Canine yeast infections are never fun to deal with. Not only are they incredibly uncomfortable and sometimes painful for your precious pup, but they can be difficult to treat.
At first, yeast infections can start off as a minor nuisance. They typically affect warm and humid parts of your dog's body. Areas like the paws, ears, and underneath folds of skin are especially susceptible to infections.
Unfortunately, not addressing a yeast issue can lead to systemic problems.
This turns a minor annoyance into full-blown allergies and chronic issues. At this point, yeast infections can spread throughout your pup's body. They could experience scaly skin, hair loss, and a slew of other symptoms. Plus, you'll have unwanted odors to deal with. So, how are you supposed to help your canine companion?
Well, treatment from your vet is the first step. After that, you can make dietary changes to decrease the chances of a yeast infection and provide your dog with relief. Good anti-yeast dog food can inhibit the growth of fungi while improving your dog's immune system.
Many manufacturers offer anti-yeast formulas to help canines that suffer from yeast infection. They're specially made with high-quality ingredients that will improve your dog's quality of life from the inside out.
7 of the Best Dog Foods for Yeast Infections
1. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Formula Salmon & Potato Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food
The key to keeping your dog's immune system in check is to provide them with simple foods and wholesome ingredients. This limited ingredients recipe from Blue Buffalo does just that.
It only has the essentials. Salmon is the primary ingredient, which makes up most of the formula's protein. It's accompanied by peas and a complex carbohydrate.
The dog food is also free of grains, corn, and soy to minimize starch intake. Blue Buffalo made this food to help dogs with allergies and digestion issues. However, it also has great ingredients, such as omega fatty acids, to keep the skin in good shape.
2. Nulo Freestyle Lamb & Chickpeas Recipe Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food
From Nulo is this grain-free adult dog kibble. The great thing about this recipe is that it contains a lot of lean protein. In total, protein makes up about 31 percent of the formula. Most of that comes from lamb, turkey meal, and fish meal.
What you won't find in this dog food is a ton of starch. There are no simple carbohydrates like basic potatoes. Instead, it uses sweet potatoes and yellow peas to keep starch levels low.
A slew of healthy fruits and vegetables are added as well. They include blueberries, apples, carrots, and more.
3. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Turkey Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food
If you're looking for an alternative to dry kibble, consider this option from the Honest Kitchen. It's dehydrated dog food. Just add water to prepare your pup's meal.
The Honest Kitchen is known for making all-natural foods that are free of GMOs, byproducts, and preservatives. This recipe is no different.
The ingredient's list is very simple and low on starch. Turkey is the main protein source. It's combined with organic flaxseed, coconut, and a ton of other great extras. As always, it's grain-free and doesn't use any simple carb fillers.
4. Zignature Trout & Salmon Meal Limited Ingredient Formula
Zignature might not be as well-known as some other brands, but that doesn't stop the company from creating some great products to improve your pup's health.
This is a limited ingredient formula. So, there are no grains or artificial preservatives. In fact, Zignature made sure to not use common allergens like corn, wheat, soy, or even chicken. This can help to reduce yeast infections significantly.
Trout and salmon meal are used as proteins. Instead of simple carbs, this dog food contains great alternatives like chickpeas, peas, and alfalfa.
5. Earthborn Holistic Venture Rabbit Meal & Pumpkin Limited Ingredient Diet
This dry food from Earthborn Holistic is very unique. It's specifically formulated with digestive and skin issues in mind. So, you won't find any ingredients that could make your pup's yeast problems worse.
There are fewer ingredients in total. Plus, most of the ingredients used are non-traditional.
As the protein source, rabbit meal is used. Protein makes up 31 percent of the entire recipe. As for carbohydrates, pumpkins and peas are used. The entire formula is grain-free and doesn't contain any gluten. It's also packed with vitamins to keep your dog's immune system in good shape.
6. Instinct by Nature's Variety Limited Ingredient Diet with Real Lamb Dry Dog Food
The ingredient's list for this food from Instinct is quite short, which is a good thing. All of the ingredients are easy to identify. This makes it easier for you to monitor what your dog is consuming.
To ensure that your dog's body isn't feeding yeast fungus, the recipe is grain-free and low on starch.
Peas are the main source of carbohydrates. When it comes to protein, your dog is getting a great amino acid profile. Lamb and lamb meal make up most of the protein content. However, dehydrated organs like heart, spleen, kidney, and liver are also used. These organs are very lean and provide a healthy dose of vitamins.
7. Brothers Complete Lamb Meal & Egg Formula Advanced Allergy Care Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
The Brothers Complete dog food has a lot to offer dogs that suffer from yeast infections. It's purposefully formulated for pups with allergies.
Every ingredient is carefully chosen, making it easy for you to provide a balanced diet without having to worry about flare-ups.
Low-glycemic carbohydrates are used. The most prevalent one is sourced from the root of cassava plants. It metabolizes slowly, ensuring that fungus can't use it to spread.
There are also digestive enzymes. They can improve your dog's immune system and make sure that they are absorbing as many nutrients as possible.
What Causes a Yeast Infection
Before you start your search for the best Anti-Yeast dog food, you need to understand how yeast infections start. You see, all dogs are capable of experiencing these uncomfortable infections at some point in their life. That's because they are caused by a fungus called Malassezia.
Malassezia is naturally occurring. All dogs have it, along with all kinds of bacteria. Usually, the fungus doesn't cause any problems. You might encounter issues here and there if you don't properly dry out your dog's ears after a swim or their paws aren't cleaned after splashing around in a puddle.
Remember, moisture and warmth are all that fungus needs to grow. Thankfully, most of these issues are minor and can subside with simple treatments.
Serious yeast infections happen when the Malassezia microbe flourishes on your pup's body. The fungus is able to multiply rapidly. Oftentimes, this happens because your dog's immune system is compromised.
Typically, the immune system will keep the fungus and other bacteria under control. When it's weakened, the fungus takes the opportunity to spread throughout the body.
In many cases, your dog's food will make things worse. Yeast gets its energy from the body. Whatever your dog is eating has the potential to provide a steady supply of energy to the yeast. A poor diet filled with less-than-stellar ingredients may make the infection get worse over time.
How Do Anti-Yeast Dog Foods Help?
Anti-yeast dog food is designed to cut off the energy supply for yeast. For the Malassezia microbe, the main source of energy is sugar. With too much sugar in the body, that fungus is able to survive no matter how hard you try to get rid of it.
Because the fungus is present all over your dog's body, you need to cut off its energy supply to truly keep things under control.
The sugar that the fungus uses to survive does not refer to standard table sugar. It refers to blood sugar that is created after digestion. When your dog eats simple carbs and starches, those ingredients are metabolized into sugar that's used for energy.
Cheaper foods typically use high-starch ingredients that provide a significant boost in blood sugar levels shortly after a meal. It's why many dogs have a ton of energy after eating.
Unfortunately, that sudden influx of blood sugar also benefits the fungus. By switching over to an anti-yeast treatment, you can minimize sugar levels in your dog's body and control yeast levels once and for all.
Anti-Yeast Food Aid in the Treatment
It should be noted that anti-yeast foods are not going to treat infections alone. A dietary change can make a significant difference in the early stages of an infection and prevent it from spiraling into a bigger issue. However, you still need to take a trip to the vet for proper treatment.
Veterinarians usually prescribe anti-fungal ointments or oral medications. They serve the same purpose as anti-yeast food. But, they'll provide rapid relief.
You should always consult with your vet before you switch foods. They'll be able to provide you with some guidance and tell you whether or not the new food will benefit your pup's overall health.
Typically, anti-yeast foods are a good idea after you have treated the initial infection. A good formula will manage sugar levels for the rest of your pup's life and help them prevent serious yeast infections from occurring in the future.
What You Should Look For
The key to choosing the right anti-yeast product is to examine the ingredient's list. Ultimately, it's the simple ingredients that are causing a spike in blood sugar levels. When you're shopping, look for the following features to find the best food for your furry friend.
The main culprit in cheap dog foods is the carbs. Carbohydrates can be healthy for dogs. They metabolize into energy and can help your pup feel full. However, this is only true when they are used in moderation.
Many cheaper brands pump their kibbles full of carbs to keep the costs down. To make matters worse, a lot of the carbohydrate sources they use are incredibly high in starch. These include ingredients like corn, soy, and basic potatoes.
When you're perusing the ingredient's list, look for complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs take much longer to break down in your dog's system. Thus, they provide a steady supply of energy rather than a spike in sugar levels.
Plus, they don't contain a ton of starch. Some good examples of complex carbs are sweet potatoes, pumpkins, peas, and beans.
If it's available, check to see how prevalent the carbs are in the recipe. This can sometimes be found in the crude analysis section. Though, it's not a requirement for brands to provide it, so you may have to use your better judgment.
Protein should always be the most prevalent nutrient in your dog's food. If a carbohydrate is listed first on the ingredient's list, stay away.
Starches don't just come from the carbohydrate source. Some dog food formulas have high starch content due to the use of additives and grains.
Grains like wheat and white rice are chock-full of starches. It's recommended that you stick with grain-free formulas if you want to keep starch levels to a minimum.
Also, keep an eye out for starch additives. You may be surprised to find that pure starch is added as its own separate ingredient. In these instances, the starch is thrown into the mix as a binder.
Starch can thicken up nicely when liquids are added. Thus, they play an important role in combining all the ingredients together and creating the kibble shape. There are much better alternatives out there, so steer clear of any food that uses starch as a binding additive.
Earlier, we mentioned that a weakened immune system can make it easier for yeast infections to take over. You can do your part to support your dog's immunity by getting foods with probiotics. Probiotics and digestive enzymes help to improve the quality of intestinal bacteria.
In turn, your dog will process foods much easier. The immune system will improve as well, which can help to keep the fungus and other bacteria under control. Probiotics are often added to dog foods as supplements. Though, they can also be added through yogurt.
All dry dog foods need to be processed to some extent. However, the industry has evolved a lot in the past few decades. There are plenty of brands out there that manage to create long-lasting kibble products that don't go through a ton of mechanical and chemical processes.
The issue with processing is that the ingredients are fundamentally changed. The goal of processing is to prevent spoiling and make things more appealing. Unfortunately, this often requires the use of chemical fillers and unnecessary additives.
High-fructose corn syrup is used a lot during processing. It helps to add color and flavor, among other things. As we went over earlier, sugar is the primary source of energy for yeast. Needless to say, high-fructose corn syrup should be avoided at all costs.
It's best to keep things as natural as possible. Go for minimally processed foods that use wholesome ingredients and natural preservation methods. Not only do they help prevent yeast infections, but they can also improve your dog's overall well-being.
Last, but certainly not least, your dog needs protein. Protein is one of the most important things that canines need to stay healthy. Lean proteins, such as chicken, turkey, pork, and fish are all preferred.
The lower fat content will help your dog retain muscle mass while also keeping their body in good shape to fight infections.
Some fat is fine. In fact, dogs need fat to stay healthy. However, keep things relatively lean. Too much fat can lead to weight gain, which will only make yeast issues worse.
You'd be surprised at what a simple diet change can do for your dog. What your dog puts into their body has a big effect on their overall health. Yeast infections are directly related to what they're eating and how they process foods.
As a dog owner, it's your responsibility to be proactive about yeast infection issues. By investing in the best anti-yeast dog food product you can find, you're able to provide your pup with the relief they need and keep the spread of the fungus to a minimum.
As always, make sure to consult with your vet for professional guidance during the switch.