A dog with big ears

Who hasn't seen a dog shaking its head violently or scratching its ears incessantly? That could very well be a symptom of an ear infection. There's no need to panic, it's not the end of the world. You can treat dog ear infections at home without rushing to a vet in the UK. Let's find out how.

Understanding Dog Ear Infections

Before we discuss remedies, let's understand the problem first.

Causes of Dog Ear Infections

Ear infections in dogs can be caused by various factors such as bacteria, yeast, ear mites, allergies, or foreign bodies in the ear.

Symptoms of Dog Ear Infections

Look out for symptoms like redness, swelling, unpleasant odour, discharge, and scratching or pawing at the ear.

Home Remedies for Dog Ear Infections

There are several home remedies you can use to treat dog ear infections.

Cleaning the Ear

Gently clean your dog's ear with a solution made from water diluted with vinegar (around 1 tablespoon of vinegar per gallon of water). This can help remove any debris and reduce the population of bacteria and yeast. Be very careful not to get this solution in your dog's eyes or on your dog's face.

Natural Remedies

Consider using natural remedies like coconut oil, which has anti-fungal properties, or mullein, a herb known for its antibacterial benefits.

Over-The-Counter Solutions

You can also use over-the-counter ear drops for dogs, which often contain ingredients that can tackle infections. You could also try a natural ear cleaner designed specifically for dogs.

Prevention is Better than Cure

Prevention is always the best approach when it comes to your dog's health.

Regular Ear Checks

Conduct regular ear checks for signs of infection. This includes looking for any unusual discharge, redness, or swelling.

Proper Nutrition

Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in preventing ear infections. Make sure your dog's diet includes essential vitamins and minerals. You can also augment your dog's nutrition with natural dog supplements.

When to Seek Professional Help

While it's possible to treat dog ear infections at home, there are times when a trip to the vet is necessary.

Recognising Severe Symptoms

If your dog's symptoms persist or get worse, this could indicate a severe infection that requires professional treatment.

The Limitations of Home Treatments

Home treatments can only go so far. They're excellent for mild to moderate infections, but severe cases will need stronger, prescription medication.


Ear infections in dogs can be worrying, but with a bit of know-how, you can manage many cases at home. However, remember that when home treatments don't work or the symptoms get worse, it's time to seek professional help.

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  1. Can I use human ear drops on my dog? No, human ear drops may not be suitable for dogs and can even be harmful.

  2. How often should I clean my dog's ears? Usually, once a week is enough, but this depends on the breed and individual dog.

  3. Can dog ear infections spread to humans? Typically, no. However, some parasites like mites can potentially be transferred.

  4. How long does a dog ear infection take to heal? With proper treatment, most infections should improve within a week.

  5. Can ear infections cause permanent damage to my dog? If left untreated, chronic ear infections can potentially lead to hearing loss.

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