Ear infections in dogs are not uncommon. They can be caused by bacteria, yeast and parasites. Natural remedies can be gentle and quite effective. Popular home treatments include apple cider vinegar, coconut oil and “Arcane Solution.”
Symptoms of Dog Ear Infections
- Scratching the ears
- Rubbing the ears on furniture
- Odor from the ears
- Discharge from the ears
The cause of the ear infection will affect the choice of remedy used to treat the infection.
If the cause is unknown, several of the remedies will work well for different types of infection and can be chosen accordingly.
Arcane solution is great for fungal or bacterial ear infections. If the skin of the ears is broken or sensitive, this is a gentle choice.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is diluted and used to wash out the ears. This remedy is good for parasites and allergies. It may sting broken skin. Because it contains water it may not be the best remedy for ear infections of a fungal nature since fungus thrives in a moist environment.
Coconut oil is antibacterial and antifungal. It is soothing to inflamed or broken skin. Simply massage a pea sized amount into the ear twice daily.
Vinegar and Alcohol
Dogs that often swim can get “swimmer’s ear,” just like people. This is a fungal infection. A solution of equal parts of rubbing alchol (70%) and vinegar is used to cure and even prevent this problem. A few drops are used in each ear twice daily for an infection. To prevent an ear infection, use a few drops after each swim. The alcohol helps to dry out excess moisture in the ear.
White vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used.
This remedy should not be used if there is broken or otherwise irritated skin!
Garlic oil fights all sorts of infections and is soothing to irritated ears. For complete instructions, see this page.
Tea Tree Oil
The use of tea tree essential oil in pets is controversial. Cats especially can be sensitive to essential oils. Properly diluted, it works well for many dogs. Add 5 drops tea tree oil to 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil. The resulting mixture can be used a few drops at a time in the ears to fight bacterial, fungal or parasite infections in the ear.
Poor quality pet food can cause a host of problems, including ears that are prone to irritation or infection. If ear problems are chronic or are accompanied by other health problems, consider improving the quality of pet food. Eliminating grains, fillers, and colors in pet food is especially beneficial.
Allergies in pets can also cause itchy ears. Allergies are not infections and usually require a more systemic treatment, though the above remedies may provide temporary relief. See this page for information about treating allergies in dogs.
Do you have a natural remedy for ear infections in dogs or cats? Please send us some feedback!