Best Dog Food for Shedding in 2022

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shedding dog

Shedding is normal for many dogs. But excessive shedding can cause bald spots and be a sign of allergies, health disorders, or even lack of nutrition.

Has your dog had a vet appointment and needs to switch to a new food? You’ll want one that helps with the health of their coat. Let’s talk about the best dog food for shedding.

My pick is Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food

It offers the same quality as the other formulas in the Purina Pro Plan line, without extra additives that can cause reactions and itchy skin. And it’s packed with healthy fats to nourish and lubricate your dog’s skin and coat. 

And, whether you want a premium dog food, puppy option, or even weight gain formula, we’ve got you covered. Here is the best dog food for shedding. 

Our Best Dog Food For Shedding

  1. Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food (Best for Shedding Adults)
  2. Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food (Best for Shedding Puppies)
  3. American Journey Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Shedding Seniors)
  4. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Shedding Small Breeds)
  5. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food (Best for Shedding Large Breeds)
  6. VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food (Best Budget Food for Shedding)
  7. ORIJEN Tundra Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best Premium Food for Shedding)
  8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food (Best for Weight Loss)
  9. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food (Best for Weight Gain)
  10. Holistic Select Adult Health Dry Dog Food (Best for Sensitive Stomachs) 

10 Best Dog Food For Shedding Reviewed 

The recipes listed below follow the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching your pup to new dog food, please consult with your veterinarian. 


Best for Adults

Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon
  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Canola Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 467 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein and limited ingredient diet for overall health 

Does your sidekick have sensitive skin or stomach? If so, they need food that will protect their gut health and nourish their coat. That’s where Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach comes in. 

It starts with nutrient-rich salmon. This offers essential fatty acids as well as DHA for brain development. 

Next are barley, rice, and oats. These grains are better than wheat because they offer easy-to-digest carbs and vitamins. For example, oats have zinc and iron, which give your dog more energy. 

Beef fat and fish meal offer amino acids and omega-3s. These help nourish joints and keep your dog’s coat shiny while helping their skin recover.  

This formula is fortified with live probiotics and extra prebiotic fiber for your dog’s digestive system and immune health. And, it’s made without corn, wheat, or soy. 

While this dog food doesn’t have wheat, you’ll want to be careful about the other added grains. A grain-free recipe will work better if your dog is susceptible to grains. 

Pet parents love that this recipe reduces itching and pet shedding. And, some even noticed that their dog stopped licking their feet, a common allergy symptom. 


Best for Puppies

Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food

Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Chicken Puppy
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, De-Boned Chicken, De-Boned Turkey
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 36% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 451 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein dry dog food with limited ingredients for sensitive puppies

Excessive shedding can be one of the first signs of allergies and sensitivities for puppies. To reduce it, you’ll want a puppy formula that offers all the nutrients. But, you’ll also want the ingredients to prevent excessive shedding. 

Go! Solutions Carnivore Puppy Recipe starts with real animal proteins like wild boar, salmon, duck, and chicken. The first six ingredients and 87% of the protein in this formula come from real, premium-quality meat and fish.

These proteins build lean muscles and protect joints. But, they also offer building blocks for skin repair and help prevent hair loss. 

Deboned trout and salmon meal provide DHA and EPA. These help support brain and eye development. And, salmon oil helps soothe itchy and dry skin and can help remove dander. 

Cranberries, blueberries, and carrots offer essential vitamins and antioxidants for a healthy immune system. And, these ingredients also have minerals like magnesium, which can reduce signs of eczema. 

This dog food is free of by-product meals or artificial preservatives. It doesn’t include wheat, soy, or corn. A team of pet nutritionists crafts it with years of experience to make it a safe and delicious formula. 

Dog owners did note that it may not be a good option for super picky dogs. But, if your pup loves most foods, many recommend the food for those who shed excessively. 


Best for Seniors

American Journey Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

American Journey Senior Salmon Grain Free
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 7% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content:329 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Grain-free dry senior dog food with medium-chain triglycerides for cognitive function

As your dog ages, he’ll need more nutrients to keep up with their bones, joints, and even skin. Just like humans, their skin will lose its luster and elasticity, but that doesn’t mean they can’t maintain it.

American Journey Grain-Free Senior kibble includes select ingredients that support your senior’s overall health.

Real deboned salmon is the first ingredient. This novel protein offers essential acids for joint and skin health. And, it also provides over 30% Crude Protein to support lean muscle mass and a healthy metabolism. 

Coconut oil supplies medium-chain triglycerides (which are more easily absorbed) to support brain health and cognitive wellness. And, it also includes omega fatty acids for a shiny and shed-free coat.  

Sweet potatoes, blueberries, and mineral-rich marine algae give a boost of antioxidants. These support your dog’s immune system and reduce the chance of heart disease. 

American Journey dog food doesn’t include grains, corn, soy, or poultry by-product meals. It’s also free of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.

This formula was made to support healthy joints and skin. But pet parents also really like how it doesn’t trigger tummy issues in their older dog. 


Best for Small Breeds

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed
  • First 5 Ingredients: Venison, Lamb Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Lentils
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 422 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Grain-free dog food with probiotics for small dog breeds

While your dog may be small, they still come from wolf ancestors. This means they’ll do well on a diet filled with high-quality proteins and fats. And, they’ll also thrive when their diet doesn’t have fillers that can trigger reactions like hair loss. 

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed dog food starts with novel proteins like venison, lamb meal, and ocean fish meal. These easy-to-digest proteins offer B vitamins for energy and glucosamine for healthy joints. 

Canola oil and probiotics supply omega-6 fatty acids and digestive enzymes for skin health. These reduce inflammation, make the coat shiny, and aid in better gut health.

The probiotics are K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics, including antioxidants for immune system health. 

This grain-free recipe is made into small-size kibble to make it easy for your dog to chew. But it also has ridges to help clean off plaque and tartar from their teeth. 

Taste of the Wild dog food is made in the US by a family-owned brand. It doesn’t include any grains, corn, wheat, artificial flavors, or artificial colors.

Pet moms and dads do admit that this natural dog food stinks. They recommend keeping it in an airtight container to contain the smell. But, many enjoy that this food gives their small dogs more energy and keeps their coats silky. 


Best for Large Breeds

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Lamb
  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, Grain Sorghum
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 22% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 350 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Wheat-free dog food with omega fatty acids for large dog breeds

Many big dogs have undercoats to protect them against certain weather conditions.

But, when this undercoat isn’t nourished or given the proper nutrients, it can cause more shedding and hair loss than usual. So, your large breed needs vitamins like vitamin D, vitamin E, and fatty acids to keep it healthy. 

Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult dog food is the perfect solution. And, it includes superfoods and guaranteed probiotics to support their gut and immune health. 

This recipe starts with real lamb. This protein includes vitamins and minerals and omega-3 fatty acids to promote a shiny and healthy coat. 

Chicken fat and flaxseeds provide taurine for heart health. And, flaxseeds have a high source of copper for collagen production — which can also promote healthy skin. 

For extra immune support, papaya, carrots, and blueberries offer a boost of antioxidants. And, these also protect healthy skin cells to keep itchy and shedding at bay. 

This formula is made in the US by a family-owned company. It doesn’t include any corn, wheat, or soy. It’s also free of artificial flavors and colors. 

Pet owners love that this dog food helps reduce shedding and body odor. Many mention that their dog’s stool is more regular and less stinky. 


Best Budget Food

VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food

VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula
  • First 5 Ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Pork Meal, Chicken Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 20% Crude Fat, 3.8% Crude Fiber, 9% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 406 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Economic dog food with DHA and L-Carnitine

You don’t have to sacrifice on quality ingredients and nutrients just because you’re on a budget. Quite a few commercial dog food brands offer more affordable dog food while still being high value. 

VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus dog food is a nutrient-dense formula with beef, chicken, fish, and pork meals. These provide 88% of the food’s animal protein and offer amino acids for strong muscles. 

Chicken fat offers an unsaturated fat that will boost your dog’s energy. And, it contains magnesium, copper, and phosphorus — which all encourage healthy skin.  

This formula is corn, wheat, soy, and pea-free. However, it does include millet and sorghum. So if your dog is allergic to most or all grains, this won’t be the best option for them. 

VICTOR’s Classic Hi-Pro Plus formula says that it’s ideal for all life stages, including growing puppies and pregnant or lactating females.

If you have a working or sport dog, many owners love that this food keeps up their energy all day. 


Best Budget Food

ORIJEN Tundra Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

ORIJEN Tundra Grain-Free
  • First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Venison, Duck, Arctic Char, Whole Pilchard
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 40% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 463 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: Chicken-free and grain-free premium dry dog food made with raw proteins

There are many budget-friendly chicken-free formulas on the market. But ORIJEN is a premium option for owners that want to spoil their dog. And, the food starts with entirely raw and US-sourced proteins to give your pup more nutrients. 

First, raw grass-fed lamb, ranch-raised venison, Boer goat, and fish offer a whopping 40% of protein.

This formula also includes WholePrey animal ingredients — like organs and bone. After gently cooking the kibble, freeze-dried liver is added for flavor and extra iron. 

Duck fat and pollock oil provide Omega-3 fatty acids for joint health, itch-free skin, and a healthier and shed-free coat. 

Whole pumpkin, butternut squash, and whole apples offer healthy carbohydrates and prebiotic fiber. They also have extra vitamins like vitamin C for smooth skin and a shiny coat. 

This is a gluten-free and grain-free diet. It’s also free of corn, wheat, soy. 

Owners love that this is high-value dog food, and they admit that even their pickiest eater loves the flavor. 


Best for Weight Loss

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight Adult
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Pea Fiber
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 20% Crude Protein, 9% Crude Fat, 12% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 324 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein dog food with L-Carnitine for boosting metabolism and weight loss 

Many dogs gain weight during their lifetime. Whether due to aging, lack of activity, or a disorder, weight gain can creep up.

However, excessive weight gain can cause other health disorders and diseases. So it’s essential to keep your dog at a healthy size.  

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Healthy Weight is from the same high-quality brand, but with a focus on boosting your dog’s metabolism.  

This recipe starts with deboned chicken. This provides L-Lysine for lean muscles. Flaxseed offers both omega-3s and vitamin E for joint health and lustrous fur. And, for healthy fiber, sweet potatoes and carrots are included as well. 

They also add their proprietary blend of “LifeSource Bits.” This includes chelated vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant-rich additives for maximum absorption. 

Blue Buffalo also adds calcium, L-carnitine, and glucosamine for strong bones and metabolism support. And, glucosamine helps with fur health, so you can help your dog lose weight and keep their fur. 

This formula is free of corn, wheat, soy, and poultry by-product meals.

Pet parents enjoy that this food is lower calorie, but some say it may cause loose stools. If you find that your dog’s digestion worsens when using this food, you may need to switch. 


Best for Weight Gain

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE LID Salmon
  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Lentils, Sweet Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 4.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 459 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-protein and grain-free dog food for weight gain

If you have a picky eater, your dog may have a problem gaining weight. Or, if they lack nutrition, their skin and fur will usually be the first sign.

For underweight dogs, shedding and dry skin are common. So why not help your dog build muscle and gain healthy weight? 

CANIDAE PURE Limited Ingredient dry dog food includes just eight natural ingredients. This is useful for dogs who may have sensitivities and skin issues but need to gain weight. 

This recipe starts with salmon and Menhaden fish meal. These protein-packed ingredients provide natural probiotics and fatty acids. This helps nourish joints and skin and promotes a healthy gut. 

For extra fat, canola oil, flaxseeds, and vitamin E are added as well. This food is filled with these essential fatty acids for skin and coat health, and keeps their fur intact. 

This formula is free of fillers and additives — including corn, wheat, soy, and grains. It’s also free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. CANIDAE PURE Limited Ingredient dog food is made right at Canidae’s Texas facility.

Dog owners say that this is the only dog food that their dog can eat and put on weight. And, because it’s limited in ingredients, owners who have dogs with allergies love it too. 


Best for Sensitive Stomachs

Holistic Select Adult Health Dry Dog Food

Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy, Sardine & Salmon Meals
  • First 5 Ingredients: Anchovy and Sardine Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Rice, Salmon Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 4.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 425 kcal/cup
  • Key Feature: High-fat dry dog food for dogs with food sensitivities and itchy skin

A single protein source is essential when your dog has food allergies. And, with limited ingredients, there is less chance of allergic reactions that can cause symptoms like hair loss. 

Holistic Select Natural dry dog food starts with anchovy and sardine meal for omegas and protein.

This fish-based kibble also has salmon meal for additional protein and vitamin D for strong bones. And, salmon meal provides taurine and glucosamine for a healthy heart. 

Brown rice and oats offer prebiotic fiber and vitamins like zinc for clear eyes and a shiny coat. For extra immune support, superfoods like dried kelp and cranberries are included too.   

This formula is US manufactured with high-quality ingredients sourced from around the globe.

While it is chicken-free and wheat-free, it does include some grains. So extra sensitive pups shouldn’t eat this food. 

Pet parents note that this dog food is an excellent alternative to similar brands, without the ingredients that cause their dogs to itch and scratch. 


brushed dog

Buying Guide for Shed-Free Dog Food

Were you looking to switch to dog food that reduces shedding? Here’s what you need to know.

What to Consider When Buying Dog Food for Shedding?

What should you look for when buying dog food for shedding? Here are the top things. 

High-Quality Proteins

Protein offers vitamins and minerals like iron, B vitamins, zinc, and selenium. And all of these aid in healthy skin, along with other benefits. But, the quality of protein in your dog’s food is important too. 

Focus on high-quality protein — real meats like beef, chicken, fish, and lamb. Meat meals are a great second choice but should be secondary ingredients. Avoid meat by-products as much as possible, since these offer very little nutrition. 

Essential Fatty Acids

Fat is essential for dogs because it provides energy and vitamins like vitamin E for healthy skin.  But, the type of fat you choose is critical. Pick healthier fats like chicken fat, fish oil, flaxseeds, and coconut oil.

Vitamins & Minerals

Your dog will need vitamins and minerals to help nourish their skin and fur to reduce shedding. 

These include probiotics to improve their digestive health. When your dog has a healthy gut, their coat and fur also benefit from less inflammation.

Other vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, omega fatty acids, and vitamin D also help reduce shedding and nourish dry skin. 

No Fillers

Fillers and additives in dog food aren’t nutritious and are used to cut costs for manufacturers.  Avoid artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives as much as possible since they are some of the biggest culprits for skin issues.

And, avoid ingredients like soy, corn, and wheat when possible since many dogs have sensitivities. 

What Causes Excessive Shedding?

Now that you know what to look for, let’s talk about what causes excessive shedding in the first place. 

Poor Diet

Some dogs may have sensitivities to certain ingredients in their food, even if they don’t react to them in other ways.

This will cause them to miss the nutrients they need for a shiny and healthy coat. And, some commercial dog foods have fillers and additives that most dogs should avoid. 

So be sure you’re feeding your dog a high-quality diet made with natural ingredients. This includes animal proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. 

Also, dehydration can contribute to excessive shedding too. So ensure that your pup has access to clean and fresh water at all times.

Allergies

Even high-quality food can have an ingredient that causes allergies for your dog. For example, chicken and beef are both natural and delicious protein sources.

But some dogs can’t eat them. This isn’t to say that chicken and beef or unhealthy. It just means some pups are allergic. 

If your dog is allergic to specific proteins or other ingredients, no matter how healthy the food is, they won’t be able to tolerate it. So, it’s essential to find a diet that doesn’t trigger their allergies and excessive shedding. 

Stress

If you’ve ruled out diet, health disorders, and food allergies, another reason your dog may be shedding is because of stress.

Anxiety, stress, and depression make your dog release epinephrine. This is also known as adrenaline.

And when this happens, this causes your dog to “blow their coat” — aka shed a lot. To remedy this, be sure to give your dog plenty of attention, regular exercise, and calming routines. 

How to Reduce Excessive Shedding?

While you can’t stop shedding completely, there are many ways to reduce it. First, a healthy diet and keeping your pup hydrated are essential. Dehydrated and malnourished skin can make shedding and hair loss worse.

Besides diet, remember to bathe your pooch and brush their fur regularly. Regular baths keep your dog clean and remove excess dead hair.

A de-shedding shampoo can also be beneficial. Just remember to not apply them too often. About once a month to every two months is sufficient.

When it comes to brushing, be sure to do it regularly (at least once a week) and choose the right brush. 

Bristle brushes are perfect for all coat types. If your dog has a longer coat, use long bristles. If they have short hair, choose a stiff brush.

Use a wire-pin brush for woolly or curly hair since it helps with detangling. And, you can also use a rubber comb for short and medium hair dogs to remove dead skin and old hair. 

For all dogs, a de-shedding tool is beneficial. It makes it easy to remove dead hair from your pup. Be sure to choose one with stainless steel tines so it can brush out the undercoat as well. 

Also, make sure to keep your dog protected from fleas. They can cause body-wide shedding because your dog’s skin and body are trying to get rid of the infestation. You can use over-the-counter medicine or visit your vet to get treatment. 

dog and dog hair

Can Food Actually Reduce Dog Shedding?

First, it’s important to remember that shedding is normal. But, if excessive shedding occurs, it’s essential to take your dog to a veterinarian.

When extra shedding happens, it could be hormonal imbalances, some illnesses, parasites, and even allergies. It’s crucial to rule these out before buying food to help reduce shedding. 

If disorders and diseases have been ruled out, or if they’re mild or moderate, a change in your dog’s diet can be helpful. 

You’ll want to ensure that they have a balanced diet of high-protein lean meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, and plenty of fats like coconut oil, fish oil, or flaxseeds. These will help nourish your dog’s body from the inside out and give them a healthy coat. 

What Dog Food Helps With Shedding?

The best dog food for excessive shedding isn’t one specific brand or formula. But, all of the recipes on this list can help. That is because they are full of healthy fats.

And, they contain most of the ingredients that can cause allergic reactions that cause shedding and itchy skin. 

Does Certain Dog Food Make Dogs Shed More?

There are no specific brands or formulas that cause dogs to shed more. But, there are a few things to keep watch for.

First, recipes containing corn, wheat, or meat by-products are difficult for many dogs to digest. Because of that, your dog won’t get the nutrients they need. 

This may cause nutritional deficiencies that affect your dog’s skin and coat health. Dry, flaky, or irritated skin with excessive shedding is usually the first sign that your dog is missing necessary nutrients.

Your dog could also be allergic to sensitive to specific ingredients. If you think this is the case, switch their food to a limited ingredient diet, and talk to your veterinarian.

And, if a formula is low in fat, it may be missing nutrients like omega fatty acids and vitamin E, which may cause dull fur and shedding. Make sure that the food you buy has plenty of healthy fats. 

Our Verdict

Don’t let your dog shed more than they have to. Instead, offer them the nutrition that will keep their fur intact. 

Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food is a great choice to switch to, no matter your dog’s activity level or life stage. 

And, if you want to try other dog foods that help with shedding, the foods on this list are a great place to start. 

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AUTHOR
Kim Studdard is a freelance writer for many websites in the pet universe. When she isn't spending time with her family and pets, or saying "Look a dog" everytime she sees one, you'll find her reading a book or traveling the U.S.

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