Although all dogs shed to some degree, some can shed excessively and create tonnes of mess around the home. To help you combat this, we’ve devised a list of the ten best dog shedding supplements.
So, what causes excessive shedding, and exactly how do these supplements work? Keep reading for all this info and more.
What Are Dog Shedding Supplements?
Shedding supplements for dogs are dietary additives that help to reduce the amount of shedding in dogs. They contain ingredients that nourish the skin and coat to increase the strength of the hair follicles as well as the overall condition of your dog’s skin and hair.
Shedding supplements come in many forms; tablets, chews, liquids, and powders. Which is best for you may depend on the personality of your dog. Liquids and powders that can be mixed in with food are typically the best choices for fussy eaters. Less fussy dogs will do well with tasty chews and tablets that are best served hidden or crushed up in food.
There are also dog-specific supplements and generic supplements for different pets, which you may find more cost-effective if you have more than one pet. You should consider your dog’s needs, too. Some supplements contain added nutrients that are better suited to different dogs. For example, probiotics for sensitive stomachs.
You will also have to tailor your dog’s dosage according to their size via the instructions that come with the product.
Key ingredients to look out for include:
- Omega-3 & 6 oils – nourishes and strenghtens coat, supports immune system and reduces allergy symptoms
- Biotin – promotes hair growth and improves certain skin conditions
- Vitamin E – moisturises skin and fur, adds shine, and has anti-inflammatory properies
- Zinc – improves sensitive, dry, and irritated skin
Ingredients to avoid:
- Filler ingredients like grains
- Common allergens
- Chemicals and synthetics
- Artificial additives and preservatives
Other things to you may also want to consider:
- Trusted brands
- Products approved by official bodies
- Products formulated by vets
- High ratings and good reviews
- Ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients
Excessive shedding is not the same as hair loss, in which hair just falls out, leaving bald spots.
As mentioned above, all dogs shed their fur to some degree. Even so-called hypoallergenic breeds shed a little bit. Dogs typically shed the most during “shedding seasons” – at the end of spring, to get rid of their thick winter coat in time for summer, and at the end of fall, to get rid of that cool summer coat and grow in a thicker coat again.
Some dogs are heavier shedders than others, and some even heavily shed all year round. This is usually dependent on breed, for example, Siberian Huskies, are notoriously heavy shedders. However, some dogs, no matter their breed, shed an excessive or abnormal amount, and this can wreak havoc around your home. It can also point to a much bigger issue.
Common medical conditions that cause excess shedding in dogs include allergies, hormonal disorders, immune diseases, cancer, parasites, and infections. If your dog’s coat changes suddenly and dramatically, look out for other physical symptoms such as changes in appetite and contact your vet for an examination if you’re concerned.
Stress can also cause excess shedding because adrenaline can cause more hair to be released from the follicles. Other symptoms of stress include panting, pacing, and destructive behaviors. Common causes of stress include separation anxiety, boredom, not getting enough exercise, phobias, trauma, life changes, and illness or death in the family.
That said, if your dog is a heavy shedder and always has been, don’t panic! If there’s no other reason to suggest they have a medical problem, there probably isn’t. But if the condition of their fur changes suddenly or dramatically, watch out for other symptoms and make an appointment with your vet, just in case.
Dogs generally shed more as they age, too. This is because their fur, and everything else in the body, naturally become weaker and more brittle with age.
How To Prevent or Stop Excess Shedding
If your dog’s excess shedding has an underlying cause such as illness or stress, you should address this first. Once they have a diagnosis and treatment plan, you can focus on getting their coat looking and feeling beautiful again. If your dog is stressed and you can’t eliminate the cause, try to associate the cause of their stress with something positive or invest in some anti-anxiety products. A fixed routine, lots of love, social interaction, exercise, and mental stimulation will help, too.
Otherwise, a good diet and grooming routine will nourish your dog’s coat and promote healthy growth and normal shedding. Dogs should eat high-quality, nutritiously complete kibble, natural protein sources, fruits, vegetables, and healthy treats.
You should also brush your dog regularly. At least once a week for short-medium length coats and soft or less textured fur, and every 2-3 days for long, thick coats and textured fur. Dogs should always be brushed more often during shedding seasons, and heavy shedders can need brushing every 2-3 days.
Pin brushes are good for medium-length coats, bristle brushes are good for short, thin, smooth coats. Rake and slicker brushes are better for longer, thicker, coarser, and more textured coats. De-shedding tools are also available for heavy shedders.
Bathe thin coated dogs with all-natural shampoo every 2-3 months – or whenever they are dirty, and once a month for dogs with thick, curly, or corded coats. Dogs with heavily textured coats that are prone to matting, such as Poodles, may also need haircuts every 6-8 weeks.
If you feel like your dog needs some extra help for their shedding, you should try a shedding supplement. You don’t need to have a medical reason to use a shedding supplement – some people just prefer to minimize their dog’s shedding to keep their house tidier.
10 Best Shedding Supplements For Dogs
These are the ten best shedding supplements for dogs currently available on the market.
1. Vet's Best Healthy Coat Shed & Itch Relief Dog Supplements
These plant-based hard tablets by Vet’s Best come in bottles of 50 and are made with Omega-3 fatty acids, yellow dock root, quercetin, and MSM, a strong anti-inflammatory. They improve and maintain skin and coat health, reduce shedding, and calm itchy, sensitive skin. MSM is also known for improving arthritis symptoms, making it a great choice for older dogs with coat issues.
That said, they’re suitable for all adult dogs and have a seal of approval from the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC). Reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with several buyers mentioning a significant reduction in shedding and that the supplements get to work quickly.
2. Shed-X Dermaplex Liquid Daily Supplement For Dogs
Shed-X‘s daily liquid supplement stops excessive shedding by nourishing your dog’s skin and coat, with guaranteed results in 3-5 weeks. It’s 100% natural with a delicious taste that dogs love, and provides essential fatty acids from the finest sources. Including fish-oil from Norwegian anchovies and sardines, organic flaxseed oil, natural wheat germ oil, as well as zinc and biotin.
It’s scientifically formulated and developed by experts and targets dry skin, irritation, hot spots. It also helps to create a thick, soft, beautiful, shiny coat. To use, simply shake the bottle and add it to your dog’s food following the dosage guidance on the packaging. It comes in 8 fl oz, 16 fl oz, and 32 fl oz bottles and is available to buy in packs of one or two.
It’s an Amazon’s Choice product and reviews are positive, with many buyers confirming its effectiveness with heavy shedders.
3. The Missing Link Original All Natural Superfood Dog Supplement
This powder supplement by The Missing Link is an Amazon’s Choice product and is suitable for dogs of all ages, including puppies. It’s highly palatable, all-natural, and free from artificial additives and preservatives. It’s full of Omegas and vitamins that promote healthy skin moisture, a thick, glossy coat and decrease excess shedding and hair breakage. It even promotes re-growth in bald spots.
The product is available to buy in 1lb and 5 lb bags. All of TML‘s products, though focused on different areas of health, contain nutrients that support overall health. Including that of the joints, muscles, and immune system, making this a great supplement for active pets, working dogs, competitors in dog shows, and sports, and older dogs. The brand also prides itself on using human-quality ingredients, and this product is no exception as it has almost no negative reviews.
4. Pet Vitamin Co Krill Oil Shed-Free Soft Chews
Pet Vitamin Co‘s tasty soft chew supplements for cats and dogs come in tubs of 60 and are richer in Omega-3 fatty acids than pure fish oil. It contains krill oil, an ingredient that promotes skin health, and a thick, soft, shiny coat.
Krill oil also offers antioxidants that are not present in fish oil, and its bioavailability surpasses that of other oils’, meaning that it gets absorbed into your pet’s system much more quickly and easily. The supplement also reduces shedding, encourages new hair growth, and relieves itching and dandruff.
It’s made in the USA and highly concentrated for lower dosages, meaning it’s better value for money. Most reviews seem to be super impressed by this product, although some do mention it’s not well-suited to dogs with sensitive stomachs.
5. Maddie's American Pet Products Premium Krill Oil Shed Free
This supplement by Maddie’s American Pet Products contains an ultra-low allergen formula of krill oil, flaxseed, and vitamin E. It promotes a shiny coat and healthy skin while alleviating itchiness and stopping excessive shedding. It’s also great for aiding the healing of irritated, inflamed, or damaged skin and contains a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin.
It’s a delicious cheese flavor and comes in tubs of 60 chews. MAPP‘s krill oil is also free of industrial pollutants such as mercury. The product comes veterinarian approved and is sourced and made in the USA in an FDA registered facility. It’s an Amazon bestseller and the brand donates one meal to a dog shelter for every item they sell. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
6. Nutri-Vet Shed-Defense Max Chewables For Dogs
Nutri-Vet‘s shed-defense max chewables come in packs of 60 and contain Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and EPA from real salmon oil. The supplements help to promote healthy shedding patterns, as well as healthy skin and shiny coats. It’s suitable for all dogs and has a natural hickory smoke flavor that they love.
It’s an Amazon’s Choice product and reviews praise the effectiveness of it, with several buyers mentioning the significant difference they’ve noticed in their dog’s coats since using the supplement.
7. PetHonesty Salmon SkinHealth for Dogs
PetHonesty‘s salmon-flavored soft-chew supplements contain real Alaskan salmon oil that helps to maintain healthy skin, a glossy, healthy coat, and reduce excess shedding. The brand claims that the supplements contain more Omegas than most of the other products of a similar nature on the market.
It also contains vitamin E, DHA, and kelp, which supports heart and brain function, making it a great choice for youngsters and aging dogs alike. It’s made in the USA and free from fillers and common allergens such as wheat, soy, as well as sugar, GMOs, and preservatives. One tub contains 90 chews and reviews are positive, with several buyers saying how quickly they get to work.
8. PetHonesty Allergy SkinHealth
This PetHonesty soft-chew supplement specifically targets dogs with skin and coat issues that are caused by seasonal allergies. It promotes healthy immune and digestive systems, normal histamine levels, and aids nutrient absorption. The supplement is full of Omega-3s from flaxseed and fish oil, coat-enriching vitamins, and pro-biotics, making it ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
It’s also free from GMOs, common allergens, fillers, preservatives, and chemicals. One-pot contains 90 tasty, salmon-flavored chews and reviews say that they work with even the pickiest of eaters.
9. Zesty Paws Omega Bites Soft Chews
These tasty soft chews by Zesty Paws come in chicken, hemp chicken, and bacon flavors. One tub contains 90 soft chews that are chock full of Omega fatty acids, DHA, and EPA from wild Alaskan salmon oil. Plus biotin, zinc, and vitamin E.
They promote a healthy, shiny coat, as well as normal skin moisture, immune system support, irritation, and allergy relief. DHA and EPA are also effective at reducing anxiety, making them a great option for stressed dogs. All of the Zesty Paws’ products have NASC approval and reviews cannot recommend this one highly enough.
10. Zesty Paws Skin Health Salmon Oil for Dogs & Cats
Another supplement by Zesty Paws, this super tasty salmon oil is an all-natural meal topper that is suitable for dogs and cats. It comes in 8 and 16 fl oz bottles and is full of nutrients that improve the overall condition of the skin and coat, such as Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. All of their Omega sources come from the finest high-grade EPA and DHA.
It’s free from synthetics and artificial additives, and all of the brand’s products are made in FDA-approved, GMP-certified facilities. It is an Amazon best-seller and buyers seem to love the convenience of a supplement that works for multiple pets.
Top Shedding Supplements for Dogs: FAQ
More questions? Let’s give you the answers you want.
A good diet and grooming routine will nourish your dog’s coat and promote healthy growth and normal shedding. Every dog should eat high-quality, nutritiously complete dog food, with natural protein sources, fruits, vegetables, and yummy, healthy treats. A dog’s grooming routine should consist of bathing, brushing, and haircuts when necessary.
Dogs can begin to shed more heavily with age as their fur becomes more brittle. However, if their shedding increases suddenly and dramatically, there could be an underlying medical cause. Allergies, hormonal disorders, immune diseases, cancer, parasites, and infections can all cause significant changes in the coat and shedding. Stress can also cause heavier shedding in dogs.
Biotin, also known as vitamin B, is well-known for stimulating hair growth and improving skin conditions. Omega-3 & 6 oils from fish, seaweed, and flaxseed nourish and strengthen the hair, as well as support the immune system and reduce the fallout from allergies. Vitamin E also moisturizes skin and hair and adds a beautiful shine to coats.
There are no breeds (other than hairless dogs) that don’t shed at all. However, there are breeds that are classed as ‘hypoallergenic‘ because they are low-shedding, and therefore release fewer allergens into the atmosphere, causing a little-to-no reaction in people with allergies. Poodles, Afghan Hounds, and Bedlington Terriers are all classed as hypoallergenic dog breeds.
If your dog is eating a good diet and being routinely groomed, try a shedding supplement for dogs. Alternatively, if you feel there is an underlying cause for their excessive sheddings, such as stress or illness, watch out for other symptoms and make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.
Shedding supplements come in many forms, and none of them are better than another. It’s all about what’s best for your and your dog. Shedding supplements come as tablets, chews, liquids, and powders. Liquids and powders that can be mixed in with food are especially good for fussy eaters.
There are also generic supplements for different pets and dog-specific supplements. Generic supplements are great for shelters and owners of multiple pets, and specific supplements are great for single pet owners.
Some supplements also contain extra nutrients that benefit specific dogs. For example, shedding supplements with added probiotics are ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Those are the ten best dog shedding supplements. If your dog is a heavy shedder, try out one of our recommendations! If you notice a significant difference in your dog’s shedding or you’re worried about the condition of their skin or coat, consult your vet as soon as possible.