Akitas are a member of the ‘Utility’ breed group. Dogs in the Utility group were essentially bred for a specific purpose and so contain a variety of breeds. The function they have been bred for is not included in the sporting and working categories.
Akitas are known to be devoted and affectionate towards their owners, and because of this can be very protective. They can be aloof and can tend to dominate other dogs, so care should be taken with other animals. As with all breeds, early socialisation is very important to get them used to other pets, people and a variety of situations, meaning they’ll grow up into sociable, confident dogs – for more tips on how to socialise your Akita, check out our dog behaviour page.
Breed-related health problems:
Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Akitas are prone to include:
- Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
- Nervous and auto-immune diseases
- Entropion – inward rolling of the eyelids which can often cause irritation to the eye.
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – often known as ‘bloat’, this is a condition where the stomach twists, trapping the contents and gases. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention. It’s often seen in large, deep-chested breeds.
For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.
You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.
Exercise and grooming requirements:
Akitas need plenty of exercise – ideally over 2 hours per day, so to take on this breed you need to be very active! They are strong, independent dogs who love the outdoors. Their thick coats will need brushing once a week to remove dead hair, more often when shedding.
Estimated lifetime cost:
The likely lifetime costs for an Akita are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:
- Initial costs of the purchase of the pet
- First vaccinations and booster vaccinations
- Pet insurance
- Flea treatments
The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.
Insure your Akita with PDSA:
1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Akitas that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:
- 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
- 4 levels of cover to suit you
- Monthly payment at no extra cost
- *Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.
By insuring your Akita with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.