Ear mites, formally called Otodectes Cynotis, are microscopic parasites that live on the surface area of the ears of dogs and other animals. These pests can affect dogs of all ages. Unfortunately, these parasitic pests can move out of the ears of your pup and travel to other dogs, cats, and even ferrets. If you find one of your pets has ear mites, all of your furry friends will need to be treated.
Treatment from your vet can get expensive, especially if all your pets have ear mites. Thankfully, there are some things you can do at home to treat this issue and get rid of the bugs in your dog’s ears. Before attempting any home remedies for ear mites in dogs, you must get a vet diagnosis first, so you know exactly what you are dealing with and how to treat it right away.
Signs Your Dog Has Ear Mites
- Coffee ground-like debris in the ear
- Redness and irritation in the ear
- Black or dark brown waxy buildup
- Excessive itching, scratching or pawing at the ears
- Persistently shaking its head
- Foul odors coming from the ears
How to Use Ear Mite Medications
To treat a pup’s ears, it is important to use a medication or treatment that will kill the ear mites. Over-the-counter and prescription medications are typically suspended in a mild carrier oil, such as mineral oil. What mites are not destroyed by the medication will be suffocated by the oil.
The liquid solution is essential because it also helps to clear the debris out of your dog’s ears. Ear mites leave behind dark, waxy debris that can be crumbly. Getting all of this junk out of your dog’s ears is essential for giving him relief and helping him recover.
Make sure to ask your vet for a recommendation for ear mite medication for dogs. Follow the directions on the bottle, and gently massage your dog’s ears once the drops have been administered to carefully spread the medicine throughout your dog’s ears.
Make Sure It’s Not an Infection
The reason I suggest you head to the vet first is that dog ear infection can sometimes be mistaken for ear mites. An ear infection will not go away with ear mite drops, so it is important to ensure your dog’s ears are not infected before you try to treat him for ear mite problems.
DIY Ear Mite Treatments for Dogs
Believe it or not, you do not have to purchase expensive dog ear mite treatment solutions to get rid of ear mites in your dog. In fact, you can make your own homemade remedies that will work just as well. All you need is a few ingredients, and you may even have them in your home now.
These homemade remedies soothe your dog’s ears and get them clean. Ear mites are less likely to thrive in clean ears. Consider the recipes below to help you treat your dog’s itchy and irritated ears.
Healing Antiseptic Tea Rinse for Ears
Green tea is one of the healthiest plants on the planet. Its natural antiseptic properties make it ideal for flushing your pup’s ears. To prepare the tea, use a couple of green tea bags or a tablespoon of green tea powder. Steep the tea in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. The longer you leave it to steep, the stronger the tea. Allow this tea to cool completely before you use it on your dog’s ears.
Place a few drops in each ear and gently massage your dog’s outer ear to distribute the tea solution. You should do this once a day for an entire month to kill all the ear mites.
Natural Oil Ear Mite Recipe for Dogs
As I discussed before, oils help to suffocate ear mites, which is essential for getting rid of them quickly. Holistic veterinarians say almost any oil can be used for treating your dog’s ear mites. I have found olive oil, almond oil, and mineral oil to be the best.
To make this homemade remedy work for killing ear mites, crush a couple of cloves of garlic and put them in the oil. Allow the oil to sit overnight, and then discard the pieces of garlic.
Garlic kills bacteria naturally. Sometimes, dogs can develop secondary infections because of ear mites. Adding garlic to the oil will keep bacteria at bay so infections do not develop. It is also important to keep your dog’s ears clean at all times. The best dog ear cleaners will help to clean dirt and debris.
You will place a couple of drops of garlic oil in each of your dog’s ears once a day. Make sure to massage your dog’s outer ears to distribute the oil. You can use a cotton ball to wipe away any debris that may loosen as a result of the treatment.
Steps for Treating Ear Mites in Dogs
If you use an over-the-counter or prescription remedy for your dog’s ears, you will need to treat both his ears at least twice a week for three weeks. If you notice your dog’s ears are worsening or developing signs of infection, seek the vet right away.
The reason you need to treat your dog’s ears for so long is that the eggs will continue to hatch for up to three weeks, even after destroying the adult mites. When the eggs begin hatching, the mites can inhibit your dog’s ears again, giving rise to a new infestation.
The steps for treating your dog’s ear mites will be the same, regardless of whether you use a natural, over-the-counter, or prescription medication . Follow the steps below to help your dog get the relief he needs.
1. Make sure to wear old clothes when treating your dog. Dogs like to shake after their ears are treated. You are likely to get oil, tea, or medication all over your clothes, so be prepared before treating your dog for ear mites.
2. Gather your supplies and have everything within reach. You will need the following supplies.
- Medication or homemade remedy
- Squirt bottle or dropper (If using homemade remedy)
- Clean and dry washcloth
- Clean cotton balls
3. If your dog is small, you should place him on a counter or table so he will be at eye level. For large dogs, kneel beside them to offer ear treatment.
4. Start the process by petting your dog. Make him feel comfortable. Rub his itchy ears, and give his head a good scratch or two. Make sure your dog is as calm as possible before administering the treatment.
5. If your dog has floppy ears, gently grab his ear by the outer flap and flip it over. Dogs with sticky-up ears will not need this step.
6. First, you will need to clean your dog’s ears. You can use a commercial dog ear cleaner, but the tea ear cleaner above works perfectly. Cleaning your dog’s ears first will get the goopy wax and dirty debris out of his ears. To clean your dog’s ears, follow the steps below.
- Apply a few drops of the ear cleaner or tea to your dog’s ears.
- Massage the tea into your dog’s ears by folding his ear back over and rubbing the outer ear flap.
- Lift the ear flap back over, and use the cotton balls to clean up any visible waxy debris. Never use cotton swabs or poke anything into your dog’s ears because you could cause serious damage to the eardrum.
- Stand back, take cover, and let your pup shake. The shaking makes a big mess but it will help to ensure your dog’s ears get clean.
7. Next, apply the oil or medication to your dog’s ears. Follow the steps above in the same order.
8. Give your dog a treat and a pat on the head for being such a good dog and having his ears treated without a fuss.
9. Repeat this treatment a couple of times a week for a month.
Signs It’s Something More Than Ear Mites
Unfortunately, dog ear infections sometimes look like ear mites and vice versa. Both can cause a dark residue inside the ears. You must know if your dog has an ear infection before you attempt to treat ear mites. If you notice any of the following signs of dog ear infection, contact your vet right away.
- Shaking his head or pawing at his ears
- Dark discharge or goopy waxy debris in the ear
- Foul odors coming from the ears
- Redness and swelling inside the ear canal
- Crustiness or scabs inside the ears
FAQ About Home Remedies for Ear Mites in Dogs
Discovering your dog has ear mites can be stressful. While ear mites will not harm his health overall, ear infections can result, and these pests are highly contagious. The following offers answers to some of the top questions asked by dog owners about ear mites in dogs.
1. What home remedy kills ear mites in dogs?
You can make a green tea rinse to clean out your dog’s ears by following the recipe above. You can also use homemade garlic oil to clean and treat your dog’s ears. Garlic offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits to kill any bacteria while the oil causes the mites to die. Use these treatments once a week for a month to get rid of any ear mites.
2. What home remedy kills ear mites?
Ear mites bite the inside of dogs and cause them irritation. To get rid of these unwanted pests, mix olive oil and freshly crushed garlic. Allow the two to sit overnight, and then remove the garlic and discard it before administering the treatment. Put a couple of drops of this oil into your dog’s ears, and distribute the oil by rubbing the outside of your dog’s ears.
3. How do you get rid of mites in dog’s ears?
Getting rid of dog ear mites is essential for protecting your dog’s ear health. You can treat these mites with over-the-counter or prescription medications. You can also use the homemade remedies found above. No matter which you choose, you will need to treat your dog’s ears for about a month. If your dog’s ears are not steadily improving or they become worse, call the vet right away for an ear exam.
4. Does vinegar kill ear mites in dogs?
Apple cider vinegar has wonderful antibacterial and antifungal properties. While it can kill the mites and destroy any bacteria, this is not a home remedy I recommend. Vinegar is very acidic. Most dogs that have ear mites have a lot of irritation because of the biting mites. Putting vinegar in your dog’s ears will undoubtedly treat the ear mite problem, but it could cause him pain when the vinegar hits the raw places in his ears.
Treat Your Dog’s Ear Mites With Confidence
With the above information, you should feel confident treating your dog’s ear mites with ease. Starting treatment as soon as possible will help to prevent secondary ear infections that can result from the open wounds left behind after mites begin feeding on your dog.
Unfortunately, just like with fleas and ticks, your dog can pick up ear mites from just about anywhere. He is more likely to get ear mites when outside or around other animals that have these pests. To keep your dog from wandering away while outdoors and risking getting ear mites, consider installing an invisible dog fence.
Most cases of ear mites in dogs clear up within a few weeks. If your dog’s ear mite problem has been going on for a while, a heavy infestation may occur. Be sure to treat all furry animals in the home, including dogs, cats, rabbits, and ferrets. With the right treatment approach, your dog’s ears will soon be clear of these unwanted pests so he will not be in discomfort.