Feeding the Akita
For their size, Akita’s eat surprisingly little. Many Akita kennels feed once a day and fast once a week. Reasons are that in the wild, wolves (the Akitas closest ancestor) do not always eat daily. They will actually starve themselves for a day or two allowing the digestive system to have a much-needed break. During this time wolves would perhaps eat berries, fruit, roots, insects and vegetation if anything at all to help cleanse the system. However the wolf would eat its entire kill starting with the stomach including its contents effectively receiving the natural vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. Processed dog food and kibble is therefore not a natural diet and while it may provide your Akita with an edible meal it certainly will do more harm than good in the long run.
Adult Akitas and the senior Akita should not be allowed to become obese but still need high-quality nutrition throughout their lives. If you feed processed food for convenience sake, then at least steer away from soy based foods as they can trigger thyroid reactions. Also avoid commercial foods which use artificial colourings and preservatives as they have been linked to skin allergies and cancer. If fed kibble, this should always be soaked until it expands prior to feeding as Akitas can suffer from gastric torsion (bloat), a painful, life-threatening condition. There has also been a link between soy-based dog food and bloat.
In Japan, Akitas thrive on a staple diet of rice, fish and sea plants. There are many books available on feeding your dog home-cooked food. Table scraps can be mixed in with the daily meal but should never become their staple diet. However, human food, properly prepared and balanced is a growing trend in feeding Akitas. Always check with a veterinarian before changing a dog’s diet. Teddikuma Akitas thrive on a combination of home cooked food alternating with a natural diet of raw meaty bones, eggs, fish, poultry, pulped fruits and vegetables with added natural oils and vitamins. Processed canned food or kibble is just not on our menu.