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Best Diet for Shedding Dogs: Reduce Shedding With Nutrition

As much as we love our furry friends, their shedding can significantly inconvenience pet owners. Not only does it leave hair all over our clothes and furniture, but it can also trigger allergies and asthma in some individuals. While grooming and regular brushing can help minimize shedding, the right diet can make a significant difference.

The best diet to reduce shedding in dogs is a balanced diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and proteins, such as lean meats and oily fish. You should also include fresh vegetables, fruit, and vitamins.

Various dog diets are available on the market, but not all are effective in reducing shedding. Understanding which nutrients and ingredients can help maintain a healthy coat and skin for your furry friend is important.

In this article, we will explore the best diet for shedding dogs and discuss the importance of nutrition in keeping your pet’s coat healthy and shiny.

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Best Diet For Shedding Dogs. A shedding German Shepherd.
My shedding German Shepherd!

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Why Is My Dog Shedding So Much?

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I have a dog that sheds a lot – a German Shepherd. Dealing with the constant shedding can be frustrating. But there are several reasons why a dog might shed excessively.

Firstly, the breed of the dog can play a significant role in how much they shed. Some breeds, like German Shepherds or Huskies, are known for shedding a lot due to their thick double coats. 

However, excessive shedding can also indicate an underlying medical issue. Allergies, skin infections, and hormonal imbalances can all lead to increased shedding in dogs.

Another factor that can contribute to shedding is diet. If a dog’s diet is lacking in essential nutrients, its coat may become dry and brittle, leading to excessive shedding. 

It’s important to ensure your dog gets a balanced diet with enough protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins to keep their coat healthy and shiny.

While shedding is natural for dogs, extreme shedding can indicate an underlying issue. 

What Can I Do For My Dog To Stop Shedding?

Factors like breed, health, and diet can all affect how much a dog sheds. You must monitor your dog’s shedding patterns and consult with a vet if you notice any significant changes.

While it’s impossible to stop shedding altogether, there are several things that you can do to help reduce shedding and keep your dog’s coat healthy.

One of the most effective ways to reduce shedding is through regular grooming. Regularly brushing your dog’s coat can help remove loose fur and prevent matting.

My favorite grooming tool is the FURminator de-shedding tool from Amazon, as seen in the below photo with my dog Willow. For dogs with an undercoat, it safely removes all the fur without damaging the top coat. I also recommend the Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Dog Brush for all fur types, as it’s great for detangling hair and keeps the coat looking shiny and healthy.

Dog Being De-shedded
My GSD Willow after being de-shedded with a FURminator!

Also, bathing your dog with high-quality shampoo and conditioner can help keep its coat healthy and shiny, reducing shedding.

Another way to reduce shedding is by ensuring your dog gets a balanced diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamins. These nutrients can help keep your dog’s coat healthy and reduce shedding.

Finally, ensure your dog is drinking plenty of water to help keep their skin hydrated, which can also help control shedding.

Can I Reduce My Dog’s Shedding With The Right Nutrition?

I can attest to the fact that proper nutrition can have a significant impact on your dog’s shedding. 

By providing a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients such as protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins, you can help support healthy skin and a shiny coat. This can help reduce shedding and improve your dog’s coat’s overall appearance and health.

It’s important to note that the right nutrition alone may not eliminate shedding in all dogs. 

Shedding is a natural process that helps dogs regulate their body temperature and remove dead hair.

However, a healthy diet can help reduce excessive shedding and improve your dog’s coat’s overall health and appearance. 

Suppose your dog is experiencing exorbitant shedding or other skin issues. In that case, it’s important to consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions and develop a comprehensive plan for managing shedding.

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What Are Best Diets For Shedding Dogs

As a dog owner of a high-shedding breed, I understand the importance of a balanced diet to keep my pet’s coat healthy and minimize shedding. Here are some of the best diets for shedding dogs that I have found to be effective:

  1. High-protein diets 
  1. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements 
  1. Grain-free diets 
  1. Limited-ingredient diets 
  1. Homemade diets

A balanced diet with the right nutrients reduces shedding in dogs.

High-Protein Diets 

A high-protein diet can effectively reduce shedding and maintain a healthy coat for your furry friend. 

When looking for high-protein dog food, choosing a brand that lists real meat as the first ingredient is important.

Chicken and salmon are excellent protein sources for dogs and can provide the necessary amino acids for healthy skin and coat. 

A high-protein diet can help build and repair muscles, especially for active dogs. However, it’s important to consult with a vet to ensure your dog gets the right amount of protein for their specific needs.

It’s also important to note that not all high-protein diets are created equal. Some brands may contain fillers or additives that can do more harm than good. 

When choosing a high-protein diet for your dog, look for a reputable brand with quality ingredients and a good track record of producing healthy and happy dogs.

Proteins. Feed a high protein diet to reduce shedding in dogs.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements 

Adding Omega-3 fatty acid supplements to my dog’s diet has helped reduce their shedding. These supplements can come in various forms, including fish oil, flaxseed oil, and krill oil. 

You must choose a high-quality supplement specifically formulated for dogs and follow the dosage instructions carefully. Check out Zesty Paws Omega 3 Alaskan Fish Oil Treats from Amazon, which is what I use. They come in salmon, bacon, or chicken flavor, which your dog will love.

In addition to supplements, dog foods are available that contain Omega-3 fatty acids. Look for foods that list fish, such as salmon or sardines, as the primary source of protein. 

These foods can provide a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients that promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. 

However, please read the ingredient list carefully and avoid foods that contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives.

Pro tip! I like to add foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids as toppings to my dog’s dry food. My German Shepherd loves a bit of salmon, tuna, or mackerel scattered on top of her food.

It’s important to note that Omega-3 fatty acid supplements and dog foods that contain Omega-3s are not a quick fix for excessive shedding. 

It may take several weeks or even months to see a noticeable improvement in your dog’s coat. 

These supplements should not be used as a substitute for a balanced and nutritious diet. 

You must provide your dog with a well-rounded diet that meets its specific nutritional needs, in addition to any supplements or specialty foods.

A Husky shedding its fur. Best nutrition for shedding dogs.

Grain-Free Diets

Some dogs may have allergies or sensitivities to grains, which can cause skin irritation and extreme shedding. 

Grain-free diets can be an effective solution to alleviate these issues. Grain-free dog food is made without grains such as wheat, corn, or soy and instead uses alternative carbohydrate sources such as sweet potatoes or peas.

When switching to a grain-free diet, it’s important to do it gradually to avoid digestive upset or adverse reactions. Introduce the new food slowly, mixing it with the old food and gradually increasing the amount of the new food over several days. 

Also, choose a reputable grain-free dog food brand with quality ingredients formulated to meet your dog’s nutritional needs.

While grain-free diets can benefit some dogs, it’s important to note that not all dogs need a grain-free diet. 

Grain-free diets can be expensive; some may not contain the nutrients necessary for optimal health.

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Limited-Ingredient Diets 

A limited-ingredient diet can effectively reduce shedding if your dog has a sensitive stomach or allergies. 

These diets contain few ingredients, making it easier to identify and avoid any allergens that may be causing skin irritation and excessive shedding.

Limited-ingredient diets typically contain a single source of protein and a single source of carbohydrates.

For example, a limited-ingredient dog food may contain only duck and sweet potato. These diets can also be helpful for dogs with digestive issues since they are easier to digest and may help alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms.

It’s important to note that not all limited-ingredient diets are created equal. Some may contain low-quality ingredients or fillers that can do more harm than good. 

When choosing a limited-ingredient diet for your dog, select a reputable brand that uses high-quality ingredients and is formulated to meet your dog’s nutritional needs. 

Homemade Dog For High Shedding Dogs

Homemade Diets

Homemade diets can be an effective way to reduce shedding in dogs with dietary restrictions or sensitivities. 

Making your dog’s food at home allows you to control the ingredients and tailor the diet to your dog’s specific needs. 

However, it’s important to note that homemade diets require careful planning to ensure they are nutritionally balanced.

Before switching to a homemade diet, it’s essential to consult with a vet or a pet nutritionist to ensure that the diet is balanced and contains all the necessary nutrients for your dog’s health. 

They can guide the appropriate portion sizes and nutrient requirements to ensure your dog receives all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and proteins. 

“Homemade diets that are not nutritionally balanced can lead to health issues and may exacerbate shedding problems.”

World of Dogz

When preparing homemade diets, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients and avoid foods toxic to dogs, such as onions, and garlic. 

Additionally, make sure to introduce new foods gradually to avoid digestive upset. 

Homemade diets require more effort and time compared to commercial diets. Still, dogs with dietary restrictions or sensitivities can effectively reduce shedding and improve overall health.

How Long Should Anti-Shedding Diet Last? 

Generally, feeding your dog a high-quality, well-balanced diet that meets its nutritional needs throughout life is recommended. This can help maintain a healthy coat and reduce shedding over the long term.

However, suppose your dog is experiencing excessive shedding due to a specific issue, such as a food allergy or sensitivity. In that case, the anti-shedding diet may need to be continued longer. 

It’s important to work with your veterinarian to determine the underlying cause of the shedding and develop a plan that addresses the root issue. 

Sometimes, a dietary change may be necessary for the rest of your dog’s life, while in other cases, a temporary adjustment may be sufficient. 

Ultimately, the duration of the anti-shedding diet will depend on your dog’s needs and the underlying cause of the shedding.

Pile of Dog Hair After Brushing
A pile of my dog’s fur after brushing during high shedding season.


Can Certain Breeds Of Dogs Shed More Than Others?

Certain breeds of dogs can shed more than others due to genetics and their coat type. Breeds such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Siberian Huskies are known for shedding heavily. However, regular grooming and a healthy diet can help reduce shedding in these breeds.

Are There Any Specific Ingredients I Should Avoid In My Dog’s Food To Reduce Shedding?

Some ingredients in dog food can contribute to excessive shedding. Consulting with a veterinarian can help determine your dog’s dietary needs to reduce shedding. Opting for high-quality dog food with real meat as the first ingredient is best.

Can Too Much Bathing Cause Excessive Shedding In Dogs?

Too much bathing can strip the natural oils from your dog’s skin, causing it to become dry and irritated, leading to extreme shedding. It’s recommended to bathe your dog every 3-6 months and to use a mild, dog-specific shampoo.

Is There A Particular Brand Of Dog Food That Is Best For Reducing Shedding?

There is no one brand for reducing shedding. It’s essential to look for high-quality dog foods that contain real meat as the first ingredient, Omega-3 fatty acids, and avoiding fillers and artificial ingredients can reduce shedding.

Can Shedding Be A Sign Of A Larger Health Issue In My Dog?

Extreme shedding can be a sign of an underlying health issue in dogs. Health conditions such as allergies, hormonal imbalances, infections, and skin diseases can all cause excessive shedding. 

It’s important to monitor your dog’s shedding patterns and consult a veterinarian if you notice any sudden changes or if the shedding is accompanied by other symptoms such as itching or hair loss.

Early detection and treatment of any underlying health issues can help prevent further shedding and promote your dog’s overall health and well-being.


  • Sharon Waddington

    Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Find her on Linkedin!