If your dog has never smelled like corn chips then that probably sounds like a completely ridiculous question. She’s finally lost it. But I would bet my bottom dollar that at least half of you thought “YES! Why does my dog smell like corn chips?!”
I have to confess that I secretly kind of like it. My dog is at his most Dorito-y when he first wakes up, and I love our cheesy morning cuddles.
Unfortunately for many dogs that weird smell that I’ve come to love is actually a symptom of an imbalance in the body and it may be causing them significant discomfort. If it’s coupled with reddish brown discolouration around the paws, armpits, eyes, ears and mouth, then I’m afraid you have a yeasty dog. Probably also a very itchy dog. Poor poppet.
This is an incredibly common ailment among animals fed processed commercial pet foods because these foods literally feed the problem. All dogs produce yeast and it lives in and on the body in even the healthiest of animals. Similar to how there are good bacteria and bad bacteria, yeast is not inherently bad and it makes up a part of your dog’s natural flora. But if things start to go a little off kilter, yeast can get a big too big for its boots and before you know it you have a full blown yeast infection on your hands. If you’ve been unfortunate enough, you may have experienced this personally yourself. It’s not nice (ladies, am I right?).
The reason processed foods contribute to yeast overgrowths in our pets is because they are generally very high in starch. Yes, even the grain free ones. It’s not possible to make a dried dog food without starch. You could end up with a big bag of powder. So while grain free dog foods do often contain higher quality ingredients with less allergens (like wheat), they are usually still around 50% carbohydrates, AKA… you guessed it. Starch. During digestion all of this starch is broken down into sugars. Yeast feeds on sugar.
Feeding your dog a carbohydrate rich, dehydrated and highly processed diet is the fastest way to upset their gut microbiome so that the balance of good and bad bacteria is askew and yeast is given the opportunity to thrive. My number one recommendation to resolve this issue is, of course, to transition them to an animal nutritionist approved homemade fresh diet, which will almost always resolve the problem naturally. If you’re not quite ready for that, I would begin with my free 7 Days to Fresh Food Toolkit, which will give you my top tips for introducing probiotic rich, gut healing fresh nutrients to your dog’s diet.
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