Your Shiba's Health
Shibas are a gorgeous breed of dog, and have their own unique temperaments. They are extremely loving, though often in a different way than most people are used to. Shibas are perfectly happy to sit next to you without needing constant petting; they're very independent. If you are interested in owning a Shiba Inu, then you should know how to keep your newest family member healthy and happy!
Shiba Inus tend to do very well on a higher protein and fat diet - this is due to how close they are genetically to wolves (see this article for more info!). You'll notice they are much happier, and have far more energy with a diet structured like this. I personally feed mine Orijen (which is FEDIAF approved as nutritionally whole), but many Shiba owners like Taste of the Wild or Acana for their furred friends.
Shiba Inus are overall a very healthy breed, but their most common health issues are allergies, hip dysplasia, and patellar luxation. Luckily, with good diet, exercise, and regular checkups, these are quite avoidable and manageable!
One thing I've found that works to prevent allergies in my Shibas is adding Salmon Oil to their food. Not only is it extremely tasty, it also helps with their skin and coat health!
Hip dysplasia and patellar luxation tend to happen in their later years, but research (see below) seems to show that it is preventable to a certain extent as well.
We will not, nor will we ask you to neuter your Shiba Inu. Based off of quite a few studies we believe it to negatively impact their health. Some of those studies are as follows:
According to the American Association of Cancer Research, dogs neutered before one year were 25% more likely to develop bone cancer than those left intact .
There was also a study published by PLOS Genetics showing that neutered dogs had higher incidence of hip dysplasia (typically common in Shiba Inus), cruciate ligament disease, lymphosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, and mast cell tumors as compared to intact males .
Neutered dogs are also 4 times more likely to develop prostate cancer according to this 2007 study, which was presented at the 25th Annual Conference of the Veterinary Cancer Society .
Overall, we just want to ensure that your new family member will live their healthiest, happiest, and longest possible lives! The happier and healthier they are, the better your relationship will certainly be.