The 8 Best Dog Foods for Shedding

By Kevin Myers | 2021 Update

I fully expect that among my cremated remains will be the chemical traces of dog fur. With very few exceptions, shedding is a fact of life when you have a dog in your home. All dogs shed, from the low-maintenance “hypoallergenic” breeds to double-coated fluff machines.

The best we can do is vacuum religiously, lint roll with a fervor, and brush with passion. However, we can do one more thing to tilt the odds in our favor by feeding our dogs a proper diet. To help you find the best dog foods for shedding, we’ve created this list along with some FAQs and a Buyers Guide.

Read on to find the best dog food shedding solutions for you and your dog.   

The 8 Best Dog Foods for Shedding

Top ProductsRatingTop Ingredients
1. Diamond Naturals Skin and Coat Formula4.5Salmon, Fish Meal, Potatoes, Lentils, Peas
2. Wellness Simple Diet Limited Ingredient Salmon and Potato4.5Salmon, Salmon Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
3. Instinct Limited Ingredient Grain-Free with Lamb4.7Lamb Meal, Lamb, Tapioca, Peas, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)
4. Merrick Grain-Free Salmon and Sweet Potato4.6Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Whitefish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
5. Nature’s Recipe Small Breed Grain-Free4.7Salmon, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Menhaden Fish Meal, Pea Starch
6. Orijen Senior Grain-Free4.7Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Atlantic flounder, Cage-Free Eggs, Whole Atlantic Mackerel
7. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy4.4Lamb, Lamb Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground White Rice
8. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free4.6Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes

1. Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin with Lamb and Oatmeal

Top 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Oat Meal, Barley, Fish Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Canola Meal

This kibble from Purina is for dogs that have sensitive skin and digestive issues. It is chock-full of protein, contains plenty of healthy fat, and has a wide variety of other nutrients that your dog requires. Because it includes complex grains and lean protein, it should be easy for your dog to break down. 

2. Diamond Naturals Skin and Coat Formula

Top 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Fish Meal, Potatoes, Lentils, Peas

This dog food from Diamond Naturals is high in the omega-3 fatty acids from wild-caught salmon to protect the skin and fur of your dog. It also contains added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants specifically designed to protect your pet’s skin.

3. Wellness Simple Diet Limited Ingredient Salmon and Potato

Top 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes

Dogs with a sensitive stomach are often under stress, and stress leads to shedding. This option from Wellness avoids common allergens, including grain, making it great for dogs with a sensitive stomach. It also contains plenty of healthy complex carbohydrates and essential fatty acids from salmon, which is great for your dog’s fur. Salmon also provides plenty of lean protein, helping your dog maintain a strong musculoskeletal system. 

4. Instinct Limited Ingredient Grain-Free with Lamb

Top 5 Ingredients: Lamb Meal, Lamb, Tapioca, Peas, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)

This high-protein formula from Instinct avoids common allergens, including grain, which keeps your dog from shedding so much. Lamb is used as a novel protein source and is less likely to cause allergies as well. It is a bit expensive, but staying away from common allergens while providing a healthy protein source can reduce the amount your dog sheds. 

5. Nature’s Recipe Small Breed Grain-Free

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Whitefish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

This dog food from Nature’s Recipe is grain-free, reducing the chances of an allergic reaction. This recipe contains a relatively low amount of fat, keeping the calorie content low. It is fortified with vitamins and minerals and includes various protein sources, including lean protein from chicken.

6. Merrick Grain-Free Salmon and Sweet Potato

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Whitefish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

This choice from Merrick contains a lot of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. With lots of salmon, your dog will have the fatty acids it needs to maintain a healthy coat. In addition, it does not contain any grain, soy, or wheat, which are common allergens that can increase your dog’s shedding.

7. Orijen Senior Grain-Free

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Atlantic flounder, Cage-Free Eggs, Whole Atlantic Mackerel

This senior dog food from Orijen with a wide variety of healthy vitamins, minerals, and protein sources will help you protect your dog’s coat and skin. It is free from common allergens, including grain, reducing the chances of your dog suffering an allergic reaction. It also has a lower calorie content, which is great for senior dogs that need to count their calories.

8. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy

Top 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground White Rice

This puppy food from Diamond Naturals contains all the necessary vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and protein your large breed puppy needs to grow up healthily. Puppies shed often, and the essential fatty acids in this recipe will help them to shed less.  

9. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes

This limited ingredient diet from Wellness is grain-free. Grain is a common allergen that can promote shedding. Furthermore, this formula has plenty of lean protein, which is important for dogs to have healthy skin and collagen. It can be pricey, but it might be able to reduce your dog’s shedding. 

10. Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin with Salmon and Rice

Top 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Canola Meal

This dog food from Purina contains extra omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from seafood. Omega fatty acids are incredibly important for helping your dog maintain a healthy coat and skin. It also includes a relatively low number of calories per volume of food, helping you keep your dog’s weight under control. Finally, it also has glucosamine, which is important for supporting your dog’s joints. 

11. Merrick Real Chicken and Sweet Potato

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

This recipe from Merrick is grain-free, reducing allergies and shedding. It has plenty of protein, which is perfect for active lives, and it also contains a moderate amount of healthy fats, important for keeping your dog’s coat happy and healthy. With plenty of vitamins and minerals, this is a well-rounded dog food that can reduce shedding. 

12. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free with Turkey

Top 5 Ingredients: Turkey Meal, Peas, Turkey, Tapioca, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)

This grain-free dog food from Instinct is great for dogs with allergies. With plenty of lean poultry protein from the turkey, this is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It contains various probiotics and prebiotics to keep the gastrointestinal tract of your dog happy and healthy. 

13. Orijen Six Fish

Top 5 Ingredients: Whole Atlantic Mackerel, Whole Atlantic Herring, Monkfish, Acadian Redfish, Flounder

This option from Orijen is one of the best dog food options on the market for the health of your dog’s skin and coat. Made with plenty of protein from six different fish, this is a great way to supply your dog with essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6. Weight-conscious dogs take note because this has such a high content of healthy fat, the calorie content is a bit higher than other foods.  

14. Nature’s Recipe for Healthy Skin

Top 5 Ingredients: Brewers Rice, Soybean Meal, Barley, Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor

This vegetarian option from Nature’s Recipe is designed for your dog’s skin. It still contains a high amount of protein from plant sources. It is also low in fat, helping you control your dog’s weight. It is fortified with a variety of vitamins and minerals, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which protect the health of your dog’s skin and coat.

15. Merrick Grain-Free Senior Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Turkey Meal

If you have an older dog, this food from Merrick is ideal. It does not contain any grain, which is a common allergen that can cause shedding. In addition, it has extra chondroitin and glucosamine to support your dog’s joints. Finally, it contains a wide variety of healthy proteins and fatty acids, keeping your dog’s coat healthy and happy. 

16. Wellness Small Breed Salmon with Limited Ingredients

Top 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)

This dog food from Wellness is for smaller dog breeds with food sensitivities. Food sensitivities are well known to lead to shedding. By removing these common allergens, you can reduce your dog’s shedding. This formula also contains many essential fatty acids from salmon, which are important to your dog’s coat. 

17. Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

This option from Diamond Naturals contains lots of lean protein, which is important for an active dog. It also has added probiotics that will protect the digestive tract of your dog. All of this is important for making sure your dog can absorb plenty of healthy nutrients to nourish its skin and coat. 

18. Orijen Regional Red 

Top 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Deboned Wild Boar, Deboned Goat, Deboned Lamb, Lamb Liver

This option from Orijen can protect your dog’s skin and fur. This dog food contains a variety of protein sources, so you may need to be careful that your dog suffers from allergies. On the other hand, the ingredients are locally sourced, ensuring that you are getting a high-quality meal for your dog packed with vitamins and minerals to protect the overall health of your dog’s coat and reduce shedding. 

19. Instinct Freeze-Dried Salmon

Top 5 Ingredients: Salmon, White Fish Meal (Pacific Whiting, Pacific Sole, Pacific Rockfish), Peas, Menhaden Fish Meal, Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid)

This dog food from Instinct with salmon can reduce shedding. Because the salmon has been freeze-dried, all of the nutrients have been preserved, including the essential fatty acids. Your dog will enjoy exceptional omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that can protect his or her skin and fur, reducing shedding. 

20. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin Wet Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Water Sufficient For Processing, Salmon, Rice, Fish, Potato Protein, Corn Oil

This dog food from Purina is designed for dogs with sensitive skin. Older dogs often appreciate wet food because it is easier to chew and digest. It still contains plenty of healthy essential fatty acids because it has a large amount of salmon. It also has plenty of other vitamins and minerals that are important for supporting your dog’s overall health, including his or her skin and fur. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Dog Foods for Shedding

A few of the most common questions people ask about the best dog food for shedding include: 

1. How much should my dog shed? What is considered healthy? 

Virtually all dogs, except for poodles, are going to shed a little bit. It is not unusual for your dog to shed from time to time. If you notice that your dog sheds more during the summer, this is considered normal.

2. If my dog sheds throughout the entire year, is this normal? 

Yes, you should expect your dog to shed a little bit throughout the entire year. Your dog may shed more when the temperature heats up outside to cool off. 

3. What is the typical seasonal cycle of shedding? 

There are a lot of dog breeds that shed seasonally during the fall and spring. You may also notice more shedding during the summer when the weather gets warm outside. 

4. If I’m noticing bald patches on my dog, is this considered normal? 

No, if you are noticing that your dog has bald spots, this is a problem. Dogs with bald patches usually have underlying medical concerns. Be sure to take your dog to the veterinarian if you are noticing bald patches on your dog. 

5. Does diet play a role in how much my dog is shedding? 

Yes, your dog’s diet can play a significant role in how much your dog is shedding. Essential fatty acids can reduce the amount of fur your dog sheds. 

6. If I am feeding my dog a healthy diet, why is it shedding? 

Other contributing factors could increase how much your dog is shedding. For example, your dog may be under a lot of stress. Or, your dog may be shedding a healthy amount. 

7. Do puppies shed a lot as well? 

Yes, puppies do shed from time to time. Even though they tend not to shed as much as adults, they do shed seasonally. After your puppy sheds the first time, its adult fur may begin to come in. 

8. Why are essential fatty acids important for reducing shedding?

Essential fatty acids are important for reducing shedding because they provide a structural foundation for your dog’s skin, fur, and coat. Without essential fatty acids, your dog’s coat and skin will suffer.

9. How do I know if my dog is under a lot of stress?

If you find that your dog is refusing to eat, is less active than it normally is, or scratching at herself or himself a lot, this is a sign that your dog is under stress, which can lead to extra shedding. 

10. When will my puppy lose his or her fur and get his or her adult fur? 

It depends on the breed of your puppy, its overall health, and the environment. Usually, this happens between 3 and 6 months of age. For more information on your specific breed, speak with your veterinarian. 

11. What type of protein is best for my dog? 

In general, dogs do best if they consume protein from animal sources because it is easiest for them to digest. Even though you can give your dog protein from other sources, they might be more difficult for your dog to handle.

12. Can allergies lead to a lot of shedding in dogs?

Yes, allergies can lead to shedding in dogs. If your dog is exposed to allergens, it may start scratching a lot, leading to hair loss.

13. What are examples of common allergens in dogs? 

Several ingredients can lead to significant allergies in dogs. Common examples include dairy, grain, eggs, wheat, and soy. If you think your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies, you may need to go to the veterinarian to get it tested.

14. Why does my dog scratch so much? 

There are plenty of possible reasons why you may notice your dog is scratching a lot. For example, your dog may be suffering from fleas or dust mites. Or, your dog may be suffering an allergic reaction. 

15. Do I need to give my dog medication to stop him or her from shedding? 

There are situations where your dog may require medications to stop the shedding process. If that is the case, you should reach out to your veterinarian for more information. 

16. Are there any dogs that do not shed? 

All dogs shed a little bit. Some dog breeds do not shed much, including the American Hairless Terrier and most Poodles. If you are looking for a dog that does not shed, you should talk to a breeder or a veterinarian. 

17. How often do I need to brush my dog? 

Properly brushing your dog improves the health of their coat and skin and reduces shedding. Many dog owners brush their dogs daily or at least once per week. If you notice your dog is shedding a lot, you may need to brush your dog more often. 

18. I am noticing fur on my furniture and clothing. Is this bad? 

All houses with dogs in them have fur on the furniture and clothing. Some degree of shedding is normal throughout the entire year. If you notice your dog’s hair is coming out in clumps, this is a problem. 

19. Will my dog’s fur change color as it ages? 

It is possible you may notice some degree of color change; however, this is not normal. If you feel like your dog’s fur is changing color, it may be because it is dirty.

20. If I give my dog a bath regularly, will this slow the shedding process? 

If you bathe your dog, you may remove the loose fur that is already on the surface; however, this does not necessarily mean that your dog will shed any less.

A Buyer’s Guide: The Best Dog Foods for Shedding

If you are looking for the best dog food for shedding, there is a lot to consider. If you are having a hard time picking the right food, it is important to think about nutrition content, ingredients, and whether your dog can chew it properly.

When you are trying to find a dog food that will help your dog reduce his or her shedding, there are several nutrients you need to consider, including 

  • Protein Content: First, you need to take a look at the protein content. Particularly if your dog is active, it is going to need a lot of protein. Protein contains building blocks that are important for the animal’s entire body. Therefore, they are an absolute necessity when it comes to daily function. If your dog does not have enough protein, there are a lot of issues that can develop. These include dry skin, irritated follicles, and excessive shedding. Make sure you feed your dog a balanced diet that includes plenty of protein. Usually, dogs have an easier time digesting protein from animal sources.
  • Omega Fatty Acids: Arguably, this is the most important ingredient if you are looking for dog food to reduce the amount of shedding your dog for forms. Dogs are unable to generate omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids on their own. Therefore, you should include them in your dog’s diet. Dogs that do not consume enough essential fatty acids can develop a wide variety of health problems. In addition to developing nerve issues, your dog may also begin to shed excessively.
  • Minerals and Vitamins: These are incredibly important for the overall health of your dog as well. Take a look at the kibble you are giving to your furry friend. Make sure there are a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Look for dog food with plenty of B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin D. Your dog food also has to have many minerals, including iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, zinc, and iron. All of these are important co-factors for various enzymes in your dog’s body. If your dog’s food has a deficiency of vitamins and minerals, your dog is going to develop shedding problems.
  • Complex Carbohydrates: They are essential to giving your dog enough energy. Even though simple carbohydrates can give your dog energy, they can also be blood sugar spikes that could lead to chronic health problems, including diabetes. Therefore, try to find complex carbohydrates from whole grain sources, as long as your dog is not allergic to grain.

If you go through these factors, you should find the right dog food for your furry friend. You will enjoy numerous benefits if you provide your dog with dog food that will reduce shedding. These include: 

  • If you provide your dog with plenty of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and protein, you can prevent a wide variety of chronic medical problems, including shedding.
  • If you give your dog food that will reduce shedding, you will also have a happier puppy or adult dog. Dogs do not like it when they are shedding continuously. If you can reduce the amount of fur your dog sheds, you should notice that his or her mood will elevate. 
  • If you give your dog nutrition that will reduce shedding, this will lead to healthier skin and fur. If you ever brush your dog, you should notice that its coat will begin to shine, a sign that your dog is very healthy. 
  • Finally, you should also notice that your dog will become more active. If you are looking for a dog that will interact with you more, you need to reduce the amount of shedding your dog goes through. Healthy dog food will help you do exactly that. 

Diet is only one of the many reasons why your dog may be shedding excessively. If you are concerned that your dog is shedding far too much, you need to meet with your veterinarian to go through possible factors, which may include:

  • Your dog may have allergies. Dogs are prone to developing seasonal allergies. Grain, dairy, eggs, and soy are common allergens that can cause your dog to shed. 
  • Stress can cause dogs to shed. Dogs often respond to stress by scratching at themselves, which can lead to hair loss. If you notice digestive issues, frequent barking, or excessive anxiety, these are signs that your dog could be dealing with a significant amount of stress.

Ultimately, there is a lot to consider if you are looking to reduce the frequency with which you are dog sheds. If you have questions or concerns about how often your dog is shedding, do not hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian to ask for assistance. You may also want to work with a specialized dog nutritionist who can help you find the right food for your dog. If you give your dog a healthy diet, you may be able to reduce how much your dog is shedding.