Compared to humans, dogs, unfortunately have brief life spans.
While we can’t control genetics and other factors that contribute to a dog’s lifespan - we can control how we nourish them.
As Hippocrates once said, "let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food"
So right now, ask yourself this - are you feeding your dogs the best you can?
If you are one of the many pet owners who simply feeds dry, extruded kibble packed with carbohydrates, preservatives, fillers, and synthetic vitamins on a daily basis - yes, you probably could do a lot better.
Depending on your circumstances, you may not be able to spend either a lot of time or a lot of money on completely fresh dog food - and we totally understand that.
In this article, we’ll show you five different ways to improve your Shiba Inus food in a manner that fits your budget as well as lifestyle.
If you have more time than budget, then the first options would work best for you. The latter options are costlier so they'd be a good fit for those with more budget than time.
# 1 - Add Fresh Whole Foods
You can do a world of good for your Shiba Inu’s health simply by adding fresh food to her daily bowl of dog food.
Dry kibble doesn’t provide enough moisture for healthy digestion so adding fresh foods will help to get moisture levels up.
Fresh foods will also provide your Shiba Inu with antioxidants, phytonutrients, and natural vitamins and minerals that due to high heat processing - are mostly rendered null in dry kibble.
Here’s a short list of the best fresh foods to add to your dog’s current diet:
- Lean 90% beef
- Smaller sized wild fish like mackerel, sardines,
- Colorful veggies like carrots, red bell peppers
- Dark green veggies
- Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, yam
- Fruits such as apples, blueberries, papayas
- Lean cheeses - on occasion
- Plain yogurt
Be sure to adjust serving side of dog food when supplementing. This may take practice but just remember to give less dog food when supplementing with high caloric foods and vice versa.
Also remember to stay away from the bad stuff.
Things that are bad for humans like processed foods, sweets, chips, fats, etc... are all bad for dogs too.
As a fresh supplementer, you'll be providing your Shiba with fresh, "alive" foods that'll really provide a boost to their diet.
# 2 - Add Freeze-Dried
A lot of us don't have enough time to go full monty on our dog's meal prep - but fortunately other options are available.
One of the easiest ways is simply purchasing your favorite premium freeze-dried dog food and supplementing that to your dogs current diet.
How often you choose to supplement with semi-fresh foods all depends on your budget and your dog’s needs.
Also, even though you can’t always prepare fresh foods especially for your dog - don’t hesitate to add “good stuff” to your dog’s meals (along with the semi-fresh stuff) when you have it.
For example if you have some leftover carrots or sweet potatoes, just add a small portion to your Shibas semi-fresh supplemented food for an even better meal for your dog.
# 3 - Add Purchased Homemade Dog Food
In addition to freeze-dried raw offerings, many dog companies offer 100% human grade, homemade meals for your pooch.
Many of these companies will also get you this food straight to your doorstep.
So as a pre-made “all-fresh” food supplementer, you buy (when you can) fresh pre-made dog food and supplement to your dog’s normal diet.
The costs for human grade quality foods along with delivery service can be quite high - so do what you can within your budget.
# 4 - The “Little Bit of Everything” Feeder
This category is perfect for dog owners that can take the initiative to adapt to multiple feeding scenarios.
Diversity in foods are great for humans and dogs alike.
It’s also great for Shibas that like variety and aren’t sensitive to frequent diet changes
The little bit of everything feeder (L.B.O.E.) is someone who determines what to feed their dogs based on the availability and price of foods.
If the L.B.O.E. feeder has issues with time, the base meal of their Shiba should be a super high quality premium kibble that will be supplemented to whatever "fresher" nutrition is available. (meats, veggies, fruits, freeze-dried,)
Not many dry kibble will fall under our definitions of super premium kibble and the ones that do are considerably more costly then the norm,
# 5 - The No Time, But “Got The Bacon” Feeder
This is the easiest category to provide tips for because if budget is not an issue for you, then we'd recommend providing your Shiba with daily, fresh homemade meals delivered to your door for your convenience - whenever possible.
The important factor in this category is to do proper research to find out which company offers the best food for your dog’s needs.
Since you are in the category of less time / more budget, it’s likely that you might have not spent enough time researching which foods are the most nutritious for your dog.
The very best companies use veterinary nutritionists to create balanced meal plans especially for your dog.
We’ve done quite a bit of research and are confident to recommend a few of our favorite fresh-made dog food companies:
TIP: For times when you forget to order or restock fresh food, the natural fall back would be either the super premium dry kibble mentioned in the L.B.O.E category or freeze-dried raw dog food.
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