Allergic reactions to food, fleas, bacteria or ear medications can trigger infections in your dog's ear [source: Thomas]. If you notice him whimpering, scratching at his ears or shaking his head incessantly, or if you see a foul discharge coming from his ears, your dog most likely has an infection. The home remedies listed below often effectively treat ear infections, without the side effects of prescription medications.
- The first step in treating your dog's ear infection is to flush the ear out with water. Dousing the infected area with warm water will wash away any irritants and allow the home remedies to reach the source of the infection.
- Spray a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar in the infected area. The vinegar acts as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory to alleviate the pain and discomfort your dog is experiencing. Witch hazel is another effective natural astringent that can be used to clean your dog's ear.
- Apply five or six drops of oil of mullein combined with oil of garlic daily for 10 days [source: Martin]. This natural remedy kills viruses, eases pain and reduces swelling.
- Massage equal parts pau d'arco and mineral oil into the ear two to three times a day for several days. Pau d'arco is an herbal antibiotic that kills the fungi and bacteria that cause infection.
- Apply a warm compress to the ear several times a day. The compress alleviates the pain and inflammation caused by the ear infection.
- Pluck all the hair growing in the ear canal. Hair obstructs airflow into the ear, causing the canal to be dry and susceptible to infection [source: Thomas].
- Regularly giving your dog vitamin C will ensure good aural health and prevent future ear infections. Vitamin C not only boosts the immune system, it also increases the adrenal glands' secretion, which helps fight ear infections [source: Ladock].