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The Canine Nutritionist

Home Treatments for Yeast Infections

by | Dog Health | 0 comments

Dog yeast infections

Dog yeast infections are one of the most common reasons for veterinary consultations. Though sometimes frustratingly difficult to get to the bottom of, they are also one of the most treatable with simple home remedies. A simple dog yeast infection treatment is always better than potentially harmful medication from the vet. I’m not saying you should not consider consulting your vet, but do please consider the alternatives below!

As a general rule, yeast infections are secondary infections. They’re caused by something else. Something that causes your dog’s normal yeast population to grow out of control. A poor diet, environmental allergies, medication and anything that interferes with your dog’s immune system and normal gut flora. (Like immunosuppressants – please see below).

Importantly, if your dog does show signs of having a yeast infection, please don’t rush your pet to the vet. Please spare yourself the expense and your dog the stress of a veterinary consultation that is generally totally unnecessary.

Your dog’s yeast infection may well have been caused by veterinary intervention in the first place, and could well get a lot worse as a result of further veterinary involvement. (Read on for more about how medication could be responsible for your dog’s yeast infection)!

Signs your dog may be suffering from a yeast infection

There are a number of classic tell-tale signs that your dog may be suffering from a yeast infection. These include:

  • Ear infection or head shaking
  • Chewing or licking its feet
  • Unpleasant, sweet, ‘yeasty’ odour
  • Greasy hair
  • Rust-red coloured hair growing between the toes

Yeast likes warm, moist places to grow. That’s why you’ll generally find it in skin folds, under arms, between the toes, between the paw pads, in and around the ears of floppy-eared breeds and on the underbelly.

Causes of dog yeast infections

Causes of dog yeast infections can include:

Yeast loves sugar. It’s no exaggeration to say it thrives on it. The more sugar you feed it, the better it likes it and the more it proliferates. The sugars in carbohydrates are simple sugars. The kind yeast likes best. So it stands to reason, the more carbs you feed your dog, the more sugar for the yeast to feed on, the worse the yeast infection is likely to be.

The answer to this problem is simple. Feed your dog a healthy diet, which means changing from commercial dog food (particularly kibble), to a proper healthy diet. Either home cooked food or a raw diet.

Good bacteria is the natural enemy of yeast. Feeding your dog proper food will increase the gut’s good bacteria which in turn will keep the yeast in your dog’s intestines under control.

Curing your dog’s yeast infection could be as simple as that!

Antibiotics are notorious for causing yeast infections. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria. Without competition from good bacteria in your dog’s gut, the yeast in your dog’s intestines can run rampant, spread like wildfire and cause a yeast infection.

Immunosuppressants, steroids and the likes of cyclosporine and Apoquel, frequently given to dogs with allergies. Anything that kills off your dog’s good bacteria and interferes with its immune system leaves it wide open to the likes of a yeast infection.

Yeast infections and breed disposition

If you have a Basset Hound, Chihuahua, Dachshund, Lhasa Apso, Poodle, Shetland Sheepdog, Shih Tzu, Cocker Spaniel or West Highland White Terrier, chances are you’re all too familiar with yeast infections. It’s an unfortunate fact that certain breeds are more prone to yeast infections than others.

Dogs with folds in their skin are also prone. Breeds such as the Shah Pei and the French Bulldog.

That said, there is still much you can do to avoid yeast infections (yeast dermatitis). Strange as it might seem, a yeast infection begins in the gut, and that’s where you have the best opportunity of stopping a yeast infection from every happening. How? With a healthy diet!

Yeast is a normal component of your dog’s digestive system. It lives in its intestines. It’s a fungus that helps break down your dog’s food and which is normally kept under control by the good bacteria in your dog’s gut. (One of many, many reasons your dog’s diet is so important to its overall health)!

In low numbers, yeast also lives on your dog’s skin. They’re part of your dog’s normal flora.

The good bacteria in a healthy diet keeps yeast under control. But a poor diet, particularly a commercial diet overreliant on cheap carbohydrates, feeds the yeast creating a fungal infection which rapidly spreads throughout your dog’s body via its bloodstream.

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Home remedies

There are a number of dog yeast infection treatment ideas which are completely natural. Not every one of them will necessarily work with your individual dog. But all of them have been proven to work, and are so much better for the health of your dog than an medication your vet is likely to prescribe.

A healthy diet:
Number one on my list of natural remedies for most canine health problems is always a healthy diet. It’s the most important element in keeping your dog well. Feeding your dog a homemade or raw diet will greatly improve its immune system and make a yeast infection less likely in the first place.

Simple dietary additions that may help include giving your dog probiotics (good bacteria) in the form of natural yogurt, kefir and adding fermented vegetables to its diet.

Coconut oil:
Coconut oil possesses anti-fungal and antibacterial properties proven to be beneficial in fighting yeast infections. Simply apply coconut oil to the infected areas and rub in. Coconut oil is completely lick-safe so your pooch can’t come to any harm.

Give your dog a bath:
Giving your dog a good bath will help break down the crusty yeast on your dog’s skin. Use an anti-fungal or herbal shampoo, and leave it on for about 10 minutes. (Remember to use gloves to protect your own skin though)!

Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is acidic. It will kill yeast. Once you’ve bathed your dog, mix a little apple cider vinegar (with “the mother”) with an equal amount of water and spray it on the affected areas of your dog’s body.

Make sure you avoid any areas that your dog may have scratched though. Apple cider vinegar will sting if it comes into contact with open wounds!

In summary

If you deal with the root cause of your dog’s yeast infection and make appropriate changes to its diet, you’ll hopefully find you have a different dog moving forward.

If however you continue to feed a yeast infection-prone dog an unhealthy commercial diet, please bookmark this dog yeast infection treatment post because you’ll certainly need it again!

Gerald Pepin

Gerald Pepin

Canine Nutritionist

Gerald Pepin is a qualified canine nutritionist, writer, speaker and homemade dog food advocate. Gerald believes that good nutrition can improve or cure most canine health problems and that the natural way is always the best way when it comes to healing man's best friend. A life-long lover of German Shepherds, Gerald and his wife The Dog Chef have two GSDs and live in rural Somerset.


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Better Food, Better Health

Fresh food has been proven to improve dog health.
Know exactly what's in your dog's food.
80% of canine health issues can be improved with healthy food.
There are no chemicals or artificial additives in homemade food.
Life expectancy has been proven greater with fresh food.

Do you really need any more reaons to improve your dog's diet?

Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Better Food, Better Health

Fresh food has been proven to improve dog health.
Know exactly what's in your dog's food.
80% of canine health issues can be improved with healthy food.
There are no chemicals or artificial additives in homemade food.
Life expectancy has been proven greater with fresh food.

Do you really need any more reaons to improve your dog's diet?

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