Food, Health and Hygiene

Hygiene

The Akita is a very clean dog that does not require much maintenance. I find his “self cleaning” a bit “magical”. For example, Kira can get very dirty during walks and becomes full clean the next day. Personally, I brush my Akita 1-3 times a week and I wash their teeth 1-2 times a week.

This is a dog that does not need a lot of baths (one or two per year). If you have to give him a bath, take a special very mild shampoo at the pet store, then dry him well with towels then with warm air ( not hot) or go for a walk if it’s summer. Brush the Akita regularly.

He will not lose a lot of hair throughout the year but he will shed 2 times a year for 2-3 weeks. That’s very impressive and you end up with the equivalent of you Akita in hair on the floor. No miracle solution , brush daily and vacuum .

Health

It is important to learn about the possible diseases of the Akita. Regularly inspect legs, teeth, eyes and the hair of your Akita to see if all is well, especially after walks in the forest or in the fields. Cut the claws if they are too long. Ask your veterinarian how.

For any health problem If you have any doubt, consult a veterinarian. Asking for help to friends, forums or FB groups may be able to reassure you but nothing beats the advice of a professional.

The Akita have broad chest, be careful not to feed them just before or after physical efforts to avoid stomach bloat. In general, Akita dogs are quite robust. They love the snow, cold and may not like hot weather. The majority of Akita live their lives without major health problem but we must be aware of the breed’s problems in order to react appropriately.

Allergies

They sometimes have food intolerances or allergies. In this case, we must adapt the food and see with a veterinarian what can be done.

Hereditary disease

As Akita nearly disappeared during the Second World War, there is little different lineages and therefore inbreeding. Thus, two autoimmune diseases can affect Akita. You should know that no breeder can promise you that your puppy will be free of those issues. A good breeder will inform you and will do anything to avoid them but there is still no test to detect autoimmune diseases like VKH or AS.

  • VKH syndrome (Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada) – Wounds organs resulting from the involvement of an immune response against self-antigens.
  • SA (Sebaceous Adenitis) – It is a hereditary and genetic skin disease not fatal, but painful.

Please see: Akita rescue

Dysplasia

The hip dysplasia is a relaxation of the ligaments of the two parts of the hip joint: the femoral head and the acetabulum. This entails very painful cartilage lesions and sometimes a dislocation of the joint. It’s possibly hereditary but nothing has been proven yet. The problem could also come from too much exercise or inappropriate efforts during growth.

Breeders should show you certified radiographs of parents hips. However, it doesn’t give you any guarantee that the puppy will not be affected.

Please see: Dog Health

Food

Give a good quality food to your puppy, whatever the food chosen (Barf, dry food or cans). Look at the composition, do NOT take food with animal by-product and make sure that the protein percentage is around 30%. Here is also a list of good foods on this website.

Be also careful of high protein food if your puppy doesn’t do a lot of exercise, it can give him diarrhea. The Akita can be allergic or intolerant to certain types of food, so ou may have to test multiple foods before finding the right one. For example, Kira is intolerant to fish.

Please note the list of toxic foods for all dogs. Source: ASPCA