Is your dog itchy and scratchy? Licking and biting at his paws? Are his ears smelly and filled with “gunk.” Most likely this isn’t an allergy, it’s an infection. A yeast infection.
Often, we think that our dogs are allergic to things because these symptoms may start up during the summer or seem to be seasonal (think dry skin = itchy). Yeast infections are common among some dogs.
Yeast is a form of fungus and is normal to find it in your body as well as your dog’s. But, when the immune system is stressed, the body will overproduce yeast in the gut. Sugars are the main cause of yeast infections. I’m sure you aren’t feeding your dog bags of candy, but potatoes and corn are likely culprits. Potatoes and corn turn into sugar in the body; and you may even want to avoid peanut butter (unless it’s natural) because may brands add sugar and corn to the butter (especially watch for corn syrup).
How can you tell? One tell-tale sign is smelly ears or paws. Yeast often smells like corn chips and can turn almost sweet. The fur between his paws can also turn rusty. Also, look around his genitals for rusty stains or even little black spots. They will also be itching, biting and licking those areas a lot!
What can you do? First, check your pet food. Is it free from potatoes, rice and corn? Be careful if you are feeding your dog table scraps as well. Natural remedies include apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. With water you can dilute the vinegar (50/50) and spray their skin and rub it in; this will treat it on the surface of the skin. Coconut oil can be massaged in their “yeasty” areas and you can also feed coconut oil orally. We recommend coconut oil for a variety of reasons and we carry it at both locations!
Still want to learn more? Dogs Naturally Magazine has a great blog that goes more in depth. Read HERE.