A dog ear infection is a common problem.

Thankfully, they can be treated very easily, and the symptoms usually subside just hours after treatment begins.

However, if left untreated, the resulting problems could be drastic as pet dermatologist Jangi Bajwa claims:

“Dogs may develop hearing loss due to (the) presence of otitis externa.”

Otitis Externa is an inflammatory disease in the external part of a dog's ear canal, which is often caused by bacterial infections.

Most pet owners seek veterinary assistance if they suspect their pet has an ear infection, but home remedies for a dog ear infection can also be very effective.

If you try a home remedy, keep a close eye on your pup.

And if the symptoms get worse, seek veterinary help immediately.

It's important to keep your dog's ears in good condition.

That's because ears aren't just used for hearing, but it helps with balance and coordination.

If ear infections are left untreated, they can lead to hearing loss and a drastic decline in your dog's overall health and well-being.

Treat a Dog Ear Infection

home remedies for dog ear infection cleaning dog ear

Home Remedies for Dog Ear Infections

As with any home remedies, you need to keep a close eye on your dog's condition until his ear infection has cleared up completely.

Tip: Home remedies usually need to be applied more often than medications as well.

This is because the ingredients are not as strong as the chemicals in prescription treatments or over-the-counter remedies.

Dog ear care products and medication don’t need to be complicated or expensive.

Some of the best ear infection treatments can be made right at home.

And, it's likely that you already have the ingredients on hand.

Relevant Read: Dog Ears 101: How To Care For Them and Prevent Problems

home remedy for dog ear infection apple cider vinegar

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

The most effective home remedy is a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part apple cider vinegar.

Trivia: Apple Cider vinegar has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

It is also highly acidic, which helps it eat through the dirt debris and wax build-up in your dog's ear.

This home remedy has also been shown to kill yeast and bacteria, the 2 main causes of dog ear infections.

To use this remedy, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Wet a cotton ball and swab it around the inside of your pet's ear or put a small amount of the liquid in your dog's ear with a syringe.

Step 2: If you choose to put the liquid directly into the ear, be sure to massage the ear's base to work the mixture around thoroughly.

Step 3: Allow your pet to shake his head and wipe away any excess liquid.

home remedy for dog ear infection coconut oil

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has several health benefits for dogs, and one of them is that it is an effective home remedy for dog ear infections.

This nature's bounty has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

You can use it to treat ear infections caused by yeast or bacteria.

When using coconut oil to treat an ear infection, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Melt it into liquid form first.

Of course, you don't want to apply hot oil to your pup's ear, do you?

Step 2: Allow the oil to cool enough that it won't hurt your dog, yet not enough to harden.

Step 3: Dip a cotton ball in the softened oil and wipe a thin layer throughout your dog's inner ear.

Step 4: Apply it 3-4 times per day for at least 7 days.

Important: Be sure to continue applying the treatment until all infection signs have been gone for at least 48 hours.

Remember, if the infection gets worse, you need to call your veterinarian immediately.

Relevant Read: Top 7 Best Dog Ear Cleaning Solutions Recommended by Vets

Treat a Dog Ear Infection

Best OTC Treatments for Ear Infections in Dogs

While home remedies are natural and less intrusive and will generally work for minor ear infections in dogs, they aren't always the best solution.

If you noticed these home remedies not being effective enough, you might need a stronger solution.

Below are some of the best treatments for ear infections in dogs, available over the counter.

Common Questions about Canine Ear Infections

If you still have questions about your doggie's infected ear or want a quick summary of the most important information from above, these questions should help.

How Can I Treat My Dog's Ear Infection at Home?

You can try treating it at home with simple ear cleaning.

Common home remedies include apple cider vinegar and coconut oil, which you can apply to the affected ear with cotton swabs.

Or you could get a vet-approved ear-cleaning solution and use that instead.

Relevant Read: DIY Dog Ear Cleaning: How To Do It

Will Dog Ear Infection Go Away on Its Own?

It is possible but not likely that the infection will go away.

Whether the infection affects the middle and inner ear, ear canals, or another part of the ear, you need to consult a vet.

More importantly, dog owners will not usually notice severe ear disease, like a ruptured eardrum.

This is particularly concerning as a ruptured eardrum can make certain medications and ear cleaners toxic to your dog's middle ear, even causing severe chronic disease.

Can You Put Peroxide in a Dog's Ear for an Ear Infection?

Since you likely have peroxide in your house, you may want to use it to keep your dog's ears clean.

Don't! It would help if you never used hydrogen peroxide or alcohol for this.

Either could make recurring ear infections worse and inflame the ear canal.

Relevant Read: When It’s OK Not To Clean A Dog’s Ears

How Can You Tell If a Dog Has an Ear Infection?

Most ear infections come with signs from your dog that something is wrong.

You may not notice anything by the external ear, or it may be red, swelling, or scabs.

There may also be an odor in the ear, discharge (yellow, brown, or bloody), or hair loss in the area.

You may also notice head-shaking or your dog scratching in and around his ear. These are all dog ear infection symptoms to be aware of.

What Should You Expect at the Vet for Ear Infections?

Expect your vets to inspect your dog's ears thoroughly.

They will look at the outer ear canal, check for ear mites, and look for irritated skin inside the ear.

The vet will not only want to check for infection but determine what type it is.

Otitis refers to ear infection, and types include otitis media, middle ear otitis interna, otitis externa, and infections affecting the inner ear canal or vertical ear canal.

Are Dogs with Floppy Ears More Prone to Chronic Ear Infections?

Yes, if your dog has floppy ears, there is a higher risk he will develop ear infections. Dogs that swim a lot also have a higher risk. In either case, moisture plays a role in the dog's ear infections.

What Do Vets Give Dogs for Ear Infections?

Your vet will treat your dog's chronic infections by treating the underlying cause.

If it is a bacterial infection, you will likely have to give your pup antibiotics for about 6 to 8 weeks or more.

If the underlying cause is a fungal infection, expect an anti-fungal medication.

Fungicide also helps with a yeast infections.

Most vets prescribe oral antibiotics that you can easily hide in dog treats.

Your vet may also suggest allergy testing to ensure the infections or irritation aren't due to dust mites or other allergens.

The vet may also offer options to treat or prevent ear infections, including recurrent ear infections.

What Is the Best Medicine for Dog Ear Infections?

The best medicine always depends on what caused the dog's infection. It may be a fungicide, anti-bacterial medicine, or something else.

What Happens If a Dog's Ear Infection Goes Untreated?

It would help if you never left an ear infection untreated.

In the best-case scenario, your dog will still be in pain.

However, it is much more likely that there will also be major damage to the ear canal, outer ear, or other parts of the ear.

Deep infection can lead to the eardrum rupturing or being seriously damaged.

Your dog may even develop permanent hearing loss.

How To Treat An Ear Infection Without A Vet: Before You Go…

Now, you have some options on how to treat dog ear infections without a vet.

As I said before, Apple Cide vinegar and coconut oil both have antifungal properties.

And these home remedies for dog ear infections are great tools before you start going to the heavier stuff like otc and vet prescriptions.

But in severe cases, opting for over-the-counter treatments may come in handy to quickly and effectively treat your dog's ear infections.

Still, the best thing you can do to address this illness in your dogs is to seek your vet, too.


How to Treat a Dog Ear Infection

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Samantha’s biggest passion in life is spending time with her Boxer dogs. After she rescued her first Boxer in 2004, Samantha fell in love with the breed and has continued to rescue three other Boxers since then. She enjoys hiking and swimming with her Boxers, Maddie and Chloe.