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July 14, 2022

What to Do If Your Dog Has a Yeast Infection?

  • Dog
  • Yeast Infection
  • Nutrition
Boxer dog sitting on patio with GO! SENSITIVITIES Duck bag and bowl

Have you noticed excessive scratching in your dogs lately? Or have you noticed a development of rashes on their skin? It could be signs of yeast infection! Yeast infections should not be taken lightly as they can cause discomfort and might be an indication to a more serious health issue. Luckily, you have come to the right place to learn more about it.

What is a yeast infection?

A yeast infection is a condition where there is an overgrowth of yeast which is normally present on the skin. It is important to note that yeasts can naturally be found on your dog’s skin at a controlled level and at this level, they do not pose any threats to your dog’s health. There are several reasons that can lead to an overgrowth of yeast such as a change in the skin or ear canal environment in your dogs, hormonal imbalances, food allergies or sensitivities, exposure to environmental allergens, and disruption in the immune system.1,2,3

Signs/symptoms of yeast infections

So, what are the clinical signs of yeast infections in dogs? The most common sign of yeast infection is dermatitis, or the inflammation of the skin. Dermatitis causes redness of the skin, excessive itching, or scratching, and crusty or scaly-looking skin.2 The scaly skin being scratched and continually irritated leads to the 'elephant skin'. Additionally, dogs with yeast infections may excessively lick their paws or skin as a mode to relieve themselves from the itch. Other than skin, yeast infections can also be found in the ears, known as the yeast otitis.3 Some clinical signs of yeast-infected ears are excessive itching of the ears, unpleasant odor around the ears, and brown greasy discharge.3

How to treat yeast infections?

Veterinary visit

Yeast infections can sometimes be overlooked by pet parents as the symptoms are similar to common dermatitis. That’s why it's very important to have your dogs diagnosed by a veterinarian if they are showing symptoms.

Antifungal medication and/or shampoo

Typically, veterinarians would suggest topical remedies such as antifungal shampoo or depending on the severity, they may also prescribe oral antifungal treatments.

What role does food play?

Food sensitivities or allergies

Once present, yeast infections require veterinary attention, but there additional things you can do to help your pup.

First, it's helpful to determine if your dog has any food sensitivities or allergies as yeast infections are often a recurring problem. Food sensitivities might be the underlying culprit.

To determine if your dog has food sensitivities, a food challenge trial is usually recommended. In a food challenge trial, the suspected ingredient or food is eliminated from the diet for a predetermined amount of time (a few weeks) then reintroduced again.
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Fiona TansilMSc Student – Animal Nutrition

To determine if your dog has food sensitivities, a food challenge trial is usually recommended. In a food challenge trial, the suspected ingredient or food is eliminated from the diet for a predetermined amount of time (a few weeks) then reintroduced again.

If symptoms reappear when dogs are fed the suspected ingredient or food and disappear when they are off the food, then a true diagnosis of a food sensitivity can be made.

Limited ingredient diets with novel, single animal protein sources

Fortunately, food sensitivities can be potentially avoided through feeding a limited ingredient diet. The Go! Solutions limited ingredient recipes offer a single source of premium-quality protein meat, fish, or poultry as the first ingredient, with as few other ingredients as possible to meet the nutritional requirements of your pets. Our Go! Solutions Sensitivities Limited Ingredient Recipes for dogs offer an array of novel protein ingredients such as duck, salmon, and venison. Though limited in ingredients, all of our Go! Solutions Sensitivities recipes are complete and balanced nutritionally to meet your dog’s nutrient requirements.


Recommended Solution

Limited ingredient recipes for your canine friend

Our Go! Solutions Sensitivities recipes are specially formulated by experts to help dogs suffering from food sensitivities.

Hydrolyzed protein diets or nutritionist-formulated home-cooked meals

Do you have extra time and energy for your fur babies? Then you can also prepare some home-cooked meals for your dogs. However, it is important that these home cooked meals are formulated by a pet nutritionist to ensure that the nutrients are balanced, and all the nutrient requirements are met. In addition, you can also try feeding prescription hydrolyzed protein diets for your dogs. Hydrolyzed proteins are protein ingredients that have been processed through a chemical reaction called hydrolysis to break down the protein component to smaller pieces. These smaller protein pieces can be less likely to trigger an immune reaction, which is how food allergies work.


As pet parents, we understand that the health and well-being of our dogs are of the utmost important. Yeast infections should be addressed immediately as they can cause pain and discomfort. Regular vet checkups, keeping an eye for any yeast infection symptoms and ensuring they are fed the right diet are some of the things we can do to ensure that our fur babies are healthy and happy.


  1. Faergemann, J., 2002. Atopic dermatitis and fungi. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 15(4), pp.545-563.




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Fiona Tansil

MSc Student – Animal Nutrition

Fiona is currently an MSc student at the University of Guelph. Her study focuses on the protein quality of novel protein ingredient in animal feed. She has over 4 years of experience in the field of animal nutrition and feed formulation.