Last Modified on Jul 21, 2015
With the current state of many of our diets and, in turn, that of our pets, yeast infections in pets (and pet owners) are becoming increasingly common. You are likely to see symptoms of a yeast infection in your pet manifest in a variety of different forms including rashes and other skin issues, fatigue, or a yeasty odor in the ears or mouth. While a yeast infection can be particularly frustrating for you and your pet, home remedies can help eliminate systemic candida and its underlying effects. One of the most important steps you need to take is to evaluate your pet’s food as well as to use supplements like Epsom salt, baking soda, and turmeric.
What Is a Pet Yeast Infection?
Much like we have natural bacteria in our bodies, animals do too. Candida is a common sugar-digesting yeast that is part of the “normal flora” present in many animals’ mouths, noses, ears, and gastrointestinal as well as genital tracts. Normally, yeast helps digest the carbohydrates your pet consumes; however, because candida is an “opportunistic culture,” it periodically invades or colonizes damaged tissues in your pet, especially if the animal has a suppressed immune system.
As the candida spreads, candidiasis or a yeast infection occurs. Depending on the severity of the condition, the infection may be localized to one area of the body or spread throughout your pet’s entire body. The symptoms differ based on the location of the yeast infection, but shaking or scratching of the head, drooling, fever, skin irritation, and open sores are all common. You will likely notice your pet carrying a “yeasty” odor or smell as well.
What Causes Yeast Infections in Pets?
There are a number of different causes for yeast infections in animals; however, one of the primary causes is diet. Many dog foods are made with excess grains and even sugars, which leads to an upset in your pet’s digestive system and can result in yeast overgrowth. Likewise, feeding your pet people food or table scraps is another key contributor to the condition. Other causes include your animal having skin or other tissue that has been damaged, preexisting conditions such as diabetes, and neutropenia, a viral infection.
What Are the Best Natural Cures to Treat Yeast Infections in Animals?
As food is one of the primary causes of the condition, making dietary changes for your animal is one of the best ways you can treat your pet’s infection. In addition to making necessary dietary changes, though, you can also offer your pet nutritional support by way of using Epsom salt, baking soda, and turmeric. It is also important that you disinfect the affected area using a treatment such as tea tree oil.
1. Dietary Changes
According to Doctor Karen Becker, diet is one of the most important considerations when it comes to treating yeast infections in animals. As diet is the foundation of health, it is important to evaluate the way you are feeding your pet to treat a yeast infection. Sugar and carbohydrates, which break down into sugars, need to be eliminated as this sugar feeds yeast. Carefully read your pet’s food label. If it contains sugar of any kind – honey, high fructose corn syrup, or even white or sweet potatoes – pitch it and switch to something high in protein. Likewise, cut out any “people” food that you have been giving your pet to help more successfully eliminate the condition.
Another important dietary change you can make for your pet is adding “good bacteria” into its system. Acidophilus is a probiotic bacteria that helps balance the natural bacteria in your pets gastrointestinal tract, which will help eliminate the overgrowth of candida in the body. You can find probiotic supplements or simply add some yogurt to your pet’s wet food.
3. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt has a natural balancing effect on bacterial growth in the body. If you notice that your pet is developing a yeast infection, try using Epsom salt to eliminate a breakout before it really starts. You can treat your pet with 1/16 teaspoon of Epsom salt in 1 liter of non-chlorinated drinking water for 2 to 3 days.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda also has a neutralizing effect on the body. Adding baking soda into your pet’s water will eradicate the fungal infection and help to establish a more appropriate balance of bacteria in your pet’s system. To use baking soda, add 1 teaspoon soda to 1 liter of water and use the treatment for 5 to 7 days.
Turmeric is a naturally anti-inflammatory and antifungal herb. You can sprinkle turmeric powder on your pet’s skin if you see it scratching to help calm and heal the skin.
Yeast infections are a major concern in animals, especially dogs. Even if your pet doesn’t presently have an infection, we suggest evaluating your animal’s food to prevent any issues, and keep reading below for more ways to treat pet yeast infections with hundreds of tips from our readers.
Itchy, Smelly Dog? Yeast Infection May Be the Problem - http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/ healthypets/archive/2011/05/03/eating-these-foods-can-make-your-dog-itch-like-crazy.aspx
Yeast Infection in Dogs: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention - http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/yeast-infection-in-dogs-causes-treatment-and-prevention
Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs - http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/infectious-parasitic/c_multi_candidiasis
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Does the acidophilus have to be in a particular form, and does it have to be packaged for pets, or can I purchase acidophilus pills at the grocery store? I've started treating our 4-year-old heeler, who has had allergy issues since we got her now seems to be having yeast issues, with dietary changes, coconut oil, and ACV on her feet, but I think she needs more. (The vet had prescribed a steroid-antihistamine combo for her allergies, which I gave to her all through September--and I think that might've caused the yeast issue. I'm thinking the acidophilus will get her back in balance?) Also, the black skin on her belly seems to be disappearing, but her itching is worse than it was. Is this normal? Thanks.
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Santa Cruz, Ca
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St. Louis Mo
[YEA] Hello everyone, I never write on sites when I am doing research on these things but I HAVE to share. My chiweenie is 2 and he started getting "hot spots" all over his abs and his genital area. After much research and spending hours online looking up yeast infections, I headed to walmart.
I bought ACIDOPHILUS and gave it to my dog 2x a day. It cleared up FAST. It was the only that WORKED! Everything else on here is Bull****.
I did ACV, which seemed to irritate his skin. I decided to leave him alone and bathe him every other day to keep it clean. I left him alone besides baths, and wrapped acidophilus pills in pieces of ham which he gobbled up. It went from horrible to CURED.
Screw all these other home remedies. Let their bodies heal it up and just give them acidophilus I bought it for $4!!!
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Waterloo Ontario Canada
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08/28/2014Posted by Julie (Mt. Washington, Kentucky) on 11/16/2011
What kind of acidophilus can I give my dog and how much? He weighs 69 lbs. and we have him on Holistic Select Duck Formula.Replied by Jana
Naples, Fl, Usa
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01/11/2015Posted by Karen (Longpond, Pennsylvania) on 04/01/2009
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] i have a 4 1/2 year old weimaraner (penny) and she has had this rash forever it has just started to get worse with in the last 2 months i have changed her food to wellness and have started her on 1/4 cup of yogurt with 2capsules of acidophilus sprinkled in i also bathe her with a medicated shampoo 2times a week i think thier is little improvement but her skin seems to be drier then normal any idea on how long this will take to heal and what else can i do?Replied by Jimmy
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01/16/2012Posted by Laurie (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) on 01/03/2009
[YEA] Yogurt and Acidophilus works! I had a pittbull X that was on Steroids for 6 years, eventually passing away at 8 years of Liver Cancer - and she had a yeast problem till the day she died. The steroids and dandruff shampoo made it only tolerable. Now my 2 year old pitti is developing the same problem - and does she stink. I read this site and gave her about 1/4 cup yogurt with 1 capsule of acidophilus in it. Next day, almost no smell, and a lot less scratching. Three days later, it's 95% gone. If only we had known this with our other dog. Please Please try to stay away from Steroids.
Thank goodness for this site. I wish we had had this info in 2001Replied by Vicki
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Posted by Sophia (Philadelphia, PA, USA) on 10/07/2008
[YEA] Acidophilus is a great way to treat yeast infections in dogs. My male shephard has kidney issues (elevated creatin levels) therefore the vet will NOT put him on any medications. ACIDOPHILUS is a dietary supplement found in any vitamin aisle/store. It balances the natural flora in your body. It also helps with immune function, digestion & elimination. I began to see a difference in the dog's yeast infection in about 2-3 days. Decrease in odor, less itching & the infected (black) areas of skin have been reduced noticeably! 2 capsules a day ... human dose is 3 daily. It's basically the same principal as yogurt but easier on those who are lactose intolerant. The capsule can even be opened & sprinkled on food.Replied by Laura
Portland, Oregon USA
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Fair Oaks, Ca
YEA (1) 100%Posted by Sharaminty (Cleveland, Ohio) on 07/02/2014
[YEA] Your web site helped save my dog's life. I adopted an eight year old pug recently. Her previous owners were going to put her to sleep because she had longstanding fungal problem. She came to me with a severe fungal rash, mainly on her chest. The wounds from the rash were open and draining. They were oozing and smelly. With the help of my daughter, who is a Vet Tech, we instantly changed her food from a grocery store brand to California Natural, Chicken and Rice Formula. I was told to continue twice a day doses on an anti fungal medication called Ketoconazole, which the previous owner's obtained. Her rash remained severe for three days and that is when I found this web site. After reading all the posts, I purchased acidophilus and plain yogurt from Walmart. I added it to her food twice a day.
Within two days the fungal rash on her chest improved. Within a week the rash was gone and I took her off the Ketoconazole. She has been rash free for about one month now. She still has a mild case of fungus in her ears, which I cleanse out daily with a Broad Spectrum Cleanser. The acidophilus and yogurt has made a world of difference. She is a 20 pound dog. I give her 1 to 2 teaspoons of nonfat plain yogurt and 1/4 of acidophilus smashed into powder, in her food twice a day. Hopefully everyone will have as much success as I did! She is a wonderful dog and worth all the effort.
YEA (1) 100%Posted by Laura (Sacramento, Ca) on 05/24/2012
[YEA] I have an all black German Shepard. 4yrs old. About 1 yr ago he started scratching and getting an odor. He was already taking frontline for fleas. I had started feeding him IAMS and Diamond brand from the feed store about four months prior. After trying all that I knew to do without taking him to a Vet. I had to take him to the Vet. I got lucky. The doctor almost knew right away that he had a yeast infection. Loss of hair and odor. He was miserable. He prescribed me Ketoconazole and an anti-fungal shampoo. It helped a lot but not entirely. I read on, I believe on this site about Acidophilus and plain yogurt. I began giving him the two doses of Ketoconazole 200mg daily, two Acidophilus capsules daily and 4 heaping tsps of plain yogurt daily. Make sure the yogurt has less than 10grams of sugar. Sugar feeds the yeast.
He was almost cured. Something still wasn't right. I read somewhere to change his food to Taste of The Wild/ Salmon flavor. I did and about 3 weeks later he looks beautiful again. His hair is almost completely back, He has stopped scratching and the odor is gone. What a ride that was. The combination really works. It took me about a year to find what combination works. This really worked for my dog. I hope it works for yours. It will save you a lot of money and time if you get it right the first time. Make sure you bathe once a week with the anti-fungal shampoo and your dog will have some peace. Good luck to all!
YEA (2) 100%Posted by Stefanie (Soddy Daisy, TN/USA) on 02/26/2009
Stinky Face and Watery Eyes on my Toy Poodle, PLEASE HELP
I have two toy poodles. One is black and one is white. With that said, the black one seems to be chewing on his paws, and scratching like crazy at his face. His face stinks really bad and his eyes water non stop. I switched him to a holistic food brand and threw out all of those commercial food treats. I have looked at some yeast infection websites at the pics but he doesn't look like any of these. I think maybe this is caught in the beginning stage. He is not lethargic or anything by no means. I just need to know if and what I need to clean the face with and how much. He weighs 9 lbs. I am not sure if I need to use apple cidar vinegar or white vinegar. What kind of yogurt do I get? Do i just go to Wal Mart and buy whatever kind? Please someone help? I want to make sure I am doing the right thing for them both. They share the same water and food bowl so whatever I do for one , is it going to hurt the white one. He is only 3 lbs so he weighs considerable less and right now, only chews and licks his paws for hours sometimes....Thanks in advance for any help. And I want to thank everyone for opening my eyes to all that bad dogfood out there that I was feeding my babies.....
EC: Remedies on Epiphora (excessive tearing) page might be helpful.Replied by Diane
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06/16/2015Posted by Tina (Ringgold, Georgia, USA) on 11/29/2008
I WAS GLAD I FOUND THIS WEBSITE. I AM GOING OUT OF MY MIND TRYING TO HELP MY LITTLE WIRED HAIRED DACHSUND, PUMPKIN, WITH A HORRIBLE YEAST INFECTION ON HER LEGS, PAWS AND ARMPITS. I DID START HER ON THE PLAIN LOWFAT YOGURT, BUT HAVEN'T STARTED HER ON ANYTHING ELSE BECAUSE I WASN'T SURE ON WHAT DOSAGE TO GIVE HER. I'VE BEEN BATHING HER IN A MILD SHAMPOO, AND SPRAYING A 50/50 MIXTURE OF WHITE VINEGAR AND WATER ON HER, BUT IT DOESN'T SEEM TO HELP. I HAVEN'T TRIED THE ACV YET BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH TO GIVE HER BY MOUTH, OR SPRAY IT ON HER. NO ONE REALLY SAYS IN THEIR COMMENTS. SHE EATS THE DOG FOOD "FIT AND TRIM". I GIVE HER BENEDRYL FOR ALLERGIES AND IT KEEPS HER FROM ITCHING AND LICKING. BUT WHEN IT WEARS OFF SHE'S BACK TO SCRATCHING AND LICKING. PLEASE HELP. NOT SURE WHAT TO DO ANYMORE. SHE'S BEEN TO THE VET AND THE BILLS KEEP PILING UP, BUT NO CURE. THANK YOU.Replied by Ashley
02/13/2009Replied by Jenna
Federal Way, Wa
12/11/2009Replied by Jamie
Lake Worth, Fl
09/10/2010Posted by Maribel (Harlingen, Texas) on 03/20/2008
[YEA] I want to thank Ted, Claudia, Judy, Susan and Anna for your advise. I started our five year old English Bulldog, Brutus, on ACV and plain yogurt once a day. I'm also using white vinegar and distilled water to clean the affected areas on his skin. I am so happy and proud to say that the results are amaizing. In less than a week the yeast is almost all gone. I checked him last night and the redness is all gone. He's not itching and the faul smell is gone too. The only reason I know he has a yeast problem is because the dermatologist scraped his neck, legs, paws and armpits and he was full of yeast. Brutus has been taking antibiotics, but the yeast comes back as soon as he finishes the meds. That's aside from taking his allergy shots once a week. Brutus has had skin allergies since he was a few months old. I just cannot believe it worked so fast. I will continue the ACV and yogurt and will keep you posted. Thanks a million!!!Replied by Michele
03/23/2008Replied by Steph
07/19/2008Replied by Josie
Colorado Springs, Co
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Ringgold, Georgia, USA
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Las Vegas, Nv
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Willow Grove, Pa
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Fernandina Beach , Florida
SIDE EFFECT (1) 100%Posted by Sandra (Bc, Canada) on 12/18/2014
[SIDE EFFECTS] I have my 11 year old cocker on the on yeast diet. I add ACV, PROBIOTIC acidophilus and nupro and fish oil. His breath has become very bad and he is very lethargic after about a week on this diet - is this normal?Posted by Wendy (Warner Robins, Ga) on 02/21/2015
I inherited my Dad's 9 yr old poodle, Baxter. In October, while my Dad was in the hospital and Baxter was staying with us, we discovered he had some blood in his pee, unfortunately, we had a feeling we knew what it was. Our fear was confirmed, bladder stones!! (we have a 9 yr old Papillon, Zoey, who has had 3 surgeries for bladder stones). So they are now both on Hills Science Diet U/D dry food. Baxter also had a ear infection, which we treated with ear drops and antibiotics. Today, I took both to be groomed and mentioned to their groomer if they could check his ears, as I noticed a smell. Sure enough, YEAST! He has been licking his paws as well, but I thought that was his 'nervous tic' as he has done that since Dad got him as a puppy. I'd like to try to treat this yeast on my own. I am considering trying the yogurt, ACV in their water and giving Baxter Acidophilus tablets. I have been giving him Benedryl since October - as the Vet told me he was licking due to allergies. Can anyone else suggest anything else I should try?
YEA (12) 71% NAY (3) 18% WARNING! (1) 6% SIDE EFFECT (1) 6%Posted by Rayrmjaj (Bancroft, Idaho) on 05/18/2013
My dog's yeast infection is in her vaginal area. And she has a lot of hair. I have never shaved a dog in that area. Where can I get some help on how to do this. I don't believe I can get the vinegar and water to where it needs to be unless I do this. Can you use people medicine on her for the same ailment? The dog food I feed her is low fat low ash "Pride".Replied by Gena
05/18/2013Posted by Lilli (Kenmore, Wa, Usa) on 01/14/2013
[YEA] I read all the great posts here about ACV and the various uses in caring for a dog who has a yeast infection. I just had to write and share my success story.
My adopted pal, whose breed is prone to severe skin problems, developed a bad skin yeast infection. His legs and parts of his torso turned black and lost fur. He scratched 24/7 and we had to watch him constantly or he would scratch and bite until he bled. Eventually, we had to keep him in onsies and a plastic cone.
When he lived with his previous family, we think he was given too much prednisone and too many anti-biotics which ruined his immune system. Every vet we took him too wanted to prescribe the same meds including atopica. IMHO I would never give these things to him again! Prednisone shuts down the adrenal glands which stops the itching but causes severe medical problems down the road.
We were at the end of our rope watching our poor guy suffer. Here's what worked for us:
We finally found a naturopathic vet who has been allergy testing and giving him Chinese herbs and tinctures which attacks the yeast internally but takes time to work. We changed his diet to a commercial brand of frozen raw meat with some veggies. (I would not recommend dry kibble of any kind because it is still processed and most have binders, starches, and grain products. ) He lost the extra weight, that he gained due to the prednisone, and was much livelier, but still scratching.
The single most amazing change in him occurred when I started spraying him with ACV/distilled water, 50/50. (I use organic ACV which has the "mother" in it. ) I sprayed the hot spots and black areas of his skin and rubbed the vinegar in. I kept him standing or moving until he air dried. (Do not spray it on open wounds and sores) Then I put him back in a cotton onsie. It is important to keep them from scratching and re-irritating the skin. I did this in the morning, after feeding, and the evening before bed. It reduced his scratching 75% in two days! I also mixed a little ACV in his food. (I would not recommend giving ACV on an empty stomach)
About every three days I mix a lotion of pure aloe vera with pure vegetable glycerin and distilled water and rub it on the troubled areas and let dry. (Do not use straight glycerin on skin because it traps moisture and may cause blistering) After a day or two, the lotion dries the surface yeast and it sloughs off. I clean the areas and new pink skin is underneath.
We are at day four of using this system. My dog is calmer, scratches less, and sleeps better. His skin is pinking up and I do not have to keep an eye on him all day.
(One word of caution: Talk to your naturopathic vet before starting any new remedy. Dogs can have a reaction to most anything whether it is natural or not. Start on a small patch of skin as a test before using any product on your dog.)
Thank you to everyone who posted ACV suggestions. After years of frustrating vet visits, many $$$'s spent, bad drug reactions, and the arrogance of Western medicine, a little $3.00 bottle of ACV did the trick!Replied by Kate