The 5 Best Dog Foods 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
1. Wellness Simple Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula
2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe
BEST FOR PUPPIES
3. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Formula
BEST FOR SENIOR
4. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Senior Dry Food
BEST FOR ALLERGIES
5. Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe
Addressing Shedding Problems Through Diet
All dogs shed to a certain degree, and some breeds shed more at certain times of the 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 of excessive shedding in dogs include allergies, parasites, hormone imbalances, stress, and a 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 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 is 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 of 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 Do You Choose the Best Dog Foods 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-3 oils needed to support their 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 potatoes, 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.
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.
Wellness Simple Salmon & Sweet Potato Formula
- Protein: 25% Min
- Fat: 12% Min
- Fiber: 5% Max
- Calories: 446 kcal/cup
- 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
- Fairly expensive compared to other brands
Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe
- Protein: 20% Min
- Fat: 13% Min
- Fiber: 4% Max
- Calories: 321 kcal/cup
- 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
- Not a grain-free formula
- Could be higher in protein
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Puppy Formula
- Protein: 24% Min
- Fat: 12.5% Min
- Fiber: 4.5% Max
- Calories: 355 kcal/cup
- Limited ingredient diet made with a single source of protein
- Digestible carbohydrates like brown rice
- Supplemented with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Very expensive compared to other puppy foods
- Not a grain-free formula
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Senior Dry Food
- Protein: 18% Min
- Fat: 10% Min
- Fiber: 7% Max
- Calories: 352 kcal/cup
- 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
- Not a grain-free recipe
- Could be higher in protein
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.
Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe
- Protein: 26% Min
- Fat: 18% Min
- Fiber: 3.5% Max
- Calories: 446 kcal/cup
- 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
- Very expensive compared to other brands
- Main sources of fat are plant-based
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 are 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’s 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 carbohydrates.
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.
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 reviewed above!