Best Dog Food for Shedding: 11 Amazing Eats for Fur Control

Dog Food

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Kelsey Leicht

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dog foods that help shedding

All dogs shed (even your Goldendoodle, Gary), with some four-footers shedding more than others. While shedding is a canine characteristic you learn to love along with the licks, in some cases, you can reduce the amount your dog sheds by changing her food, making things less hairy.

Below, we’ll explain the potential causes of excessive shedding in dogs and share our picks for the best dog food for shedding pups.

Best Dog Food for Shedding: Quick Picks

Best Overall Dog Food for Shedding
Most Affordable Dog Food for Shedding
Best Tasting Dog Food for Shedding
Most Affordable Dog Food for Shedding
Best Tasting Dog Food for Shedding

How Can Dog Food Help With Shedding?

omega-3

Your dog’s diet significantly impacts her skin and coat. A balanced blend of nutrients is needed to ensure nose-to-tail health, with omega-3 fatty acids particularly important to skin and hair. Dogs obtain these fatty acids solely through food, and they come in different forms, some better than others.

Types of omega-3 fatty acids include: 

  • Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA): This plant-based fatty acid is found in flaxseed, chia seeds, and canola oils and is often featured in dog foods for skin support. ALA isn’t well converted into other fatty acids by a dog’s body, so it’s not the best choice for canines on its own.
  • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): Coldwater fatty fish are the primary sources of this omega-3, such as salmon, sardines, and herring. In addition to skin and coat benefits, it aids brain and eye health, so it’s commonly included in puppy and senior recipes.
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA): Like DHA, this omega comes from fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and cod and benefits a dog’s skin and coat. DHA and EPA are equally important; neither outperforms the other.

You’ve also likely heard of omega-6 fatty acids. These meat and plant-based omegas are readily available in most dog foods and essential to overall canine health but must be carefully balanced with omega-3s since too many omega-6s can contribute to inflammation. 

The good news is many commercial dog foods today feature omega-3s. For extra help in the skin and coat department, look for dog food for sensitive skin. These specialty foods are formulated to improve dry, itchy skin or dull coats. 

The 11 Best Dog Foods for Shedding

Many skin and coat recipes are on the market, making it tricky to distinguish the best dog foods for shedding from run-of-the-mill picks that may promise the moon and deliver a meh. Check out our top picks below. 

1. JustFoodForDogs Joint & Skin Support

Best Overall Dog Food for Shedding
JustFoodForDogs Joint & Skin Support
A customized dog food formulated with human-grade ingredients to improve your barker’s skin and coat.
See on Just Food for Dogs

About: JustFoodForDogs Joint & Skin Support is a fresh-frozen customized dog food with skin-friendly ingredients like omega-3s to help your floof look and feel better. Featuring a novel protein and carbohydrate source of pork and quinoa, this food’s made to dodge common canine food sensitivities.

Features:

  • Real pork is the top ingredient 
  • Joint & Skin Support Recipe Meets AAFCO nutrient profile for maintenance 
  • Type II collagen reinforces joints (Ideal for seniors!)
  • Made in the USA with human-grade ingredients

Options: Joint & Skin Support is a pork-based recipe for skin care, but Fish & Sweet Potato Recipe, Venison & Squash Recipe, and Balanced Remedy are also skin-supportive options.

Ingredients List

Pork Loin, Pork Tenderloin, Quinoa, Kale, Carrots, Fuji Apples...,

Fish Oil, Type Ii Collagen, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Type II Collagen, Salt, Taurine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Selenium Yeast, Ferrous Fumarate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Cholecalciferol (source of Vitamin D3), Riboflavin, Potassium Iodide

Pros

  • Hard to top the quality of fresh-frozen food made with human-grade ingredients
  • Formulated specifically to address skin and coat health with omega fatty acids
  • Limited ingredient list and novel protein/carb sources ideal for doggos with food sensitivities 

Cons

  • Unfortunately, this food is pricey
  • Fresh-frozen food requires refrigeration
Curious about more fresh food options?

We’ve rounded up some of today’s fresh dog food options and compared them head to head, covering everything from recipe formulation to where companies source ingredients. Dig in and see if any suit your sniffer.

2. BLUE True Solutions Perfect Skin & Coat

Best Dry Dog Food for Shedding
BLUE True Solutions Perfect Skin & Coat
A premium kibble for skin and coat health with salmon, flaxseed, and fish oil for an assortment of omegas.
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About: BLUE True Solutions Perfect Skin & Coat is a grain-inclusive dry food made with protein-rich salmon and salmon meal to provide both flavor and skin support. Flaxseed and fish oil swoop in with more skin and coat-nourishing fatty acids, while the recipe remains free of common sensitivity triggers like corn, soy, wheat, dairy, and eggs.

Features:

  • LifeSource Bits offer a pop of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Primary carbohydrate sources of oatmeal, brown rice, and barley
  • Prebiotics and probiotics promote healthy digestion
  • Made in the USA with US- and globally sourced ingredients

Options: Available in a single salmon-based dry variety. A whitefish-based canned version is also available.

Ingredients List

Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Barley...,

Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Canola Oil, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Peas, Pea Protein, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Fish Oil (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Potassium Chloride, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Pumpkin, Dried Chicory Root, Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, DL-Methionine, L-Threonine, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Tryptophan, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Taurine, 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, Biotin (Vitamin B7), L-Lysine, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary

Pros

  • Designed specifically to improve your pup’s skin and coat from the inside out
  • Flavor gets a tail wag of approval from most dogs
  • Excellent mix of prebiotics and probiotics support doggo digestion

Cons

  • On the pricier side compared to other kibbles
  • Pet parents of larger or multiple doggos may prefer larger bag sizes

3. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet

Best Wet Food for Shedding
Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet
A palate-pleasing wet food option with a savory broth, grains, and skin-soothing fatty acids.
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About: Meet your dog’s meaty cravings and give her skin and coat a boost with Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet, a meat-forward mash of high-quality protein, healthy grains, and omega fatty acids. Biotin fosters a healthy skin environment and aids in fighting inflammation, while prebiotic fiber helps with digestion.

Features:

  • A protein is always at the top of the ingredient list
  • Broth adds hydration and flavor
  • Vitamins A and E offer an immune boost
  • Made in the USA with internationally sourced ingredients

Options: Available in Duck, Lamb, and Turkey recipes.

Ingredients List

Lamb, Lamb Broth, Oatmeal, Potato Protein, Carrageenan...,

Ground Flaxseed, Guar Gum, Sunflower Oil, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Cobalt Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Pros

  • Excellent source of skin-friendly fatty acids
  • Most dogs love the flavor, and it mixes easily over kibble to entice picky pups
  • Good mix of relatively novel protein options 

Cons

  • Expensive compared to everyday canned foods
  • Lacks fruits and vegetables

4. Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat

Most Affordable Dog Food for Shedding
Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat
A budget-friendly recipe designed to improve the skin and coat of canines with omega-3s and antioxidants.
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About: Salmon, flaxseed, chia seed, and coconut offer fatty acid goodness in Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat, an affordable kibble formulated to boost the appearance and health of canine skin. Its bounty of fruits and vegetables are natural sources of antioxidants and vitamins, while hearty grains provide energy. 

Features:

  • Real salmon is the primary ingredient
  • Blend of prebiotics and probiotics aid in digestion
  • Meets the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages
  • Made in the USA with US- and internationally sourced ingredients

Options: Available in a single salmon-based recipe.

Ingredients List

Salmon, Fish Meal, Potatoes, Lentils, Peas, Pea Flour...,

Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Yeast, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, L-Carnitine, Kale, Chia Seed, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Oranges, Dried Kelp, Coconut, Spinach, Carrots, Papaya, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid

Pros

  • Affordable pricing for a skin-and-coat recipe
  • Many pet parents report improved coat appearance after starting the food
  • All life stages recipe perfect for growing with your dog or multi-pup families

Cons

  • More protein options are needed
  • Lentils and peas are controversial ingredients for some pet parents

5. NomNom

Best Tasting Dog Food for Shedding
Nom Nom
A fresh food option featuring ground meat and vegetables for a skin-supporting food that tastes as good as it looks.
Special Discount: New customers can get 50% off!
Buy on Nom Nom Read Our Review

About: Deliver skin-friendly eats to your door with NomNom, a customized food crafted specifically for your doggo’s age, activity levels, and more with gently-cooked ingredients to preserve flavor and nutrients. You can also enter areas of concern to address while building a meal plan, such as skin concerns or food allergies.

Features:

  • All recipes formulated by a board-certified canine nutritionist 
  • Pre portioned with no need for measuring meals
  • NomNom recipes meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for all life stages
  • Made in the USA with sustainably sourced, human-grade ingredients

Options: Offered in Beef Mash, Chicken Cuisine, Pork Potluck, and Turkey Fare.

Ingredients List

Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Water Sufficient For Processing, Spinach...,

Sunflower Oil, Canola Oil, Natural Flavor, Vinegar, Dicalcium Phosphate, Citric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Fish Oil, Salt, Choline Bitartrate, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Manganese Gluconate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Cholecalciferol (Source Of Vitamin D3), Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement

Pros

  • Flavor and texture are wins with most doggy diners 
  • Customized to your dog’s exact needs, factoring in things like skin concerns, age, and activity levels 
  • You can select a single recipe or a variety to keep picky pups from growing bored

Cons

  • One of the pricier foods on our list
  • Fresh food requires space in your refrigerator or freezer
Want to learn more about NomNom?

Check out our in-depth look at NomNom, including information about the company’s history and manufacturing processes, plus a hands-on review of NomNom food with one of our professional pup taste testers.

6. Hill’s Prescription Diet d/d

Best Prescription Dog Food for Shedding
Hill’s Prescription Diet d/d
A vet-prescribed specialty diet formulated to improve skin health and digestion for dogs with sensitivities.
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About: Banish excessive shedding linked to skin health with Hill’s Prescription Diet d/d, a prescription kibble designed by vets and animal nutritionists to help your dog’s skin. The recipe’s also gentle on your dog’s tummy, aiming for improved digestion and firmer stools.

Features:

  • All recipes feature a single animal protein to avoid adverse reactions
  • Rich in omega fatty acids from fish oil, coconut oil, and more
  • Petite kibble size suits dogs big and small
  • Made in the USA with internationally sourced ingredients 

Options: Available in Potato & Salmon, Potato & Duck, and Potato & Venison recipes.

Ingredients List

Potatoes, Potato Starch, Salmon, Potato Protein, Soybean Oil...,

Coconut Oil, Powdered Cellulose, Pork Liver Flavor, Dicalcium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil, Glyceryl Monostearate, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), DL-Methionine, Taurine, Magnesium Oxide, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene.

Pros

  • Formulated by vets and nutritionists for skin health
  • Many owners note an improvement in coat and skin appearance 
  • Recipe may also benefit dogs with ingredient sensitivities 

Cons

  • Requires a prescription from your vet to obtain
  • Unfortunately, veterinary diets are expensive 

7. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet

Best LID Food for Shedding
Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet
A limited-ingredient recipe that suits dogs with food sensitivities needing coat care.
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About: Rich in omega-3s, Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet is a great choice for dogs with food intolerances combating dry skin or coat troubles. Real meat is always the first ingredient, followed by a focused list of carbohydrate sources, healthy fats, and vitamins.

Features:

  • Animal nutritionists review all recipes for balance
  • Doesn’t include common sensitivity triggers like corn, soy, and eggs
  • Probiotic blend supports healthy canine digestion
  • Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients

Options: Available in grain-inclusive Lamb & Oatmeal and Duck & Oatmeal and grain-free Salmon & Potato and Turkey & Potato.

Ingredients List

Lamb, Lamb Meal, Oatmeal, Peas, Ground Rice, Millet...,

Ground Flaxseed, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Natural Lamb 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 recipe catered to dogs with sensitivity while still aiding coat health
  • Probiotics help promote healthy canine digestion 
  • Grain-free and grain-inclusive options are available

Cons

  • It lacks a variety of fruits and vegetables 
  • Pet parents wary of DCM may not be a fan of the peas in the recipe

8. Spot & Tango Unkibble

Best Air-Dried Dog Food for Shedding
Spot & Tango Unkibble
A vet-formulated, air-dried food made with coat care ingredients like flaxseed oil.
Special Discount: Get 50% off your first order when you use code K9OFMINE50
Buy Now (Get 50% Off)

About: Spot & Tango Unkibble is a fresh take on kibble featuring real meat, produce, and omega fatty acids, which have been air-dried into tasty nibblets. Meal plans are customized to your dog’s activity levels, weight, and breed and packed with a measured scoop to make feeding more convenient. 

Features:

  • All recipes are vet-developed for balance
  • Gently dried at low temperatures to preserve nutrients, flavor, and appearance 
  • All recipes meet AAFCO standards for all life stages, including the growth of large-breed puppies
  • Made in the USA

Options: Available in Cod + Salmon, Beef + Barley, and Chicken + Brown Rice.

Ingredients List

Cod, Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Sunflower Seeds...,

Tapioca, Strawberries, Carrots, Spinach, Parsley, Rosemary, Kelp, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (natural source of Vitamin E), Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Flaxseed Oil, Choline Chloride, L-Tryptophan, L-Threonine, Organic Zinc Proteinate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Organic Selenium Yeast, Vitamin E Supplement, Beet, Tomato, Broccoli, Carrot, Spinach, Orange, Cherry, Cranberry, Strawberry, Apple, Blueberry, Pumpkin, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin B12, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Rosemary Extract and Mixed Tocopherols, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxin Hydrochloride, Folic Acid

Pros

  • Healthy fats offer skin and coat care
  • Flavor is a hit with most dogs
  • Excellent mix of produce for natural sources of fiber and nutrients

Cons

  • Limited protein options
  • Pricing is on the higher side

9. Canidae Pure

Best Grain-Free Food for Shedding
Canidae Pure

A grain-free, limited-ingredient kibble rich in fatty acids to help the skin and coat of dogs with grain allergies.

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About: Cater your canine’s cuisine to her grain allergies with Canidae Pure, a grain-free dog food with a short ingredient list ideal for shedding sniffers facing dietary restrictions. Alternative carbohydrate sources like sweet potatoes keep her fueled for fun, while a blend of ingredients like salmon, canola oil, and flaxseed fortify her skin and coat with fatty acids.

Features:

  • High-quality protein is the first ingredient
  • Taurine supports heart health
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin give joints a helping hand
  • Made in the USA with US and global ingredients

Options: Offerings include Salmon & Sweet Potato, Lamb & Sweet Potato, Duck & Sweet Potato, and Chicken, Lentil & Egg Puppy. 

Ingredients List

Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lentils...,

Sweet Potatoes, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Canola Oil, Potatoes, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (A Preservative), Zinc Sulfate, Potassium Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6 Supplement), Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product

Pros

  • Excellent choice for dogs with grain allergies and coat troubles 
  • Great extras like probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin
  • Good mix of proteins to choose from, including novel options

Cons

  • Grain-free dog food isn’t appropriate for every dog
  • Some four-footers weren’t crazy about the food’s taste
Is grain-free right for your dog?

Grain-free dog food is meant for dogs with grain allergies, a relatively rare food allergy. Most canines actually have protein allergies to chicken, eggs, beef, and even dairy products. A vet should always diagnose food allergies, as other health conditions may be behind your dog’s symptoms.

With the potential link between grain-free foods and a deadly heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM,) it’s vital to ask your vet before switching to these diets, especially if your dog is a breed predisposed to the condition.

10. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet

Best Puppy Food for Shedding
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet
A limited-ingredient puppy recipe rich in omega-3s for skin and coat support, including DHA for brain and eye development.
Buy on Chewy Buy on Amazon

About: Pamper your puppy’s skin and coat from the inside with Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet, a dry kibble containing healthy fats from salmon, flaxseed, canola oil, and more. Featuring a single protein and a focused ingredient list, it’s a solid option for youngsters with sensitive systems.

Features:

  • Real meat or fish is always the first ingredient
  • Grain-inclusive recipes fuel puppy adventures and keep tummies satiated
  • Doesn’t include soy, artificial colors, or artificial flavors
  • Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients

Options: Offered in Salmon & Brown Rice, Lamb & Brown Rice, and Chicken & Brown Rice.

Ingredients List

Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice...,

Rice Bran, Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Oat Groats, Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Flavor, Salt, Salmon Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin), Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate), Choline Chloride, L-Threonine, Citric Acid (Preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Rosemary Extract

Pros

  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids to support skin and coat health (especially the salmon recipe!)
  • Limited-ingredient nature is ideal for dogs with multiple food restrictions
  • Good mix of basic protein options compared to other LID diets

Cons

  • A few picky pups weren’t fans of the taste
  • On the pricier side

11. BLUE Basics Skin & Stomach Care

Best Senior Food for Shedding
Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care
A senior-focused dry food with coat-nourishing fatty acids, as well as glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and mobility.
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About: Support your senior sniffer’s skin and coat with BLUE Basics Skin & Stomach Care, featuring omega-3s, joint-friendly glucosamine and chondroitin, and fiber-rich pumpkin and chicory root for healthy digestion. This grain-inclusive recipe uses oatmeal and brown rice as primary carbohydrate sources for energy, along with potatoes, peas, and pea fiber.

Features:

  • Single-protein recipe features turkey as the primary ingredient
  • Contains antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits for an immune system boost
  • Meets AAFCO standards for maintenance 
  • Made in the USA using globally sourced ingredients

Options: Available in a single turkey-based senior dry recipe and a canned variety. Also available in Adult and Puppy recipes.

Ingredients List

Deboned Turkey, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Potatoes, Peas...,

Turkey Meal, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Pea Protein, Canola Oil (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Fish Oil (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Pumpkin, Dried Chicory Root, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Salt, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), DL-Methionine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, 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, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary

Pros

  • Awesome source of skin and brain-supporting omega fatty acids
  • Limited ingredient list suits pups with food sensitivities
  • Mix of probiotics and fiber promotes healthier digestion

Cons

  • More protein options are needed for dogs who don’t tolerate or care for turkey
  • Not every pet parent is a fan of peas in dog food

What Causes Excess Shedding?

anxious dog

One of the peskier parts of pup ownership is shedding. Certain breeds definitely cause bigger problems than others, but sometimes, something other than your dog’s breed can cause the shedpocalypse. 

You obviously can’t change your dog’s breed, but you can change your dog’s food. Often, that helps reduce your doggo’s shedding a bit. 

However, health problems can also cause excess shedding. So, have your vet rule out the concerns discussed below before you change your pup’s food.

Several things can cause excessive shedding, including:

  • Allergies: Food and environmental allergies can trigger an immune response in your dog, leading to hair thinning and loss.
  • Stress: A stressed-out pup can engage in overgrooming, which can cause noticeable patches of hair loss. Additionally, stress itself triggers a constant rush of adrenaline in dogs, spawning bodywide shedding. 
  • Parasites: An infestation of fleas or mites can lead to an uptick of shedding and hair loss, particularly in pups allergic to the hair hitchhikers.
  • Health problems: Several illnesses can cause excessive shedding, including kidney disease, thyroid disorders, and liver ailments.
  • Infections: Bacterial or fungal skin infections may cause an increase in shedding.
  • Insufficient omega-3s: These fatty acids support hair follicles and skin and can only be obtained through your dog’s diet. If lacking, she’s at risk of poor skin and coat condition, including extra shedding.
  • Poor quality diet: An unbalanced diet can leave your dog short on essential nutrients for skin and coat health or overabundant in ones that can cause excessive shedding.
  • Overbathing: While we all appreciate a clean pup, overwashing your woofer strips away natural oils and dries out your dog’s skin, increasing the amount of hair she sheds.

If you notice extra shedding from your pup, make a vet appointment to check for potential causes. Your vet will examine your dog, discuss her diet, and determine if switching her food is a step in the right direction or if a medical malady is to blame.

What to Look for in a Dog Food for Shedding

fish oil supplement for dogs

Not all dog foods geared toward coat care will fit your dog’s needs, making it vital you do your due diligence while you search for the perfect pick. Don’t just choose the first skin and coat-focused food and roll with it.

Luckily, an easy way to check if a food is a good fit is to ask three basic questions:

  • Does the food meet the AAFCO nutrient profile for my dog’s life stage? Your dog’s food should also fit her age, as puppies have vastly different dietary needs than seniors. Ask your vet if you don’t know your pup’s current life stage, as they vary from breed to breed.
  • Does the food address any health concerns my dog has? Aside from picking a food that’ll help with your dog’s coat, you’ll want to pick a dog food that is catered to your dog’s unique health needs. This may mean pickinga low-protein dog food for a canine with kidney concerns or a dog food with probiotics if your four-footer needs extra digestive support.
  • Is the food one I decided on with my vet’s input? Your vet is your best source of support with canine care, as he or she knows your pup’s health needs and condition. Don’t be afraid to ask for help picking between brands or recommending a good option.

If you answer “yes” to all three questions, the product is likely a great fit for your dog, provided she clears her bowl without any tummy upset after switching her dog food properly. Signs of food intolerance, like excessive gas and diarrhea, may warrant changing to something else.

As far as dogs experiencing excessive shedding, dry skin, or a dull coat, you’ll want to look for key features like:

  • Omega fatty acids: These healthy fats support skin and coat health, making them vital for keeping your four-footer’s fur from shedding excessively.
  • Antioxidants: These compounds aid canine immune systems and prevent cell damage, keeping skin healthier and hair from falling out more often than it should.
  • Vitamins and minerals: An assortment of vitamins like A, C, and E and minerals like zinc all aid in coat care but, more importantly, whole-body health. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals prevents deficiencies that can lead to hair loss.
  • Whole protein: Hair is mainly made of protein, and your dog needs a quality protein source to keep her locks healthy. Check for whole meat at the top of the ingredient list, like beef, chicken, or salmon. 
Not wanting to switch foods just yet?

If your pup’s thriving on her current food but needs an extra boost of fatty acids, consider adding a fish oil supplement to her routine. As with any supplement, you’ll want to check with your vet first to ensure it’s a good fit for her.

Which Dog Breeds Shed the Most/Least?

German shepherds shed

The dog world includes heavyweight shedders and breeds that don’t shed nearly as much, so it’s critical to research breed needs before bringing a barker home. While many of us don’t mind everyday vacuuming or the woes of coat-blowing season, others get overwhelmed at the sheer volume of hair some breeds leave around. 

Some breeds that shed the most include:

  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Chow Chow
  • German Shepherd 
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Siberian Husky

These breeds leave trails of hair everywhere they go, whether brushing up against your work pants or leaving a dog-shaped hair outline on your sofa. Frequent brushing helps, of course, but you’re still sure to find hair around that needs tidying. Neat freaks need not apply with these hairy hounds.

Other breeds don’t shed nearly as much, making everyday maintenance far more manageable if you’re not interested in regularly cleaning up mountains of hair. They can also benefit people allergic to dust, mold, and pollen – allergens often trapped in shedding hair and left around your house. 

types of poodles 5

Low-shedding dog breeds include: 

  • Afghan Hound
  • American Hairless Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Chinese Crested
  • Coton de Tulear
  • Poodle
  • Portuguese Water Dog

Please note that these are low-shedding breeds, not non-shedding, as all dogs shed to a degree (no matter what a breeder tries to tell you!) These breeds also aren’t hypoallergenic, despite rampant language surrounding them. People with dog allergies are allergic to dog dander and saliva, things all canines have, no matter the fur type or breed.

Best Dog Food for Shedding: FAQ

questions about dogs shedding

Tackling shedding can be a hairy handful, so you may still have questions about the task. Let’s comb through the most commonly asked questions together.

What can I feed my dog to help with shedding?

If your dog is shedding excessively and you’ve ruled out health concerns with your vet, try a food rich in omega-3 fatty acids to give her skin and coat more support. JustFoodForDogs Joint & Skin Support is our favorite fresh food recommendation, while BLUE True Solutions Perfect Skin & Coat is a great kibble option. Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat is another solid choice at an affordable price point.

What is the best food for dogs who shed a lot?

No one-size-fits-all food will work for every dog that sheds a lot. Some dogs see improvement with adding a skin-friendly wet food to their diet, like Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet, while others need a prescribed food to combat serious skin issues like Hill’s Prescription Diet d/d

To determine the best food for your shedding doggo, consult your vet. He or she can also rule out potential medical causes of her shedding, like parasites or illness.

What do vets recommend for shedding?

Not every vet will recommend the same thing. One vet might love a product others dislike. What your vet recommends for your unique dog is most important.

Sometimes, your vet may deem changing your dog’s food to something with more skin support appropriate for shed control, while other times, your pup may only need a change in her grooming routine, such as more brushing or less frequent bathing. 

Does dog food affect shedding?

Yes, your dog’s food can affect how much she sheds. A diet that’s poorly balanced or made with subpar ingredients can lead to excessive shedding. Look for foods that meet the nutrient profile of your dog’s current life stage, have skin-supporting ingredients like omega-3s, and have your vet’s approval for the best results. 

How do I stop excess shedding?

Handling excess shedding starts with a vet trip to rule out underlying causes. This is your most crucial step in getting your dog’s shedding in check. From there, you might switch her dog food to something with skin and coat care if your vet gives the OK.

In addition, brush your dog regularly to remove shedding hair and prevent matting. Brushing also promotes healthy blood flow to the skin and hair follicles. Use the right tool for the job, as huskies and other thick-coated breeds require special brushes, while short-coated breed brushes differ. A Flowbee can also make the task easier. 

Washing your woof as needed with a dog shampoo for shedding can also help. You can’t stop a dog from shedding entirely, but these steps can reduce hair bunny populations around your home.

   

Has your doggo dined on any of our picks for the best dog food for shedding? Is there another option she loves that helped tame her tresses? Share with us in the comments!​​

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Written by

Kelsey Leicht

Kelsey is a lover of words and woofs. She worked hands-on with dogs for several years at a boarding kennel as a shift runner and office manager before venturing into the world of writing. She lives in New Jersey with her crew of crazy canines.

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