If you own or of course, "are owned" by a Shiba, then you more than likely, spoil your Shiba to pieces.
That's great and dandy but chances are you there are things you could probably do better to help your Shiba live a long and happy life.
How many of the following 7 mistakes are you making?
# 1 - Not Socializing Shiba Inu Puppies
If you had one chance.
And one chance only to make the future of your Shiba Inu happy, safe, and peaceful - you need to do it during their puppy development period.
Sometimes, known as the puppy imprinting period.
Once that period passes, your work to socialize your Shiba Inu will be astronomically more difficult - and sometimes, impossible.
Having a new puppy in the house is a wondrously exciting time for families.
It's also a time when new puppy owners probably realize that they underestimated the amount of time and work a new puppy needs.
After all the snuggling, feeding, and cleaning - many owners fail to make enough time for proper socialization and behavior training.
With Shiba Inus.
This. Is. A. Must.
Shiba Inus are a basal breed of dogs that exhibit more wilder traits than more domesticated dogs like Labs.
If Shiba Inu puppies are not socialized enough, they can suffer from anxiety, aggression and fear that will affect them - and your family - for the rest of your lives.
All of which will cause a decreased quality of life for your beloved new addition.
Unsocialized Shiba Inus are also more likely to run away and get hurt or lost forever.
# 2 - Tooth and Nail
If you avoided the pitfalls of not socializing your Shiba Inu pup you hopefully also included handling in the socialization process.
Unfortunately, many Shiba Inu owners do not include handling in training until it's too late.
Being able to safely handle your Shiba Inu is a critical aspect in both you and your Shiba Inus long term health.
Dental disease is one of the most common disease in dogs and has dire consequences -from hefty dental bills to reduced life span
Untrimmed nails eventually get longer and longer to a point that your Shiba Inus natural gait is compromised.
Eventually this can lead to pain, splayed paws, and irreversible joint damage.
Longer nails also mean longer quicks which make trimming your Shiba Inus nails all the more harder.
Don't be that Shiba Inu owner.
Brush your Shiba Inus teeth and trim their nails REGULARLY.
# 3 - Facilitating Shiba Inu Aggression
Unsocialized Shiba Inus have a higher chance of having aggression issues sooner or later.
As a Shiba Inu owner, it's your responsibility to do what you can to correct aggressive behavior before it gets out of hand.
To do so, you must first set up rules and boundaries for our Shiba Inu to comply with.
You can't just let them "get away with it". This permissiveness leads to trouble in the long run.
Most importantly, you must never "reward" aggressive actions.
For example, some dog owners will try to "soothe" their aroused dog in a soft, comforting tone.
This is actually rewarding your Shiba as your tone conveys acceptance of the behavior.
Instead, you should firmly correct and make your Shiba Inu understand that aggressive behavior is not tolerated.
Seek the help of a qualified dog behaviorist if training is not your forte and / or if your Shiba Inu is aggressive to the point of being even a tiny bit dangerous.
Learn more about dog aggression here.
# 4 - Letting Your Shiba Inu Get OVERWEIGHT
This one is a biggie.
A literal "biggie".
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), more than 45 percent of dogs are either overweight or obese.
A "pound or two extra" on a Shiba Inu is NOT the same as a pound or two on a human being.
Each additional ounce of fat can negatively affect your Shiba Inu's health, well-being and longevity.
Consequences of Shiba Inu Obesity:
- Decreased mobility
- Fatty tumors (Lipomas)
- Diabetes / insulin iesistance
- Liver disorder
- Breathing difficulties
- Low immunity
- Increased risk of anesthesia complications
A chubby or fat Shiba Inu is NOT a cute Shiba Inu. It's an unhealthy Shiba Inu and you alone are responsible.
This means if you have an overweight Shiba Inu you need to promptly reevaluate your feeding regimen.
Most times, simply reducing portion sizes will do. Other times, you may need to change the diet to better suit your Shiba Inus need depending on their life stage.
Cut The Treats
Additionally, don't "treat" your Shiba Inu to too much unnecessary calories. And if you do - reduce the amount of their regular meals.
# 5 - Feeding Your Shiba Inu Low Quality Nutrition
As a responsible pet parent, you should know exactly what you are feeding you Shiba.
But do you?
If you took a moment to research the history of pet food production - you won't get a pretty picture. (thrown away food remnants, rendered road kill "protein", melanine, toxins - is just a start.....)
For decades, large multi-national pet food manufacturers have been making bank (GAZILLIONS) by manufacturing dog food made literally from scrap leftovers to unsuspecting dog owners.
If it's balanced - it's all we need right?
If the veterinarian recommends it - it must be good right?
Nuh uh, not necessarily.
With all things considered, in general we only recommend feeding your Shiba Inu a balanced fresh human grade diet - lightly cooked or raw.
Out of all the commercial dog food available, we would only recommend a tiny handful of brands that we would trust feeding our beloved family members.
And all costs, stay away from large mega companies and think small companies that have a proven track record for good ethics, fresh food, and a love for something much more than profits.
Translation - it's gonna cost a lot more than mass produced kibble.
# 6 - Not Exercising Both Body AND Mind
Exercise is a critical component of keeping your Shiba Inu happy, healthy, and in top shape.
Most overweight Shiba Inus don't get nearly enough of needed daily exercise due to their physical condition.
Change this by starting small and building up your Shiba Inus endurance until daily walks are a breeze.
Physical exercise promotes total body health and will help ensure that your Shiba Inu stays mobile well into her golden years.
Mental stimulation is unfortunately an often overlooked aspect of a dog's well-being.
But it shouldn't be.
Scientific research has proven that mental stimulation improves behavioral adaption, reduces stress, and improves the dog-owner bond.
Mental stimulation is especially important for a primal breed like the Shiba Inu who sometimes suffer from aggression and / or anxiety issues.
Simple dog puzzles will improve your Shiba Inus problem solving skills while providing added enrichment to their daily routine.
# 7 - Not Enough Training
Shiba Inus are not the easiest of dog breeds to train.
And some Shiba Inu owners use that excuse for not properly training their Shibas. They'll say, "Oh, he won't listen", or "these dogs are too stubborn to train."
While it's true Shibas can be stubborn sometimes, it's still NO excuse for not training.
Actually, it's a reason for why more training is necessary.
Training, specifically obedience training will ensure that you have a healthy relationship with your dog and more importantly - that your dog - and others around your dog stays safe.
Trained Shiba Inus are:
- Less likely to run away / bolt
- Get hurt
- Easier to walk
- Good with other dogs, people - even kids
- Able to accompany you almost everywhere you go
- Less likely to cause both physical (biting) and material (chewing) damage
- Easier to treat at vet or in emergency situations
- Easier to groom and bathe
- Happier and healthier members of your extended family
Simply put, training your Shiba Inu(s) is a must.
It might not be the easiest of tasks but it can be done with patience, perseverance, and the right guidelines.
So c'mon, your Shiba is waiting to go!
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