Best Dog Food for Shedding
You have noticed that your dog is shedding more than usual and you are starting to worry. Is this normal? What can you do to help your furry friend?
Shedding is a natural process for dogs, but sometimes they can shed too much. The good news is that there are some things you can do to help!
I have compiled a list of the 9 best dog foods for shedding, complete with specific vitamins and minerals to look for and wet and dry food options for all life stages.
First a quick note: this website is reader-supported. I spend a lot of time personally evaluating, testing and reviewing each product on this list, along with the help of my two dogs.
When you buy through links on our site, I may earn an affiliate commission. This also keeps my two pups fed and happy.
Why do dogs shed?
Dog shedding is a natural process where your furry friend's body gets rid of old, damaged or unnecessary hair. It's their way of adjusting to the changing seasons.
For instance, your Border Collie or Retriever may grow a thick coat in winter to keep warm, but they'll shed it off as summer arrives, to cool their body temperature down. With that said, continuous and excessive shedding might signal an underlying issue, like stress or allergies. Understanding this process can help you ensure your pet's comfortable and healthy living.
9 Best Dog Food for Shedding
Best Meal Topper
Best For Allergies
Best Wet Food
1. Best Overall: Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach
Meet Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach, a top-tier choice in the canine food market! I'll share a few reasons why it shines as an ultimate helper against shedding.
For starters, its high-protein recipe is made with salmon and salmon meal, which means it is low in allergens, full of Omega 3s (0.75%) and quality protein (26%).
It's also full of with gut-friendly probiotics combined with natural, low allergen ingredients, making it an excellent choice for dogs with stomach sensitivities.
What I love most is that its rich nutrient content, including Omega 3 (0.75%) and Omega 6 (1.6%), Vitamins A, E and C, which are essential for maintaining a healthy coat and skin.
Key Ingredients: Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Canola Meal, Fish Meal
My husky eats this food and his I get comments on his luscious and shiny coat all year long. He sheds normally in the spring and summer, but his skin and coat are fantastic.
You can also take comfort in knowing that its formula is free from wheat, soy, corn and any artificial ingredients, ensuring overall pet wellness.
Highly recommended for owners seeking the utmost food quality and specialized care for dogs with sensitive bellies!
2. Best Meal Topper: Bluebird Provisions Beef Bone Broth for Dogs
Make no mistake, Bluebird Provisions Beef Bone Broth is your top choice for dogs that shed excessively.
I can personally vouch for its effectiveness, as I noticed a significant reduction in shedding and a marked improvement in coat quality when I started using this bone broth on my two dogs (2 years ago).
One of the reasons for its effectiveness is its rich collagen and glycine content, featuring non-gmo and pasture raised chicken bones, which not only promotes healthy skin but also minimizes shedding.
Additionally, it's full of collagen protein and hyaluronic acid, ensuring a shinier and healthier coat. Pet owners can also appreciate that it's free from common allergens like corn, wheat, and soy, as well as any artificial ingredients, reducing the risk of allergies that might intensify shedding.
Ingredients: Water, Grass Fed Beef Bones
Dogs go crazy for this stuff. Including my picky poodle, who rarely finished his meals until I started adding this bone broth.
If you're the proud parent looking for something to spice up meal time, this meal topper is your solution.
3. Best Wet Food: Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Wet Food (Lamb and Sweet Potato)
Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet featuring Lamb and Sweet Potato is a fantastic choice for managing your dog's shedding! It shines among its peers.
As someone who owns a dog with a corn allergy, finding the right food can be a challenge. However, when I tried Nutro, I noticed a difference right away.
Not only does Atlas love the taste, but I've also noticed a significant reduction in shedding. The main ingredient in this wet food is lamb, which provides a minimum of 7% protein, essential for maintaining healthy hair.
Key Ingredients: Lamb, Water, Whole Potatoes, Lamb Liver
Being corn free, it reduces the potential irritation from allergens (like corn) that often exacerbate shedding. However, to ensure my dog still gets a source of grain, vital for his heart health, I pair this with a meal topper like bone broth.
What I particularly appreciate about Nutro's offering is its limited ingredient list, which focuses on animal proteins and simple grains like rice, making it a safe and trustworthy choice. Plus, the absence of artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives guarantees that my dog is getting nothing but wholesome nutrition.
And if you're wondering about portion sizes, it's available in both bulk 12 pack options, catering to various needs. All in all, Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet has been a game-changer for my dog's health and well-being.
This nutrient-rich, natural dog food is perfect for all dogs, especially those with sensitivity issues or excessive shedding.
4. Best for Allergies: Wellness Complete Health Whitefish Formula
The Wellness Complete Health Whitefish Formula offers excellent care for your dog's coat!
One of its primary benefits is the high Omega-3 content, boasting 1.5% derived from flaxseed and whitefish. This ensures that your dog's coat remains healthy and strong, subsequently reducing shedding.
The formula's protein-rich whitefish, with a minimum of 22% protein, plays a pivotal role in rejuvenating and maintaining healthy skin, a key factor in controlling shedding. Additionally, the inclusion of sweet potatoes offers a rich source of dietary fiber, ensuring optimal digestion and better nutrient absorption, both of which contribute to a healthier coat.
Key Ingredients: Whitefish, Ground Barley, Peas, Menhaden Fish Meal, Oatmeal
The formula also incorporates peas, providing a balanced protein source that further supports coat health and minimizes shedding. Lastly, the antioxidants present in this dog food work to strengthen your pup's skin and coat health.
All in all, Wellness Complete Health Whitefish Formula is a comprehensive solution for those looking to enhance their dog's coat quality and reduce shedding.
Wellness Complete Health Whitefish Formula is an excellent choice for dogs with normal protein needs and those struggling with excessive shedding.
5. Victor Performance Super Premium Dog Food
If you're striving for a less-shedding fur baby, Victor Performance is another fantastic option. One of its standout features is the robust 26% protein content, predominantly sourced from real beef meat. This ensures that your dog's coat is nourished, leading to a noticeable reduction in excessive shedding.
The food's specialized VPRO blend, abundant in essential vitamins, minerals and supplements, not only promotes overall health but also directly contributes to a healthier coat that sheds less.
Another noteworthy ingredient is the combination of glucosamine (800 mg/kg) and chondroitin (250 mg/kg), which while primarily supporting hip and joint health, also has a positive indirect effect on coat health.
Key Ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Millet, Chicken Fat
I love that Victor is designed to enhance digestion and metabolism, both of which play a crucial role in maintaining optimal skin and hair health. Lastly, the formula works diligently to strengthen your dog's immune system, thanks to the added selenium, zinc and Vitamin E.
In essence, Victor Performance Super Premium Dog Food offers a comprehensive approach to coat health and shedding reduction.
This product is highly recommended for active adult dogs, where optimum health and vitality are essential.
6. Hill's Science Sensitive Stomach and Skin
Hill's Science Sensitive Stomach & Skin dog food is another great option for shedding dogs.
A friend of mine recently started feeding her dog Hill's with the primary intention of improving her digestion. However, she was pleasantly surprised to notice a significant improvement in her dog's skin condition and a reduction in shedding.
So, why is it so effective? For starters, the ingredients are easily processed in the body, making for quick nutrient absorption that's essential for stronger and healthier hair.
Key Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Barley, Brown Rice
The inclusion of prebiotic fiber (beet pulp, flaxseeds) not only bolsters good gut health but also aids in protein breakdown, a crucial factor for maintaining a happy coat.
There's also lots of Vitamin E (400 IU/kg) and Omega-6s (3%) in the formula ensures that your dog sports a shiny and full coat. For those concerned about allergies, if your pup can handle chicken and grains, then you have nothing to worry about.
And as the name suggests, it's perfectly tailored for dogs with sensitive stomachs. The easy-to-digest ingredients combined with the absence of artificial ingredients ensures that digestive discomfort is a thing of the past. Given these benefits, it's no wonder my friend swears by Hill's.
Daily serving of this wonderfood notably fulfills all nutritional needs of small heavy shedders like Pomeranian or American Eskimo dogs. Try it now and witness the transformation!
7. Whole Earth Farms Pork, Beef, Lamb
If your dog struggles with shedding, have you considered they might be sensitive to poultry? A poultry free option like Whole Earth Farms might be the answer. This top-rated dog food is a game-changer because for me for a few reasons.
- It has a grain-free composition, making it an excellent option for canines with food sensitivities or allergies.
- The protein content (24%) is of the highest quality, with sources including beef, pork and lamb, ensuring that your dog receives the essential nutrients they require.
- It is poultry free.
- Doesn't contain any artificial flavors or filler items; only premium ingredients make the cut.
- I offers a well-balanced mix of vitamins, minerals (Vitamin E, Taurine, Omega 3, Omega 6) and amino acids, promoting overall health and vitality.
And the best part? Whole Earth Farms Natural Dry Dog Food is suitable for dogs across all age groups and breeds, solidifying its position as a universally loved product.
So, whether you own an energetic boxer or a grumpy Bulldog, Whole Earth Farms Natural Dry Dog Food comes highly recommended!
8. Crave High Protein Whitefish and Salmon Formula
You got it right, the Crave High Protein Salmon Formula has made it to the top list of best dog foods for shedding. Why? Allow me to break it down below:
A friend of mine, who is a proud owner of a show-winning German Shepherd, swears by the Crave High Protein Salmon Formula, especially when gearing up for shows. And it's not hard to see why.
This dog food is packed with a whopping 34% protein, primarily sourced from high-quality salmon and white fish. Such a high protein content not only ensures overall health but also gives the coat a lustrous shine, something my friend particularly appreciates leading up to shows.
The grain-free nature of this formula means there are no unnecessary fillers, ensuring dogs get the nutrition they naturally crave. Pet owners can also take solace in the fact that there are no by-products or artificial preservatives in this food.
Key Ingredients: White Fish, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Split Peas, Chicken Fat
The purity and quality of the ingredients truly stand out. Additionally, the inclusion of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids further enhances the health and shine of your dog's coat. And to top it all off, Crave is both affordable and widely available, with multiple bag sizes offering great value for money.
It's no wonder it's a top choice for show dogs and everyday pets alike!
This food is most recommended for those who prioritize protein inclusion, value for money, and a coat-healthy formula. However, dogs with a chicken allergy may need to avoid it.
9. Taste of Wild Pacific Stream
The Taste of Wild Pacific Stream is one of the splendid choices for shedding dogs. Why? One of its primary advantages is the inclusion of high-quality proteins, notably salmon and fish meal. These proteins provide essential nutrients that significantly boost your dog's overall health.
The grain-free formulation of this dog food makes it an ideal selection for dogs with allergies, leading to an improved coat condition. Another beneficial ingredient is salmon meal, coupled with probiotics, which introduces EPA, DHA and omega-6 fatty acids into the diet.
This not only aids in skin health but also promotes better digestion. A unique feature I love about Taste of Wild is its small kibble size, which, when combined with dental ridges, assists in maintaining clean teeth for your canine companion.
Key Ingredients: Salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas, pea flour
To top it all off, Taste of Wild Pacific Stream is meticulously crafted to be free from potential allergens such as corn, wheat, and any artificial additives, ensuring that your dog receives nothing but the best and safest nutrition.
There's a reason why it is among the most popular pet food products on Amazon with 15,000 reviews.
This fantastic food is ideally suited for small adult dogs with shedding issues. Now let's keep that fur shiny and strong!
10. Diamond Care Skin & Coat Grain-Free Dog Food
If your dog is highly sensitive to grains and poultry then Diamond Skin & Coat Grain-Free is a solid choice. Here are the top 5 reasons:
First, it's enriched with Omega-3 (0.8%) and Omega-6 (2.5%) fatty acids from sources like flaxseed and salmon, which are crucial for maintaining a healthy skin and shiny coat.
Second, it contains hydrolyzed salmon, which helps highly sensitive and allergic dogs digest proteins in a safe way. This ensures optimal gut health, making digestion issues a distant memory.
My friend has a 2 year old chihuahua who has tried other hydrolyzed or hypoallergenic dog foods in the past, but the poor guy runs outside and has liquid poos all the time. He also routinely got ear infections.
After he found this, no puddles and no more straining. His poos stay solid and he doesn't get ear infections anymore!
Key Ingredients: Peas, pea flour, hydrolyzed salmon, sunflower oil
As I mentioned, this product is completely grain-free, ensuring peace of mind for grain-sensitive dogs. Fourth, it has solid protein levels (22%) from hydrolyzed salmon, which not only aids in building lean muscles but also boosts overall health.
Lastly, what makes Diamond even more appealing is its affordability, providing excellent value for its enriched formula.
This nutrient-packed, allergen-conscious kibble is recommended for all dogs, but specifically those dealing with extreme food sensitivities.
My Dog Sheds too Much (here's what to do)
There's a few basic steps you need to follow to if your dog sheds too much, including choosing the right food, using a high quality brush, having an undercoat hair routine, using anti-shedding shampoo and exercise.
Lets go through each of these in more detail below.
Step 1: Choose the Right Dog Food that Helps With Shedding
A key solution can be right in their bowl – the correct dog food can significantly reduce fur shedding. Here's how:
- Prioritize dog foods with whole meat or meat meal proteins; they're key for optimal health and reduced shedding.
- Avoid foods with harmful chemicals and fillers, as they can trigger allergies and increase shedding.
Instead, opt for those fortified with probiotics and supplements for better digestion and wellness. Ensure the food aligns with AAFCO standards for a balanced diet.
And don't forget the importance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids; they nourish the skin and significantly reduce shedding, giving your dog a healthy, shiny coat. I like to see at least 1% omega 3s in kibble products.
This approach is ideal for those seeking a dietary solution to their fur baby's excessive shedding – an approach that's not only efficient but also enhances overall health.
Best Dog Supplements for Shedding
The two best dog supplements for shedding are a high protein bone broth and an omega 3 fish oil supplement that is rich in EPA and DHA.
For bone broth, you want one with no added ingredients (just water and bones) and has at least 90% crude protein. Your pup needs this much protein in bone broth because that is where the skin and coat healing amino acids (glycine and proline) come from.
Anything lower and you are missing out on the benefits. This is why I like the Bluebird Provisions grass fed dog bone broth.
For omega 3s, you want it sourced from wild caught salmon, mackarel, sardines, anchovies or another fatty, cold water fish source. Especially if your kibble has less than 1% omega 3s, you really need to supplement.
Aim to feed your dog 50-70 mg of combined EPA and DHA per lb of bodyweight. So if your dog weighs 20 lbs, then you need 1400 combined EPA and DHA (not total omega 3s) per day.
I would recommend supplementing with a high quality omega 3 fish oil (on Amazon).
Bodyweight in lbs
Combined EPA + DHA per day (mg)
Step 2: Buy a High-Quality Dog Brush
Excessive shedding can leave your home covered in fur and your dog uncomfortable. But worry not, a high-quality dog brush is your ideal solution! These brushes stimulate and massage the skin for better fur growth.
Choose a brush that efficiently removes dead and damaged hairs, paving the way for a healthier coat. But be sure to choose the right brush depending on your dog’s coat. Double-coated breeds and short-haired dogs need different brushes.
Don't waste your time with the cheap options on Amazon. Invest in a high-quality brush; its durability means fewer replacements and more savings. Plus, a comfortable grip ensures a consistent brushing routine without hand strain, making grooming a breeze.
My husky (Nitotem) sheds a lot, and I found the best option for northern breeds like him is the FURminator (on Amazon). It feels like a massage to him, so I can usually getca good 10 minutes at a time until he runs away.
Step 3: Start an Undercoat Care Routine
Start your dog's undercoat care routine today for healthier skin and less shedding! Here are the basics to get you started:
- Brush your dog at least once a week with an undercoat rake or a brush suitable for their coat type - this removes dead hairs and stimulates healthier growth.
- Bath your pooch regularly (if they have hair), especially in summer and consider a quality de-shedding shampoo to nourish their skin.
- Weekly brushing isn't enough for double-coated breeds like Golden Retrievers or Siberian Huskies who will benefit immensely from an undercoat rake.
- Remember that a well-hydrated and nourished pup sheds less, so ensure a balanced diet!
Step 4: Use an Anti-Shedding Shampoo and Conditioner
Preventing excessive dog shedding starts with a good grooming routine that includes the regular use of anti-shedding shampoo and conditioner. Here's how:
- Begin by wetting your dog's fur thoroughly. Lather in a generous amount of the shampoo, massaging deeply to stimulate hair follicles and lift dead hair. Ensure a thorough rinse to prevent skin irritations.
- Follow with the conditioner to nourish the skin, foster healthier hair and simplify future grooming.
- After a complete rinse, either towel-dry or use a blow dryer on a cool setting.
- Finish with a thorough brushing to remove any loose hair and spread natural skin oils, ensuring a healthier coat.
Remember, consistency is key. Regular use can yield remarkable decreases in unwanted shedding.
Step 5: Make Sure Your Dog Gets Enough Exercise
Ensure your dog receives enough exercise to help control shedding. Regular exercise boosts overall health, leading to a stronger, healthier coat. It also reduces anxiety and stress, key contributors to excess shedding. For a tailored routine, consult your vet based on your dog's breed and life stage. Remember, a healthier, happier dog equals a shiny, shedding-free coat!
Step 6: Try out different dog foods and formulas
Experimenting with various dog food types may just hold the key to reducing shedding. It's crucial to choose brands that prioritize health and nutritive value.
Steer clear of artificial flavors, preservatives, natural flavors, yeast and stick with natural proteins or wholesome whole grains. The ideal food should accommodate your pet's medical conditions, texture preference and even lifestyle.
It is difficult to figure out dog allergies. I've had success with the at-home pet allergy tests in the past. The one I used is from 5Strands and it helped diagnose poultry allergies in my husky.
Remember, transition to a new food must be gradual to avoid stomach upsets. Combine old and new diets, increasing the new food gradually over several days. It takes patience but your pet's well-being is worth it.
What is a normal amount of shedding?
Normal shedding in dogs is quite a regular occurrence and varies greatly based on their breed, age and lifestyle. For instance, take Labrador Retrievers - they have a double coat and hence, do shed noticeably. On the contrary, breeds like Shih Tzu hardly shed unless brushed.
Usually, dogs follow a hair growth cycle where hair grows, reaches its full length and falls out to make way for new ones. Unusual factors like excessive stress, pregnancy, or allergies can cause heavy shedding. So, if you observe bald spots or constant scratching in your pet, you better hustle to the vet. The joy of a healthy and well-groomed pet is incomparable, isn't it?
What kind of food does your dog need for shedding?
The best types of dog food for dogs who are shedding are rich in Omega 3 fats and ingredients like salmon, salmon meal, fish oil and other fish ingredients. Shedding dogs can also benefit from gut healing nutrients like dog bone broth and probiotics to make sure that they are digesting food properly.
Shedding is not only messy but can signal a nutritional deficiency in your dog's diet. The solution is as simple as enhancing their diet with the right nutrients.
Opt for dog food containing at least 22% animal-based protein, 13% fats, and packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. And voila! A nutritionally balanced meal can help reduce shedding and promote a healthy, shiny coat.
What to look for in dog food for shedding and dry skin problems?
The main things to look for in dog food for shedding is the following:
- Prioritize high-quality proteins from sources like beef, salmon, chicken or lamb, which are essential for healthy skin and a shiny coat.
- Choose foods with digestible carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, vital for energy and nutrient absorption.
- Ensure the food is rich in balanced fats and oils, especially Omega 3 and Omega 6, to maintain smooth skin.
- A balanced mix of vitamins and minerals is crucial, with special attention to Zinc, as its deficiency can lead to skin problems.
- Opt for foods with limited ingredients to minimize the risk of allergies, ensuring your dog's skin remains healthy and shedding is reduced.
Can certain foods make dogs shed more?
Certain foods can indeed cause dogs to shed excessively, with allergies to ingredients such as corn, soy, dairy, chicken, animal by-products or eggs being a common culprit.
Switching to a limited ingredient diet might just be the answer you're seeking! For instance, opting for limited ingredient, hypoallergenic dog food can mitigate food allergies, thereby reducing excessive shedding.
What causes excessive shedding?
Excessive shedding can be alarming and is often a sign that your dog is not in peak condition. Problems might stem from their diet, digestion issues, allergies, the environment, climate and even stress. Severe hormone fluctuations in pregnant or nursing dogs can also lead to abnormal shedding.
While adjusting your pet's diet might help, sometimes the issues are more serious and require a trip to the vet. Don't worry though, this is a problem that can be solved, and we'll show you how to address it effectively.
How much fur shedding is considered normal?
Normal fur shedding for dogs varies depending on the breed, age and life stage. For instance, Labrador retrievers shed considerably, while Shih Tzus hardly shed at all.
Understanding your pet's breed and observing their shedding patterns will help you know what's normal for your dog. Take note over the seasons how much your dog sheds and you will be able to detect fluctuations from the pattern.
How can changing food reduce shedding?
Switching your dog's diet can significantly reduce their shedding. Data shows dietary adjustments can make a huge difference, especially if your dog's shedding is due to food allergies or lack of proper nutrients.
For instance, changing to a low allergen food rich in antioxidants helps ensure healthy skin and controls shedding in many dog breeds like Huskies, Pitbulls, and others. Remember, every dog is unique, so consult with your vet to decide on the best diet for your furry friend!
Shedding is a natural process for dogs, but that doesn't mean you have to like it. If you're looking for ways to reduce the amount of hair your dog sheds, start with their diet.
Look for dog food that has specific nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and biotin. You might also want to try a food that's made for dogs with sensitive skin and stomachs. If you're not sure where to start, try Purina Pro Plan sensitive skin and stomach.
And if you need a freeze-dried meal topper, try Bluebird Provisions bone broth.
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Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used to treat or supplement any pet's diet. Consult your veterinarian or animal health specialist if you have questions about anything related to their food, consumption or health. The statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, USDA or CFIA.