Home Remedies for Dog Ear Infection
Date Published: 2020-01-21
Date Updated: 2020-02-06
If you’ve ever had a dog with an ear infection, you’ll know it’s incredibly uncomfortable for them. The itchiness, excessive odor, and pain might cause your dog to become moody and irritable. Fortunately, there are a few effective home remedies for ear infections in dogs that you can use to make them feel better.
Most home remedies for ear infections can be made with cheap products – including things that might be sitting in your kitchen cupboard right now. Since ear infections are so common in dogs, it’s a good idea to learn about these natural treatments so that you can prevent and treat ear infections when they pop up.
Here’s what you need to know about natural remedies for canine ear infections.
Ear infections in dogs
How do you know whether your dog has an ear infection – and what causes ear infections in dogs? Despite the fact that ear infections are one of the most common reasons why people take their dogs to the vet, few people understand the symptoms of ear infections in dogs, what they’re caused by, and how to prevent and treat them.
The symptoms of ear infections in dogs include:
- Excessive head shaking
- Excessive scratching of the ears
- Redness in the ears
- Smelly ears
- Brown, yellow, or red discharge
- Rubbing ears against the floor or other objects to scratch it
- Behavioral changes, including aggression and irritability
There are numerous causes of ear infections in dogs. Often, itchy spots, hot spots, and rashes can lead to itching which can lead to ear infections. Ear infections are often caused by yeast infections as well as bacterial infections.
Ear infections in dogs can be caused by:
- Environmental allergies and food allergies, which can cause itchiness and rashes
- Food high in sugar, which causes yeast overgrowths
- A weak immune system, which would make it hard to fight off bacteria and fungus
- Excessive ear cleaning, as cleaning your dog’s ears too much can irritate the skin
- Excessive swimming, as the constant moisture can cause infections
- Genetics, which can make some dogs more prone to ear infections
Home infections for ear infections in dogs
It’s important to note that, if left untreated, ear infections can get worse. The infections can even go deeper into the middle ear and deeper ear, which could lead to deafness, or worse.
Fortunately, there are many effective home remedies for ear infections in dogs that can be cheap and easy to make. Here are a few.
Water and apple cider vinegar
Mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar and spray it down your dog’s ear. Vinegar is a natural astringent that reduces inflammation and kills some bacteria.
Much like the apple cider vinegar solution, witch hazel is an astringent that can ease swelling and reduce the infection. Mix witch hazel with water and spray it down the ear.
Make some chamomile tea and let it cool off. Once it’s room temperature, syringe it into your dog’s ear. This can reduce inflammation as well as bacteria.
Syringe plain, unsweetened yogurt into your dog’s ear to increase the population of ‘good’ bacteria in the ear.
Coconut oil can be swabbed into your dog’s ear or syringed into the ear. This is a natural anti-bacterial that could kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Use a warm compress, such as a cloth soaked in warm water, and place it over your dog’s ear several times per day. This can relieve itching, pain, and inflammation. It can also loosen some ear wax and discharge, which may have built up during the infection.
Mixing coconut oil with essential oils such as tea tree oil, calendula oil, or garlic oil and syringing it into your dog’s ear can reduce the infection. These essential oils all have anti-bacterial properties.
If your dog’s ear infection seems to get worse, go to a vet immediately.
Natural ways to prevent ear infections in dogs
There are a few ways to prevent ear infections in dogs. For example:
- Avoid excessive cleaning. While wiping away earwax is fine, don’t dig in your dog’s ears with an earbud or your finger. A good role of thumb is to not touch anything that’s difficult to see from the outside.
- Don’t let your dog swim too often. But if your dog is an avid swimmer, dry their ears afterward. You can also mix witch hazel or apple cider vinegar with water and add a few drops into their ears after swimming. This dries out the canal slightly.
- Change your dog’s diet. Diets high in sugar, starch, and carbohydrates can feed yeast which can lead to yeast infections – not to mention that they’re not good for your dog’s body in general! Chat to your vet about a healthier diet.
- Give your dog natural supplements. Supplements containing vitamin C or garlic, or supplements that improve the immune system in general, might help your dog fight off ear infections before they take root.
- Preventative wipes. Wiping your dog’s ears out with a cotton ball dipped in coconut oil, diluted witch hazel, or cold chamomile tea can prevent ear infections. Do this once a week or once every two weeks if your dog gets frequent infections.
CBD oil for ear infections in dogs
CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory. It also tends to soothe rashes. This makes it a great supplement for dogs who are prone to ear infections. CBD can treat ear infections in dogs by soothing the swelling and pain while lifting your dog’s mood.
If you want to try CBD oil, be sure to speak to your vet first as they’ll be able to advise you on how to use it. Check out our CBD dosage chart for different dog breeds and sizes.
When to see a vet for an ear infection
Take your dog to a vet if the home remedies don’t seem to work. If two days pass and it’s still infected, take them to a vet. You should also take your dog to a vet if their ears are bleeding or if their appetite seems reduced. If they seem more lethargic, irritable, or aggressive than usual, it’s also a good idea to take them to the doctor as it could be a sign that your pup is in pain.
While there are plenty of home remedies for ear infections in dogs, it’s important to know when to let a professional step in. If left untreated, ear infections can get worse, making them much harder to treat.