Shiba Inu's Lifespan

The Secret to a Long and Happy Life: Maximizing Your Shiba Inu’s Lifespan

Are you a proud Shiba Inu parent? If yes, it is natural for you to worry about their long, happy life. These cute breeds steal your heart with their nosy actions and demand your understanding about their basic health needs, in return, to help you keep smiling.
Shiba Inu is considered the smallest of all Japanese dog breeds. The body size for males is between 14.5 and 16.5 inches, and for females is between 13.5 and 15.5 inches, with a slightly longer body. Cemetery data has shown Shiba Inu to have the highest life expectancy of 15.7 years because of its medium size and genetic resistance to life-threatening diseases.

Despite the advantages, they are prone to dermatological and gastrointestinal problems that can impact their lifespan significantly.

In this blog, we have tried to cover all important aspects that can help you improve life quality and maximize the lifespan of your dear Shiba Inu.

Create Healthy Dietary Habitss

Research has proved that a high-fat, high-sugar, and cholesterol-rich diet can impact the metabolism of your canine, along with increasing the risk of obesity and cardiovascular problems.
Shiba Inu breeds have an increased risk of obesity compared to other dogs. Unfortunately, because of their thick fur and stocky build, they hide the problem well.
Excess weight in Shiba inus can increase the risk of diabetes and impact their joints.

To ensure their optimum weight

Create a constant feeding schedule and stick to it
Reduce their calorie intake
Consult the vet about low-calorie feeding options.
Regularly exercise them at least once a day.

Keep them Away from Pollen, Dander, and Mold

In a comprehensive analysis of skin and gut infection in Shiba Inu dogs, it was observed that the breed was predisposed to Canine Atopic Dermatitis and particularly vulnerable to the Staphylococcus pathogen.
Canine Atopic Dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disorder with severe itching in the face, ears, paws, and abdominal regions, with the problem gradually extending to the anal and genital areas.
The ears, lips, elbow folds, tails, front and hind paws, paw pads, and groins are most impacted in Shiba Inu canines with CAD. While it will not directly impact their lifespan, the severe itching resulting from CAD with secondary infections resulting as an after-effect can make them irritable and impact their quality of life in the long run.
Canine Atopic Dermatitis in Shiba Inus can be managed with antibiotics like Oclacitinib, which have proven successful in managing symptoms. But you can keep their problem from worsening by maintaining skin hygiene and keeping them away from potential triggers like dander, dust, mold, and pollen.
Atopic Dermatitis, if improperly managed, can add to their stress levels in addition to making them irritable and touch-sensitive. Prolonged stress has been proven to decrease the life span of both humans and canines. Making them comfortable and keeping their stress levels under control can work wonders in maximizing their lifespan.

Cut Off Cauliflower and Broccoli

shiba inus food

Scientific studies have previously shown Shiba Inus to be prone to thyroid problems, especially autoimmune thyroiditis.

Hyperthyroidism usually presents with a dry skin coat, hair loss, weight gain, and behavioral changes like aggression or unwarranted fearfulness. The problem, when left untreated, can eventually impact their heart and kidneys and decrease their lifespan.
While there is no cure for canine hyperthyroidism, controlling their diet can take care of the problem to a moderate extent.

Some of the chief things to take care of are

Avoiding feeding Processed foods containing cereal and grains
Avoiding feeding them vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and spinach
Incorporating selenium supplements into their diet.
Consulting with the vet whether they require calcium and magnesium supplements.

Avoid Onions and Tomatoes in their Meals

shiba inus
An examination of sodium and potassium levels of twenty-four Japanese Shiba Inus with seventy-nine dogs of other breeds has shown the breed to have high potassium and low sodium concentrations in sharp contrast to the other examined breeds.  
Other studies have shown approximately 10% of Shiba Inus to have high potassium and low sodium levels with high glutathione concentrations.
This can cause their blood-potassium levels to be high and cause the heart muscles to beat irregularly. To counter the problem and maximize their lifespan, vet experts advise avoiding tomatoes in their diet along with other foods with high levels of potassium.
Other than their predisposition to potassium-related complications, Shiba-inus are prone to Shiba-Inu Glomerulopathy and should not be fed high-protein treats like jerky treats, raw hides, and pig ears.

Go for An Easy-to-digest Diet

In a study conducted on 99 dogs, including 21 Shiba Inus with Chronic Enteropathy, the survival rates of Shiba Inus were found to be lower than that of other dog breeds.

Canine Chronic Enteropathy is the term given to complex gastrointestinal disorders resulting in persistent diarrhea and vomiting that can result in weight loss and make them weak.
Usually, the vet conducts blood tests, fecal examinations, and abdominal ultrasonography on your shiba inu showing vomiting and lethargy conditions to diagnose the issue and start the treatment immediately.
But in general, you can ensure their gastrointestinal comfort and, subsequently, longer lifespan by providing them with a well-digestible diet.

Keep Their Weight Under Check

A crucial aspect that several Shiba inu owners are not aware of is that the breed is susceptible to patellar luxation (a condition of dislocation of the knee cap ) and hip dysplasia (abnormal development of the hip joint).
According to the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals, out of 100 screened Shiba Inus, approximately 7 Have hip dysplasia. Alternatively, the incidence of Patellar Luxation in Shiba Inus was higher at 34.9%. Both conditions, though not life-threatening, can be painful for the Shiba Inu, especially if their weight is kept unchecked. While it is not practical to control the two conditions.

They can be kept under check by

Controlling the dog’s weight
Ensuring a balanced diet
Engaging in low-impact exercises and avoiding high-impact exercises
Consulting with the vet whether they require calcium and magnesium supplements.

Avoid Tight Collars on their Neck

In a retrospective study conducted on 1244 dogs in Japan, Shiba Inu dogs showed the highest incidence (33 %) of Glaucoma.
Glaucoma in dogs is a result of improper drainage of eye fluid and is regarded as a highly painful condition with irreversible blindness if left untreated.
Alternatively, Progressive Retinal Atrophy is another problem that can impact older Shibas and cause permanent damage to their vision.
An early diagnosis can help them preserve their remaining vision and improve their quality of life. If your Shiba Inu is going through the same situation, here are some helpful tips to improve your dog’s quality of life.

Some helpful tips to improve your dog’s quality of life:

Do not put tight collars on their neck as it can impact their ocular pressure and accelerate the glaucoma condition.
Give them supplemental antioxidants and beta carotenes to improve retinal health.
Take Them for regular ocular examinations.
Watch closely for signs like a cloudy eye, watering, or redness, and immediately consult a vet in case of any emergency.


Sturdy Shiba Inu breeds can make good show dogs or watch dogs, depending on the training they receive. All you have to do is to ensure their overall health by educating yourself about their genetic and breed dispositions. This will help your dear Shiba Inu lead a happy, long life.

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