Before proceeding to the recommendations for our dogs caring, it worth to mention that these animals adapt perfectly both to city apartments and outdoors living. Thanks to their thick and dense coat, Akita easily endure severe frost, but it is difficult for them to adapt to the heat, and that moment you should keep in mind. We will discuss the important aspects of outdoors dog care later, but, for now, let's get down to basic principles.
Regularly washing paws and tummy after walk is not even up for discussion. Let’s move on to the “full-scale cleaning”. Typically, most dogs are bathed only a couple of times during the year. But this is not an option for Akita due to the coat features: they will have to be thoroughly washed once a month, two, at most. During intense shedding, it is recommended to bathe once a week, but without detergents.
How to prepare for this event: Place a rug in the bathtub to prevent your dog’s paws from sliding apart. Be sure to protect ears from water (simple cotton pads will do). You will also need professional washing agents (pay special attention to concentrate proportions!). Whether to use conditioners for coat, or not, is up to you: there is no limit to perfection. Of course, you should have a couple of towels and a hair dryer on hand: hair dryer for dogs is not essential, you can use a regular one if it has a temperature control. And, of course, it is important that your device works quietly.
In no case bathe Akita in hot water, only warm water is suitable. Wet not only the upper coat, the undercoat should also get wet. Next, apply the prearranged washing foam, soap the dog thoroughly, including snout and private parts. Wash off and repeat the procedure. It is very important to wash the shampoo thoroughly, otherwise skin allergies likely to occur.
Drying is an equally important step. Turn off the air conditioner, close the windows. Take all the time needed on this procedure in order to eliminate the risk of moisture lesions. Move from the crown to the tail, from the shoulders to the limbs.
Do not forget to check your dog’s ears regularly. Remember: healthy ears are clean ears (yes, just like that). But if you notice plaque and an unpleasant odor, consult a veterinarian to see if your pet got a tick.
It is also important to monitor eyes care: small mucous secretions are normal; they can be removed with ordinary saline solution. It is recommended to periodically use chlorhexidine to prevent inflammation. An important detail: wipe each eye with an individual napkin or cotton pad from outer to inner corner of the eye. Attention: if you notice copious and purulent secretions, visit a veterinarian immediately!
Do I need to brush dog’s teeth? Yes, on occasion, try to thoroughly clean the pet’s mouth. This can only be done with the special dog toothpaste, that will not harm when your pet swallows it (by the way, your Akita will love this, since dog toothpastes smell like meat). A regular toothbrush will be enough. Also a fingerbrush is worth buying – an excellent tool for high-quality gums massage.
Good news is that the Akita’s fur is odorless.
Bad news is that these dogs shed on a noble scale. For girls, it depends on their specific cycle; for boys, as usual: autumn and spring shed.
Well, there can be no better recommendation than grooming. Only daily and time consuming grooming. Usually, once a week is enough. Certainly, moisturizing cosmetics make the grooming process easier.
You also should get a special metal brush (aka undercoat rake) and a slicker brush.
As we have mentioned before, thanks to their thick coat and developed undercoat, dogs of this breed tolerate outdoor conditions well and quickly adapt to the cold. But we’d like to note: if you already know that the dog will live outdoors, try to accustom your puppy to these conditions as early as possible. The longer it stays with you inside the house, the more difficult it will be to overcome this period of adaptation. But there is an important detail: you cannot toss your pet into the cold if it is not six months old. Therefore, the best time to have a puppy is the summer and autumn, so that it’s body has time to get strong enough and endure the first winter.
But, of course, living outdoors does not replace or cancel out full-scale walks!
While managing an open-air cage, take into account the breed features: American Akita needs movement, a lot of movement and space.
Why are we highlighting the open-air cage at first place? Because if you limit your pet with only a kennel, and won’t fence off its territory, the Akita will go wild around. Also, considering that these dogs are great at hunting rodents, be prepared for a regular holes digging. Think about your guests, too: unlikely they will keep presence of mind seeing an impressive and menacing appearance dog rushing their way.
The kennel itself should be modular: at frost below 10°C, you will have to insulate the Akita’s home. At bad weather, it would be useful to clean the kennel regularly. As for the size, it is simple here: large and luxurious design made only for you; the dog needs a practical house for sleep. Sizes: 10 cm greater than the dog’s height and length is more than enough.
What really needs to be paid more attention to is winterization: at winter the open-air cage can be covered with hay, and the kennel’s floor additionally warmed with extra layers (an old blanket or jacket – anything). It would also be great to protect the dog from rainfall: cover the open-air cage with any moisture-resistant materials on the leeward side.