How to Treat Dog Ear Infection at Home

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Ear infections are among the most common dog health issues today. When you suddenly notice your doggy scratching his ear vigorously and frequently, you could be dealing with this notorious condition. Read other relevant articles here. 

Unfortunately, it may not be possible for you to bring your pet to the vet each time he is sick, especially during the holidays when most vet clinics are closed. Usually, most emergency visits are too expensive, which may not be affordable for you.

The most frustrating bit is that these infections can come back again and again. However, this depends on the form of treatment applied. Antibiotics [1], for instance, are the most prescribed, yet all they do is set your pet up for just a short while.

At some point, these antibiotics may end up causing an imbalance, which could trigger more infections in the future. So, what should you do to get to the bottom of this problem? Is there a way you can handle your pet’s ear infection without a vet? Let’s find out.

What do Dog Ear Infections Look Like?

The first sign to ear infection in your dog is tilting and shaking of the head. Look inside the ears to spot the following:

  • Odor (often sweet smelling)
  • Reddish or brown discharge
  • Swelling
  • Scabs
  • Redness

You might also notice him rubbing his ear against a wall. If he is also walking in circles, showing unusual eye movement, or is having balance problems, check with your vet – he could be having a deeper infection.

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Causes of Dog Ear Infection

The structure of the ears of dogs is the same as that of humans. It is packaged with the inner, middle, and external canal, meaning that infections can affect either of them. Infections usually affect the external canal and are pretty easy to treat. These can be handled easily at home, especially if there are no complications.

The middle ear infections tend to be a little more severe than the external ones given that they can potentially harm the sense of hearing. The most severe are infections that touch the inner ear since they can damage the brain leading to neurological problems.

Middle and inner ear complications require medical attention from a vet. It means that should you suspect your dog is dealing with a severe ear infection; consult your vet first before administering home remedies.

The culprits behind ear infections in dogs include yeast, hormonal imbalances, allergies, and bacteria.

Veterinarian with dog in examination room

Bacterial Infections

Bacteria exists in all parts of the body, including the ears without causing problems. Under some circumstances, they could begin to reproduce quickly, causing inflammation. Your dog has beneficial bacteria in his ears, responsible for keeping pathogenic bacteria in check.

Sometimes, this balance may be hampered. When this happens, bacteria from a contaminated water body, for instance, could get into his ears and begin to colonize the insufficient beneficial bacteria. If your dog has low immunity, staphylococcus and other bacteria that reside in the ears may overgrow. This can be the case if the infections recur.

Fungal or Yeast Infection

The other common yet normal ear inhabitants are fungi. These live in harmony together with bacteria in colonies referred to as the microbiome. Yeast may overgrow if your dog has a leaky gut or when the immunity is suppressed. Many times, infections result when there is a dysfunction in the immune system.

Hormonal imbalances, hypothyroidism, or allergies may be to blame. If these infections occur just once, there is no cause for worry. Simply employ the below natural remedies to control them or simply consider buying dog food for yeast problems.

Home Remedies for Dog Ear Infections

Several natural remedies can be employed to control ear infections. Most of them are inexpensive and readily available. Here is a list of some of the most common:


This is a natural plant rich in antibacterial properties. It is known to work well against ear infections. Here is a simple recipe:

  • Pack the leaves or flowers in a jar and cover it with olive oil. You could add a garlic clove in it to increase the antibiotic effects.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for about 2-3 weeks
  • Apply several drops of the mixture in the affected area with a cotton ball

If you would wish to avoid the recipe, you could buy a readily made infused oil.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which is great at removing dirt from your dog’s ears. It can also destroy bacteria and yeast. If you notice soreness or redness in the ears, skip this vinegar because it can be too painful. Put the vinegar in a glass in equal amounts with distilled water. Fill the mixture in a syringe or soak it in a cotton ball and begin to clean the ears.

Oregano Oil

This is a highly effective natural antibiotic. Before using it in or on the ear of your dog, be sure to dilute it since it can cause irritation on its own. Add a drop of oregano oil to a ½ OZ of Aloe Vera gel and clean the ears with it using a cotton swab.

Coconut Oil

This is anti-fungal and antibacterial natural oil. It is also an antifungal ingredient that can be highly effective in infected ears. Under low heat, mix 2 tbsp. of the coconut oil with fresh garlic cloves. A combination of the two is known to have high antibacterial power. Use the mixture to clean your dog’s ears.

If your dog is constantly dealing with ear infections, it could be potentially an immune system problem. In this case, you will want your vet to rule out a leaky gut. A leaky gut may be caused by drugs and other toxins, poor diet, or over-vaccination. Symptoms of leaky gut include blood in dog’s urine. Click here to read more about it.

Almost every pet will suffer from an ear infection at some point in their life. Because dogs are the most vulnerable to the condition, ear infections are among the top 3 reasons for vet visits today. They can be uncomfortable, especially if allowed to fester. Fortunately, whatever the cause, there is always a simple natural solution.