While most dogs shed and cleaning up after your dog is a normal part of pet ownership, excessive shedding can be a pain.
In addition, while certain breeds are more prone to shedding, it can also be a sign of a nutritional deficiency or a food allergy.
So what can you do to make your pup shed less? Can proper diet help combat unnecessary shedding?
Let’s take a closer look at the top dog food for shedding:
Top 4 Picks for Best Dog Food for Shedding in 2021
|Dog Food Recipes||Our Rating|
|Best Overall Dog Food for Shedding (All Life stages)||Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food (Salmon and Potato)
|Best Budget Dog Food for Shedding||Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Adult Dry Dog Food Salmon & Rice Formula
|Best Puppy Food for Shedding||AvoDerm Natural Dry Dog Food (Beef & Vegetables)
|Best Adult Dog Food for Shedding||Wellness Pet Food Simple Natural Limited Ingredient
Best Dog Food Recipes for Shedding Control (by Life Stage)
Along with providing all the nutrition your dog needs to keep him healthy and happy, dog foods that help with excessive shedding also include additional supplements to keep the skin healthy and the coat shiny.
Best Puppy Food for Shedding
Puppies all undergo a transition from a puppy coat to an adult one, so shedding in young dogs is normal. However, some foods are designed to help puppies with sensitive skin while providing for young dog’s growing needs.
1. AvoDerm Natural Dry Dog Food (Beef & Vegetables)
Top Ingredients: Beef, Beef Meal, Peas
An avocado-based diet for dogs with avocados known for their excellent conditioning quality. This recipe is also packed with omega oils, fiber, vitamins E, C, A, and B6.
It also contains no grains and plenty of wholesome ingredients such as peas, flaxseed, potatoes, and kelp meal.
- Made with high-quality, premium beef as the first ingredient
- Contains no added meat by-products, artificial flavors, or colorings
- Some pups got runny stools on this diet
Best Adult Dog Food for Shedding
If your dog’s excessive shedding is linked to a nutritional deficiency, then changing up your dog’s diet can help to nourish the skin and coat better.
Here are the best adult dog foods to help your pup combat shedding:
2. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Adult Dry Dog Food Salmon & Rice Formula
Top Ingredients: Salmon, Barley, Rice
Specially formulated dry dog food for pups with skin and stomach sensitivities. This nutrient-rich food is full of healthy fats, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids for building a healthy coat.
It is made from real salmon, rice, and other grains full of fiber to assist digestion.
- Fortified with plenty of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin E, zinc, and calcium
- Contains no wheat, corn, soy, or artificial colors and flavors
- Some dogs simply refused to eat this food
3. Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Recipe (Pork, Beef & Lamb)
Top Ingredients: Pork Meal, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes
Wholesome, natural dog food that is grain-free. This formula includes plenty of protein as well as moderate levels of fat for a healthy coat.
In addition, real fruits and vegetables provide plenty of antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals.
- Ingredients like apples, sweet potatoes, and flaxseed are good for the coat and sensitive stomachs
- Contains no wheat, corn, soy, by-products, or artificial preservatives
- Some dog owners complained the kibble size was smaller than cat food
4. Wellness Pet Food Simple Natural Limited Ingredient (Lamb & Oatmeal)
Top Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Meal, Oatmeal
A good quality dog food that is made for pets with food sensitivities. The recipe focuses on easily digestible, natural ingredients such as lamb, oatmeal, peas, rice, and millet.
It also contains flaxseed for a healthy coat and less shedding.
- It contains a high ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health
- Fortified with probiotics for good digestive health
- Some buyers said this food has a horrible smell
- Kibble can be tough to chew for some dogs
5. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe (Turkey)
Top Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Peas, Turkey
A simple, limited ingredient dry dog food with one main animal protein and one main vegetable. This highly digestible formula is excellent for dogs with coat issues caused by food sensitivities.
This food is free from fillers or any artificial colors and preservatives.
- This food contains no common allergens like corn, wheat, soy, chicken, potatoes, eggs, or dairy
- Made in the USA using a pure raw nutrition diet
- Caused diarrhea or upset stomach on some dogs
6. Nutro Natural Choice Small Bites (Lamb & Brown Rice)
Top Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice
An ideal dog food for small pups who need some extra conditioning for their skin and coat. Formulated from high-quality ingredients such as pasture-raised lamb, chicken, rice, oatmeal, peas, and chickpeas.
This kibble contains all non-GMO ingredients as well as no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
- Packed with essential antioxidants for supporting a healthy immune system
- Kibble size is perfect for small dogs
- Some pet owners complained it was an expensive option that their dogs didn’t seem to like despite the price
7. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free (Duck and Chickpeas)
Top Ingredients: Deboned Duck, Duck Meal, Chickpeas
Limited ingredient dry dog food made from duck and sweet potatoes for dogs with food allergies. It contains plenty of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids for limiting shedding.
- Includes added probiotics for easy digestibility
- Fortified with vitamins and minerals as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
- Some pet owners complained this food was very pricy
8. Royal Canin Dog Food for Shedding
Top Ingredients: Brewers rice, corn gluten meal, wheat
Scientifically formulated dog food for pups with sensitive skin and dry coats. This food offers a specific balance of complex amino acids and nutrients to reinforce the skin barrier, nourish the coat, and reduce shedding.
- It contains omega-three fatty acids for a healthy coat as well as EPA and DHA for brain development and eye health
- Features select aromas and tastes that large breed adult dogs love
- It does not contain a protein source in the first three ingredients
9. Hill’s Science Dog Food to Reduce Shedding
Top Ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal
Dry dog food is explicitly created for pups with shedding problems, sensitive stomachs, and skin. Formulated to aid digestion and nourish the skin, this food includes added vitamin E and Omega-6 fatty acids.
- Made in the USA and recommended by veterinarians
- It contains prebiotic fiber and highly digestible ingredients to support nutrient absorption
- It is advised that you can’t instantly start your pet with this food, and you need to gradually work it into your dog’s diet over five days
10. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food (Salmon and Potato)
Top Ingredients: Salmon, Fish Meal, Potatoes
This kibble from Diamond Naturals is packed full of natural omegas from real wild-caught salmon and fish meal, especially for dogs with dry skin.
This dry formula features no grains or other allergens that typically affect the coat condition. It is, however, made with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Includes added probiotics for immune health and easy digestion
- A well-priced option that comes in a big bag size
- Contains tomato pomace, which is considered a low-quality ingredient
11. Orijen 6 Fish Grain-Free Formula
Top Ingredients: Whole Atlantic Mackerel, Whole Atlantic Herring, Monkfish
Dry dog food rich in proteins, with 85% of the protein content coming from six different real fish sources, perfect for building a thick, shiny coat.
This food is also low in carbohydrates, with 18% low glycemic carbs such as lentils, peas, and chickpeas.
- It contains plenty of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health in older dogs
- Each piece is coated with freeze-dried liver for extra flavor
- A costly option compared to other brands on the market
What Causes Excessive Shedding in Dogs?
Most dogs shed somewhat, and this is a normal process and even a necessary and healthy one.
However, if you notice that your dog is experiencing excessive hair loss, to a point where they are irritated, have raw tender areas, or are even becoming bald, this should cause concern.
Skin abnormalities can include redness, itching, dry skin, and hot spots.
If this is the case, you need to take your dog to the vet to determine the cause of their shedding, but a diet change may be one solution to the problem.
One of the most common reasons for excessive shedding is a poor diet that isn’t providing your pet with the nutrients he needs.
Dogs are also susceptible to allergies, just like humans. This includes food allergies, although air pollutants and environmental triggers can also cause allergic reactions.
Dogs can even develop allergic reactions to certain foods, such as chicken, after having eaten this ingredient with no issues for several years. Other common food allergens in dogs include grains, dairy, eggs, soy, pork, beef, and fish.
Stress can also cause your dog’s hair to fall out, while certain medical conditions can also cause shedding.
These include flea and mite infestations, fungi and bacterial infections, kidney or liver disease, hormonal imbalances, cancer, and immune diseases.
Check out this video for identifying a skin yeast infection in your dog and a home remedy to fix it:
Symptoms: How much is too much dog shedding?
Shedding is a necessary process for most breeds, so you don’t want to try and stop your dog from shedding at all. Likewise, you are unlikely to stop your dog from shedding at all, no matter how hard you try.
Exactly how much your dog will shed depends on the breed, but most dogs shed all year round with the shedded hair not visible on the dog but evident on clothes, furniture, and around the house.
Other breeds experience exaggerated shedding during the seasons’ changing in the spring and again in the fall.
This shedding is predictable according to an annual cycle and helps your dog regulate its temperature according to the weather.
Which dog breeds shed the most?
Which dog breeds shed the least?
Some dogs shed very little, such as Poodles, Malteses and Schnauzers. These hypoallergenic breeds retain any shed fur within their coat.
Unfortunately, these dogs need to regularly be taken to the parlor to get their hair cut, while other breeds like the Shih Tzu only shed when they are brushed.
The only dog breeds that don’t shed are hairless breeds such as the American Hairless Terrier and the Xoloitzcuintli.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Dog Food for Shedding
The right dog food shouldn’t just have what you need for minimizing shedding but should provide your dog with all the nutrients he needs to build a robust immune system and lead a happy and healthy life.
Dog Nutrition 101: What kind of food does your dog need for shedding?
Dog foods formulated to reduce excessive shedding are often also well-balanced for good overall nutrition.
These foods typically include the right ratios of protein to essential fats and carbohydrates and plenty of vitamins and minerals to boost your puppy’s immune system and build healthy skin and coat.
If your dog suffers from GI issues, it may not properly absorb nutrients, so choosing a food designed for dogs with digestive problems can also help improve your pet’s skin condition.
What to look for in dog food for shedding and dry skin problems?
All dogs thrive on a high protein diet. This is especially the case for active pups. Proteins act as building blocks in the body and are necessary for healthy functioning.
Conversely, a protein deficiency can lead to several health issues, including dry or irritated skin or excessive shedding.
In addition to protein, essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6 will help nourish your dog’s coat. Foods that are natural sources of these fatty acids include salmon, sardines, anchovies, and fish oil.
Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants are also an essential part of your dog’s diet.
These should always be supplemented in your dog’s food, and the particular ones you want to look out for include Vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as the B vitamins.
Zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and iodine are also healthy supplements that are often included in dog food.
Also, be sure to avoid any foods with unnecessary fillers and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives that could be triggering an allergic reaction in your pet.
These foods can be problematic for dogs to digest, resulting in various health issues, of which shedding and skin issues are one.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Still, have some unanswered questions about how to reduce the amount your dog sheds? Keep reading to have your commonly asked concerns answered:
How can you help stop or reduce shedding in dogs?
While the right dog food can help prevent shedding, you’ll also want to ensure your regularly grooming your pet. Brushing your dog should be an activity you do daily.
The hair that falls out when you brush your dog will end up on your floor and furniture if you don’t groom your pet.
The occasional bath will also help reduce your dog’s shedding. Just be sure not to overdo it, or you’ll end up washing away the natural oils in your dog’s skin that help to keep their skin moist and coat shiny and healthy.
How do you transition your dog to new dog food?
Transitioning your dog to a new food can be a challenge as many pups will have an initial adverse reaction to a new food, resulting in loose stools, diarrhea, or even vomiting.
For the best results when making a change to your dog’s food, don’t just simply stop their old food and start a new one. The change needs to be a gradual one.
Start with adding a little bit of the new food to your dog’s old diet, gradually increasing the amount of new food in the bowl over several days until the transition is complete.
Should you give your dogs supplements for shedding?
Some supplements can help dogs that shed excessively. These can be a great option if you have a dog that is happy with its food and don’t want to make a complete change.
Supplements typically include flaxseed, fatty acids, and probiotics, while fish oil, kelp, and various other superfoods are often included in them.
When will puppies shed their “baby” and “adult” coats?
That soft puppy coat is unfortunately eventually replaced by adult fur in all breeds.
The exact timing that your dog will shed their baby fur for their adult coat is unpredictable, with your dog’s breed, health, and the climate all having an influence, but this typically happens between three and six months old.
During this time, do not panic if your puppy’s coat changes texture or falls out; it will soon be replaced with adult fur.
Should you take your dog to the vet if they’re shedding more than usual?
If you have tried changing up your dog’s food and are still shedding excessively, you will want to consult your vet.
If your dog has open sores, any bumps, rashes, scabs, or bald spots, or is continually liking their feet, rubbing their face, and scratching, then it’s time to see the vet.
Your vet will be better placed to assess your dog’s diet, health, and lifestyle and determine the exact cause of their skin irritation.
Your vet may then be able to do a blood test and provide prescribed medication to tackle the underlying cause of your dog’s health problems.
Wrapping Up the Best Dog Food to Help with Shedding
It can be challenging to find the best dog food for your pup, with most brands promising quality nutrition and the best ingredients.
However, all the dog foods we have listed above are excellent and will provide quality nutrition to your pet.
But if we have to choose one, our top pick would be Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food if your dog has shedding or skin problems.
It contains omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, while the probiotics and prebiotics help your dog’s digestive health.
Hopefully, our top picks have helped you narrow down exactly what to look for in your dog’s food, along with what you need for building that thick, shiny, healthy coat and minimizing shedding.
Do you have dog food that you like that has helped reduce excessive shedding with your pooch? Let us know in the comments below.