The Shiba Inu is perhaps one of the most popular breeds that originated in Japan. It’s adored and known far beyond the borders of the country. These endlessly cute dogs similar in appearance to foxes are well-loved by many people all over the world. But not everyone knows how long Shiba Inus live and how to properly care for them to make them live longer.
There’s no doubt that we want our pets to be with us for as long as possible. On average, Shiba Inus live from thirteen to fifteen years. But it’s important to understand that the average age is a rather relative concept. It all depends on a dog’s physiology, genetics, health, and, of course, lifestyle. Proper nutrition and care are the basis for Shiba to live many years and to be healthy and active.
Normally, Shibas are quite simple and undemanding. They won’t follow you around and cling to you all the time. But they will faithfully and devotedly serve and protect their home and owners. But their lifespan will largely depend on you and your care!
Shiba Inu health
The Shiba Inu dogs have a strong immune system. However, these hardy dogs are susceptible to a few genetic abnormalities:
- Cataracts, retinal atrophy;
- Cervical spinal abnormalities;
- Various allergies.
Shiba puppies can develop parainfluenza, hepatitis, or distemper so timely vaccinations and health examinations by a veterinarian are important.
Danger of stress
Stress affects the life span of your pet. For the Shiba Inu, the presence of children or other animals in the home can be stressful. These dogs are often jealous and possessive of their owners.
Socialization is an important issue, just like training. Shibas love being around other dogs and interacting with them and this experience should become a big part of their lives. Lack of socialization can badly affect your dog’s mental state and lead to a great deal of stress. In its turn, this provokes diseases that affect the lifespan.
There are many long-livers among the Shiba Inu but the quality and length of their lives often depend on their owners.
Being a hunting breed, the Shiba Inu can’t be kept on a chain. While being quite low-maintenance, they still require long walks outdoors and physical activity.
Exercise will help make sure your dog’s always in good health and will live long. Shiba Inu owners use the following exercise types to keep their pets toned and in good physical shape:
- Agility training
A novice breeder should know that this breed is wayward, and getting a dog used to the collar and leash is no easy task. You should be prepared for training issues. Despite their difficult personality, Shibas are excellent companions and watchdogs. They are not suitable for the role of guard dogs, though: this breed isn’t aggressive enough.
Factors that affect life expectancy
Your pet’s life expectancy can be affected by multiple factors, such as:
- Physical development
- Level of physical activity appropriate to his age and breed
- A nutrient-rich, balanced diet
- Adequate socialization, attention.
All of these quality indicators of life are 100% dependent on the owner. A dog’s resistance to stress and various diseases often depends on how well you take care of your pet.
A balanced diet established from birth sets the foundation for the physical health of your pet for the rest of its life. An elderly dog should be given soft food to avoid dental and swallowing problems.
In old age, pets may suffer from various diseases, most often hearing loss, visual impairment, and urinary system issues.
Another problem that can significantly shorten the life expectancy of any animal is excessive weight. It has an extremely negative effect on a dog’s health, hurting the cardiovascular system and bones. It’s necessary to control your pup’s weight, especially in old age.
Regular medical check-ups, vaccinations, and timely visits to the veterinary clinic if there are any problems are what will keep your pooch in the right shape. Taking constant care of your pet throughout its life can greatly increase its life expectancy.
The Shiba Inu dogs are known for their willful personality. They are quite composed but at the same time agile and energetic pets that can be forever stuck in the skin of a puppy that doesn’t want to know responsibility.
Even though they praise the intelligence and wit of this breed, sometimes these dogs’ behavior simply can’t be explained.
However, it is your responsibility as a dog owner to keep your Shiba in good health and satisfy their needs in physical activity, proper diet, and socialization. Only then will your furry baby live longer and happier.