While some shedding is perfectly natural and expected, many pet parents would prefer if their pooch shed just a little less. But, of course, some dogs shed extremely, and although certain breeds are more prone to this (hello Golden Retrievers!), often this can be a sign of a nutritional deficiency or skin and coat irritation. Whatever the reason for your dog's excessive shedding, you'll be pleased to know it's possible to minimize it. Of course, grooming is essential here, but we'll suppose you're already brushing and grooming your canine companion often and regularly. Another thing that can greatly affect your dog's health and, by extension, their shedding habits is their diet. Foods specifically formulated to reduce dog shedding provide all the necessary nutrients a canine needs, especially those required for a shiny, healthy coat.
To help you find the best dog food for shedding, we've done the research and created this top 10 list of canine foods that tick all the right boxes. So read on to find the right formula for your dog today.
- To avoid matting, a dog that sheds a lot needs high omega fatty acids.
- Food allergies can cause an unhealthy coat and hair loss.
- Natural dog food recipes are highly nutritious and support healthier skin and coats.
- If a dog's food has a high moisture content, it can help nourish your dog's skin.
- Your dog's diet is only part of the battle; regular grooming is essential.
- Some dog breeds shed much more than others and require additional grooming.
Overview of 10 Top Rated Dog Foods for Shedding
- Brand: Purina
- First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Canola Meal
- Primary Proteins: Salmon
- Calories: 467 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Salmon & Rice
- Life Stage: Adult
If you’re looking for the perfect dog food to reduce shedding, you need to check out the Purina Pro Plan Focus. This kibble is specifically formulated for canines with sensitive skins and stomachs. It’s nutrient-rich, full of protein, healthy fats, and those omega-3 fatty acids your dog’s coat loves so much.
Made from real salmon and rice, with a few fiber-rich grains such as barley and oatmeal, this dog food has everything your pooch needs and then some for great digestion and a healthy coat. The formula is also fortified with important vitamins and minerals, including zinc, calcium, and vitamin E. And if you’re worried about questionable fillers – don’t be, this dog food contains no corn, soy, wheat, or artificial colors or flavors. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach is one of 5 dog food recipes included in our review of the Purina Pro Plan product line.
Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Canola Meal, Fish Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-tocopherols, Salmon Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Dried Yeast, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Chicory Root Inulin, Fish Oil, L-lysine Monohydrochloride, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dl-methionine, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], Calcium Carbonate, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product.
- The recipe is filled with omega fatty acids which help with healthy fur growth.
- The first two ingredients of this recipe are fresh salmon and barley.
- This grain-inclusive dog food may not be the best choice for dogs with grain allergies.
- Brand: Whole Earth Farms
- First 5 ingredients: Pork Meal, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Canola Meal
- Primary Proteins: Pork
- Calories: 378 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Pork, Beef & Lamb
- Life Stage: Adult
The Whole Earth Farms is a line of wholesome, naturally nutritious dog foods and this particular formula contains pork, beef, and lamb as its primary sources of protein. Also, it’s grain-free.
With plenty of protein for energetic dogs, a moderate amount of fats for healthy skin and coat, and a bunch of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in fruits and veggies, this kibble can help you minimize excessive dog shedding as it’s nutrient-rich and completely natural. Of course, it’s also fortified with vitamins and minerals, and as a bonus, contains added probiotics for good digestion. You’ll find no corn, wheat, soy, by-products, or artificial preservatives here, which is great news for dogs with sensitive stomachs and skins. Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Pork is one of the 6 recipes included in our Whole Earth Farms Dog Food Review.
Pork Meal, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Canola Meal, Pork Fat, Pork, Beef, Lamb, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Apples, Carrots, Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols For Freshness, Citric Acid For Freshness, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product. 2C85524
- The high-protein and high-fiber recipe aids with smooth digestion.
- The grain-free recipe makes it one of the best dog food options for sensitive pups.
- This recipe prioritises pork meal as the primary protein as opposed to fresh pork.
- Brand: Diamond
- First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Fish Meal, Potatoes, Lentils, Peas
- Primary Proteins: Fish
- Calories: 408 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Salmon & Potato
- Life Stage: All Life Stages
With poor skin condition one of the factors behind excessive shedding, Diamond Naturals max on the omegas in wild-caught salmon to give your dog a boost. With zero grains and added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this dry formula also targets the essential nutrition your pet, his skin, and coat need to be in prime condition.
Easily digestible and with carefully balanced ingredients to reduce the allergens that may affect their skin, there are also added probiotics in this delicious tasting dog food to boost a sensitive gut and all-around immune health. This well-priced kibble is good value too, as you get a longer-lasting 30-pound bag that can be given to dogs of all ages.
Salmon, Fish Meal, Potatoes, Lentils, Peas, Pea Flour, Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Yeast, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, L-Carnitine, Kale, Chia Seed, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Oranges, Dried Kelp, Coconut, Spinach, Carrots, Papaya, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms. The Facility In Which This Food Is Made Also Makes Food That May Contain Other Ingredients.
- Great quality food that is offered at a reasonable, relatively budget-friendly price.
- Specifically designed to improve and support your dog’s skin and coat health.
- The recipe still contains allergens, even though it is grain-free.
- Brand: Wellness
- First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Meal, Oatmeal, Peas, Ground Rice
- Primary Proteins: Lamb
- Calories: 406 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Lamb & Oatmeal
- Life Stage: Adult
Wellness brand is well-known for its good-quality dog foods, and this kibble is no exception. Formulated especially for canines with food sensitivities, this food contains only natural, simple ingredients that are easily digestible and nourishing.
The formula is made from lamb meat and oatmeal, but also contains flaxseed for the healthy coat and less shedding, peas, rice, and millet for natural fiber and minerals. The omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio is good, which is always a plus but is especially important for dogs who shed a lot. The kibble is also fortified with important vitamins and minerals and contains added probiotics that help boost digestive health.
Lamb, Lamb Meal, Oatmeal, Peas, Ground Rice, Millet, Ground Flaxseed, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Natural Lamb Flavor, Chicory Root Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
- The limited ingredient diet-based recipe is ideal for food elimination trials.
- This food is available in an excellent range of flavors to provide variety.
- Though ingredients are significantly limited, trial and error may be needed with sensitive pups.
- Brand: Instinct
- First 5 ingredients: Turkey Meal, Peas, Turkey, Tapioca, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)
- Primary Proteins: Turkey
- Calories: 469 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Real Turkey
- Life Stage: Adult
Similar to the Wellness dog food reviewed above, the Instinct Limited Ingredient kibble is purposefully simple in its ingredients. With one animal protein and one main vegetable, this formula is easily digestible, making it perfect for canines with food sensitivities and coat problems.
The kibble is grain-free and contains real turkey meat and tapioca, the starch extracted from cassava root. So, if you’re looking for a long list of ingredients, a bunch of fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains, you won’t find it here. This food contains no grains, dairy, eggs, potatoes, fish, chicken, corn, wheat, soy… basically, there are no fillers of any kind, including artificial colors and preservatives. But there are added vitamins and minerals and the kibble has a good omega6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio. For more information on the brand, check out our Nature’s Variety Dog Food Review.
Turkey Meal, Peas, Turkey, Tapioca, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Montmorillonite Clay, Natural Flavor, Coconut Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Freeze-Dried Turkey, Freeze-Dried Turkey Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Freeze-Dried Turkey Heart, Rosemary Extract.
- This balanced high-protein diet helps to support a healthy immune system.
- Another limited ingredient recipe suitable for use with food elimination trials.
- This may not be as effective at easing a dog’s shedding problem as a more inclusive diet.
- Brand: Orijen
- First 5 ingredients: Whole Mackerel, Whole Herring, Monkfish, Acadian Redfish, Flounder
- Primary Proteins: Fish
- Calories: 468 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Six Fish
- Life Stage: All Life Stages
If you’re looking for dog food that’s highly rich in protein but low in carbohydrates, you’ve found it – the Orijen Six Fish dog food has a whopping 38% of protein all coming from different fish (yes, that’s actually six different kinds of fish!), so a thick, shiny coat is almost guaranteed.
The formula contains 18% low-glycemic carbohydrates and things such as whole red lentils, whole green lentils, whole green peas, whole chickpeas, etc. All in all, a fantastic combination of ingredients that caters to any dog’s health and is especially beneficial for dogs with high blood sugar. The only downside? It’s a pretty steep price. Still, if you want the absolute best for your dog and his coat and money’s not an issue, it’s definitely worth checking out. ORIJEN Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is one of 5 dog food recipes included in our Orijen Dog Food Review.
Whole Mackerel, Whole Herring, Monkfish, Acadian Redfish, Flounder, Whole Hake, Mackerel Meal, Herring Meal, Blue Whiting Meal, Pollock Meal, Whole Red Lentils, Whole Pinto Beans, Sunflower Oil, Whole Peas, Whole Green Lentils, Whole Navy Beans, Sunflower Oil, Lentil Fiber, Natural Fish Flavor, Whole Chickpeas, Pea Starch, Herring Oil, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Whole Pumpkin, Whole Butternut Squash, Collard Greens, Whole Apples, Whole Pears, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Dried Chicory Root, Turmeric, Sarsaparilla Root, Althea Root, Rosehips, Juniper Berries, Citric Acid (Preservative), Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.
- The first five ingredients consist of fresh fish showing commitment to quality.
- Premium dog food rich in omega fatty acids for better skin health and a smoother coat.
- One of the more expensive dog food options owing to the range of high-quality ingredients.
- Brand: Nature’s Recipe
- First 5 ingredients: Brewers Rice, Soybean Meal, Barley, Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor
- Primary Proteins: Soybean
- Calories: 305 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Vegetarian Recipe
- Life Stage: Adult
If for some reason you don’t give your dog meat, Nature’s Recipe Healthy Skin Vegetarian version is a great formula to try. With soybean, rice, and barley, this kibble doesn’t miss out on protein and fiber but is low in fat, which makes it a perfect choice for dogs who can’t eat a lot of fat or are overweight.
This dog food is fortified with many important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, so you don’t have to worry about it not being a nutritionally complete meal – it most definitely is. With a good ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids, added linoleic acid, zinc, iron, selenium, vitamin E, A, D3 B12, and others, the kibble is nutritious as it is palatable.
Brewers Rice, Soybean Meal, Barley, Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Carrots, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid (Source Of Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Taurine, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Lactic Acid, L-Carnitine, Citric Acid (Used As A Preservative), Rosemary Extract.
- Enables vegetarian owners to feed their dogs well without compromising their beliefs.
- This recipe is filled with a great range of vitamins and minerals.
- This is a grain-inclusive recipe meaning it may not be suitable for more sensitive dogs.
- Brand: AvoDerm
- First 5 ingredients: Beef, Beef Meal, Peas, Pea Flour, Potatoes
- Primary Proteins: Beef
- Calories: 352 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Beef & Vegetables
- Life Stage: Adult & Puppy
Rich in omega oils and fiber, as well as vitamins A, B6, C, and E, avocados, are a nutritional powerhouse when it comes to conditioning your pooch’s coat and skin. And with AvoDerm’s grain-free dry food formula, your pet will get a tasty hit of healthy goodness. At the protein heart of Avoderm Natural, All Life Stages Dry Dog Food is beef, enhanced by selected vegetables, including potato and the all-important avocado and avocado oil, as well as peas, flaxseed, and kelp meal.
The grain-free formula is ideal for skin and allergy-sensitive dogs while the added vitamins and minerals will support their immune system and all-around good health. This tasty kibble is ideal for dogs at all life stages and with no added meat by-products, artificial flavors, or preservatives, you can be confident this natural meal will be kind on their tums.
Beef, Beef Meal, Peas, Pea Flour, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Tomato Pomace, Avocado, Flax Seed (Source of Omega 3), Natural Flavor, Alfalfa Meal, Salmon Oil, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Kelp Meal, Avocado Oil, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, a-Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Niacin, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium Yeast, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate), Rosemary Extract, Sage Extract, Pineapple Stem, Papaya Extract, Dehydrated Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dehydrated Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dehydrated Bifidobacterium Thermophilum Fermentation Product, Dehydrated Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product.
- A natural dog food free from corn, soy, wheat, and any artificial ingredients.
- Priority is placed in high-quality protein with beef as the first ingredient.
- This low-calorie diet means more food is needed to fill out each portion.
- Brand: Nutro
- First 5 ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Rice Bran
- Primary Proteins: Lamb
- Calories: 341 kcal/cup
- Flavor: Lamb & Brown Rice
- Life Stage: Adult
If your pooch prefers small kibble, the Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Bites might be the ideal dog food for you. Made from pasture-raised lamb, chicken, and rice, this formula is nutrient-rich and crafted especially to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.
This kibble contains simple, good-quality ingredients that are supposed to be easy on digestion and good for skin and coat health. With ingredients such as lamb, chicken, rice, oatmeal, peas, and chickpeas, the protein to fat to carbohydrates ratio is good, making the food satiating. There are added vitamins and minerals, but no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. And if you’re wondering about the quality of the formula, the Nutro kibble is made from non-GMO ingredients. For more information on the brand, check out our detailed Review of Nutro Dog Food.
Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Split Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Whole Flaxseed, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Chia Seed, Dried Coconut, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Kale, Dried Spinach, Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.
- A high-fiber recipe that promotes healthy digestion and better nutrient absorption.
- Free from soy, wheat, corn, GMO ingredients, and artificial flavors or colors.
- Rice takes up two of the top five ingredient spots, which could lead to bloating in some dogs.
- Brand: Crave
- First 5 ingredients: White Fish, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Split Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
- Primary Proteins: Fish & Chicken
- Calories: 422 kcal/cup
- Flavor: White Fish & Salmon
- Life Stage: Adult
With a high level of quality protein sourced from white fish and omega-rich salmon, this grain-free dry formula from Crave is an excellent choice for more sensitive pooches. With common grain-based allergens omitted from the recipe, this tasty dog food is kind on their stomach too, leaving them feeling full and satisfied. And with less to irritate their digestion, the healthier their skin and coat will be.
Meanwhile, the omega 6 fatty acids from the oily fish work to support their skin, helping to reduce any excess shedding while the whole formula is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals for all-around good health. And their carbs come from grain-free sources, including vitamin-rich lentils, peas, and beet. All in all, a tasty, nutritious grain-free formula to support their health, energy, and general wellbeing.
White Fish, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Split Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pork Meal, Fish Meal, Pea Starch, Salmon Meal, Natural Flavor, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.
- A high-protein recipe that supports healthy muscle development.
- White Fish is the first recipe meaning plenty of omega fatty acids and a healthier coat.
- Not suitable for dogs under the age of one to eat due to the recipe formulation.
Best Dog Food for Shedding: Buyer’s Guide & FAQs
So there you have it – some of the best dog foods that help with shedding in one place. All that’s left now is to pick the formula you think is best suited for your dog. Of course, we understand if you’re having a hard time picking the right kibble – after all, all products promise the best quality ingredients and perfectly balanced nutrition, so it can be a bit difficult to find the right food. We hope the following chapters will help you determine exactly what it is your furry friend needs in order to stop excessive shedding, and therefore which kibble is the right kibble for him.
What is Dog Food for Shedding?
When it comes to picking the best dog food for a heavily-shedding pup, you need to consider the reasons behind the purchase. Dog owners around the world are constantly searching for ways to manage their dog’s fur, particularly during shedding seasons. But many don’t realize that the correct diet is half the battle. If your dog is eating a complete and balanced diet, then its skin and fur will benefit in the long run.
However, simply picking a top-quality dog food is not necessarily the be-all and end-all. If your dog experiences food allergies, sensitivities, or digestive health problems, they may begin to experience coat problems as a result, such as rashes that can lead to hot spots, hair loss, and matting.
The first type of diet you should try with your dog is something that is high in omega fatty acids, particularly for dogs with long coats or breeds that shed excessively. Omega fatty acids are naturally nourishing and help your dog to produce the natural oils that condition their coat and protect their skin. Without them, their coat is likely to become dry and brittle, which can lead to additional shedding and matting.
If your dog’s coat becomes lifeless and dull on the food you have chosen, then there’s a high chance one or more of the ingredients isn’t agreeing with them. This is when it is worth trying grain-free food, high-protein food, or even a limited ingredient diet.
4 Dog Shedding Home Remedies That Work
Of course, we’re here to discuss dietary remedies for shedding and how providing your dog with the nutritious dog food as well as introducing certain supplements to your dog’s diet can help them to shake loose their excess fur more easily. However, helping your dog to shed is not just a simple matter of making sure they eat well. Think of humans – if someone had a perfect diet, they’re not suddenly exempt from needing a hairbrush or developing mats. So what other dog shedding solutions should you be keeping in mind to prevent excessive shedding?
1. De-Shedding Tools
Every dog owner caring for a fluffy dog breed should be in possession of a trustworthy shedding tool. Often they come in the form of combs that arse specially designed to penetrate the outer layers of fur and remove the loose undercoat to prevent it from getting trapped and matting. Deshedding tools also help to remove dirt and debris as they often have multiple comb layers that are finely spaced to enable proper de-shedding in good time.
You can also get de-shedding tools in the shape of vacuums designed to gently and efficiently remove the excess fur from your dog’s coat. However, a vacuum can be quite unnerving for anxious pups and may not necessarily be the best option for dogs that experience anxiety when being groomed.
2. Food Topper
Sometimes your dog needs a little extra help with their diet to ensure they’re getting the most out of every meal. The more nutrients your dog is able to absorb whilst digesting, the better their skin and coat will be. Olive oil is highly recommended as an excellent source of polyunsaturated fats such as omega fatty acids. These fats will encourage better natural oil production in the skin.
This oil coats the fur (much like with human hair) and enables the loose hairs to fall away more easily – this reduces the risk of matting significantly. Better conditioned fur also helps to repel water which is just an added bonus in wet weather conditions. So long as your dog is receiving the right nutrients, they shouldn’t need bathing very often unless they have stepped or rolled in something that needs to be washed out.
3. Regular Bathing
If your dog really struggles with maintaining its coat quality, there is a high chance there’s an underlying cause that requires some form of treatment (perhaps they need supplements, or have a skin condition or skin allergies that need medication). In this case, bathing may be a necessary part of their grooming routine in order to try and maintain some semblance of regularity.
Using de-shedding shampoos and dog conditioners can help reduce excessive shedding and help your pup to regulate their hair growth more easily. You may even find that your pup requires medicated shampoo as well to help get the underlying condition under control. These special shampoos can help your dog develop healthy skin and reduce the appearance of dry skin, which will result in better fur and less frequent shedding.
4. Air Purifier
Sometimes a little investment can be totally worth it. Purchasing an air purifier to improve the quality of the air in your home can actually reduce irritation for both you and your dog by removing dust, dander, and debris from the environment. Some dog breeds will shed excessively regardless of your efforts to quell it – especially arctic breeds such as huskies, malamutes, and chow chows (to name a few), with adult dogs shedding more as they get older.
You’ll probably also find that the purifier picks up a lot of excess dog hair. This is perfectly normal, though it does mean the filter will need changing relatively frequently, depending on the breed.
You Should Consider Adding Supplements
Some dog foods, no matter how nutritious, sometimes can’t quite hit the mark when it comes to helping a dog control excessive shedding. Even the best dog food for shedding may not have exactly what your dog needs, especially if your dog experienced multiple food allergies or sensitivities, which can narrow your choices significantly.
In the case of severe food allergies, it’s recommended that you consider adding supplements to the food to provide the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your chosen dog food is lacking. Many owners with dogs that have to eat limited dog food will opt for prebiotic, omega 3, omega 6, fiber, and vitamin B supplements to encourage easy digestion and healthy fur.
Do Some Breeds Shed Less Than Others?
Absolutely. There are hypoallergenic dogs that barely shed at all, such as poodles and Yorkshire terriers. These breeds also produce less dander which is often the cause of dog allergies as opposed to the fur itself. Most typical domestic dog breeds have an average rate of shedding with especially short-haired dogs appearing to shed less as the fur is less noticeable and less likely to mat.
However, arctic dog breeds are not well adapted to living in warmer climates, and so they have a tendency to shed excessively year-round with multiple periods in which they will “blow their coats” – meaning you will be breathing, wearing, and eating fur for several weeks unless you’re able to keep it under control with constant grooming.
Important Considerations When Buying Dog Food for Shedding
Before you purchase a dog food marketed to reduce shedding or help with skin irritations, make sure the formula actually contains proper nutrients that support canine overall health and wellbeing, including skin and coat health.
Canines thrive on a good-protein diet, especially if they’re very active. Proteins are the building blocks of the animal’s entire body and they are absolutely necessary for daily function. If your dog has not been getting enough protein, he can start developing all kinds of health issues, including dry and irritated skin and excessive shedding.
So make sure the formula you’re feeding your pooch contains enough protein, however, not too much of it – after all, dogs are omnivores and do best on a balanced diet (carbs, fat, and protein), so it’s important to have all the macronutrients in place.
Essential Fatty Acids
Dogs are unable to produce omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, but since they’re essential, it’s crucial they have them in their diet. Dog foods that contain little to no omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids can lead to a host of health problems, including excessive shedding, so make sure the formula you’re feeding your dog contains plenty of them.
Vitamins and Minerals
If your pooch has a bland diet for health or other reasons, it’s crucial the kibble you either supplement with or intend to use as the main food in the future contains many naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as added ones. Some of the micronutrients you want in dog food are B vitamins, A, D, E, and K vitamins, as well as zinc, calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, choline, iodine, and others.
Benefits of Using Dog Food for Shedding
If you’re feeding your pup with dog food for shedding, it’s highly likely you’re killing two birds with one stone as the formulas marketed for minimizing excess shedding are highly nutritious and full of good-quality ingredients.
For a formula to be able to reduce dog shedding, it needs to contain enough protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates – in other words, it needs to provide a balanced ratio of fats, proteins, and carbs, as well as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. It also needs to contain a wide array of vitamins and minerals as they’re necessary for healthy skin and a shiny coat.
So, if your canine friend is eating such formula, not only will her skin and coat be better and she’ll shed less, but her overall health will be in top shape.
Causes of Excessive Shedding
As most dog owners know, some shedding is absolutely normal and even necessary, and some breeds are simply prone to more shedding than others. However, if your furry companion starts shedding more than she usually does, or she starts developing bald patches or tender skin on areas where she sheds the most, it’s time to take her to the vet. It’s also a good idea to change her diet and switch to dog foods formulated to control shedding, and to up her grooming routine. A good dog shedding brush can help a lot with this, as can regular and gentle bathing.
But if we’re talking about the root cause of excessive shedding, it’s good to know that there can be many potential factors at play, but it usually comes down to:
Just because you’re buying expensive dog food doesn’t mean your pooch is getting all the nutrients he needs. Look for formulas that contain a good ratio of protein/fat/carbohydrates and essential fatty acids. It’s also a good idea to use only fortified foods and avoid those with many fillers and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Like humans, dogs can develop allergies, but in their case, it’s food allergies we’re talking about the most (although certain air pollutants can also play a role). Although your dog may love chicken and has been eating it for years, he can suddenly develop an allergy to chicken. The same thing with pork, beef, fish dairy, eggs, soy, and grains – of course, your dog cannot have allergies to all of these ingredients, but it’s entirely possible to develop one or two, seemingly out of nowhere.
Take a look at our review of Dog Food for Allergies.
Do you know how your hair starts shedding more than usual after a stressful event, or a series of stressful events? It’s the same with dogs – if there’s stress at home, such as tension with other animals or frequent yelling, your pooch can start feeling stressed out, and as result develop digestion issues, skin irritations, and finally problems with excessive shedding.
Our Top Pick – Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach
Although all dog foods for shedding that ended up on our Top Pick list are excellent, the Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach takes the first place. This kibble is specially formulated to help with digestion and irritated skin, and as a result, can greatly help all dogs shed less (if they’re shedding excessively, of course). It has a great protein to fat to carbohydrates ratio, as well as omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. It’s also fortified with all important vitamins and minerals and contains naturally occurring prebiotic fiber. Equally important, it doesn’t contain any unnecessary fillers, including wheat, corn, and soy, and there are no artificial colors or flavors. Furthermore, you’ll find no meat by-product here, which is a major bonus for canines with super-sensitive immune systems.
Best of all? It’s highly palatable and most dogs go crazy for it, so it’s easy to feed them a healthy, well-balanced diet with this formula. Also, it’s affordable, so it’s a win-win product all around.
Best Dog Food for Shedding FAQs:
All dogs (except for the American Hairless Terriers) shed at least a little, so it’s not possible to completely stop dog shedding no matter how much you try. But how much shedding is normal? When should you let your dog be and when should you worry?
- Year-round shedding: if your dog is generally healthy and just sheds a lot, there’s no reason to worry. Normal shedding happens all the time and is visible on your furniture and clothes but should not be visible on your dog’s body.
- Seasonal shedding: some breeds shed seasonally, usually in the spring and fall. This type of shedding should occur evenly across your pet’s entire body and happen every year on a cycle.
However, if your dog develops bald patches or you notice his fur is missing, it’s time to go to the vet.
If you’re already feeding your pooch healthily and maybe even supplement with fish/salmon oil and other food toppers, dog food for shedding can help a little, if at all. But if your dog is not getting enough nutrients or is nursing/under a lot of stress, good dog foods designed for minimizing shedding may be able to help a lot.
All puppy coats are eventually replaced by adult fur. No matter how soft and fuzzy, that puppy coat is temporary and must turn into adult fur as the puppy grows. The timing of this varies, but it usually happens between 3 and 6 months of age. This depends on the breed, puppy’s health, and climate. Whenever it happens, the process looks similar: puppy’s coat becomes shaggy and may fall out before adult fur manages to replace it. This is completely normal and should not be taken as a sign of a health problem.