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We love our Shiba Inus like we would love our own children. 

That's why we'd do just about anything to ensure them a long, happy, and healthy life.

We are responsible for all the choices we make for our four-legged family members.

Are we making the right choices?

What are the consequences of making bad choices?

There are so many reasons why some dogs enjoy long, healthy lives, when other dogs unfortunately suffer from illness and maladies. 

Sometimes, it's genetics.

Sometimes, it's environment / food intake.

And sometimes, it just is.

There's no one thing you can do to guarantee that your dog will be healthy for the long term.


There are many little things you can do that will give your Shiba Inu the absolute best shot of enjoying vibrant health and wellness for the long term.

We've chosen the 21 best things you can do immediately that will make an enormous difference in the health and happiness of your Shiba.

1. Ditch The Kibble OR Feed The Best Nutrition Possible

shiba inu diet foods

Good nutrition equals good health.


And you're likely not going to find it in a single bag of dry, mega-processed, and mega-preserved "mystery" kibble.

It's true, about 7 out of 10 dog owners have no idea what exactly is in the dog food that they readily provide for their dogs.

Our dogs deserve more attention than that.

Especially with such an important choice that will affect the very quality and longevity of their lives.

Are you providing your Shiba Inu with fresh, nutrient dense, antioxidant-rich whole foods?

Or are you simply providing the "standard" dehydrated, overly processed, effectively “dead” kibble that is “balanced” simply due to the addition of cheap vitamins and minerals?

And are you one of those consumers who fell for the “grain-free” marketing hoopla?

You don’t need to be a veterinarian or a scientist to understand that fresh whole foods are better than processed foods filled with low quality protein, preservatives, additives, chemicals and “byproducts” up the wazoo.

Way, way better.

Why do we try to stay away from processed foods for "health" reasons, but think it's perfectly fine to give our dogs?

Definitely a gap in logic there.

Don’t be a intimidated by veterinarians who say it is dangerous to feed a dog fresh food due to danger of an unbalanced diet. 

fresh dog food vs commercial dog food

With research and proper guidance, feeding your dog a healthy and balanced homemade meal is much easier than you may think.

Understandably, not every dog owner has the resources or time to feed their dog homemade. Especially those that have multiple dogs.

Or multiple big dogs...

If this is the case, at least try to buy the absolute best dog food within your budget.

Do not.

I say do not, buy grocery brand or discount store dog foods.

Do diligent research.

Don't fall for marketing brain wash.

The history of the commercialization of dog food is mind blowing.

Money, world-class marketing, "rendered" meat, feed vs food, the "oh-oh" moment when the companies realized consumers are slowly catching on....

And did I mention money and marketing??? 

Seriously, do some research. It'll be time well spent.

In the mean time, simply adding fresh foods, especially vegetables, into your dog’s food can make a big impact.   

2. Say NO To Fat Shibez!

the fat shiba inu graphic

We all seriously love our Shibas.

I mean, really love our Shibas.

We spoil them with unreciprocated love, toys, and tasty grub.

Unfortunately, most of us unknowingly provide too much tasty grub. Way too much.

And it's showing.

Our Shiba Inus are getting fatter.

Mainstream media even popularizes the "cute, fat Shiba Inu" via memes.

But fat Shiba Inus are certainly not cute at all.

Shiba Inu obesity, along with dog obesity, is a serious problem with dire health consequences.

Overweight dogs suffer from numerous health problems including diabetes, heart issues, thyroid problems, joint problems, and more.

Simply put, your overweight Shiba Inu will likely have a shorter life expectancy.

shiba inu graphic diet tips

Furthermore, your Shiba Inu’s quality of life is also diminished due to the excess weight.

The extra weight will make it harder for your Shiba Inu to move around and regulate their body temperature.

If you truly love and care for your Shiba, which we know you do, take the time to evaluate your Shiba Inu’s weight and food intake and make the effort to implement changes if necessary.

Learn more about Shiba Inu obesity here.

3. Keep On Moving

shiba inu exercising

Shiba Inus are not easily amused.

Chasing the same ball, back and forth, for no apparent reason is not really their thing.

But that's no reason to skimp on exercise or daily walks.

Shiba Inus may not be the most playful or energetic dogs in the dog kingdom, but keeping them moving is essential for their health and well-being.

Daily walks, runs, playtime will help keep your Shiba Inu healthy and mobile well into their senior years.

Both play and exercise will keep your Shiba Inus weight in check as well as relieve stress and anxiety.

Exercised dogs have less behavior problems that can lead to excessive barking, digging, and overall destructiveness.

In addition, exercise is good for your dog's digestion, bowel movement, and sleep.

Dogs are not meant to just lounge around all day and need physical activity to ensure wellness and to help maintain their physical capabilities.

Just as with us humans, vigorous exercise helps release feel good endorphins that will give your Shiba Inu an instant boost of happiness.

And happy Shiba Inus are priceless.

4. Mental Stimulation

shiba inu intelligence mental stimulation

If you want your Shiba Inu to be a doge Einstein, you need to be a good professor.

Smart Shiba Inus usually have equally smart owners that make the effort and time for serious brain training.

If you "train the brain" - you'll eventually see good results.

Mental stimulation is a key component in your dog’s overall health and well-being.

Yet, ensuring that our Shibas our mentally stimulated is an often neglected task.

In addition to good nutrition, exercise, and love, our Shiba Inus also need to mental stimulation to exercise and develop their thought processes.

Providing your Shiba Inu with adequate mental stimulation will ensure that your Shiba Inu can achieve a sense of self sufficiency and confidence.

All too often, many Shiba Inu owners fall under the charms of their Shibas and let the get away with just about everything.

It could be simple things like not correcting them when necessary, or allowing them treats or foods without following obedience commands.

These seemingly little things can have big implications in the future as your Shiba Inu realizes that they can easily have their way with you.

Mental stimulation goes way beyond simple obedience.

Giving your Shiba Inu task, chores, and / or puzzles will help facilitate mental stimulation and reduce boredom and anxiety.

Have your Shiba Inu work for daily pleasures such as food, treats, and toys. Simple obedience commands like sit, stay, and down go a long way in teaching your Shiba that nothing in life is free (NILF) - a dog training protocol.

Remember, Shiba Inus were bred to be quick thinking, agile hunters.

Don’t dilute their natural instincts and prowess by allowing them to be couch surfers.

5. Brush Teeth... EVERYDAY!!

shiba inu puppy brushing teeth

It's officially a fact.

Most dog owners don't brush their dog's teeth.

EVEN THOUGH, dental disease is the most common AND preventable clinical condition in both dogs and cats.

By the age of three, eighty five percent of dogs will suffer from some form of dental disease.

These sad statistics are not surprising since only 33% of all dog owners regularly brush their dog’s teeth.

Dental disease is serious and dental disease is costly.

Numerous studies have already shown a link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular health in dogs.

Additional studies have shown that dental disease can also affect a dog’s liver and kidneys as well as contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes in dogs.

Veterinary treatment for extractions, infections, and cleanings under anesthesia are costly and increases the chance of more surgery related complications.

By simply making it a habit of brushing your Shiba Inus teeth on a daily basis, or as often as possible - you can greatly reduce these negative consequences.

Granted, brushing any dog’s teeth, let alone a Shiba Inu is no walk in the park.

By far, the easiest way to successful teeth brushing in dogs is to start when they are very young puppies.

You will need a lot more patience, practice, and effort in adult Shiba Inus that are not fond of excessive handling.

Although dental dog treats seem like a great, convenient idea - we don't recommend them.

They are not very effective for removing tartar and they are a source of empty calories.

Additionally, these type of treats are a choking hazard as well as potential cause of intestinal blockage.

Learn more about Shiba Inu teeth brushing here.

6. Get a Bit of Sunshine

beautiful shiba inu posing

Do you ever notice your Shiba sunbathing?

Most dogs do, and there's a good reason to it.

A little bit of sun helps to regulate a dog's circadian system as well as give them a bit of vitamin D.

It also just feels good to them - and that's always a good thing.

The warm, healing rays of natural sunshine is an important element of your Shiba Inu’s well-being.

Dogs are not meant to be cooped up all day indoors with artificial lighting.

In multiple human studies, adequate sunlight has been shown to boost immunity, decrease cancer risk, lower high blood pressure, and improve mood by increasing endorphins as well as serotonin.

While dogs are not humans, dog are mammals and these studies show the positive correlation between sufficient sunlight and optimal health in warm blooded mammalians.

In fact, now is a great time to assess your own sunshine exposure levels. Just be sure to protect your skin from excessive UVA rays and sunburn.

Additionally, sunshine is a great, natural deodorizer for doggy-smelling coats.

Just be sure to use caution whenever your dog is exposed to the sun.

Too much of a good thing can be harmful. 

Dogs can get sunburned too, so dogs with hair loss or skin issues should not be exposed to the sun for extended periods.

7. Regular Vet Visits

shiba inu veterinary

Most of us don't exactly enjoy going in for doctor visits.

Shiba Inus quickly learn to share the same sentiments.

However, don't let their attitude keep you from taking them for regular vet visits.

Regular vet visits is one of the best ways to ensure that your Shiba Inu is in top form.

Having a trusted veterinarian that you can openly talk to and share your concerns is equally important.

Veterinarians can assess your Shiba’s health and notice many things that we may miss.

Early diagnosis of health problems can greatly increase the chance of a good prognosis.

By taking them in regularly, you can hopefully help them get used to vet visits so that they will be less stressed in times when they are ill and need extended care at a vet clinic. 

8. Consider Pet Insurance

shiba inu pet insurance

If your Shiba Inu needed emergency veterinary care right now, would you be able to afford it?

If your answer is no, you may want to consider purchasing pet health insurance for your beloved Shiba Inu.

Emergency vet visits and procedures can easily run into the thousands of dollars. Yet, only one percent of pet owners have pet insurance.

In addition to the stress of having an ill Shiba Inu, having the additional stress of not being able to afford treatment is one of the many reasons, more dog owners are looking into finding dependable health insurance.

Just like human health insurance, pet insurance plans vary greatly.

Take the time to do diligent research on plans, limits, inclusions, exclusions, deductibles, and costs.

Learn more about insuring your Shiba Inu here. 

9. Keep Your Shiba Inu Secure At All Times

keep shiba inu secured and safe

Shiba Inus are known to be talented escape artists.

Sadly, sometimes Shiba Inu escapees become injured, lost, or killed.

Even the most responsible Shiba Inu owners understand that a split second can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

A gate that is left open. A loose harness or collar. A distraction.

To minimize the chances of your Shiba Inu escaping, make sure that everyone in your household understands the dangers of an escaped dog.

Always fit your Shiba Inu with a sturdy, well-fitted harness and / or collar.

Have a double door / gate system. Taking the same concept of prison security systems, try to contain your Shiba Inu in area that requires multiple points of exiting.

For example, if you have a yard with an exterior fence, install an extra entry gate to boost security. This is especially important if your home is near a busy street.

The best way to ensure that your Shiba Inu does not make a break for it is proper obedience training - especially during early puppy hood.

Car Rides

Dogs are at risk of getting injured and killed in a car accident just as humans are.

Yet only a small percentage of dog owners take the time to buckle up their dogs during car rides.

We can do better.

There are many options to easily buckle up your Shiba Inu. Take the time to check them out, our four-legged family members are worth it.

10. Obedience Train - Start Young!

shiba inu obedience training

Do you have a Shiba Inu that loves obeying commands?

Or doing some impressive dog tricks?

Neither do we.

However, obedience training and socializing are still critical aspects for ensuring the long term health and wellness of your Shiba Inu.

Proper training and socialization will minimize future problems due to anxiety, aggression, fearfulness, and escaping.

All of these types of issues are equally distressful for both the dogs and the families living with them.

The absolute best time to start obedience training is during early puppyhood - approximately 8 - 16 weeks.

This period is a critical learning period for puppies and will have a lot influence on the shaping of your puppy’s future behavior and temperament.

During this time, it’s important to expose your puppy to noises, strangers, other dogs, etc.

You should also begin teaching basic obedience commands like sit, stay, and come.

Having your Shiba Inu master these three basic commands is invaluable.

While cute tricks are nice, knowing that you can control your Shiba Inu in a precarious situation is much more important.

11. Minimize Stress

shiba inu stress triggers

Did you know that dogs are one of the most perceptive animals on the planet?

That makes sense when we think about the numerous times when we realized our Shibas knew exactly how we are feeling.

Dogs feel stressed just like humans can feel stress.

And chronic stress in dogs has been correlated with lower immunity, anxiety issues, and various other health problems.

To keep your Shiba Inu physically and mentally healthy, try to minimize stress in his or her lives as much as possible.

Avoid arguing and loud confrontations in front of your dog.

Keep you Shiba Inu away from situations that are tense or filled with negative energy.

Many Shiba Inus have fears and triggers that cause them stress such as noises or separation anxiety.

Do as much as possible to work with you dog to overcome these fears and triggers.

In severe cases, enlisting the help of a professional dog behaviorist is highly advised.

Minimizing stress in your family is beneficial to everyone - both two and four-legged.

12. Good ZZZ's on a Good Bed

cute shiba inu in dog socks

As humans, we spend about ⅓ of our lives asleep.

Dogs spend even a larger portion of their lives asleep.

And just as with humans, sleep is an essential part of maintaining both health and behavior.

During deep sleep, melatonin is released to protect cells within your dog’s immune system.

Melatonin also helps the process of rebuilding damaged cells and tissues as well as protecting these cells from certain cancers.

Sleeping is essential for brain development, learning capacity, and memory.

The lack of sleep can negatively affect both your dog’s body as well as behavior.

Sleep-deprived dogs often suffer from anxiety issues that could lead to aggression and other unwanted behaviors.

Because sleep is so important, it makes total sense to invest in a comfortable and functional dog bed.

Especially since Shiba Inus know more than a thing or two about comfort..

Dog beds should be large enough for your dog as well as comfortable and supportive.

Dog beds with enough cushion helps support your dog’s joints which becomes especially important as your Shiba Inu ages.

Dogs like having a special place area to rest where they will feel safe, comfortable, and protected from the elements.

Make sure to also provide your Shiba Inu with a bed that will keep them at a comfortable temperature.

Most Shiba Inus seem to enjoy beds that they can burrow in, so beds with four sides are recommended.

Look for beds that are made out of non-toxic materials made in the United States. Some cheaply made imported beds are manufactured with unsafe materials and dyes.

Finally, choose dog beds that are durable as well as easy to clean. We recommend selecting dog beds that have removable covers.

13. Provide Fresh Filtered Water

black and tan shiba inu drinking water

So, what's in your dog's water?

Hopefully, not lead and heavy metals.

Approximately 60% or more of a dog’s body is composed of water.

Water is essential for just about every function in your dog’s body.

A dog’s brain, lungs, and heart all require ample water to function smoothly.

In fact, blood is mostly composed of water.

Fresh water is also necessary to help your dog digest food, absorb nutrients, and maintain a stable body temperature.

Water is essential in eliminating wastes and toxins as well as lubricating joints.

When your dog is dehydrated, the organs in their body will lose proper functioning.

Sustained dehydration will eventually lead to organ failure and then death.

Because water and hydration is such an essential element of good health for your dog, provide only fresh filtered water instead of water directly from the tap.

Most tap water contains fluoride, lead, chlorine and heavy metals. 

Dogs are more susceptible to the effects of fluoride and chlorine than humans are.

Although some areas of the country have cleaner tap water than others, it’s still best to only provide your Shiba Inu with filtered water either through a filtration device or purchased at the store.

For practical purposes, we always recommend using a high quality home water filtration system.

If you need to purchase water, look for natural spring or artisan water and avoid water that is simply filtered municipal city water.

14. Groom Groom Groom! Don't Forget Bathing Too...

grooming shiba inu

Although Shiba Inus are naturally good looking dogs - it’s still important to maintain a regular grooming schedule.

Regular grooming maintains your Shiba’s physical appearance as well as cleanliness.

Regular brushing removes dead hair, skin cells, and dirt.

Additionally, grooming is beneficial for spreading your dog’s natural oils throughout their coat.

Because Shiba Inus have a undercoat, not removing the undercoat during shedding season can cause discomfort for your Shiba.

The extra heaviness of the accumulated undercoat will also make your dog feel hotter in warmer temperatures.

Just like as we feel great after a good shower, dogs - especially Shibas - also enjoy the feeling of being cleaned and groomed.

An added benefit of regular grooming is being able to check for any body abnormalities such as bumps, rashes, inflammation, and pests such as fleas and ticks.

Some Shiba Inus suffer from skin allergies caused by either the environment or diet.

Thus, regular bathing is beneficial to Shiba Inus that have skin allergies as well as for humans that suffer from dog allergies.

shiba inus taking a bath

Contrary to popular belief, regular bathing done with quality shampoo is not detrimental for your dog’s coat. Read more about bathing your Shiba Inu here.

Finally grooming time is a great chance to bond with your Shiba Inu. The act of grooming expresses nurturing and love which all, most Shiba Inus should appreciate.

15. Keep Nails Trimmed 

shiba inu nail clipping

Now, this is a toughie!

We're all probably very much aware of the infamous Shiba Inu scream.

Unfortunately for Shiba Inu owners, and doggy groomers, this scream often occurs during nail trimming time.

The absolute best advice to minimize Shiba screaming and nail trimming terrors is to start this ritual when your Shiba Inu is a puppy.

But no matter how unpleasant nail trimming time may be - it must be done - and on a regular basis.

The consequences of not trimming your Shiba's nail on a regular basis include nails that are too long, as well as the lengthening of the nail's quick.

Dog nails that are too long will put your dog's walking out of alignment, cause pressure / pain, and be at greater risk of breaking.

When your dog's quick gets longer, the task of trimming your dog's nails becomes even more difficult because the quick is the part of the nail that causes pain when accidentally cut.

By regularly trimming your dog's nails, the quick will eventually recede to a healthy length.

Seek the help of a professional groomer and / or dog trainer if you have an especially difficult Shiba Inu.

The money and time you invest early on will pay back dividends in the future.

Learn more about Shiba Inu nail trimming here.

16. Control Fleas / Ticks / Heartworm

fleas just say no

Both fleas and ticks are a nuisance and danger to both dogs as well as humans.

In addition to causing skin irritation, rashes, and itching, fleas and ticks can also cause health problems in both dogs and humans.

And some of these health problems - like Lyme disease- are quite severe.

With Shiba Inus, flea control is especially important as Shiba Inus are quite prone to suffer from F.A.D, flea allergy dermatitis.

This extremely uncomfortable condition causes excessive scratching, bleeding, and hair loss due to dogs yanking out their hair due to the discomfort.

Fleas can also spread tapeworms to your dog in the event that an infected flea is ingested by the dog.

In humans, fleas can cause cat scratch fever, typhus, and the plague.

Ticks are even more of a problem.

Ticks are only second to mosquitoes in being transmitters of both infectious and toxic diseases in humans.

These ectoparasites spread Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, as well as other dangerous diseases to humans.

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially deadly disease that is easy to prevent but harder to treat.

Transmitted only by mosquitos, heartworm disease is a more common in wet areas such as south eastern states in the U.S.

These "worms" essentially grow and reproduce in your dog's heart and other organs with a potential to eventually cause death due to acute organ failure.

Thankfully, heartworm disease is a slower moving disease that can be treated successfully. 

Consult with your veterinarian on choosing the proper flea, tick, and heartworm protocol for your Shiba Inu. 

17. Avoid Puppy Mills / Backyard Breeders

avoid puppy mill shiba inus

This is an important one.

By avoiding getting your Shiba Inu puppy from puppy mills and backyard breeders, you will have a much better chance of having a healthy and happy Shiba Inu.

Puppies from mills and backyard breeders are mired with genetic illness, poor health, and serious behavioral issues due to inbreeding, and poor breeding practices.

Many puppy mill Shiba Inus are plagued with illnesses at a very young age.

Common problems include seizures, endocrine disorders, eye issues, kidney, and heart disease.

Puppy mill Shiba Inus often have serious behavioral issues such as anxiety, aggression, and fearfulness. These types of puppies are harder to both house train as well as obedience train.

Puppy mill puppies also have a higher chance of biting, and being needy and destructive in general. 

In addition to poor physical and behavioral health, these puppy's physical appearances are often far below standards in terms of Shiba Inu conformation.

Most Shiba Inus from puppy mills have incorrect body proportions / coloration that truly does a disservice to such a majestic breed.

When you avoid puppy mills, and byb's you are being kind by helping to put a stop to these cruel breeding practices that only care about one thing - your money.

Shiba Inus that are born in mills often live short lives accompanied by suffering due to their poor health. By helping to stop puppy mills, you are helping to end unnecessary suffering of both the puppy mill parents and their future litters.

Reputable breeders never breed unhealthy dogs. They check for genetic, body, and temperament issues from the very beginning. 

Although quality Shiba Inus from quality breeders are more expensive and harder to find then "classified ad" puppies - the long term will prove that they are worth every additional penny.

18. Avoid Toxins / Household Chemicals

common household cleaning toxins

Prolonged exposure to various household cleaners, deodorizers, insect repellents, etc are bad for humans - and even worse for dogs.

Due to physiological size of dogs and the fact that dogs spend all of their lives near the ground - sniffing, licking, and lying on, they are susceptible to being exposed to a wide range of household and environmental toxins.

Many pet owners are unaware of the potential dangers of common household cleaners such as carpet cleaners, Pine-Sol, and ammonia.

Pets are also sensitive to chemicals such as phenol, chlorine, bromine, and other acidic halogens.

Although a little exposure to these toxins should not cause serious alarm - repeated exposure and ingestion should be a concern that is addressed.

In a scientific study conducted by Purdue University, scientists discovered that Scottish Terriers exposed to both herbicides and insecticides had a significantly higher risk of transitional cell carcinoma (TCC).

In a nutshell, all of these various chemicals, toxins, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and heavy metals should be avoided whenever possible to minimize potential health issues.

The most concerning of health problems of toxic overload include increased cancer rates, immune issues, metabolic and hormonal disruptions.

To avoid exposing your pets to excessive toxin loads, use dog-safe organic cleaners and natural dog safe pesticides.

Also try to avoid chemical deodorizers such as air freshening sprays or “plug-ins”.

These small but meaningful changes can make a big impact on the health of your pets as well as human family.

19. Snuggle, Laugh and Love

happy shiba inu smiling

It’s reality that many of us have hectic lives that leaves us with very little free time.

However, we must remember to try to spend quality time with our four-legged family members on a daily basis.

Dog’s don’t ask for much from us other than food, love, and care.

Most dog owners got the food and care aspects covered but could do better job with giving their dog a little more one on one time.

Be sure to take the time to snuggle up and give affection to your Shiba Inu as much as possible.

Even though they sometimes act like they are annoyed by all the attention.

Shiba Inus that are properly loved will have less stress, less anxiety, and a stronger immune system.

Just as how humans love massage, you can bet that Shiba Inus do also.

Massaging your Shiba Inu will soothe achy muscles, release tension, and promote circulation.

Massaging is also a good time to feel for any abnormalities that you may not be able to catch visually.

20. Supplement With Quality Supplements

quality supplements for dog nutrition

While a fresh and healthy diet should provide your Shiba Inu with all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary - supplementing with the right nutrients can be beneficial.

Some of the most beneficial supplements for dogs include fish oils, glucosamine, antioxidants, turmeric, and probiotics.

The efficacy of using supplements is not definitive. Some veterinarian studies show positive results for supplementing with glucosamine, antioxidants, and fish oils, while others show little and / or no benefits.

Fish oil supplementation may be especially important for growing puppies. In a 2012 scientific study, puppies that were supplemented with fish oil scored significantly better in cognitive tests than the puppies that were not give fish oil. The puppies scored better in psychomotor, memory, retinal, and immunological functioning.

The best way to ensure good results with supplements is to find a quality manufacturer that has been quality tested and certified.

Consult with your veterinarian to see what types of supplements your Shiba Inu could benefit from and what kind of supplements to avoid.

Be especially careful to avoid excess vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium.

Too much calcium can cause skeletal problems and pancreatitis, while excessive vitamin A and D can harm blood vessels and bones / muscles.

TIP: Once your veterinarian advises you on supplements, purchase the human version of the supplement. Tests from ConsumerLab.com shows that 60% of pet supplements failed testing, while only 25% of the equivalent human supplements failed. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/dog-vitamins-and-supplements#3

Don’t go overboard. Use supplements in moderation. It’s best to introduce one supplement at a time so that you can monitor for any benefits and / or reactions.

Look for organic supplements from highly rated companies that avoid over the top claims and promises.

21. Dog / Animal Attack Safety

shiba inu bearing it's teeth

Fortunately vicious dog / animal attacks do not happen very often.

But they do happen.

And if an attack happens are you prepared to protect / control your dog?

Dog attacks happen most often at dog parks - which is why I am not a big fan of dog parks.

There is simply too much risk for aggression and fighting in a enclosed place full of dogs that have never met before.

Large dogs, especially fighting breed dogs can inflict serious injury and even death to smaller dogs in just a short amount of time.

Injuries are especially difficult for older dogs and dogs that are already timid.

Many dog behaviorists observe that once a dog gets into a dog fight, there is a high probability that the dog will become dog fearful and dog aggressive.

Dog attacks can also happen during walks around the neighborhood, when a loose or uncontrolled dog comes into your path.

You should always have control of your dog during walks. Train your dog to walk close to you in a heel position without pulling. Don't let your dog wander off on a long leash, except during potty time.

In many instances, inexperienced dog owners are the root cause of dog attacks because they are not in full control of their dog to begin with. Often, these dogs feel the need to protect their owner and may provoke a fight due to their protective instincts and aggression.

Animal attacks are less common and usually occur in country areas that share walking paths and hike with wildlife.

For the best outcome in the event of an attack, you need to have a plan of action as well as sufficient protection such as pepper spray, or a sturdy walking stick.

Learn tactics to protect both you and your dog in the event of an attack here.

Always be aware of your surroundings while walking and be especially careful if you take your Shiba Inu to dog parks. Leash your Shiba Inu until you feel that it is safe. 

Be on guard and watch for dogs that show any form of aggression or dominance. Also observe the owners of other dogs. 

If an owner does not seem to have control of their dog/s, especially large dogs - exercise caution and / or remove your Shiba Inu from the park.