The Best Shampoos For Dogs Who Shed A Lot

No more lint rollers!

dog deshedding shampoo bottles

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Does your dog leave piles of fur everywhere he goes? Is a lint roller your best friend?

Then a deshedding shampoo might be a good option for your pup.

The Dodo spoke to Helen Schaefer, a national certified master groomer and a certified canine esthetician with Heart + Paw, to find out what a deshedding shampoo is and how to find the best one for your dog.

What’s a deshedding shampoo for dogs?

Deshedding shampoos for dogs help prevent excessive shedding by moisturizing your dog’s skin and coat.

“Deshedding shampoos for pets are highly moisturizing shampoos that help loosen dead coat while feeding the skin many essential nutrients, humectants [to promote retention of moisture] and moisturizers,” Schaefer told The Dodo.

How to find the best deshedding shampoo for dogs

When buying a deshedding shampoo for your dog, look for a shampoo that’s made specifically to reduce shedding, since they include milder ingredients and special nutrients that protect the skin, like vitamin E.

You should also look for shampoos that have moisturizing ingredients, like shea butter, which can help improve your dog’s skin health and reduce shedding.

“Common ingredients in deshedding shampoos include alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin E, omega-3 and omega-6, shea butter, dimethicone, and any number of natural extracts and essential oils, such as argan oil, ginkgo oil, chamomile, aloe, etc.,” Schaefer said.

Why does my dog shed so much?

Shedding’s totally natural for dogs, but some dog breeds just shed more than others, such as Akitas, German shepherds and Siberian huskies.

If your dog isn’t a type that typically sheds a lot, there are some other reasons why he could be shedding more than normal, including the following:

  • Shedding seasons (typically fall and spring)
  • Allergies
  • Age
  • Stress
  • Certain illnesses, such as Cushing’s disease, immune diseases or kidney or liver issues

If you’re concerned about your dog’s shedding, talk to your vet to find out if it’s normal.

How to reduce dog shedding

Using a deshedding shampoo on your pup is a great start, but there are some other steps you should take if you want to reduce your dog’s shedding, like brushing him regularly and feeding him high-quality dog food.

For short-haired dogs, Schaefer recommends brushing them once they’re dry with a curry brush (aka a rubber brush) then an undercoat removal tool. Brush once to twice per week and sometimes more frequently during shedding seasons.

Dogs with double coats, like Labs, might need brushing even more frequently, up to a few times per week.

Longer coated breeds should be gently brushed with a soft slicker-type brush, and then a single-row deshedding rake that has teeth like a traditional comb should be used to remove their dead undercoat,” Schaefer said. Dogs with long hair need to be brushed frequently — every few days and sometimes every day for dogs who are prone to matting, like doodles.

You should also make sure you’re giving your pup dog food with lots of nutrients for a healthy coat.

“These shampoos are not miracle workers, however,” Schaefer said. “While these gentle shampoos and conditioners help to optimize skin and coat health, a holistic approach should be taken to improve the overall skin and coat health of the pet, including a high-quality diet and an omega-3 or omega-6 supplement.”

You can get these Zesty Paws Omega Bites from Amazon for $26.97

And according to Schaefer, “[Deshedding shampoos] work best if the pet is hand dried, either with a professional high-velocity dryer or even a human hair dryer that is set to warm (not hot!).”

Best deshedding shampoos for dogs

Groomer-recommended deshedding shampoo: The Coat Handler Undercoat Control

Schaefer recommends this deshedding shampoo that includes omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E to moisturize your dog’s coat and dry skin. It loosens the undercoat to remove dead fur and strengthens your dog’s hair to prevent shedding. It’s also 100 percent biodegradable and cruelty-free. And since the shampoo won’t rinse away topical flea and tick medications, you won’t have to worry about reapplying them. Plus, it's used by professional dog groomers, so the shampoo’s definitely high quality. You can get a conditioner, too, to make your dog’s hair extra silky.

Best deshedding shampoo kit: FURminator Ultra Premium Deshedding Shampoos and Conditioners

This deshedding kit includes a shampoo, conditioner and spray. The shampoo is paraben- and dye-free and is enriched with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids along with calendula and papaya leaf extract to moisturize your dog’s skin and coat. Use the conditioner after you shampoo to make your dog’s fur extra soft. Plus, you can use the waterless spray to help deshed your pup and keep him clean between baths.

Best-smelling deshedding shampoo: TropiClean Shed Control Dog Shampoo

This shed control shampoo has a yummy lime and coconut scent. It’s soap-, paraben- and dye-free and made with naturally derived ingredients, including oatmeal, chamomile and aloe extract. 

Best deshedding shampoo for dogs with double coats: TropiClean PerfectFur Thick Double Coat Shampoo

This deshedding shampoo is made specifically to get deep into the fur of dogs with long fur and double coats to remove trapped hair and debris. It exfoliates your dog’s skin and gets rid of loose undercoat fur to reduce shedding. Ninety-six percent of the ingredients are natural and plant- and mineral-based. And if your dog has short fur with a double coat, try this shampoo.