The amount of yogurt to give a dog for a yeast infection depends on the size of the dog. Anywhere between one to three tablespoons is a good rule of thumb. Remember, yogurt by itself won’t cure a yeast infection. Make sure your dog still takes the medication prescribed by the vet.
We want to do everything we can to keep our dogs healthy, including supporting their wellbeing through a holistically suitable diet. Read on to learn about how yogurt can help treat a yeast infection in dogs.
An Introduction To Canine Yeast Infections
Before exploring the ways yogurt can help treat a yeast infection in dogs, it is important to understand what a yeast infection is, what causes it, and how it manifests itself symptomatically in your dog.
What Is A Yeast Infection?
Put simply, a yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of fungus in the dog’s gut. It is not necessarily bad: yeast exists naturally in your dog’s digestive tract, though in small numbers.
Not only is it naturally a part of your dog’s gut microbiome, but it also plays a role in helping your pup digest food!
However, there’s a specific type of yeast called Candida Albicans that can cause problems if it begins to overgrow.
Yeast overgrowth is irritating to the cells in your dog’s intestinal lining, causing inflammation, and could even cause “leaky gut” where food particles leak out of the intestinal lining and into your dog’s blood.
What Causes A Yeast Infection?
Multiple things can cause your dog to develop a yeast infection. If your dog has an underactive immune system, it will be more prone to developing an infection and yeast overgrowth.
The prescription and use of antibiotics can also cause a yeast infection since they suppress your dog’s immune system and encourage the fungus’ overgrowth.
Other factors independent of your dog’s immune system can also contribute to yeast infections. Hot weather, water, and allergens being trapped in skin folds or ears, as well as predispositions to skin problems, can all increase your dog’s risk.
Even breed predisposition is a marker, with some breeds such as spaniels and dachshunds being more prone than others to developing this unfortunate problem.
Symptoms of A Yeast Infection In Dogs
There are some signs you can look for that indicate your dog might have a yeast infection. Keep an eye out for excessive scratching, biting, and licking — all clues that your dog is trying to relieve discomfort.
Hair loss, a strange smell emanating from your dog (mainly from its feet), greasy or scaly skin, and changes in skin color are all giveaways that a yeast infection might be harming your dog.
Some yeast infections grow in your dog’s ear, not in the lining of its stomach, and your dog will show this by shaking its head or pawing at its ear.
Can Yogurt Fix A Yeast Infection?
Now that we’ve covered the basics of yeast infections in dogs, we can turn to the question of yogurt’s usefulness in alleviating these problems.
It is important to understand that yogurt is not a magic cure-all for yeast infections. Yeast infections should be diagnosed and treated by a licensed veterinarian.
Treatment plans will likely include a topical medicine, either in the form of an ointment or medicated bath, or in the case of more severe infections, an oral medication.
However, yogurt can be a useful food to give your dog to support its body in fighting off the yeast infection.
How To Use Yogurt To Support Yeast Infection Recovery In Dogs
The reason yogurt can help your dog recover from a yeast infection (in conjunction with veterinarian-approved medication) is because of its link to the digestive system.
Remember, the yeast infection usually originates in your dog’s gut, since the fungus is naturally present there and overgrows due to external factors.
The right kind of yogurt will contain probiotics that encourage healthy balances of gut bacteria, assisting the healthy microflora in reaching optimal levels.
What Kind Of Yogurt To Avoid
Before giving your dog yogurt, make sure that the yogurt does not contain added sugar. Sugar feeds yeast infections, the exact opposite of what you want.
You also don’t want preservatives since they are not healthy for your dog. Ensure that the yogurt you choose has probiotics. Otherwise, there’s nothing in the food that will help your dog’s digestive imbalance.
Good yogurts to use are Greek yogurts, but any unflavored, sugar-free, preservative-free, probiotic-rich yogurt should be fine.
You can even make yogurt yourself, as long as you know that the bacterial culture has optimal strains and is safe for consumption.
How Much Yogurt To Give Your Dog To Help With A Yeast Infection
How much yogurt to give your dog to help with a yeast infection depends on your dog’s size. 1-3 tablespoons mixed into their food is about the standard amount; make sure to adjust this according to whether your dog is big or small.
Some people opt to include yogurt with every meal, mix it into coat the kibble, or blend with the wet food. Others choose to offer yogurt a few times a week until the yeast infection has cleared up.
Yogurt can even be given preventatively if a dog starts a round of antibiotics! This will help prevent yeast infection from developing in the first place.
Final Words About Yogurt For Canine Yeast Infections
Yogurt can be a useful part of your dog’s diet to holistically support its health and wellbeing. It has been proven to assist in returning to an optimal gut state, but is not a replacement for topical or oral medication prescribed by a veterinarian. If you and the vet decide that yogurt will be beneficial, make sure to choose a product that is as simple as possible, with no additives, preservatives, sugar, or flavoring.
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