Gone With the Fur: Find Dog Food That Helps With Shedding

Gone With the Fur: Find Dog Food That Helps With Shedding

In a world full of hypoallergenic dogs and allergen-friendly breeds, you may be surprised to learn that even the shortest-haired dogs and those coined “hypoallergenic” actually still shed. In fact, all dogs shed, no matter their age, breed, or type of coat. 

Unfortunately, the dream of leaving home without your dog’s hair all over your clothes is nearly impossible to achieve — but there are things you can do to make their shedding more manageable. 

In this article, we’ll cover why dogs shed, which breeds are the biggest culprits, how to identify excessive shedding, and what you can do to help manage shedding.

Why Do Dogs Shed?

Shedding is a natural phenomenon that happens to all dogs. Though some dog breeds shed less than others, there are specific reasons shedding happens, including time of year, temperature regulation, hormones, and the dog’s overall health.

Seasonal Changes

The change of season triggers a biological response in dogs that results in shedding. Typically, dogs will shed more in spring and fall. In the spring, dogs are getting ready to tolerate hotter temperatures, therefore, won’t need as thick of a coat. When fall rolls around, though, dogs will shed their thinner coat and replace it with a thicker coat. 

Temperature Regulation

The seasonal shedding and thickening of a dog’s coat also support temperature regulation. For example, a husky or malamute (both known for thriving in very cold climates) can develop a double-layer coat to withstand cold temperatures. As spring approaches, they can lose a substantial amount of their fur, often revealing a much smaller frame. 


Similar to other mammals, dogs’ hormones can impact hair growth and shedding. Specific hormone changes can cause a dog’s coat to be thin and brittle, or thick and shiny. Certain time frames for these hormonal shifts commonly include:

  • Puberty
  • Pregnancy
  • Post-spay or neuter surgery

Health and Nutrients

Poor nutrition can lead to increased shedding in dogs. This is because skin health and hair growth require protein and energy, both of which come from a dog’s diet. A balanced diet filled with high-quality protein, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals is essential to support your pup’s health from the inside out. 

Breed Characteristics

Your dog's breed also plays a large role in what type of coat they have and what their shedding patterns may look like. As mentioned above, huskies and malamutes have intense shedding patterns and the ability to grow a double coat, so they’ll shed differently than a poodle or Yorkshire terrier, for example. Additionally, dogs with fur instead of hair are more prone to shedding.

What Causes Excessive Shedding in Dogs?

It can be tricky to determine normal shedding from excessive shedding, especially if your dog is of a breed that is more prone to heavy shedding. 

Beyond ruling out any bald patches, you can look at your dog’s skin and the quality of their coat to determine if their shedding is excessive. If their coat has a shine to it, then the shedding is not excessive. But if their coat is dry, flaky, or feels unhealthy, it could be a sign of problematic shedding.

Once you have a general idea of the health of your dog’s coat, be sure to consider potential health or nutritional issues. The skin is the largest organ, so if there is a health concern, it may show on the skin.

Poor Quality Diet

As mentioned, nutritional issues can cause excessive shedding in dogs. It’s important to make sure your dog has a well-rounded quality diet that will support skin and coat health. The lack of certain vitamins, minerals, and high-quality animal proteins can be a cause of excessive shedding. 

Medical Conditions

Other medical conditions — besides potential hormonal shifts — can contribute to excessive shedding, including endocrine disorders like:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease


Dogs are not immune to stress, and a stressed-out dog may experience excessive shedding — among other issues like anxiety, extreme fatigue, and weight loss. 

Hair loss is often related to the release of the hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, which releases the hair follicle. When a dog or other mammal is stressed, their body releases more epinephrine from the adrenal glands, which can cause hair loss.

Tips for Treating Excessive Shedding

Even though shedding is a completely natural and normal occurrence, there are things you as a dog parent can do to reduce how much your dog sheds. Below, we’ll highlight a few of our best tips for treating excessive shedding.

Make Sure Your Dog Has a Balanced Diet

The necessary nutrients required for your dog’s skin and fur health are part of a balanced diet. And in addition to a balanced diet, hydration also plays a key role in your dog’s shiny coat since water carries the nutrients from food to your dog’s somatic cells.

Establish Regular Grooming Habits

A great way to manage your dog’s shedding is to keep them well-groomed. A clean coat can also help prevent bacterial and fungal accumulation.

Some grooming habits you can implement at home include:

  • Bathing regularly
  • Brushing their coat
  • Trimming hair around the eyes
  • Clipping their nails
  • Applying seasonal flea and tick medication

It’s also important to consider your dog's breed, as some may require professional grooming more frequently than others. Example breeds that would fall into this category include:

  • Huskies
  • Saint Bernards
  • Briards
  • Malamutes
  • German Shepherds
  • Chow Chows
  • Golden Retrievers

Obtain Proper Vet Care for Your Dog’s Needs

Another way to treat excessive shedding is to commit to proper vet care for your pup, regardless of their life stage. This may include visits to the vet for regular check-ups, vaccines, and other in-office treatments for flea, tick, and parasite prevention. 

Being proactive about your dog’s overall wellness can also help address potential underlying health concerns that may cause larger health issues, such as hair loss, down the road.

Essential Dog Food Ingredients for a Healthy Coat

Certain natural ingredients are necessary to support your dog’s healthy coat and balanced diet, including: 

  • High-quality proteins
  • Healthy fats
  • Amino acids
  • Vitamins
  • Omega biotin
  • Zinc

How To Choose a Dog Food for Dogs That Shed a lot

To support a healthy coat and address shedding concerns, it’s necessary to start with skin health. Here are some tips to help you choose the right dog food. 

Seek Out High-Protein Dog Food

The hair or fur requires protein to keep your dog’s coat healthy. Protein-rich diets can help keep the membrane of the skin strong, which can then support hair growth. Dogs should have a diet made up of at least 18% protein, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

Though protein can be found in an array of ingredients in dog food, it’s important to seek out high-quality protein in its least-processed form. It’s best to avoid ingredients like chicken meals and other meat byproducts, as they have been heated and cooked at high temperatures, which can degrade the nutritional quality. 

Look for protein sources like salmon, white fish, and other fish, as they combine high-quality protein with essential fatty acids that can further support your dog’s coat health. 

Prioritize Omega-3 Fatty Acids

As part of the polyunsaturated fats family, omega fatty acids — and specifically omega-3 fatty acids — help dogs to create important hormones that regulate blood flow and inflammation. Both of these bodily functions support a healthy coat. However, omega-3s are not naturally found in your dog’s body, so you must supplement them through food.

Luckily, omega-3s can be found naturally in healthy dog foods. To ensure your pup is receiving omega-3 fatty acids, seek out quality ingredients like cold-water fish and fish oil, flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds, and rapeseed. 

Avoid Common Allergens and Fillers

Allergens and fillers can contribute to shedding problems. It’s best to check in with your vet if your pup has an allergy or intolerance — or just avoid common allergens and fillers altogether, like dairy proteins, chicken eggs, soy, and wheat gluten

In addition to adversely impacting your pup’s coat health, food sensitivities and allergies can cause dry skin and other skin issues, itchy paws and ears, digestive issues, weight loss, and lack of energy. 

Find Foods With Beneficial Additives

You can choose foods with beneficial additives to boost your pup’s coat health even more. Some additives to look for include:

  • Selenium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc
  • Biotin

Our Best Dog Food That Helps With Shedding

There are a lot of dog foods on the market these days, but The Honest Kitchen makes it easy to identify a good food option to support shedding control. 

What makes The Honest Kitchen stand out in the sea of other dog foods? All of our pet food is human grade and made without fillers, meat by-products, or unnecessary additives. 

The Honest Kitchen also offers different food options that align with your and your dog's nutritional needs and preferences. Let’s take a look at some of our best recipes for healthy coat support.

The Honest Kitchen’s Wet Food

Wet food may not always be a natural go-to, but it can be a great way to support your dog’s hydration and get an added boost of healthy fats. The Honest Kitchen’s Chef-Crafted One Pot Stews contain muscle meat cooked in a rich bone broth high in collagen. Collagen can help promote glossy fur and soft skin. 

Another wet food option from The Honest Kitchen is Butcher Block Pate, which is available in chicken, beef, turkey, duck, and lamb and beef recipes. The recipes include high-quality meat, root vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots, and added nutrients like zinc, vitamins A and E, and salmon oil. 

Don’t want to feed your pet an exclusive wet food diet? They also serve as a great topper on dry food as well!

The Honest Kitchen’s Dehydrated Food

Dehydrated dog food from The Honest Kitchen can be a great in-between option that is more convenient than wet food and helpful for a pup who may have trouble digesting dry food. Each dehydrated food recipe contains whole meat as the first ingredient, whole organic grains, flaxseed, kelp, carrots, bananas, celery, and added amino acids. 

With The Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated recipes in chicken, beef, fish, and turkey, you simply add warm water or bone broth and mix well for a quick and easy — but delicious — meal!

The Honest Kitchen’s Dry Food

For a more traditional dry dog food experience, The Honest Kitchen provides grain-free clusters and whole grain clusters, both of which include ingredients that can support coat health, like liver, which contains high levels of vitamin A. 

We offer both grain free and whole grain dry dog food options: 

Grain Free Dog Food

If your dog has a sensitive stomach or they require a low-carbohydrate diet, our Grain Free Whole Food Clusters may be an option. This convenient dog food comes in nutrient-rich beef and turkey recipes. The recipes contain ingredients like high-quality meat, potatoes, lentils, carrots, flaxseed, eggs, pumpkin, apples, chia seeds, and added supplements like amino acids and zinc. 

Whole Grain Dog Food

If you’re looking for a traditional kibble-style dog food with grains, check out our Whole Grain Chicken Clusters. This minimally-processed, cold-pressed recipe contains whole chicken, non-GMO oats and barley, chicken liver, carrots, eggs, flaxseed, coconut oil, salmon oil, probiotics, and many vitamins that create a balanced diet.

The Honest Kitchen’s Skin and Coat Topper

As an added boost to any of your dog’s other food, The Honest Kitchen offers Functional Pour Overs: Skin & Coat - Salmon Stew. This human grade pourable stew is full of wild-caught salmon simmered in a bone broth reduction, giving your pup an extra serving of omega acids, biotin, and vitamin E — all known to help support healthy skin and coat. 

Give Your Dog a Human Grade, Balanced Diet With The Honest Kitchen’s Recipes

There are many moving pieces to consider when addressing your dog’s skin and coat health, but what can help make the process a little easier is a dog food that provides all of the essential nutrients to provide your pup with a balanced diet — and none of the junk, like over-processed ingredients, fillers, or artificial colors. 

The Honest Kitchen offers a wide array of nutritious dog food and treat options for even the pickiest of eaters that will make meals simple for you and tasty and healthy for your pup! Check out our entire line of dog foods today. 

*Health Disclaimer: This post is educational in nature and doesn’t constitute health advice. Please consult your pet's veterinarian or other healthcare professional for specific guidance on this topic.

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