The question of life expectancy is important for any future dog owner. While it will always feel too short in the end, some dog breeds do tend to live longer than others. So what is the average lifespan of the Japanese Akita? Find out below!

The Average Lifespan of a Japanese Akita

The average life expectancy of a Japanese Akita is between 10 and 12 years. This is about average for large breed dogs, which, unfortunately, live much shorter lives than smaller breeds. It should be noted, of course, that the predicted lifespan of any dog breed is only an indication. It is quite possible that your Akita Inu will live beyond the age of 12. But your dog's life could also be cut short by unexpected events like accident or illness. 

How Can I Increase My Japanese Akita's Life Expectancy?

Life is full of the unexpected. However, there are a few things you can do to help ensure that your dog lives a long and happy life. 

Choose a High-Quality Diet for your Japanese Akita

The contents of your dog’s bowl will have both short and long-term consequences on the good health of your pooch. So it’s important to choose a high-quality diet that is perfectly suited to your Japanese Akita’s needs. Try to avoid the industrial dog food products found in supermarket chains, as these are often produced using plant protein, which is cheaper. Dogs are carnivores who need to eat animal protein to survive, so opt for dog food containing at least 25-28% animal protein. This will be able to meet the nutritional requirements of your pooch much better. Also, keep in mind that your Japanese Akita's dietary needs will change over time, depending on their age, weight, and overall health. 

Get Serious about Vet Check-Ups

Caring for your Japanese Akita should also involve regular veterinary check-ups. Keep your pup’s vaccines up to date and don’t forget to take them for deworming treatments plus antiparasitic treatments against parasites like fleas and ticks. It is especially vital to schedule annual general health checks with your vet as your Japanese Akita starts to age.


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Prioritise Dog Training

Training your Japanese Akita can indirectly influence their life expectancy. This is because proper dog training allows your pup to grow up comfortably and safely in their environment and helps you to keep them in control at all times. This makes it much less likely for your dog to be involved in a serious accident. Start training your Japanese Akita from an early age, and prioritise teaching your dog to walk to heel and come back when you call.

Don't Neglect Physical Activity

A healthy dog is a dog that has all its needs met. An inactive Japanese Akita will ultimately be and feel very unhappy. And, just like with humans, the mental health of your pooch is closely linked to their physical health. The Japanese Akita is an athletic dog that needs to stretch its paws every day. It is therefore very important to take this pooch for at least one long walk each day. Also, buy enough toys to keep your pooch occupied while you’re out, especially if you live in an apartment with your Japanese Akita

What are the Most Common Diseases for a Japanese Akita?

Fortunately, the Akita Inu is a generally hardy breed of dog, relatively unaffected by genetic or hereditary diseases. However, Japanese Akitas are still susceptible to two autoimmune diseases:

  • Sebaceous Adenitis: This is a skin disease caused by the destruction of white blood cells in the body. The sebaceous glands are affected by an inflammatory disease, the cause of which is unknown. This pathology often leads to progressive alopecia (significant hair loss). Treatment is based on shampoos, oil baths, and an adapted diet, as well as dog food supplements rich in vitamin A.

  • Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Syndrome (VKH): This rare disease is characterised by the body’s immune system attacking the melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation. The disease causes symptoms including uveitis (inflammation of the eyes) and depigmentation of the skin.

The Japanese Akita is also increasingly affected by primary epilepsy, the cause of which remains unknown. There is no cure for epilepsy, but treatment can be prescribed to help limit seizures and improve the animal's quality of life.

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