First Aid for Dogs: How to Treat Ear Infections at Home


Ear infections in dogs are not uncommon. In fact, it's estimated that almost 70% of all dogs will suffer from at least one ear infection during their lifetime. While some cases of ear infections can be treated at home with over-the-counter antibiotics, your dog should always see a vet if he is showing any signs of an infection like redness, discharge, or pain.

Ear infections are one of the most common conditions in dogs

A dog's ear shape and anatomy make them more prone to infection than human ears, which can result in pain, inflammation, and discharge from their ears. Dogs' ears are designed for hunting and hearing but not for swimming or getting water trapped inside their canal.

To help prevent infections:

  • Clean your dog's ears regularly with a cotton ball soaked in warm water mixed with a small amount of baby shampoo (make sure you don't get any soap into your pet's eye).
  • If your pooch has floppy ears that hang down over his face, he may need additional cleaning after being outside on rainy days because rainwater tends to collect there more easily than on other breeds of dogs with shorter fur around their faces. Long-haired breeds also require frequent maintenance because their hair tends to trap dirt inside the folds around each ear hole--and this can lead directly back into contact with bacteria found naturally within our environment (new!).

What are the Symptoms of an Ear Infection?

You may notice that your dog is shaking his head, pawing at his ears, or scratching them. You may also notice a foul smell coming from his ears. If you suspect an ear infection in your dog's left ear, look for redness and swelling on that side of his face. A veterinarian will likely be able to tell if he has an infection based on these symptoms as well as what he finds during a physical examination of the area around the ear canal (and possibly by taking samples from inside).

If there is any discharge from either ear canal or if your pooch has been rubbing excessively at one side of its head or neck with its paw--this could indicate that something foreign has gotten stuck in its eardrums!

How Do You Know If Your Dog Needs to See a Vet?

You should see a veterinarian if your dog has persistent ear infections or you notice any of the following:

  • Your dog is shaking their head or scratching at their ears.
  • The skin inside the ear flap looks red and swollen.
  • There's a foul smell coming from the ears. This may be an indication that there's pus in them, which could mean an infection has set in that needs to be treated by a vet immediately. If your dog does have pus in his/her ears--or if it looks like it could be there--you should take him/her to see a veterinarian right away so he/she can prescribe antibiotics and pain medication until you can get back home with some first aid supplies (see below). You can also try cleaning out some of this gunk yourself using hydrogen peroxide before taking him/her in for treatment; however, only do so under close supervision from someone who knows what they're doing!

How Can You Treat an Ear Infection at Home?

  • Clean the ear with a cloth. If your dog's ears are clean and dry, use a soft cloth to wipe them out from inside to outside.
  • Use an ear-cleaning solution. You can buy one at the pharmacy or make your own by mixing 1/2 teaspoon each of mineral oil and white vinegar in 1 cup of water (or any other combination that works for you). Pour this mixture into an empty spray bottle and spray it into your dog's ear canal until it becomes saturated with liquid, then massage gently for 30 seconds before letting him shake his head out so that all the fluid comes out with his fur--don't worry about getting some on yourself since these ingredients won't harm humans! Repeat this process once every day until symptoms subside; then switch over to using only plain water as needed after two weeks have passed without any new infections occurring while using this treatment plan consistently throughout those 14 days."

Ear infections can cause some serious pain and discomfort for your dog

Ear infections are common in dogs, and they can cause some serious pain and discomfort for your dog. The good news is that they're easily treatable if caught early.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Ear infections are very common in dogs, especially puppies who haven't been spayed or neutered yet or older animals with long ears.
  • If your pet has an ear infection, they'll likely exhibit some signs of discomfort like shaking their head or scratching at their ears frequently (this can also happen when there's dirt lodged inside). They may also scratch at the area around their neck as well! This happens because the infection causes irritation which makes them want to scratch at themselves more than usual!


If you think your dog might have an ear infection, the best thing to do is to schedule a visit with your veterinarian. They will be able to determine if it's just wax buildup, allergies, or something more serious like mites or bacteria infections. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to permanent hearing loss or even death in some cases so don't hesitate if there are any concerns about your furry friend!


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