The 8 Best Dog Foods for Akitas

By Kevin Myers | 2021 Update

This updated guide covers all of the best dog foods for Akitas this year.

If you have an Akita at home, then you understand that these fluffy, furry dogs are great companions. They can bring a lot of love and joy to your household. If you want your Akita to live long and prosper, you need to provide it with the right food.

So how do pick the best food for your dog?

Well…

To help you choose wisely, we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 Akita dog foods after spending weeks on research, ingredient analysis, customer reviews, and more.

Here’s our 40 point inspection list.

Let’s dive in…

The Best Dog Foods for Akitas

Top PicksRatingsTop Ingredients
1. American Journey Active Life Large Breed with Salmon4.7Deboned Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Brown Rice, Peas, Rice Bran
2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed with Chicken4.6Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), Turkey Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate), Lentils, Peas
3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult4.6Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley
4. Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain-Free4.6Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Egg Product, Tapioca
5. Taste of the Wild High-Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food4.7Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
6. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed with Turkey4.7Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal (source of Glucosamine), Chicken Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate), Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
7. American Journey Active Life Large Breed with Chicken4.6Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Brown Rice, Peas, Rice Bran
8. Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dog Food4.8Whole Atlantic Mackerel, Whole Atlantic Herring, Monkfish, Acadian Redfish, Flounder

How to Change Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup Sick


1. American Journey Active Life Large Breed with Salmon

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Menhaden Fish Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), 3. Brown Rice, 4. Peas, 5. Rice Bran

If you are looking for a great choice for your Akita, consider this one from American Journey. It does not contain any artificial preservatives or flavors. It includes salmon as the primary ingredient, ensuring that you are Akita will get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin. This highly digestible formula is a great pick for large breeds like the Akita.


2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed with Chicken

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), 3. Turkey Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate), 4. Lentils, 5. Peas

Next up is this choice from Wellness CORE. This formula has been specifically designed for larger breeds, containing plenty of lean protein in the form of chicken. In addition, superfoods like blueberries and spinach supply plenty of antioxidants, which are important for preventing cellular damage and improving your dog’s immune system. It also contains numerous essential fatty acids, including DHA, which is important for brain development. 


3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Oatmeal, 5. Barley

If you have an Akita at home, you are probably familiar with Blue Buffalo, one of the top names in dog food. This life protection formula may be ideal for your Akita. Specifically designed for larger breeds, it contains a wide variety of healthy protein sources. This formula includes deboned chicken and chicken meal as the primary proteins. It is rich in antioxidants for a healthy immune system, calcium, and phosphorus for healthy bones, and it is free from corn, wheat, or soy.  


4. Instinct Raw Boost Large Breed Puppy Grain-Free

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Egg Product, 5. Tapioca

If you have an Akita puppy at home, you should consider this option from Instinct. This specialized kibble contains bits of freeze-dried raw pieces to supply your puppy with some of the elements of a raw diet. Cage-free chicken is the primary ingredient and interspersed with poultry, meat, and fish plus DHA from chicken eggs to aid in the healthy development of the eyes and brain. It’s grain-free and made in the USA.


5. Taste of the Wild High-Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Water Buffalo, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Peas

If you have an Akita puppy at home, you should consider this option from Instinct. This specialized kibble contains bits of freeze-dried raw pieces to supply your puppy with some of the elements of a raw diet. Cage-free chicken is the primary ingredient and interspersed with poultry, meat, and fish plus DHA from chicken eggs to aid in the healthy development of the eyes and brain. It’s grain-free and made in the USA.


6. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed with Turkey

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Turkey Meal (source of Glucosamine), 3. Chicken Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate), 4. Peas, 5. Dried Ground Potatoes

This grain-free option from Wellness CORE is another good match for your Akita. The main source of protein in this dog food is turkey, which contains plenty of essential amino acids your Akita requires to grow up big and strong. It uses top-quality fruits and vegetables to supply your dog with all the nutrition they will need. 


7. American Journey Active Life Large Breed with Chicken

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal (a source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), 3. Brown Rice, 4. Peas, 5. Rice Bran

This recipe is another option that you should take a look at from American Journey for your Akita. Specifically designed for larger dogs, this food contains plenty of chicken, a healthy source of lean protein. It is also a relatively inexpensive option, making it a great choice for dog parents on a budget. It does not contain any synthetic ingredients and supplies a wide variety of vitamins and minerals for your dog’s health. It is easy to see why this dog food has become so popular. 


8. Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Whole Atlantic Mackerel, 2. Whole Atlantic Herring, 3. Monkfish, 4. Acadian Redfish, 5. Flounder

If you are looking for seafood-packed dog food for your Akita, look no further than this choice from Orijen. With protein that comes from six different sources, your dog is going to have plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are important for the long-term health of your dog’s skin and coat. In addition, lean protein is also important for supporting the musculoskeletal system of your Akita. 


9. Instinct Grain-Free Recipe with Chicken

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), 5. Tapioca

This Raw-Boost Grain-Free dog food from Instinct is great if you have an Akita who struggles with food allergies. This kibble provides freeze-dried raw meat throughout for the added benefits of a raw diet. It’s is grain-free and contains vitamins and minerals important for the long-term health of your dog. It has an Ideal Balance of protein and healthy fat, along with a nice mix of fiber for the health of your dog’s digestive tract.


10. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 5. Oatmeal

Your Akita puppy requires additional calories to grow up big and strong, and this formula from Blue Buffalo delivers. It contains a wide variety of antioxidants fortified with extra fruits and vegetables. It also contains DHA and ARA, which are important for developing the brain and the eyes. Finally, it includes vitamins along with phosphorus and calcium for a puppy’s growing bones, all in a specially sized kibble perfect for your Akita puppy. 


11. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Ocean Fish Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Potatoes, 5. Peas

This grain-free, dry dog food from Taste of the Wild contains antioxidants that come from healthy vegetables and a wide variety of fatty acids, which are important for the health of your dog’s skin and coat. This formula is free from corn, wheat, or fillers and includes salmon, which is a great novel protein and source of essential fatty acids for the long-term health of your dog’s skin and coat. Take a closer look at this choice from Taste of the Wild. 


12. Orijen Large Breed Puppy Grain-Free

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Deboned Turkey, 3. Flounder, 4. Eggs, 5. Whole Atlantic Mackerel

This large breed puppy food from Orijen has a healthy mix of protein, essential fats, and carbohydrates and is coated with the irresistible freeze-dried liver that no dog can resist. It also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals critical for the long-term development of your Akita puppy.


13. Wellness CORE Ocean with Whitefish, Herring, and Salmon

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Whitefish, 2. Herring Meal (source of Glucosamine), 3. Salmon Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate), 4. Menhaden Fish Meal, 5. Peas

If you are looking for dog food for your Akita with plenty of essential fatty acids, you may want to consider this excellent option from Wellness CORE. This formula uses a variety of seafood options, including salmon, whitefish, and herring. All of these choices contain a significant number of essential fatty acids, which are important for the skin, fur, and coat of your Akita. Consider this choice from Wellness CORE for your Akita. 


14. American Journey Large Breed for Puppies

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Peas, 5. Sweet Potatoes

If you have an Akita puppy at home, consider this salmon-packed food from American Journey. This puppy dog food is slightly higher in calories, providing your puppy with extra energy to grow up big and strong. The salmon provides important essential fatty acids for your dog’s healthy skin and fur, and ARA and DHA acid provide brain and eye development. Even though it is a bit more expensive than some of the other choices, it is a great option for your Akita puppy. 


15. Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Boost Mixers for Skin and Coat

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken (including Ground Chicken Bone), 2. Chicken 3. Liver, 4. Pumpkinseeds, 5. Chicken Heart

This kibble topper from Instinct contains plenty of mixers important for the health of your Akita’s skin and coat. Its primary ingredient is cage-free chicken along with cod, salmon oil, and cranberries. It is a zero-grain recipe with no artificial preservatives for flavors, and it is made in the USA. Mix it with your Akita’s kibble to provide a well-rounded, balanced diet. 


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Frequently Asked Questions

A few of the most common questions that people have about the best dog food for Akitas include: 

Does an Akita drink a lot of water? 

Akitas tend to drink more water because they are larger dogs. Therefore, they simply require more water daily. If you are Akita is active, he or she may need more water. Make sure you always provide your Akita with a healthy source of fresh, clean water.

What type of food should I give my Akita? 

You should consider several factors; however, you need to provide your Akita with plenty of lean protein, which is important for the growth and development of his or her musculoskeletal system. In particular, puppies require a high protein formula. 

Do Akitas require a lot of calories? 

Akitas do require a lot of calories when they are puppies. Because puppies are active and growing quickly, you need to make sure you provide your Akita with plenty of calories to support this growth and development. As they get older, they do not require as many calories.

Are fatty acids good for my Akita? 

Yes, essential fatty acids are incredibly important for the growth and health of your Akita. Essential fatty acids, including omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, are important because they make sure your Akita has healthy skin and fur. 

Where can I find essential fatty acids for my Akita? 

Seafood contains many essential fatty acids. Therefore, if your Akita is consuming food with salmon, he or she should be getting plenty of essential fatty acids. If you require additional fatty acids, you may want to provide your Akita with a supplement. 

Is it okay for me to give my Akita human food from the table? 

It is okay for you to give your Akita human food from time to time; however, you should try to avoid providing your Akita with food at the table. Otherwise, you will train your dog to beg for more food, which most dog owners want to avoid. 

Is it okay for me to give my Akita grapes? 

No, you should not feed your Akita any grapes. Grapes are toxic to dogs, including the Akita. If you believe your Akita has consumed a grape, you should reach out to your veterinarian as quickly as possible. You may need to take additional emergency action. 

Are carbohydrates bad for my Akita? 

No, carbohydrates are not necessarily bad for your Akita. You should probably stay away from simple sugars, as they can lead to blood sugar spikes. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are important for providing your Akita with plenty of energy. 

How do I know if my Akita suffers from food allergies? 

Allergies are relatively common among Akitas. There are a few common allergy sources, including dairy, wheat, eggs, and soy. If you notice your Akita is vomiting or that your Akita has blood in his or her stool, this could be a sign of food allergies. 

How can I prevent my Akita from developing joint problems? 

Glucosamine and chondroitin are important ingredients because they provide your Akita’s joints with plenty of support. Consider finding dog food with these two ingredients if you want to support the health of your dog’s joints. 

Where did Akitas originate? 

Akitas are now found all over the world. They originated on one of the islands of Japan. From there, they eventually spread all over the world, becoming one of the most common dog breeds today. 

A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Dog Foods for Akitas

Even though the Akita is a strong, muscular dog that originated on one of the islands of Japan, they are also incredibly loyal. For you to enjoy this breed to its full potential, you need to provide your Akita with the right fuel. With so many options for kibble out there, you may not exactly know where to begin. 

First, it is important to talk about what a puppy Akita requires to be happy and healthy. Even though it is true that the Akita will eventually grow into a large, healthy, strong dog, you need to make sure you provide your puppy Akita with high-quality kibble. Akita dogs do grow quickly, to the surprise of no one. Therefore, their bones are going to grow quickly as well. The only way you are Akita’s bones will withstand everything they have to do if you provide your puppy Akita with plenty of calcium and phosphorus. That way, your puppy Akita will not develop bone diseases later in life. 

In addition, as your puppy continues to grow, you need to make sure your Akita’s bones have the right muscular support, which requires a tremendous amount of protein. Therefore, you should be looking for a puppy kibble that has plenty of protein to supply your Akita with lots of energy as he or she continues to grow and develop. You should also try to find a dog food with plenty of animal protein, as this will be the easiest option for your Akita to digest. All protein ingredients should be accompanied by a name, letting you know the source.

As your Akita continues to grow and develop, you need to provide him or her with plenty of omega fatty acids as well. Seafood is rich in omega fatty acids. So, if you find dog food containing plenty of salmon, you are probably off to a good start. On the other hand, these fatty acids can be found in other areas as well. For example, you may also find healthy fats and plant oils, fish oils, eggs, and even flaxseed. Do not be afraid to step outside the comfort zone from time to time. 

Next, you also need to find dog food for your Akita that contains a healthy mixture of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals are important because they act as co-factors for numerous enzymes, powering the body processes of your Akita. Furthermore, they are also important for providing a powerful immune system that can prevent your puppy or adult dog from contracting infections. You can find vitamins and minerals present in vegetables, fruits, and other supplements. If you have questions about your dog food’s vitamin or mineral content, feel free to take a look at the nutrition facts on the back. If you do not understand what one or more of the ingredients might be, reach out to a professional to ask for help. 

Finally, you should also find a dog food that contains plenty of fiber. Even though this is important for puppies, it will be more important as your dog gets older. Fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics are all important for the health of your dog’s digestive tract. Because digestive problems can become more common as your Akita continues to get older, be aware of any digestive upsets that occur. Probiotics, such as bacillus acidophilus, promote the growth of friendly bacteria that helps your dog appropriately digest his or her food. Fiber can also prevent your dog from developing blood sugar spikes that might otherwise contribute to the development of diabetes. 

There is a lot to think about if you are looking for dog food for your Akita. You should keep in mind several guiding principles if you are trying to find the right option for your furry friend. A few general factors you should consider: 

  • Are the ingredients natural? Even though synthetic ingredients are not always going to be harmful, you have to be careful if you select a dog food that does not contain all-natural ingredients. For example, some synthetic ingredients include additives, artificial flavors, or preservatives, which you should try to avoid whenever possible. Even though this may help you save money, this could harm the digestive tract of your Akita. By irritating the GI tract lining, information can develop, potentially contributing to nutritional issues. Whenever possible, try to find dog food using completely natural ingredients. 
  • Akitas require a lot of protein. Therefore, take a look at the protein content on the back. If you find a dog food with a protein content of 22 percent or higher, you are off to a good start. You will have options if you are looking for protein for your Akita. When you have choices, you should try to pick dog food that uses animal protein. Animal protein is usually preferable for your Akita because this is easier for his or her digestive tract to handle. Great animal protein sources include poultry, chicken and turkey, and seafood, including salmon. Beef and pork are okay as well. 
  • You should try to find a dog food that has plenty of essential fatty acids as well. Essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are important for the health of your dog’s skin and fur. Salmon and other seafood are good sources of fatty acids. Even though dog foods made using seafood are more expensive, you may be able to save money by providing your dog with fatty acid supplements as well. Speak to your vet if you would like to learn more about how fatty acids are helpful for your dog’s health.
  • Finally, you also have to think about carbohydrates. A lot of people believe that carbohydrates are bad, but this is not necessarily the case. Carbohydrates are important because they provide your dog with a key source of energy. You will have choices when you are looking for carbohydrates. Therefore, try to find a dog food that contains complex carbohydrates. Even though simple sugars also count as carbohydrates, these are too easy for your dog to digest. Your dog will digest them quickly, leading to blood sugar spikes, which is something you should try to avoid. Try to reach for complex carbohydrates instead. 

As your dog reaches his or her senior years, your Akita’s nutritional needs will change again. Generally, most Akitas reach senior status around eight years of age. When this happens, you should try to switch to a senior kibble. There are several important reasons why you should switch to a senior kibble; however, the most important reason is that your job will require chondroitin and glucosamine. Chondroitin and glucosamine are critical because they provide your Akita with the joint support he or she needs. Because Akitas are larger dogs, they are prone to developing joint problems as they get older. Chronic stress on the musculoskeletal system can cause the joints to break down. Chondroitin and glucosamine can prevent this from happening.

In addition, you should switch to senior dog food because the calorie content is also slightly lower. It is not exactly a secret that Akitas, and other dogs, are most active during their puppy years. Even though some dogs are also active as adults, their activity levels will drop when they reach senior status. Therefore, they simply do not require as many calories as they did before because they do not move as much.

If you continue to give your Akita plenty of calories when he or she is not as active, this will contribute to serious weight issues. If your dog is overweight, this will also place additional stress on his or her joints, making existing musculoskeletal problems worse. You can mitigate this problem by switching to senior dog food that has less fat. By reducing the calorie content of your dog’s food, you may be able to prevent medical problems from developing down the road.

If you think about these factors, you should find the right dog food for your Akita. One final factor you have to consider is allergies. Akitas are prone to developing allergies. The most common sources of allergens include wheat, dairy, eggs, and soy. If you are concerned that your Akita may have allergies, you should reach out to a veterinarian for more information. Then, you can stay away from that specific ingredient when you are looking for the best dog food for your Akita. Your Akita only deserves the best nutrition, so make sure you find the best dog food for him or her.