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The Akita is a Japanese breed known for its thick, fluffy coat and curled tail. These dogs are very similar in appearance to other Japanese breeds like the Shiba Inu, and they are just as smart. The Akita is one of the oldest Japanese breeds, developed from the Matagi dog, a bear hunting breed. Akitas were bred to track large game and to hold it at bay until the hunter arrived. As powerful and intimidating as the Akita may be to its prey, it is actually a very affectionate breed with family.
If you are looking for a large breed of dog that will serve as a loyal companion for life, look no further than the Akita. These dogs are powerful and independent in addition to being highly intelligent, but they form strong bonds with family members. If you choose to keep an Akita, make sure you feed him a high-quality diet that meets his nutritional needs. Below you will learn the basics about the nutritional needs for Akitas – you will also learn about some special considerations to keep in mind when feeding your dog. You will also receive recommendations for three top-quality commercial dog food products that would be ideal for your Akita.
Nutritional Needs for Akitas
The AKita is a large-breed dog that shares many qualities with other northern spitz-type breeds. There are two versions of the Akita – the Japanese and the American version, though some fanciers consider the two to be separate breeds rather than different varieties of one breed. The Akita generally stands between 25 to 28 inches tall at maturity, weighing between 100 and 130 pounds. The Japanese version is a little smaller and lighter in build than the American, but both dogs possess a thick double coat and a fluffy tail carried over the back. The Akita can be territorial and aloof around strangers but it is very protective of family and forms very strong bonds. When properly cared for, the Akita can live for up to 12 years or more.
In order to keep your Akita in good health, you must make sure that his nutritional needs are being met – this means you’ll have to feed him a high-quality commercial dog food diet. A high-quality diet for dogs is comprised of animal-based proteins and fats as well as digestible carbohydrates. The best protein sources for dogs come from whole animal ingredients like fresh meats and meat meals. Meat meals are an excellent addition to dog food because they have already been cooked down to remove moisture – this makes them a more highly concentrated source of protein than fresh meat. Some plants also contain protein but these foods are less biologically valuable for a dog than animal-based sources.
In addition to animal-based proteins, your Akita should be fed a dog food made with animal-based fats for concentrated energy – fats also help to support your dog’s immune system as well as healthy skin and coat. Fats should come from high-quality sources like chicken fat and salmon oil instead of plant-based sources like flaxseed and canola oil. These plant sources can provide a blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids but, again, they are less biologically valuable than animal-based sources. As for carbohydrates, they should come from digestible sources like whole grain oats or brown rice as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Dogs do not have specific requirements for carbohydrate, but these foods provide dietary fiber as well as various vitamins and minerals.
Special Considerations for Feeding Akitas
Because the Akita is such a large dog you need to find a commercial dog food diet that will provide for his calorie needs without going overboard. While your Akita is still young, you should be feeding him a large-breed puppy formula to ensure that get grows at the proper rate but not too quickly. If a large-breed puppy grows too fast, it could put strain on his bones and joints which will increase his risk for musculoskeletal problems later in life. Large-breed puppy formulas are made with moderate amounts of protein and fat to support lean muscle mass and healthy development without going overboard on calories. Once your Akita puppy reaches 80% of his maximum size you should switch him to a large-breed adult formula. You should also look for a large-breed adult formula supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin to support bone and joint health since the Akita is at risk for both hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.
The Akita is prone to developing several autoimmune diseases including hemolytic anemia, sebaceous adenitis, Addison’s disease, and Cushing’s syndrome. To help keep your Akita in good health, choose a diet that is rich in antioxidants. Making sure your Akita gets a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids will also help to support his immune system. Another condition you should be wary of for your Akita is gastric dilation volvulus, or bloat. This is a condition that occurs when the dog’s belly fills with air, causing the stomach to twist on its axis. As a result, blood flow to the stomach and other vital organs is cut off and the Akita could actually die as a result. To prevent this condition, avoid feeding your dog very large quantities of food and avoid strenuous exercise or large amounts of water within an hour after eating a meal.
Top-Recommended Foods for Akitas
If you need some help in finding the right food for your Akita, consider one of the commercial dog food brands discussed below. Be careful when considering a breed-specific formula for your dog – do not just assume that the formula will meet your dog’s needs without evaluating the product for yourself. Consider the ingredients list to make sure the product is of high-quality before offering it to your dog.
1. Fromm Family Four-Star Duck & Sweet Potato Formula
The Fromm Family Foods pet food company has been dedicated to the health and wellness of pets for more than a century. This company produced the first premium pet food in the world in 1949 using a unique process for cooking meat and grains together to form the kind of kibble that most pet food companies use now. From Family Foods offers three different product lines of dog foods – the Four-Star line of gourmet diets, the Gold line of holistic formulas, and the Classic line of original small-batch recipes. The Fromm Family Four-Star Duck & Sweet Potato Formula is made with fresh duck, duck meal, and pearled barley as the top three ingredients followed by sweet potatoes, brown rice, and oatmeal. Other notable ingredients include whole egg, flaxseed, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to provide essential vitamins and minerals.
2. Acana Classics Adult Large Breed Formula
The Acana pet food company is known for producing biologically appropriate foods that are inspired by the natural diet of wild dogs and cats. This company uses only the highest quality ingredients and produces all of their foods in their award-winning Alberta kitchens. Acana offers three different lines of dog foods – the Classics line of dry foods, the Regionals line of regionally-sourced foods, and the Singles line of limited ingredient diets. The Acana Classics Adult Large Breed formula is a perfect choice for your Akita because it is made with high-quality proteins, moderate amounts of fat, and low-glycemic carbohydrates. In short, this diet provides everything your Akita needs to maintain lean muscle mass and overall health. The Acana Classics Adult Large Breed formula is made with chicken meal, steel-cut oats, and deboned chicken as the top two ingredients followed by whole potato, peas, and chicken liver. If you are looking for a healthy diet for a large-breed dog like the Akita, look no further than this Acana Classics Adult Large Breed formula.
3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Adult Salmon Recipe
If you are looking for a high-quality pet food brand that uses only the finest quality ingredients, look no further than the Blue Buffalo pet food company. This company is dedicated to providing wholesome nutrition for cats and dogs to support a healthy lifestyle for dogs of all breeds and ages. Blue Buffalo offers four different product lines of dry dog foods – the Life Protection line of natural foods, the Freedom line of grain-free foods, the Basics line of limited ingredient diets, and the Wilderness line of high-protein foods. The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Adult Salmon Recipe is a great choice for large-breed dogs like the Akita because it is rich in high-quality proteins to support lean muscle mass. This formula is made with deboned salmon, chicken meal and tapioca starch as the top three ingredients. Other notable ingredients include peas, dried egg, chicken fat and menhaden fish meal.
The Akita is a breed that will be your devoted companion for life, so it is your duty to make sure he remains happy and healthy. Part of keeping your Akita healthy requires you to choose a high-quality commercial dog food diet like one of the top-rated brands reviewed above.