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Bringing home a new Shiba Inu puppy is no doubt an exciting time for you and your family.

The new puppy smell, the cuddling, the playing,  discovering the pup's personality....

But don't forget.

There's all the endless pooping, peeing, crying, feeding, nipping - and DESTRUCTION a'la chewing!

You, your family, and your new Shiba Inu puppy will have a much more enjoyable and more importantly, less stressful time if you do preparations before homecoming - the more in advance the better.

Adorable Shiba Inu puppy smiling

Most Important Must Have: A Safe and Functional Environment

Your Shiba Inu Puppies First "Puppy Bedroom"!

It's absolutely essential that you set up a puppy "living" area fully equipped with all the essentials before the lil one arrives.

The three main things to think about first is safety, functionality, and comfort.

Your new Shiba puppy is going to need a living space that is located in area of your home that is practical and comfortable for your pup at the same time.

Usually, a centralized area like the living room is your best bet.

shiba inu puppy in x-pen

E24" 8 panel X-pen that can be subdivided for ease of cleaning

To ensure that your pup feels safe, you shouldn't put your new puppy in an isolated area such as a bedroom.

If your pup is under three months, it's likely that he or she will be spending the next six months in the new living space so plan accordingly.

shiba inu puppy in x-pen

We highly recommend using an X-pen set up:

  • Metal 8-panel X-pen at least 24" in height
  • Comfortable bed or soft towel
  • Optional: Crate
  • Potty pan / potty pads
  • Water / food bowls


Our number one new puppy tip is to never, ever leave your puppy unsupervised outside of their X-pen / puppy home.

First off, if you allow your puppy to roam freely, potty training will take much much longer to complete.

Secondly, without supervision, your puppy will learn destructive habits such as chewing on inappropriate things ranging from your shoes to your furniture.

Don't let this happen. You'll only frustrate yourself and impede on your puppy's development.

Our Favorite Puppy "Home" Products:

Shiba Inu Puppy Must Have: Proper Nutrition

shiba inu puppy shopping checklist

Just as human babies, puppies need to have proper nutrition to ensure maximum brain development and physical growth.

If possible, try to leave the puppies with its mother for as long as possible. While most breeders let their puppies go at around eight weeks, try seeing if the pup can stay with mom until 10 - 12 weeks.

When choosing a puppy food, it's critical to do your research.

Don't blindly trust what commercial dog food manufacturers try to "market" to you. 

They've been doing so for years, and billions of dollars later consumers are finally learning just how these companies have turned such a profit. (low quality 'feed grade" ingredients and deceptive marketing).

Not all dog food companies are bad - but based on available data and studies - the overwhelming majority are. 

what to feed shiba inu puppy and adult

But what if my vet highly recommends this brand? Did you know that veterinarians receive very little or no training on dog nutrition? 

Also, the majority of US and international veterinarian students receive scholarships / incentives from major dog food labels.

I would say that smells like a bit like a conflict of interests.

We here at My First Shiba just aren't keen of ultra processed dry diets full of additives, by-products, and / or low quality "rendered" proteins. (If you don't know what rendered proteins are for dog foods, look it up and your dog food knowledge will sky rocket).

That's why we recommend feeding adult Shiba Inus a fresh, balanced homemade or raw diet. 

There are a few commercial brands that we can confidently recommend but they aren't cheap.

With puppies, unless you're a veterinarian nutritionist - or married to one, it's best to feed an ultra high quality puppy food supplemented with fresh foods.

Fresh Clean Water

Make sure the new pup always has fresh clean water available at all times. Going from an all liquid milk diet to solid foods is quite a transition for the young pup.

Because these young furry butts tend to be clumsy - look for a non-spill water bowl to prevent spills and additional cleaning time for you. 

Shiba Inu Puppy Nutrition:

  • Ultra premium puppy food - wet, dry
  • Puppy treats
  • Supplemental fresh foods such as: fresh raw beef, small fish such as mackerel, pumpkin, veggies, fruits, flax seed
  • Natural supplements (fish oil, spirulina)

Our Favorite Nutrition Products:

Shiba Inu Puppy Must Have: Leash, Collar and Tags

shiba inu puppy shopping checklist

Even though your little pup is only a little bit bigger than a soccer ball doesn't mean he or she doesn't need to carry some I.D!

It's best that your newest member of the family start wearing a puppy collar with i.d. tags as soon as possible. That way, the pup will get used to wearing a collar and tags which will make it easier for the next future step - leash training.

Identification in the form of i.d. tags and micro-chipping are important to ensure your new pups safety right from the get go.

In addition to puppy collars, you'll also need a few leashes and a puppy harness.

long hair shiba inu puppy on left

Most puppies aren't too thrilled about wearing harnesses for the first time so make sure you introduce it gradually and with a LOT of positive associations. (treats, praise, and play)

Leash and Collar Checklist

  • Properly fitted puppy collar
  • Comfortable harness
  • Identification tags / Microchip
  • Leashes for both indoors and outdoors
  • Extra Credit: 20 - 30 foot long leash for eventual recall training

Our Favorite Wearable Products For Shibas:

Shiba Inu Puppy Must Have: Stimulating and Comforting Toys

shiba inu puppy shopping checklist

Ample toys for your new pup is a must.

First, for comfort (leaving litter mates is tough), second for play and chewing.

I like to leave at least one or two good sized plush toys that mimic the look of other animals so they can provide security and comfort to the newly solo pup.

As for toys - the more the merrier.

shiba inu lots of plush toys

Because puppies tend to make a lot of messes, I'd recommend toys that are easy to clean on a frequent basis.


Next, it's important to have a variety of chew toy to satisfy your pups urge to chew. Make sure that you only provide safe chew toys that are not a choke risk.

Never give rawhide chews as the risks of injury and / or choking is too high.

Shiba Inu Puppy Toy List:

  • Plush animal dog for comfort
  • Fetch toys such as balls
  • Chew tows such as Kong
  • Squeaky toys

Shiba Inu Puppy Must Have: Health / Grooming Supplies

shiba inu puppy shopping checklist

Shiba Inus are notoriously - and famously - difficult to groom.

Whether it be clipping paw nails or baths, many Shiba Inus do not give in without a fight, or a Shiba scream.

However, if your Shiba is still a pup, there's good news for you - you can prevent this.

By introducing grooming routines early and consistently, you will be rewarded ten-fold with a Shiba Inu that can be handled without undo stress and difficulty.

An adult Shiba Inu that can't tolerate grooming is difficult - and potentially dangerous. 

You'll be placing undue stress on both your Shiba and yourself if you do not take the time to train the dog to accept handling.

shiba inu cartoon brushing teeth

Clipping nails, baths, and brushing teeth are essential components of keeping your Shiba Inu healthy and happy. 

And because grooming tasks must be done on a semi frequent basis, it's worth it to take as much time as you need now versus later.

Training Shiba Inu puppies to accept grooming is much easier than training adult dogs. Plus, dogs that accept handling during grooming will be easier to handle at the vet as well.

Shiba Inu Puppy Grooming List:

  • Gently puppy shampoo conditioner
  • Small slicker brush
  • Dog nail clippers
  • Nail File
  • Styptic powder
  • Small dog or children's toothbrush
  • Dog toothpaste
  • Extra Credit: Rotary Nail Grinder

Healthy Shiba Inu Puppy List:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Trusted Veterinarian
  • After Hours Emergency Vet

Our Favorite Grooming Products For Shiba Inus:

Shiba Inu Puppy Must Have: Cleaning Supplies

shiba inu puppy shopping checklist

Ahh, the cleaning part of owning a puppy.

Here's a department where many new dog owners find themselves ill-prepared.

Puppies are simply consistent pooping, and peeing machines. The more well-stocked you are with cleaning supplies the better.

Remember though, puppies shouldn't be exposed to harsh chemicals so don't even think about using pine cleaners or full-strength chlorine cleaners. Strong aerosol type sprays should also be avoided.

Gentle organic enzymatic cleaners are the best choice for most cleaning tasks.

Puppy Cleaning Supplies:

Our Favorite Cleaning Products:

So that's it. Some basics to get you and your new Shiba puppy headed off to a great start. Remember, puppy hood is the very best time to start training and socializing your pup for a happy and healthy future!