How to Bathe a Dog With a Yeast Infection

Medium
20 - 45 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

It’s summertime!  It’s 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade, and a great way to cool off is a trip to the lake--time for some fun with your water-loving pooch who loves to swim! But a few days after your trip to the lake your dog is scratching himself all over, his skin is red, he's developing sores, and he smells awful!  

Unfortunately, your dog has probably picked up a yeast infection. Although bacteria and other microorganisms like yeast live naturally on your dog, and many are beneficial, when circumstances conspire to put your dog's natural microflora out of balance, yeast on your dog's skin can overpopulate causing an infection characterized by inflammation, redness, itchiness and smelly sores. Moisture is one of the number one causes of yeast infection development; lake water is a major culprit. Also, your dog sweats on his paws and can get yeast infections between his toes or in his ears. Hot summer months make yeast infections more common, and skin that is overheated by the sun is especially susceptible. Parasites, diet, and allergies can also contribute to yeast infections. If your dog has an invasive infection or one that covers a large part of his body, you should seek veterinary attention as oral and topical medications may be required.  You can also bathe your dog to treat yeast infections and relieve symptoms.

Dog's Perspective

If your dog has a yeast infection he will be one unhappy pooch. Yeast infections are irritating and itchy, and your dog may be sensitive about his skin, so be cautious when handling and bathing to see how your dog reacts and adjust accordingly. Also, remember that several health conditions can contribute to a yeast infection, such as dietary issues, metabolic conditions, and parasites.  If your dog is suffering from another condition that a yeast infection is secondary to, he may require medical care.

The Natural Treatment Method

Most Recommended
2 Votes
Shampoo
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Prepare vinegar or tea tree shampoo
Prepare a vinegar shampoo, dilute apple cider vinegar with water. If necessary, you can add Dawn dish soap. A mixture of 1 cup water to ¼ cup vinegar and ¼ cup soap is common. You can put the mixture in a squeeze bottle like an empty, clean ketchup bottle. Another option is to use a tea tree oil-based shampoo.
Step
2
Wet down dog
Wet your dog with a handheld shower, or by pouring water over him. Avoid immersing him in water.
Step
3
Apply shampoo
Apply vinegar or tea tree oil shampoo and work all over body from neck to tail, ensure the abdomen and legs are well shampooed.
Step
4
Rinse
Rinse thoroughly with water. You can put a small amount of vinegar in rinse water to further address the yeast infection, or to address itching you can dissolve baking soda, 2 tbsp per gallon of water, and rinse your dog with the mixture. However, remember that baking soda and vinegar react so do not use these products together. If using baking soda rinse after vinegar shampoo, rinse well in between.
Step
5
Treat affected areas between baths
Swab ears with witch hazel on a cotton ball after a bath and between baths as necessary. Between baths, massage melted coconut oil, about 8 oz mixed with 1 drops lavender oil and 2 drops of lemon oil, into affected areas.
Recommend grooming method?

The Medicated Baths Method

Effective
1 Vote
Shampoo
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Use medicated anti-fungal shampoo
Obtain a medicated anti fungal shampoo from your veterinarian or pet supply store. Follow the directions on the product.
Step
2
Wet down
Wet your dog down with a hand held shower or by pouring water over him. Avoid immersing in hot or warm water unless directed to do so, as this can aggravate yeast.
Step
3
Apply medicated shampoo
Apply commercial anti-fungal shampoo all over your dog's body, starting at the head and working back to the tail.
Step
4
Use washcloth on face
Apply shampoo on a washcloth and wash the face, carefully avoiding eyes, nose, mouth and ears. If ears are infected these can be addressed separately with a commercial anti-fungal ear wash. Avoid getting water in your dog's ears during bathing.
Step
5
Rinse and dry
Rinse as directed by your shampoo product. Pat dry with a towel, taking care not to rub irritated skin. Allow your dog to air dry somewhere that is not too hot or too cold or use a blow dryer on a cool setting.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Remember your dog may be experiencing discomfort, make adjustments as necessary when handling a dog with a yeast infection.
  • Get veterinary attention and medication for serious infections with sores and widespread yeast infections. Medication may be topical or oral.
  • Be sure to address the cause of the yeast infection. Check to see if diet, medical disorder, allergies or parasites are a contributing factor and address root causes.
  • Avoid hot sun and moisture and excessive exercise in hot conditions to reduce yeast infection flare-ups. Bathe your dog after swimming in ponds or lake water to prevent microorganism growth on the skin. 
  • Be careful with commercial and herbal products. Test an area of your dog's skin with the product first if you have concerns about sensitive skin and possible adverse reactions.

Conclusion

Yeast infections are uncomfortable for your dog and unpleasant for you, as dog scratching and smelly skin make your pup a poor roommate. Get medical attention for severe cases, or when medical conditions are suspected. Bathing your dog with commercial antifungals, tea tree shampoos or vinegar will help put yeast organisms back in their place. Rinses to keep yeast at bay or address itching are also useful to ensure your dog's comfort  Remember, prevention is the best way to address yeast infections, so avoid factors like moisture and other contributing factors to avoid flare-ups in the first place.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

Question
Angel
pitbull
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Angel
pitbull
3 Years

What really is attacking my dog? Every time she gets it the vet prescribes fluconozole goes away for awhile then return. This time around she is pregnant so i can't give anything internal. What is this?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the pictures of Angel, Marcellinus. I hope she is not uncomfortable. As a groomer, my recommendation is always to consult the veterinarian. I know that your veterinarian has prescribed fluconazole a few times; perhaps ask for a second opinion. The fact that the problem keeps coming back means that there must be a secondary underlying problem. I would ask that further testing and investigation be done - don't be hesitant to ask another doctor to take a look, whether that be a colleague of your vet or a new vet. Good luck!

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Question
Ceasar
German Shepherd
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ceasar
German Shepherd
6 Years

Hi groomer I think my dog has a yeast infection tried baths in cider vinegar and malaseb shampoo to no effect. He has smelly discharge from ears rash between legs and sores popping up on his body .as he is very aggressive it is difficult to go to a vet can he be mildly sedated before going to vets so he can have a full check up .

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hi Christina, sorry to hear Ceasar is having the skin problems. You are right; he definitely needs to see the vet. He may be in a lot of discomfort - it is best to take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. He can be sedated before the vet visit, in my opinion. I would go to the clinic right away and explain Ceasar's aggression and they should be able to give you something to calm him before you take him for the full check-up. All the best, Christina!

my dog has yeast as well, I have found that bathing her in Tincture of Green soap, found on Amazon and used full strength, it does not dry her out and immediately stops the itch. leave it on for 5-10 min. I also am feeding her Zesty Paws alter Immune bites, also available on Amazon. For the itch I am using Natures Specialties anti itch spray, use it directly after a bath. for food issues that can cause yeast, I am trying Whole Earth Farms Grain free dog food, as recommended by my vet I am staying away from beef. hope this helps get your pupper feeling better soon.

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Question
Tucker
Great Dane Mix
7 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tucker
Great Dane Mix
7 Weeks

Has raw sometimes bleeding paws always in summer gets better in winter. Also smelly and red under pits of legs . Want to try Castile soap with treeoil. Want to no how often I can bathe him. Have been to vet say it's a reaction to dry grass in summer.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. I think if the condition has evolved to red and smelly under the armpits, there is a concern for a secondary infection. Castile soap and tree oil may be too harsh and can further irritate the skin. I would consult the vet again (or another one if you like) and ask for a prescription to clear up the raw areas. Then, have them suggest the best way to deal with the reaction of the skin to the grass on a day to day basis (meaning a mild shampoo). I would wipe Tucker's body and paws each time he comes in from the outdoors to remove any irritants (pollen, grass, etc.). Good luck with Tucker - he is a very handsome boy!

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