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7 Best Dog Foods for Hair Loss – 2023 Reviews & Top Picks

Brooke Bundy

By Brooke Bundy

dog eating

Unless your dog is hypoallergenic, they probably shed throughout the year and might even molt seasonally. Hair loss is a normal part of your dog’s life that you might not think of it unless they seem to be shedding even more than usual or if they begin to develop bald spots. Excessive hair loss could be caused by vitamin deficiency, allergies, or a serious medical condition.

Your dog’s diet can help treat hair loss by supplying your pet with the proper amount of nutrition and steering away from food with common protein allergens as the main ingredients. We chose foods with nutritious ingredients that nourish your dog’s skin and coat and rely on proteins the least likely to cause an allergic reaction. Our reviews reflect our interest in your pup’s health to the best of our knowledge, but it’s always wise to seek the counsel of your vet if you notice any unusual behaviors or conditions such as hair loss.

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A Quick Glance at Our Favorites of 2023

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Ollie Fresh Turkey (Dog Food Subscription Service) Ollie Fresh Turkey (Dog Food Subscription Service)
  • Turkey is the protein
  • Good for skin
  • Provides antioxidants and omega 3’s
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care
  • Good price
  • Turkey is the only animal protein
  • Contains probiotic cultures
  • Third place
    Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dog Food Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dog Food
  • Turkey is the single protein
  • Grain-inclusive
  • Vitamin blend
  • Merrick Limited Diet with Healthy Grains Merrick Limited Diet with Healthy Grains
  • Salmon is the single animal protein
  • Nourishes the skin and coat
  • Robust mix of vitamins
  • Vet’s Choice
    Nom Nom Turkey Fare (Fresh Dog Food Subscription) Nom Nom Turkey Fare (Fresh Dog Food Subscription)
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Turkey is the only animal protein
  • Provides a healthy grain experience
  • The 7 Best Dog Foods for Hair Loss

    1. Ollie Fresh Turkey (Dog Food Subscription Service) – Best Overall

    Ollie dog food in bowl beef and chicken flavors

    Main ingredients: Turkey, kale, lentils, carrots, coconut oil
    Protein content: 11% min
    Fat content: 7% min
    Calories: 1390 kcal ME/kg

    We like all of Ollie recipes, but the Ollie Turkey Dish with Blueberries Recipe is our overall best choice for hair loss. Turkey is one of the lesser-known proteins to cause an allergic reaction compared to more popular meats like chicken and beef. Since food allergies often present themselves on your dog’s skin and coat, it’s important to find a food that they can digest with ease in order to rule out allergies as the culprit for your dog’s missing hair.

    This recipe includes beneficial ingredients specifically for skin and coat, such as nourishing coconut oil and cod liver oil. Chia seeds, kale, blueberries, and spinach pack on the antioxidants that can help your pet combat allergies and live healthier overall. Most of these ingredients contain omega 3’s1, known for their beneficial effects on skin and coat.

    Turkey Dish with Blueberries is a grain-free recipe with lentils as one of the main ingredients. However, a  2018 study2 by the FDA correlated grain-free diets to a rise in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs–especially ones that had lentils as one of the substitutes for grain. However, not enough research has been conducted to say whether or not grain-free diets are definitely harmful, and this formula has so many helpful qualities that it still deserves our best choice.

    Based on the current information, we only wish Ollie’s had substituted the lentils for a heart-healthy grain such as oats or brown rice. Like any fresh food diet, Ollie’s can also be a little expensive. The plus side is it ships straight to your door in individual meals, so you can skip the shopping trip and measuring food.

    • Turkey is the protein, not beef or chicken
    • Coconut oil and fish oil are good for the skin
    • The fruits, vegetables, and chia seeds provide antioxidants and omega 3’s
    • Expensive
    • Grain-free diet

    2. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Dry Food – Best Value

    Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Grain-free

    Main ingredients: Deboned turkey, potatoes, turkey meal (source of glucosamine), pea starch, peas
    Protein content: 20% min
    Fat content: 12% min
    Calories: 3,503 kcal/kg

    This recipe targets your dog’s skin and coat by supplementing a turkey protein diet with canola oil and fish oil, which are good sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Compared to fresh dog food subscriptions or grain-free specialty diets, Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Dry Food is a cost-efficient choice and is our best value option overall.

    We don’t like how Blue Buffalo Basics is a grain-free diet that relies heavily on potatoes and pea ingredients for nutrients. These ingredients were flagged in the FDA’s study on grain-free diets and their possible relation to heart disease, but there hasn’t been enough research to call them good or bad conclusively. This formula meets average expectations for a grain-free diet, and it contains ingredients that are especially beneficial for preventing hair loss, such as flaxseed and blueberries. As an added bonus, the recipe contains probiotics that are good for your dog’s gut health and influence their overall well-being.

    • Good price
    • Turkey is the only animal protein
    • Contains helpful oils for omega acids
    • Blueberries and flaxseed are healthy choices for skin and coat
    • Contains probiotic cultures
    • Grain-free diet
    • Potato and pea products in the first five ingredients

    3. Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe Dry Food

    Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Dehydrated turkey, organic oats, dehydrated potatoes, organic flaxseed, dehydrated carrots
    Protein content: 22% min
    Fat content: 15% min
    Calories: 4,140 kcal/kg

    All you have to do to complete this yummy premium choice is pour water and stir! The price seems high, but it’s really not that bad when you consider that a 10-pound box of dehydrated Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe Dry Food makes 40 pounds of dog food. We like this food for preventing hair loss because turkey is the main ingredient instead of chicken or beef. It’s a human-grade formula, which means that the ingredients are top-quality and fit for human consumption.

    This grain-inclusive food features oats as a good source of whole grains while eliminating wheat, corn, or soy. Flaxseed is an excellent choice of ingredients to promote hair growth and give your pup healthy skin and coat.

    While potatoes may not be the best choice as one of the top five ingredients, Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey still has a lot to offer because of its rich supply of healthy vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. The recipe is supplemented with vitamins B12, B5, and B2, zinc, and vitamin E. All of these vitamins and minerals are excellent aids for hair regrowth.

    • Turkey is the single protein
    • Grain-inclusive while avoiding wheat, corn, and soy
    • Vitamin blend encourages hair growth
    • Potatoes are one of the main ingredients
    • A little pricey

    4. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food

    Merrick Limited Diet with Healthy Grains Red Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Chicken-free Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley
    Protein content: 24% min
    Fat content: 14% min
    Calories: 3,623 kcal ME/kg

    MerrickLimited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food  cuts to the chase with this limited ingredient formula that doesn’t skimp on healthy grains. We like how salmon is the only animal protein because it’s not a common allergen and provides a rich supply of fish oils to nourish skin and hair. Brown rice, oatmeal, and barley are complex carbohydrates that are good sources of fiber without being empty calories, such as corn.

    Sunflower oil and flaxseed are also beneficial ingredients that promote hair growth. The vitamin blend is perfectly formulated to help your pup, fortified with B vitamins, zinc, vitamin E, folic acid, and manganese.

    This recipe is more expensive than most dry foods, but considering the limited, high-quality ingredients, we think it’s one of the best kibble options.

    • Grain-inclusive
    • Salmon is the single animal protein
    • Sunflower oil and flaxseed nourish the skin and coat
    • Robust mix of vitamins
    • More expensive than most dry foods

    5. Nom Nom Turkey Fare (Fresh Dog Food Subscription) – Vet’s Choice

    a black dog eating nom nom at the counter

    Main ingredients: Ground turkey, brown rice, eggs, carrots, spinach
    Protein content: 10% min
    Fat content: 5% min
    Calories: 1,479 kcal/kg

    Our veterinarians specifically recommend the Turkey Fare Recipe by Nom Nom. The other four recipes offered by the company are all human-grade formulas with a stellar quality; however, they contain common protein allergens like chicken or beef that might not be the best choice for a dog with a suspected food allergy.

    Nom Nom crafts their food fresh and then ships it to your door. We like the Turkey Fare Recipe because it’s a single animal protein formula that features a fantastic vegetable and vitamin blend that includes all of the vitamin B variations that are known to encourage hair growth. Egg is an excellent addition for a diet focused on healthy skin and coat. This is also the one Nom Nom recipe that isn’t grain-free, relying on brown rice for fiber instead of peas or russet potatoes. Fish oil also nourishes the skin and coat, and spinach provides some antioxidants. We give this food a holistic thumbs up. We only wish it were cheaper.

    • Human-grade ingredients
    • Turkey is the only animal protein
    • Brown rice provides a healthy grain experience
    • Inclusive blend of B vitamins
    • Egg, spinach, and fish oil are all helpful for skin and coat
    • Expensive

    6. Fromm Zealambder Recipe Dry Food

    Fromm Zealambder Recipe

    Main ingredients: Lamb, whole oats, whole barley, dried egg product, oat groats
    Protein content: 26% min
    Fat content: 16% min
    Calories: 3,681 kcal/kg

    Although this gem isn’t available on Chewy or traditional pet stores, it’s worth mentioning because it’s a high-quality, limited ingredient food for a cheaper price than most novelty diets. The Fromm Zealambder Recipe is available on their website and in some independent pet stores. Lamb is the first ingredient, which is a novel protein that isn’t likely to cause an allergic reaction. This food sources its protein from a few different types of meats, such as salmon, venison, and pork, but none are common allergens such as chicken or beef.

    A hearty grain blend gives this food a fiber boost, and the dried egg product is a good addition for hair and skin. Flaxseed, cranberries, and blueberries support hair growth, and we like the addition of probiotics to encourage overall well-being. The beneficial vitamin blend even includes biotin, which is a supplement humans take to grow their hair quickly.

    This Fromm recipe isn’t formulated particularly for hair loss, but we believe it could be especially helpful if food allergies are to blame, and it could possibly prevent you from having to buy a more expensive specialty diet.

    • Inexpensive, high-quality pet food
    • Allergy-friendly animal proteins such as lamb, pork, venison, and fish
    • Probiotic supplement
    • Vitamin mix with biotin
    • Not available in all stores

    7. JustFoodForDogs Fresh Fish & Sweet Potato Recipe (Fresh Food Subscription)

    Just Food For Dogs

    Main ingredients: Cod, sweet potatoes, potatoes, green beans, broccoli
    Protein content: 7% min
    Fat content: 2% min
    Calories: 922 kcal/kg

    Newly available on Chewy, JustFoodForDogs Fresh Fish & Sweet Potato Recipe is a human-grade option that’s easy to add to your monthly autoship order. We like how cod is the main ingredient because fish is a novel protein that’s so beneficial to a dog’s skin and coat.

    Grain-free foods are not our preference, and this one is practically loaded with potatoes, which is some cause for concern. However, we really like the other veggies in the mix, and the vitamin blend is satisfactory, even including biotin for extra hair support. It probably also goes without saying that this food is more expensive than dry kibble, but it’s similarly priced compared to other frozen formulas.

    • Human-grade formula
    • Cod is the single animal protein
    • Well-rounded vitamin mix that includes biotin
    • Available on Chewy
    • Grain-free
    • Includes potatoes
    • More expensive than dry food

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    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Dog Food for Hair Loss

    When shopping for a brand that will improve your pet’s skin and coat, keep in mind that you don’t have to buy a specialty formula that’s marketed toward dogs with hair loss. Any food that’s fortified with sufficient vitamins and allergen-friendly proteins can be the best choice for you.

    Other factors to consider include your budget and the quality of the ingredients. As a whole, dry kibble is going to be cheaper than wet or fresh frozen food, but some premium kibble, such as the Merrick Limited Diet comes pretty close to the same price point. If you’re focused on clean, holistic eating, you probably want to find a fresh frozen food option that works with your budget.

    Omega 3’s and 6’s are fatty acids that enrich your dog’s skin and coat. Eggs, flaxseed, chia seeds, cod, and salmon are loaded with omega 3’s. Safflower oil, sunflower oil, meat, poultry, and eggs are a good source of omega 6. One note about these fatty acids: please research which human-friendly omega-3 and 6 foods can (and can’t) cross over into your dog’s bowl. For example, avocados are often cited as excellent sources of omega 3’s, but should never be fed to your pet because they’re toxic to dogs, and the pits can be a choking hazard.

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    Final Verdict

    Ollie’s Turkey Dish with Blueberries Recipe is our overall best choice for preventing hair loss (and encouraging hair growth) because it’s a fresh, limited ingredient formula with turkey as the single animal protein source and features coconut and fish oils as healthy fats. Our value pick was Blue Buffalo Basics because it’s cheaper than specialty diets while providing similar nutrition. We also like how it includes flaxseed, blueberries, and probiotics. We loved Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey as our premium choice because it’s grain-inclusive while being gluten-free. Merrick Limited Diet also maintained the grains while avoiding controversial ingredients such as wheat and peas. Our vets recommended Nom Nom Turkey Fare Recipe because it’s a fresh, human-grade formula that doesn’t use any animal proteins that are known to cause allergy problems, which is an extra special consideration when trying to determine the cause of hair loss. It was a hard choice not to include our other picks on the top five list, so we hope you’ll also consider them when shopping for new food for your pup.

    See also:

    Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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