If you own a dog, you know he sheds. Even the so-called non-shed dogs and low-shed dogs lose hair, which can make your best clothes look hairy. However, there are ways to keep the fur from flying. The reality is that there isn't a silver bullet when it comes to dog hair. Dogs shed their hair either seasonally (once or twice yearly) or year round. But you can affect excessive shedding by feeding a high quality diet that will keep his coat shiny and healthy.
Is it Food or Something Else?
Before you rush and change your dog's food, first consider the possibility there might be something else that is causing the excessive shedding. Allergies, external and internal parasites, diseases, cancers, and hormonal imbalances can cause your dog to shed excessively. Take your dog to the veterinarian and have him examined for possible health problems. Your veterinarian may discover a health problem that might have normally gone undetected.
Garbage In, Garbage Out
If your dog is healthy, you should then evaluate his food. Remember the old saying "garbage in, garbage out." Poor quality food equals a dry, flaky coat, dander, and possibly excessive shedding. Feed a complete and balanced diet to your dog. One way to do that is with a premium food that meets or exceeds the standards set forth by the Association of Animal Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Premium Dog Food
Premium dog food is typically higher in fat than generic dog food. But fat isn't the only ingredient for a good coat -- a quality protein dog food will have protein from meat sources that is easy to digest and use in the dog's body.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Quality dog food is formulated with the correct ratio of essential fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat. If the dog food you're feeding doesn't have the proper ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids, your dog's coat may be just one sign of an imbalance. While the proper amount is still debatable, research has concluded a dog needs somewhere between 10:1 and 7:1 Omega-6 to Omega-3s.
Be a Good Egg
You've probably heard an egg is good for your dog's coat, which is true, provided it is cooked. An egg a week is a treat for your dog and is full of vitamins and fats your dog's coat will appreciate. A word of warning: Don't feed raw egg whites to a dog as it can cause a biotin deficiency, which will cause your dog to lose hair.