If your dog suffers from chronic or systemic yeast infections, the food he eats may be playing a role. Candida albicans, or the species of yeast in question, is always in your dog’s system and under normal circumstances is contained. But illness, stress, poor diet and some medications increase this yeast's advancement, resulting in infection. Certain foods encourage this growth; removing them from the diet can help reduce symptoms. Consult your vet before you change your dog's diet.
An overpopulation of Candida albicans causes a yeast infection. Symptoms of these infections include itchy skin, skin odor, ear infections, bloating, gas, depression, fatigue and joint stiffness. Over time, high yeast levels overwhelm your dog’s immune system, increasing the risk of bacterial infection. If yeast infections are a regular problem, talk with your veterinarian about diet changes and possible supplements.
Sugars and starches create a yeast-friendly environment in your dog’s digestive system. Limiting carbohydrates is essential for a dog with yeast problems. Avoid feeding foods high in grains. If yeast is a chronic problem, you may have to remove grains completely. Consult your veterinarian about the removal of grains and the addition of other foods, such as vegetables, to maintain your dog’s caloric needs.
If you are considering a homemade diet or looking for quality food ingredients, put proteins at the top of the list. These include beef, pork, venison, poultry, lamb and eggs. Vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, kale, peas, soybeans, green beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and yellow squash provide calories and vitamins but have low sugar content. As with any dietary changes, you'll want your vet's approval.
Just as yeast is naturally present in your dog’s body, so is bacteria. Good bacteria keep intestinal yeast from overgrowing. Keeping good bacteria healthy helps keep the yeast in check. This is where acidophilus, the live culture found in yogurt, is beneficial. Feeding small amounts of plain, unsweetened yogurt will help keep the bacteria healthy and doing their job to control the yeast.