best-dog-food-for-shedding

5 Best Dog Foods For Shedding

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best dog foods for shedding.
We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money
to give you our top recommendations below.

Breed Advisor only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

What is the Best Dog Food for Shedding?

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Vet’s Advice

Nutritionally complete and balanced

Deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and other essential nutrients can result in a poor quality coat and fur loss. For example, diets that contain inadequate zinc or B vitamins. To avoid this, your dog should always be fed a complete and balanced diet formulated to The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards. This should be clearly visible on the packaging of any high-quality pet food.

Contains adequate protein levels

Certain amino acids (the building blocks of protein), such as methionine, cysteine, and tyrosine, are essential to maintaining healthy skin and fur. Your dog’s diet should contain at least 18% protein but many of the best diets to prevent fur loss or shedding contain 25-30% protein. Poor quality or inadequate protein can cause thin, brittle fur that falls out more easily.

Note: These protein contents are listed on a dry matter basis. The protein content on your dog’s food will usually refer to the ‘as fed’ amounts. You’ll need to convert it to dry matter to compare it.

Rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs)

Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are essential to support a healthy skin barrier and a glossy, shiny coat. They have also been shown to benefit dogs with dry skin or allergic skin diseases like atopic dermatitis (atopy). The types of essential fatty acids that may be beneficial for skin and coat are found in fish oils (as EPA and DHA), as well as vegetable or plant-based oils, such as sunflower oil and evening primrose (as linoleic acid).

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

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Shedding Dog Food Reviews

Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon
    2. Barley
    3. Rice
    4. Oat Meal
    5. Canola Meal

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 467 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 26%
  • Fat: 16%
  • Fiber: 4%

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin is an excellent quality diet that is chock full of the nutrition dogs need to maintain healthy coat and skin. It can provide a powerful support in reducing the amount of hair loss a dog experiences, easily making it among the best dog foods for shedding.

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin bases its formulation on salmon, a high quality protein included in its whole form for maximum nutritional impact. Salmon is naturally rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to provide a vital support for healthy skin and coat, an important help for dogs that shed excessively or that suffer from allergies.

Its main carbohydrate is oatmeal, a grain selected for its ease of digestibility and unlikelihood of causing stomach distress. Prebiotic fiber has been included in this diet to help support healthy gut flora and to encourage optimal digestion.

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin is free from corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and colors, all ingredients that have been linked to allergies and that can contribute to excessive shedding.

Pros

  • Owners noted their dogs really enjoyed the taste of this diet, eating their meals with hearty enthusiasm.
  • This diet contains prebiotics and probiotics, laying a good foundation for optimal digestion in dogs.
  • Owners expressed they were pleased with the price of this food. They feel it allows them to offer their dogs a premium quality diet for an affordable cost.
  • Several owners indicated they found the smell of this food was not off putting, particularly given that its foundation is salmon.
  • Dogs suffering from poor digestion found relief when fed a steady diet of Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin.

Cons

  • A few dogs did not like the taste of this food and would not eat it. Their owners indicated that they had to mix in canned food, toppers, or meat to encourage them to consume their meals.
  • In rare cases, some dogs did not find relief from their skin issues when fed this diet regularly. This is likely due to a sensitivity to one of the ingredients found in the food.
  • A few owners felt this diet was a little pricey.
  • Several owners wondered if this food has recently had a recipe change. Their dogs were no longer doing as well on this diet as they once were.
  • This diet includes beef fat, a protein-based source of essential fatty acids that may be troublesome for dogs with sensitivities to red meat.

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Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Formula Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon
    2. Salmon Meal
    3. Potatoes
    4. Peas
    5. Dried Ground Potatoes

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 446 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 25%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 5%

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet is a diet that prioritizes the use of natural ingredients to support good health and eliminate excess shedding in dogs. Considered one of the best foods to address shedding, this high quality food has a very limited ingredients list to encourage good digestion and eliminate any potential food allergens that could negatively impact coat and skin health.

The first ingredient in this diet is salmon, a high quality protein included in its whole form. The salmon found in Wellness Simple LID Diet contributes the essential fatty acids dogs need to develop and maintain coat and skin health and also to help prevent excessive shedding.

Prebiotics and probiotics have both been included to ensure fluid digestive processes and gut health. Flaxseed has been added to this diet for its excellent support for healthy skin.

Pros

  • Dogs with allergies did very well on this diet, finding relief from their symptoms.
  • Owners love that this diet is free from fillers and artificial colors and flavors. They are particularly pleased that this recipe is based on a very limited list of ingredients, all of high quality.
  • Owners of dogs that suffered with regular ear infections were happy to report that their dogs no longer struggled with this problem when transitioned to a steady diet of Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet.
  • Dogs that previously had a hard time with their digestion saw a return to normal stool quality and alleviation of stomach pain when fed this diet consistently.
  • Several owners noted that their dogs were able to easily achieve and maintain a healthy body weight when fed this diet on an ongoing basis.

Cons

  • Several owners indicated they found this diet to be quite expensive. They did readily agree though that it is of exceptional nutritional quality.
  • A few dogs did not like the taste of this food and would not eat it. Wellness has several different foods with different protein bases that also focus on limited ingredients. One of these diets may be a better selection for these dogs.
  • A few owners indicated they found this food had a very strong smell to it, and they found it off putting.
  • In rare cases, some dogs began to lose weight when fed this diet regularly.
  • A few dogs struggled to achieve proper stool quality when fed Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet. Though this could be a sensitivity to one of the ingredients, it is more likely the result of too rapid a dietary change for the dog’s system.

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Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Salmon & Whitefish Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon Meal
    2. Potatoes
    3. Sweet Potatoes
    4. Chicken Meal
    5. Peas

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 381 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 24%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Fiber: 3.5%

Pet owners rave about the excellent results they have seen with reduced shedding after making the switch to feeding their dogs Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free. A diet rated among the best foods for shedding, this high quality formulation is packed full of excellent proteins such as whole salmon, whitefish meal, and chicken meal.

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free is high in protein as well as the essential fatty acids needed to support reduced hair loss and good coat and skin health. Its emphasis on all natural ingredients has been shown to encourage good digestion, decreased shedding, beautiful coat quality, and increased energy levels in dogs.

This premium level food is free from corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Pros

  • Owners shared that their dogs love the taste of this food. They lick their bowls clean at every meal.
  • Several owners indicated that this food seemed to retain its freshness long after the bag was opened.
  • Dogs that struggled with skin problem as a result of yeast found complete relief when fed Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free regularly.
  • Owners like that this diet is grain-free, feeling this approach made this food an excellent choice for dogs suffering from food-related allergies.
  • Several owners indicated that they really liked that this food is available in several flavors. They enjoy giving their dogs more variety in their diet and feel pleased that they don’t have to sacrifice any nutritional quality to do it.

Cons

  • A few owners expressed that they would prefer to feed a diet that is grain-inclusive. These families felt that whole grains were an important component in a dog achieving ideal digestion.
  • In rare cases, owners questioned the quality control standards of this product. They shared that their bags of kibble sometimes contained pieces of food that were smaller, harder, and darker than what they had become accustomed to receiving.
  • A couple of owners wondered if this formula had recently changed. They felt their dogs were not doing as well on this food as they once had.
  • This diet contains potatoes, peas, and flaxseed, all ingredients of questionable nutritional quality and that may be linked to such problems as rapid elevations in blood sugar and lowered fertility.
  • This diet is quite high in protein and as a result may be difficult for some dogs to digest well.

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AvoDerm Natural Grain-Free Salmon Meal & Vegetables Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon (Source of Omega 3)
    2. Herring Meal
    3. Peas
    4. Pea Flour
    5. Garbanzo Beans

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: All life stages
  • Calories: 400 kCal/cup
  • Protein: 27%
  • Fat: 13%
  • Fiber: 4.5%

A diet that relies heavily on the inclusion of avocado-based ingredients, AvoDerm Natural Grain-Free is a food that delivers big on both nutrition and support for reduced shedding and coat and skin health. The inclusion of both avocado and avocado oil ensure plentiful servings of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to assist with coat and skin repair and health.

This diet is free from corn, wheat, and soy. Salmon and herring meal are the primary protein sources, two powerhouse meats that provide the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients dogs need to thrive.

With so many nutritional benefits to offer, it is not difficult to see why Avoderm Natural Grain-Free is among the best dog foods for shedding.

Pros

  • Owners feel this diet is very reasonably priced. They love that they are able to provide their dogs with premium quality nutrition for a price that doesn’t break the bank.
  • This diet is completely grain-free, giving owners confidence that it is an excellent choice for dogs suffering from allergies.
  • Dogs regularly fed AvoDerm Natural Grain-Free saw a reduction in their shedding and an improvement in their coat quality. Their fur was soft, shiny, and healthy.
  • Dogs with poor stool quality saw a return to better digestion and appropriate stool consistency and formation.
  • This diet includes both prebiotics and probiotics to lay an excellent foundation for healthy digestion in dogs.

Cons

  • This diet can be challenging to find in local stores. Thankfully, it can be purchased online and delivered.
  • This diet’s formula includes peas, pea flour, potatoes, and flaxseed. Each of these ingredients are of questionable nutritional value and may be linked to such health issues as lowered fertility rates and rapid spikes in blood sugar in dogs.
  • This diet is high in both fat and protein. This may make this food difficult for some dogs to process effectively, potentially leading to greasy stools or constipation.
  • Some owners indicated their dogs did not like the taste of this food and would not eat it. AvoDerm has a wide range of different foods with other proteins as their basis. One of these foods may be a better choice for those dogs.
  • This diet contains no supplements to assist with optimal joint health in dogs.

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Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Puppy Grain-Free Salmon Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Salmon
    2. Salmon Meal
    3. Chickpeas
    4. Chickpea Flour
    5. Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid)

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Puppy and adult
  • Calories: 438 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 30%
  • Fat: 18%
  • Fiber: 5.5%

Nulo Freestyle Limited + earns high marks from both dogs and their owners alike for its excellent nutritional formulation that assists with achieving optimal canine health. A diet based on limited ingredients, Nulo Freestyle Limited+ makes salmon and salmon meal the basis of its formulation. This excellent meat source contains hefty amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, critical nutrients that encourage good coat and skin health and that are linked to reduced shedding in dogs.

Probiotics have been included to boost digestion and assist with a strong immune system to help fight disease.

Nulo Freestyle Limited+ contains no potato, tapioca, chicken, eggs, peas, pea protein, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, or preservatives, making it free from the most common allergens that can impact the amount of shedding a dog does.

For one of the best dog foods for shedding, you can’t go wrong with Nulo Freestyle Limited+.

Pros

  • Owners of dogs with poor appetite were pleased to report that their dogs ate Nulo Freestyle Limited+ heartily, licking their bowls clean at every meal.
  • Dogs with poor stool quality saw a return to healthy stool consistency and improved digestion when fed this diet on an ongoing basis.
  • Owners like the price of this food, feeling it is quite affordable. They are pleased they can offer their dogs excellent nutrition at a reasonable cost.
  • Several owners indicated that they liked that this diet comes in many different flavors. They were pleased they could offer their dogs some variety in their diet.
  • This diet is so flavorful that owners are able to use it both for meals for their dogs and for training treats.

Cons

  • Some owners felt that this diet was a little on the pricey side.
  • A few dogs disliked the taste of this food and would not eat it. With so many flavors to choose from, another Nulo recipe may be a better fit for those dogs.
  • Owners disliked that the small bags of this diet are not resealable, making it more challenging for them to keep their dogs’ food fresh.
  • In rare cases, a few dogs displayed some mild gastrointestinal distress when fed this diet. This is likely simply a food sensitivity or the result of too rapid a change from the old diet to the new.
  • Some owners expressed they disliked that this diet contains no grains. They would prefer to feed a formulation that includes some nutritious whole grains in its recipe to help boost digestion in dogs.

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How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Shedding

Shedding is a problem dog owners around the world have in common. Though certain breeds shed more than others and some dog types experience seasonal shedding when the volume of their hair is expelled from the coat in great quantity, combatting shedding is an issue all dog owners are concerned about to some degree.

Shedding is a normal part of the hair growth cycle which is why it is common to all dog breeds. While a certain amount of shed hair is to be expected, dogs that display excessive hair loss or issues with cracked and dry skin can benefit from veterinary assistance and a change of diet to help alleviate the problem.

There are several things owners can do to help excess hair from accumulating in their home. Regular grooming helps to prevent hair from falling out randomly throughout the dog’s living environment on its daily travels. This may include consistent trips to the groomer throughout the year. But in addition to this, daily brushing is also a vital help by removing all loose hair from the coat to be easily disposed of in the trash.

When a dog sheds an excessive amount of hair consistently, it is important to evaluate the dog’s diet to see if poor nutrition may be playing a role in the problem. The best dog foods for shedding are formulated with probiotics to help address critical gut health and digestion. They are often also enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to ensure that coat and skin are properly nourished to promote health and growth.

Though no one dog food will eliminate shedding, there are many excellent quality diets that can assist with proper skin and coat health to minimize the amount of lost hair.

There are several health conditions which can affect coat and hair quality and can lead to more frequent hair loss and even temporary hot spots and balding. These include allergies (environmental or dietary), stress, dry or aggravated skin, and hormonal conditions such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease. In these cases, diet alone will not resolve the issues; however, excellent nutrition can be a great help in addition to veterinary treatment.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Dog Foods that help with Shedding

Determining the correct calorie count to feed of the best dog food for shedding will depend on a number of different factors. The age, breed, activity level, and weight of the dog are very important considerations.

Since each food formulation has different nutritional values and caloric contents, the best course of action is to use the suggested serving size listed on the bag as a starting point. This can be adjusted with the dog’s weight and hunger level serving as helpful guidelines in establishing the correct amount.

Any high quality food for shedding that is suitable for adult dogs should contain a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat. By comparison, puppy foods to help with excess hair loss should be comprised of 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat with marginally higher amounts of these food categories also desirable.

Dietary Requirements for Dog Foods that help with Shedding

The key thing to look for in the best foods for shedding is balance. All of the ingredients included in the diet should be of excellent quality and included in the correct ratio to promote good health.

One of the most critical aspects that helps to address hair loss in dogs is the addition of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. These essential acids provide vital support for coat and skin health.

When coat and skin are healthy, hair sheds at a normal rate, thus reducing unnecessary hair loss and encouraging the development of coat that is healthy and strong. These oils are best derived from animal sources such as chicken fat or oily fish.

All proteins should be derived from animal origins and are best included in their whole form. Meat meals also provide an excellent source of concentrated protein. However, by-products are low quality and should be avoided entirely.

Though many foods do make use of plant-based proteins, these can be very difficult for most dogs to digest. In addition to this, many proteins taken from these sources are common allergens for many dogs with the sensitivity to the food often expressed through itching, irritated skin, and hair loss. Among the plant-based proteins to avoid are corn, wheat, and soy.

Supplements are often added to a food to help boost its nutritional impact and to help dogs effectively process and utilize the nutrients contained in a diet. Among the most popular supplements are glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health. However, in dogs that shed excessively, it is a good idea to look for a food that contains both probiotics and biotin. Probiotics aid with the development of strong intestinal flora to support digestion while biotin is essential for helping to prevent unnecessary hair loss.

Carbohydrates play a lesser but still important role in a balanced diet. For dogs suffering from allergies or stomach sensitivities, a grain-free diet may be preferable. However, for those who have expressed no reactions to any particular foods, a grain-inclusive formula is also an excellent option. Of primary importance in the carbohydrate quality of a diet is the ease of digestibility of the foods included in the food formulation, whether they are derived from grains, fruits, or vegetables.

Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Shedding

Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a dog food for shedding:

  • Whole meat or meat meal proteins heading up the ingredients list
  • Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
  • Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
  • Based on a limited ingredients list
  • Contains healthy amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support coat and skin health

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