Remedy Shiba Inu Bad Eating Habits
- Avoid Meal Toppers
- Regulate Snacks and Treats
- Check If It May Be Lack of Appetite
- Change The Diet
Avoid Meal Toppers
Shiba Inus aren’t the best with meal toppers. So, if you hope to add them to your Shibas diet, you may want to rethink that decision.
In fact, you should remove and avoid adding anything to their meal unless it makes them hyper-happy.
Meal topovers can work either way. They can work to your canine friend’s advantage or disadvantage. So, it’s up to you to identify their impact on your Shiba.
Always be aware that Shiba Inus are among the most opinionated dogs. So, however much good you may wish and want for them, they can hold a different opinion and stick to it.
Thankfully, Shibas will always tell you through body language what they’re happy with and not happy with.
Regulate Snacks & Treats
You shouldn’t let your Shiba Inus have a field day with treats. Everything in excess is dangerous, and so are treats.
Plenty of treats can influence your Shibas appetite, thus causing picky eating. So, regulating the amount of treats your Shiba eats daily is necessary.
Also, Shiba Inus tend to get bored with what they have in excess; this includes the daily food they get. So, don’t provide treats in excess.
Associate treats with good deeds and successful command adherence. That way, your Shiba won’t get plenty of them that it’s recommended.
Check With Lack of Appetite
Lack of appetite in Shiba Inu isn’t a new thing. This breed can lose appetite abruptly without any prior signs.
So, if your Shiba Inu abruptly starts picky eating, you can check with the vet for assistance to identify if it may be an appetite issue.
There are various supplements you can use to improve your Shibas appetite. So, if you identify a lack of appetite, consider changing your Shibas diet or using supplements that improve appetite in dogs.
Change The Diet
As mentioned earlier, Shiba Inus can just get bored with the diet they have been feeding since a young age.
When this happens, they suddenly lose the desire to eat and will only have a handful. You should consider adjusting the diet with another familiar one.
In changing diets, you should identify what works for your Shiba Inus and what doesn’t. That way, you’ll finally have enough brands to rotate within.
Rotating your Shibas diet has numerous pros and keeps them happy when they hear it’s eating time. In addition, rotating foods avail crucial body nutrients needed for healthy growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Shiba Inus Food Driven?
Shiba Inus are food driven but at a young age. As they age, they tend to become less food-driven and even become grazers.
Unlike most dog breeds, Shiba Inu might not be food driven, mainly from adult age. After the final growth stage, Shiba Inus often stop being food motivated.
Can To Tell If Your Shiba Inus Is a Picky Eater?
You can easily tell if your Shiba Inus is a picky eater by observing if they leave their kibble in a bowl for hours and finally eat it of their own volition.
Therefore, this is just normal behavior in most Shibas and shouldn’t be a cause for alarm.
Why Does My Shiba Inu Eat Everything?
Shiba Inus have this chewing problem where they try to eat everything around one year of age. They do it despite you asking them to stop.
The best you can do is practice “LEAVE IT” and “Look At Me” commands by putting your Shiba on a leash and making them restrain from eating a piece of food you drop on the floor.
Once your Shiba successfully doesn’t pursue that food, give them a different piece from your pouch. Repeat and Rinse until the trick sinks in.
The Wrap-Up on Shiba Inu Eating Habits
Shiba Inu eating habits can be a little strange, especially to new owners who aren’t aware that some Shibas, if not all, are grazers.
So, Shibas naturally leave food before free feeding by themselves. You can leave your Shibas bowl with enough food as you leave to work, and they’ll free-feed without overfeeding.
In addition, they also won’t starve themselves. Instead, Shibas often eat bit by bit when they feel like it. Others will wait for a long and eat late into the night.
So, familiarize yourself with Shiba Inu eating habits if you want to own one. If you’re an owner, I hope this article gives you more value and info regarding Shiba Inu eating behavior.