Top 10 Best Dog Food for Hair Loss

Top 10 Best Dog Food for Hair Loss

Shedding is common with some dog breeds, but if you experience more shedding than usual or hair coming out in clumps, leaving behind bald patches, that’s a sign that something is amiss. Whether your dog is suffering from a skin allergy that’s increasing itchiness or an underlying condition causing hair loss, it’s important to consult with your vet.

There are many potential causes of hair loss. Depending on the cause, diet can help to control the symptoms. Here are our picks and reviews for the best dog foods for hair loss, but you should always discuss dietary changes with your vet.

The 10 Best Dog Foods for Hair Loss

Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Dry Food – Best Value

Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Grain-free
Main ingredients: Deboned turkey, potatoes, turkey meal (source of glucosamine), pea starch, peas
Protein content: 20% min
Fat content: 12% min
Calories: 3,503 kcal/kg

This recipe targets your dog’s skin and coat by supplementing a turkey protein diet with canola oil and fish oil, which are good sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Compared to fresh dog food subscriptions or grain-free specialty diets, Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Dry Food is a cost-efficient choice and is our best value option overall.

We don’t like how Blue Buffalo Basics is a grain-free diet that relies heavily on potatoes and pea ingredients for nutrients. These ingredients were flagged in the FDA’s study on grain-free diets and their possible relation to heart disease, but there hasn’t been enough research to call them good or bad conclusively. This formula meets average expectations for a grain-free diet, and it contains ingredients that are especially beneficial for preventing hair loss, such as flaxseed and blueberries. As an added bonus, the recipe contains probiotics that are good for your dog’s gut health and influence their overall well-being.

  • Grain-free diet
  • Potato and pea products in the first five ingredients
  • Contains helpful oils for omega acids
  • Blueberries and flaxseed are healthy choices for skin and coat
  • Good price
  • Turkey is the only animal protein
  • Contains probiotic cultures

Ollie Fresh Turkey Recipe – Best Overall

Ollie Fresh Turkey Recipe

Main ingredients: Turkey, kale, lentils, carrots, coconut oil
Protein content: 11% min
Fat content: 7% min
Calories: 1390 kcal ME/kg

We like all of Ollie recipes, but the Ollie Turkey Dish with Blueberries Recipe is our overall best choice for hair loss. Turkey is one of the lesser-known proteins to cause an allergic reaction compared to more popular meats like chicken and beef. Since food allergies often present themselves on your dog’s skin and coat, it’s important to find a food that they can digest with ease in order to rule out allergies as the culprit for your dog’s missing hair.

This recipe includes beneficial ingredients specifically for skin and coat, such as nourishing coconut oil and cod liver oil. Chia seeds, kale, blueberries, and spinach pack on the antioxidants that can help your pet combat allergies and live healthier overall. Most of these ingredients contain omega 3’s1, known for their beneficial effects on skin and coat.

Turkey Dish with Blueberries is a grain-free recipe with lentils as one of the main ingredients. However, a  2018 study by the FDA correlated grain-free diets to a rise in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs–especially ones that had lentils as one of the substitutes for grain. However, not enough research has been conducted to say whether or not grain-free diets are definitely harmful, and this formula has so many helpful qualities that it still deserves our best choice.

Based on the current information, we only wish Ollie’s had substituted the lentils for a heart-healthy grain such as oats or brown rice. Like any fresh food diet, Ollie’s can also be a little expensive. The plus side is it ships straight to your door in individual meals, so you can skip the shopping trip and measuring food.

  • Expensive
  • Grain-free diet
  • Turkey is the protein, not beef or chicken
  • Coconut oil and fish oil are good for skin
  • The fruits, vegetables, and chia seeds provide antioxidants and omega 3’s

Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe Dry Food

Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food
Main ingredients: Dehydrated turkey, organic oats, dehydrated potatoes, organic flaxseed, dehydrated carrots
Protein content: 22% min
Fat content: 15% min
Calories: 4,140 kcal/kg

All you have to do to complete this yummy premium choice is pour water and stir! The price seems high, but it’s really not that bad when you consider that a 10-pound box of dehydrated Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Recipe Dry Food makes 40 pounds of dog food. We like this food for preventing hair loss because turkey is the main ingredient instead of chicken or beef. It’s a human-grade formula, which means that the ingredients are top-quality and fit for human consumption.

This grain-inclusive food features oats as a good source of whole grains while eliminating wheat, corn, or soy. Flaxseed is an excellent choice of ingredients to promote hair growth and give your pup healthy skin and coat.

While potatoes may not be the best choice as one of the top five ingredients, Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey still has a lot to offer because of its rich supply of healthy vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. The recipe is supplemented with vitamins B12, B5, and B2, zinc, and vitamin E. All of these vitamins and minerals are excellent aids for hair regrowth.

  • Potatoes are one of the main ingredients
  • A little pricey
  • Turkey is the single protein
  • Grain-inclusive while avoiding wheat, corn, and soy
  • Vitamin blend encourages hair growth

Blackwood 5000 Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Dog Food

Blackwood 5000 Catfish Meal & Pearled
Main ingredients Catfish meal, pearled barley, oat groats, millet, ground grain sorghum
Protein content 23.00%
Fat content 12.00%
Calories 410 kcal/cup

Blackwood 5000 Sensitive Skin & Stomach formula offers easy-to-digest ingredients, including all-natural catfish protein for skin and coat health. Probiotics are also included to help with digestion. The rest of the formula provides complete and balanced nutrition for adult maintenance.

Each recipe is cooked in small batches in the US. Ingredients are sourced from in the US as much as possible, but some come from Canada, New Zealand, or other trusted suppliers in other countries. Reviewers saw relief of their dogs’ skin issues, but some mentioned that the food gave their dogs bad gas. The price has also been increasing, leading some to switch foods.

  • Catfish meal
  • Probiotics
  • May cause gas
  • Price hikes

Nom Nom Turkey Fare Recipe – Vet’s Choice

Nomnom Turkey Fare
Main ingredients: Ground turkey, brown rice, eggs, carrots, spinach
Protein content: 10% min
Fat content: 5% min
Calories: 1,479 kcal/kg

Our veterinarians specifically recommend the Turkey Fare Recipe by Nom Nom. The other four recipes offered by the company are all human-grade formulas with a stellar quality; however, they contain common protein allergens like chicken or beef that might not be the best choice for a dog with a suspected food allergy.

Nom Nom crafts their food fresh and then ships it to your door. We like the Turkey Fare Recipe because it’s a single animal protein formula that features a fantastic vegetable and vitamin blend that includes all of the vitamin B variations that are known to encourage hair growth. Egg is an excellent addition for a diet focused on healthy skin and coat. This is also the one Nom Nom recipe that isn’t grain-free, relying on brown rice for fiber instead of peas or russet potatoes. Fish oil also nourishes the skin and coat, and spinach provides some antioxidants. We give this food a holistic thumbs up. We only wish it were cheaper.

  • Expensive
  • Brown rice provides a healthy grain experience
  • Inclusive blend of B vitamins
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • Turkey is the only animal protein
  • Egg, spinach, and fish oil are all helpful for skin and coat

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food

Merrick Limited Diet with Healthy Grains Red Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Chicken-free Dry Dog Food
Main ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley
Protein content: 24% min
Fat content: 14% min
Calories: 3,623 kcal ME/kg

MerrickLimited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food  cuts to the chase with this limited ingredient formula that doesn’t skimp on healthy grains. We like how salmon is the only animal protein because it’s not a common allergen and provides a rich supply of fish oils to nourish skin and hair. Brown rice, oatmeal, and barley are complex carbohydrates that are good sources of fiber without being empty calories, such as corn.

Sunflower oil and flaxseed are also beneficial ingredients that promote hair growth. The vitamin blend is perfectly formulated to help your pup, fortified with B vitamins, zinc, vitamin E, folic acid, and manganese.

This recipe is more expensive than most dry foods, but considering the limited, high-quality ingredients, we think it’s one of the best kibble options.

  • More expensive than most dry foods
  • Sunflower oil and flaxseed nourish the skin and coat
  • Grain-inclusive
  • Salmon is the single animal protein
  • Robust mix of vitamins

Fromm Zealambder Recipe Dry Food

Fromm Zealambder Recipe
Main ingredients: Lamb, whole oats, whole barley, dried egg product, oat groats
Protein content: 26% min
Fat content: 16% min
Calories: 3,681 kcal/kg

Although this gem isn’t available on Chewy or traditional pet stores, it’s worth mentioning because it’s a high-quality, limited ingredient food for a cheaper price than most novelty diets. The Fromm Zealambder Recipe is available on their website and in some independent pet stores. Lamb is the first ingredient, which is a novel protein that isn’t likely to cause an allergic reaction. This food sources its protein from a few different meats, such as salmon, venison, and pork, but none are common allergens such as chicken or beef.

A hearty grain blend gives this food a fiber boost, and the dried egg product is a good addition for hair and skin. Flaxseed, cranberries, and blueberries support hair growth, and we like the addition of probiotics to encourage overall well-being. The beneficial vitamin blend even includes biotin, which is a supplement humans take to grow their hair quickly.

This Fromm recipe isn’t formulated particularly for hair loss, but we believe it could be especially helpful if food allergies are to blame, and it could possibly prevent you from having to buy a more expensive specialty diet.

  • Not available in all stores
  • Probiotic supplement
  • Inexpensive, high-quality pet food
  • Allergy-friendly animal proteins such as lamb, pork, venison, and fish
  • Vitamin mix with biotin

Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
Main ingredients Salmon, fish meal, potatoes, lentils, peas, pea flour
Protein content 25.00%
Fat content 14.00%
Calories 408 kcal/cup

Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula All Life Stages Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a good option for dogs that have food-related skin sensitivities. Wild-caught salmon is the first ingredient, followed by whole-food fruits and vegetables like peas, lentils, pumpkin, blueberry, and papaya. It also has K9 Strain Proprietary probiotics for digestive support.

Formulated for all life stages, this recipe is nutrient-rich and designed to support skin and coat health. There’s no wheat or artificial flavors or colors to limit allergens. Diamond foods are made in the US with quality ingredients from domestic and global sources. Some reviewers struggled to get their dogs to eat this food, however.

  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Whole fruits and vegetables
  • Made in the US
  • Picky dogs may not like it

JustFoodForDogs Fresh Fish & Sweet Potato Recipe

Just Food For Dogs
Main ingredients: Cod, sweet potatoes, potatoes, green beans, broccoli
Protein content: 7% min
Fat content: 2% min
Calories: 922 kcal/kg

Newly available on Chewy, JustFoodForDogs Fresh Fish & Sweet Potato Recipe is a human-grade option that’s easy to add to your monthly autoship order. We like how cod is the main ingredient because fish is a novel protein that’s so beneficial to a dog’s skin and coat.

Grain-free foods are not our preference, and this one is practically loaded with potatoes, which is some cause for concern. However, we really like the other veggies in the mix, and the vitamin blend is satisfactory, even including biotin for extra hair support. It probably also goes without saying that this food is more expensive than dry kibble, but it’s similarly priced compared to other frozen formulas.

  • Grain-free
  • Includes potatoes
  • More expensive than dry food
  • Well-rounded vitamin mix that includes biotin
  • Human-grade formula
  • Cod is the single animal protein
  • Available on Chewy

Zignature Select Cuts Dry Dog Food

Zignature Select Cuts Trout & Salmon Meal Formula Dry Dog Food
Main ingredients Trout, salmon meal, oats, millet, natural flavors, sunflower oil, sunflower meal, potassium chloride
Protein content 28.00%
Fat content 15.00%
Calories 376 kcal/cup

Zignature Select Cuts Trout & Salmon Formula Dry Dog Formula features real trout from Idaho and oats and millet from the Midwestern US and Canada. Trout and salmon are the first ingredients and a source of omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. There are also no common allergens, like chicken, eggs, tapioca, potatoes, wheat, or soy.

All Zignature foods are made in the US and sourced from trusted farmers and growers in the US and Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or France. Though some reviewers had a good response, many noted that Zignature seemed to have changed the recipe recently and their dogs no longer wanted the food. It’s also quite expensive.

  • Trout and salmon as first ingredients
  • No common allergens
  • Sourced from trusted farmers and growers
  • Expensive
  • Formula may have changed

Hair Loss in Dogs

Dogs shed naturally, but they shouldn’t shed to the point of noticeable bald spots or clumps of hair on the floor.

If you see excessive hair loss, it’s important to determine the cause. Here are some common reasons:

  • Allergies: Allergies can trigger itching and cause dogs to lick and bite, eventually losing hair in the irritated areas.
  • Cushing’s Disease: Cushing’s Disease, or hyperadrenocorticism, is a condition that causes an overproduction of cortisol. The condition is very treatable, fortunately. Along with hair loss, Cushing’s may have symptoms like eating and drinking more, panting, and having a pot-bellied appearance.
  • Genetics: Some breeds are prone to bald spots, such as dogs with short, thin coats like Chihuahuas, Whippets, Greyhounds, and Dachshunds. These bald spots are typically benign.
  • Skin infection: Parasites and infections can lead to hair loss, including mites, ringworm, and mange. If this is the case, it’s important to seek treatment from your vet.
  • Rashes: Dogs can break out in a rash or hives from insect bites, medications, or other environmental irritants.
  • Pressure sores: Older dogs or overweight dogs can get pressure sores from bony body parts that contact hard surfaces, such as the elbow. The consistent pressure creates a callous, which causes the skin to thicken and the hair to fall out.

When to See a Vet

If you’re not sure what’s causing the hair loss in your dog, it’s important to make an appointment with your vet. Diet alone can’t reverse hair loss, and you need to know what the cause is to address it effectively.

Here are some signs to look out for:
  • Itching
  • Odor
  • Skin irritation
  • Behavioral changes
  • Skin problems in more household pets or family members

Final Thoughts

Ollie’s Turkey Dish with Blueberries Recipe is our overall best choice for preventing hair loss (and encouraging hair growth) because it’s a fresh, limited ingredient formula with turkey as the single animal protein source and features coconut and fish oils as healthy fats. Our value pick was Blue Buffalo Basics because it’s cheaper than specialty diets while providing similar nutrition. We also like how it includes flaxseed, blueberries, and probiotics. We loved Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey as our premium choice because it’s grain-inclusive while being gluten-free. Merrick Limited Diet also maintained the grains while avoiding controversial ingredients such as wheat and peas. Our vets recommended Nom Nom Turkey Fare Recipe because it’s a fresh, human-grade formula that doesn’t use any animal proteins that are known to cause allergy problems, which is an extra special consideration when trying to determine the cause of hair loss. It was a hard choice not to include our other picks on the top five list, so we hope you’ll also consider them when shopping for new food for your pup

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.