Would you know if your dog had a yeast infection?
This is a good question because all dogs have yeast and bacteria living on the surface of their skin.
When the skin is healthy, it has a natural ability to stop this flora and fauna from overgrowing and is kept in check.
However, when skin immunity dips, the bugs can overgrow and cause an itchy, irritating infection.
Diet can have a vital role to play, as can choosing the best foods for yeast infections.
Quick look: Top 5 Best Dog Foods for Yeast Infections in 2018
Food has an important part because food allergy or intolerance is a major cause of poor skin health.
Dogs with a food allergy often have very itchy skins which are sore and inflamed.
This breeches the skin’s natural barrier to infection.
But more than this, an itchy dog is liable to scratch, when abrades and damages the skin to allow entry of unwanted invaders such as yeast.
A yeast infection or overgrowth is a common cause of low grade, long term skin infections.
Think of this as a form of athlete’s foot and you begin to understand just how itchy this can make the dog.
You guessed it!
Fido embarks on a vicious circle of itching and scratching that ends with an expensive trip to the vet.
What can you do to prevent yeast infections?
Keeping your dog clean helps and bathing them with a shampoo that cleans away yeast.
Look for a shampoo containing malacetic acid as this helps to wipe out yeast.
In addition, feed a diet that minimizes itchiness and is low in ingredients that would make the skin an extra tasty place for yeast to live.
Oh yes, and as for the symptoms of a yeast infection on a dog, these include:
If you suspect a yeast infection, please follow up the hunch with a trip to the vet.
They can run a simple test to look at a sample of grease under the microscope to confirm the presence of yeast.
It’s also essential that other causes of itchiness are ruled out or treated, since yeast is like an unwanted houseguest that takes advantage of the opportunity to move in.
A sensible start for any dog with a yeast overgrowth is to try a dietary trial.
This isn’t a legal procedure but a means of ruling out food allergy as a cause of the overgrowth.
The idea is to have the dog eat a source of protein and carbohydrate that the dog has never eaten before.
The science behind this is that it allows previous allergens to clear the system, without the new food provoking a response.
However, life is short and full of things to do that are more interesting than working out all the different foods your dog has eaten in the past.
Purina know this and so came up with a clever solution.
Purina HA (or hypoallergenic) contains hydrolyzed proteins, which are incapable of triggering an allergic reaction.
Scratching your head?
OK, hydrolyzed proteins are proteins that have been ‘broken down’ so the molecule is too small to bridge the receptor that triggers the allergic reaction.
In other words, the key doesn’t fit the lock so the allergic reaction doesn’t happen.
The downside of this diet is that it’s pricey (but cheaper than vet fees!).
For dogs with skin allergies it can be the answer to a drug free life, so the purchase price needs to be weighed up against the bigger picture.
For many this is the best dog food for dogs with chronic yeast infections because it boosts skin immunity and allows the body to bring things back under control.
Pet parents feeding this to dogs with allergies, eulogize about how wonderful it is.
However, the odd owner does find problems with palatability and their pet not eating the food.
Also, it needs to be noted that anyone feeding Purina HA needs to feed this and nothing else for at least eight weeks in order to give it a fair trial.
OK, let’s imagine for a minute that your dog is a fussy eater.
You tried Purina HA but your precious pooch turned up their nose in disgust and walked away.
You have a problem in that you’re offering an excellent food that could solve their skin problems and yet the dog won’t eat it.
What to do now?
It’s time to try a hypoallergenic food.
This is a food that has a limited range of high quality ingredients.
Again, the theory is that reducing the number of ingredients decreases the likelihood of eating something the dog is allergic too.
This grain-free formulation cuts out some sources of allergy right there- grains.
In addition, the diet is 90% lamb meat or lamb organs.
This may sound obvious but what it doesn’t include is beef, chicken, turkey, rabbit, or fish….hence drastically reducing the number of potential allergen triggers.
Let’s say straight out, that if your dog regular eats lamb and has a yeast problem, then this diet isn’t the one for your pal (He may actually be allergic to lamb).
Again, for the right dogs this diet is almost miraculous.
Gone are those greasy skins and constant scratching that keeps you awake at night.
For small dogs or people with bottomless pockets this PS for Dogs is definitely a contender for the best dog food for dogs with yeast infections.
You have to be realistic about price, so let’s look for the middle ground.
PS for Dogs is expensive because of high quality, expensive meat making up 90% of the food.
An alternative to consider is Rachel Ray Nutrish.
Now this isn’t and doesn’t claim to be a hypoallergenic diet.
However, it ticks a lot of boxes because it is limited to just six ingredients (less is more when it comes to yeast infections) and avoids many of those things thought to be common causes of allergies.
Thus the food contains just lamb and chicken meal, brown rice and ground rice, chicken oil, and beet pulp.
What’s missing are soy, corn, and gluten, all of which are potential allergens.
What’s also missing are artificial flavors and preservatives for a more wholesome meal.
No one is going to guarantee you a yeast infection will go away on this diet, but it does seem to help skin health.
One happy pet parent gave this food to her dog only because she’d run out of their regular food.
It was a happy accident because a dog which had suffered from lifelong bad skin grew a shiny coat and stopped itching.
On a similar them, severe pet parents found their dogs with inflammatory bowel disease, improved on this diet.
The logic is the same as for a yeast infection.
Take away an allergen that causes inflammation and the skin (or bowel) can heal itself, which helps make Rachel Ray Nutrish a best dry dog food for yeast infections.
Visit a veterinary dermatologist with an itchy dog prone to yeast infections, and they’ll suggest a dietary trial.
Traditionally this meant serving one protein and one carbohydrate only, which the dog had not previously eaten.
This lead to owners spending hours in the kitchen boiling potatoes and cooking fish.
But this is time consuming and a pain.
However, there is another way to achieve a similar result.
In this case, this dry food is suitable for dogs that have not previously eaten duck and potato on a regular basis.
All the hard work of cooking and formulating has been done for you, which means no more slaving away over a hot stove.
In addition, the food is nutritionally balanced and has beneficial omega oils to condition the skin and improve its resilience.
If you’re looking for a measure of reassurance that this product is worth the price tag, then know that it’s also stocked by many vets.
Its proven benefits has the backing of veterinary surgeons to the point that they’ll stock it for their patients.
As to pet parents who feed this food, they enthuse about how their dog’s skin sensitives and allergies have improved beyond recognition on this diet.
Remember, this is about decreasing allergies so your skin’s natural defense against yeast can once more do its job.
Last but certainly not least, feeding raw meat is winning lots of hearts and minds amongst dog owners.
One of the benefits seems to be that cutting out artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, along with grains and soy, massively reduces the number of potential allergens a dog’s gut has to process.
However, feeding raw, wet meat is not for everyone.
Which is where this TruDog diet comes in. It’s made with 99% meat and is gluten-free.
For example the beef variety contains beef, beef tripe, beef lung, ground beef bone, beef liver, beef heart, beef kidney, and beef blood.
That’s a lot of beef!
And then the meat is freeze-dried so that all you have to do to feed your dog is add water.
Made in the USA from organic ingredients this is a high quality food, which can rightly be considered a best dog food for dogs prone to yeast infections.
The largely single source of protein (there is some herring oil included for its antioxidant properties) almost guarantees healthy skin provided your pet isn’t sensitive to beef.
Pet parents shower this food with praise.
Their dogs love it and as a result they do too.
One perceptive owner put their finger on it, by saying that whilst the food is expensive, it works out cheaper in the long run.
This is because without regular vet visits to get hot spots and yeast infections sorted out, the money saved on medication can be spent on top quality food.
And for the occasional dissenting voice, the main issue is the price.
In addition, some dogs that are used to raw foods (not freeze-dried) turned their nose up at it.
However, if you are approaching the diet from the opposite direction of highly processed foods, then the taste seems irresistible.
Best Dog Food for Yeast Infections
The food your dog eats impacts on their skin health.
In turn, a resilient skin that forms a strong protective barrier to yeast infections is the best way of fending the problem off.
Often times it is an intolerance or allergy towards a food that triggers skin inflammation and weakens its ability to stay strong.
With this in mind, look for a hypoallergenic food or a low allergy food.
There is however, a subtle difference between the two types of food.
Chose a hypoallergenic diet as the best food for dog with a yeast infection due to allergies.
If this food with a tightly controlled number of ingredients does the trick, you can then try broadening the diet to a low allergen food.
These foods have a slightly broader base of ingredients, hence being better than regular foods but not as good as a strict hypoallergenic diet at preventing allergies.
Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008. Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats. Sarah has published numerous articles on canine feeding in pet related magazines, veterinary journals and leading natural health web sites.