Ear infection in dogs: home remedy or vet?

Pinching, itching and pain - earaches are nasty! If your furry friend has an ear infection, it's time to act! While the majority of sick dogs struggle with otitis externa, i.e. inflammation in the external auditory canal, the inner ear (otitis interna) and the middle ear (otitis media) can also be affected by inflammation. So that your dog gets better soon, you should fight the inflammation. We explain how you can recognize an ear infection, which home remedies can help and when you should go to the vet. 

Symptoms of an ear infection in dogs

Symptome einer Ohrenentzündung bei Hunden

If your dog suffers from an ear infection, you need to act quickly. Your furry friend probably has an earache that won't go away on its own. But how can you tell if your paw friend is suffering from an ear infection?

  • Does your dog shake its head more than usual?
  • Does he tilt his head?
  • Is he scratching his ears? 
  • Does your darling no longer want to be touched on the ears or head?
  • Does Bello push his head sideways across the floor?

All of these can be signs of an ear infection in dogs. If there is also a brownish, musty discharge from the auricle, or if the ear is swollen and red, then the diagnosis is pretty clear. Now home remedies can do a good job. However, if your dog also hears poorly, has a fever, seems exhausted or no longer eats, you should go to the vet immediately!

Causes of ear infections in dogs

If you suspect an ear infection, you should definitely ask your trusted veterinarian for advice. With a smear, he can determine exactly where the inflammation is coming from. There are many different causes of an ear infection in dogs that need to be treated differently.

Bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites

Various bacteria or viruses can trigger your dog to get an ear infection. Uninvited guests such as ticks, mites or fleas also like to spread in the ear and cause a nasty infection there.

contamination or foreign bodies

Foreign objects or contaminants such as dirt or sand can also be to blame for an ear infection in dogs. Once established, it is easy to inflame the sensitive dog ears.

Wrong cleaning

If you clean your four-legged friend's ear with aggressive lotions or cotton swabs, this can lead to irritation or inflammation. You should always have one mild ear cleaner to use.

food intolerance

Have you recently changed food or tried a new treat? If Bello, Luna and Co. do not tolerate the new food well, ear infections are a common immune response.

Allergic reaction

Does your four-legged friend have an allergy? An allergic reaction can also be to blame for an ear infection in dogs. 

Ear infection treatment – when do home remedies help?

There are several ways to treat an ear infection in dogs. In the case of a rather mild inflammation of the outer ear (otitis externa), home remedies such as tinctures of calendula, chamomile, coconut oil, echinacea or apple cider vinegar can help. There are many different recipes on the web. For example, dilute apple cider vinegar with water in a ratio of 1:3 before use, then put it on a cotton pad and distribute it in the dog's ear.

These home remedies can help with ear infections

Hausmittel zur Behandlung von Ohrenentzündungen bei Hunden


The beneficial effects of chamomile not only help with abdominal pain, but also with an ear infection in dogs. Put a few drops of chamomile tea (made from fresh chamomile) on a cotton pad and gently clean the dog's ears. The chamomile has a calming effect and the earwax dissolves.


Marigold, also known as calendula, is also a proven home remedy for fighting inflamed dog ears and is available as a tincture or ointment.


Tea tree oil can be beneficial in inflamed dog ears and help fight bacteria. After applying, massage the oil gently into the dog's ears. It is best to dilute it with a little water.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can help your paw friend with an ear infection. Caution: Dilute the apple cider vinegar with water so that the acid does not further damage the sensitive listeners.

coconut oil

Coconut oil has a calming effect on irritated dog ears. Again, use a cotton pad to apply the coconut oil. Then massage it in gently. The coconut oil also has a nourishing effect.

Homeopathy and over-the-counter medicines

In addition to the classic home remedies, there are over-the-counter medicines such as Traumeel or Echinacea globules that can help your dog homeopathically. The medicinal plant Echinacea, better known as the purple coneflower plant, is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Ear infection in dogs - when to the vet?

Die Ohrenentzündung eines Hundes wird von einem Tierarzt untersucht

If there is no improvement after a day or two – off to the vet! If you suspect more than just a slight ear infection, you should make an appointment with the uncle doctor as soon as possible. When you visit the vet, a smear will be used to determine the cause of the pain and which medication, ointments or drops will help your troubled fur nose. At the beginning of the therapy, a thorough cleaning by the treating veterinarian is often on the agenda. Let us explain to you in this course what you have to pay attention to when cleaning your dog's ears in the future.

Ear Infection – Prevention & Ear Care

Vorbeugung von Ohrenentzündungen bei Hunden

In order to prevent a nasty ear infection, you should regularly check and care for the ears of your furry friend. A positive side effect: You can see early on whether an ear infection is approaching. Here are some tips for you to help with ear care:

Regular controll

Check your furry friend's ears at least once a week. In this way foreign bodies or slight irritations can be detected before it is too late.

cleaning ears

Treat your loved one's ears with a mild ear cleaner as a precaution. In this way you can already remove smaller deposits and earwax before they settle. Make sure to only use mild cleansers made from natural ingredients to avoid causing irritation. Our natural ear cleaner with chamomile, marigold and propolis, for example, can also be used for mites or small inflammations.

Stay away from cotton swabs!

Use appropriate ear cleaner and a clean cloth when cleaning your dog's ears. Don't use cotton swabs or other objects to clean the ears. In the worst case, you push the earwax or other deposits even deeper into the ear or injure the eardrum.

Practice, practice, practice

Your furry friend's ears are very sensitive. Therefore, cleaning can be a bit uncomfortable for your dog. Link the ear cleaning with something positive and reward your darling with lots of cuddles and treats.

Fur care in the ears

Only have the hair in your furry friend's ears cut by an experienced dog groomer or a trusted veterinarian. Don't start snipping yourself. In doing so, you may destroy the protective barrier for dirt or foreign objects. Then the next ear infection has an easy time.

keep ears dry

Is your four-legged friend a real water rat? Then you should pay particular attention to inflammation in the dog's ear. After bathing or swimming, gently dry the ears of your furry friend so that no water can get into the ear.


Verabreichung eines Medikaments bei einer Ohrenentzündung Hund

An ear infection is no joke! In the very worst case, the inflammation spreads - then your dog can lose hearing or sense of balance. Meningitis or paralysis of the facial nerve are also possible. An insufficiently treated or even untreated ear infection can lead to permanent damage to your four-legged friend. Therefore, it is better to go to the vet too early than too late!

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