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Last updated: 21 Nov 2019

The Best Dog Foods for Shedding (Review) in 2019

best choice dog food for shedding

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Sensitive Skin and Stomach

premium pick dog food for shedding

Orijen 6 Fish Grain-Free Formula

affordable dog food for shedding

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Bites

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Dr Tracy Douglas
Published 06:36 am

While some shedding is perfectly natural and to be expected, many pet parents would prefer if their pooch shed just a little less. 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. 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. Read on to find the right formula for your dog today.

Best Dog Food for Shedding

1

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 a 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.

Kilocalories: 3725 kcal per kg

Minimum protein: 26%

Minimum fat: 16%

Maximum fiber: 4%

Maximum moisture: 12%

Salmon and rice formula

Contains omega 3 fatty acids (min) 0.8% and omega 6 fatty acids (min) 1.6%

With Glucosamine

Fortified with vitamins and minerals

First three ingredients: salmon, barley, ground rice

Specification:
  • Brand: Purina
  • Model: 101143
  • Weight: 30.0 pounds

2

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.

Related Post: Whole Earth Farms Dog Food

Kilocalories: 3478 kcal per kg

Minimum protein: 26%

Minimum fat: 13%

Maximum fiber: 3.5%

Maximum moisture: 11%

Pork, beef and lamb formula

Contains vegetables and fruits

With probiotics

Fortified with vitamins and minerals

First three ingredients: pork meal, dried potatoes, peas

Specification:
  • Brand: Whole Earth Farms
  • Model: 85540
  • Weight: 25.3 pounds

3

If your furry friend has a super-sensitive stomach, it’s best he or she avoids grains, and instead eat meats, legumes, and veggies. That’s what the Nutro’s Max formula is all about – with chicken and lamb, potatoes, chickpeas and alfalfa, this kibble is highly palatable, easy on the digestion and great for dog’s overall well-being.

The formula contains lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, but there are added nutrients as well, including zinc, taurine, niacin, iron, calcium, vitamins E, B12, and others. There are no artificial flavors or preservatives here, by-product meals, corn, wheat or soy. All in all, a great affordable dog food that could help your pooch shed less.

Kilocalories: 3,687 kcal per kg

Minimum protein: 26%

Minimum fat: 14%

Maximum fiber: 3.50%

Maximum moisture: 10%

Pasture-fed Lamb formula

Fortified with vitamins and minerals

First three ingredients: chicken meal, dried potatoes, chickpeas

Specification:
  • Brand: Nutro
  • Model: 10143210
  • Weight: 25.5 pounds

4

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.

Kilocalories: 3,443 kcal per kg

Minimum protein: 21%

Minimum fat: 12%

Maximum fiber: 4.75%

Maximum moisture: 11%

Lamb and oatmeal formula

Contains omega 3 fatty acids (min) 0.75% and omega 6 fatty acids (min) 2%

With probiotics

Fortified with vitamins and minerals

First three ingredients: lamb, lamb meal, oatmeal

Specification:
  • Brand: Wellness
  • Model: 89311
  • Weight: 26.5 pounds

5

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.

Kilocalories: 4,100 kcal per kg

Minimum protein: 29%

Minimum fat: 18%

Maximum fiber: 3%

Maximum moisture: 10%

Turkey and tapioca formula

Contains omega 3 fatty acids (min) 0.70% and omega 6 fatty acids (min) 3%

Fortified with vitamins and minerals

First three ingredients: turkey meal, peas, tapioca

Specification:
  • Brand: Instinct
  • Model: 769949653110
  • Weight: 22.3 pounds

6

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 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.

Related Post: Orijen Dog Food Review

Kilocalories: 3860 kcal per kg

Minimum protein: 38%

Minimum fat: 18%

Maximum fiber: 5%

Maximum moisture: 12%

Six fish formula (Pacific pilchard, Pacific mackerel, Pacific hake, Pacific flounder, rockfish, sole and other)

Contains omega 3 fatty acids (min) 2.2% and omega 6 fatty acids (min) 2.2%

With Glucosamine and Chondroitin

First three ingredients: fresh whole Pacific pilchard (18%), fresh whole Pacific mackerel (13%), fresh whole Pacific hake (12%)

Specification:
  • Brand: Orijen
  • Model: DOR4430-25
  • Weight: 25.3 pounds

7

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 other, the kibble is nutritious as it is palatable.

Kilocalories: 3,310 kcal per kg

Minimum protein: 22%

Minimum fat: 8%

Maximum fiber: 4.40%

Maximum moisture: 10%

Vegetarian formula

Contains omega 3 fatty acids (min) 0.60% and omega 6 fatty acids (min) 1.90%

Fortified with vitamins and minerals

First three ingredients: brewer’s rice, soybean meal, barley

Specification:
  • Brand: Nature’s Recipe
  • Model: 3052151468
  • Weight: 30 pounds

8

Containing beef meal, potatoes, and avocados, the AvoDerm dog food has a great protein to carbohydrates to fats ratio, which makes it excellent at promoting healthy skin and coat. It’s also grain-free, meaning a good option for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

The formula purposefully uses the only beef meal as the main source of protein, as many canines have food sensitivities to turkey and rice, which can be reflected in skin irritations and excessive shedding. Besides beef, potatoes, and avocados, the kibble contains peas, flax seed, dried tomatoes, salmon oil, apples, kelp meal and other healthy ingredients. Also, it’s fortified with vitamins and minerals and contains added probiotics.

Kilocalories: 3450 kcal per kg

Minimum protein: 26%

Minimum fat: 13%

Maximum fiber: 4.50%

Maximum moisture: 10%

Red meat meal and potato formula

Contains omega 3 fatty acids (min) 0.40% and omega 6 fatty acids (min) 2.20%

With probiotics

Fortified with vitamins and minerals

First three ingredients: beef meal, peas, potatoes

Specification:
  • Brand: AvoDerm
  • Model: 100064773
  • Weight: 24.4 pounds

9

If your pooch prefers small kibble, the Nutro Wholesome Essential 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 shiny coat.

This kibble contains simple, good-quality ingredients that are supposed to be easy on the 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.

Kilocalories: 3,543 kcal per kg

Minimum protein: 22%

Minimum fat: 14%

Maximum fiber: 3.50%

Maximum moisture: 10%

Pasture-raised lamb and rice recipe

Fortified with vitamins and minerals

First three ingredients: deboned lamb, chicken meal, brewers rice

Specification:
  • Brand: Nutro
  • Model: 10157658
  • Weight: 4.8 pounds

10

Another Limited Ingredient kibble, but this one from Merrick is excellent for canines with serious food sensitivities, as it’s made from real duck and sweet potatoes. The formula is also great for minimizing shedding as it contains a good amount of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

The Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet is specifically crafted for dogs with sensitive stomachs who often suffer from indigestion, and as a result, irritated skin and dull coat. With ingredients such as duck meat, sweet potatoes, peas, organic alfalfa and added probiotics, the formula is delectable and easily digestible. Of course, it’s also fortified with vitamins and minerals, so you can rest assured your pooch is getting everything he needs through his diet.

Kilocalories: 3,470 kcal per kg

Minimum protein: 26%

Minimum fat: 13%

Maximum fiber: 3.5%

Maximum moisture: 11%

Real duck and sweet potato recipe

Contains omega 3 fatty acids (min) 0.3% and omega 6 fatty acids (min) 3%

With Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Fortified with vitamins and minerals

First three ingredients: deboned duck, duck meal, sweet potatoes

Specification:
  • Brand: Merrick
  • Model: 39014
  • Weight: 22.6 pounds

Best Dog Food for Shedding Guide & FAQ

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 the 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.

Related Post: Iams Dog Food Review

Cropped view of woman holding bowl with pet food

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.

  • Protein

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 a 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.

Beagle in green grass

Benefits of Using Dog Food for Shedding

If you’re feeding your pup with a 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 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.

Related Post: Best Air Purifiers for Pets

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:

  • Poor diet

Just because you’re buying an 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.

  • Allergies

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.

  • Stress

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.

Dog Jack Russell Terrier walks on nature

Best Dog Food for Shedding FAQ:

Q: How much shedding is normal?

A:  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.

Q: Can food actually reduce dog shedding?

A: 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.

Q: When will puppies shed their “baby” coat?

A: 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.

Our Top Pick

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.

Sources:

  1. Excessive Shedding in Dogs, WebMD
  2. Dog Food to Prevent Shedding, Animals Mom Me
  3. Why Do Dogs Shed?, PetMD
Dr Tracy Douglas
Dr Tracy Douglas
General Practice Veterinarian, currently working at the Glenwood Veterinary Clinic, Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Dr. Douglas began her veterinary career as a Veterinary Nurse in Highton Veterinary Clinic, Highton Victoria, and then as an Emergency Veterinarian in Uintah Pet Emergency, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tracy is particularly interested in surgery, neurology and internal medicine, which gives her a well-rounded knowledge on animal health and well-being. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Melbourne, while her undergraduate bachelor of science is from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
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