Yeast overgrowth is a pandemic that has plagued dogs worldwide, and finding an effective yeast treatment is the holy grail of all dog parents.
What makes this ailment so confusing is that yeast shows up in dogs fed a wide range of diets from kibble, to home-cooked, dehydrated, raw and therapeutic diets.
If you’re looking for a way to eliminate yeast from your dog’s body, then this yeast cleanse protocol is for you.
It covers the main steps I have used on my own dog when she suffered yeast in 2017 and then again at the beginning of this year, as well as with client’s dogs.
This yeast protocol isn’t a one size fits all approach, and you will have to make adjustments based on your own dog’s response.
Every dog will respond differently.
How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Yeast?
Yeasty dogs tend to lick themselves in these places
- Bottom inside thigh
- Armpits (if they can reach it)
The fur on a yeasty dog tends to be rusty brown in color and this is going to be very apparent in their:
- Belly fur (if they have it)
There is a very distinct smell when your dogs suffer from yeast. Some will say it smells like:
- Old socks
- Fritos or doritos
- Musty rancid smell
- Sweet rancid smell
Your yeasty dog’s belly and armpits feel clammy and damp, and this will be more apparent when they are lying on a warm synthetic blanket.
It may even feel like their bellies sweat at night.
And their paws will feel moist and damp compared to other non-yeasty dogs.
Your yeasty dog’s tears are overactive and their eyes are wet most of the day.
If the watery eyes are very bad then you will see tear stain tracks on their fur and this is going to be very apparent on dogs with white or light fur.
Their tear stains may even have that yeasty smell.
And when these tear stains dry, they might even form a light to thick waxy crusty tear stain track.
Waxy Smelly Ears
If the yeast has built up – or if it hits the ears first, your yeasty dog will have brown, almost black waxy build-up inside their ears. This might develop into ear infections so watch this closely and go see your vet for an ear flush or medication if needed.
If the yeast had spilled out of their ears, to their face then pustules that feel like hard pimples could start to build up around the back of their ears, and on their skull around their eyes.
Yeast dogs will often have red, inflamed skin and you will see this primarily in their bellies and in their armpits.
Yeasty dogs will often have soft stools that look like soft or unformed logs or even pudding poops.
Leaky Anal Glands
Your yeasty dog could also have anal glands that leak that “penny rusty” or “fishy penny” smell either when they are relaxing on the sofa or just before you arrive at a destination.
Your yeasty dog might sound like they have a cold in the morning and evenings and be very snorty but sound like it’s a wet sound as opposed to normal breathing sounds.
Very Wet Saliva and Tongue
Dogs that are yeasty tend to have saliva that feels very moist and slippery. This may not be apparent to you if you only have one dog but a normal dog’s saliva doesn’t feel slippery and wet.
What Organs Are Being Affected
Typically the gut is out of balance, and connected to this are the organs that are the elimination channels, such as the skin, colon, kidneys, liver, and even sometimes the lungs.
Yeast is present in our dogs but it can grow out of control when the opportunity arises.
The stomach’s PH level might also be off-balance as it tries to process the food and toxins, and the organs are in overdrive as well.
When the gut and organs can’t do their job properly, you start to see skin problems.
The gut is starting to get inflamed, killing off the good bacteria and letting the harmful bacteria grow.
Weed, Seed, and Feed – Yeast Cleanse Protocol
The weed, feed, and seed (or remove, restore and replenish) protocol combines dietary changes with herbal remedies to return the gut to a healthy state.
Step 1: WEED
Weed out the bad bacteria and to transform the gut into a hostile environment so that bacteria cannot grow.
- Stop feeding kibble if you can
- Switch to a home-cooked diet served at room temperature or warm
- Eliminate all processed treats and all high-histamine foods from the diet.
- Eliminate any fermented foods from the diet
- Eliminate any apple cider vinegar from the diet
- Eliminate aged food (dehydrated/air-dried food or treats and chews)
- Eliminate left-over food (feed fresh)
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WHOLE FOODS APPROACH
- Supplement with raw garlic every other day for two weeks. Garlic is an antifungal and antibacterial . But if your dog runs warm, is anxious, and moves around a lot I would not feed any warming garlic to your dog.
- MCT oil – the active ingredient is caprylic acid.
- Bone broth or fish broth cooked in a short time without any apple cider vinegar. If your dog is sensitive to heavy metals, or histamine you may want to skip this step.
- Feeding a natural diet that is formulated for your dog. The key here is to simplify the diet to the bare basics to settle the stomach. Don’t feed any enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, or other supplements for a short period if you need to simplify the diet to the bare basics and then very slowly start to add things back in one by one so that you can identify if your dog is sensitive to any ingredient.
- I find that dogs that suffer from allergies or yeast do much better on the best quality ingredients you can buy. Grass-fed, pasture-raised or organic meat and eggs and the freshest fish you can get your hands on.
- That said – if your dog is eating the wrong food for them even if it is raw, learning to remove triggers might also help your dog. I’ve had multiple cases where I had clients’ dogs on commercially prepared balanced raw from great companies but it had apple cider vinegar and the one simple act in switching the food healed the dog. And yes I’ve even seen dogs go from raw with apple cider vinegar to kibble and their yeast went away.
The natural whole foods approach is my preferred method as it is the most gentle approach.
It also takes the longest time and requires you to know what food your dog needs to eat to heal.
HERBAL and SUPPLEMENTS APPROACH
- Supplement with Grapefruit Seed Extract and Cats Claw for 14 days only (dosage guidance available to clients who book a Heal The Gut package with me)
- I used to recommend two popular Leaky Gut Protocols but I’ve had feed back of adverse reactions to these protocols so I’ve removed them from my recommendations.
- Chinese herbs to drain dampness. (dosage guidance available to clients who book a Heal The Gut package with me)
A Word on Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) like garlic can be controversial. There are herbalists who no longer recommend it due to the it being contaminated with other chemicals.
Keep these findings in mind as you consider the possible health benefits. It’s not required in the yeast cleanse but I mention it as it often comes up. You can skip GSE and Cat’s Claw and go right into either the Adored Beast or Four Leaf Rover yeast protocol.
Step 2: SEED: Repair the intestines and introduce supportive food and good bacteria.
WHOLE FOODS APPROACH
Broth to help heal the gut.
Feed broth (can be beef, turkey, chicken, duck or fish) to help your dog’s stomach heal.
Feed it for two weeks and avoid ANY broth that has apple cider vinegar in it.
If you will make it on your own, cook it as follows:
- No more than 30 minutes for fish broth on the stove top.
- No more than 2 hours in the Instapot
- No more than 4 hours in a slow cooker or crockpot
Not all dogs do well on bone broth. Even when it’s cooked under 2 hours in a crockpot due to their sensitivity to histamine. Be sure to monitor your dog every step of the way and if their condition worsens, then you stop feeding bone broth.
Natural food diet /avoid histamine foods
Feed a home-cooked diet or don’t feed the raw food cold if you are feeding raw.
Avoid tinned food, fermented, or aged food.
Omega to reduce inflammation
If you’re not already feeding fish, consider adding fresh fish to your dog’s diet. Make sure you include Vitamin E at the same time.
Omega – 3 supplement has is a “powder” can be bought on Amazon or direct.
If fat is a concern then you can use a fish oil or omega 3 powder which is low in fat.
You can also add mushroom supplements to help reduce inflammation. Four Leaf Rover has a line that has 7 mushrooms in it.
Food to drain the dampness
If your dog’s belly is damp, this is the time to also start to feed food that will warm your dog’s belly and drain the damp.
For two weeks add dandelion greens to your dog’s diet. You can sautee it and feed a tablespoon for every 15 pounds your dog weighs or make dandelion/cucumber veggie cubes.
If your dog runs cold and is seeking warm spots, you can also feed ginger to warm your dog’s belly. No more than the size of your pinkie nail per meal every two to three days for two weeks.
If your dog runs warm, is anxious, and moves around a lot I would not feed any warming ginger to your dog.
HERBAL and SUPPLEMENTS APPROACH
- If the itch is bad, you can feed Quercetin but don’t do it for more than 30 days.
- Add digestive enzymes to your dog’s diet. You will find this in both yeast kits by the two brands I mentioned above.
- If your dog’s yeast condition is bad, I would also add in Chinese Herbs to drain the dampness.
Step 3: FEED- Continue to feed and heal the gut to encourage a robust immune system.
WHOLE FOODS APPROACH
- Include kale and broccoli sprouts which does a great job binding to any heavy metals in the diet
HERBAL and SUPPLEMENTS APPROACH
- Add probiotics to the diet. This is available in the Four Leaf Rover kit.
- Continue to feed a natural diet (home-cooked)
- Consider a spirulina and/or chlorella supplement which will help detox heavy metals from the diet
- Feed Milk Thistle or any other liver support during the time you are doing the yeast cleanse protocol for your dog. Adored Beast has a great product that comes in the kit or you can buy it separately if you opt for the Four Leaf Rover yeast kit.
YEAST CLEANSE – TOPICALLY
You will have to remove the yeast that is growing on the skin and keep it at bay. You cannot skip this step.
- Don’t use any apple cider vinegar products on your dog’s fur, skin, and coat.
- For no more than two weeks use products that have ketacozonole and chlorhexadine (shampoos and sprays) to address yeast growth on the skin
- After the second week, switch to gentle shampoos and sprays
- You can add a few drops of MCT oil to any cleansing spray to help keep yeast at bay.
- You can also use contact lens cleaner with a drop of MCT oil to wipe down tear stains.
Keep things dry
- Check your dog’s tear output throughout the day and use something as simple as toilet paper to dry the wetness or unscented kleenex.
- You can put talc on your dog’s belly before you go to bed. Use a cornstarch based talc.
Check moist spots two to three times a day
- There is no other way to go around it but if your dog’s paws are moist and waxy you will have to check and dry them through out the day. You can use contact lense cleaner with a drop of grapefruit seed extract and/or MCT oil. Each dog will respond to the topicals differently you need to observe and adjust as needed.
There will be a period of time when your dog’s body will go through a “yeast die-off” and their belly and armpits will look angry, red or dark red and inflamed. This is when their body releases the toxins during the antifungal treatment and it can happen several times during the yeast cleanse.
It will look like symptoms are getting worse very fast.
The manufacturers of the yeast protocols will say to:
Hold firm but also stay extra observant to help your dog during this time.
It is my personal opinion from having a dog that this is our dog’s feedback loop stating the protocol is too strong. In this case my recommendation is to:
Stop any of the yeast protocols that you suspect might be causing another flare-up. In most cases, it may either be the Adored Beast Protocol or the Four Leaf Rover Protocol.
Since each kit contains several ingredients it’s best that you take a break to let your dog rest and then start it back up at 1/4 the suggested dosage if you didn’t already start it that low.
Duoxo S3 Calming mouse can help your dog during this time. It’s not a natural product but its very effective in calming the itch.
- Use it 2 to 3 times a week only for 2 to 3 weeks and then stop it. Also by then your dog should be done with the yeast die off.
Duoxo Shampoo can also help during this tough yeast die off. I don’t necessarily like to turn to these products right away but they are there if you need something stronger to calm the itch and provide relief.
If you have access to a holistic vet that does acupuncture it could be beneficial to bring your dog there for treatment.
You can also learn how to massage your yeasty dog in the areas related to their spleen/intestine. And you can see a diagram and read about how to do that HERE.
A Keen Sense Of Observation
Every dog is going to be different and there isn’t a one size fits all approach.
You will have to monitor your dog’s progress every step of the way and make adjustments depending on their body’s feedback loop.
- What changes occur when you remove something?
- What changes occur when you add something?
Book the Heal The Gut package with me if you want assistance to do this yeast cleanse protocol.
I also teach you how to make your own home-cooked meals or guide you on how to purchase commercially prepared meals.
How Long Will the Yeast Cleanse Take?
It depends on how long it took your dog to get to this condition.
If they have been yeasty for a year, it can take six months to a year to do the yeast cleanse.
If they have been yeasty for two months, it can take one to two months to do the yeast cleanse.
Wellness Dog Parent Takeaways
Getting rid of yeast is possible but it takes a strategic approach to weed out the bad bacteria, to seed the gut with healthy and good bacteria, and feed a diet supported by herbs and supplements to keep your dog yeast-free.