How to Bathe a Dog With a Yeast Infection

Medium
20 - 45 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

Reviewed by a licensed veterinary professional: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Is your dog red all over and can't seem to stop scratching? Have they developed sores or a funky odor? If so, your dog may have a yeast infection. 

Although beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms live naturally on your dog, their natural microflora can sometimes become imbalanced. Yeast on your dog's skin can overpopulate, causing an infection characterized by inflammation, a rash, discharge, and a noticeable odor.

Moisture is one of the main causes of yeast infections in dogs, and lake water is a common culprit. Also, your dog sweats through their paws and can get yeast infections between their toes or in his ears. Yeast infections are more common in the hot summer months, and skin that's sunburned 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 their body, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. Oral and topical medications may be required for more severe infections. You can also bathe your dog to treat yeast infections and relieve symptoms.

Dog's Perspective

Yeast infections are super itchy and uncomfortable, so be extra careful when handling and bathing your dog ‚ÄĒ pawticularly if they already have sensitive skin.

Remember, several health conditions can cause yeast infections, including dietary issues, metabolic conditions, and parasites. If your dog is suffering from another condition that's causing a yeast infection, they may require medical care.

Don't have the chops to bathe your dog? Book a Grooming service through Wag!.

The Natural Treatment Method

Most Recommended
4 Votes
Shampoo
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Prepare vinegar solution
To prepare a vinegar shampoo, dilute apple cider vinegar with water. A mixture of 1 cup water to ¬ľ cup vinegar should do the trick. For easier bathing, you can pour the mixture in a clean, empty spray or squeeze bottle.
Step
2
Wet down your dog
Wet your dog with a handheld shower, or by pouring water over them. Avoid immersing them in water.
Step
3
Apply vinegar solution
Gently apply the vinegar solution to your dog and massage it in 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 the rinse water to further address the yeast infection. Alternatively, to soothe itching, you can dissolve 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a gallon of tepid water and rinse your dog. However, baking soda and vinegar react, so never mix or combine these products! If using a baking soda rinse after the vinegar shampoo, rinse thoroughly 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. Administer oral and topical treatments as prescribed by your vet according to the product directions.
Recommend grooming method?

The Medicated Baths Method

Effective
2 Votes
Shampoo
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Get medicated anti-fungal shampoo
Buy a medicated anti-fungal shampoo from your veterinarian or pet supply store. Follow the directions on the product.
Step
2
Wet down your dog
Wet your dog with tepid water using a handheld shower or by pouring water over them. Avoid immersing your pup in hot or warm water unless directed to do so, as this can aggravate a yeast infection.
Step
3
Apply medicated shampoo
Gently wash your dog with an anti-fungal shampoo, starting at the head and working back to the tail.
Step
4
Use a washcloth on their face
Apply shampoo on a washcloth and wash the face, carefully avoiding the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. If the ears are also infected, use an anti-fungal ear wash to treat it. Avoid getting water in your dog's ears during bathing.
Step
5
Rinse and dry
Rinse your dog according to the shampoo directions. Then, pat them dry with a towel, taking care not to rub irritated skin. Let your dog air-dry somewhere that's 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, so handle them carefully and pay close attention to their body language.
  • Get veterinary attention and oral/topical medication for serious infections.
  • Be sure to address the cause of the yeast infection. Check to see if diet, underlying conditions, allergies, or parasites are causing your dog's yeast infection.
  • Avoid sun exposure, moisture, and intensive 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.¬†
  • Consult your vet before trying 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 a commercial anti-fungal shampoo or a DIY vinegar solution will help soothe itching and clear up the infection.

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 excessively moist conditions and other risk factors.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

Question
Angel
pitbull
3 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 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 Trainer and 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
2 found helpful
Question
2 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 Trainer and 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 Trainer and 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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Question
Jack
Rat Terrier
8 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Jack
Rat Terrier
8 Years

Hello
My dog Jack has what I believe is a yeast infection by genitals and underarms. (A series of black dots in the areas)I would like to try the tea tree oil shampoo. How many drops of tea tree oil should I use instead of vinegar?
Thank you,
Chris

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hello, because tea tree oil is very potent (and I am not a vet), I recommend putting in a call to Jack's vet for an opinion. The staff at the clinic is also aware of his previous health or skin issues, if any. You can also ask a vet a question through Wag! here: https://wagwalking.com/wag-health. All the best to Jack!

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