Shiba Inus are a type of Japanese hunting dog that have become more popular throughout the world in the last couple of decades.
If you have been considering adopting a Shiba Inu, it is good to know what you can expect as far as a Shiba Inu lifespan goes.
Since the breed is not as large as similar breeds, a common thought is that they should live longer than other breeds. While on the surface this is not true, there are some things that you can do to help increase a Shiba Inu lifespan.
The breed itself is often referred to as cat-like in that the dogs do not show affection as frequently as other breeds due.
With their fierce independence, it is all the more important to know what you are getting into when it comes to the life expectancy of a Shiba Inu.
Shiba Inu Life Expectancy
Life expectancy might be the last thing on your mind when you adopt a Shiba Inu puppy, but it is incredibly important to acknowledge.
There are a lot of different factors that will affect the overall life expectancy of your Shiba Inu, including diet, exercise, routine vet visits, and the general care of your pup, but there is still an average life expectancy.
On average, a Shiba Inu will live between 12 and 15 years, which is about normal for a medium to large-sized dog.
There have been some cases where a Shiba Inu has lived longer, but that is very rare. 15 is really the max age that you can expect to have your pup, but you can still fill those 15 years with love and a lot of good health.
It is important to deal with any kind of medical conditions as they might arise as well, helping to ensure they do not affect the life expectancy of your dog.
How Can I Extend The Life Of My Shiba Inu
Feed Him Healthy Diet
The number one best way that you can extend the life of your Shiba Inu is to give him the best food possible. Of course, this means that you might be spending a little bit more money on food than you would like to, but the benefits outweigh the cost.
You will want to look for a food that is high in protein. Usually, these foods have a real protein, such as chicken, listed as the primary ingredient of the food.
Some grains will not harm most dogs, unless they have an allergy, but it is a good idea to avoid the common filler grains and even the common allergens.
When reading the ingredient list, look for the order of listed ingredients. The first ingredients indicate what is primarily in the food.
Therefore, you do not want to see corn or meat byproducts listed first. Instead, you should be looking for healthy proteins, vegetables, and whole grains that can help your dog with fiber content instead of increasing the amount of sugar or carbohydrates that your dog gets.
In some cases, it is even good to mix real meats into your dog’s food. It can be more expensive than dog foods, but it is healthy.
Exercise & Training
Exercise and training are two other great ways to extend the life of your Shiba Inu. Just like with humans, Shiba Inus benefit greatly from exercise.
Talking walks several times a day might be good light exercise and a good way to allow your dog to urinate, but a Shiba Inu needs a little bit more exercise than that.
Getting your dog’s heart rate up is good for his cardiovascular health. If you are a runner, try taking your dog on a run with you. Start slow so that you don’t exhaust your dog and gradually increase the exercise until he can easily keep up.
Dog parks, if your dog is friendly, are also a good idea to burn out the extra energy that your dog is experiencing and increase his life expectancy.
You might be wondering why training might increase the life expectancy of your Shiba Inu, but it definitely does. When a dog is able to control his movements, he will be able to remain in a safer environment.
He will be more thoughtful with actions and decisions, preventing him from running off when he shouldn’t or even being aggressive without a real cause. Training can improve his overall quality of life as well as the length.
Visit The Vet Regularly
Many humans do not visit the doctor regularly, assuming that if they are not ill, they do not need a check-up.
This is erroneous thinking, because it is getting rid of the idea of preventative medicine, which is very important. With your Shiba Inu, preventative medicine can be the difference between life and death.
With adult dogs, an annual visit to the vet is appropriate. Your vet will weigh your dog, examine his limbs and body, and listen to his heart. If any issues are detected during this visit, then the issues can be worked on before they turn into real problems that we cannot treat.
In addition, your vet can also give you preventative medicine such as heartworm prevention and flea or tick medicine. These will also stave off illnesses that could shorten your dog’s life.
Brush Your Shiba Inu’s Teeth
You could be thinking that the idea of brushing your dog’s teeth seems silly, but it is an excellent way to maintain the health of your dog and extend his life.
Dental abscesses can go straight to the brain causing death. Gum disease also moves to the heart easily, causing heart conditions that could dramatically shorten your dog’s life.
It is a good idea to brush your Shiba Inu’s teeth at least once at day. They do have toothbrushes and toothpaste that is exclusively made for dogs. If you are worried your dog will bite you, start off slowly.
Overweight Shiba Inus Live Shorter Lives
Obesity is certainly a plague in many first world countries. While it definitely affects humans, it also affects dogs as well.
Dogs that suffer from obesity are just as likely to develop the weight-related illnesses as humans are. These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and a general inability to move well or exercise.
When a dog has become overweight it is incredibly difficult to get a dog to lose the weight. They cannot follow the same kinds of diet plans that humans do.
You have to monitor the ingredients of your dog’s food scrupulously, and make sure that your dog is receiving the amount of protein and fat that is healthy for him. If you have been feeding your dog table scraps, it is the time to stop.
Prevention of obesity is definitely the preferred option. Keep your dog well-exercised and fed with the healthiest foods possible in order to prevent obesity from developing.
Do Mixed Shiba Inus Live Longer Than Purebred Ones?
A common question that we have seen is whether purebred dogs live longer than mixed dogs. There is not a simple or fast answer to this question, because the truthful answer is that it depends.
Many purebred dogs have a shorter genetic path, which will enhance the risk of a dog developing these genetic conditions, further spreading and amplifying them.
Meanwhile, dogs that have a mixed breed will have attributes form all of the dogs that came before them, making the breed less concentrated on whichever malady might appear.
On average, a mixed Shiba Inu might live a little bit longer than a purebred one does, but even that amount is skewed by the background of the dog.
What has a Shiba Inu been bred with? The smaller breeds have longer lifespans and are less likely to develop health issues, so if a Shiba Inu has been bred with a small dog, you can look forward to an excellent and longer life.
Shiba Inu Age Groups Explained
Puppyhood really can go on for years, but in terms of growth, a Shiba Inu is really a puppy in size until about 6 months old. You can adopt one as young as 8 weeks old, when a puppy has been weaned from his mother and is ready to take on adult dog food.
Juvenile & Teenager
A Shiba Inu is a teenager in between 6 and 12 months of age. This is the time when you Shiba Inu might be house broken, but is more likely to get up to mischief and more likely to be destructive. You need to keep your dog safe in order to prevent him from eating things he should not.
Shiba Inus are considered adults when they are 12 months old, when we are looking at the final size and weight of the dog. If you have a larger Shiba Inu, he might take up to 18 months to finish growing and he will continue to act like a puppy for a couple of years.
Your Shiba Inu is considered a senior after the age of 10. This is when you need to continue to keep your dog active and feeling like a puppy, while still acknowledging that he is slowing down and might need more rest time than he did before.
Does Neutering & Spaying Affect Shiba Inu Lifespan
It is pretty typical to have your dog spayed or neutered after you adopt him, of, if you get your dog from a shelter, he will already have been sterilized.
When it comes to the question as to whether sterilizing your dog can affect your lifespan, the truth is that it definitely does.
To begin with, having your dog spayed or neutered does prevent the development of certain types of cancer. Even bigger than that, when a dog that has not been fixed is in heat, she will run off to find a mate.
Males will do the same, putting them in large amounts of danger as they race along to who knows where, definitely lessening the lifespan of the dogs.
Shiba Inu Common Health Issues That Can Affect Their Lifespan
All dog breeds are more susceptible to certain health conditions than others, and the Shiba Inu is no exception to that. The breed’s most common health issues include:
Allergies definitely top the list of the most common health issues that affect a Shiba Inu. In a Shiba Inu, the allergies will appear most often as a skin irritation or simply have itchy skin.
It can be difficult to determine the exact cause of the allergy as well, so it might take some trial and error to nail down the allergen.
This affects many different dog breeds. This condition happens when a dog’s hips have not developed correctly, causing a distortion and resulting in mobility issues as the dog ages.
Arthritis also likes to appear with hip dysplasia. As your dog ages and his mobility is gone, your dog’s lifespan will be decrease as he is not able to keep up.
Patella luxation is much like hip dysplasia, except instead of happening in the hips, it is happening in the knee. These kinds of disorders do not appear unless an x-ray has been taken or if the dog is older and the movement limitation has been witnessed.
Eye conditions are nothing to mess around with. If left untreated, it is inevitable that your dog will go blind over time, so having a good amount of knowledge on the subject is the key happiness and the future of your dog.
If an eye condition is left untreated, he will of course go blind, but also not be able to navigate his world as often has he did before. Dogs with poor vision are more likely to put themselves into dangerous situations, shortening their lifespan.
Even though you cannot prevent a genetic condition from manifesting, seeing a veterinarian routinely will make sure that these conditions are treated early-on, staving off the worst of the side effects.
Shiba Inu Lifespan FAQs
What Is The Longest Living Shiba Inu
According to the Guinness World Records, the oldest known Shiba Inu was Usuke, who lived to the age of 26 years, eight months.
This was a beloved dog, but it is highly uncommon for a dog to life to 26, or about 125 when counting in human years, so do not expect your Shiba Inu to live his long.
Indoor vs Outdoor Shiba Inu
It is true of any dog that the more that your keep the dog inside, the longer his life will be. This is because the dog will not be exposed to the elements as much and will experience a better sense of love and happiness, making his life easier.
Does A Shiba Inu Live Longer Than An Akita?
It is true that both the Shiba Inu and Akita breeds come from Japan and have a similar appearance, but they are not the same breed.
Akitas are much larger than Shiba Inus and do not live as long. Shiba Inus can live to the age of 15, but the most an Akita can expect is 12 years.
Is There A Relationship Between Shiba Inu Color And Lifespan & Temperament?: The most common coat color for a Shiba Inu is the classic fox-like orange and white coloring.
They can come in other colors, such as black and cream. The color itself does not alter their temperament or their overall lifespan. The black is more recessive but any effect on lifespan is negligible.
The best thing that you should consider when you are looking to adopt a Shiba Inu is how the dog will fit into your life.
If you are planning on keeping your dog inside of the house, doting on him, and taking him to the vet as much as possible, then your dog is going to have a better and longer lifespan than dogs who are not treated as well.
It has been repeatedly proven that when dogs are treated with love, they will live much longer lives.
It is still important that you feed your dog the proper food, keep him fit, and take him to the vet regularly. Love is not going to replace good nutrition and the breed does have a tendency to become overweight.
Our time with our beloved dogs will never seem long enough, but it is up to you to make sure that the time you spend with your dog is as long as possible.