Homemade dog food has many benefits, which is why people who can commit to preparing food for their dogs avoid processed commercial dog food. And while most of these benefits aren’t scientifically proven, the fact that they can minimize shedding caused by poor diet seems verifiable.
The best homemade dog food for shedding is rich in fish, poultry, and meat alongside omega-3 fats. Olive oil, flaxseed oil, and fish oil are great sources of omega-3, which can fortify your dog’s coat and reduce inflammation. Most importantly, homemade dog food removes fillers from your dog’s diet.
In this article, you will learn how nutrition affects your dog’s skin and coat and find my favorite five homemade recipes to reduce shedding in your dog.
Please note that some breeds shed more than others – I should know, being the owner of a German Shepherd! Additionally, breeds with double coats undergo seasonal shedding and will shed excessively in the spring and fall when they change their coat.
Although these recipes can help control and reduce shedding, I advise you to seek out a canine nutritionist, especially if you feed a home-produced doggy diet for the long term, to ensure your dog is getting the right balance of nutrients. You can find a helpful directory here. Alternatively, speak to your vet.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I feed my dog a mix of dry food with various healthy toppings, such as fish, meats, veggies, yogurt, etc. However, during the heavy seasonal shedding period, I will lean toward a more homemade diet to help control molting and reduce the cost of lint rollers!
By the end of this post, you’ll know everything you need to know about adjusting your dog’s diet to improve his coat health – even if you don’t want to commit to a homemade dog food diet. Let’s get started!
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Does Homemade Dog Food Help With Shedding?
Homemade dog food helps with shedding because it is usually free of fillers that are responsible for accelerating or causing shedding in dogs. These fillers are most often found in cheap kibble, and using filler-free dry dog food is better if you cannot commit to a homemade dog food diet.
There are two food-related reasons for shedding in dogs:
- Fillers like cereal by-products, rice bran, corn starch, and oat hulls can promote shedding in dogs.
- Food infested by mites can cause an allergic reaction which triggers excessive shedding.
Homemade dog food doesn’t contain either, which is why it is easy to get your dog’s fur health back once you say goodbye to low-grade kibble.
However, neither of these factors is exclusive to kibble. There is high-quality filler-free dry dog food, and it is possible to make homemade food with just as many fillers as cheap kibble if you don’t know what you’re doing or fail to seek the advice of a canine nutritionist.
For example, this study of homemade dog food recipes found that all diets (from 106) had at least one nutrient below the recommendations. This highlights the importance of ensuring your homemade diet is nutritionally balanced.
Nonetheless, let’s look at the role of homemade dog food with these two shedding factors in mind.
- Homemade dog food is easier to digest – While the exact cause of a filler-heavy diet’s effect on shedding isn’t determined, the current consensus is that food that is harder to digest leads to poor fur health. Since homemade food isn’t filled with starchy fillers, it is easier to digest for your dog.
- Homemade dog food is fresh – This is not always a valid benefit. Sometimes, dog food can be stored improperly and may start molding. If that happens, then that food is just as likely to cause shedding as a mite-infested container of dry dog food.
That’s the bare minimum which will give your dog’s fur health a major boost compared to his current state on poor quality commercial dry dog food.
Of course, you want to do more than the bare minimum. That’s where we come to supplements that can improve hair health in dogs. By adding the right supplements, you only improve the quality and health of the current coat hair. Doing this won’t completely stop shedding, though – as that’s impossible!
Check out my dog Willow in the below photo. As a double-coated German Shepherd, she sheds like crazy, especially in the fall and spring when she “blows her coat.”
Add Supplements to a Homemade Diet to Control Shedding
Before even considering adding supplements to reduce shedding, you should ask yourself the following:
- Is my dog allergic to anything he is eating? Knowing the answer to this will help with the shedding problem more than any of the recipes covered below.
- Is my dog getting all the nutrients he needs? If you know what nutrition your dog needs, simply adding it to the recipe can drastically minimize shedding. If your dog is undernourished, adding more meat to his diet can help.
- Is this related to food at all? Is the issue anything to do with food at all? Knowing how normal it is for specific breeds to shed and how much dogs shed at different ages can help you adjust your expectations. For example, a Husky’s high shedding cannot be compared to a low-shedding Poodle.
With that covered, here are four supplements you can add to homemade dog food to help your dog stop shedding:
- Olive Oil – Adding a teaspoon of olive oil to dog food can minimize inflammation, which is one of the major reasons for shedding.
- Fish Oil – With fish oil, you can supply your dog with essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for hair health and skin. I really like the Zesty Paws range of supplements from Amazon, and their Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil is a great food topper to any homemade recipe as you just pump a few squirts onto your dog’s meal.
- Flaxseed Oil – Flaxseed oil contains omega-3 and omega-6 fats and can benefit your dog’s coat health and digestion.
- Coconut Oil – Rich in linolenic acid, coconut oil is great for reducing shedding in dogs. Additionally, it can strengthen the immune system and resemble sebum, an oil produced naturally by dogs that coat the hair roots and protects them from damage.
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Ingredients To Reduce Excessive Shedding In Dogs
To reduce excessive shedding in dogs, you must remove fillers and ingredients your dog might be allergic to.
After eliminating the main cause of shedding, choose foods that are high in omega-3 to further minimize shedding. Lack of dietary fat can result in excessive fur loss, therefore, giving your dog particular foods high in fatty acids can help:
- Fish skins
Most of these ingredients go well with homemade dog food but can also be added to kibble, especially as some owners (like me) love to mix homemade dog food with kibble. I love to add salmon, tuna, and mackerel to my dog’s diet.
You just need to be sure that the kibble is of high quality. If a cheap dry dog food is responsible for shedding, then adding foods high in omega-3 won’t necessarily control shedding and improve coat health.
Homemade Dog Food For Shedding
Homemade dog food recipes rich in meat, fish, and omega-3 fats can help reduce shedding. As long as dog food doesn’t contain fillers and is appropriately nutritious, it can offset diet-caused shedding.
Watch How To Make Homemade Dog Food Complete And Balanced In This Video…
Below are my 5 favorite recipes that help reduce shedding but remember to get the ok from your vet and check on portion size.
Recipe One: Salmon and Brown Rice
- 1 cup of peas
- 1/2 cup chopped pumpkin
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1 cup of brown rice
- 3 lbs of salmon
Ensure the salmon is boneless and oven-roasted, broiled, or poached. Do not add seasoning. Cook the rice and pumpkin separately.
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, including the peas, spinach, and pumpkin, and serve. Store the remaining portions in a sealed container and refrigerate.
Recipe Two: Turkey and Brown Rice
- 1/4 cup of peas
- 2 cups of chopped baby spinach
- 3 lbs of ground turkey
- 1 cup of brown rice
- 1 pump of Zesty Paws Alaskan Salmon Oil per 20 lbs of dog weight.
Mix all the ingredients except the salmon oil to form a total serving. From that, add the size-appropriate serving for your dog based on the meat alone. For example, if your dog can consume just one pound of meat, take 1/3 of the serving.
Once you have his food separated in his bowl, add 1 pump of the oil per 20 lbs of weight and serve the food.
Recipe Three: Tuna and Vegetables
- 1 cup of chopped cauliflower
- 1 cup of green beans
- 1 cup of cubed potatoes
- Canned tuna in brine or water
- Olive oil
Boil the potato until soft and cut it into small cubes. Add the cooked cauliflower and green beans and mix thoroughly.
Drain a can of tuna and add to the mix, along with a small spoonful of olive oil.
Recipe Four: Chicken and Brown Rice
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 lbs chicken breast
- Flaxseed oil
Mix all the ingredients except the oil in a single mixing utensil. Divide portions according to your dog’s needs and add some flaxseed oil to the bowl before mixing once again. Check the amount of oil to add on the label depending on your dog’s size.
Recipe Five: Beef and Brown Rice
- 3 cups brown rice
- 2 lbs ground lean beef
- 4 hard-boiled eggs (peeled and mashed)
- 1 tablespoon of fish oil
Mix all the ingredients except the fish oil. Portion the food according to your dog’s weight and requirements. Add 1 tablespoon of fish oil to the serving and mix it thoroughly. Feed it while it is fresh and safely store the rest.