Best Dog Food For Yeast Infections in 2021

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golden retriever licking paw

This review aims to give you a definitive guide to some of the best dog food for yeast infections that can be found in 2021.

Yeast infections are an itchy, smelly, and highly unpleasant problem for both dogs and their owners. They are caused by various species of fungi and can affect the skin, ears, and urinary tract among other organs.

Many of these fungi are actually normal members of the body’s natural microbiome, but when something goes wrong, they overgrow and cause disease.

I am a veterinarian and I deal with yeast infections on a regular basis. I spend a lot of time researching the best dog foods for these kinds of issues to recommend to my patients’ owners. 

This article will explain or discuss:

  • What to look for when buying food for a dog suffering from a yeast infection.
  • The differences between diets and how they aim to help solve the problem.
  • How some ingredients in these diets can help.
  • Food options for dogs with fussy palates. 

Let’s get started.

Our Best Dog Food for Yeast Infections

10 Best Dog Foods for Dogs with Yeast Infections Reviewed

Here is our list of products that we think can best help your dog deal with an ongoing yeast infection.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein HP
  • First 5 ingredients: Brewers Rice, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavors, Dried Plain Beet Pulp
  • Type of product: Veterinary diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Life-long management of patients suffering from allergies

This Royal Canin veterinary dog food would be ideal for those dogs suffering from secondary yeast infections caused by a food allergy.

Hydrolyzed soy protein is handled better by the digestive system and has a lower chance of triggering an allergic reaction than in its unhydrolyzed form.

Brewers rice is the first ingredient which is not ideal since it makes this diet high in carbohydrates which can sustain an existing yeast infection.

The diet contains fructooligosaccharides, a prebiotic sugar that promotes healthy intestinal bacterial growth that in turn supports a healthy body microbiome including that present on the skin.

The presence of Vitamin C precursors, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin E ensure the removal of free radicals and the maintenance of healthy skin.

The diet is also supplemented with essential fatty acids (especially Omega 3 fatty acids) that help modulate the inflammatory response, particularly that of the skin during a yeast infection.

This diet is available in wet form.


Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Novel Protein Alligator Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Novel Protein Alligator
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Alligator, Peas, Pea Starch, Alligator meal, Pea Protein
  • Type of product: Veterinary diet
  • Life stage: All life stages (including growth of large dogs)
  • Best for: Life-long management of food sensitivities

Alligator is the only animal protein source present in this Blue Buffalo dog food. Alligator is a unique protein source that is very unlikely to cause allergy-related yeast infections in dogs.

This dog food claims to be grain-free, using peas, tapioca, and potato as its main energy sources.

This diet is rich in essential omega fatty acids that are instrumental in keeping the inflammatory processes associated with allergy and yeast infection under control.

It also contains dried chicory root that acts as a prebiotic to help restore the gut microbial population and consequently the body’s microbiome including that of the skin.

This diet contains a number of dried bacterial extracts intended to work as a probiotic. Research shows that most dog foods claiming to contain these extracts only have insignificant probiotic potential.

The diet is marketed as a grain-free dog food but is not supplemented with taurine and therefore requires some level of caution and regular veterinary health checks when feeding your dog on this diet.

This diet is available in wet form.


Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Barley, Rice, Oat Meal, Canola Meal
  • Type of product: Commercial diet
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Life-long management of food sensitivities

Purina Pro Plan dog food is a good diet for those dogs suffering from a yeast infection stemming from a food allergy. It does not need a veterinary prescription to buy.

The diet’s first ingredient, Salmon, is a fish protein source. Fish protein is highly unlikely to be the cause of an allergic reaction. Salmon is also a rich source of essential fatty acids (Omega 3s and Omega 6s) that have good inflammation-modulating properties.

These are essential in controlling the inflammatory response of the body and help control inflammation caused by the infection.

The diet contains several carefully chosen carbohydrate sources; barley and oatmeal both having a low glycemic index and therefore avoiding high blood sugar concentration levels that could make a yeast infection worse.

Purina guarantees that this dog food contains no corn, wheat, or soy.

It also guarantees that this diet contains live probiotics. This is a very bold statement given the findings in certain studies and therefore needs to be taken with a level of skepticism. [1]


Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley,
  • Type of product: Commercial diet (Veterinarian Recommended)
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Life-long management of food sensitivities.

This Hill’s diet can benefit a dog with a yeast infection in 3 ways. The prebiotic elements in the diet help keep a healthy gut flora that can affect the balance of the whole microbiome of the body (Yes, even that on your dog’s skin!).

The antioxidant effect of Vitamins C & E helps mops up the free radicals produced by the yeast infection. Vitamin C will also help maintain the structure of the skin, resulting in less damage caused by the infection.

The diet is also supplemented with essential fatty acids (Omega 3s and Omega 6s).

This dog food contains significant amounts of carbohydrate-rich ingredients and would therefore be more suited to prevent yeast infections from reoccurring rather than to help manage an ongoing one.

This diet also comes as canned food.


Blackwood 5000 Catfish Meal & Pearled Barley Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula Dry Dog Food

Blackwood 5000 Catfish Meal & Pearled Barley Sensitive Skin & Stomach
  • First 5 ingredients: Catfish Meal, Pearled Barley, Oat Groats, Millet, Ground Grain Sorghum
  • Type of product: Commercial diet 
  • Life stage: All life stages
  • Best for: Life-long management of food sensitivities

This dog food produced by Blackwood would be ideal for those yeast infection cases stemming from allergic reactions.

Catfish is a novel protein that is highly unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in your dog.

The food also contains pearled barley, oat groats, millet, and ground grain sorghum; all low glycemic index carbohydrate sources that help control yeast infection flare-ups. This dog food is free from wheat, soy, and corn.

The diet is also rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which helps with modulating the inflammatory response associated with such infections.

This dog food is supplemented with prebiotics and a number of dried bacterial extracts. Blackwood does not guarantee that the bacterial population is alive which casts some doubts that the diet has probiotic effects.


Purpose Fish & Veggie Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Purpose Fish & Veggie Grain Free Freeze Dried
  • First 5 ingredients: Whitefish, Salmon, Organic Broccoli, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash
  • Type of product: Commercial diet 
  • Life stage: All life stages (Even large dog breeds)
  • Best for: Life-long management of food sensitivities

Purpose is out on a mission to make pet food differently. They source the ingredients they use in their dog foods from farms using organic and humane farming practices.

However, the way they process their dog foods depends on the use of a large amount of plastic packaging, negatively impacting the environment from a different angle. Ethics aside, their food contains a limited number of freeze-dried ingredients.

Freeze-drying allows for these ingredients to retain more of their nutritional properties than when using the more conventionally used extrusion method. It also makes the food safer than when giving your pet a standard raw food diet.

However, the process does nothing to increase the dog food’s shelf life once opened and this food needs to be discarded a few hours after being open. This high-protein dog food adheres to the AAFCO standards for a complete diet.

This diet’s limited ingredient and low carbohydrate formula make it a very suitable candidate for dogs suffering from yeast infections. The whitefish and salmon in the formula also imbibe this dog food with the necessary essential fatty acids to keep inflammatory processes caused by yeast infections under check.

Despite meeting AAFCO standards, I am of the opinion that this food is too high in protein to be fed for an extended period of time.

The high protein content in this limited ingredient diet is way more than what is needed by most dogs and can be of great detriment to those dogs suffering from liver and kidney issues.

Having said that, this dog food would be a good alternative meal when dealing with yeast infections in healthy, active dogs.


Go! SENSITIVITIES Limited Ingredient Turkey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Go! SENSITIVITIES Limited Ingredient Turkey
  • First 5 ingredients: De-Boned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Tapioca, Peas, Lentils
  • Type of product: Commercial diet 
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Life-long management of food sensitivities

This Canadian brand uses free range turkey as their only animal protein source to make this limited ingredient diet.

It also uses alternative carbohydrate sources such as tapioca, peas, and lentils.

Both these measures reduce the chance of your dog developing an allergic reaction when fed this dog food.

This diet also contains dried chicory root powder; an ingredient known for its prebiotic properties. This limited ingredient, grain-free dog food does not contain potato, wheat, corn, soy. It also contains no by-product meals and states that it contains no gluten.

The salmon oil used in the diet is a rich source of essential fatty acids.

This diet also has a wet food alternative.


Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Formula Adult Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Formula Adult LID
  • First 5 ingredients: Peas, Pea Flour, Hydrolyzed Salmon, Sunflower Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed
  • Type of product: Commercial diet 
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Life-long management of food sensitivities

Diamond Care Sensitive Skin Formula uses a limited number of ingredients to formulate this high-quality product.

A smaller pool of ingredients means a smaller chance of having an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in this grain-free dog food.

The protein in this limited ingredient diet is hydrolyzed making it both easy on the digestive system and safer for those dogs suffering from allergies.

The diet also contains no grains or potatoes, deriving all the necessary energy from peas. It contains a blend of antioxidants and essential fatty acids to keep inflammatory processes under control.

The mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber content in the diet ensures the maintenance of gastrointestinal microbial health which in turn benefits that of the skin.


CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Canidae Pure Grain Free Salmon
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Type of product: Commercial diet 
  • Life stage: Adult
  • Best for: Life-long management of food sensitivities.

This Canidae dog food starts off with fish protein sources making up its first three ingredients.

While there are dogs that are allergic to fish protein these are less common than chicken and beef protein allergies.

Fish is also a good source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that help with keeping the body’s inflammatory response under control.

This diet is a grain free diet, with sweet potatoes, peas and potatoes being the main carbohydrate sources of this diet.

The diet is also relatively rich in glucosamine and chondroitin making it a good diet for those elderly dogs that need some much needed dietary TLC for their achy joints.

This diet also comes as a wet food.


Brothers Complete Goat Meal & Egg Formula Dry Dog Food

Brothers Complete Goat Meal & Egg Advanced Allergy Care
  • First 5 ingredients: Goat Meal, Whole Eggs Dried, Turkey Meal, Cassava/Tapioca, Peas
  • Type of product: Commercial diet 
  • Life stage: All Life Stages (including growth of large dogs)
  • Best for: Life-long management of food sensitivities and weight control

This Brothers Complete dog food mostly contains alternative protein sources such as goat, eggs and turkey.

Eggs are also a high quality protein source due to their high bioavailability. The diet also contains chicken in the form of liver.

These numerous animal protein sources can reduce the diet’s effectiveness at controlling food related allergic reactions that commonly lead to yeast infections.

This dog food focuses more on using unconventional carbohydrate sources like cassava and peas to reach its goals.

It is rich in essential fatty acid containing ingredients and prebiotics that both respectively help control inflammation and prevent yeast infections in dogs prone to such conditions. 

This dog food also contains a number of bacterial culture extracts, which probiotic effect is still debatable.


dog on bed licking paw

What do you need to know about yeast infections in dogs?

An adequate diet is one of the ways that you can help deal with yeast infection issues in dogs. In the background of a yeast infection, especially recurring ones, often lies a food allergy or sensitivity. 

This is where the limited protein source or hydrolyzed protein diets can help, or, in case of sensitivity to corn or other ingredients, eliminating that component from the diet. 

Other dietary measures include decreasing the amount of starch (a carbohydrate) in the diet. Starch is found mainly in grains and potatoes and too much of it can overfeed the natural yeasts and cause an imbalance in the microbiome. 

Lastly, the diet should include skin-friendly nutrients, such as:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids: these reduce inflammation, which will ease itchiness and help the skin to heal.
  • Probiotics: these are known as “good bacteria”, and will restore the natural balance of the gut microbiome and consequently that of the body.
  • Prebiotics: these are food for the probiotics and for the already present healthy microbes.

It is always important for your dog to see a vet when you suspect a yeast infection; it is easy to confuse a yeast infection with other skin diseases and an expert’s opinion is always needed to learn what’s medically wrong with your dog.

What to look for when buying dog food for a yeast infection?

The best food will depend on the underlying reason for the yeast infection, and any other issues your dog might be having at the same time. 

In general, look for foods that mention sensitive skin and immune-boosting properties such as omega-3’s and probiotics. Some dogs will benefit from a low-starch, one protein, or hydrolyzed protein diet.

How important is the diet for dogs with a yeast infection?

It is somewhat important. Yeast of the species Malassesia pachydermatis is found naturally occurring on the skin and it only becomes a problem when it overgrows and overwhelms the immune system. 

Changing your dog’s diet will not cure your dog of a yeast infection; a yeast infection will need medical attention from your veterinarian.

It often requires topical or oral treatment. In some cases, it would need to be treated with a combination of both.

A change in diet can help address the root of the problem when they are related to malnutrition and food allergies. 

dog scratching ears

What can you feed your dog to prevent yeast infections?

Preventative measures include knowing if your dog has any food allergies. There are different allergy tests that your veterinarians offer. 

Some are invasive but others are as simple as taking a blood sample and sending it to a lab. Some labs doing these tests also attempt to cure the dog’s allergy through immunotherapy.

Dogs prone to yeast infections should resort to eating diets low in carbohydrates and high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Dog food with prebiotics would also help. 

What ingredients to avoid and which ones are good?

You should avoid dog food that has high glycemic index carbohydrate sources in its first 5 ingredients.

Keep an eye out for dog food containing fish and flaxseed as they are good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. 

Dog food containing fructooligosaccharides and other prebiotics also stands to benefit your dog.

Look out for food containing hydrolyzed protein or single source protein as most of these infections stem from an allergic reaction.

The bottom line

There are no diets on the market that specifically aim to treat yeast infections in dogs. 

In most of the cases that I dealt with, yeast infections either happen due to improper grooming, certain breed predispositions, or due to allergic reactions. 

In the case of allergic reactions it is important to find what the offending allergen is, excluding it from your dog’s diet and environment, and giving the necessary medication to treat it; in such cases, changing your dog’s food can help to different degrees.

Some grain-free diets can also help in those rare cases where the allergy is caused by grains commonly used in dog food. 

I like using Royal Canin, Hills, and Purina diets to get yeast infections under control. However many of the diets here can potentially help in these situations and I look forward to the opportunity of using some of these diets to help my future patients.

It is true that the above diets can help your dog deal with their yeasty situation. However, me and my colleagues always advise that you follow your trusted veterinarian’s instruction as to which food would suit your dog best.

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AUTHOR
Dr. Corey, a veterinarian and owner of five dogs, fell in love with the subject of Animal Nutrition during his vet school days. He firmly believes that educating owners about dog nutrition is one of the most impactful aspects of his job.

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