Can a Change in a Dog's Diet Make the Dog Shed More?

Diet may cause excess shedding.
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Just as you are what you eat, so is your dog. If his diet is poor in nutrients or full of something he's allergic to, he'll manifest it physically by shedding more, among other things. Good news: If a diet change caused the shedding, a change can reverse its course.

Poor Nutrition

Nutrition is important for dog health, and if your dog's diet contains low-quality pet food, he could be shedding more as a result. Quality pet food manufacturers offer dog food that is nutritionally balanced to prevent shedding and keep your furry friend nourished.

Lack of Omega Acids

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, such as those commonly found in fish, may help decrease shedding. If your dog's diet is low in these oils, he may be shedding more. For every 10 pounds of weight, a dog can consume 150 milligrams of fish oil. You also may switch to a brand of dog food that contains fish oils.


If your dog is allergic to something in his diet, he'll have a hard time digesting the food. This can cause significant shedding. Common dog food allergens include beef, dairy, corn and wheat. While your vet can test your dog for allergies, you also can perform a mini-test by switching up her dog food to one that contains a different grain and protein combination. Try salmon and sweet potato, lamb and rice or venison and potato.

Other Causes of Shedding

A change to your dog's diet and an increase in shedding may be coincidental. While dogs that live indoors shed year round, those that spend a lot of time outside shed seasonally. Female dogs also shed more after they have whelped or experienced a heat cycle, and all dogs can shed more shortly after they have been spayed or neutered. If your pup appears to be shedding in patches, schedule a trip to the vet to make sure there are no underlying health concerns.

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