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Ideal Diet for Akitas – The Ultimate Akita Feeding Guide

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on November 29, 2023

Akitas, known for their dignity, courage, and loyalty, are a unique and majestic breed. Originating from Japan, they have specific dietary needs to maintain their health and well-being. This comprehensive guide will delve into the ideal diet for Akitas, providing owners with essential information on how to nourish these noble dogs.

Understanding Akitas’ Nutritional Requirements

Akitas are large, powerful dogs with a robust build. They require a diet that supports their size and energy levels. A balanced diet for an Akita should include a good mix of high-quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, along with essential vitamins and minerals. The proper diet supports their muscle health, provides energy, and maintains their thick coat.

Our 5 Top Foods for Akitas

The diets were selected by our founder Justin Palmer, a certified canine nutrition expert, specifically with Akitas in mind:

Food Pros Cons

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  • No filler carbohydrates, mostly animal protein
  • Freeze dried is the closest you can get to homemade/fresh. Retains 95% of nutrient value
  • Single source protein (many to choose from) ideal for dogs with allergies
  • Rich in Omega-3 and probiotics, which retain their value in a freeze dried food.
  • Pricier Option
  • Dog may never go back to kibble after trying!

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  • Multi-meat formula, which exposes your dog to multiple protein sources, which can reduce chance of allergies later in life
  • For a dry dog food, contains VERY high protein (38%). Most kibbles contain less than 25%.
  • Contains fish, providing a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids


  • For a dry dog food, its on the pricier side
  • Uses some legumes for protein, which is less ideal for dogs

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  • For a dry dog food, contains moderately high protein (27%)
  • Quality protein from free-range chicken, eggs, and turkey
  • Added fish oil and probiotics can help skin, coat, and digestion
  • Less protein than options above
  • Uses some grains for protein, which is less ideal for dogs

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  • Human grade ingredients that look fresh and homemade
  • Smells like actual human food!
  • Minimally processed and cooked at temperatures much lower than kibble, retains more nutrients.
  • Many flavor & protein options available
  • Pricey on a per meal basis
  • Your dog may not go back to eating cheaper food!

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  • Canned wet food cooked at lower temperature than kibble and retains more nutrient
  • High quality free-range chicken protein
  • Added antioxidants from Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley that you can actually see in the food
  • When buying wet food, you're paying for water weight
  • More expensive than dry food

High-Quality Protein Sources for Akitas

Proteins are crucial for muscle maintenance and overall growth in Akitas. The best protein sources for this breed include high-quality meats such as chicken, beef, fish, or lamb. These should be the primary ingredients in their food. Adequate protein intake is essential due to the Akita’s active nature.

The Role of Fats and Carbohydrates in an Akita’s Diet

Healthy fats are essential for Akitas, providing energy and supporting their coat and skin health. Sources like fish oil and flaxseed are beneficial. Carbohydrates should come from complex sources like whole grains, providing sustained energy and aiding digestion.

Vitamins and Minerals: Essentials for Akita Health

A well-rounded diet for Akitas must include the necessary vitamins and minerals—calcium and phosphorus support bone health, which is crucial for a large breed like the Akita. Vitamins A and E are essential for skin and coat health, while B vitamins and antioxidants support overall vitality.

Appropriate Portion Sizes and Feeding Frequency

Akitas are prone to obesity, so portion control is essential. An adult Akita typically requires about 3 to 5 cups of dry dog food daily, depending on their size, age, and activity level. This should be divided into two meals to aid digestion and prevent bloat, a common issue in large breeds.

Nutritional Needs of Akita Puppies and Seniors

Akita puppies and senior dogs have different dietary needs. Puppies require a diet higher in calories and nutrients to support their growth, while senior Akitas may need a lower-calorie diet to maintain a healthy weight. Specialized puppy and old formulas can provide the right balance for these life stages.

Importance of Hydration in Akitas’ Diet

Hydration is crucial for Akitas. Always provide access to fresh, clean water. Some Akitas may benefit from wet food to increase water intake, especially if they are reluctant drinkers.

Addressing Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Akitas can develop food allergies or sensitivities. If symptoms like itchy skin or digestive issues arise, an elimination diet may be necessary to identify the allergen. Hypoallergenic diets or limited ingredient diets can help manage these sensitivities.

Managing Weight to Prevent Health Issues

Overweight Akitas are at risk of developing health issues like diabetes and joint problems. A diet with controlled calorie content and regular exercise is vital. Regular vet check-ups can help monitor their weight and adjust their diet.

Treats and Supplements: Enhancing Akitas’ Diet

While treats are essential to training and bonding, they should be given in moderation. Choose healthy, low-calorie treats. Supplements like fish oil for skin and coat health or glucosamine for joint health can be beneficial, but always consult a vet first.

Feeding your Akita a balanced diet tailored to their needs is essential to their health and happiness. Regular veterinary consultations and careful monitoring of their diet and weight are crucial. With the proper nutrition, Akitas can enjoy a robust and healthy life.


What Health Issues Are Akitas Prone To, and How Can a Proper Diet Help?

Akitas, a noble and dignified breed, are known for their loyalty and imposing stature. While they are generally healthy, Akitas are prone to specific health issues. Understanding these health risks and the role that diet plays in mitigating them is crucial for maintaining the well-being of these majestic dogs. This comprehensive guide explores the common health issues in Akitas and how a well-managed diet can make a significant difference.

Hip Dysplasia in Akitas: Nutritional Management

Hip dysplasia, a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t fit perfectly into the socket, is a concern in Akitas. Diet plays a crucial role in managing this condition. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce joint inflammation, and maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet is essential to minimize stress on the hips.

Bloat and Gastric Issues: Dietary Prevention Strategies

Akitas are at risk for bloat or gastric torsion, a severe condition where the stomach fills with gas and can twist. Feeding smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding vigorous exercise around meal times can help prevent bloat. A diet that isn’t overly high in fat and fermentable carbohydrates is also recommended.

Allergies and Skin Conditions in Akitas

Akitas can suffer from allergies that manifest as skin problems. A diet with the right balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids can promote healthier skin and coat. Hypoallergenic diets or those with limited ingredients can help identify and avoid allergens.

Cardiac Health and Diet in Akitas

Some Akitas may inherit cardiac issues. A heart-healthy diet low in sodium and rich in nutrients like taurine and L-carnitine can support cardiac function. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for monitoring heart health.

Weight Management and Obesity Prevention in Akitas

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for Akitas. Obesity can exacerbate many health problems, including hip dysplasia and diabetes. A diet with controlled calorie content and regular exercise is vital for weight management.

Nutritional Needs for Active Akitas

Active Akitas require a diet supporting their energy levels, given their energetic nature. A diet higher in calories and proteins can be beneficial for active Akitas. Adjust the diet based on their activity level to ensure they receive enough energy.

Senior Akitas: Adjusting Diet for Aging

As Akita’s ages, their dietary needs change. Senior dogs may benefit from diets lower in calories but higher in fiber and supplements like glucosamine for joint health. Regular veterinary check-ups can help in adjusting their diet as they age.

Managing Digestive Issues Through Diet

Sensitive digestion can be a concern in Akitas. Diets with easily digestible proteins, carbohydrates, and probiotics can promote a healthy gut. Avoiding foods that cause upset in your Akita is also crucial.

The Role of Hydration in Akita Health

Adequate hydration is crucial for Akitas. Ensure they always have access to fresh, clean water. Wet dog food or adding water to dry kibble can increase their water intake, especially in older dogs or those less inclined to drink.

Conclusion: A Tailored Diet for Akita Health

In conclusion, a well-balanced diet tailored to Akitas’s specific needs can help prevent and manage various health issues. Regular consultations with a veterinarian ensure that your Akita’s dietary needs are met, allowing them to lead a long, healthy, and happy life.


Frequently Asked Questions About Feeding Akitas

1. What is the best type of dog food for an Akita?

The best dog food for Akitas should be high in quality proteins and balanced in fats and carbohydrates. Look for foods that list real meat, such as chicken, beef, or fish, as the first ingredient. Ensure the food is suitable for large breeds and meets the nutritional needs of Akitas.

2. How much should I feed my Akita?

An Akita’s food amount depends on their age, size, activity level, and metabolism. Generally, adult Akitas need about 3 to 5 cups of dry dog food per day, divided into two meals. However, it’s essential to consult with your vet for specific recommendations, as individual needs can vary.

3. Are grain-free diets suitable for Akitas?

Grain-free diets can be suitable for Akitas, especially if they have sensitivities or allergies to grains. However, ensuring that the diet is well-balanced and meets all their nutritional needs is crucial. Consult with a veterinarian before switching to a grain-free diet.

4. How often should I feed my Akita puppy?

Akita puppies should be fed three to four times daily with food formulated for large-breed puppies. As they grow, you can gradually reduce the number of feedings to twice a day. It is essential to feed them a diet that supports their growth and development, especially in their first year.

5. Can Akitas eat a raw food diet?

Yes, Akitas can eat a raw diet, but it must be carefully balanced to include the right amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals. Please consult a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist before starting a raw diet to ensure it’s appropriate and safe for your Akita.

6. What human foods are safe for Akitas?

Akitas can safely eat some human foods in moderation, such as lean meats, carrots, apples (without seeds), and green beans. However, avoid foods that are toxic to dogs, including chocolate, grapes, onions, and garlic. Always introduce new foods gradually and in small amounts.

7. How can I tell if my Akita is overweight?

Feel for their ribs and check their body shape to determine if your Akita is overweight. You should be able to handle the ribs without a thick layer of fat, and they should have a visible waist when viewed from above. An overweight dog will have a less visible body definition and may show signs of decreased energy and mobility.

8. What supplements should I add to my Akita’s diet?

Joint supplements for Akitas include fish oil for omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine for joint health, and probiotics for digestive health. However, always consult your veterinarian before adding supplements to your dog’s diet.

9. Is it okay for Akitas to have dairy products?

Some Akitas can tolerate dairy products in small amounts, but many dogs are lactose intolerant. If you give dairy, start with small amounts and monitor for any signs of digestive upset. Low-lactose dairy products like plain yogurt can be safer options.

10. How do I transition my Akita to a new food?

When transitioning your Akita to a new food, gradually over 7-10 days. Begin by mixing a small amount of the fresh food with the old, gradually increasing the proportion of the new while decreasing the old. This gradual change helps prevent digestive upset.

11. What are the signs of food allergies in Akitas?

Signs of food allergies in Akitas can include itching, red or inflamed skin, chronic ear infections, and gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea or vomiting. If you notice these symptoms, consult your veterinarian for an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.

12. Can Akitas eat a vegetarian diet?

While dogs can survive on a vegetarian diet, it’s not ideal for Akitas. They thrive on a diet that includes high-quality animal protein. Consult a veterinarian or canine nutritionist to ensure nutritional completeness if considering a vegetarian diet.

13. Should I feed my Akita wet or dry food?

Both wet and dry foods can be suitable for Akitas. Dry food can benefit dental health, while wet food can be more palatable and hydrating. Some owners choose to mix both. Consider your dog’s health needs, preferences, and lifestyle when deciding.

14. How can I prevent obesity in my Akita?

Preventing obesity in Akitas involves maintaining a balanced diet with controlled portion sizes and ensuring regular exercise. Monitor their food intake, limit treats, and ensure they have daily physical activity. Regular veterinary check-ups can help in managing a healthy weight.

15. What is the importance of water in my Akita’s diet?

Water is essential for your Akita’s health, and they should always have access to clean water. Dehydration can lead to serious health issues, particularly in large breeds like Akitas. Ensure your dog drinks enough water, especially after exercise and during hot weather.

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