So you’re having your usual bonding moment with your dog and you notice that he’s shaking his head and scratching his ears more than usual. And when you lean in for a closer look, you observe that the skin in and around his ears seem to be irritated. They’re giving off an unpleasant odor as well.
Chances are your pet has ear mites and I’m going to walk you through how to naturally deal with this problem as we go along. To get the discussion going, how about we find out what exactly ear mites in dogs are?
What Exactly are Ear Mites in Dogs?
Dog ear mites are very tiny parasites that dwell on the surface of the ears as well as the ear canal. They belong to the Psoroptidae family of parasitic mites. Besides feeding off on the skin tissue and blood in the ears, these creatures also like to tuck into skin oils and ear wax for nourishment.
While adult ear mites can be very hard to see with the naked eye, they can appear as white specks when examined closely. What’s really alarming about these microscopic parasites is that they can multiply very quickly and set off more serious problems for you and your dog if not dealt with immediately and properly.
It is important to take note that puppies and younger dogs are more vulnerable to these parasites compared to their older counterparts. Now we’ve got that covered, let’s go through the indicators that your dog is having an ear mite infestation…
Indicators that your Dog has Ear Mites
Here are the symptoms to keep in mind when it comes to ear mites in dogs:
Constant pawing and scratching at the ears
Repeated head shaking
A dark brown or black discharge coming out of the ears
Small nicks and lesions in and around the ears
Foul smell given off by the ears
It is crucial to take note that a dog affected with ear mites will experience severe bouts of itching. And this itching will just become more intense if this condition is not properly given immediate attention.
Moreover, it’s not uncommon that a dog will forcefully graze or nudge his ears against hard surfaces like the floor or pieces of furniture if the itching has already become unbearable. Next, let’s touch on the possible causes that can lead to ear mite infestation in dogs…
How do Dogs get Ear Mites?
Interestingly, there are only two (2) ways that a dog can get ear mites.
The first one is contact with an infected dog or animal. Given that dogs are very social animals and tend to play with others easily, they can unknowingly pick up these parasites from other pooches or animals that carry them.
It is important to remember that cats, rabbits, and even livestock are also prone to ear mite infestation and can transmit these parasites to your pet.
If you’re noticing that the other animals your dog is playing with are exhibiting symptoms of ear mite infestation, the best option is to immediately separate them and give your pet a thorough bath as a preventive measure.
As for the second cause of ear mites in dogs, it is contact with items that are infected with the parasites. These could be anything from toys to dog dishes as well as collars and blankets, especially in households with two or more pets.
Besides the possibility that there are adult ear mites lurking in these items, there’s a chance that they’ve laid eggs in them as well.
To stave off the risk of parasitic infection, keep your pooch away from these objects and give them a thorough cleaning and sanitizing to get rid of the ear mites that may still be around.
Now let’s find out if ear mites in dogs are contagious…
Are Ear Mites in Dogs Contagious?
The short answer is yes. And, mind you, dog ear mites are highly contagious, too.
Should you suspect that your pet is afflicted with these parasites and you’ve also got other animal wards at home, it is crucial to give them treatment as well to curb further transmission.
Moreover, it’s not uncommon that ear mites can jump from dogs to humans, so it is extremely important that you deal with these parasites straight away to keep this from happening.
And as I told you earlier, here are the right natural remedies you can use to get rid of ear mites in dogs…
How do you Get Rid of Ear Mites in Dogs Naturally?
Apple cider vinegar has potent disinfecting properties.
As reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), apple cider vinegar has been observed to possess strong sterilizing capabilities. Researchers even point out that ACV “has multiple antimicrobial properties,” which works against a variety of microbial species, which may also cover parasites like ear mites in dogs.
To use apple cider vinegar in supporting your dog during ear mite infestation, mix a tablespoon of ACV with three tablespoons of water to create a no-fuss and completely natural disinfectant.
Use a clean piece of cloth to apply the mixture to your dog’s ears and thoroughly wipe them off. Make sure you get to the nooks and crannies of the ears, too.
Baking soda helps get rid of unwanted visitors like bacteria and parasites.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) reveals that besides having antibacterial properties, baking soda also helps disinfect surfaces that may have been compromised by these unwanted visitors.
To use baking soda in supporting your dog during ear mite infestation, dissolve two teaspoons of baking soda with half a cup of water. Apply the mixture to your dog’s ears and wipe them thoroughly to get rid of the parasites.
Calendula is an all-around sanitizer.
ResearchGate highlights that calendula—or the common marigold—is rich in oleanolic acid, which has been seen to help stave off bacterial growth as well as inhibit the activity of parasites.
To use calendula in supporting your dog during ear mite infestation, steep four or five fresh calendula flowers in a cup of hot water for at least 10 minutes. Add more if you’re using dried flowers.
Allow the mixture to cool down completely. You can now use this mixture as a bathing or washing liquid.
Virgin coconut oil contains organic acids that repel dog ear mites.
According to CAB International, virgin coconut oil is loaded with natural acids that act as repellents against a wide range of parasites like “ticks, fleas, lice and mites in dogs.”
To use virgin coconut oil in supporting your dog during ear mite infestation, apply a small amount of VCO on a piece of cloth and massage it on your dog’s ears. Moreover, make sure you go for food-grade virgin coconut oil for this application.
Green tea has natural chemicals that inhibit parasitic activity.
The researchers even emphasize that besides having an inhibitory effect on skin parasites such as ear mites, the polyphenols in green tea are also effective against giardia and ascaris.
To use green tea in supporting your dog during ear mite infestation, steep two tablespoons of green tea in a cup of hot water for at least five minutes or until the liquid takes on a dark amber color. You can use this mixture to clean your dog’s ears or as a bathing liquid in an alternative application.
Mullein is rich in organic compounds that repels parasites.
Another study published in the NCBI reveals that mullein contains a variety of natural chemicals like tannins, saponins, and flavonoids, among others, that have been observed to set off paralysis and eventual death among parasites like tapeworms and roundworms.
To use mullein in supporting your dog during ear mite infestation, vigorously crush a few leaves with a mortar and pestle until you get a thick paste. Apply this paste on your dog’s ears as a topical ointment and leave it on for at least five minutes. Thoroughly wash and rinse after.
And while we’re on the subject of natural support for ear mites in dogs, let me just share my favorite product for this pet health issue…
A Natural Product That Helps Keep Dog Ear Mites At Bay while Boosting the Overall Immune System
Zumalka’s EAR CARE is designed to improve your pet’s ocular health and enhance his natural fighting power against ear infections. Instead of just focusing on a particular ear health problem, this natural product addresses the root causes of infections through the use of a homeopathic formula that works from the inside out.
Besides being made with only premium ingredients, EAR CARE also features a gentle holistic approach that helps boost your pet’s overall immune system to make him more resilient against illnesses.
Get the Most Out of Pet Homeopathy Starting Today
If you’re quite surprised with the natural remedies for dog ear mites that I’ve just shared, then you will definitely get in on a lot more interesting things when you CONTACT US.
Our team of pet specialists are always ready to give you a hand in ensuring that your furbaby gets the best quality of life using natural means, especially when he’s feeling under the weather.
HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA
Suzie Cyrenne has dedicated more than 20 years of her life in making and improving natural animal health solutions in the global setting.
Being the co-founder of Zumalka, Suzie is a forerunner in enhancing the lives of pets through natural and homeopathic options using the knowledge she has gained from the Classical Homeopathy School in Quebec.
Besides immersing herself in books, personal development and visiting new places, Suzie also enjoys keeping herself in tiptop shape by snowboarding and taking daily hikes with her husband and Zumalka co-founder, Matt Lessard, and their Golden-Doodle, Westin.