Several types of ear mites can live in your pet’s ears, but the most common kind is Otodectes cynotis. These tiny, eight-legged parasites feed off the oils and wax in your pet’s ear canal and cause inflammation and irritation. Common signs of ear mites infestation include head shaking, a strong odor coming from the ears, excessive rubbing or scratching of the ears, ear inflammation, a brown or black waxy ear secretion, and a coffee ground-like discharge, according to PetMD. Left untreated, ear mites can cause infections and total obstruction of the ear canal. There are several great home remedies you can use to treat your pet that might save you money and a trip to the vet.
1. White Vinegar
White vinegar is one of the best home remedies for ear mites in dogs and cats. Not only does white vinegar kill adolescent and adult ear mites when they come into contact with it, the vinegar also cleans your pet’s ears from the dirt and debris ear mites leave behind in the ear canal.
- One tablespoon white vinegar
- Two tablespoons warm water
- Two cotton balls
To use this effective ear mite home remedy for dogs and cats, combine one tablespoon of white vinegar and two tablespoons of warm (not hot!) water in a clean bowl. Pour the liquid into your pet’s ears, and gently massage them. When you are sure the whole ear has been in contact with the diluted white vinegar, use a cotton ball to gently wipe out the inside of each ear.
Caution: Do not use white vinegar if your pet has any open sores in their ears. Doing so will cause stinging and pain.
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2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has a multitude of uses and is a great ear mite home remedy for dogs and cats. Aloe vera possesses compounds that contain anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Aloe vera also boosts the skin’s ability to regenerate and repair itself. This home remedy for ear mites in dogs and cats can speed up the healing from the lesions caused by ear mites.
- Aloe vera plant or organic aloe vera gel
- Cotton balls
If you don’t have an aloe vera plant, you can purchase one at your local nursery. Break a leaf off of your aloe vera plant, put the gel from the leaf onto a cotton ball, and gently rub the gel into your pet’s ears. Repeat every day for one week.
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3. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil smothers adolescent and adult ear mites when they come into contact with it. One study found that treating cat ear mites with two milliliters of mineral oil-based ointment and 30 seconds of massage at the base of the ear eliminated the ear mites after only two treatments, one week apart. Mineral oil is perhaps one of the most effective home remedies for ear mites in dogs you can use for your pet.
- Mineral oil
- Cotton balls
Fill an eye dropper with mineral oil. Place a few drops of mineral oil into each of your pet’s ears and massage the base of each ear for 30 seconds to ensure that the oil gets into your pet’s ear canal. Next, put some mineral oil on a cotton ball, and use the cotton ball to wipe out the insides of your pet’s ears. Repeat twice each week for at least one month.
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Mineral oil is also featured in our article on the best home remedies for mange – if you have pets, you should check it out!
4. Boric Acid
Boric acid is often used in the treatment of cuts and wounds because it has antiseptic properties. Its antiseptic properties also make it good at treating ear infections caused by ear mites. In fact, one study indicates that boracic acid works as effectively as steroid and antibiotic ear drops at treating chronic ear infections.
- One-fourth cup of boric acid.
- One cup of warm water.
- Cotton balls.
To use boric acid as one of the most effective home remedies for dog ear mites, combine one-fourth cup of acid and one cup of lukewarm water in a clean bowl. Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture to the insides of your pet’s ears. Repeat once a day for two weeks.
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5. Oregano Oil
As far as home remedies for ear mites go, the combination of oregano oil and olive oil is a good one. Oregano oil contains antiparasitic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. The oil will help your pet get rid of her ear mites quickly.
- One-half teaspoon of oregano essential oil.
- One-half an ounce of olive oil.
- Clean container with a lid.
Combine one-half teaspoon of oregano essential oil and one-half an ounce of olive oil in a container. Cover the container and allow the mixture to sit for 48 hours. Put two drops of the solution into your pet’s ears twice each day with an eye dropper.
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6. Yellow Dock Root Extract
Yellow dock root extract is known for its benefits for skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. It’s also one of the best home remedies for ear mites you can use. Several studies show that yellow dock root extract can fight harmful organisms that can worsen ear mite infections.
- Nine drops of yellow dock root extract.
- One tablespoon of warm water.
- Clean bowl.
To use this home remedy for ear mites in cats and dogs, mix nine drops of yellow dock root extract and one tablespoon of warm water together in a clean bowl. Use an eye dropper to put two to three drops of the mixture into your pet’s ears. Massage the ear so that the mixture gets into your pet’s ear canal. You can repeat this treatment every two to three days, depending on how severe your pet’s ear mites are. The treatment should be continued for at least six weeks.
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7. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most effective home remedies for dog ear mites you can use. Studies show that hydrogen peroxide in various concentrations can suppress parasitic activity and eventually kill the parasites causing problems.
- Hydrogen peroxide.
- Clean bowl.
- Cotton balls.
Pour some hydrogen peroxide into a small bowl. Soak a cotton ball in the solution. Use the cotton ball to gently clean out your pet’s ears. Be very careful not to get any hydrogen peroxide in or near your pet’s eyes. Repeat two to three times each week.
Caution: As far as home remedies for ear mites go, hydrogen peroxide is a great one. However, if your dog won’t sit still for the cleaning, you may not want to use this home remedy. You must be incredibly careful not to get any hydrogen peroxide in or near your pet’s eyes.
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8. Green Tea Rinse
As far as home remedies for ear mites go, a green tea rinse is a good choice. Green tea has antiseptic properties and can be used to flush out your pet’s ear canals.
- One tablespoon of loose green tea leaves.
- One cup of hot water.
- Cotton balls.
Interested in more home remedies for pets? Check out our collection of home remedies for kennel cough and this rundown of the most effective home remedies for bladder infection in dogs.
You can easily make your own green tea rinse at home to clean your pet’s ears. Put one tablespoon of loose green tea leaves into one cup of hot water, and allow it to steep for four minutes. Then, strain and allow the tea to cool to room temperature. Soak a cotton ball in the tea and use it to gently wash the insides of your pet’s ears once each day for one month.
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9. Almond Oil
Almond oil is another one of the best home remedies for ear mites in cats and dogs you can use. Moreover, the combination of vitamin E and almond oil effectively kills ear mites. Vitamin E and almond oil also soothes, moisturizes, and heals your pet’s ears.
- One-half an ounce of almond oil.
- 400 IU vitamin E capsules.
- Clean, small bowl.
- Cotton balls.
Combine one-half an ounce of almond oil and the contents of one 400 IU vitamin E capsule in a clean, small bowl. Allow the mixture to reach room temperature before filling an eye dropper halfway full with the liquid. Squirt one-half an eye dropper full of liquid into each of your pet’s ears. Massage your pet’s ears in order to ensure the liquid gets into his ear canals. Use a clean cotton ball to wipe away any excess liquid.
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Honey contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Honey provides a protective barrier for the ear, thus preventing infection. In addition, the sugar in honey prevents the growth and spread of infection-causing microorganisms. For these reasons, honey is one of the most effective home remedies for ear mites you can try.
- One tablespoon of raw organic honey.
- Cotton balls.
- Warm water.
To use this home remedy for ear mites in cats and dogs, dip a clean cotton ball into some raw organic honey. Gently wipe the insides of your pet’s ears with the cotton ball. Massage the ears to ensure the honey gets into the ear canals. Leave the honey in the ears for 30 minutes before gently rinsing it out with warm water. However, you should only use 100% raw organic honey for this home remedy because processed honey doesn’t contain the same antiseptic and antibacterial properties that 100% raw organic honey does.
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Garlic is a good home remedy for ear mites in dogs because its active compound, allicin, possesses antibacterial and antiparasitic properties. Garlic effectively inhibits the growth and spread of microbes and parasites.
- Six cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped.
- One tablespoon of olive oil.
- Food processor or garlic press.
Grind six cloves of peeled and finely chopped garlic cloves in a food processor until you obtain a paste-like consistency. Add one tablespoon of olive oil, and mix the ingredients well. Warm the garlic and olive oil in a saucepan on your stove over low heat. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before you use an eye dropper to put the garlic and olive oil into each of your dog’s ears.
Caution: Garlic is toxic to dogs and cats, so make sure they don’t have access to this ingredient or to the final product. Wrap the treated area in a towel to stop them from licking the treatment.
12. Corn Oil
Corn oil is another great home remedy for ear mites in cats and dogs you can try. Corn oil drowns ear mites and relieves itchiness and pain.
- Corn oil.
- Cotton balls.
Use an eye dropper to put two to three drops of corn oil into your pet’s ears. Massage the ears gently to ensure the corn oil gets into the ear canals. Use a cotton ball to rub some corn oil onto your pet’s outer ears as well. Repeat once each day for 10 days.
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Sulfur is one of the most effective home remedies for ear mites in dogs and cats as it kills bacteria and dries out the skin of the mites. Although it has a potent smell, this is one of the fastest-acting remedies you could try to relieve the symptoms.
- Purified water
- Recovery cone
Make a thick paste out of sulfur and water and apply this to the affected area. Place the recovery cone on your pet to prevent them from interfering with the healing process or from ingesting the treatment. Wash off with lukewarm water after a few hours and repeat this process every three days until you completely get rid of ear mites.
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Ear mites are uncomfortable for cats and dogs and can cause complications such as infection and ear obstruction. These home remedies for ear mites will help you help your pet feel better. Have you tried any home remedies for ear mites? How successful were they?