Yeast infections are common in dogs. They can occur either on the whole body or locally in one spot. Some areas are more likely than others to be affected, including eyelids, facial and oral folds, ears, throat, anal glands or between the toes.
The body does have naturally occurring yeast, but it’s not a problem under normal circumstances. It only becomes problematic when the conditions become favorable for yeast growth. This can occur during allergies or sensitivities, or even a reaction to the yeast fungus itself.
Natural approaches to handling yeast infections in dogs include the following.
Vinegar and water rinse to help gently, naturally cleanse the area. Do not use on broken skin or if your dog seems uncomfortable. Some suggested ratios include 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, but suggestions vary. Vinegar can help kill yeast.
Adding a probiotic will help replenish the body’s beneficial bacteria and combat yeast.
Baking soda can help neutralize the body’s pH. Some suggested ratios include 2 tablespoons of baking soda per gallon of water, but suggestions vary.
Turmeric is gaining popularity for its powerful anti-inflammatory abilities — it also has anti-fungal properties. Check product labels for dosage and adjust according to your dog’s weight.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also well-researched for their anti-inflammatory actions. Incorporating wild, fatty fish such as salmon and sardines can increase the omega-3 intake, or supplements from reputable sources can be used.
Antioxidants from fresh vegetables will help reduce inflammation. Supplemental antioxidants may also be considered in the proper doses.
Addressing diet is vital, as with most conditions. Limiting or removing sugar and refined carbohydrate will help reduce the yeast’s “food supply.” Opt for protein, healthy fats and fresh vegetables.