The 8 Best Dog Foods for Shiba Inu

By Kevin Myers | 2021 Update

Shiba Inus are popular for their bold personalities and sweet temperament. They are loyal family dogs that build strong bonds and need good food to stay happy and active.

The dog food you choose can make or break your Shiba’s health. For optimal health and performance, pet owners need to find the best dog food out there.

Here are our favorite options.

The 8 Best Dog Foods For Shiba Inu

Top ProductsRatingTop 5 Ingredients
1. AvoDerm — Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food4.9Chicken Meal, Ground Whole Brown Rice, Ground Whole White Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat
2. Castor & Pollux — Organix Grain-Free Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food4.7Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Organic Chickpeas, Organic Peas
3. CANIDAE — Grain-Free PURE Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food4.6Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
4. Nutro — Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Farm-Raised Chicken 4.7Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Split Peas
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Grain-FreeSmall Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food4.7Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal Brown Rice, Barley
6. Wellness CORE Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Grain-Free Recipe Dry Dog Food4.7Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas
7. Hill’s Science Diet Small Bites Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food4.8Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Sorghum
8. Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food4.7Herring Meal, Peas, Canola Oil, Pea Protein, Tapioca

1. AvoDerm — Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  Chicken Meal, Ground Whole Brown Rice, Ground Whole White Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat

This recipe from Avo Derm is nutrient-rich and free of common allergens like corn, wheat, and soy. Your Shiba Inu will love the high-quality ingredients, including chicken meal and brown rice.

The Avoderm formula includes avocado as a special ingredient. It is an antioxidant-rich recipe and contains essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and omega fatty acids. It fulfills your Inu’s nutritional requirements and offers benefits that strengthen the immune system. It also takes care of the coat’s quality and shine and is a great choice for your Shiba Inu.

2. Castor & Pollux — Organix Grain-Free Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Organic Chickpeas, Organic Peas

Nourish your Shiba Inu’s health and lifestyle with an excellent diet that features free-range chicken as the primary ingredient. This option by Castor & Pollux offers supreme-quality ingredients, including organic flaxseed, organic sweet potatoes, coconut oil, and blueberries.

The grain-free recipe unlocks your dog’s potential to thrive and stay healthy. Plus, this palatable recipe is perfect if you have a picky eater. It offers complete and balanced nutrition and is one of the best dog foods for your Shiba Inu!

3. Merrick — Grain-Free Real Buffalo, Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Buffalo, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Deboned Beef, Sweet Potatoes

Merrick provides delicious, healthy meals for your Shiba Inu. This grain-free recipe offers complete and balanced nutrition with real beef, buffalo, and chicken as primary ingredients. It delivers nutrition your dog can thrive on.

This antioxidant-rich recipe also features blueberries, apples, and peas for added benefits. It includes essential minerals and vitamins and high chondroitin content for stronger bones and a healthier immune system. You can boost your Shiba Inu’s mobility and help him stay active and energetic with this recipe.

4. CANIDAE — Grain-Free PURE Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas

This grain-free recipe is gentle on your Shiba Inu’s stomach and contains organic, high-quality ingredients. 

It provides essential nutrients to help your dog stay healthy and active. The limited-ingredient diet contains eight wholesome ingredients for complete and balanced nutrition. It also features Canidae’s HealthPLUS blend of antioxidants, probiotics, and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.

This delicious kibble features salmon protein and is free from common allergens and fillers. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, this one is a great choice.  

5. Nutro — Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Farm-Raised Chicken

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Split Peas

This recipe boosts immunity, supports healthy digestion, and includes natural fiber and essential antioxidants to meet your dog’s nutritional requirements. The formula contains high-quality ingredients, including farm-raised chicken, sweet potato, and brown rice.

This delicious meal is nutrient-rich for the health and enjoyment of your Shiba Inu. It has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat. Finally, the recipe doesn’t have chicken by-products, corn, wheat, soy protein, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

6. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Grain-FreeSmall Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal Brown Rice, Barley

If you’re looking for the ideal recipe for your Shiba Inu, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dog Food is an excellent choice. It provides optimal nutrition and is also an affordable option. The formula contains high-quality chicken protein to nourish your dog’s muscles and carbohydrates for energy.

Additionally, veggies like sweet potatoes and carrots deliver vitamins and minerals for a stronger immune and digestive system. The recipe also has glucosamine for healthy joints and omega fatty acids for soft skin and a lustrous coat.

7. Wellness CORE Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Grain-Free Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas

If you’re looking for a protein-rich diet for your dog, the Wellness Core recipe is all you need. This grain-free formula contains premium-quality chicken and turkey to support muscle development. It also has carbohydrates like potatoes to provide energy for daily activities.

Fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and apples provide your dog with vitamins and minerals. Finally, this formula has probiotics, antioxidants, glucosamine, and chondroitin for good health.

8. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult Dog Healthy Weight Turkey & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal

This dog food is a great option for senior Shiba Inu. As pets grow older, their metabolism slows down, and it’s important to keep an eye on their caloric intake. If you want to maintain your Shiba’s weight, this low-calorie diet is ideal.  

It provides essential nutrients from wholesome sources, including proteins, organic grains, and a mix of fruits and vegetables. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support bone and joint health. The formula has no fillers, artificial flavors, and preservatives. You can use this recipe as the primary diet for your senior Shiba Inu.

9. Hill’s Science Diet Small Bites Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Sorghum

This dog food from Hill’s Science offers complete nutrition for small dogs like Shiba Inu. It contains chicken protein and plenty of grains, including wheat and corn. The formula provides all-day energy to support your dog’s wellbeing.

This recipe uses antioxidants and vitamins to support and strengthen your dog’s immune system. It also features a mix of omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. The highly digestible ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, and herbs offer optimal nutrition to your Shiba. You can feed this nutritious meal to puppies, adults, and seniors.

10. Iams ProActive Health MiniChunks Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp

This nutrient-dense recipe is perfect for Shiba Inus. This IAMS Formula contains a unique vitamin and probiotic blend for your dog and contains real protein from whole meat sources with antioxidants for immune health. It also contains prebiotic fibers for easy digestion.

The mini chunks are suitable for small dog breeds like Shiba Inus. If you want to enhance your dog’s health and wellbeing, the Iams ProActive recipe is the way to go. It has essential minerals for proper nutrition and will fulfill your Shiba Inu’s dietary needs.

11. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dog Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small & Mini Breed Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley

If you’ve got a Shiba Inu with a sensitive stomach and skin, this Hill’s Science Dry Dog Food is for you. The recipe contains chicken meal and barley to support muscle growth and improve energy levels. It also contains omega fatty acids and probiotics for skin, coat, and gut health.

The recipe has everything your dog needs to thrive and stay fit. Finally, it is free from artificial flavoring and has healthy ingredients for balanced nutrition.

12. Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Dog Shredded Blend Small Breed Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Ground Rice, Poultry Meal, Soybean Meal, Beef Tallow 

Purina’s Pro Plan Savor Dry Dog Food is a nutrient-dense diet for small breeds. The primary ingredient is real chicken, which provides proteins to nourish and support muscle growth. It contains quality carbs to fuel your dog’s high energy level.

The formula features prebiotic fibers and probiotics for proper nutrition absorption. It also contains vitamin A and linoleic acid for a softer and healthier coat. Overall, it’s a great choice for energetic Shiba Inus.

13. Royal Canin Healthy Development Small Breed Puppy Dog Food Trays – Case of 24

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Pork By-Products, Pork Liver, Rice Flour, Wheat Gluten

If you’re looking for a pate version for your Shiba Inu puppy, this complete and balanced food by Royal Canin is a great option. The recipe features a wholesome nutrient blend to regulate your pup’s intestinal health. The unique formulation has healthy and delicious ingredients to fulfill your dog’s nutritional requirements. It also has antioxidants, taurine, and lutein to support a healthy immune system.  

14. Dr.Garys Best Breed Dog Food Chicken and WhiteFish  

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Pearled Barley, Millet, Whitefish Meal

If you are looking for a variety of healthy proteins for your Shiba Inu, consider this option from Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Dog Food. It contains delicious chicken and whitefish that your dog is going to love! It also has plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals that will keep your dog healthy.

This recipe is one of the least expensive options out there. It has everything your Shiba needs to live a long and happy life. Consider choosing this recipe if you’re after complete and balanced nutrition.

15. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables & Brown Rice Canned Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Peas

This recipe from Blue Buffalo is one of the most popular dog foods among dog lovers. It’s a high-protein recipe that derives its protein from tender chicken chunks.

The formula is grain- and gluten-free and contains nutritious ingredients. It has all the essential vitamins and minerals ingredients your dog needs for longer, healthier life. You can serve this pate-style dog food as a special treat or as an entrée.

16. Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Herring Meal, Peas, Canola Oil, Pea Protein, Tapioca

This option by Earthborn Holistic is a grain and gluten-free recipe for your Shiba Inu. It’s has a rich flavor and contains high-quality protein to give your dog a complete and balanced meal.

The recipe features natural fibers from vegetables and fruits like peas, blueberries, apples, carrots, spinach, and cranberries. It also has antioxidants for a strong and healthy immune system. You can use the all-life stage formula for your Shiba pup, adult, and senior dog.

17. Wellness CORE Freeze-dried Turkey Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes

This special recipe by Wellness CORE is ideal for small and medium-sized breeds like Shiba Inu. The freeze-dried formula has protein and other essential nutrients for your dog. Serve your dog a bowl filled with high-quality nutrition that’s essential for their health.

This dog food is rich in omega fatty acids, antioxidants, probiotics, and glucosamine. It’s a balanced diet and meets your Shiba’s dietary needs.

18. Instinct Original Recipe with Real Chicken Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat, Tapioca

This natural recipe by Instinct Original is a suitable option for your Shiba Inu. It contains cage-free chicken as its primary protein source to support strong muscles. It features 70% animal-based ingredients and rich oils for great health. Let your Shiba thrive on a diet that also contains fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome ingredients. The grain and gluten-free formula includes natural omegas, antioxidants, and probiotics to support whole-body health.

Related:

Buyer’s Guide: Important Nutritional Needs of Shiba Inu Dogs

Protein

Shiba Inu’s are popular for their small, muscular body, and they need a protein-rich diet to maintain their muscle mass. It’s one of the most important nutrients for good health. Look for a premium protein source, such as chicken, turkey, venison, and salmon. Grass-fed beef and lamb are also great picks for this dog breed. You may choose any protein source if your Shiba Inu isn’t allergic or sensitive to them.

We recommend picking a recipe with 20-25% protein content.

Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates aren’t a major part of a Shiba Inu’s natural diet, but most dog food manufacturers use carbs as ‘fillers’ to boost their recipes’ calories. Most dogs require minimal carbs in their diet because they are prone to becoming obese. However, the Shiba Inu breed is super-energetic and uses carbs as a source of energy.

You should look for formulas that contain highly digestible carbohydrates with high fiber content, such as brown rice and oats. Vegetables like carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes are also great options as they’re easier to digest and absorb. As long as your Shiba Inu doesn’t suffer from any allergies or sensitivities, you can choose either of them.

Fat Source

Shiba Inus need essential fats to maintain optimal health. Always look for a named fat source, such as “chicken fat.” You’ll also notice flaxseed oil, or other edible oils listed, usually in premium dog foods.

Essential fats help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Essential fatty acids support muscle tissues and cell membranes. Deficiencies in the omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids may cause nervous system abnormalities, ranging from vision problems to impaired learning ability.

Vitamins and Minerals

Balanced and nutritious meals feature a healthy blend of vitamins and minerals. The best dog foods have Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and other chelated minerals. Look for vitamins like vitamin A, B vitamins, folic acid, and vitamin B12. These vitamins are essential to keeping your dog healthy.

The best dog food also contains minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, and zinc. These minerals help your dog maintain healthy joints, bones, and teeth.

Shiba Inu dogs need a dietary taurine source for good health. Taurine deficiency may contribute to slow metabolism and heart disease in dogs.

No Fillers, Flavors, Artificial Colors, or Preservatives

Avoid dog food with fillers and other artificial ingredients if you want the best food for your Shiba Inu. Make sure there are no synthetic additives, flavors, and preservatives to keep health problems at bay. You do not have to skip the grains if your dog doesn’t have digestive issues.

Special Dietary Requirements

Meat Quality

High-quality meat is important for Shiba Inus. When in the wild, these dogs get their major calories from small prey animals. So, protein-rich foods that contain real meat as the primary ingredient are good options.

Fiber Content

High fiber content is essential for easy digestion, and Shiba Inus need fiber in their diet to stay active and healthy. Fruits and vegetables are suitable for a Shiba Inu diet. We recommend avoiding processed grains if your dog has a sensitive stomach.

Micronutrients

Many manufacturers use micronutrients in their dog foods. Micronutrients such as probiotics and prebiotics are essential for Shiba Inus with digestive disorders and sensitive stomachs. These micronutrients strengthen the digestive function and make it easier for your dog to process and absorb nutrients.


Antioxidants are also a crucial part of your Shiba Inu’s diet. They rid your dog’s body of harmful toxins, enhance their immunity, and are essential for health.

Added Ingredients

Premium dog foods contain bonus ingredients that may be beneficial for your Shiba Inu. You’ll notice additions like glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM for your dog’s bone and joint health. You should consult with your vet and determine if your dog needs these additional ingredients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my Shiba Inu eat apples?

Yes, your Shiba Inu can eat apples. Apples are an excellent source of vitamins and fiber for your dog. They are low in fat, making them a perfect snack for dogs.

Can Shiba Inus eat boiled eggs?

Eggs are perfectly safe for Shiba Inus. They are a great source of nutrition for your little pooch. They are rich in protein, fatty acids, and vitamins to support your dog’s health.  

Can Shiba Inus eat bananas?

Yes, bananas are a great snack for your dog with many health benefits. But you should only serve bananas as an occasional treat to avoid weight gain.

Can Shiba Inus eat white bread?

Yes, plain white bread is safe for most dogs to eat.

Why are omega fatty acids important for Shiba Inu dogs?

Omega fatty acids are important for your Shiba’s skin, fur, and coat health. They’re also important for the cognitive function of your Shiba Inu.

Is chocolate bad for Shiba Inus?

Yes. Most dog owners know that chocolate is bad for dogs, and Shiba Inus are not different. This sweet treat might be good for humans, but you should never give it to your Shiba.

Can my Shiba eat seafood?

Yes. Seafood is a great protein source for your Shiba. It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for optimal health.

What should I feed my Shiba Inu?

You need to make sure that your Shiba has a well-rounded diet. It should have plenty of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, complex carbs, and protein.

How often should an adult Shiba eat?

You should try to feed your adult Shiba Inu twice per day.

How long should I expect my Shiba Inu to live?

The average lifespan of a Shiba Inu is between 12 and 15 years. A Shiba Inu is considered a senior dog when they reach ten years of age.

What should I do if my Shiba Inu is obese?

Give less food or switch to a low-calorie diet. Cut out any high-calorie treats and table scraps, such as dog biscuits, and look for high-fiber, low-calorie snacks instead. Make sure your Shiba Inu isn’t eating food intended for other pets in your house. You can also consult with your vet to help you figure out a weight loss plan.

How much protein and fat does my Shiba Inu need?

An adult dog needs at least 12% of its daily calories from protein and a minimum of 6% from fats.

How many carbs can my Shiba Inu eat per day?

 You Shiba’s diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates, including 2.5% to 5.5% fiber.

Are treats healthy for Shiba Inus?

Dog treats don’t need to follow AAFCO standards for a complete and balanced diet, so veterinarians recommend it’s best to limit them.

If you’re going to feed treats, look for options with fewer calories and high fiber content to prevent weight gain. Small pieces of raw veggies and fruits also make good treats. Try green beans, sliced apples, bell peppers, or thinly-sliced carrot.

What is a grain-free dog diet?

Grain-free diets are completely free of common allergens, including corn, wheat, and soy. If you suspect your dog is allergic to one or all of these grains, you may need to buy grain-free dog food. Your vet may also recommend grain-free dog food if your dog has digestive problems.

Can my Shiba Inu eat fruits and veggies?

Yes! Shiba Inus can eat fruits and veggies. Dog nutritionists highly recommended adding fresh fruits and veggies for a healthier diet. Here are some tasty fruits and veggies you can add to your dog’s bowl:

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Cucumbers
  • Seedless watermelon pieces
  • Apples

Why is my Shiba Inu a picky eater?

Shiba Inus can become picky eaters for many reasons. If your dog’s bowl is too small or light, he may have trouble eating his food. The bowl placement may be a factor, or he may feel intimidated by other pets in the household. Medical conditions may also be affecting his appetite, or his teeth and gums may be hurting him.

Why can’t my Shiba Inu eat table scraps?

Table scraps are too fatty for your Shiba’s digestive system. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, obesity, and other health conditions. Plus, chicken and fish bones can splinter and become lodged in your dog’s esophagus or digestive system.

Does my Shiba Inu need vitamins and supplements?

Pets that eat a complete and balanced diet do not need supplements. If you feel your dog needs supplements, talk to your vet first.

What is the best way to store dry dog food?

You should store dog food in a cool, dry place. You can also pour dry dog food into a plastic container with an airtight lid.