5 Best Dog Shampoos for Reducing Shedding

Improve coat health and remove dead hairs with these anti-shedding shampoos.

Written By: Gemma Johnstone | Last Updated:

If your furniture and carpets are covered in dog hair, a deshedding shampoo may help. Here are five of the best dog shampoos for shedding, along with tips for choosing the right option for your pet.

A guide to the best dog shampoo for shedding
Some dogs shed huge quantities of hair. Labradors, Huskies and Golden Retrievers are good examples, but they aren’t the only culprits!

While nothing beats regular brushing, a high-quality shedding shampoo can reduce the quantity of hair you need to deal with during grooming sessions. These shampoos remove dead hair from both the guard and undercoat, so fewer hairs are dropped around the home.

In this article, we’ll look at how shed control dog shampoos work and what you can expect from them. We’ve also listed five of the best dog shampoos for shedding.

Our #1 Pick

Furminator Deshedding Ultra

Furminator Deshedding Ultra

An excellent anti-shedding shampoo

My top pick for a shedding shampoo is the Furminator Deshedding Ultra. It contains a wide range of beneficial ingredients, including both Omega-3 and Omega-6 to reduce shedding.

What is Shedding and Do All Dogs Do it?

All dogs shed, but some breeds shed more than others.

Certain breeds, like Greyhounds or Dachshunds, only have a single coat. This is often referred to as the top or guard coat. While they may still shed, it’s usually a continuous amount throughout the year.

Double-coated breeds have an undercoat below their topcoat. This fur is usually soft, short, fluffy and copious. Its purpose is to offer additional insulation and protection, so undercoats are often found on dogs that have been bred to withstand cold or wet environments. Arctic breeds like Huskies, Newfoundlands and Malamutes are prime examples. 

A double coat can also be helpful in warmer weather, as it traps cool air closer to the dog’s skin. This is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t shave a double-coated dog.

Dogs with undercoats tend to shed more year-round, while also having a full blow out a couple of times each year. During the moulting season, you’ll find their coat needs more brushing, and your house more cleaning than normal.

How Does Deshedding Dog Shampoo Work?

The best deshedding shampoos have two main methods for reducing shedding. They improve overall skin and coat health, which has a positive impact on shedding, while removing dead hair follicles.

To improve coat health, many shampoos contain moisturizing ingredients to hydrate the skin, relieve sensitive skin, and prevent hair from becoming brittle. They also have conditioning properties to loosen dead hairs, making them easier to remove. 

Dog shedding shampoo also includes hair strengthening ingredients and those that are shown to reduce shedding. For example, many of the best dog deshedding shampoos include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which reduce hair follicle inflammation. 

They also often generate a rich lather compared to other types of canine shampoos. This makes them more effective at removing dead hairs that haven’t dropped out the coat yet.

Consult With a Vet About Excessive Shedding

Always consult with a vet if you notice a sudden change in your dog’s shedding volumes.

This can be an indication of an underlying health condition, such as hormonal imbalance, an autoimmune disorder, parasites, and even tumors.

It’s Important to Have Realistic Expectations

Shedding is normal for all dogs, even those low-shedding breeds labelled as “hypoallergenic.” Without this process, a dog’s coat and skin condition would suffer.

Along with breed type, the amount of shedding can be affected by a number of factors. These include the time of year, the age of your dog, whether they’re neutered, how often your heating is on, and the climate the dog lives in.

So, the goal isn’t to stop shedding, it’s just to make your dog’s fur more manageable without disrupting normal hair growth.

The best dog shampoos for shedding can help with this, but they won’t completely stop your dog shedding around the house. Regular brushing sessions are still required to keep hair under control by removing dead hairs – there’s no way around this.

You also shouldn’t fall into the trap of bathing your dog too frequently. Most dogs don’t need to be bathed more than once every 4-8 weeks. 

Overbathing, especially with dogs that have naturally oily and water-resistant coats, can strip the coat of its oils and lead to dry skin and brittle hair. It can also mean your dog’s coat will lose some of its natural water repellant and insulating properties. 

What to Look for in a Deshedding Shampoo for Dogs

When selecting a dog shedding shampoo, look for ingredients that promote a healthy skin and coat, reduce fur loss, strengthen hair and moisturize. Some things to look for include:

  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids. These are probably the most important ingredients in a shedding shampoo. Studies have shown that Omega-3 and Omega-6 can reduce hair shedding, promote hair strength and keep hair follicles nourished.
  • Moisturizing Ingredients. Ingredients like oatmeal, vitamin E, coconut oil and aloe vera all have hydrating properties to promote a healthy skin and coat.
  • Hair Strengthening Ingredients.  Look for ingredients that could strengthen your dog’s fur or combat shedding. Vitamin E and aloe vera are good examples.
  • Natural Ingredients. If a shampoo has many harsh components, this can increase the chance of skin irritation. Shedding shampoos tend to have more chemical components than other shampoos, but some are more natural than others. Try to avoid harsh artificial ingredients, like parabens, chemical dyes and synthetic fragrances.
  • A Good Lather. Shampoos with a good lather help to loosen dead hairs more than a less sudsy option might.

Try to avoid overpowering scents when choosing anti-shedding shampoo for dogs. These can be unpleasant for your pet’s strong sense of smell, yet don’t help to reduce shedding or nourish your dog’s skin.

Tip: Want to learn more about dog shampoos? Take a look at our full guide. We’ve also written about shampoos for puppies, canine conditioners, and anti-dandruff shampoos.

Which is the Best Dog Shampoo for Shedding?

Below are five of the best shampoos for shedding. Each contains ingredients that moisturize the dog’s skin, soothe inflammation, and strengthen hair, which helps reduce shedding.

Note: These shampoos are just one component of a grooming routine. They aren’t meant to replace regular brushing, which is essential for removing loose hair.

1. Furminator Deshedding Ultra Premium Shampoo

Furminator (our pick for the best dog shampoo for shedding)

While the Furminator deshedding shampoo isn’t 100% natural, it does contain gentle and natural ingredients with a number of benefits. It has a good reputation and is used in many professional grooming salons for its deshedding properties.

Alongside omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which can reduce hair loss, Furminator Deshedding includes a number of other plant-derived ingredients designed to moisturize and strengthen hair. These include sunflower oil, safflower oil , aloe vera and calendula oil, papaya leaf and blueberries.

The chamomile in this shampoo could also be helpful if your dog is prone to itchy or dry skin, as it has anti-inflammatory properties. There are also hair strengthening and moisturizing benefits to be gained from the vitamin E.

As with many dog shampoos, the FURminator contains oatmeal. Alongside its skin moisturizing qualities, oatmeal is a natural cleanser and acts as an anti-inflammatory. The shampoo also generates a decent lather, making it easier to use than some alternatives.

The Furminator deShedding Ultra Premium has a pleasant scent without being overpowering. It’s a shame the ingredient list doesn’t specify what this actually is, however, rather than just listing ‘fragrance’. On the plus side, there are no parabens used in this shampoo.

For best results, this shampoo should be massaged in as deeply as possible and then left to sit for at least five minutes before being thoroughly rinsed off.

2. Burt’s Bees Natural Shed Control Shampoo

Burt's Bees dog shedding shampoo

I’m a big fan of Burt’s Bees range of grooming products – including their Shed Control dog shampoo. They use largely natural ingredients, and often feature in our “best product” lists. 

The linseed oil in this dog shampoo contains vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids. These both have excellent deshedding properties, as they can strengthen your dog’s hair.

This shampoo contains two natural cleansing surfactants: coco-betaine and coco-glucoside. These are gentler than the harsh chemically derived sulfates often found in these types of products.

Glyceryl oleate has hydrating and conditioning benefits, as does the beeswax. Beeswax also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial advantages.

Some shampoos using natural ingredients can have unusual viscosity, but the xanthan gum in Burt’s Bee variety means it has a good thickness. Xanthan also has moisturizing properties.

Finally, this shampoo has a very mild scent. This is great for making sure your dog’s sensitive nose isn’t overpowered, but some dog owners may prefer a stronger post-bath scent.

3. TropiClean Shed Control Shampoo

Tropiclean dog shedding shampoo

The naturally-derived ingredients of the Tropiclean Shed Control shampoo are great for reducing shedding.

The shampoo contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids derived from wheat kernel germ, which nourish hair follicles and reduce fur loss. Moisturizing properties are provided via the colloidal oatmeal and the coconut cleanser. Coconut oil can also improve the condition of your dog’s hair.

Tropiclean also features a botanical blend composed of a number of beneficial ingredients. These include pomegranate and blueberries, which both encourage hair growth, and bitter ginger plant and chamomile, which can help soothe skin irritation.

The TropiClean Shed Control has a fresh fragrance. The natural cleansers create a decent lather too. So, even if you don’t notice much of a difference in terms of shedding, it’s a good all-round shampoo.

4. Earthbath All Natural Green Tea Shampoo Shed Control

Earthbath All-Natural

This shed control shampoo from Earthbath has lots going for it – especially if you’re looking for an all natural option.

Like the Tropiclean shampoo, Earthbath Shed Control uses mild coconut-based cleansers that have great moisturizing properties. Shea butter is also an excellent natural moisturizer, and it has anti-inflammatory and strengthening benefits.

Earthbath Shed Control shampoo also contains a variety of other ingredients. It’s thought that green tea could help with hair loss and aloe vera is a good natural hair strengthener. Panthenol is also a popular ingredient for promoting shine and strength.

It is, however, a little runnier than other shampoos and doesn’t have as deep lather. The shampoo also only contains Omega 3 rather than Omega 6.

5. Wahl Shed Control Pet Shampoo

Wahl Shed Control

The Shed Control shampoo from respected brand Wahl generates a great lather and has a pleasant, but not overpowering, scent.

Although it contains a sulfate-based cleanser, it’s a relatively gentle option that’s derived from coconut oil rather than synthetic chemicals. The coconut oil also helps to moisturize the coat.

Like many dog shedding shampoos, the Wahl Shed Control contains aloe vera for its soothing properties. It also contains lemongrass extract and sage, which strengthen hair follicles and combat hair loss.

The shampoo doesn’t stipulate what ingredients it uses to create the fresh scent though. Instead, it just lists ‘fragrance’ and ‘FDA approved colors’, rather than detailing the actual ingredients.

Unlike most of the other shampoos reviewed, the Wahl doesn’t contain Omega 3 or 6 fatty acids. These are important ingredients for preventing shedding, so it’s hard to recommend the Wahl over other options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do “Shed Control” or Anti-Shedding Pet Shampoos Really Work?

Even the best dog shampoo for shedding won’t stop a dog from shedding its coat, as hair loss is a natural and healthy process.

What they can do, however, is reduce the amount of hair that ends up on your carpets or sofas. They strengthen your dog’s hair, keep the coat in a healthy condition, and remove loose fur during a bathing session.

You’ll still need to regularly brush your dog though. This is essential for maintaining a healthy skin and coat, and for minimizing the amount of hair around the home.

What Causes Excessive Shedding?

If your dog is losing more hair than normal, or is developing a thinner coat or bald patches, you should consult a vet. These symptoms may be due to an underlying health condition.

Some of the most common skin conditions that can cause excessive shedding include:

  • Parasites. Parasites, such as fleas, can cause a dog to itch, scratch and gnaw, which may increase shedding. Ensuring you use a safe and effective antiparasitic treatment is important. 
  • Infections. Fungal or bacterial skin infections can also lead to shedding. Ringworm, for example, is a common fungal infection that can result in circular bald patches developing on your dog’s skin. You should always contact a vet if you suspect a skin infection, as he/she may recommend a medicated antifungal shampoo or other treatment.
  • Hormonal imbalances. Diseases, like Cushing’s, can cause hormonal changes that can result in hair shedding. Other symptoms of this disease include increased appetite, thirst and urination, excessive panting, lethargy and a distended tummy.
  • Neutering. Also linked to hormones, some breeds can shed more after they have been spayed or neutered, or after they have given birth.
  • Allergies. It’s not uncommon for dogs to have allergies, especially those triggered by environmental or dietary factors. These allergies can often cause irritation to the skin and can lead to itching, scratching and hair loss. Testing and a process of elimination will be required to establish and remove the triggers. You may also want to look at hypoallergenic dog shampoos
  • Stress. If a dog is particularly stressed, they can begin to gnaw at their skin to self soothe, and this can create bald spots. Alopecia has also been linked to stress. If chronic stress is causing hair loss, you’ll need to make changes to your dog’s lifestyle and environment to help them feel more relaxed.
  • Dietary issues. If your dog has a poor quality diet and isn’t receiving the right balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, this can lead to thinning hair. A lack of omega 3 fatty acid is a common example.

Using a shampoo to reduce shedding is only a temporary fix if your dog is suffering from one or more skin conditions. Don’t delay in seeking veterinary advice.

What Are Some Other Tips for Reducing Shedding?

Even the best dog shampoo for shedding is only one part of the grooming process. Here are some other tips for reducing dog shedding.

Use an Effective Bathing Technique

It’s important to deeply massage shedding shampoo into your dog’s skin and coat, before allowing it to sit for at least a few minutes.

You may even want to use a rubber grooming tool, like a Kong Zoom Groom. These tools can help the shampoo penetrate a thick coat, generate a good lather, and loosen dead hairs.

The shampoo should also be thoroughly rinsed out. This removes as many dead hairs as possible, while reducing the risk of your dog licking off the shampoo. Just make sure you have a drain cover to catch the hairs, rather than risk clogging up your pipes!

Regular Brushing Is a Must

Don’t forget, you’ll still need to give your dog a good brush after they have dried from their bath. You’ll also need to continue with a regular grooming regime between bathing sessions, to keep the shedding under control and the coat in good condition.

Pick a Good Deshedding Brush/Tool

For dogs with a thick undercoat that shed a lot, picking a brush designed specifically for a shedding coat can be helpful. Products like the Furminator Deshedder can penetrate deeply into the coat, and the special rake-like design lifts out a lot of loose hair without too much effort.

For shorter, thinner coats or dogs that prefer a more gentle option, you could use the Zoom Groom, a softer slicker brush, or try a grooming glove.

Invest in a Good Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner that’s specifically designed to lift pet hair can make a huge difference around the home. Turbo tools for stairs, car interiors and furniture can also be helpful.

The Dyson range for pet hair has a great reputation, but there are plenty of excellent options.

Summary

Shedding is a natural process for all dogs, but it can be particularly noticeable in breeds with a thick undercoat.

Using a high quality dog shampoo for shedding can strengthen your dog’s coat, keep it moisturized and loosen dead hairs – but it isn’t a cure-all solution. Regular grooming sessions will still be required to remove dead hairs and keep the coat and skin healthy.

My favourite shedding shampoo is the Furminator Deshedding Ultra Premium. It includes a host of naturally-derived ingredients that are proven to help strengthen, soothe and moisturize your dog’s skin and coat. The generous lather penetrates deep down into the coat, helping to lift out dead hair, and the pleasant fragrance isn’t too overpowering.

I hope this article has helped you choose the best deshedding shampoo for your dog. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments section.

Image of Gemma Johnstone

About The Author: Gemma Johnstone

Gemma is a freelance writer and official dog nut. With 15 years of experience in the pet industry, she is a passionate animal welfare advocate. She has worked for the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ran her own specialist dog shop for ten years, has volunteered for her local rescue shelter, and is studying towards completing an Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour. Gemma is currently travelling around Europe with her wonderful rescue dog, Annie.