Dog Food Nutrition

The 5 Best Dog Food For Shedding

October 3, 2021

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The 5 Best Dog Food For Shedding

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If you’re going to own a dog, you should be prepared to have all of your clothes covered in fur. Though there are certainly low-shedding breeds out there, shedding is simply a reality all dog owners must face.

What you may not realize is that certain conditions may cause your dog to shed more.

Hormone imbalances, allergies, and other conditions may exacerbate shedding and other skin conditions in certain dogs.

Feeding your dog a high-quality dog food made for shedding could help.

Keep reading to learn more about excessive shedding in dogs and how to prevent it through diet. You’ll also receive our top 5 picks for the best dog food for shedding.

Compare Best Dog Food For Shedding

OVERALL BEST
Wellness Simple Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula

1. Wellness Simple Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula

BEST AFFORDABLE
Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe

2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe

BEST FOR PUPPIES
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Formula

3. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Formula

BEST FOR SENIOR
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Senior Dry Food

4. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Senior Dry Food

BEST FOR ALLERGIES
Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe

5. Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe

Protein
25% Min
Protein
20% Min
Protein
24% Min
Protein
18% Min
Protein
26% Min
Fat
12% Min
Fat
13% Min
Fat
12.5% Min
Fat
10% Min
Fat
18% Min
Fiber
5% Max
Fiber
4% Max
Fiber
4.5% Max
Fiber
7% Max
Fiber
3.5% Max
Calories
446 kcal/cup
Calories
321 kcal/cup
Calories
355 kcal/cup
Calories
352 kcal/cup
Calories
446 kcal/cup

Addressing Shedding Problems Through Diet

All dogs shed to a certain degree and some breeds shed more at certain times of year. If you notice a marked increase in shedding, however, you may also want to look for other signs that something could be wrong.

Bald patches, dry or itchy skin, redness or inflammation, and clumps of hair falling out could all be indications of a health problem.

Common causes for excessive shedding in dogs include allergies, parasites, hormone imbalance, stress, and poor diet.

Dogs can develop food allergies to almost anything and the most common symptoms are skin- and coat-related.

Parasites like fleas and mites can cause skin reactions and shedding, as can hormonal imbalances.

Chronic stress and an unhealthy diet may also contribute to shedding but, fortunately, many of these causes can be addressed with a healthy diet:

Here are some things to look for in a dog food for shedding:

  • Quality Ingredients. The more artificial ingredients in your dog’s food, the more likely it is to have a bad reaction to it. Look for a dog food made with wholesome, high-quality ingredients like real meat, whole grains, and healthy supplements.
  • Fatty Acids. Healthy fats provide your dog with a concentrated source of energy but, more importantly, they support skin and coat health. A blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids like DHA and EPA are essential to prevent shedding.
  • Nutritional Balance. The quality of your dog’s diet has an impact on all aspects of its health, including its skin and coat. Look for a recipe made with fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources of key nutrients as well as chelated minerals and other supplements for balance.
  • Limited Ingredients. Many dogs develop skin and coat problems due to food allergies. Reducing the number of ingredients in your dog’s food may also reduce the risk for triggering allergies.

Keeping all of these things in mind, you’re now ready to learn how to choose the best dog food for shedding. Here’s what you need to know:

How To Choose The Best Dog Food For Shedding?

The best place to start when shopping for the best dog food for shedding is to consider your dog’s basic nutritional needs.

All dogs need a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat in their diets and, ideally, these nutrients should come primarily from animal-based sources like meat, poultry, and fish.

More protein is generally better for dogs, particularly for maintaining lean muscle mass, so look for something in the 25% to 30% range.

In addition to meeting your dog’s needs for protein, look for a formula made with healthy fats to provide plenty of essential fatty acids.

Fats provide concentrated energy for dogs, as well as the omega oils needed to support its skin and coat.

Animal fats are best, but plant-based fats like flaxseed and canola oil help to provide a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Dogs don’t have specific needs for carbohydrates, but grains, fruits, and vegetables provide essential nutrients as well as dietary fiber.

Just keep in mind that many dogs are sensitive or allergic to grains, so you may want to choose a recipe made with grain-free options like legumes, sweet potato, and peas.

Another important quality to look for in a dog food for shedding is nutritional balance – your dog needs certain vitamins and minerals for optimal health.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best source of these nutrients, though synthetic supplements may be needed to make sure your dog gets the right amounts of each.

Chelated minerals are also beneficial because they have been chemically bound to protein molecules, so your dog’s body can absorb and utilize them more easily.

Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best dog food for shedding.

The Top 5 Best Dog Foods For Shedding

The best dog food for shedding will be nutritionally balanced with plenty of lean protein, healthy fats, and digestible carbohydrates. Supplemental omega oils and chelated minerals may also be a good addition, as well as probiotics for digestion and nutrient absorption.

OVERALL BEST
1.

Wellness Simple Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula

Product Info

  • Protein: 25% Min
  • Fat: 12% Min
  • Fiber: 5% Max
  • Calories: 446 kcal/cup
Pros
  • Limited ingredient diet and naturally grain-free
  • Salmon is the main ingredient (lean protein and essential fatty acids)
  • High-quality ingredients, no fillers or artificial additives
Cons
  • Fairly expensive compared to other brands
If you’re looking for a limited ingredient diet that is also rich in skin- and coat-supporting nutrients, try this Wellness Simple Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula. Not only is salmon a lean source of protein, but it is loaded with essential fatty acids to help keep your dog’s skin and coat as healthy as possible to reduce shedding. This recipe is naturally grain-free and easy to digest, plus it is free from by-products, fillers, and artificial additives.
BEST AFFORDABLE
2.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe

Product Info

  • Protein: 20% Min
  • Fat: 13% Min
  • Fiber: 4% Max
  • Calories: 321 kcal/cup
Pros
  • Contains just 6 main ingredients with no artificial additives
  • Novel source of protein (lamb and lamb meal)
  • Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
Cons
  • Not a grain-free formula
  • Could be higher in protein
While many limited ingredient diets are expensive, this Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe is very affordable. Made with just 6 main ingredients, this recipe is designed to prevent food allergies and sensitivities while still meeting your dog’s need for balanced nutrition. It features lamb meal as a concentrated source of protein with digestible brown rice for carbohydrates. It also contains a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health.
BEST PUPPY FOOD FOR SHEDDING
3.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Formula

Product Info

  • Protein: 24% Min
  • Fat: 12.5% Min
  • Fiber: 4.5% Max
  • Calories: 355 kcal/cup
Pros
  • Limited ingredient diet made with a single source of protein
  • Digestible carbohydrates like brown rice
  • Supplemented with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
Cons
  • Very expensive compared to other puppy foods
  • Not a grain-free formula
If your puppy has sensitive skin or food allergies, this Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Formula might be a good choice. Made with protein-rich lamb and digestible brown rice, this formula will meet your puppy’s nutritional needs with a low risk for triggering food allergies and skin sensitivities. It is free from corn, wheat, and soy as well as artificial additives and supplemented with plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to reduce shedding.
BEST SENIOR DOG FOOD FOR SHEDDING
4.

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Senior Dry Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 18% Min
  • Fat: 10% Min
  • Fiber: 7% Max
  • Calories: 352 kcal/cup
Pros
  • Limited number of main ingredients including novel protein
  • Digestible whole grain carbohydrates like brown rice and oatmeal
  • Plenty of omega fatty acids for skin and coat health
Cons
  • Not a grain-free recipe
  • Could be higher in protein
Many dogs develop food allergies as they get older which makes this Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Senior Dry Food a great option.

Made with a limited number of main ingredients and designed to support gentle digestion, this recipe is great for senior dogs. It features protein-rich turkey as the main ingredient with nutrient-rich grains like brown rice and oatmeal. It also contains fish oil to ensure an optimal balance of omega fatty acids.
BEST DOG FOOD FOR SHEDDING AND ALLERGIES
5.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe

Product Info

  • Protein: 26% Min
  • Fat: 18% Min
  • Fiber: 3.5% Max
  • Calories: 446 kcal/cup
Pros
  • Made with novel protein and carbohydrate sources
  • Limited number of ingredients to limit allergies and sensitivities
  • Plenty of healthy fatty acids for skin and coat health
Cons
  • Very expensive compared to other brands
  • Main sources of fat are plant-based
If your dog suffers from food allergies in addition to general skin problems, this Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe might be a good choice. Not only does it contain a lower number of main ingredients, but it features a novel protein (duck) and digestible grain-free carbohydrates (peas and tapioca).

For skin and coat support, it contains healthy fats like canola oil and coconut oil with beneficial supplements like chelated minerals and freeze-dried duck for a boost of nutrition.

How Much Should You Feed Your Dog?

The amount you feed your dog depends on numerous factors including its age, breed, and size.

Generally speaking, small breed dogs should be given three meals per day while two meals is adequate for larger breeds.

Growing puppies may need three or four meals per day, depending on their breed and size – you want to prevent large-breed puppies from growing too fast while making sure that small breed puppies grow fast enough.

To determine how much to feed your dog, you’ll need to refer to the feeding recommendations on the package because every dog food is different.

Follow the recommendations for your dog’s age and weight, keeping an eye on its body weight and condition to make sure it isn’t gaining or losing too much weight. You can also consult your veterinarian for advice.

What About Food Allergies And Sensitivities?

Food allergies and sensitivities are some of the most common causes of excessive shedding in dogs. Though dogs can develop an allergy to virtually any ingredient, the most common culprits are corn, wheat, dairy, chicken, beef, soy, and eggs.

If you suspect that your dog’s shedding is caused by allergies, consider switching to a limited ingredient diet made with a novel source of protein and carbohydrate.

Novel ingredients are simply ingredients your dog hasn’t had before so there is a lower risk of triggering food allergies. You may also want to consider a grain-free hypoallergenic dog food formula.

Best Dog Food For Shedding: Summed Up

While all dogs shed to a certain degree, certain health problems like food allergies and hormone imbalances can lead to excessive shedding.

If your dog sheds too much, adjusting its diet could help. Try one of the top 5 best dog foods brands for shedding reviewed above!

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.
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