One of the primary concerns with taking care of purebreds is their specific dietary needs. This is especially true with the Akita. Generic and branded dog food will not provide your dog's essential nutrition. It may even raise health concerns like gastric torsion or bloating.
Animals do not expend gastric gases like humans do. Gastric torsion or bloating is a medical condition wherein the dog's stomach becomes twisted. This causes the contents and the gases, which are by-product of digestion, to become trapped within. Sooner or later, the dog's stomach swells, which will result in great discomfort, and then pain. If it continues untreated, it may inevitably lead to the dog's death. Preventive measures like feeding the Akita two or three small meals a day, combined with exercise is usually recommended. However, if the case is severe, surgery is the next viable option.
Good nutrition is then needed to avert gastric torsion. Akita is a breed that comes from Japan. Its breed line has an established set of nutrients and vitamins, one that is unique only to the breed. Akita owners should try to feed their dogs a diet that is similar or almost similar to those found in its native environment. Do not try to force feed it with something that it is not accustomed to because that will only lead to nutritional deficiency.
Also, if you are not well-versed with how to feed your Akita, perhaps a trip to the local vet can help you establish a diet plan. On a general note, Akita dogs should be fed at least twice a day. Ideally, it should be fed using fresh, quality ingredients with little or no preservatives. An all-natural meat based diet complete with high quality protein is more than recommended. Although there are some dog breeds that do not favor fish meat, the Akita has gastronomically evolved into accepting this as part of their nutritional increments.
Originally, Akita Inu or Akita dogs survived on a diet of rice, fish and sea plants. It will be beneficial to the dog's health if the diet doesn't stray too far from this. Introducing new food sources may take a while, and hopefully, it comes with the approval of the vet. Akita is used to all-natural diets. Processed foods like prepackaged meat or candies may cause more health problems in the future.
Other food sources for the Akita may include cabbage, green beans, pork, potatoes and venison. Chicken meat may also be gradually introduced. Food sources that the Akita must avoid include corn, beef and horse meat.
Obesity is another problem that the Akita faces. Processed foods and commercial dog food all contain preservatives and curing salts, both of which should not be part of the animal's daily diet. Obesity in the Akita causes the tendons of its knees to weaken, which may lead to other health complications due to immobility. Surgery is also an option for extreme cases.
If commercial dog foods cannot be totally eliminated from the dog's diet, give them sparingly, and make sure the dry food type expands fully before letting the dog have a go at it. This will help sate the dog's hunger without putting in more unnecessary weight to the animal's digestive system.
With proper nutrition and care, an Akita dog may live to as long as 12 years.