Shedding The Light On What Dog Food Helps With Shedding

If you have a dog, chances are you’ve had your fair share of hair battles. But I have good news! By learning a bit about what dog food helps with shedding, you can minimize the amount of fur tumbleweeds around your house and on your clothes.

bowl of natural dog food

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Let’s Talk About Shedding

I’m guessing you can relate to this. You’re about to head out for work, dinner, to shop…whatever, and, fortunately, you happen to glance down at your outfit and realize you have to run back inside to defur.

Or, unfortunately, you’re already out and about when you notice that you’ve brought a not-so-small piece of your pup with you.

The fact that excessive shedding can leave us wearing more of our dog’s coat than we bargained for is a brutal truth of being a pet parent. 

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As much as we all adore our dogs, the relentless battle against loose fur can be tiresome. But as tiresome as the shedding process can feel, it is (usually) completely normal. It allows your pup’s new coat to come in and helps to regulate their body temperature across different seasons.

However, when your home begins to resemble a snow globe (but with hair instead of snow), it’s time to look deeper. And that is because not all shedding is created equal.

For some dog breeds, losing a bit of hair here and there is part of their natural charm. Yet, for others, excessive shedding could signal underlying health issues or nutritional deficiencies.

While I’ll highlight a few health issue red flags at the end of this post that likely need some medical intervention, I’m going to mainly focus on something that is very much within your control.

What if I told you that the secret to managing your dog’s shedding might just lie in their food bowl? That’s right, from essential fatty acids to high-quality protein, the right blend of nutrients can make a world of difference in your dog’s coat health and shedding levels.

Keep reading to learn how a healthy diet can impact your dog’s shedding and discover the key ingredients necessary for a shiny coat. Plus, get some tips on how to avoid common allergens.

And I’ll also explore the best options for dog food and supplements designed to keep shedding at bay.

Because while many of us carry a piece of our dog in our hearts with us each day, it doesn’t mean we need to wear their fur on our sleeve. 

mini dapple dachshund dog sleeping in suitcase full of clothes

The Impact of Nutrition on Coat Health

Full disclosure – before I embarked on this journey, I saw my dogs’ shedding as an inevitable, unsolvable puzzle. But, as I dug deeper, I uncovered that one secret to managing this furry dilemma lies within what fills their bowl.

It turns out, the bridge between a shiny coat and a floor full of fur isn’t made with wishes; it’s built on a foundation of essential nutrients. The right dog food can essentially give your pooch’s coat the kind of glow that might even make you a tad jealous.

So let’s dive into the few game changers in a dog’s diet that can pivot the health of their skin and coat from lackluster to lustrous.

Each of the following plays a pivotal role in ensuring your pup’s skin health which, in turn, controls the seasonal shedding and maintains a shiny coat.

And this is because healthy dogs tend to shed far less than ones that are malnourished and unhealthy.

salmon oil ingredient desciption

Omega Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids promote healthy skin and coat, reducing inflammation and minimizing shedding. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish oil, flaxseed, and chia seeds, while omega-6 fatty acids can be sourced from ingredients like poultry fat and vegetable oils.

Protein & Amino Acids


Essential for skin health and wound healing, zinc deficiency can lead to dry, flaky skin and increased shedding. Supplementing with zinc can help maintain a healthy coat.

Vitamin E

An antioxidant, vitamin E supports skin health and reduces inflammation, which can help minimize shedding and maintain a glossy coat.


Adequate fiber intake supports digestive health, which in turn can contribute to healthy skin and reduced shedding by ensuring proper nutrient absorption and waste elimination.


Beneficial bacteria support gastrointestinal health, which can indirectly improve skin and coat conditions, reducing shedding caused by digestive issues or allergies.


A B-complex vitamin, biotin supports skin health and coat condition, helping to reduce shedding and promote a shiny, healthy coat.


Moisture-rich foods help maintain hydration levels, preventing dry, flaky skin and reducing shedding associated with skin irritation and inflammation.

boxes of natural wet dog food

I know that navigating the dog food aisle can be a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack, especially with terms like “high-quality” and “balanced diet” flying around.

But there are some tricks to know what dog food helps with shedding.

For example, focus on dog foods that are rich in omega fatty acids, amino acids, and natural ingredients, particularly those emphasizing salmon oil or fish oil as one of the main ingredients.

These magical components not only support a glossy coat but significantly reduce shedding by nourishing the dog’s skin from within.

Introducing these oils as part of a balanced diet, whether through direct supplementation or as key ingredients in high-quality dog food, could be the ticket to waving goodbye to those unwanted fluff tumbleweeds at home.

And the good news is, there is more than one great option on the market. From dry dog food to real salmon, more and more companies are prioritizing healthy dog foods made from a natural process.

Understanding Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Navigating dog food allergies and sensitivities can be quite a puzzle. Just like humans, dogs can have allergic reactions to a particular food.

So in addition to knowing what dog food helps with shedding, you may need to also explore what dog food causes allergies in your pup.

Once you crack this puzzle, you might just unlock the secret to minimizing that unwanted fluff fest at home. And that is because allergies and sensitivities can lead to a host of pesky problems for your pooch, not least of which include an unhappy coat and excessive shedding.

In the realm of dog food allergies, one age-old dilemma is grain-free vs. whole-grain dog food. It’s crucial to point out that neither is a one-size-fits-all solution when tackling excessive shedding.

Grain-Free vs. Whole-Grain

Grain-free dog food, often lauded for its exclusion of common allergens, can be beneficial for dogs with sensitive skin. On the flip side, it might miss out on delivering some necessary nutrients found in grains.

Conversely, whole-grain dog food is packed with essential vitamins and minerals beneficial for skin health.

However, it could stir trouble in the stomachs of dogs with specific food sensitivities. The takeaway is that understanding your dog’s unique health needs and allergies is key to picking between these options.

Food Allergy Symptoms

So, how do you play detective and pinpoint the culprits? Start by keeping a keen eye on symptoms beyond just the shedding – think itchy skin, redness, or even digestive upsets.

These could all be red flags, signaling a reaction to specific ingredients in their bowl. Now, the journey to managing these sensitivities begins with a trip to your vet, teamed with a bit of trial and error.

You may need to try an elimination diet, stripping back to basics and gradually reintroducing foods to identify the source of the allergy.

Armed with this knowledge, selecting dog food tailored to your pup’s unique needs becomes much easier. There are plenty of options aimed at enhancing skin health and reducing shedding.

Remember, every dog is an individual, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But embracing the role of dietary detective for your dog is a giant leap towards a healthier, happier, and less hairy life together. 

Special Diets for Special Breeds

Not all dogs are created equal when it comes to their nutritional needs and how they shed. Specific dog breeds may require specific dietary formulations to tackle the fluff storm.

When selecting the right dog food for your specific breed, understanding your dog’s needs is crucial.

For instance, breeds with dense undercoats might benefit from grain-free dog food, high in essential nutrients to manage seasonal shedding.

On the other hand, dog breeds more prone to sensitive skin, or even a sensitive stomach, might require a formula free from common allergens, enriched with natural oils for that extra coat health boost.

The bottom line? A little bit of research will go a long way. A healthy diet tailored to your dog’s breed can be your best bet in winning the battle against excessive shedding. Plus, you help to ensure your pup leads a healthy, happy life, with a coat that’s nothing short of spectacular.

Home Remedies for a Healthy Coat

While nutrition plays a huge role in controlling dog hair loss, there are multiple considerations when it comes to improving your dog’s overall health and skin conditions.

So let’s talk a bit more about some small steps, home remedies, and simple dietary adjustments.

Because it’s not just about picking the right high-quality dog food. Sometimes the solution lies in day-to-day actions and the little tweaks we can make to ensure a healthy, shiny coat for our pups.

Brushing & Grooming

This is an obvious but often overlooked practice. Regular brushing can significantly reduce the amount of loose fur. Consider this your first line of defense.


Bathing your dog with a gentle, moisturizing shampoo can help remove loose fur and prevent matting, reducing shedding in the process. However, be cautious not to over-bathe, as excessive bathing can strip the skin of natural oils and lead to dryness.


Always ensure your dog has access to fresh water. Hydration plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy coat and minimizing dry skin.

Stress Reduction

Stress can exacerbate shedding in dogs. Providing a calm and stable environment, regular exercise, and plenty of mental stimulation can help reduce stress levels and minimize shedding.

Allergen Control

If your dog suffers from allergies, managing their exposure to allergens can help reduce shedding associated with allergic reactions. This may involve regular cleaning of your home, using hypoallergenic bedding, and avoiding common allergens like pollen and dust mites.

Proper Nutrition

As discussed throughout this post, incorporate foods rich in essential fatty acids and amino acids. A balanced diet is key to reducing excessive shedding and promoting overall skin health.

This means avoiding cheap dog food with artificial flavors that contribute to a poor diet. Instead opt for high-quality options that prioritize whole foods and real meat.

Natural Supplements

Adding fish oil or salmon oil to your dog’s diet can infuse their system with omega oils, crucial for a glossy coat and healthy skin. It’s not about a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down, but rather, a drizzle of fish!

Pawesome Picks: Dog Food & Supplements to Reduce Shedding

To answer the specific question of what dog food helps with shedding, I have and will continue to research the best options for those of us wanting to mitigate the endless battle against pet hair.

Here’s a list of options that blend high-quality ingredients and essential nutrients from sustainably-minded companies to keep your pup’s coat lustrous, healthy, and less prone to shedding. 

30% Discount
30% Discount
  • Contains high-quality protein, omega fatty acids, & probiotics
  • Grain-free & hypoallergenic
  • 3 sizes
  • B-Corp Certified
  • Availability: Europe

  • Contains high-quality protein & omega fatty acids
  • Grain-free & hypoallergenic
  • 3 sizes
  • B-Corp Certified
  • Availability: Europe
  • Contains high-quality protein, omega fatty acids, & probiotics
  • Grain-free & hypoallergenic
  • B-Corp Certified
  • Availability: Europe

  • Contains high-quality protein, omega fatty acids, vitamin E, & zinc
  • Grain-free & hypoallergenic
  • 4 sizes
  • B-Corp Certified
  • Availability: Europe
30% Discount
  • 30% discount for new subscribers
  • Plant-based
  • Contains high-quality protein & omega fatty acids
  • 2 sizes
  • Availability: United States

30% Discount
  • 30% discount for new subscribers
  • Plant-based
  • Contains omega fatty acids
  • Availability: United States

  • Contains high-quality protein & omega fatty acids
  • Grain-free & hypoallergenic
  • 3 sizes
  • Availability: Europe

  • Contains high-quality protein & omega fatty acids
  • Grain-free & hypoallergenic
  • Availability: Europe

Choosing the right food for your dog is more than just a dietary preference. It’s an essential step towards a happier, healthier life free from excessive shedding.

These picks, each with their strengths, offer a balanced diet packed with all the necessary nutrients your dog needs for a healthier coat and less loose fur decorating your floors.

And remember, while diving into the world of dog food and supplements, it’s important to keep your dog’s specific health needs, potential food sensitivities, and preferences in mind.

A little trial and error, alongside professional advice, can lead you to find the perfect match for your pup’s dietary needs, paving the way toward a healthier, happier life with minimal shedding. 

Xtra Health Tip: Always check with your veterinarian before introducing new foods. Like people, all dogs are different, and their tolerance for these ingredients depends on numerous factors including age, allergies, health conditions, and more.

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When Shedding is More than Just Shedding

There comes a time when the tumbleweed of fur rolling around your living room signals something might be a tad off. Not all that glitters is gold, and sometimes, excessive shedding hints at underlying health issues, not just your pup’s natural wardrobe change.  

First off, if you notice your dog is leaving behind more hair than usual, alongside a dull, brittle coat or skin irritation, it’s time to investigate.

These signs could be screaming for attention, indicating nutritional deficiencies from a poor diet or even more serious health problems. 

If you’ve played detective with your pet’s diet, ensuring they’re munching on high-quality dog food packed with all the necessary nutrients, omega fatty acids, and perhaps even topped with a sprinkle of fish oil for that shiny coat, yet it’s obvious that they are losing too much hair — it’s likely time to get your dog to the vet, as there could be an issue such as:

Skin Infections

Infections can occur from bacteria, fungi, cancer, skin parasites, and immune system diseases, all of which can compromise your dog’s skin health and contribute to excessive shedding.

Allergies & Food Sensitivities

Such reactions can cause skin irritation, leading to scratching, licking, and inflammation that exacerbates shedding. Keep in mind that dogs can develop allergies at different life stages, so monitoring their diet and environment is crucial.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal changes, such as those related to thyroid disorders or reproductive cycles, can disrupt the normal balance of hormones in your dog’s body, affecting their skin and coat health and leading to increased shedding.


A stressed pup can experience more intense shedding due to the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which can impact the normal functioning of the skin and hair follicles.

Try to identify the source of the stress, such as separation anxiety or changes in routine, to address the underlying cause of shedding.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors like seasonal changes, exposure to dry or humid conditions, and sun exposure can impact your dog’s skin health and trigger shedding.

Also consider that exposure to environmental pollutants, such as cigarette smoke or chemicals in household cleaning products, can irritate your dog’s skin and lead to shedding.

Chances are the excessive shedding is due to your dog’s food. However, as pet parents, our dog’s health is in our hands, and it is so important to rule out more serious issues with the help of a professional.

So if you have any doubt at all, make the vet appointment, as this is such an important part of ensuring your dog has a happy, healthy life. 

FAQs: What Dog Food Helps with Shedding

Does my dog’s diet really affect how much they shed?

Absolutely! A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, especially those omega fatty acids, can be a game-changer. Foods packed with these, alongside high-quality protein and essential vitamins (think vitamin E and omega oils), support a healthy coat and skin, which, in turn, can significantly reduce excessive shedding.

Alternatively, poor nutrition can have the opposite effect. Unfortunately, not all commercial dog food options are created equally.

What should I look for in dog food to help with shedding?

Key ingredients are your best friends here. Look for foods where the first ingredient is high-quality animal protein. Ensure the food includes a balanced mix of omega fatty acids, amino acids, and natural oils – all critical in promoting a healthy, shiny coat and reducing loose fur. 

Are there specific dog breeds that benefit more from a certain diet to reduce shedding?

Indeed, different dog breeds might require specific dietary considerations due to their unique skin and coat health needs. While grain-free dog food might be the best option for dogs with sensitive skin or food allergies, other dogs might thrive on a diet with wholesome grains.

Always consider the specific needs of your dog’s breed and consult with a vet to tailor the diet. 

Can supplements also help in reducing my dog’s shedding?

Yes, they can! Adding the right supplements, like fish oil or salmon oil, to your dog’s diet can provide that extra boost of essential nutrients needed for a healthy coat. These natural supplements are packed with omega fatty acids, great for combating dry skin and promoting a lustrous, healthy coat. 

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Each post reflects both my research and my personal experiences (as well as those of my pups). Always contact your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s routine, trying out new toys and activities, and introducing new foods. Every dog is different, and what works for my furry family may not work for yours.

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