Have you noticed piles of dog hair collecting in the corners of your home? Does your dog cover you in hair when grazing against your leg? If so, you may be wondering if what you are feeding your dog has any affect on this shedding. While varying breeds will have varying levels of shedding, it is unlikely that your dog's food is contributing to his shedding in the first place.
Shedding and Health
Shedding is completely normal and likely unrelated to what food you are feeding your pooch. The only time that shedding is a concern is when it is accompanied by patches of bald skin, scabs, or other visible skin irritations. Again, this is likely not caused by the food that you are feeding to your dog. Consult your veterinarian if skin irritation is present along with the shedding.
Shedding from Malnutrition
While shedding is usually not a cause for concern, excessive shedding can be a result of malnutrition. If you have been feeding your dog a steady diet of dog food that includes the proper nutrients for a balanced diet, you should not have to worry about this. If you have recently adopted a dog from a shelter who appears to be shedding quite a bit, you may want to call the shelter to find out about your dog's past history of nutrition. Malnutrition can be easily fixed with the addition of proper dog food into your pooch's diet.
Shedding Prevention with High Quality Foods
You may have heard that certain high quality foods will help your dog to shed less. This is a convincing marketing strategy, but it is not true. If you feed your dog high quality food, then you will find that the shedding rate is still the same, but the fur being shed is now very shiny and healthy. Your dog will likely continue to shed the same quantity of fur when you switch him to a high quality food diet.
Things to Try
If you are overly frustrated with the shedding it would not hurt to try to switch your dog's food or add a fatty acid supplement simply to see if that helps at all. Sometimes it takes a few different dog food brands to figure out what is best for your pet. One brand by help a bit with shedding but could cause an upset stomach. You will simply have to use trial and error to decide what is best for your family and your dog.
Hannah Reid has a Master of Education from Harvard University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in English and psychology from Hamilton College. She has worked with children in grades three through 12, providing academic support in the areas of writing and reading comprehension. Hannah also blogs about her family farm and offers tips on everything from chicken coops to kitten care.