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8 Best Dog Foods for Shedding in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

8 Best Dog Foods for Shedding in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks Featured Image

Dog Shedding_shutterstock_smrm1977

Some shedding is natural in dogs, although some breeds like the Golden Retriever are notorious for excessive shedding. It typically occurs during the summer months, when your four-legged friend gets rid of their old layer of hair to reduce their temperature. Other factors, such as breed, the age of your dog, and whether they have any skin or coat complaints also determine the frequency and amount your dog sheds. Nutrition is another major factor.

While it might be perfectly natural for your dog to shed, it is also possible to safely minimize the volume of hair they leave in their wake. Some food recipes have been formulated to ensure skin and coat health, therefore minimizing any shedding associated with poor coat health. Additional fatty acids, biotin, and other ingredients can also strengthen the coat.

To help ensure that you choose the best dog food for shedding while still providing your canine friend with a healthy and appealing diet, we have included reviews of eight of the best brands below.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin
  • Primary ingredient is salmon
  • Good source of protein
  • No controversial ingredients
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Grain-Free Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Grain-Free
  • Grain-free food
  • Cheap
  • good quality ingredients
  • Flaxseed and chia seeds add omega-3
  • Best for Puppies
    Third place
    Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free
  • Primary ingredient is beef
  • Fish meal contains omega-3 oils
  • Cheap
  • Hill's Prescription Diet Skin/Food Sensitivities Hill's Prescription Diet Skin/Food Sensitivities
  • Suitable for dogs allergic to meat ingredients
  • Cornstarch as primary ingredient
  • Best for dogs with food allergies
  • CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE
  • Primary ingredient is salmon
  • Contains menhaden fish meal
  • A good source of omega-3 acids
  • The 8 Best Dog Foods for Shedding – Reviews 2021

    1. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin Dry Dog Food – Best Overall

    Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult

    Purina’s Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin Sky Dog Food uses salmon as its primary ingredient. The fish is high in protein, which ensures that your dog gets a healthy diet and maintains their muscles. It is also made using oatmeal, which is ideal for dogs with a sensitive stomach. More importantly for heavy shedders, it incorporates plenty of omega-6 fatty acids, as well as omega-3, which aid in maintaining a healthy and shiny coat.

    Reducing shedding isn’t everything. Your dog’s food still needs to provide a solid source of dietary protein and fiber, which Purina Pro Plan Focus does. It is also free from corn, soy, wheat, and any artificial additives, which make it suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs and digestion problems.

    While it is one of the most expensive non-prescription formula dog foods on this list, it is primarily made from high-grade ingredients.

    Pros
    • Primary ingredient is salmon
    • Good source of protein
    • No controversial ingredients
    • Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

    Cons
    • Expensive compared to most other foods


    2. Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Grain-Free Dog Food – Best Value

    Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula All Life Stages Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a grain-free recipe. It is the cheapest food on this list, despite being packed with healthy ingredients and lacking in harmful and potentially dangerous ingredients, which makes it the best dog food for shedding for the money.

    Allergies are fairly common in dogs. Amongst other symptoms, they can cause itchy and flaky skin which, in turn, can lead to excessive shedding. Grains are one of the most common dog allergies, and they are common in a lot of dog foods. A grain-free formula like Diamond Naturals can help any dog with allergies or that is sensitive to grains enjoy a healthy, good-quality diet.

    Although none of the ingredients listed in the food are considered dangerous or toxic, Diamond does include yeast. Yeast is considered a mild allergen, but if your dog does not have an allergy to this ingredient, it won’t cause a problem. Some owners believe that yeast increases the likelihood of dogs catching bloat, but there are no scientific studies to back this up.

    For dogs with sensitive skin that causes shedding, notable other ingredients include flaxseed and chia seeds; both of these ingredients contain omega-3.

    Pros
    • Grain-free food is ideal for food sensitivities
    • Cheap, but good quality ingredients
    • Flaxseed and chia seeds add omega-3

    Cons
    • Some controversy over inclusion of yeast


    3. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies

    1Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food By Taste of the Wild

    Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is another grain-free food that is especially suitable for dogs that cannot stomach grain-based food. Its primary ingredient is beef, and there’s also boar in the ingredients that make this a feast for meat-loving dogs.

    Although not quite as cheap as the Diamond food, this is very well priced. It consists of some good-quality ingredients, although some are worth noting for their controversy.

    Canola oil is one of the main ingredients in this food.  For heavy shedders, this can help improve fur condition because it contains omega-3 oil. However, it is considered controversial because it may be sourced from GM rapeseed. This is another food that also contains dried yeast, so it should be avoided if your dog is allergic to this ingredient. None of these ingredients should prove toxic or harmful to your dog.

    Taste of the Wild does contain ocean fish meal. This is a protein-rich fish concentrate, which has also proven a beneficial source of omega-3 oils.

    Pros
    • Primary ingredient is beef
    • Fish meal contains omega-3 oils
    • Grain-free ingredients
    • Cheap

    Cons
    • Contains dried yeast
    • Contains canola oil


    4. Hill’s Prescription Diet Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food

    8Hill's Prescription Diet zd Original SkinFood Sensitivities Dry Dog Food

    Hill’s Prescription Diet Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Dog Food is a prescription-only food, which means that you will not be able to buy it without an appropriate veterinarian prescription, typically given for dogs with food sensitivities or that suffer from dry and itchy skin. These could be the cause of extreme shedding in your dog, though, so it is worth consulting with a veterinarian if you are unable to root out the source of the problem. The fact that it’s a prescription food means that it is the most expensive dry food on this list. It is also very low in protein compared to the recommended levels.

    Despite being aimed at dogs with food sensitivities, Hill’s Prescription uses cornstarch as its primary ingredient. Hydrolyzed chicken liver is the second most common ingredient, but this is considered hypoallergenic following the hydrolyzation process and is a reasonable source of animal protein. This means that it contains both grains and meat. It also includes soybean oil high in its list of ingredients, which is another potential allergen for dogs.

    Pros
    • Suitable for dogs allergic to meat ingredients
    • Uses cornstarch as its primary ingredient

    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Prescription-only
    • Contains corn starch and other allergens
    • No probiotics
    • Minerals are not chelated


    5. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Dry Dog Food

    5CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Canidae Grain-Free Pure Dry Dog Food combines salmon and vegetables to create a grain-free food that should do a good job of minimizing shedding. It also has a high protein level and only contains one controversial item, but it is on the expensive side and is not considered as high quality as some of the other formulae.

    As well as the main ingredient of salmon, this food contains plenty of salmon meal and menhaden fish meal. Menhaden are closely related to herring, and as well as being low in mercury, they are also high in omega-3 oil. There is also flaxseed, which is another beneficial source of omega-3.

    While the ingredients are good, there are quite a lot of ingredients like peas, lentils, and alfalfa. These are high in protein, but this is not considered as high quality as meat protein, and they are a cheaper filler. Alfalfa is more commonly found in horse feed than in dog food.

    Pros
    • Primary ingredient is salmon
    • Contains menhaden fish meal
    • A good source of omega-3 acids

    Cons
    • A bit pricey
    • Includes fillers


    6. Farmina N&D Grain Medium & Maxi Adult Dry Dog Food

    Farmina N&D Grain Medium & Maxi Adult Dry Dog Food

    Farmina N&D Grain Medium & Maxi Adult Dry Dog Food is designed for medium to large breeds. It has high protein levels and its primary ingredient is fresh free-range boneless chicken. It also contains dehydrated chicken as well as chicken fat, and the food provides a lot of its protein levels from meat ingredients.

    However, as well as being on the higher end of the price range, this particular food also contains a few ingredients that might irritate your dog’s skin, if they suffer sensitivities or allergies. It contains yeast extract and brewers dried yeast, both of which are considered allergens. Some opponents also claim that yeast can increase the likelihood of bloat, although this has not been proven and it should not be present in high volumes.

    The food does contain herring, which is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as dried herring, which offers the same benefit but in a more concentrated form. Overall, this food does offer a high level of animal protein and is considered a decent quality dog food.

    Pros
    • Primary ingredient is chicken
    • Contains herring and dried herring for omega-3

    Cons
    • A bit pricey
    • Contains yeasts


    7. Crave High Protein Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Crave with Protein from Salmon & Ocean

    Crave High Protein Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a grain-free dry food with white fish and chicken meal as its main ingredients. It also includes chicken fat, fish meal, pork meal, and salmon meal so has a good amount of meat ingredients. The grain-free recipe should be suitable for dogs with grain sensitivities but it is almost as expensive as our number four prescription food.

    While this food does contain chelated minerals, which are easier for your dog to digest, the ingredients do not list any probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial in managing your dog’s digestive system and helping ensure a healthy gut.

    The Crave food has a high protein and high-fat level, combined with low carbs. It also gets a decent amount of its content from meat, but at twice the price of some of the other foods in this list, we have to question whether it is worth the extra investment.

    Pros
    • Grain-free
    • Packed with meat-based protein
    • Chelated minerals

    Cons
    • Very expensive
    • No probiotics listed in ingredients


    8. Annamaet Grain-Free Sustain Formula Dry Dog Food

    Annamaet Grain-Free Sustain Formula Dry Dog Food

    Annamaet Grain-Free Sustain Formula Dry Dog Food is an expensive food that uses salmon meal as its primary ingredient. Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids that can help improve the condition of skin and fur. Salmon meal is a concentrated form of salmon, which is higher in protein and other nutrients than pure salmon.

    These ingredients are considered a good quality source of meat protein, but the Annamaet food does contain canola oil, which is sometimes made from genetically modified rapeseed oil. As well as the salmon, this food also contains menhaden oil. This is oil taken from the menhaden fish, which is related to herring and contains omega-3 fatty acids. In particular, this oil is known to be laden with EPA and DHA omega-3 oils, which are easier for your dog’s body to use.

    This food has decent protein and fat levels, as well as being low in carbs. It is the price that will deter most people from buying it, although if your dog enjoys it and helps prevent shedding, it is good quality food that you should have no qualms about feeding to your pooch.

    Pros
    • Primary ingredient is salmon
    • Includes menhaden fish oil
    • Good protein and fat levels

    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Contains canola oil


    Buyer’s Guide

    We all want what’s best for our furry friends. As well as ensuring that your dog gets enough exercise and enjoys reasonable mental stimulation, this means providing a good-quality diet and doing what you can to minimize any distress.

    If your dog is shedding it may be natural, but it could be exacerbated by stress or by itchy and flaky skin and as a result of a food allergy or sensitivity. One way to help combat these problems is by changing their diet. Consider trying grain-free or allergen-free food, but always ensure that the food you buy still has the right amount of protein, fat, and carbs for your canine companion.

    Causes Of Shedding

    One of the purposes of your dog’s hair is to control their temperature. They use it during winter to keep warm, but when the hotter summer months arrive, it can be stifling. Shedding is a natural solution. They retain some fur to help protect against the sun and UV rays, but they naturally shed excess hair. This is especially true of double-coated breeds like Border Collies and Retrievers.

    This type of shedding is natural, and there is very little you can, or should, do about it. It’s simply a biological reaction. However, there are other causes of shedding. Excess shedding may be a sign of an underlying condition.

    Other potential causes of shedding include:

    • Stress – Stress can be the cause of a lot of physiological problems with your dog. Even something as seemingly minor as a change in location can cause your dog’s stress levels to elevate and this, in turn, can lead to excessive and shedding. If this is the cause, you either need to find a way to minimize stress levels or consult a veterinarian.
    • Skin Issues – Fleas, lice, and mites are common causes of excessive and unwanted shedding. They can also cause your dog to lick, scratch, and bite at their skin, leading to injury and other potential problems. Because these can also lead to shedding, the problem tends to continue until it is treated. Also look for signs of ringworm or dermatitis, because these affect the skin and coat.
    • Allergies – Dogs, like people, can be allergic to any of several things. If your dog has started shedding excessively, consider whether you have started any new flea treatment or whether they have come into contact with anything new. Even if you have walked them in a new area, they could have come into contact with a plant or substance that they are allergic to.
    • Food Sensitivity – They may also be allergic to food or suffer sensitivity to certain food. Sensitivity is not quite as extreme as an allergy, but it can lead to gastrointestinal problems as well as itchy and flaky skin. It can also cause excessive shedding in your dog.

    Helpful Ingredients

    Whether you choose a hypoallergenic food, one that is targeted towards heavy shedders, or standard dog food, there are certain ingredients that you can look for that could reduce the amount your dog sheds. These ingredients include the following:

    • Omega Fatty Acids – Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are very beneficial for dogs. They are commonly found in high volumes in fish but are also found in ingredients like flaxseed and chia seeds. Fish-based omega oils are considered the best source of these fatty acids.
    • Zinc – Zinc plays several important roles in your dog’s health. It supports the immune system and the thyroid, ensuring that they function properly. It also makes up hormones, enzymes, and proteins in your dog’s body. It is naturally found in some dog food ingredients like red meat and eggs, or it may be added as a supplement to fortify the ingredients.
    • Biotin – As well as helping maintain muscle and aiding in digestion, biotin helps your dog maintain healthy skin and hair. Red meat and sweet potatoes are some ingredients that include this highly beneficial nutrient that could prevent a sea of hair from landing on your floor.

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    Conclusion

    Shedding is a natural phenomenon for most dogs, but some breeds and some individual dogs shed more than others. A good diet helps keep your dog in top condition, and if your canine friend suffers from itchy and flaky skin, giving them a grain-free or allergen-free food could alleviate the itchiness as well as prevent excessive shedding. There is an increasing number of grain-free and allergen-free foods on the market, and we hope that our reviews have helped you find the one that best suits your dog’s requirements, or has helped you narrow the list.

    While compiling the reviews, we found that the Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin Dry Dog Food offered the best combination of allergen-free, high-quality ingredients, and moderate price. However, if you are looking for something a little less expensive, then the Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Grain-Free Dry Dog Food was the cheapest food we reviewed but still offered excellent quality ingredients that should benefit any dog, but especially one prone to food allergies or sensitivities.


    Featured Image Credit: smrm1977, Shutterstock

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