All dogs shed. It’s an unavoidable part of life when you live with a canine. However, if your vacuum canister gets frequently filled to the rim with hair or fur, you may be seeking solutions.

While there’s no way to stop shedding, some dog diets are formulated for optimal coat and skin health, potentially aiding your ongoing battle to maintain a cleaner home. We asked veterinarians about these specialized diets and then went on a quest to find the best dog food for shedding. Given that our recommendations may or may not be a good fit for your dog, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian first.

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Vetstreet may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Our Picks

Best Dog Food for Shedding: 7 to Try

To make it onto our best dog food for shedding list, a diet needs to fit specific criteria. It should be formulated with nutrients (like omega-3 and omega-6, amino acids, antioxidants, zinc, and biotin) in the proper amounts. The manufacturer must adhere to nutritional guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Professionals (AAFCO) for a complete and balanced diet, participate in food trials for safety and efficacy, and have veterinary nutritionists on staff. 

You may also want to check out our diet recommendations for dogs with food allergies.

Before switching your dog to a new diet, “It’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to ensure that the food is appropriate for your dog’s individual needs and health status,” says Dr. Wiley.

Best Overall Dog Food for Shedding

Our Pick: Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula

dog foods for shedding from Pro Plan Purina

The first ingredient in this diet is salmon, a high-quality source of protein packed with high levels of EPA and DHA, both forms of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is also an excellent source of nutrients like vitamin E and vitamin B7 (biotin) which veterinarians say are important for skin and coat health.

This diet also contains sunflower oil (rich in omega-6) for a correct fatty acid balance. What it doesn’t contain is corn, wheat, or soy, ingredients that can cause allergic reactions in some dogs. It’s made by Purina, a trusted brand that partners with veterinarians, nutritionists, and researchers who perform animal feed testing; and complies with AAFCO nutritional standards.


  • Salmon, which is rich in omega-3, is the first ingredient.
  • This diet doesn’t contain soy, corn or wheat, which are potential allergens for some dogs. 
  • It’s made by Purina, a recognized brand that complies with AAFCO feeding guidelines. 
  • There’s no veterinary prescription required.
  • It’s amassed a high number of positive customer reviews.

Things to Consider:

  • Pro Plan diets tend to be pricier than standard dog diets.

Best Dry Dog Food for Shedding

Our Pick: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Skin Support Dry Dog Food

dog foods for shedding from Royal Canin

This veterinarian-prescribed diet supports dogs with sensitive skin by limiting ingredients and incorporating those known to be non-allergenic for most dogs. It also contains a good balance of amino acids, a high level of omega-3 balanced correctly with omega-6, and antioxidants like vitamins A and E. Royal Canin is a long-standing and trusted pet food manufacturer that employs board-certified veterinary nutritionists to develop their therapeutic diets. 


  • This diet contains a limited number of ingredients, which can reduce the risk of food allergies.
  • It contains nutrients recommended by veterinarians for optimal coat and skin health.
  • Royal Canin is a trusted company that partners with veterinary nutritionists and that adheres to AAFCO nutritional guidelines.
  • It has accumulated a high number of positive customer reviews.

Things to Consider:

  • It requires a prescription from your veterinarian.
  • Because it’s a prescription diet, expect to pay more than you would for a commercial diet.

Best Wet Dog Food for Shedding

Our Pick: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Salmon & Vegetable Entrée Canned Dog Food

Sensitive Stomach Hill's canned dog food

With salmon as the second ingredient, this diet provides a good source of high-quality protein and   omega-3. It’s also supplemented with other skin-health nutrients like vitamins A and E, zinc, and biotin. It’s made by Hill’s, a company that hires nutritionists and veterinarians who adhere to AAFCO nutritional guidelines.   


  • It contains ingredients veterinarians recommend for good coat and skin health.
  • It’s made by the respected Hill’s company.
  • You can purchase this diet without a prescription from your veterinarian.
  • It has received positive customer reviews.

Things to Consider:

Best Dog Food for Shedding Puppies

Our Pick: Purina Pro Plan Puppy Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog

Purina Pro Plan puppy formula dog foods for shedding

Salmon as the first ingredient plus added fish oil makes this diet a good source of omega-3. Sunflower oil (rich in omega-6) provides the correct balance of fatty acids. This diet also contains vitamins E and  B7. With easy-digestible rice as the second ingredient, it won’t upset puppy’s sensitive stomach. What it doesn’t include are artificial colors or flavors, or potential food allergens like corn, wheat, and soy. 


  • Nutrient-rich salmon is the first ingredient.
  • It contains important skin health nutrients like vitamins E and B7.
  • Easy-digestible rice is the second ingredient.
  • There’s no prescription required. 
  • Consumers give this product positive reviews.

Things to Consider:

  • It contains a probiotic, which has been shown to be beneficial for dogs. However, in some dogs, probiotics can cause gastrointestinal issues for the first days after usage. 

Best Small Breed Dog Food for Shedding

Our Pick: Blue Buffalo Blue Basics Skin & Stomach Care Natural Adult Turkey & Potato Small Breed Dog Food

Blue Basics skin and stomach care food for dogs

A limited number of ingredients, including a single protein source, makes this diet a good option for dogs with food sensitivities. It contains a good omega-3 and -6 fatty acids balance, as well as vitamins A and E, zinc, and biotin. We also like that it contains antioxidant-rich ingredients (antioxidants help prevent inflammation) like blueberries, cranberries, and turmeric. This diet is a good option for small breeds because of its bite-sized kibble (making it easier to chew and ingest) and a nutrient profile designed for their higher energy needs. 


  • The diet is formulated with fewer ingredients, including just one protein source.
  • It doesn’t contain corn, wheat, soy, dairy or eggs, which can be potential allergens in some dogs.
  • It contains nutrients that veterinarians recommend for healthy coat and skin.
  • The diet is well received by pet parents.
  • It doesn’t require a prescription.

Things to Consider:

  • While Blue Buffalo is considered a solid contender in the pet food market, the company hasn’t been around as long as some of the others on our list.

Best Fresh Dog Food for Shedding

Our Pick: The Farmer’s Dog (DIY Diet)

Farmers dog food

One of the things we love best about The Farmer’s Dog DIY option is its simplicity in choosing a fresh diet tailored for your pup. Simply head over to their website, specify that you’d like a diet for Skin and Coat, answer a few questions about your dog, and they’ll deliver the diet to your doorstep. Their diets adhere to AAFCO nutritional guidelines and are formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists.


  • The opportunity to offer fresh food to your dog that’s been tailored for skin health.
  • The subscription model makes this a convenient option.
  • The Farmer’s Dog offers free delivery for their DIY dog diets.
  • Their products consistently receive positive reviews. 

Things to Consider:

  • Fresh dog food tends to be a bit more expensive than traditional dog foods.
  • Not everyone likes subscription services.

Best Dog Food for Dogs with Food Sensitivities

Our Pick: Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities Original Dry Dog Food

Hills Z/D dog food

The Hill’s z/d diet is designed specifically for dogs prone to food sensitivities. It omits ingredients known to cause food allergies in some dogs while including nutrients like vitamins E and A, zinc, and biotin. It does, however, require a prescription from your veterinarian.


  • The diet is designed for dogs with food allergies.
  • It contains nutrients that enhance skin health.
  • It’s made by Hill’s.

Things to Consider:

  • You’ll need a prescription from your veterinarian. 
  • Chicken liver is listed as the second ingredient. Chicken is a potential allergen in some dogs.

Home-Cooked Dog Food for Shedding

If you enjoy cooking, another option is to prepare dog food that helps with shedding at home. Dr. Raditic is a fan of home-cooked diets as part or all of a dog’s meal. “Because here we can use animal proteins and lightly cooked, veggies, with vitamin and minerals supplements for better nutrition plans. These can be combined with the traditional dry and canned foods, and alleviate the sins of inadequate or poor bioavailability of protein/essential amino acids,” she says.

If you’re considering a DIY diet for your dog, it’s recommended that you partner with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to ensure it is complete and balanced. Or consider working with a fresh pet food manufacturer for tailored options.

Why Is My Dog Shedding So Much?

Shedding occurs in all dogs to some degree. It’s nature’s way of making room for newer, healthier hair or fur.

“So although it means regular vacuuming or a better vacuum, shedding and turnover of hair coat and skin cells is normal and healthy in dogs. It is when they don’t shed or turnover coat and skin that I am concerned because that tells me there may be a problem with general health and nutrition,” says Dr. Donna M. Raditic, an Athens, Georgia-based, board-certified veterinary internist (Nutrition) with Nutrition and Integrative Medicine Consultants.

The frequency at which dogs shed varies and comes from several factors. One of these is the dog’s environment. Indoor dogs don’t receive the same seasonal cues as wild animals, and they tend to shed year-round. 

Genetics also contribute to shedding. Dog breeds like the Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Saint Bernard, and Labrador Retriever tend to be frequent shedders. On the other end of the spectrum are breeds like the Maltese, Bichon Frise, Miniature Poodle, and Afghan Hound. Other factors -like stress, allergies (flea, food, and environmental), health issues, and nutritional deficiencies- can also result in excessive shedding. “A dog or cat with old, faded tufts of hair is not healthy and suggests some underlying problem like endocrine dysfunction (hypothyroidism) or an excess loss of proteins, says Dr. Raditic.

dog sniffing food from a bowl

Is There Dog Food to Reduce Shedding?

Once your veterinarian has ruled out health issues, it may be time to examine your dog’s diet. Although there isn’t a specific dog food for shedding, some diets contain nutrients that contribute to skin and coat health. This can, in effect, potentially impact how often a dog sheds.  

Dog food that helps with shedding tends to include high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which usually come in the form of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); as well as omega-6 fatty acids, “Which can help reduce inflammation and improve the overall health of your dog’s skin and coat,” says Dr. Claire Wiley, executive director of the American Kennel Club DNA Program, headquartered in New York City. 

However, these diets must be offered in the correct amounts and ratios for these diets to be effective. “The balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is important, and more does not always mean better,” says Dr. Wiley, board-certified in veterinary internal medicine (Small Animal Internal Medicine).  

According to Dr. Wiley, other ingredients beneficial to a dog’s skin and coat health are zinc, vitamin B7 (biotin), and vitamins A and E (both antioxidants). Amino acids, which are the foundational blocks of protein, are also essential for coat health, says Dr. Raditic. 

“Hair is actually ‘coils of protein,’ and to regenerate skin cells, you need protein,” Dr. Raditic says. She says that diets that don’t contain adequate amounts of amino acids result in poor hair coat and skin. “And if this is happening on the outside, what about all the body organs, skeletal muscles, and heart muscles that need those essential amino acids for proper function?”

Coconut oil contains fats that contribute to healthy skin and coat, so adding it to your dog’s food may be beneficial, veterinarians say. The catch is that adding too much of it can result in diarrhea or greasy poop, so it’s best to check with your veterinarian about the correct dosing.

Dog Food for Shedding: Buyer’s Guide

Consider the following before switching to dog food for shedding.

Always Start with Your Veterinarian

Excessive shedding can sometimes be a sign of a health issue, in which case diet may not have much of an impact. It can even exacerbate the situation, as is the case with diets containing certain types of protein types (like beef and chicken), which can cause allergies in some dogs.

“If you are concerned about a food allergy contributing to your dog’s shedding, consult your veterinarian or schedule an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist,” says Dr. Wiley.

Look for Ingredients That Contribute to Coat Health

When searching for dog food that helps with shedding, choose diets with a good balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and that contain nutrients like vitamin A or E (both antioxidants), a high-digestible form of zinc, and vitamin B7 (biotin).

Additionally, “Most likely, you have found a diet with plenty of protein (essential amino acids) that your pet can digest and utilize for healthy organs and muscles inside and coat and skin on the outside,” says Dr. Raditic.

Stick with Established Brands

Buy food from companies that are transparent in their manufacturing processes, have veterinary nutritionists on staff, and conduct food trials. “The brands we typically recommend that provide feeding trials are Purina, Royal Canin, Hill’s, and Iams,” says Dr. Wiley.

Be Wary of Marketing Claims

Some manufacturers claim that their grain-free diets can help reduce shedding, says Dr. Wiley. “Grain-free and boutique dog food brands are not recommended, as they have been associated with diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy. The exact cause of this heart disease is not known, and supplementing taurine does not resolve this disease.” 

Additionally, be cautious of potential food allergens. Though food allergies are considered quite rare (about 0.2 percent of dogs will develop them), they can still be an issue for some dogs. Some of the more common food allergens include eggs, wheat, corn, soy, milk, chicken, and beef.  

Corgis often need dog foods for shedding

Dog Food for Shedding FAQs

Can dog food affect shedding?

While there isn’t a specific dog food for shedding on the market, some diets contain nutrients that contribute to coat and skin health. Others contain limited ingredients, which can reduce your dog’s exposure to potential allergens. This may help reduce some of the shedding. 

Can changing dog food help with shedding?

Provided your dog isn’t suffering from underlying health issues, and you’re realistic in your expectations, a diet formulated for skin and coat health can be beneficial. Check with your veterinarian first to rule out allergies or other health issues.

What dog food helps with shedding?

Look for diets containing nutrients known to promote good skin and coat health. These include omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, antioxidants (like vitamins A and E), zinc, B7 (biotin), and high-quality protein sources. Remember that your dog’s specific health and dietary needs may vary.