Less than a quarter of ear infections in dogs are bacteria related. This means that when we decide how to treat a dog’s ear infection naturally, we are much more likely to be successful in getting rid of the problem than by using prescribed antibiotics. Antibiotics will not work when an infection is caused by something other than bacteria. When you undertake any of the following steps to get rid of your dog’s ear infection, have lots of tasty treats on hand to placate your pet and make the whole process easier.
If your vet has diagnosed an ear infection as bacterial, but you do not want to give your dog antibiotics, then how to treat a dog’s ear infection naturally can be as simple as following these steps. Ear infections that are caused by yeast bacteria can be treated by using:
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Mix a few drops of apple cider vinegar and olive oil together. The best apple cider vinegar to use is the type that includes the ‘mother’, which makes it appear cloudy. Don’t add water to the mixture as water that is not properly dried encourages yeast production. Dip cotton balls into the mix and gently swab your dog’s infected ear as per the instructions below.
- Raw Garlic – Not only does garlic have lots of healing properties, yeast absolutely loathes it! Finely chop or grate just half a clove of garlic per 20kg of dog food. You can also try using garlic oil with apple cider vinegar instead of olive oil to clean your pet’s infected ear.
How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears Naturally
1. Give your dog’s ears a wipe first with clean cotton swabs to remove any major dirt from inside the ear. This will allow the soothing mixture applied thereafter to get to the root of the problem.
2. Take a cotton ball and dip it into half of the mixture you have made up. Place that in the ear and massage the ear over it, paying particular attention to the base of the ear where the ear canal is located. The cotton ball will absorb the excess solution and it will grab onto dirt debris too. You can change the cotton ball several times during each treatment.
3. Use cotton swabs to wipe the ear clean and dry. Wipe once, throw away, and repeat with a clean swab. Remember not to use the same swab more than once as this can spread the infection into other parts of the ear.
4. A final wipe with a solution of choice is now recommended. If you suspect yeast then a final wipe of apple cider vinegar will dry out the area, sucking water from the yeast which will kill it instantly. A final swab with garlic oil or any other natural anti-bacterial mix will make things very unpleasant for bacteria.
Changes to diet
How to treat a dog’s ear infection naturally often starts with looking at what your dog has been eating. Ear and skin conditions are often caused by underlying causes. These can often stem from an allergy to something that is being consumed. Dogs are natural carnivores. They need to eat a meat-based diet to thrive. However, wheat makes up almost 50% of a lot of dry dog food brands. Have a look at the ingredients of the food you are giving your dog and switch to a product with higher meat to wheat content.
Food-related ear infections can turn the ear flap and ear canal red and make them appear swollen. You may observe your pup frequently shaking their head due to irritation. A dark brown thick wax may also exude from your dog’s ear. This type of infection is not bacterial and does not need to be treated with antibiotics. The cure is to eliminate wheat from their diet.
Want to learn more about a dog’s healthy diet? Check out our recent post about 10 healthy human foods your dog can eat!