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Can Nutritional Yeast Be a Healthy Treat for Dogs with Yeast Infections?

Can Nutritional Yeast Be a Healthy Treat for Dogs with Yeast Infections?

Ear and skin infections with yeast are relatively common for our canine companions. A frequent concern among dog parents is whether it's safe to feed their pets a treat or food containing nutritional yeast when they are being treated for a yeast infection. The good news is, nutritional yeast, a type of the yeast species Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is not only safe but also beneficial for dogs, even if (or especially when) they're battling a yeast infection.

Understanding the Difference

It's crucial to understand that the species of yeast in nutritional yeast is entirely different from pathogenic species. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, nutritional yeast, is a type of yeast that grows naturally on fruit and vegetable waste but can also be cultured on starches, molasses and nutrient-rich mediums. It does not colonize skin. Nutritional yeast is deactivated, meaning the yeast is heat-treated prior to inclusion in food and cannot replicate or be cultured once treated. The most common yeast associated with skin infections in dogs, Malassezia pachydrmatitis, grows readily on moist skin, particularly when the skin barrier has been compromised. As such, it is commonly found in dog ears and between their toes and will grow to an inflammatory overabundance when a primary insult or infection has damaged the skin. Another yeast pathogen in dogs, Candida tropicalis, is also associated with ear infections. These species of yeasts are all very different, and this differentiation is key in understanding why nutritional yeast is safe and beneficial for your dog, even if they have infection with pathogenic yeasts.

Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a powerhouse of beneficial nutrients: it's rich in B-vitamins, trace minerals, enzymes, β-glucans, peptides and essential amino acids. These nutrients can help to promote health. For example, B-vitamins are vital for energy production and cellular functions, while β-glucans can enhance immune reactions and simultaneously reduce inflammation. In fact, nutritional yeast can actually inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and pathogenic yeasts, including Candida tropicalis.
Incorporating nutritional yeast into your dog's diet is not only safe but also highly nutritious, even when they're being treated for a yeast infection. An easy and effective way to do this is by using Vivus Pets treats. These treats, rich in nutritional yeast, can be sprinkled over their regular food, offering an additional boost of flavor and nutrients. The savory taste of nutritional yeast in these treats can be irresistible to dogs, making them an excellent choice for even the pickiest of eaters!

For dogs with specific health needs, Vivus Pets also offers a Gastrointestinal Support Supplement, a specialized option that provides the benefits of nutritional yeast along with other essential nutrients tailored for digestive health.

It's important to remember that moderation is key when adding any food items to your pet's diet. Consulting with your veterinarian will help determine the most appropriate amount of extra treats, snacks and supplements for your dog, ensuring they receive the right balance of nutrients without overdoing it. This tailored approach ensures your pet gets the maximum benefit from nutritional yeast, whether through delicious treats or targeted supplements.

Boehm TMSA, Parzefall B, Klinger CJ, et al. (2020) Recurrent polyp formation with Candida tropicalis infection and otitis in a dogTierärzliche Praxis 48(5): 365-368.
Jack ME, Serefko A (2018) Nutritional yeast biomass: characterization and applicationIn: Holban AM, Grumezescu AM (eds) Diet, Microbiome and Health. Academic Press: London, United Kingdom, pp:237-270.
Jensen GS, Patterson KM, Yoon I (2008) Nutritional yeast culture has specific anti-microbial properties without affecting healthy flora. Preliminary resultsJournal of Animal and Feed Sciences 17: 247-252.
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