You’re in search of your next best furry friend and you decided that you want a cute Shiba Inu, since they’re so adorable and very popular these days. But as we all know, death and taxes are the only two things that are unavoidable, so in order to make your buying decision you need to ask yourself: How long do Shiba Inus live?
You don’t want it to die so soon. No one likes experiencing the death of a loved one. So, in order to postpone that dreadful event in your life, you’d want to look for a partner that has longevity. We’ll be comparing the lifespan of the Shiba Inu dog to the average life span of dogs in general, in order to help you reach a conclusion.
The Shiba Inu (Or Is It “Doge”?)
You might be familiar with the “Doge” meme that has become viral on social media for a long time, or you just might have seen an image of a dog with a very peculiar and funny facial expression, accompanied by some text in “Comic Sans” format. The dog in the picture is none other than a Shiba Inu!
Shiba Inus are not only just another dog race. They’re a significant part of the Japanese national treasury and pop culture, and they earned this prestigious spot not by mere chance. Apart from being exceedingly cute, they’re also known to be, for the most part, very independent and even “snobby” (some call them “the cats of the dog realm”).
They are also Elon Musk’s favorite breed!
They derived from wolfs (the tail and ears might actually give that one away, for sure!), specifically the “gray wolf“. Shiba Inu dog are relatively small, measuring up to 40cm, with short hair, pointed triangle-shaped ears and mostly curled tail. Shiba Inu dog also come in various colors and breeds, the most common color being beige, but also black or white, with light and dark shades.
Perhaps the most fascinating feature they have is their “rarity”. Originally intended for small hunting, these dogs were soon being replaced by other more effective breeds and races that were imported from abroad at the beginning of the 20th century, which lead to a steep decline in their breeding that almost ensured their extinction.
Other factors include the Japanese Occupation during World War II (in which many of these dogs perished under American bombs) and the mixing with other races. That scarcity, added to their already peculiar traits, represents another catalyst to their current popularity.
Most recently, the Shiba Inu dog was on the spotlight of the Cryptocurrency space, thanks to the popularity of the “Dogecoin” token, which in turn inspired the creation of the “Shiba Inu” token (with the ticker $SHIB). Popular cryptocurrency exchange platforms like Binance and (most recently) Coinbase listed these two tokens due to popular demand. Dogecoin particularly popularized the infamous “meme coin” scene, which led to the creation of various grassroots meme tokens with varying degrees of success.
But, How Long Shiba Inu Live?
The life expectancy of a Shiba Inu, according to most studies, is 12 to 14 years. In comparison, the longest lifespan is that of the Chihuahua, which ranges between 15 to 20 years, while the Newfoundland dog (or “Newfie”) has the shortest lifespan with an expectancy of 6 to 10 years. So, in comparison, Shiba Inus sits comfortably in the middle of the range.
That doesn’t mean they can’t last longer. A famous dog actor, star of Softbank commercials in Japan (the famous white Shiba father), died at 16. Nonetheless, in order to achieve that they had to spend enormous amount of time and money, so keep that in mind.
Shiba Inu Care Tips
- AVOID TABLE FOODS: Shiba Inus have a tendency to get hefty, so they need a special diet to improve their body weight and health condition.
- KEEP TRACK OF THEIR FEET: In line with the previous tip, the excess of weight could produce orthopedic issues such as hip dysplasia and luxating patella, so it’s important to perform regular check-ins with the vet.
- BRUSH THEIR TEETH: Just as humans, animals can develop dental tartar, which also affects overall health. Twice a week is enough.
Are Shiba Inus Hard To Train?
Common Health Concerns in Shiba Inus
Shiba Inus, with their fox-like appearance and spirited personalities, have become increasingly popular pets around the world. However, like all breeds, Shiba Inus have their specific set of health concerns that prospective and current owners should be aware of. Being familiar with these issues can aid in early detection and proper management, ensuring a healthier, happier life for your Shiba.
- Allergies: Many Shiba Inus suffer from allergies, which can manifest as skin irritations, itching, and ear infections. Common allergens include certain food ingredients, pollens, dust mites, or fleas. It’s crucial to pinpoint the cause of the allergy to address it effectively.
- Hip Dysplasia: This is a hereditary condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop correctly, leading to arthritis. While it’s more common in larger breeds, Shiba Inus can also be affected. Regular vet check-ups and a healthy diet can help manage the condition.
- Eye Conditions: Shiba Inus can suffer from various eye problems, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and glaucoma. Regular eye check-ups can help in early detection and treatment.
- Patellar Luxation: This occurs when the dog’s kneecap (patella) is dislocated from its regular position. It’s a common issue in smaller dog breeds, including Shiba Inus. Mild cases might not require treatment, but severe cases can necessitate surgery.
- Chylothorax: This is a rare condition where lymphatic fluid accumulates in the chest cavity. The cause is often unknown, but early detection and treatment are crucial to manage the condition effectively.
- Dental Issues: Like many smaller breeds, Shiba Inus are prone to dental problems. Regular dental check-ups, proper dental hygiene practices, and a good diet can help prevent severe dental diseases.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I take my Shiba Inu for check-ups?
It’s recommended to take your Shiba Inu for veterinary check-ups at least once a year. Puppies and senior dogs might require more frequent visits.
Are Shiba Inus good with children and other pets?
While each Shiba Inu has its unique personality, they are generally good with children if raised with them. However, they have a strong prey drive, so it’s essential to introduce them slowly and monitor their interactions with smaller pets.
Do Shiba Inus require a lot of exercises?
Yes, Shiba Inus are active and intelligent dogs that require daily exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
How can I prevent dental issues in my Shiba Inu?
Regular brushing, dental treats, and yearly dental check-ups at the vet can help maintain good oral health.
Are Shiba Inus easy to train?
Shiba Inus are independent and can be somewhat stubborn. However, with consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement, they can be trained effectively.
How do I know if my Shiba Inu has an allergy?
Symptoms of allergies can include excessive scratching, redness of the skin, ear infections, or even digestive issues. If you suspect an allergy, consult your vet for appropriate tests and treatment.
Is hip dysplasia common in Shiba Inus?
While not as common as in larger breeds, Shiba Inus can still develop hip dysplasia. Regular vet check-ups can help in early detection.
Do Shiba Inus have a high risk of eye disorders?
Certain eye disorders, like glaucoma and PRA, can occur in Shiba Inus. Regular eye check-ups are essential for early detection and management.
Can Shiba Inus adapt to apartment living?
Yes, Shiba Inus can adapt well to apartment living as long as they get their daily dose of exercise and mental stimulation.
Are Shiba Inus hypoallergenic?
No breed is truly hypoallergenic, including Shiba Inus. However, with regular grooming and cleaning, allergens can be reduced.
Remember, while these answers provide general information, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian for any concerns specific to your Shiba Inu.
Shiba Inus are undeniably captivating with their fox-like appearance and spirited nature. Knowing how long do Shiba Inus live and being aware of their potential health concerns is crucial for both potential and current Shiba Inu owners. By staying informed and proactive in addressing health issues, you can ensure a longer, healthier life for your Shiba Inu. Always remember, the bond between a pet and its owner is profound, and by providing the best care, you’ll optimize the chances of enjoying your Shiba Inu’s company for its full lifespan.
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