Best Dog Food for Shedding

Dog Food Nutrition October 26, 2018
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Best Dog Food for Shedding

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.

Quick Look at Our Top Picks:

ImageProductFeatures

Editor's Choice

Wellness Simple Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula
  • 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
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Best Affordable

Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe
  • 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
View Best Price

Best For Puppies

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Formula
  • Limited ingredient diet made with a single source of protein
  • Digestible carbohydrates like brown rice
  • Supplemented with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
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Best Senior Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Senior Dry Food
  • 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
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Best Dog Food for Allergies

Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe
  • 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
View Best Price

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.

Here are our top 5 picks for the best dog food for shedding that you should consider:

Best Dog Food Overall for Shedding: Wellness Simple Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 25% Min
  • Fat – 12% Min
  • Fiber – 5% Max
  • Moisture– 11% Max

Caloric Content: 446 kcal/cup

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.

Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Salmon, Salmon Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes, Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dicalcium Phosphate, Natural Fish 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.

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

Best Affordable Dog Food for Shedding: Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 20% Min
  • Fat – 13% Min
  • Fiber – 4% Max
  • Moisture– 11% Max

Caloric Content: 321 kcal/cup

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.

Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Ground Rice, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Pork Flavor, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Biotin, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

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

Best Puppy Food for Shedding: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Formula

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 21% Min
  • Fat – 12% Min
  • Fiber – 4% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max

Caloric Content: 355 kcal/cup

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.

Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols And Lactic Acid), Lamb, Dried Tomato Pomace, Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Inositol, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Beta-Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (Used As A Preservative), Rosemary Extract.

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

Best Senior Dog Food for Shedding: Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Senior Dry Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 20% Min
  • Fat – 12% Min
  • Fiber – 6% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max

Caloric Content: 352 kcal/cup

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.

Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Deboned Turkey, Potatoes, Turkey Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Pea Starch, Peas, Tapioca Starch, Pea Fiber, Potato Starch, Canola Oil (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Pea Protein, Fish Oil (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Pumpkin, Dried Chicory Root, Flaxseed, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Vitamin E Supplement, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), DL-Methionine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Copper Sulfate, L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Dried Yeast, Manganese Sulfate, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

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

Best Dog Food for Shedding and Allergies: Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 27% Min
  • Fat – 17% Min
  • Fiber – 3.5% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max

Caloric Content: 446 kcal/cup

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.

Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Duck Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Duck, Montmorillonite Clay, Natural Flavor, Coconut Oil, Choline Chloride, 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), Salt, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Freeze Dried Duck (including Freeze Dried Ground Duck Bone), Pumpkinseeds, Rosemary Extract

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

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 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 for shedding reviewed above!

Kate Barrington

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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