Does your dog shake or tilt their head, scratch, or paw at their ears a lot, and has smelly ears, brown gunk, discharge, redness, or swelling inside their ears?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above, then your dog has an ear infection. 

Let’s figure out a quick and easy home remedy because the constant scratching, head shaking, and the sound of your dog’s collar and tags are driving you nuts, am I right? Not to mention your dog’s ears are in pain

There are five options to treat your dog’s ear infection at home with natural and organic ingredients. If the ear infection is due to allergies, changing your dog’s food is important too. 

Learn the symptoms and causes of dog ear infections and the most common types of ear infections. I will also show you how I clean my dog’s ears at home. 

I want to first mention that you should always consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns with your dog’s health. They are just a phone call away and can help you make an informed decision when it comes to your dog’s ear infection. 

With that said, many vets will prescribe an antibiotic or steroid cream right away. Both of which can have negative side effects and cause additional health problems.

closeup of a dogs ear infection.

Treating your dog’s ear infection at home

If you are looking for a home remedy for treatment for your dog’s ear infection, you’re in the right place. I’ve been there and have tried just about every natural remedy treatment on my dog, Ginger.  

It’s best to start early treatment of your dog’s ear infection before it becomes a severe case

Here are the best and most common home remedies:

Eco Ears to Clean Dogs Ear Infection
Our Bear getting ready to have his ears cleaned with Eco Ears.

Eco Ears by Vet Organics

I was just about to take my dog to the vet again when I found an over-the-counter dog ear infection medication called Eco Ears by Vet Organics. Six plus years later I still use Eco Ears and is my number one recommendation for cleaning your dog’s ears.

Eco Ears can treat the most common types of ear infections in your dog including yeast infections, bacterial infections, and ear mites.

The best thing that Eco Ears brings relief in 24-48 hours and has a 93.7% success rate! PLUS it’s going to cost you a tiny fraction of what it costs to take your dog to the vet!

After just a few days of using Eco Ears in my dog’s ear infection, I was amazed at how well this stuff really works! Her ears weren’t red anymore and the brown gunk in her ears slowly started to disappear. I was finally able to get her ear infection under control.

Between using the Eco Ears and changing my dog’s diet, we’ve been able to finally control her chronic ear infections

Here are the ingredients in Eco Ears: Denatured Grain Alcohol, Organic Mullein Leaf Extract, Witch Hazel Extract, Rosemary Extract, Ionic Silver Solution, Boric Acid, Vegetable Glycerin, Tea Tree Oil, Polysorbate 20 (Food Grade).

I wish I had better pictures, but this shows what Ginger’s ears looked like and the amount of brown gunk I cleaned out every day BEFORE using the Eco Ears.

Dog with ear yeast infection
My dog’s ear infection, her ear is red and full of brown gunk.
dog ear infections home-remedy brown gunk
This is a sample of what I cleaned out of her ears each day.

Here is what Ginger’s ears look like today, infection-free! And I owe it all to Eco Ears.

How to treat dog ear infection without vet
My dog’s healthy ears, after using Eco Ears for just a few days.

Green Tea Natural Ear Cleaner

Green tea is naturally soothing, apple cider vinegar is an antioxidant and calendula is inflammatory. Mix all these ingredients together and use a syringe to put 1-3 ml into your pet’s vertical ear canal and massage.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Dog Ear Infection

Apple cider vinegar works by killing both yeast and bacteria. Apple cider vinegar is one of the most common and most shared home remedies. I personally don’t recommend apple cider vinegar by itself. It didn’t work for us and if used improperly it could cause more damage. 

Do NOT use this remedy if your dog’s ears are red or have open sores. It will burn and be painful for your dog. 

Create a mixture of 50% organic apple cider vinegar and 50% water, soak a cotton ball, and clean your dog’s ears.

If you notice your dog in pain or their ears drying out too much, discontinue use and see your vet.

Over-the-counter Topical Medication Options

While I have not tested these, they medicated cleansers come highly recommended by holistic veterinarians.

  • Earth Animal Natural Remedies Clean Ears Herbal Ear Wash Cleanser. Ingredients include Chamomile, Calendula in a base of Witch Hazel, Aloe Vera Gel, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Mullein Oil, St. Johnswort and Garlic in a base of Olive Oil.
  • Dr. Harvey’s Herbal Dog Ear Wash. Ingredients include Witch Hazel, Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Organic Golden Seal Extract, Organic Calendula Extract, Organic Comfrey Extract, Organic Mullein Extract, St. John’s Wort Extract, Organic Chamomile Extract, Geranium Extract, Polysorbate 20 (Vegetable Source), Catnip Oil, Erigeron Oil, Neem Oil, Citronella Oil, Cedarwood Oil, Geranium Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Organic Rosemary Extract.
  • Zymox Plus Advanced Formula. The one active Ingredient is hydrocortisone 1.0%.

Essential Oils for Dog Ear Infections

This essential oil treatment recipe is from Dr. Katie with The Natural Pet Doctor. I have not tried it, but I wholeheartedly trust her with my dog’s health. You can clean and spray your dog’s ears with this treatment solution 2-3 times a day until the infection is gone. 

  • 10 oz. of distilled water or brewed green tea (cooled)
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops of copaiba essential oil
  • 5 drops of frankincense essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of colloidal silver

You can find all of these ingredients and recommended products in my Amazon List: Natural Home Remedies for Dogs with Ear Infections.

Peroxide for Dog Ear Infection

Hydrogen peroxide should NOT be used to treat a dog’s ear infection. It can cause irritation and inflammation of the ear canal and may worsen the infection. 

dog eating food

Change Your Dogs Food

In my experience, an ear infection is just the underlying cause of something bigger going on in your dog’s body. In our case, it is allergies that cause the ear infection. If your dog has an underlying health condition it’s important to seek veterinarian care.

When I first learned that our dog Ginger has allergies, I went through an elimination diet and found only one brand of dog food that she could eat without having an allergic reaction. That was 6 or 7 years ago. There are more and more dog food companies making limited ingredient options. But I still find that most of them have additives that her body can’t process. 

Food is the best medicine for our bodies and for our dogs too! We’ve been led to believe that a bag of kibble is the best food for our dogs. I am in the process of transitioning all of my dogs to a raw food diet. The more I learn the more believe that raw or fresh food is best and will help our dogs stay healthy and live longer.

Research raw and fresh dog foods and if possible transition your dog to a better quality food. 

Close-up of a dog's ear that is red and infected.

Symptoms of Dog Ear Infections 

  1. Head shaking
  2. Redness of the ear
  3. Dark waxy discharge, looking like brown gunk
  4. Smelly ears
  5. Hot ears
  6. Tilting of head
  7. Pawing at the ears
  8. Swelling

Causes of Dog Ear Infections

There are many causes for dog ear infections. Here are some to consider:

  1. Allergies
  2. Bacteria
  3. Drug reactions
  4. Ear Mites
  5. Diseases such as Autoimmune, Meningitis or Encephalitis
  6. Disorders such as Thyroid or Endocrine
  7. Excessive cleaning
  8. Flees
  9. Injury
  10. Moisture, leading to bacteria and/or yeast
  11. Viruses
  12. Wax buildup
  13. Worms
  14. Yeast
Close-up of a dog's ear that is infected.

Most Common Types of Dog Ear Infections

Determining the type of ear infection can help determine appropriate treatment. An ear infection can be in the outer ear canal (Otitis externa), middle ear of the ear (Otitis Media), or inner ear canal (Otitis Interna). It can be caused by bacteria, yeast, or both. Dogs with floppy ears, such as basset hounds and cocker spaniels, or a lot of ear hair are more prone to this. The word otitis means inflammation of the ear.

Yeast Ear Infection

These are usually caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the ear. A yeast ear infection in a dog’s ear will produce a dark brown discharge and a distinct, unpleasant odor. The smell is often described as musty, like damp bread, or a bit like a combination of mold and cheese. It’s different from the normal, clean scent of a dog’s ear. If you notice a foul or unusual odor coming from your dog’s ear, it’s a good indicator that there may be an infection.

Bacterial Ear Infection

A bacterial ear infection in a dog’s ear will produce a yellow or greenish discharge and a different odor compared to a yeast infection. The smell is often described as pungent and foul. It can resemble a strong, unpleasant, and sometimes fishy or sour odor. This smell is typically more intense and offensive compared to the odor associated with a yeast infection. If you notice this type of odor coming from your dog’s ear, it’s a sign that there may be a bacterial infection.

Ear Mites 

Ear mites are usually contracted from environments with poor hygiene and stress, such as animal shelters. They are highly contagious from pet to pet, but not to humans. Ear mites don’t have a noticeable odor by themselves, but if the ear mites cause an ear infection it will have an odor. You will notice a black or brown waxy chunky gunk discharge in your dog’s ears. 

Close-up of a cleaning a dog's ear that is infected.

How I clean my dog’s ears at home

STEP 1: Soak a cotton ball with a cleaning solution

Because my dog’s ears were filled with brown gunk, I first dipped Q-tips and cotton balls in Eco Ears and cleaned the brown gunk from inside her ear.

Do NOT insert the Q-tips deep into the ear canal, I use the Q-tips to remove the gunk from the crevices around the ear, but never too far inside. The cotton ball can be used to wipe out any discharge inside the ear.

STEP 2: Pour the cleaning solution inside the ear

After removing as much of the gunk inside the ear, I put a small amount of the liquid inside her ear, massage it for a minute, and let her shake her head. I use the cap of the Eco Ears bottle to fill with the liquid to pour inside my dog’s ears. This helps lessen the scariness and noise of the big bottle.

STEP 3: Repeat

VetOrganics recommends continuing for the full 10 days. Even though my dog’s ears looked much better within just a couple of days, I repeated cleaning my dog’s ears twice a day for 10 days. 

STEP 4: Maintenance

I clean my dog’s ears once a month for maintenance. Even a quick wipe with a cotton ball just to make sure their ears stay clean and healthy.

veterinarian looking inside a dog's ear

When to go to the vet for your dog’s ear infection

It is important to note that I am NOT a veterinarian, so if you have any doubts, please just take your dog to your vet. Or at least call them, a phone call is free and could your mind at ease. 

I know you want to know how to treat your dog’s ear infection without a vet, but sometimes we need a professional to help us, especially if your dog has a severe or recurring ear infections. If you can’t afford to take your dog to the vet, I understand… I’ve been there. Try talking to the vet to see if they have any programs to help you.

I’ve taken our dogs to the vet several times, which isn’t cheap. In fact, it was well over $100 for the visit, plus diagnostic tests, and the cost of the prescription ear medication. And after all that, the ear infection would just return or never really go completely away.

My first experience with ear infections was with our lab mix, J.J. To say he was not a fan of the vet is putting it mildly. So, it wasn’t an easy task when I took him in to have his ears checked. If you have a dog like this, you understand how stressful it can be for both the dog and human!

So that’s when my home remedy search started. As I said, I’ve tried everything. Nothing seemed to work, it was a constant battle with recurrent ear infections.

Soon after, we adopted Ginger. She has food and environmental allergies that were the underlying condition of her chronic ear infections. At one point she had a bacterial infection in both ears. I took her to the vet and the same thing, $100+ for the visit and prescription ear medication.

Back to searching for the best treatment options I could do at home, and that is when I found Eco Ears. It’s been more than 6 years and I still use Eco Ears to maintain all of my dog’s ear health. 

With all that said, I still think a visit to your veterinarian is an important first step. They will be able to give you the best advice and instructions on how to treat your dog’s ear infection.

And remember, finding the source of the ear infection is just as important as treating it.

Rescue Dogs 101's Natural Remedies Reference Guide

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About the Author

Debi McKee

Debi McKee is the expert behind Rescue Dogs 101 where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She is a mom of 3 human kids and 4 dogs and volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society. Click here for more about Debi and her passion for helping you and your dog.

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  1. I’ve been doctoring my Pom over a year and over 1,000dollars and using two different vets. . They do the same treatment. Now ear is black inside ulcerated barely any ear canal left. Last visit they told me nothing left to do. Ear is pussie, runny. I noticed every bath he would flare up. Pom itches his ear and then licks his paw, telling me infection is inside of of him now. I can’t get the vets to prescribe oral antibiotic which I think is needed. How do I help my poor baby

    1. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry you are fighting this terrible ear infection with your Pom. I hate to say it but find a different vet. Maybe a holistic vet would be a better route. Download my natural remedy guide. I’ve got a handful of holistic vets listed in there.

  2. Cleaning a dogs ears is one thing, but dealing with a bacterial infection will not respond to simple home remedies. Homeopathic does not work for humans and will not work for any serious infection in dogs either. This is just setting your dog up for serious complications.

  3. I have a nearly 4 year old Standard Poodle. She is beautiful and an incredible athlete, but developed a chronic auto-immune disease directly from the puppy vaccines her breeder unknowingly gave her and all her siblings. All of the adults from her litter have these chronic ear infections. Like you I have tried everything: meds, diet, numerous vets./vet visits, lab analysis of the black, smelly paste in her ears. I have tried numerous washes and medical prescribed ear washes. Back in 1997 Purdue Vet School did a study on vaccine dangers on cats/dogs. They recommended NOT using them because of the serious side effects that range from simple auto-immune diseases like ear infections to a variety of cancers. Although I love the Standard Poodle breed, it is virtually impossible to find any breeders with the knowledge and intelligence to STOP vaccinating their puppies to eliminate these health risks. After years of practicing natural medicine, and after millions have died from the Covid shot, many of us realize that viruses have never been scientifically proven to exist, simply another scam designed to make billions for evil drug companies. I wonder if you are aware of this.

    1. Our Cavapoo was already vaccinated when we got her. We’ve had her for a month and now she has a crusty, sore ear. My question is how do you find a groomer who doesn’t require proof of vaccines?

  4. My Lab,Boomer, is almost 16 yrs old. I rescued him when he was 7 months and have loved my best friend ever since. I have 2 other rescue dogs and 2 rescue cats. Boomer is the only one who has a problem with his ears. And like you I have tried everything from store bought to dig ear products and to no avail. I don't get alot of gunk from his ears just a bit yet they feel hot to the touch. And not always but just when he's shaking his head. Drs didn't find any infection or any other problems but it has to be something! What would you suggest? I had a bully rescue centre for 13 years and always just used either oregano oil and coconut oil mixture of olive oil. That usually worked but is not helping Boomer.

    1. It could be a sign of something else going on health-wise. At this point you will need to become a bit of a detective. Try eliminating foods and environmental allergens that may trigger the hot ears.

  5. My miniature schnauzer constantly has one ear with yeast infection. I'm curious what food did you change to. I've tried everything. Even made homemade food for 6 months. With just chicken thighs, steams vegetables and brown rice. Still no change.

      1. In all my research and many vet discussions, “corn”, is at the top of the list of allergies also. Never had issues with chicken for any of my foster, rescue or adopted dogs.

    1. I took my 12 yr old Shihtzu to a new vet last week for a checkup and advice. She had severe allergies for the first five years of her life and it took 3 different vets before I found one who did not prescribe Cytopoint and Apoquel as treatment. The 3rd vet suggested she may have food allergies. She put Cookie on a 6 week diet of pinto beans and sweet potato to calm her system down. We discovered a crap load of grain allergies. I located an air dried meat product consisting of meat ground bone and organs. TRMC @Amazon. Expensive but her skin and ears cleared up right away.
      We moved to southern Az from Alaska last year. Her food never changed but she went from drinking snow melt water to hard alkaline groundwater. Last June she fell ill and ended up with bladder stone surgery. She was placed on bladder stone food from Royal Canin (ingredients included flax and other things Cookie is allergic to.) Suddenly she began all over severe itching, ear infections paw licking etc. I began making her food with low oxalic levels but the symptoms did not go away.
      The new vet prescribed a food by Royal Canin especially developed for allergies (hydrolyzed protein) and bladder stones. I checked ingredients and no allergic ingredients. I also give her only distilled water and quercitin. She is beginning to heal but it will take time.

  6. I also use this for my dog who had chronic ear infections. I clean his ears one a week and no more vet visits for his ears. Has been a lifesaver.

  7. What does the product contain what are the ingredients? I'm clearing brown gunk everyday using coder vinegar and olive oil and witch hazel to soothe he loves having it done.

  8. My dog also was getting bad ear infections and had itchy skin so bad he would scratch himself raw. I eliminated peanut butter and that took care of the itching and a lot of the ear redness/irritation. He still gets occasional ear infections and will give this a try.

  9. Do you know if this Eco Ears is good for cats too?

    p.s. In About the Author, there is a misspelling of the word “where” . It is in the first sentence, after Rescue Dogs 101….”WERE” is the misspelled word.

  10. I have 5 rescues from people who no longer their pet. I have 3 yorkies (not the miniatures) 1 chihuahua and 1 very large retriever who thinks she is as small as the rest of her sisters and brother. Thank-you for the advice because I have 2 with ear infections and it is very costly at the vets.

  11. What did you use to treat your dogs allergies. My labradoodle chews and likes on his paws. Also what dog food do you recommend?

      1. I have a Maltese rescue with skin allergies and ear infections. Vet gives a IM injection followed by Anti itch pills. We use Hills’s to Home Prescription Diet for skin allergies and ear infections. She sometimes cries. That’s been a while because we scooped everyone up to the Emergency vet.

      2. Thank you for this helpful info. I wanted to add that Dr. Jean Dodds offers Nutriscan that identifies your dogs allergies. It is expensive but it saved my dog from suffering through the lengthy elimination test. I am not affiliated with Dr. Dodds, just a happy customer.

  12. I have a pitbull, he is almost 3 yrs old. His ears stay full of the brown junk, smells horrible, and always scratching or rubbing it. Had previous yeast infection in ears and eyes, vet treated with antibiotic ointment. My question is this. Is it possible that all the yeast in pizza crust (he loves Little Caesar’s) could be cause of these infections? Just a thought. Any help would be be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

  13. thank you for the info on Eco Ears, I plan to try it. We have Bulldogs and our female has terrible ear infections. Our male has extreme food alergies. We have limited the diet to Fish only proteins and only use Zignature. So far we are not having much success on the ear infections for our girl. Going to try your suggestion. Thank you for the great info.

    1. You’re welcome. Hope it works. Sounds a lot like our Ginger. Are you feeding her any treats or bones. Consider anything she eats an allergy trigger. Outside allergies can also be an issue.

  14. Hi I’ve just seen your post I’ve got a dog with sensitive ears and I’ve just ordered the liquid you recommend so thank you very much for your help and support. I’m eager to start and get this stuff so I can keep my dogs ears thanks again.

  15. Our Labradoodle got earmites. He had an ear infection twice, the same time.
    I used organic coconut oil. Three times a day – 3 drops. The next day the infection was gone. Really amazing.
    In the end I had to go to the vet for the earmites, because they won’t disappear.

    We’re making his food, including vegetables and even some fruit in it, every 3 weeks and put it in de freezer.
    Works great for our dog.

  16. I know that noone wants to be told what to do, especially when they clearly are knowledgeable about dogs, but have you considered not using dried kibble? I’m getting ready to take the leap to just regular quality human food, and have been researching what is best for feeding. I can’t believe the difference it makes even doing just half kibble and half human food. The dogs have fewer issues and their coats really improve. Just a thought. I’m glad you got the ear infections under control, they’re the worst!

    1. Thanks Tracy. I have actually thought about switching to raw or cooked for our dogs many times. But with my life being extremely hectic, having two dogs and many times a foster dog, feeding fresh or raw is not in the cards right now. I know it has so many benefits for dogs and I wish you the best and hope your dog thrives on it!

  17. Thank you for sharing. My dog Indy has the same issue and I am going yo try this product. She also suffers from allegies and will lick her belly raw, bite at her legs and get ear infections. What dietary changes did you make with your pet to alleviate those symptoms?

  18. After reading this story it sounded spot on to mine with our almost 3yr old Boxer Manny. I instantly ordered eco ears. This is day 2 3rd application and all the brown stuff is gone however his ear is soooooo extremely red! I don’t know if this is bad or if it will go away after more applications. Does any of this sound normal to you?

  19. Thank You, Debi! I am so happy that I came upon your article in Pinterest tonight. I have a dog with constant ear infections and cannot afford to take her to the vet every time. I found your article very helpful & informative. Once I get my dogs ears under control, i will do a monthly maintenance on her as well. Thank you so much for the information, it is definitely a keeper!

  20. My groomer told me my little terrier has an ear infection. I had some leftover medicine to start her on, but I was dreading the extra vet bill, so I looked online for things I could do at home. I found this article, and read a few reviews on, and ordered a bottle! I hope this works- if it does, it will save me a ton of money!

  21. We will try this. Have 3rescues 2 cats 1 Dog &7 AKC Shelties we Are Hobby Breeders and just love the Shelties Thanks. Gary & Stephanie

  22. Loved the information. I have a rescued Akita. Since I found him he had had chronic ear infections. Yes, I’ve paid these vet bills too! I think I finally have it conquer, but you never know until the next one, or not! Thanks

  23. Thank you so much for your advice. I recently moved to the ocean with my pit bull and she cannot stay out of the water, because of this she keeps getting ear infections from water in her ears! UGGHH! I will definitely try this! I really hope this works!

  24. Ear infections in dogs are 99% of the time caused by allergies. The miraculous recovery you have noted is because of your food change, not this product. Also, you may want to look into the FDA warnings about Zignature diets.

    1. I wouldn’t agree with 99%, but allergies can be a large component to ear infections. And yes, as I noted the food change was part of our journey in fixing her ears. BUT, without using the EcoEars, the ear infection wasn’t going to go away on it’s own. It is the only product I found to work. She still gets an occasionally ear infection and I turn to EcoEars every time.

      I am fully aware of the FDA warning sent out in July 2019 on grain-free foods. Here is a direct link:

      I’d also recommend for people to read this article, it goes over some of the facts that are important to consider:

      I’m not saying that I’m not concerned about feeding my dogs Zignature. But I also don’t want people panicking. I am currently researching trying to find a food that doesn’t contain pea products to feed Ginger. Zignature is still the only brand I have found to date that she can eat without breaking out in full allergy skin issues, with itching, etc. So if it’s a matter of choosing between my dog suffering from allergies all year long, or a one in a million chance that she gets DCA… I have to choose what works for her.

      1. You so go see a dermatologist for Ginger allergies. I have a German shepherd and he had ear problems. His body produces yeast so i have to wash him in special shampoo 2 times a week. she also knew he had a food allergy by looking at him. Luckily my husband and I tried grain free, trukey, duck, chicken,beef and lamb food before see her. She put him on a strict diet rabbit and potato it works great. It is a prescription food diet. After that he still got ear infection. She tested him and he has a environmental allergies (39 of the them). Most of them are trees and grass. Since he cant be in a bubble. She put him on a allergy serum. I give a shot every week on the same day. If you can’t afford it that’s fine but if you can you should see one. I love her and hans (my dog) love her. She is expansive. They first few bills was $400 dollars. You have to go 4 different times the first two years. After that it is once twice a year and it $190. I bought eco ear and he can’t use it due to some of the ingredients he is allergic to. I am now a firm believer in going to a professional for anything to do with my dogs. If you have a vet dermatologist please get your vet to refer you to them. The dermatologist will find a better food option.

        1. Thank you for your insights Jessica! I feel confident that we have solved Ginger’s allergies on our own without testing. It took some time, and although I can’t pin point exactly what she is allergic too. I do know what she is not allergic too. So we have the food allergies solved. I think she has environmental allergies just like your pup. Your dog is very lucky to have you.

  25. My mom’s dog had lots of ear infections, practically paid for the new vet clinic lol. Til one day a visiting vet told her to wash the dogs ears with a dandruff shampoo, it started with a z or x, can’t quite remember, but she washed her ears once a week with the stuff and never had an ear infection again.

  26. I am going to buy the Eco ears from as soon as I get this posted… I will comment to you after I use it on Chewy… I have put off purchasing it but am not waiting any more … sure hope it helps her… thank you

  27. So very glad you posted this. Vet tried to tell me it was allergies. I will definitely be trying this!

  28. Thank you for the advice. I deal with chronic ear infections in my boxer and he scratches it raw sometimes. I bought a solution called Optic. It works great, I put it in his ear for a few days and then it clears up for a few weeks. But lately it seems like the ear infection is coming back sooner. I’m going to order the product you recommended and give it a try. Thanks again!

    1. Your dog butt scooting boogie most likely means they need their anal glands expressed. You can search YouTube or take him/her to the vet to do it.

  29. Several years ago we had a Weimaraner, Lucy, she was tortured with the exact same ear infections that you are describing…CONSTANTLY…it broke my heart. I am a nurse and I, like many puppy moms, am the one to deal with all of the health issues. It got to the point when she got an ear infection, she would hide from me to avoid getting her ears treated. At the very end of her life I found Eco Ears and it is a miracle! It really works…I keep it on hand just in case and yes I do clean my dogs’ ears with it routinely. I hate to expose my dogs to something unnecessarily but it works so well.
    It’s easy to use and it smells so good. I asked my groomer to use it when grooming our rescued Mini schnauzer and she now recommends it to her clients.
    I took it into my vet’s office and recently found out that he recommends it because many of his clients have found it to be so successful. Thank you for such a good article, I try to keep up to date with current remedies to keep my puppy babies well and happy.

    1. So sorry to hear about your struggle with Lucy! But I’m glad you found Eco Ears to be as much of a miracle as I have… and so many others. My dogs don’t love getting their ears cleaned, but they tolerate it. I would hope they understand I do it to keep them healthy!

  30. Do you recommend this product for monthly cleaning maintenance? My dog’s ear isn’t red or looks dirty she just shakes and bends it like it irritating her

    1. Yes, we use it for cleaning/maintenance with our yellow lab. He has never had an ear infection, but I still like to clean his ears out … especially after a swim in the lake or roll in the mud!

  31. My vet. recommended ACV his recipe was 1/2 Cup each of ACV & Water with 5 drops of Alcohol mix well then use no more than 10 drops in each ear once per week & rub the ears. My dogs had ear infections constantly until he told me that We’ve been doing it for about a year now & their last appt. were very good with no more infections, redness, discharge or smell. I posted the recipe with his instructions on my dog site. I should add that he uses this recipe on his own dogs.

  32. >Ginger had a bacterial ear infection, which I believe was caused by her food allergies. Once I was able to control her allergies, the ear infections never returned.

    See, I’m glad you mentioned this, because I don’t think it’s normal to have to clean your dogs ears regularly to have them not get ear infections, so if they’re getting ear infections frequently it must be a sign of something bigger. But maybe I’m mistaken.

    1. This is exactly what I believe as well Susan. And I think it’s true for more than just dogs with ear problems. For instance, people who have skin problems – instead of trying to treat the skin problem directly, they should try to figure out the underlying issue causing the skin problem in the first place.

    1. A lot of little things actually — I need to write a post about it 🙂 Ginger has seasonal and food allergies. So I went through an elimination diet to find the foods she is allergic to, so she is on a very restricted diet. She gets Probonix probiotic additive, coconut oil and honey as occasional treats. I also give her baths with an anti-itch shampoo when she gets really itchy.

  33. My dog is not a big fan of ear cleaning ..runs from me…how can I clean her ears without it being traumatic to either one of us

    1. A lot of patience! My dog JJ (since past away) would not let me touch his ears. I took it slow, putting the solution on a cotton ball, I’d sit next to him, when he was in a relaxed state of mind (usually at night). I’d pet him, with the cotton ball in my hand and slowly work my way closer to his ears. I know it sounds silly, but I’d almost be petting him with the cotton ball, until I got to his ear, then inside his ear. He still never liked it, but I was at least able to get him calm enough to allow me to clean them out. It didn’t happen over night either, it took weeks for me to be able to sit down and clean his in ears in 5 minutes. In the beginning, I’d spend 20 minutes just petting him with the cotton ball!

  34. My darling Jack Russel suffers from the symptoms as described in your message. I would love to buy the recommended product and would be most grateful if you could tell me how I could get hold of the mentioned Eco Ears

  35. How did you determine that your dog had food allergies. ? We have a cihuahua with reddish pink belly and ears. Also red anus and dark red down rear and front legs. Bet can’t cure it!

  36. That’s not a home remedy. I don’t have a credit card or debit card, I’m on a very limited income. I was expecting a real home remedy.

  37. i was reading about the product u use…and i really want to try it…unfortunately it does NOT ship to Canada!…is there any other product u could suggest Debi ? thank u !!

  38. I have been using Zymox ear cleanser every other weeks. My dog hasn’t had another ear infection since she was a puppy. She is now 10 years old. It cleans and prevents. Wonderful products.

  39. You shouldn’t use q-tips for your ears. Your better off going to the vet to get better advice. Humans shouldn’t use q-tips either in the ears as you only remove a small amount of wax and push more of the wax into the ear therefore at risk of causing more damage

    1. Hi Katt, Thanks for your comment. As I mention above, I use the q-tips to clean the outer part of my dogs ears. I have been to the vet and they have instructed us to clean her ears and then you pour the solution into her ears and massage it for a minute before allowing the dog to shake her head.

  40. Just wanted to say we have a Pit mix with floppy ears & were having a problem with ear infections. Used an OTC product. I agree with you the most important thing is persistence. You must clean the infected ear/ears daily until infection is gone. It’s painful for your dog especially if there is pus; I found that I could kind of just touch the pus with the Qtip & slowly turn it while pulling the pus would come out so it was less painful. Now we clean them every 2-3 wks with a Qtip dipped in a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol/ water.

    1. You are correct, you must clean the infected ears at least once a day, if not twice a day until the infection is gone. I heard of using rubbing alcohol/water before, but also heard it can dry out the dogs ears. That’s why I like the Eco Ears so much. It’s safe and gentle enough to use daily without any of the side effects.

    2. Please don’t ever use alcohol in your dog’s ears. It’s painful and dries the ear out. Also, if your dog has an ear infection, cleaning them daily is harmful. They need cleaned once them treated with an ear medication prescribed by your vet (because different meds treat different infections) for at least 14 days. Don’t stop before just because you think it looks better. Finish the treatment.

  41. First off, good job by keeping the clean, that’s a great way to prevent ear infections as well. However, I noticed that you said to be careful sticking the q-tips down too far. I don’t know how much your vet previously told you but dogs ear canals are actually L shaped so if you are going straight down, then you can’t go too far, you won’t hit the canal. Not sure if any of that made sense but basically the ear canals of humans and dogs are different so you won’t hurt them by going too far straight down.

  42. Thank you! I ordered this from your affiliate link and i can’t wait to get it! One of our dogs has any ongoing problem with his ears and I’m so excited to try this!

  43. PLEASE DON’T CLEAN YOUR DOGS EARS . As a vet nurse, we are taught how to do this, a dogs ear in NOT the same as a human ear.

    1. Thank you Jo Anne for your comment. But I still think dog owners need to be able to handle certain health and grooming situations on their own. I’ve actually never heard a vet suggest not to clean your own dogs ears.

      1. I agree 100%, Debi. Our dog has allergies and gets ear infections every now and then. Last time I brought him in to have his ears checked, the vet & vet techs spent most of the visit showing me the proper way to clean his ears. I’d highly recommend that anyone who is not comfortable cleaning their dogs ears have their vet show them. It’s helped our dog tremendously!

    2. An owner should ABSOLUTELY be cleaning a dog’s ears! As a hound owner, I want to make it known how damaging the above advice can be. Sure, my erect eared dogs can go ages without needing to be cleaned other than getting dead skin and dust out, but floppy eared dogs, especially things like hounds, Labs, and Cockers who are incredibly susceptible to ear infections, need to have their ears cleaned daily. I’m sorry, but asking any dog owner to visit the vet for ear cleaning on a daily basis is ludicrous to the extreme.

      Cleaning a dog’s ears is basic care just like trimming nails or brushing their coat or lotion for hairless dogs. It is absolutely not something we should be relying on a vet for.

      I am very glad you were shown how to do it, but that is to be expected. Of course you should be taught in your profession, but that does not mean the owner of the dog shouldn’t learn too. An uneducated owner can cause incredible pain and misery to a dog if nails are trimmed wrong, but that is done at home too.

  44. As Debbie so rightly points out , controlling the food allergy cleared up the ears and therefore the ear cleaning was not necessary.. 90% of repeating ears have an underlying allergic cause that is what needs to be addresses

    1. Thank you Andrew. The ear cleaning was still necessary to get rid of the infection in her ear, that was not going away on its own. But to prevent it from returning, we needed to figure out the underlying cause, which was her food allergies.

  45. Thank you for the info in the ears, but how did you change the food diet? My dogs are constantly itching their ears, face, and chewing their feet. Apoquel works but soooo expensive when having more than one dog.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I’m actually working on writing an article about Gingers allergies. But basically, I stripped her diet down to 2 ingredients, fish and sweet potatoes. I cooked this food so I knew there were no hidden ingredients. She was on this diet for about 2-3 weeks until she stopped itching. Then I slowly introduced new proteins to see if she started to itch again. Long story short, we now feed her a fish based, limited ingredient dog food. I have also found that coconut oil, fish oil and honey help as additives. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter so you can be notified when the article on allergies is published. Good luck with your dog, I understand how frustrating it can be to watch your dog constantly itching!

    2. Apoquel works for enviromentla and food allergies. If your dog has a food allergy then can take off the apoquel and change the diet but if your dog has enviromental alleegie then the food chnage will not work. Im a vet tech and i deal with allergies in dog on a daily basis.

      1. I’m having major issues with my Lab’s ears. Horrible ear infection and licking constantly on her paws and legs. Shaking head non stop. Vet after vet and lots of $$$$. How can I treat if it’s environmental? How do I find out if it’s food allergies? I’m so lost and discouraged. Any suggestions?

        1. Hi Teresa,

          I totally get your frustration, we are constantly struggling with our dog Ginger’s allergies. It’s heart breaking to see her scratching so much. We started with an elimination diet to find out what foods she was allergic to. But she does also have environmental allergies, so she is starting to itch again now that spring has arrived. We help her by giving coconut oil, probiotics and raw honey. It doesn’t cure the allergies, but helps her itch less. You can also try a OTC medicine.

  46. When my two year old Molly got an ear infection, I would put coconut oil on my hands and rub it inside her ear. Three times and her ears stopped smelling and were no longer dry and sore

  47. I have seen a number of ears that have been treated with alcohol in the medications. The ear flap turns black and rough. Soothing herbal ingredients can bring troubled skin back to life. Thanks for bringing this product to my attention. Gusto has prick ears so he is unlikely to get an infection but he hangs out with Labs that swim a lot and seem to have ear infections as a result of that activity.

  48. After my dog’s ear surgery I had to go to town cleaning her ear because it was bandaged up for a few weeks and it was smelling something bad. It’s good to have a good ear wash to help with that and reduce the smell from their ears when there’s too much stuff in there. I think we’re not supposed to use cotton swabs in dog’s ears like we’re not supposed to in human ears either but I used a few in visible areas to get the wax stuck to something before using a wash like you did!!

    1. Good point, I use the swabs to get into the nooks and crannies of her ear, never went far into the ear canal. That’s why the Eco Ear instructions say to poor the liquid into the ear, so you don’t have to dig into the ear.

      1. I have to clean my pitty's ears and I use a swab (intended for dogs ears) Mister Ben's big bamboo ear buds dipped in mineral oil. The oil helps to soften the waxy discharge and less effort is needed to loosen any spots in crevices or hard to reach areas. My dog loves having his ears cleaned. And these q-tip type ear buds are almost fool proof they have a very large cotton tip 3 Times the size of a normal q-tip.

  49. I’m so thankful that you found a solution that worked for you dog! The pictures tell the story. Happy-Go-Doodle Chloe has never had an ear infection, but now I’ll know exactly what to watch for.

  50. Hmm . I never knew about the different types of infections dogs can suffer from that infect the ears. I never had an issue with my pets ears however this Eco Ears product sounds like a winner. So glad your dog found relief and you saved money! It’s a win win.

  51. Fortunately, our dogs aren’t prone to ear infections, but they are miserable when they have them. One of my dogs gets them occasionally as part of her allergies.

  52. This is interesting! I’ve had yeast infections in my ears and my vet said to treat it with drops of mixed water, white vinegar and athlete’s foot and it works, so even vets sometimes promote ‘home brew’ treatments!

    1. Interesting, I never heard that home solution before. I’d be concerned about putting athlete’s foot medication in her ear though. That’s what I liked about the Eco Ears, it uses only natural ingredients.

  53. Thanks for this great guide. I think you might have helped me figure out the diagnosis for my parent’s dog’s issues. While a head tilt is cute, it can definitely be signs of something more serious going on.

  54. Differentiating between the various kinds and causes of ear infections is very important, so thanks for outlining what they are and what to expect. I used to clean my dogs’ ears weekly with hydrogen peroxide, until the vet told me I was actually over-drying his ears, making him more itchy. Eco Ears sounds like a good alternative to other products I’ve tried in the past

  55. Great info, ears have to be the most prone to dirt part of a dog. Fortunately, one of our girls, Cece, takes it upon herself to clean the rest of the dogs ears. It’s pretty gross, but it’s effective. I still make sure to clean them each once a month at least for preventative maintenance

    1. Dogs should not be licking another dog’s ears. Their mouth is full of bacteria and this is extremely unsanitary. Not healthy for either of your dogs.My golden retriever has an awful time with ear infections from multiple allergies.We feed no grain single protein diet and prescription apoquel for the itch.Another common allergy can be the dish they eat from….use stainless steel bowls. We will be giving this eco ear a try. Thanks!

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