I have always been very keen on learning how I can improve the life and health of my dogs. Food is one big factor in how healthy and how long a dog lives. There are dogs who eat ”bad” food their whole lives and still live long, but those dogs are to be considered very strong individuals that could have maybe done even better with proper diet. It is also quite often, from my experience at least, that modern breeds that have been selectively bred by people for a long time and are not as original as some older breeds do better with stuff like wheat, corn and everything with sugar in their diet. Original breeds that are still relatively closely related to wolves and original stock have more problems digesting things that were not meant for dog's digestive system (once again, this is just my own speculation and something I have noticed over the years).
The most common problem created by excessive use of carbohydrates is obesity, along with problems like diabetes. A dog is just plain and simply not made to use that much carbohydrates. However, because dogs CAN use carbohydrates for energy to some extent, and because the sources of carbohydrates are cheaper to use for the companies, commercial dog foods often use lots of sources of carbohydrates as part of their ingredients.
It is often recommended that puppies are not fed low-carb diets, however many companies producing low-carb diets have puppy foods. There is no real reason to why puppies should have high level of carbohydrates in their food if they are offered enough protein and they get all the supplements they need to grow.
Carbohydrates are not to be mixed with fiber, that does indeed serve a purpose in food. It is, however, not needed in great amounts. A little goes a long way.
Damn it - it's yeast
Afghan hounds are prone to yeast. It's a common thing in the breed due to the breed's ”originality” and because of their long, quite heavy hanging ears. It is possible a dog developes yeast because of humidity, but it's even more common because the dog gets too much sugar from it's diet.
Yeast needs sugar to live. The yeast infection of a dog is simply an overgrowth of the natural bacteria the dog already has in it's normal flora. It's usually a symptom of the imbalance of digestive system, either because of allergies or inability to use as much carbohydrates the dog is fed.
”Diet is the foundation of health. The way you nourish your dog is either going to help his immune system manage yeast, or it's going to feed a potential or existing yeast overgrowth situation.” - healthypets.mercola.com
So quite simply, if your dog has yeast, you should take a look at it's diet. Are you feeding your dog a food it can process, or are you expecting it's system to digest food that is actually not appropriate for it's species? Before you go on trying million different hypoallergenic kibble, take a moment and consider the possibility of going raw.
raw food diet
Allergies are always a symptom of an immune system failure, however if your dog is ”allergic” to wheat or gets yeast from too much sugar, it is not to be considered suffering from immune system failure but simply having a digestive system of a more original canine. The fact some dogs are better using carbohydrates and dealing with sugars is not a reason to call the others allergic. Allergy is something caused by an overactive immune system failing to see what is to be considered a threat and what is not. Yeast is simply an overgrowth of bacteria that feed on sugars (however, in some cases it is caused by allergies).
Raw food diet is not feeding raw bones and hoping the dog survives (that is actually called BARF and it's not healthy for the dog. It provides mostly calcium with the loss of everything else). It is feeding raw MEAT. Bones are actually quite small part of any canine's diet, and therefore they shouldn't be too dominant in raw feeding either. In some cases you can't use bones at all, but you can still feed your dog raw meat as long as you prove the source of calcium.
What does this benefit, then?
Well, obviously it's the most natural way to feed a dog! Most dogs do great with raw, most do great with getting some raw and then getting kibble. Some dogs that have digestive system problems may be bad at using lots of fat and therefore some very rare cases may benefit better from a high quality kibble than from raw food. This is totally alright, as long as the kibble fed is good quality. I myself avoid kibble with corn, rice, potatoes or sweet potatoes, as they are high in sugar and sugar is exactly what I don't wish to have in my dog's diet.
Raw food is mostly just protein and fat, and with added supplements (such as vitamisn A, D and E, calcium and zinc) it answers to the basic need of a dog. Your dog is a meat eater. Take a look at it's teeth – are those made for biting rice or ripping the flesh of a prey? Often dogs that are fed raw have more energy. This is simply because they can use their food faster and better.
Raw is what nature meant for canines to eat.