How to Treat Your Dog's Ear Mites Naturally

Updated on March 16, 2018

The tubular, long design of a dog's ear canal makes the perfect environment for a tiny thing like an ear mite or an infection—warm, dark, a little dirty—makes for plenty of food and breeding room. Some breeds are more apt to have ear troubles simply by the design of the dog's ears. Sporting dogs and hounds make the list. Their dropped (floppy, hanging) ears make an ideal place for bacteria to grow and mites to hide. Regardless of the ear type your dog is born with, keeping them clean and sweet smelling is the key to healthy ears.

Natural Treatment for Ear Mites in Dogs
Natural Treatment for Ear Mites in Dogs | Source

A Note About Poodle Ears

Some dog owners (mostly Poodle owners) have to pluck the hair from inside the dog's ears. There is a special ear powder that that dries the ear making the plucking less difficult. This reduces the number of infections that occur in this type of ear. If your dog has a lot of hair growth inside the ear you may consider trying this technique, but know that your dog is NOT going like it very much!

Signs Your Dog Has Ear Mites

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Ear Mites?

Mites are tiny black bugseven smaller than fleas—that you might not be able to actually see. Signs of ear mites include itching, ear irritation, red scaly patches, rashes, and loss of hair. Demodex and Sarcoptic mites are microscopic in size, while Cheylatella mites look like tiny white dander. You may be able to see ear mites if you look closely down into the ear canal. By keeping your dog's ears clean and clear of debris, you can all but alleviate the probability of ear mites all together.


Always consult with a licensed veterinary medical professional for a proper diagnosis and proper supervision before proceeding.

How to Clean Your Dog's Ears

Keeping Canine Ears Clean

Of all of the details that come into play around the maintenance of dogs, cleaning their ears is relatively uncomplicated. Make sure to go slowly, and do not enter the actual ear canal.

The ear canal of a dog is very sensitive, never put any tools inside the canal, only oil treatment.
The ear canal of a dog is very sensitive, never put any tools inside the canal, only oil treatment. | Source

Follow These Steps When Naturally Cleaning Your Dog's Ears:

  1. Gently position your dog's ear so that the open ear is exposed. Sitting on the floor beside your dog seems to work best. If your dog struggles with this, a helper may be the best way to keep thing under control and safe for all concerned.
  2. Put some natural ear solution (see mite formula below) into the ear. Gently massage the ear from the outside of the ear canal to help get the solution working and to release debris and excess wax.
  3. Using a sterile gauze pad or sponge, gently wipe out excess solution. You can wrap the gauze pad or sponge completely around a pair of forceps, this will help wipe around the ear. Do Not use insecticides or mite treatments, because they can cause irritation. If you notice any red dirt-like debris—stuff that looks like coffee grounds—or a heavy waxy buildup, this is most probably from a mite infestation.
  4. While you have your dog in position, carefully snip away any excess hair from around the ear opening.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has an Ear Problem?

Ear Infections Are Difficult to Clear Up

Some ear infections can be a real pain to clear up. This kind of problem takes a lot of patience and a real drive to beat the infection all together. Keep an eye on your dog for these signs that a potential infection has set up house in your dogs ears:

  • Crusty or red ears.
  • Blisters or abrasions on the ear flap, or ear.
  • Excessive or red or black waxy buildup.
  • Foul-smelling odor emitting from the ear(s).
  • Yelping when ears are touched
  • Scratching or pawing at ears, or shaking of head.
  • Head tilted to one side.
  • Loss of hearing (reduced response to task commands).

Natural Ear Mite Formula for Dogs

Making your own mixture for naturally treating your dog's ear mites is really simple. Here is all you need to do:

Natural Ear Mite Formula for Dogs - The Recipe


  • ½ oz of almond or olive oil
  • 400 IU vitamin E (from a capsule)

How to Administer the Natural Ear Mite Formula Into Your Dog's Ear

  1. Blend the above ingredients together in a dropper bottle (or whatever you have on hand) and then warm the mixture to body temperature by placing it in hot water.
  2. Holding your dog's ear flap up, put around ½ of a dropper-full (¼ tsp) into the ear.
  3. Once the oil mixture is in the ear, massage the dog's ear canal from the outside of the ear. You want to move the oil around so it releases the debris, you want to be able to hear a liquid sound emitting from the ear as you do this.
  4. After a full minute of massaging, allow your dog to shake his/her head a little. This will help bring the bad stuff up and out of the ear canal.
  5. Gently clean the opening (never deep in the ear) with cotton swabs and clean gauze to remove the dirt and excess oil.
  6. The oil mixture will suffocate most of the mites, and begin to heal your dog's ear; which makes it a far less inviting ear canal for a mite colony to live.
  7. Repeat this process every other day for six days—making for three natural ear mite treatments in all.
  8. When not being used, the oil mixture must be capped and stored at room temperature.

What to Do After Your Dog's Natural Ear Mite Treatment

Maintenance Is Your Dogs Final Ear Mite Treatment

After the oil treatment has been done, allow the ear to rest for three more days. During this time, you will want to take the next step in Naturally treating your dog's ear mites, which is to prepare an herbal extract that will be used to inhibit and/or kill the ear mites.

Herbal Treatment for Your Dog's Ear Mites

Once the ears are cleaned out as directed above, the easiest way to kill mites is by using the herb Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus). Here is what you should do:


  • Yellow Dock tincture (A tincture is an alcohol-based derivative of an herb or plant. Often used as a medicine or dietary supplement.)
  • Distilled or filtered water

How to Administer Yellow Dock for Your Dog's Ear Mite Treatment

  1. Dilute 5 drops of Yellow dock in 1Tablespoon Distilled or filtered water.
  2. Put ½ a dropper (about ¼ teaspoon) in the dog's ear and massage as above, wiping the outside of the ear after your dog is allowed to shake his head.
  3. Repeat this treatment every three days, for up to 4 weeks. It is necessary to continue to treat the ear for the longer period of time because the eggs are more resistant to natural treatments. The extra time will assist in ending the mite life cycle.

No soar ears for this happy playful dog!
No soar ears for this happy playful dog! | Source

Final Step for the Natural Treatment of Ear Mites in Dogs

To totally complete the ear mite natural treatment in your dog, make sure to thoroughly shampoo your pet's head and ears. Mites are true survivors, so should even one or two of these tiny bugs make it through the natural treatment process by crawling out of the ear and onto the hair of the dogs face or head, they can crawl right back in after all of the action has dissipated. This is not uncommon, and starts the ear mite invasion cycle all over again. A good shampooing of the head and ear areas can help eliminate this possibility from occurring.

When It Is All Said and Done

After you have completed the entire natural treatment, should your dog's ears still appear to be irritated or inflamed to any degree, a trip to the vet is in order. As great as home remedies can be, some resistant bacteria and critters can put up one heck of a fight, bringing dangerous outcomes for our canine companions. Should you run into this situation, your vet will have the proper treatment your dog may need. Most vets are willing to offer a natural treatment in combination with pharmaceuticals to boost the effectiveness of both. Now, you should go clean your dog's ears!

An Important Note About Ear Problems in Dogs

Just a warning about any kind of ear problem in your dog. The ear is a very important area of the dog body that infections and disease seek out to attack. Ridding any ear troubles in dogs takes real care and know-how. Infections can quickly spread to the nasal cavity and deep into the brain if not properly managed or treated. If you in any way feel that your dog has more than a minor ear condition, the care of a credible veterinarian is the ONLY correct tactic to engage. These kinds of disorders can quickly turn deadly for your furry best friend.

What You Think Really Does Matter!

How have you treated your dog's ear problems in the past?

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

  • Where can I get the Zymox from?

    Check with your vet.

Comments for "How to Treat Your Dog's Ear Mites Naturally"

Submit a Comment
  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    15 months ago from Northern, California

    Gene, yes, ear drops work quite well. Just be sure there are no chemical ingredients. You can find this information under "ingredients" .

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    15 months ago from Northern, California

    Gene, yes, ear drops work quite well. Just be sure there are no chemical ingredients. You can find this information under "ingredients" .

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Dogs n Mites Ear Drops works pretty good

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    Pamela N Red~ I am so thankful for dog owners like you! Taking good care of our pets is a sure sign of a truly loving heart! Thank you for sharing your story here today. I wish you and your dog a very long wonderful life together.


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    Sinea Pies~ I am so glad you find the hub helpful! I know I hate it when I get an earache so it must be the same with our dogs. I personally would always choose a natural treatment for myself; and so, I do the same for my dogs. You have some very lucky dogs! Good human companions are a real treasure to our canine friends!


  • Pamela N Red profile image

    Pamela N Red 

    7 years ago from Oklahoma

    Great information. Mine gets irritated ears sometimes and the vet gave me some ear wash to put in his ears. I'll try this wash next time he starts digging at his ears.

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 

    7 years ago from Northeastern United States

    This is a great hub. I love my dogs so much, I want to keep them healthy without using chemicals wherever possible. Voted up and useful.

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    JubePlaysGames~ Thanks for sharing your natural remedy for dogs. My concern would be the acidic nature of vinegar in an already sensitive mite infested dog ear.


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    CC! Thanks for sharing your comments, and thanks for asking a great question! Glad to offer an answer for you.


  • JubePlaysGames profile image


    7 years ago from Canada

    Diluted apple cider vinegar is said to take care of ear mites naturally. I use it to clean my dog's ears, it's also good for hot spots.

  • cclitgirl profile image

    Cynthia Calhoun 

    7 years ago from Western NC

    K9 - another tremendously useful hub for a lot of people. Thank you for taking the time to provide such a beautiful, thorough answer to my question. The information here I know will help a LOT of people. (HUGS)

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    sgbrown~ Oh Good! I hope this helps your lab. You might want to be certain that nothing else is "in" the ear, as sometimes a foxtail, tic, or some other "thing" is bothering the ear. The oil treatment should help bring any of these things up and out of the ear canal with the gentle massaging suggested within the hub. If it is a tic, further care may be required.

    Thank you for leaving your remarks today, I am very grateful!


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    Mary615~ Thank you so much for making it by and for sharing your thoughts and praise. I am humbled and hinored that you hold them in such high regard. You are so right, these mites are a really ugly critter, only a mother mite could love. ;)


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    Jia Xean~ You are very welcome.


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    Flora, the natural oil and distilled water is just fine for cats. I would avoid any of the store bought ear mite medicines unless they specifically say "for use on cats." As I am sure you already know, a cat's chemical make up is far different from a dogs, and the flea stuff used for dogs can actually cause seizures and in some cases death in our feline friends. This holds true (to some degree) with ear mite treatments. Great Question my friend!


  • FloraBreenRobison profile image


    7 years ago

    Would these work with cats? Amy doesn't have ear mites, but a lot of them do. Or would the chances of your cat allowing you to do this yourself be nil?

  • Jia Xean profile image

    Jia Xean 

    7 years ago

    Thanks for the information, had been wondering how to do so for years.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    7 years ago from Florida

    I always look forward to your informational Hubs about dog care. This was a great Hub about ear mites. I've seen these critters under a microscrope and they are SO ugly. I voted this one UP, etc.

  • sgbrown profile image

    Sheila Brown 

    7 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    You timing is great! My lab has been shaking her head for the last couple of days and I think it is probably ear mites, again. We go throught this every year. We had been getting medicine from the vet, but I would like to try your natural remedy. Thanks for sharing your information! Voted up and useful! Have a great day! :)

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    7 years ago from Northern, California

    Austinstar~ Thanks so much for sharing your story. I am so sorry to hear about your dog (warm hugs). As you make a very good point regarding the topic of the dangers with ear conditions in dogs, I have added a warning at the end of the hub, and credited your reminder in doing so. You are a real friend to our K9 family members--respect to you!

    Huge HubHugs!

  • Austinstar profile image


    7 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    Please be aware that ear infections can actually cause death in dogs. I had a wonderful dog that had so many recurring ear infections that we finally put him to sleep. I think a lot of it was allergies. But his ears would NEVER clear up!


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