Yeast infections are a common and unpleasant fungi condition, but they can often be treated and alleviated with home remedies.
Be sure to let your vet know that your pup has had a yeast infection, but as long as you have caught it early, you should be able to save a trip to the vet's office with these home remedies.
How can you tell if your dog has a yeast infection?
Yeast infections in dogs can manifest in several different areas. These include the ears, nose, neck, armpits, and between and on the paw pads. Depending on the location, you may notice the yeast infection for different reasons.
However, the most common and universal symptoms of a yeast infection are yellow discharge, itching, redness, crusted skin, flaky skin, excessive licking, unpleasant odor, thickened skin, or loss of hair.
You want to keep an eye out for these symptoms, as the longer a yeast infection goes unchecked, the harder it is to get rid of.
What causes a dog's yeast infection?
Yeast is a normal presence on a dog's skin as and is usually only present in low numbers. However, yeast infections happens when there is an excessive build-up of yeast in one specific area of the body. Often, yeast infections happen when there is a shift in the temperature, so be sure to keep a close eye on your dog's skin health during these times.
Generally, this build-up and the subsequent infection occur because of another underlying issue. Yeast infections can occur due to environmental or food allergies, prolonged antibiotic use, excessive humidity, or a carb-heavy diet.
Additionally, some dog breeds are more prone to yeast infections than others. These breeds include Shih-Tzus, Bulldogs, Dachuands, Cocker Spaniels, Basset Hounds, West Highland Terriers, and Lhasa Apsos.
home remedies for dog yeast infection
Some home remedies can be made from items you easily have on hand. Many of these will help in the short term to provide relief until you can find a more aggressive, permanent solution.
Acidic agents discourage the growth of yeast when applied topically. One such example is apple cider vinegar. If you can safely apply this to the affected area, your pup will have some relief and avoid the infection growing until you find additional solutions.
Yeast infections are commonly caused by environmental allergies or allergies caused by food. You can try to avoid these allergens to eliminate yeast infections best, but this, of course, involves first identifying what allergens affect your pup. You can best figure this out by tracking symptoms and communicating with your vet. If the allergies are chronic or serve, you can also see your vet to ask about blood or skin tests.
Frequent bathing is a great way to help eliminate a yeast infection. Be sure to remove shampoo quickly so as not to strip your dog of important oils on the skin that can help in maintaining healthy skin. You may also want to consider using an anti-fungal shampoo specifically to help fight the infection the most efficiently. Anti-fungal shampoos should be applied every 3-5 days for several weeks.
You can also apply coconut oil after these baths because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Coconut oil also has the benefit of soothing the skin if your dog is experiencing any uncomfortable symptoms due to their infection.
One option for aggressive treatment is giving your dog a vinegar rinse. Vinegar can alter the pH of your dog's skin to help it be less favorable to excessive yeast. However, it's important to keep in mind that proper dilution is key to avoiding irritation.
Cleaning the Ears
If your pup has a yeast infection in their ears, then routine cleaning there is important. You can use a cotton ball or gentle cloth to clean their ears - just be sure never to use a Q tip which can cause damage. You will want to wash your pup's ears twice a week to best combat excessive yeast buildup.
KEEPING THINGS DRY
If your dog has a yeast infection on their paw pads or in between their toes, then keeping that area try can be tricky but essential. Yeast breeds with moisture, so if they don't remain dry, you can have a hard time keeping the infection at bay. Make to not only avoid water but also wipe your dog's paws after exercise as they sweat through their paw pads.
Giving your pup extra food items to combat yeast infection can provide a holistic approach. Some of these items are yogurt, probiotics, fermented vegetables, and coconut oil.
Probiotics, specifically, can be a helpful and healthy addition to your dog's routine. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help to create a healthy balance of bacteria like yeast, both internally and externally. You can purchase probiotics over the counter but try to look for an option with at least ten strains of live probiotics.
Avoid Feeding Yeast
Because yeast infections occur to an excess of yeast, you may want to avoid feeding your dog products that contain it while they heal. Some of the food ingredients that contain the most yeast include rice, millet, potatoes, wheat, corn, oats, and peas.
However, it is never a good idea to quickly change your dog's diet quickly or entirely. You do not need to stop feeding them their typical food if it is a kibble product; instead, try to avoid treats or other extra items that contain these ingredients.
Anti-fungal topical balms
Because yeast infections are a fungal issue, an anti-fungal topical is a powerful tool for healing them. Suzie's Anti-Itch Stick is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. The Anti-Itch Stick is packed with organic ingredients chosen specifically to best fight conditions like yeast infections.
Suzie's Anti-Itch Stick also has the added benefit of fortifying and soothing skin! This means using this topical product will not only target fungus growth, but it can also provide your pup relief while they heal.
You can purchase Suzie's Anti-Itch Stick and other helpful products on our shopping page.