"Help! My dog is itchy," is something we hear often. Sometimes people say, "My dog is chewing on his feet" or "My dog keeps licking her feet." Itchy dogs are common, because the source of the problem is common in dog food, even in some premium brands. Just like some 'people food' might use ingredients that are not healthy for us, the same thing goes for dog food. Yes, there ought to be a law, but there isn't.
Rusty stains, constant feet licking or biting, tear stains, and tortilla smelling feet are sure signs of a yeast imbalance... ah, yes ...and there is usually a lot of butt scooting, too!
The most important aspect of addressing chronic yeast is through diet. The simple fact is that we can't treat a moderate to severe yeast infection naturally without addressing your dog's diet. Regardless of the root cause of the yeast infection, nutrition is the most important and first step in treating it.
The food you feed your dog either boosts and supports their immune system to keep yeast growth under control, or it compromises it which can result in a yeast overgrowth.
Yeast feeds on sugar and starches and uses them as an energy source. So any food with, for example, tapioca starch can also be considered sugar. It's not just that white stuff you put in coffee. It is found naturally as well. Since carbohydrates break down into sugar, it's best to offer a grain free diet. Actually, dogs don't really assimilate grains well and therefore, don't need them as part of nutrition.
The first step - diet - is to make sure to eliminate sugars and starches. Even simple sugars that are found in fruits. Examples: potatoes - including sweet potatoes, wheat, corn, maize, rice, tapioca, barley, whole grain oats, oatmeal, cornmeal, millet, buckwheat, cassava root, carrots, blueberries, apples, cranberries, papaya, bananas, peas, honey, sugar - you get the idea.
With proper nutrition and a good probiotic, your dog’s yeast levels can stay balanced.
Did you know 80% of a dog's immune system lives in your dog's gut? WOW!
Your dog's digestive system, like our own, is home to billions of bacteria that promote healthy digestion. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help support your dog's gut and digestive health.
When your dog has yeast, the microbiome in your dog's gut needs help and probiotics are fast acting correction.
Anti-fungal rinses, baths and dips!
If your dog needs fast help there are quite a few natural recipes that can curb the itching and outer yeast growth. While you are eliminating the source of yeast with proper diet, you can also help relieve itchy symptoms of yeast.
Yeast will grow rapidly when fed but requires warm moist areas, so check your dog well. Look between the toes and foot pads, around nail beds, armpits, groin creases, butt and vulva. Your dog will probably TELL YOU where their yeast problem is by their behavior: chew & lick their feet, scratch under arms and scoot their butts!
Common aids include: Organic, white distilled vinegar, Organic hydrogen peroxide - food grade, Organic witch hazel, Organic lemon, Organic peppermint essential oil.
Itchy! Your dog will itch! Any relief you can offer will help.
Anti-fungal baths and rinses and dips will help keep your dog calm. It's important to remember that your dog might possibly still try to lick and scratch the areas that itch. Organic, food grade ingredients are important.
Anti fungal rinses should not be used on your dogs head or near your dogs eyes.
Anti-Fungal Rinse and Dip - adjust this for your particular dog... full strength for heavier skins and rampant yeast, less for delicate skins.
Recipe: 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of organic white vinegar OR organic lemon juice OR organic hydrogen peroxide and about 20 drops or less of peppermint oil.
Dip a cotton ball in organic witch hazel and wipe ears clean. continue until cotton ball comes clean.
Of course, always keep in mind, that just like us humans, all dogs are different. There are many reasons yeast can occur. Antibiotics. Lack of probiotics. Compromised immune system. Leaky gut or just too much ice cream.
Remember, It's important to know if your dog does have yeast imbalance or not. If your dog does not respond to the natural treatments and Chelsea's Blend you should find the cause. Hopefully you have a wonderful holistic or integrative veterinarian that can help with that. Your vet can test by cytology (microscopic look at a skin swab) or culturing (where a swab of your dog's skin is grown in a petri dish to see if yeast develops in sterile conditions)
A little lick of ice cream now and then won't hurt.