A yeast infection, when found in canines, is an overgrowth of yeast bacteria, this is usually from the Malassezia or the Candida Albicans variety.
The former of which is found on the skin, and the latter is located within the digestive system, and can be more challenging to diagnose, as it doesn’t have such visible symptoms.
Both types of yeast infections are commonly caused or aggravated by diet, so let’s take a look at some of the most common irritants that you can stop feeding, and the best anti-yeast infection ingredients that you can incorporate into your dog’s diet!
The Signs Of An Infection
Spotting a yeast infection can be simple if you’re looking for the signs, the first symptom is usually a very itchy dog, that is scratching and biting at an area incessantly.
Another clear sign of a yeast infection is if you notice that your dog smells like moldy bread, this is the smell of the yeast itself.
The Impact of Diet
Yeast is a bacteria that needs to feed to stay alive and reproduce.
While yeast on your dog is standard, and will usually resolve itself – an infection occurs when the yeast bacteria go into a breeding frenzy and take over areas of the dog’s body.
These bacteria need the right environment, and food to be able to reproduce so rapidly, and the most common reasons for a dog to develop a yeast infection, is food, and climate.
Foods That Cause or Worsen Yeast Infections
The yeast bacteria loves sugar and starch, and if your dog’s diet consists of too much of these macronutrients, you could be leaving him open to attack.
In some cases, certain dogs are prone to recurring yeast infections; this can be due to genetics, food allergies, or a weakened immune system.
In these cases, it’s vital that the dog’s diet is changed to starve the yeast and provide an uninhabitable environment for them, while still providing your four-legged friend with a nutritionally balanced diet!
To make your life easier, we have compiled a list of some of the foods known to aggravate, and worsen yeast infections:
With so many grain-free dog foods hitting the market, you may be wondering why they’re so detrimental to your dog.
Well, they’re not, if fed as part of a balanced diet!
However, we all know that yeast loves carbs, and for that reason – dogs with a weakened immune system, or a chronic illness such as diabetes; feeding too many carbs can cause yeast infections of the urinary tract.
Starchy foods are a favorite among the yeast community, and potatoes are one of the first things that need to go, either as a temporary measure for a first-time yeast infection sufferer – or for good for the recurrent sufferer.
Mushrooms are part of the Candida family, and while some types of mushrooms can aid in boosting the digestive system – the majority of fungi used in dog food are the cheap, readily available, and nutritionally just OK ones.
You’d be forgiven for assuming that peanut butter is a healthy addition to your pup’s diet, after all, it is a great natural fat source for us.
But alas, it’s one of the most common causes of yeast infections in canines.
The culprit? Sugar.
Both sweetened and unsweetened peanut butter contain hidden sugars, and at quite a high volume.
For that reason – this is one of those foods that should be removed from your dog’s diet.
After all, the possible benefits are minute, and the risks are enormous – whereas, you can swap this for a safer natural fat source with no hassle, and no risk of yeast infections!
Just like regular potatoes, but worse – the added sugar content in sweet potatoes make for a more yeast friendly food.
If you currently feed your dog sweet potato and haven’t seen any adverse reactions, then you can likely keep going.
There are significant health benefits, including an abundance of vitamins and minerals packed into these punchy potatoes – but if your dog is itchy, try excluding these and see if his health improves!
The fillers used in deli meats are usually packed with carbs, not to mention the added preservatives used to give the meat a long shelf life can give your dog’s immune system a kick in the guts.
Your dog’s digestive system isn’t designed to break down preservatives, and dyes – which can cause his body to go into defense mode, kicking his immune system into action; the body will try to get rid of this foreign substance aka the threat – as quickly as possible.
As your fluffy pooches immune system is busy dealing with what it sees as a threat, the yeast that his healthy body is able to keep in check; has time to build up to unhealthy levels.
Changing The Diet
Switching up your dog’s diet, and having to think about every ingredient can seem overwhelming, but trust me; it’s pretty easy.
The initial research stage, finding suitable food, or a few recipes for homemade meals, and switching your dog over to the new food is the hardest part; but after that – it’s smooth sailing!
Foods That Help Fight a Yeast Infection
When your dog is suffering from a yeast infection, you can help him out by providing his body with the nutrients that it needs; and boost his immune system so that he can fight off the infection.
Did you know that 70% of the dog’s immune system is actually within his gut, with a delicate balance of microbiome — good bacteria — that help to defend the body and keep your pooch bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!
Healthy fats are great for keeping the skin healthy, and coconut oil is a great option – this is a great alternative to peanut butter which can cause yeast infections.
The probiotics in plain yogurt can help boost the good bacteria within the gut, and fight off the harmful yeast bacteria.
It’s imperative that you feed an unsweetened yogurt as anything with sugar will do more harm than good.
Thyroid problems are incredibly common in canines, and with a decreased thyroid function – your dog is far more likely to develop yeast infections.
Rather than fighting the symptoms of these yeast infections, it’s better to go to the root cause and boost thyroid function.
Iodine is something that we all need in our diet, and to get this into your dog’s diet – consider adding a little to your dog’s water bowl, or sprinkling over his food.
Make sure that you use natural iodine with a product such as Celtic sea salt, and not merely iodized table salt.
Vegetables can be difficult for your dog to digest, but there’s no denying that they are full of vitamins and minerals that do wonders for his health.
If your dog has an unusually sensitive digestive system, consider incorporating steamed leafy greens, or green juice into his diet – this may seem like a lot of work, but it can be an incredibly powerful supplement.
Keeping your dog healthy and happy is such an essential part of dog ownership.
Your dog relies on you to feed him what is right for him, keep him away from what’s bad for him – and take him to the veterinarian when necessary.
Your dog likely makes your life better every day, so why not spend a little extra time each day to make sure that you’re making his life better too?!