Yeast Infection In Dogs

Yeast Infection In Dogs, dog biting itchy paw

Alex Seilis

Dealing with a yeast infection in dogs can be a perplexing and persistent problem for pet owners.

Fortunately, there are effective home remedies that can alleviate this common source of itchy skin for your dog.

Knowing what to feed your dog when they have a yeast dermatitis infection is crucial ... so let's explore how to manage and treat dog skin yeast infections.

What Is A Yeast Infection?

Yeast is a type of fungus that naturally resides in your dog's intestines in small quantities, playing a role in digestion.

However, when yeast grows out of control, it can lead to a fungal infection, causing discomfort and health issues for your dog.

Two common types of yeast that can cause problems in dogs are Candida albicans and Malassezia.

Causes of Yeast Infection

Yeast levels are typically regulated by the friendly bacteria in your dog's gut. These beneficial bacteria compete with yeast for food and attachment sites, keeping yeast levels in check.

However, if the balance is disrupted—often due to antibiotic use, poor diet, or environmental factors—yeast can overgrow. This overgrowth can irritate the gut lining, leading to a condition called leaky gut, where harmful substances leak into the bloodstream.

Symptoms of Yeast Infection

Recognizing the signs of a yeast infection early can help you manage the condition effectively.

The key symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Chewing or licking the feet, often resulting in dark rusty-red hair between the toes.
  • Blackened skin, often with hair loss.
  • A bad smell and greasy hair (seborrhea).
  • Frequent ear infections or head shaking.
  • Speckles on the underbelly and hair loss on the tail and upper back.
  • Grayish or rust-colored areas around the genitals.
  • Diarrhea, seasonal allergies, and secondary bacterial infections.

If your dog exhibits more than one of these signs, it may be time to take action against yeast overgrowth. Early intervention is crucial as untreated yeast infections become harder to manage over time.

How to Treat Yeast Infection in Dogs

Step 1: Stop Feeding The Yeast

To manage yeast overgrowth, the first step is to stop feeding it. Yeast thrives on sugar and carbohydrates, so reducing these in your dog's diet is crucial.

Here's what to do:

  1. Eliminate Carbs and Sugars: Yeast loves sugar, which comes from carbohydrates. Most commercial dog foods are high in starches like potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, and grains, which convert to sugar in your dog's body. Switching to a low-carb, high-protein diet, such as a raw or cooked diet free from grains, helps starve the yeast.
  2. Avoid Heavy Metals: Yeast has a particular affinity for heavy metals, which can be found in various sources including fish, low-quality water, and some commercial pet foods. Reducing heavy metal exposure by choosing high-quality, organic food, avoiding fish high in mercury, and providing filtered water can help control yeast growth.

Step 2: Destroy the Yeast Biofilm

Yeast cells have a protective layer called a biofilm that makes them tough to kill. Digestive enzymes can help break down this biofilm, making the yeast more vulnerable to treatment.

  1. Use Digestive Enzymes: These enzymes break down the biofilm's components, which are primarily fiber, fats, and proteins. Enzymes such as cellulase (which breaks down fiber), lipase (fats), and protease (proteins) are particularly effective. Administer these enzymes between meals for the best results.
  2. Supplement with Cellulase: Dogs don't naturally produce cellulase, which is essential for breaking down the fiber in yeast biofilm. Adding a cellulase supplement can be particularly beneficial.

Step 3: Adjust the Diet to Combat Yeast

Diet can also discourage yeast growth if ti includes certain foods and supplements that can help manage yeast infections.

Here are some great ones to consider including:

  1. Caprylic Acid: Found in MCT oil, caprylic acid can break down yeast cell membranes. Start with small doses to avoid digestive upset.
  2. Olive Leaf Extract: Rich in oleuropein, olive leaf extract can help manage yeast. It’s available in powdered form and should be introduced gradually.
  3. Pau D’Arco: This herb contains compounds that kill yeast. Ensure you choose a high-quality, standardized product to ensure its effectiveness.
  4. Goldenseal: Goldenseal can help combat yeast. However, it should not be used in pregnant dogs or those with low blood sugar.

Step 4: Crowd Out the Yeast

To maintain a healthy gut environment that prevents yeast overgrowth, you need to foster the growth of beneficial bacteria.

  1. Avoid Gut-Harming Chemicals: Minimize exposure to antibiotics, pesticides, and other chemicals that can harm gut bacteria. Maintain a clean diet and living environment for your dog.
  2. Add Probiotics: Introduce beneficial bacteria through probiotic supplements. Choose strains like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and soil-based probiotics (SBOs) like Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus subtilis, which are more resilient and effective against yeast.
  3. Include Prebiotics: Prebiotics are essential as they feed the good bacteria in the gut. Foods rich in prebiotics include dandelion root, burdock root, and chlorella.
  4. Remove Heavy Metals: Use foods and supplements like chlorella, garlic, and sulfur-rich vegetables to help bind and remove heavy metals from your dog’s body.

In addition to crowding out the yeast skin infection, many of these practices above will also holistically support your dog's immune system.

Final Thoughts

Managing yeast infections on your dog's skin folds or ear canal can be a challenging but essential task for your pup's overall well-being.

By stopping the food sources that feed yeast, breaking down their protective biofilm, adjusting your dog's diet to include yeast-fighting foods and supplements, and fostering a healthy gut environment with beneficial bacteria, you can effectively control yeast overgrowth.


How do I treat my dogs yeast infection? To treat yeast infections in dogs, start by removing carbohydrates and sugars from their diet, and add foods like caprylic acid and olive leaf. Additionally, consider using a topical treatment and probiotics to support their gut health and immune system.

How can you tell if your dog has yeast? You can tell if your dog has yeast infections by looking for signs like excessive licking or chewing of the feet, black skin, a greasy coat, and a bad smell from your dog's ears. Other symptoms include ear infections and secondary bacterial skin infections.

What foods cause yeast infections in dogs? Foods that cause yeast infections in dogs often include high-carb ingredients like rice, wheat, corn, and potatoes, which can feed the yeast in your dog's gut. Avoiding these foods is crucial to prevent developing yeast infections.

What not to feed a dog with a yeast infection? Avoid feeding a dog with a yeast infection any foods high in starch and sugars, such as grains, sweet potatoes, and peas. Also, steer clear of foods that can trigger food allergies and exacerbate yeast overgrowth.

What causes yeast infections on dogs' paws? Yeast infections on dogs' paws can be caused by a combination of factors, including food allergies, environmental factors, and chronic yeast infections. Certain dog breeds are more prone to these infections, and they can also be linked to allergic skin diseases and poor hygiene.