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.
- 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. 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].