Here’s the Best Dog Food for Shedding

Written by Judie Sigdel
Updated: November 11, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species..

Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall dog food for shedding is Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin.
  • While shedding is normal, excessive shedding may indicate an underlying health issues that requires veterinary attention.
  • Changing your dog’s diet may reduce shedding while improving their overall health.
  • Our expertly researched article will help you select the right dog food for shedding based on which ingredients to avoid (common allergens) and which support skin and coat health.

Shedding is normal in dogs. However, excessive shedding is not normal and may be a sign that something is wrong with your dog. There are many reasons a dog may shed including skin infections, liver or kidney disease, hormonal diseases, fleas, mites, and other skin parasites, cancer, immune diseases, stress, anxiety, and allergies. So persistent, excessive shedding can certainly be something to see the vet about.

Oftentimes, changing your dog’s diet can help limit their shedding to keep it more manageable and promote their overall health.

Every dog is different, but some of the more common allergens that may be contributing to shedding include grains, soy, eggs, pork, chicken, fish, beef, and dairy. There are limited ingredient and alternative- protein dog foods which often cut out some of the ingredients that can cause sensitivities and lead to digestive, skin, or coat problems.

Choosing foods that are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids can also greatly benefit many dogs by improving their skin and coat to reduce shedding.

Always take your dog to regular vet appointments. It’s especially important to seek a veterinarian’s input if you notice any changes in your dog’s health or alarming symptoms. So if your dog is experiencing notable hair loss or skin problems that won’t go away, it could be a sign of serious underlying health concerns.

If you’re frustrated and worried about your dog’s excessive shedding, you’re in the right place. In the next few sections, we’ll share our top picks for the best dog foods to help you address the issue of excessive shedding with your dog. Your vet may agree that a strategic change in diet could be the best solution.

Continue reading to learn about our top selections, including our #1 overall pick! We’ve even revamped this list for 2022 by adding even more suggestions for dog food to help with shedding. We’ve also provided extra details about some of the potential causes of persistent shedding, plus how a wholesome, nutrient-rich diet can help address the problem.

  1. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin
  2. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin
    • Designed specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs
    • Chicken and rice base is appetizing and tasty
    • Grains like barley, rice and sorghum help bind bowel movements
    • Contains prebiotic fiber to help for solid stools
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food
  4. Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food
    • Salmon and sweet potato recipe adult dry dog food
    • Grain free, no fillers, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives
    • Contains antioxidants and probiotics for healthy digestive and immune system
    • Nutritious blend of vitamins and minerals for healthy joints, skin and coat


    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Pate Wet Dog Food
  6. Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Pate Wet Dog Food
    • High protein wet dog food with real salmon taste and rice
    • Contains linoleic acid, an omega fatty acid, for healthy skin and coat
    • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
    • Set of 12 13 oz cans
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Dog Food
  8. Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Dog Food
    • High protein dog food mixed with freeze dried raw toppers
    • Contains probiotics for healthy digestion and omegas for skin & coat
    • No corn, wheat, soy, potato, peas, lentils, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives.



    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. VICTOR Purpose Performance Formula Dry Dog Food
  10. VICTOR Purpose Performance Formula Dry Dog Food
    • 81% meat protein with premium-quality beef, chicken and pork meals
    • Ideal for sporting pups and those with high physical demands
    • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for long-term joint health
    • Fortified with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein and amino acids
    • Promotes digestion and immune health


    Check Chewy Check Amazon

The Top Picks for the Best Dog Food for Shedding: Ranked

#1 Best Overall: Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food

The Sensitive Stomach & Skin dry dog food from Hill’s Science Diet is our top pick as the best dog food for shedding. The food is specially formulated to improve a dog’s skin and coat and nourish their digestive system, plus it is an affordable option that can fit nearly any budget.

Some of the beneficial ingredients that can help reduce shedding include omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E. In addition to cutting down on the amount your dog sheds, these ingredients will also help ensure their coat is healthy and shiny.

In addition to helping reduce shedding and promoting healthy skin and a healthy coat, this food is also formulated with prebiotic fiber to improve a dog’s digestive system and overall health.

Feed this affordable adult food to small breeds, medium breeds, or large breed dogs. It is available in a chicken flavor and a grain-free chicken and potato flavor.

Some buyers report that their dogs don’t like the flavor of this dog food and won’t eat it. Others say that the food did not resolve their dog’s digestive issues, including diarrhea.

Pros and Cons of Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Dog Food

ProsCons
This dog food is specially formulated to reduce shedding and promote healthy skin and coat.Not all dogs like the flavor of this dog food and some refuse to eat it.
This affordable option fits almost any budget.Some dog’s digestive issues, including diarrhea, continued after switching to this recipe.
It includes beneficial ingredients that can help reduce shedding and encourage a healthy, shiny coat, including omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E.
This recipe also includes prebiotic fiber to improve digestive and overall health.
It’s suitable for dogs of all sizes.
You can purchase this dog food in chicken flavor and a grain-free chicken and potato flavor.
Best Overall for Adult Dogs
Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin
  • Designed specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Chicken and rice base is appetizing and tasty
  • Grains like barley, rice and sorghum help bind bowel movements
  • Contains prebiotic fiber to help for solid stools
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best for Allergies: Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food

Allergies can also be the cause of shedding in puppies, adults, and seniors, and the limited-ingredient, grain-free dog foods from Canidae Pure may be the solution you’re looking for.

This food is available in 10 different flavor options: salmon & sweet potato; chicken, lentil & pea; duck & sweet potato; lamb & pea; wild boar & garbanzo bean; chicken, bison, lentil, & carrot; lamb, goat & venison; chicken, potato, & egg (for small breeds), and chicken & sweet potato (for seniors).

Each flavor option is formulated with 10 or fewer ingredients to limit what you’re feeding your dog and help clear up their allergies. Plus, the first ingredient in each bag is high-quality fish, poultry, or meat.

Additionally, this food includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to help promote healthy skin and coat and reduce shedding. These antioxidants-rich ingredients support a healthy immune system. The formula is also grain-free to help dogs with food sensitivities.

The biggest user complaint was that some dogs refuse to eat it.

Pros and Cons of Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food

ProsCons
Each flavor is made with 10 ingredients or less to help clear up their allergies.Some dogs refuse to eat it.
The first ingredient in each flavor is high-quality animal protein: fish, poultry, or meat.
This dog food is available in 10 different flavors, with special varieties available for small breeds and seniors.
This formula is rich in antioxidants to promote your dog’s healthy immune system, skin, and coat.
This dog food is grain-free, so it’s safe for dogs with food sensitivities.
Best for Allergies
Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food
  • Salmon and sweet potato recipe adult dry dog food
  • Grain free, no fillers, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives
  • Contains antioxidants and probiotics for healthy digestive and immune system
  • Nutritious blend of vitamins and minerals for healthy joints, skin and coat


Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Wet: Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Pate Wet Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Wet Dog Food is an excellent choice if you prefer to feed your pup wet food. This food has a salmon and rice flavor, and contains no wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or artificial colors.

Salmon is rich in linoleic acid, which is an omega fatty acid. This can help ensure your dog’s skin and coat are healthy and help reduce shedding. Additionally, the food is formulated to encourage easy digestion to help dogs dealing with stomach problems.

This wet food comes in a pack of 12 13-ounce cans.

Some users reported that their dogs’ digestive issues, such as gas, continued after switching to this wet food. Others said that their dogs didn’t like the flavor and refused to eat it.

Pros and Cons of Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Pate Wet Dog Food

ProsCons
This salmon and rice flavored wet food is free from wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and artificial colors.Some dogs’ digestive issues may not be resolved by switching to this food.
Salmon contains linoleic acid, an omega fatty acid that can contribute to a healthy skin and coat and reduce shedding.Some dogs don’t like the flavor and refuse to eat it.
The formula also promotes health digestion in dogs with stomach issues.
This wet food comes in a pack of 12 13-ounce cans.
Best Wet
Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Pate Wet Dog Food
  • High protein wet dog food with real salmon taste and rice
  • Contains linoleic acid, an omega fatty acid, for healthy skin and coat
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Set of 12 13 oz cans
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Most Nutrient-Rich: Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Dog Food

The complete nutrition in Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Dog Food may be the most holistic and effective way to help balance your dog’s health from the inside out. Freeze-dried raw pieces boost this kibble with high-protein, high-quality meat.

There are probiotics to settle any stomach upset and promote smooth digestion so you know your dog’s body is actually processing the nutrition through the gut.

Because those natural, quality proteins are great sources of omegas and antioxidants such as B12, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin and a full, lustrous coat.

In this food, you’ll also find carrots, which offer nutrients like phosphorus, fiber, B vitamins, vitamins C, K, and A to nourish the skin and coat. Plus, it’s supplemented with hair-fortifying biotin.

You and your dog will love that this food is free of peas, lentils, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors and preservatives, and by-product meal. Everything a dog needs, and nothing it doesn’t.

Some pups don’t like the taste of this food and won’t eat it. And some dog owner’s reported that their dogs’ digestive issues, including loose stools and bad gas, continued after trying this food.

Pros and Cons of Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Dog Food

ProsCons
This holistic dog food includes freeze-dried, raw pieces, including high-quality meat.Some dogs don’t enjoy the flavor of this food and won’t eat it.
The recipe includes probiotics to soothe stomach upset and promote smooth digestion.Some pet parents report that their pups’ digestive issues continued after switching to this dog food.
This dog food’s high-quality protein is a great source of omega fatty acids and antioxidants, which are essential for supporting skin and coat health.
This food also includes carrots, which are rich in nutrients your dog’s skin and coat need, and fur-fortifying biotin.
It’s free from peas, lentils, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors and preservatives, and by-product meal.
Best Nutrient-Rich
Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Dog Food
  • High protein dog food mixed with freeze dried raw toppers
  • Contains probiotics for healthy digestion and omegas for skin & coat
  • No corn, wheat, soy, potato, peas, lentils, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives.



Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Most Protein Rich: Victor Performance Super Premium Dog Food 26% Protein

Unfortunately, not all dog foods offer adequate protein, but Victor Performance Super Premium Dog Food 26% Protein does. It’s best to feed your dog a diet consisting of at least 18% protein. But it’s an absolute must for dogs’ all-around balanced health, and higher levels may also help keep the skin and fur in good condition.

You don’t necessarily have to opt for a completely grain-free dog food in order to achieve a higher balance of protein. Foods like this one use multiple protein sources including veggies and gluten-free grains for well-rounded nutrition.

26% protein Victor Performance Premium Dog Food is particularly suitable for active dogs. 81% of the protein content comes from real meat sources. It’s designed to address dogs’ needs from digestion and metabolism to the immune system to skin and coat.

The special blend of nutrients includes 18% crude fat, fiber, omegas 3 and 6, zinc, selenium, vitamin E, l-carnitine, glucosamine, and chondroitin, plus prebiotics and probiotics.

A few purchasers reported that their dogs didn’t like the taste. Some stated that their dogs’ digestive and/or allergy issues continued after changing to this formula.

Victor Performance Super Premium Dog Food 26% Protein

ProsCons
This high-protein dog food may help to keep your dog’s skin and fur in good condition.Some dogs don’t like the taste.
This premium recipe includes real meat sources (81%), plus protein from veggies and gluten-free grains for balanced nutrition.Some purchasers reported that their dogs’ digestive and/or allergy issues continued after switching to this food.
This dog food is most suitable for active dogs.
It’s formulated to address digestive, metabolic, immune system, skin, and coat issues.
The nutrient blend includes 18% crude fat, fiber, omegas 3 and 6, zinc, selenium, vitamin E, l-carnitine, glucosamine, and chondroitin, prebiotics and probiotics.
Best Protein Rich
VICTOR Purpose Performance Formula Dry Dog Food
  • 81% meat protein with premium-quality beef, chicken and pork meals
  • Ideal for sporting pups and those with high physical demands
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for long-term joint health
  • Fortified with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein and amino acids
  • Promotes digestion and immune health


Check Chewy Check Amazon

What Causes Excessive Shedding?

Excessive shedding is not normal. If you’ve noticed that your dog has begun shedding significantly more, it may be a sign that something is wrong. You should take your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up to identify the problem. They may identify one of the following common causes as the root of your dog’s shedding problem:

  • Diet: If dogs don’t get the nutrients their body needs, it can cause them to shed more than normal. Finding food with the right balance of fatty acids, protein, carbohydrates, and fat is essential when trying to minimize shedding. You should also try to stay away from any foods that include fillers or artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors.
  • Digestion: Upset stomach and other signs of imbalance in the gut can prevent your dog from absorbing the nutrition in their food. That lack of nutrition could potentially lead to skin and coat problems. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, it’s important to find dog food that sits well with them. That way, they’re not missing out on the vital nutrients in their diet.
  • Allergies: Some dogs may also develop allergies or food sensitivities. Allergies in dogs often manifest as skin conditions, which can make them shed more. You may be surprised to learn that dogs’ allergies often stem from sensitivity to common proteins like beef or chicken. That’s why limited ingredient diets such as alternative protein sources are often recommended for dogs with allergies.
  • Bacterial or fungal infection
  • Adrenal issues or immune disease
  • Parasites: Fleas, lice, and mites can be a source of skin irritation and excessive shedding.
  • Stress: Stress and anxiety are also common causes of shedding for dogs. Perhaps your dog is feeling stressed or anxious about another pet in the house, being left alone, or being disciplined. This may lead to issues with digestion, irritated skin, or excessive shedding.

How Can Changing Food Reduce Shedding?

If your dog is shedding due to eating a food they are allergic to or one that doesn’t include the proper balance of nutrients they need, changing their food can most certainly reduce shedding. You’ll need to work with your veterinarian to identify the right food based on the root cause of their shedding.

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Shedding

Choosing foods with the right ingredient list is essential if you’re looking to reduce shedding in your dog. Some key things to look for include:

  • High-quality proteins
  • Easily digestible carbohydrates
  • Fats and oils including omegas
  • Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

Up Next…

About the Author

My passion is writing about animals. I’ve published articles on pet parrots, birds, and small animal care and reviews about pet food and products. I have an ever-evolving aviary and menagerie that has included cockatiels, parakeets, conures, European starlings, a chukar partridge, guinea pigs, dogs, and cats. I’m also the author of Faith without Labels: a Guide to Eclectic Spirituality.

Here’s the Best Dog Food for Shedding FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can changing dog food help with shedding?

Yes, changing your dog’s diet may have a huge impact on their shedding! If the food your dog is currently eating doesn’t have the right nutrients, changing to a food formulated for your dog’s needs can dramatically reduce the amount they’re shedding. Some dogs also have food sensitives or allergies, which may contribute to their shedding. Changing to a food formulated with antioxidants or a grain-free wet or dry food may help ensure healthy skin and reduce shedding. Fortunately, there are many suitable options, including a number of very affordable foods that can help puppies, adults, seniors, small breeds, and large breeds.

What should I feed my dog to stop shedding?

The right food to help your dog stop shedding can vary based on the underlying cause of their shedding. If your dog has overall good health, switching to a food that is rich in antioxidants and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can help.

Sometimes a husky, pitbull, bichon, golden retriever, boxer or other dog breed may shed due to allergies or food sensitivities. In these cases, switching to a grain-free food or limited ingredient diet may be what is needed to reduce the overall amount of shedding.

How much shedding is normal?

The amount of shedding that is normal can vary from one breed to another. Keep in mind that every breed, aside from American hairless terriers, will shed at least a little, so seeing hair on your floors, furniture, or clothes is a fact of life when you own a pup. If you just see these hairs on items around your house throughout the year, but don’t see lots of excess fur on your dog’s body, it isn’t a sign of concern.

Some breeds also go through a shedding season or two. During these shedding seasons, typically in the spring and/or fall, dogs may shed more than normal. If your dog is going through a shedding season, it is typical to see more hair coming off.

What is not normal, however, is seeing patches or splotches of missing hair on your dog’s body. If you notice any bald spots on your dog, it may indicate a larger issue that needs to be addressed, and you should schedule an appointment with your dog’s vet. They may recommend a diet change.

When will puppies shed their baby coat?

A puppy’s coat will eventually be replaced by an adult coat. Since every breed is different, this may occur at different times. For most dog breeds, however, the puppy coat is replaced by the adult coat between the ages of three and six months. When the puppy’s coat is replaced, the puppy’s hair will look shaggy for a bit and might begin to fall out before being replaced by the adult fur. If you notice this happening with your puppy or notice some patchy spots for a while, it is not a reason to be concerned.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.