Many dogs suffer from ear mites. If that's you, and you'd rather avoid those chemical solutions, these home remedies for ear mites in dogs can be used to get rid of an infestation in a healthy, safe and natural way.
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Ear mites in dogs are a very common parasite, but there are many misconceptions about them. For example, they do not come from dirty environments or animals infested with a different type of parasite (like fleas).
Ear mites are also extremely contagious, and dogs typically catch them from outdoor cats. Possibly the most common misconception about ear mites is that they only live in a dog's ears, which isn't true. In fact, they can survive anywhere on your dog's body.
This is what ear mites look like:
And this is what they look like under a microscope:
There are several different types of mites that can infest the ear canals of your dog. The same types of mites can affect both dogs and cats, so you need to be especially careful if you have a multi-pet household.
Fortunately, humans cannot be affected by ear mites from dogs. Unlike fleas, the human members of your home will not be bitten and cannot be infected by ear mites. However, people can be infected by the ear mites' close cousin – chiggers, but that's an entirely different topic.
Though you and your vet may be curious, it isn't important to diagnose the type of mite in order to treat it. Home remedies for ear mites in dogs won't treat the infestation as quickly as prescription medications, but they will be effective at getting rid of the parasites eventually, and it's important to treat them as soon as you spot dog ear mites.
3 Effective Home Remedies for Ear Mites in Dogs
The first thing you'll need to do is thoroughly clean the dog's ears. This will relieve some of the discomfort for your pooch immediately. If you're trying to stay natural and avoiding commercial ear cleaners, then I would recommend using mineral oil like this one.
Simply apply 2-3 drops of mineral oil into your dog's ear then gently and slowly massage it for a couple of minutes. This will help to loosen any deeply impacted mite dirt or dried blood. The mineral oil will also smother and kill living ear mites.
After you've massaged the mineral oil inside your dog's ear, use a cotton ball (not a q-tip!) to wipe the inside of the ear and the inside of the ear flap with mineral oil. Now do the same thing for the other ear. Even if you only notice symptoms of mites in one ear, it's important to treat both of your dog's ears.
Once the oil has been inside both of your dog's ears for 3-5 minutes, use cotton balls to gently swab the inside of each ear and remove the dirt and mites. Again, do NOT use q-tips because it's dangerous – you can easily damage your pet's ear by accidentally inserting a q-tip too far.
As with most home remedies, this treatment option is not as potent as prescription remedies. For this reason, you'll need to apply home remedies for ear mites in dogs more often and for a longer period of time than most prescription or over-the-counter remedies.
Any dog ear mite home remedy won't contain the strong chemicals found in commercial ear cleaners for dogs but they can still be effective to some degree. For best results, you should apply mineral oil to your dog's ears 2 times per week for 4 weeks to ensure all of the mites are killed.
2. Green Tea Rinse
You see that these home remedies for for ear mites in dogs are simple, and you probably have all of the essential supplies in your cupboards. For this second treatment, all you need is some green tea and hot water.
Steep the green tea and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Apply 4-5 drops of green tea into your dog's both ears and slowly, gently massage them for a couple of minutes.
After you've massaged the tea inside the ear, use a cotton ball to wipe the inside of the ear and the inside of the ear flap with tea.
Once again, you'll need to apply this dog ear mite home remedy more frequently than over the counter treatments. Use the green tea rinse once per day for 4 weeks to kill all of the ear mites and clean the mite dirt out of the ears.
3. Essential Oil Ear Mite Remedy
Essential oils can be used as a natural treatment to treat a variety of mild health conditions in dogs. For this ear mite home remedy, you'll need to combine:
- 1 ounce witch hazel (like Thayers)
- 5 drops tea tree/melaleuca oil (like Eve Hansen)
- 5 drops clove oil (like Majestic Pure)
After you mix all three, apply 3-5 drops of this essential oil remedy to your dog's ears and slowly, gently massage them for a couple of minutes. Similar to the above, after you've massaged the oil inside the ear, use a cotton ball to wipe the inside of the ear and the inside of the ear flap with oil.
You'll need to apply this home remedy more often than commercial products. Use the essential oil remedy twice per day for 10 days to kill all of the ear mites in your dog and completely clean the mite dirt out of the ears.
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