Introduction

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on tackling dog allergies, itchy skin, and yeast infections. Contrary to popular belief, these issues often stem from a complex interaction of factors affecting not just the skin but also the whole body. Read on to find out how to holistically address these problems.

The Complexity Behind Dog Allergies and Itchy Skin

Dog allergies and itchy skin are not as straightforward as they appear. In many cases, they involve a combination of local and systemic factors, including the immune, nervous, and endocrine systems. Because of this, many pet parents miss the root cause of why their dog’s allergies are not improving and they stay stuck going back and forth the vet.

The Usual Suspects: Allergens Affecting Dogs

Allergies leading to itchy skin and yeast infections can come from many different areas.  Here are a few common reasons for itchy dogs that you want to make sure you don’t miss:

  • Insect Bites & Parasites

    : Such as fleas, leading to intense itching. Even though fleas are the most common cause, other parasites like Demodex and Sarcoptes mites can cause intense itching for dogs. Learn more about how to repel insects naturally here: Natural Flea & Tick Remedies

  • Food Sensitivities

    : Which can exacerbate yeast infections and create itchy skin, dog ear infections and excessive paw licking and hot spots. If your dog’s itchy skin flare up with certain foods, like carbohydrates, they may have an overgrowth of yeast or malassezia that’s secondary to other issues. Food sensitivities are usually due to a gut health problem that is commonly missed.  Make sure to keep reading to learn more about gut health problems in dogs.

  • Environmental Factors

    : Like pollen, causing allergies and skin reactions. Environmental toxins are also a commonly missed reason since they tend to be invisible.  However, if your dog’s detox pathways are not functioning well, the buildup of toxins in the body can lead to increased inflammation, which can manifest as skin issues and dog itchy skin and ear infections.

Recognizing the Signs

Symptoms often manifest as persistent itching, red skin, ear infections, anal gland issues, and secondary bacterial and yeast infections. Accurate diagnosis usually involves a comprehensive examination that eliminates other potential culprits like flea infestations and mite problems.

Make sure to have your veterinarian do an ear swab to assess for secondary bacterial and yeast infections, since these need to be resolved.  Skin scrapes are also helpful for ruling out demodex and sarcoptes infections since these mites are microscopic in size and cannot be seen by the normal eye.

More Than Skin Deep: The Systemic Factors

Your dog’s allergies and itchy skin are often symptoms of broader systemic issues. Effective treatment must address these interconnected elements for lasting relief and actual resolution of the root cause of the itchy skin and yeast overgrowth.

The Role of Gut Health and Microbiota in Dog Allergies

What is the Microbiota and Why is it Important?

The gut microbiota refers to the complex ecosystem of microorganisms that reside in the gastrointestinal tract of your dog. This community includes bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa, each playing a critical role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. A balanced gut microbiota is crucial for overall health and well-being.

The Gut-Skin Axis: An Interconnected System

Just like in humans, dogs also have a “gut-skin axis”—a two-way communication highway between the gut and the skin. When the gut is in optimal condition, this positively affects the skin, reducing inflammation and allergic responses. Conversely, imbalances in the gut often manifest as skin issues, such as allergic dermatitis, itchy skin, and yeast infections.

How Gut Imbalance Contributes to Allergic Dermatitis

An imbalance in the gut microbiota, often termed “dysbiosis,” can disrupt the immune system, making it hypersensitive and more likely to overreact to allergens. This can exacerbate conditions like allergic dermatitis, creating a vicious cycle: the skin condition affects the gut, and an unhealthy gut aggravates the skin problem even further.

Rebalancing the Gut to Alleviate Symptoms

Given the integral role of the gut in immune function and inflammation, targeted interventions like probiotic supplements, prebiotic fibers, and diet modifications can significantly improve symptoms. Opt for high-quality, pet-friendly probiotics and consult your vet for a personalized dietary plan that supports gut health.

Integrative Management of Dog Allergies and Yeast Infections

Because dog allergies and itchy skin are multi-faceted issues, they benefit from an integrative treatment approach:

  • Nutritional Support

    : Nutrition can either help or make dog allergies harder to treat. Processed diets like kibble are high in carbohydrates and are inflammatory due to the extrusion process and poor quality ingredients.

      • Omega-3 fatty acids can help combat inflammation.  The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is very important for quelling inflammation.  Once again high carbohydrate diets are too high in omega-6’s which is pro-inflammatory.  Brands of omega-3’s that we know, like and trust include:
      • Nordic Naturals Pet Omega:
      • Standard Process VF-Omega for Petsomega-3 supplement for dogs and cats

     

  • Herbs & Natural Remedies

    : Natural anti-inflammatories like mushrooms, quercetin and other herbs can help alleviate the symptoms while providing nutritional support to help the body actually heal.

    • Using whole food and glandular products can help heal the nutritional deficiencies that may be impairing the healing process and help make the body more resilient.  These products help heal the skin barrier and support a health immune system:
      • Standard Process Canine Dermal Support – This product helps heal the skin with whole, fresh food ingredients to help with itchiness and supports not only the skin, but the adrenal glands and liver which is important for detoxification and reducing inflammation that is causing the itchy skin.
    • Standard Process canine dermal support supplement to help heal allergies
        • Standard Process Canine Adrenal Support – This product is important when a dog has been experiencing health issues for a long-time, which can lead to adrenal gland stress and insufficiency.  This is commonly referred to as adrenal fatigue and can impair the healing process and also lead to decreases in energy levels. Standard Process canine adrenal support to help support the adrenal glands
        • Standard Process VF Antronex for Pets – This product helps improve the blood flow to the liver, helping to clear excess histamine from the body which can greatly improve the dog’s itchy skin and make them more comfortable.  This is a more natural alternative to benadryl and other anti-histamines and doesn’t have adverse side effects.  Antronex can be used alongside quercetin, which helps remove excess histamine too.
        • Quercetin with Bromelain – This natural supplement is a game-changer for many allergic dogs with itchy skin.  Quercetin can also help repair leaky gut and support the microbiome which is commonly involved when a dog is experiencing allergies.

      • Real Mushrooms Reishi – Medicinal mushrooms are very powerful at supporting the immune system. The Reishi mushroom has been known to help with allergies and modulating the immune system appropriately.  There is also a Mushroom Immune Pet Chew that contains other herbs like astragalus and ashwaghanda to help support the adrenal glands while calming down an overactive immune response and helping the body heal secondary infections.
  • Full-Body Support

    : To restore gut health and boost the immune system, there needs to a true wholistic approach if a dog’s itchy skin issue is to be healed.  Emotional health needs to be addressed alongside the gut and immune system.  Utilizing teas in the food can be very helpful.  Chamomile tea is very soothing, helps reduce histamine and inflammation and is calming to mental health.  Learn more about how to utilize teas for your pets here: Herbal Teas for Pet Allergies

Conclusion

Itchy skin, yeast infections, and dog allergies require more than a band-aid solution. They need a holistic approach that considers the interconnected factors contributing to your dog’s discomfort. Understanding this complexity enables us to find effective, lasting solutions.

As we’ve explored, the gut isn’t just an isolated system focused solely on digestion and nutrient absorption. It serves as a central hub for immune responses, influencing far-reaching aspects of your dog’s health—most notably, their skin. A balanced gut ecosystem can serve as your first line of defense against allergic dermatitis, itchy skin, and yeast infections. However, maintaining that balance isn’t always straightforward.

Understanding the complexities of your pet’s health can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. If you’re interested in diving deeper into the interconnected systems that influence your pet’s well-being, make sure to schedule a call with us to see if our lifetime Healthy Holistic Pet for Life Blueprint Program can help you find and heal the root cause that is causing the frustrating allergy symptoms. 

Schedule a free discovery call here: FREE DISCOVERY CALL HERE!

Questions?

If you have any questions or experiences to share, please drop them in the comments section below. We’re here to help!

*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. The information contained in thenaturalpetdoctor.com is strictly for educational purposes. Therefore, if you wish to apply ideas contained in thenaturalpetdoctor.com, you are taking full responsibility for your actions. Please consult your veterinarian for medical advice for your own pets. Dr. Katie Woodley cannot answer specific questions about your pet’s medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.  Links in the blog are typically affiliate links that let you help support us.

Skip to content