Like most dog parents, you may have heard that a change in diet can help your four-legged friend recover faster from a yeast infection. But if you’re not sure what to feed a dog with a yeast infection, don’t fret, it’s all detailed below. I’ve also included what foods to avoid.
If you just want a quick answer, below is a short overview of what foods are good for dogs with a yeast infection, with additional detail in the remainder of the guide.
Whilst there’s no research that confirms the following foods will help your dog’s skin, there are some foods that are said to be good for dogs with yeast infections. These include yogurt, probiotics, fermented vegetables, non-starchy veggies, sugar-free fruits, eat anti-yeast dry dog food, and lean meat protein.
Dogs with yeast infections should be on a strict diet since certain foods can make the infection worse. Here’s that list in full that explains what to feed a dog with a yeast infection. As I mentioned, none have been scientifically proven, but they do make a lot of sense.
Best foods for dogs with yeast infections
1. Only feed starch-free and non-sugary foods
When your dog is diagnosed with a yeast infection, your vet will tell you that you should only give them foods that don’t have starch or sugar. There’s a good reason for that, as you’ll read in a bit.
Some of the common vet-recommended foods for dogs recovering from yeast infections are:
2. Dry dog food that doesn’t have corn, wheat, or grains
If your dog’s current kibble contains starchy ingredients, switching to an anti-yeast diet could help give them a speedy recovery and prevent re-infection.
It’s worth mentioning that there are several anti-yeast dry dog foods on the market. Be sure to consult your vet before buying a particular brand.
They will advise you on the best brand and how to introduce this new food.
3. Lean meat protein
If your dog often eats homemade foods, you can stick to lean protein meals such as plain chicken breast and lamb. Your vet can guide you on the appropriate quantity to offer your dog.
There’s conflicting information online about whether fish (such as tuna) is okay food for dogs with yeast infections.
Some experts say the traces of metal in fish makes yeast grow. Others disagree. The best thing to do here is to chat with your vet before offering fish (since it’s also lean meat protein).
4. Starch-free veggies
Some dog-safe veggies contain lots of starch that can affect your dog’s recovery from a yeast infection. If you want to feed them steamed vegetables, go for veggies with no starch and no seasoning (even dog-friendly seasonings like these).
These veggies include celery, broccoli, cucumbers, cauliflower, lettuce, and Brussels sprouts. Make sure not to add any seasoning or oils when preparing these veggies.
5. Low or zero-sugar fruits as snacks
If you’d like to give your dog fruits, only offer dog-safe fruits with little or no sugar. These can include strawberries, blackberries, cantaloupes, and peaches.
6. Herbs to boost immunity
You can add a small amount of dog-safe like oregano, basil, and turmeric to your dog’s food. These herbs will strengthen your furry friend’s immunity, which will help fight off the infection.
7. Healthy edible oils (organic)
Something else to consider when debating what you can feed a dog with a yeast infection is to mix a small amount of dog-safe oils in. This is stuff like organic olive oil and coconut oil, as in your dog’s food it can do wonders.
Coconut oil has two main components that work well in preventing yeast overgrowth: caprylic acid and lauric acid. These two acids stop yeast cells from multiplying.
Olive oil contains antioxidants that also stop this fungus from growing. Remember to consult your vet on the correct amount of olive or coconut oil to add to your dog’s food.
8. Plain yogurt (or vet-approved probiotic supplements)
Remember the healthy bacteria-fungus mentioned earlier?
If your dog has yeast overgrowth, giving them plain yogurt or a probiotic supplement will help restore this balance. It’s simple: no yeast overpopulation means no yeast infection.
Probiotic supplements will also strengthen your dog’s immune cells’ ability to fight the infection. Ensure that you only offer probiotics your vet has approved.
On feed plain yogurt to a dog with a yeast infection as this has a lot of natural probiotics. You can consult your vet on how much to serve your dog (and how often) as they recover from a yeast infection.
What foods should dogs avoid with yeast infection?
When feeding dogs with yeast infections you should avoid starchy and sugary foods
Much like in humans, when your dog feeds on carbs (starch), their body quickly converts the starch-filled food into sugar.
The body cells then take up these sugars as energy, which helps your dog stay active.
Most dry dog food and some of the veggies that dogs enjoy have a lot of starch. And if your canine friend has a yeast infection, this starch is a big problem.
You see, this fungus likes to feed on sugar. This is what keeps them alive in your dog’s body.
Your dog shouldn’t have foods that will make the fungus overpopulate further. Otherwise, the yeast infection will persist.
Feeding your dog starchy foods and high-sugar fruits will only make the yeast continue multiplying. The energy from starchy foods will help them do so.
Another thing is that sugar makes it easy for the yeast to build a biofilm around themselves.
In the simplest terms, a biofilm is a “layer” covering the fungus. It somehow acts like a shield, making it harder for your dog’s immune cells to attack and kill the yeast.
The best dry dog food for yeast infections
In my opinion, the best dry dog food for dogs with a yeast infection is one called Brothers Complete. It’s not just me who think this, I saw this comment on social media.
“For yeast, my favorite kibble is Brothers Complete. It was formulated specifically to help yeasty dogs. And low carb kibbles are better than high carb kibbles for yeast though. Kibble is never the best food for yeast, because all kibble has to have a pretty hefty amount of carbs to hold together. If you can swing it, canned is better, low carb homemade or raw is best.”
Foods you must avoid if dogs have yeast infections
When you avoid feeding starchy foods and extremely sugary fruits, the excess fungus will starve to death. That said, ensure you DON’T feed your dog with a yeast infection any of the following as they recover from yeast infection:
- Starchy vegetables such as: pumpkins, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, green beans, potatoes, and parsnips.
- Grain foods such as: rice, corn, oats, and bread
- High-sugar fruits such as: mangoes, bananas, and pears
More about canine yeast infections
Most dogs get yeast infections at some point in their lives. It’s one of the most common (and super uncomfortable) health problems in dogs.
This infection occurs when the naturally-occurring yeast in your dog’s body overpopulate — yes, naturally occurring.
All dogs have yeast and bacteria on their skin and gut. The healthy kind. In other words, good bacteria and yeast exist naturally on and inside your dog’s body.
Every healthy dog has the right balance of these beneficial bacteria and yeast. And as long as there’s this balance, the yeast is pretty harmless.
In fact, yeast (in its correct balance) improves your furry friend’s overall gut and skin health.
But when something triggers this fungus to grow out of control, the overgrowth disrupts the healthy bacteria-yeast balance. Yeast overpopulation is what leads to an infection.
The trigger can be anything from a moist environment (hence why dogs get yeast infections on their skin folds, ears, paws, or genitals) to food allergies, environmental allergies (like pollen), weak immune system, stress, and hormonal imbalances.
It’s pretty easy to tell when your furry friend has a yeast infection. Besides a smelly body odor, they will show symptoms such as:
- Constantly scratching the itchy yeast-infested area.
- Inflamed skin (redness on the affected area).
- Shaking their head most times (if the infection is in their ears).
- A bit of hair loss and crusty skin.
It’s best if you first take your dog to the vet for professional treatment. Your vet will prescribe anti-fungal medications depending on the underlying cause of the yeast infection.
When your dog is on medication and at the same time eats the right foods, they will recover from the yeast infection much faster.
FAQs on feeding dogs with yeast infections
Homemade dog food for dogs with yeast infection
The most common homemade foods for dogs with a yeast infection are lean meat protein like lamb and starch-free veggies such as broccoli.
Are eggs good for dogs with yeast infection?
Eggs won’t make a yeast infection worse in your dog, so can be considered for feeding. However, there is no scientific proof that eggs are good for dogs with yeast infections.
What food kills yeast in dogs?
The GreatPetCare.com website says the following:
“Since yeast is a fungus, you can kill them by giving your dog anti-fungal foods. Look for dog food and treats containing caprylic acid, Pau D-Arco, and olive leaf. Pau D’Arco is rich in lapachol, which kills yeast. Olive leaf and caprylic acid are believed to break down the cell membrane of yeast.”
Is pumpkin good for dogs with yeast infection?
The short answer is no since pumpkin is full of starch. Dogs with yeast infections shouldn’t have starchy foods.
Worst dog food for yeast infection
As discussed earlier, you should not offer your dog starchy foods or sugary fruits when they have a yeast infection.
In conclusion, there is no absolute proof that one food will be good for a yeast infection. However, we do know that it is proven that certain foods are bad for dogs with yeast infections. Knowing what to avoid is sometimes better than knowing what to put in your dog’s food bowl.
That said, there are some foods that are said to be good for dogs with yeast infections. These include yogurt, probiotics, fermented vegetables, non-starchy veggies, sugar-free fruits, eat anti-yeast dry dog food, and lean meat protein.