food allergy shibainu

Shiba Inu Food Allergies: Things You Should Consider

Dogs are the best kind of friends a human can have. These loyal, fluffy furballs come in all sizes and various breeds. Shiba Inu dogs belong to an ancient Japanese breed. They were brought to America around six decades ago. These dogs are small in size but quite well-muscled. Shiba Inu food allergies are pretty standard. These allergies can get chronic and cause hair loss, itching, and even hot spots. Food allergies can also lead up to ear infections and bowel movements. 

food allergy shibainu

Today, we will learn all about Shiba Inu food allergies. Let’s begin, shall we? 

Difference Between a Shiba Inu Food Allergy and Food Intolerance in Dogs

Intolerance to a specific food and food allergies sometimes may look alike. So, before we determine the allergies, we need to know the difference. 

Shiba Inu Food Allergy

As Shiba Inu food allergy issues develop in your dog’s body, you will notice skin issues such as excessive hair loss or scratching due to itchiness. Therefore, you may see hair loss in the areas near the mouth, legs, armpits, eyes, and ears. Food allergies make the immune system get weaker. Therefore, the immune system may see that food as its enemy. Shiba Inu’s food allergies generally include rashes and itching. 

However, it can also cause some gastrointestinal issues along with food allergies hair loss. These allergies can lead to anaphylaxis shock and many other life-risking situations in worse cases.

Shiba Inu Food Intolerance

On the other side, food intolerance hair loss is quite common. And generally, in Shiba Inus, gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or abnormal bowel movements may occur. But intolerance does not show up as any skin issues. Food intolerance causes digestive issues, and the system cannot digest the food. This causes vomiting and increasing bowel movements. 

Fortunately, food intolerance does not cause any severe health issues.    

Determining If Your Dog Suffer From A True Shiba Inu Food Allergy or Not

Food allergies are pretty common in these types of breeds. Roughly around ten percent of Shiba suffer from Shiba Inufood allergies. The number says that food allergies aren’t that common in dog allergies. But there are symptoms. If you glance closely, it will be straightforward to determine whether your Shiba Inu has a food allergy or not. 

According to the statistics, the main symptom is Shiba Inu skin problems. 

There are many more symptoms. Let’s have a look at them. 

  • Hives
  • Itchiness
  • Red and inflamed skin 
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea 
  • Itchy ears 
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Runny eyes
  • Swelling near the areas of ears, lips, eyelids, earflaps, and face 
  • Constant licking

All these symptoms may also indicate some other health issues. As soon as you see any of these symptoms, it’s best to visit a veteran. The sooner the problem gets diagnosed, the better it is for your dog. 

Shiba Inu Atopic Dermatitis

Human allergy symptoms are pollen, dust, or cold, which cause sneezing and itching of the eyes. In dogs, rather than sneezing, allergies create skin issues. 

Atopic Dermatitis is generally known as “atopy,” commonly found in Shibas. The symptoms start showing from the age of one to three. Most commonly, the belly, feet, folds of skin, and ears are highly affected. 

Look for the signs like licking paws, frequent ear infections, and face rubbing. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available.       

Manage Shiba Inu Food Allergies

Determining food allergies isn’t easy, but the challenging part is done once it is determined. Apart from food allergies, there are other sorts of allergies too. As you have diagnosed the Shiba Inu allergy now, Let’s look at how to manage them.

The first task that can be performed is to undergo a food trial. This will help to determine what food is causing the allergy.    

Food Elimination Trial: 

Food elimination trials are proven quite effective, but they can take up to three months. Recent research has confirmed that the food elimination process is a great way to determine the issue. 

What is known as a food elimination trial? 

The elimination process starts with feeding your dog a different type of protein (a novel protein) and carbohydrate that your dog has never ingested before. 

What is called a Novel Protein?

The only reason behind choosing a novel protein and carbohydrate as your dog’s food is because they have never ingested it. As Shiba Inu hasn’t consumed it before, they are not supposed to be allergic to it. This plays an essential role in figuring out how Shiba Inu’s food allergies work.     

The list of novel Protein are as follows: 

  • Rabbit 
  • Venison
  • Ostrich
  • Alligator
  • Kangaroo 

Once you choose a novel protein, select the carbohydrate source you’d like to provide, such as rabbit and rice. 

It must be assured that the dog is fed only this food for the entire three-month period. Additionally, the dogs must be monitored closely not to ingest anything else from the surroundings.                         

Food Challenge phase 

After two-three months, you notice that the health of your dog has remarkably improved. Now, it can be ensured that your dog may have a true food allergy. 

This phase is called the food challenge phase because it determines what food your dog is allergic to during the phase. As the phase starts, one new food is introduced to your dog’s diet at a time and checks if any of the symptoms return.

Allergic symptoms in dogs can take a few weeks to appear. If there are no visible symptoms, then it can be stated that your dog is not allergic or sensitive to that particular food.     

The tests need to be continued as long as you can gather knowledge about what your dog can or cannot tolerate. 

If there is no improvement after 6-7 weeks, a food allergy is not behind the symptoms. You may want to reserve a meeting with the veterinarian and get your dog checked.           

Medications for Shiba Inu Food Allergies

Firstly, congratulations on a successful diagnosis. As the diagnosis has been made, you should know that treating it is easy. 

If your dog is allergic to a specific type of protein, such as a dog allergic to beef, symptoms can be looked for. It is better to rotate proteins to get a bit diverse.  

Try to retain from feeding more than a particular type of protein. This will ensure that they don’t develop new symptoms. 

Best medicines for Shiba Inu food allergies:

Finding the proper diagnosis for Shiba Inu hypoallergenic or food allergies can be a lengthy procedure.  

Until you reach a decision, your dog may be going through much suffering and discomfort. If an allergy is diagnosed or suspected, your veterinarian may suggest medications. 

Steroids or Antihistamines:

Veterinarians typically prescribe steroids or antihistamines like Benadryl or Cortisone.

Antihistamines tend to have fewer side effects and are way milder than steroids. But antihistamines are 35-40% effective on allergic pets. Benadryl and Diphenhydramine are the most commonly prescribed medications. 

Steroids, on the other hand, have many side effects. Steroids are only considered as an option when the case becomes severe. These can be found as both injections and oral medications.    

Steroids are not expensive, but they are effective. However, the side effects can increase thirst, excessive urination, hunger, and weight gain.                    

Cyclosporin (Atopica) 

The food allergy dermatitis in dogs can be treated with Atopica. 

Atopica is a nonsteroidal medication. This can have been proven to be up to 80% helpful in treating allergic dogs. This medication is technically costly. However, long-term usage of this drug may need regular vet checkups and monitoring. 

Oclacitinib (Apoquel) 

Oclacitinib is one of the most recently produced medications to treat dog allergies. 

The cost of the medication is comparatively high. This may cause short-term side effects such as vomiting and nausea.  

Short-term usage of Oclacitinib has been proven quite effective. However, the results in long-term use are still unknown.                    

Best Food For Shiba Inu With Allergies

The diet of an allergic dog should have a novel protein, a good source of carbohydrates. Hypoallergenic dog food can contain duck and pea, salmon and potato, or kangaroo. Everything is fine until they have been fed the same ingredients.  Here you will find a great list of the best food for Shiba Inu puppy.

Lamb meat can also be used while treating a dog with allergic issues.  

And if you are looking for dry food options, you can choose from the list provided below: 

  1. Canine Hydrolyzed Protein Small Dog Dry Food 
  2. Hill’s Prescription Diet Dog 
  3. Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon and Rice Formula 
  4. Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dog Food     
  5. Science Diet Adult Grain-Free Food                   

Some Essential Question About Shiba Inu Food Allergies

What foods to avoid for Shiba Inu with allergies?

 Answer: Foods like beef, corn, dairy, and wheat can be proven problematic to dogs suffering from skin sensitivity.

What meat is best for Shiba Inu with allergies?

Answer:  The best kind of protein for this sort of breed is venison, salmon, grass-fed lamb, and turkey.  

What food is best for Shiba Inu with itchy skin?

Answer: There can be multiple reasons behind your Shiba Inu having itchy skin. You can try the novel protein diet or follow this video to make a proper meal for your pet.

Is dog allergic to shellfish?

Answer: As the days’ pass, more dogs are getting used to fishing in their diet. But the number of fish allergies in dogs has been increasing, but it is still rare for a dog to have a fish allergy. So, yes, dogs can be allergic to shellfish.

Is a dog allergic to carrots? 

Answer: In a word, yes, a dog can be allergic to carrots. But it’s also a sign that your dog’s immune system is not used to the type of protein carrots consist of. And your dog is susceptible to it.    


It’s time to wrap things up. We are now at the end of our article on Shiba Inu food allergies. 

By now, you should know that food allergy dermatitis in dogs can be treated. I have tried my very best to provide all the vital pieces of data available. For more queries on this topic, retain from being shy and ask me.  

Until next time. 

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