Home Remedies for Treating and Preventing Ear Infections in Dogs


Ear infections aren’t just something that affects human babies. Dogs are very prone to ear infections, too! Whether your dog has recurring ear infections or you couldn’t tell one if it bit you on the arm, knowing the signs, home remedies, and when it’s time to seek the help of a veterinarian will go a long way towards protecting your dog’s hearing.

Signs of an Ear Infection

Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the infection, but the most common signs of an ear infection include:

  • Constant head shaking
  • Persistent itching of the ears
  • Crying when they itch their ears
  • Musty or rotten smell in the ears
  • Walking with a head tilt

Head shaking is the first symptom to appear, followed by your dog constantly scratching their ears. Home remedies can only go so far, and if your dog has chronic ear infections, home remedies are the worst choice for them. If it gets to the point where your dog is walking with a head tilt or they seem unable to find their balance, that means it’s progressed to an inner ear infection, which means your dog needs to see a veterinarian ASAP.

Gentle Ear Cleanser

Using a mild ear cleaner that’s been formulated specially for dogs will help stop a very minor ear infection in its tracks. To clean the ear, fill the ear canal with fluid, put a large cotton ball at the tip of the ear canal, and then massage the fluid into the ear. If your dog seems to be in pain when you do this, then it’s probably time to see a vet. Never use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Alcohol will burn and can damage the eardrum, while hydrogen peroxide leaves water in the ear canal, a major cause of ear infections.

Introduce a Low-Allergen Diet

Ear infections are often a manifestation of allergies, particularly to food. If your dog has been battling ear infections for quite some time, then you should consider switching their diet. Chicken is actually very high on the allergen list, as are corn and grain. Consider a limited ingredient diet. One based on fish or lamb is generally conducive to eliminating allergies, especially if they are low- or no-grain recipe.

Clean Ear Debris

It’s important to never use Q-tips in your dog’s ear. First, you can go too far into the canal and risk damaging the eardrum, and secondly, Q-tips only further push the dirt and wax farther into the ear, compacting it around the eardrum. Instead, you should clean the visible debris in the pinna (the wrinkly part just visible when you look into the ear). You can make a product with one cup of lukewarm water and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Don’t ever pour it into the ear. Instead, wet a soft rag or cotton pad and gently wipe the debris from the ear.

Use Supplements

You can prevent and treat ear infections by introducing omega fatty acids into your dog’s diet. These acids have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, and inflammation is a key factor in ear infections. Talk to your vet about what type of fatty acid is best for your dog (fish, coconut, flax, etc) and how to balance the appropriate levels of omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids.

Keep the Ears Trimmed

A big contributor to ear infections is an overgrowth of hair in the ear, which traps bacteria and yeast when the ears get wet from swimming or bathing. Ensure your dog’s ears are well trimmed and have the hair inside the pinna plucked so the ear stays clean. The cleaner the ear, the less likely bacteria is going to grow.

Consider Insurance

Pet insurance can cost just a few dollars per week to maintain a basic policy and there are many pet insurance options available. The main benefit of paying regular insurance premiums is that it can potentially save you in the long run, given that some serious illnesses can cost many hundreds, or even thousands of dollars to resolve.

Ear infections are truly treated best by antibiotic ointments to prevent damage to the eardrum. Very minor infections can be treated at home if they’re caught right away, but if you’re ever in doubt, you should talk to your vet to prevent harming your dog’s hearing permanently.







I'm Olivia, a stay at home mother from Australia and I blog at www.EveryHomeRemedy.com. I have a sports science background and attained a Bachelor of Applied Science (Ex. Sci.). I believe in self-sustaining, eco-friendly family life, and I hope to inspire others in their pursuit of the same.