Ear Infection Remedies for Pets

Distilled White Vinegar

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Joeybluesmom (San Diego, Ca) on 07/31/2011

Oh my goodness, I just have to get on here and say thank you for this website!!!!!! I thought my dog was going deaf. He hadn't been able to respond to anything for about 5 days and I just thought it was old age... My dog is currently on Tom's mange treatment and just developed a nasty ear infection of which at the age of 11 he has never had. Poor guy. So, I jumped on earth clinic to see if there was a cure for ear infections that I could do from home. Sure enough, vinegar and water! Go figure. So, I made a 50/50 solution of the white distilled and water and used a medicine dropper and filled his ear with it. I rubbed that hollow area from the outside for a few seconds and let him shake his head to get the excess out. And guess what? Within a few minutes he was responding to everything we said! I almost cried. I've never been so happy to hear my dog growl and bark when we say "Here, Kitty kitty"!! There are no words. My heart is so happy right now. If I hadn't seen it myself, I'm not sure I would have believed it.

Replied by Kimdukeking
(Quinlan, Texas)

I have searched and searched for remedies for my German Shepard ear infection. He too is 11 years old. I've tried everything the vet has given me. Even having Achilles sedated and the vet doing the complete ear flush. Nothing has worked. He cries every night in pain. It completely breaks my heart. I just saw your remedy (50% ACV & 50% water ) My husband and I just put in his ear. He shook a lot of it out. I'm praying this works. I had a couple of questions. If you have a moment. First - how much should we have put in and how often a day should we do this? Second - when will we see it take affect. Thank you very much for your advice. I've never used this site so I'm not sure if this posts for everyone or not. If it does, any more advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. I do apologize for such a long email. Thank you again

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Kimdukeking!

Your reply posted to an entry from 2011 -everyone can see it if they search that particular thread OR if you just click on 'Recent pet posts' where most new posts appear.

For super painful ears I prefer to use Zymox Otic enzymatic solution I buy online; it has a bit of painkiller along with enzymes that digest the yeast. It works well but is spendy. I like this because you do not have to flush the ears clean, you just have to squirt it deep into the ear.

For painful ears where the dog is crying, my first plan would be to make sure there is no raw skin or open wounds in the ear due to scratching. If there are wounds I would start with garlic infused olive oil or garlic infused coconut oil as both a balm and an agent to soften the waxy gunk in the ears which will aid in flushing it out. Do the garlic infused oil twice a day until the ears are healed so when you use the vinegar it does not sting. I would use 1/3 each white vinegar, water and isopropyl alcohol. Do this twice a day - for as long as it takes. You might also consider Ted's anti-fungal/anti-staph remedy in the ears as well.

There is a bigger picture when it comes to chronic ear issues - diet, vertebral subluxation, systemic yeast and allergies come into play.

What are you feeding your dog? Take a look at the ingredient label and if you see grain or corn in the first 5 ingredients it is time to upgrade the groceries to a grain free diet as grains have been linked to chronic allergies and systemic yeast in dogs. Any treats or chews should be made in the USA and not treated with sugary coatings and red food dyes and nitrates. A chiropractic adjustment is another option to consider as a misalignment of the neck vertebra can result in chronic ear issues.

You might consider Ted's Borax protocol for dogs or alkalizing your dog's drinking water with baking soda as well.

Good luck and please report back!

Replied by John
(Warrington, UK)

My boy is bout fourteen and he kept goin off balance and calapsing thort it was old age and thort I was goin to have to put him to sleep but luckily I read this first so I tried it and sure enough it worked when he stud up without fallin over I got on one knee and give him such a big hug with tears down my cheek thanku so much for leavin a comment so people like me kud read as I cud of made a bad mistake once again thanku so much my dog is a Alsatian cross with a lab and I also have a Japanese Akita which I rescued from the fire at Manchester dogs home and I love my boys to bits

Distilled White Vinegar
Posted by Tom (S.Salem, NY) on 07/28/2009

I have a rescue pit bull which has had chronic ear infections since she was about 5 months old. Since the first infection I have administered nothing but pure white vinegar. This always works and usually in a short time. I lay the dog down using voice commands (For this routine she is very reluctant but obedient, ALWAYS offering the good ear and I have to flip her). From here I almost fill the ear canal w/the vinegar (Which is warmed in hot tap water). I then massage the ear for up to 2 minutes(Listening for the gurgling in the canal to know I'm getting it all), drain, wipe it out with cotton balls cleaning all of the ear.Thoroughly dry when finished. I then put a very light coating of olive oil or bag balm on the skin (Administered w/fingertip). I have spoken to vets who agree this is a good remedy because the vinegar will balance the ear's atmosphere and the oil may kill bacteria. I never heard of using any water mix with the vinegar. My concern is that the water or a moist atmosphere (Like in humans) is what causes a lot of infections. I also never heard of using ACV just white. I like the idea of adding rubbing alcohol to help dry the ear but this will also burn the skin that is often damaged from scratching or rubbing.


5 User Reviews
5 star (5) 

Posted by Jean (Eureka Springs) on 07/18/2022

I was following advise about ear mite/ear infection(since I don't know which one it is) remedies and opened a garlic oil softgel to put in his ear. (They are 1000 gm extract that you get from the dollar general store.) When I opened the softgel, HE WENT WILD for the smell, even though they are mostly odorless. He loved the smell of it so much that he wanted to lick it off my fingers, and I couldn't get it in his ears, he wanted to lick the oil so bad! (He lets me stick my fingers in his ears, so that's not a problem.) He did lick the oil off my fingers and himself, then ran through the house like a nutty kitten. This can't be normal for a cat to love garlic. I then let him lick avacado oil off my fingers, to see if it is garlic oil in particular he wants, or is he short on fats in general, which he also licked off.

QUESTION: how much is too much garlic OIL for a 10 lb cat who LOVES it better than cat treats? He gets supplements(like I do, ) cracked chlorella/ life extension's cat mix/ collagen/hyaluronic acid.

Posted by Aljay (Tel Aviv, Israel) on 03/08/2015

I used olive oil and garlic for my dog's ear infection, it's amazing..it works, thanks god, my dog is happy now.

Replied by Wendelin

I would like to know how much did u use?

Posted by Om (Hope, Bc Canada) on 08/29/2014

For ear infections in dogs, use pure olive oil or sesame oil. Mascerate garlic cloves overnight and then apply warmed. ACV is too harsh for ear infection. My dog had his ear infection treated like this and all is well. It took less than three days but that is individual. This is med for humans, too. Namaste, Om

Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 09/04/2013

At the first sign of a head tilt or constant head shaking and ear scratching, check the ears for foreign bodies and discharge. Ears may be flushed with the ACV/H20 remedy, but sore ears that are raw from scratching should be treated first with olive oil infused with fresh garlic. The fresh garlic has anti-fungal/anti-yeast properties and will aid in combating a yeasty ear infection while the olive oil provides a soothing means of delivery as well as working with the garlic to combat ear mites.

Take 1 cup of olive oil and add 1 good sized clove of fresh, chopped garlic and let steep overnight. Strain the garlic from the oil, and then warm to a comfortable temperature for the pet [101 degrees F]. Appy generously to the ear canal, making sure it gets down deep; massage the base of the ear canal near the pet's jaw and listen for it squishing about. The pet will shake its ears to remove excess oil. You can apply the garlic infused olive oil 2 x day for 2-3 days; this will allow the ear tissue to heal to where you can then use the ACV/H20 remedy with no stinging or burning.

You can purchase already made preparations of Garlic and Mullien oil or Neem oil that can also be used on painful ears; these oils need not be used full strength from the bottle, they can be diluted with olive oil 50:50. Always warm to a comfortable temperature before using in the ear.

Posted by Susan (Kaneohe, HI) on 07/25/2009

the yeast infection in the ear is candida...the best natural way to completely eliminate it is with garlic. My son who is now 17, when he was a baby he had food allergies & constantly sick with ear infections. I went through the normal course of the pediatrician & ended up having him on different antibiotics for over a year. He developed a severe case of candida. I took him to an homeopathic doctor who tested him for the food allergies. I had read about candida & learned about the garlic which I gave to him everday in a pill form crushed up. Because of the severity it took nearly 6 months before it was completely gone. He has never had it again. This also works for your pets. I buy the already peeled whole garlic from Costco's & using a chopper add it to the dry Costco brand dog food along with olive oil for their coats & joints. It helps eliminate the fleas, they have no worms or intestinal parasites.

Posted by Jan (Niwot, CO ) on 11/04/2008

I have 4 cocker spaniels. Anyone who has had cockers knows they have ear problems. Also they are prone to skin conditions. I had 2 previous cockers one that skin condition so bad at 8 years old.........she got so sick and died. The other I spent a fortune on medications again and lived to 7. I bought a very healthy male and female at 6 weeks old. Waited to make sure they had no skin or health problems. Of course they were on otomax every other month That's the ear thing. We breed them and had a litter of pups. We kept 2 of them. One of them has severe ear and skin problems. All of a sudden the Mom started the skin problem. Again vet bills on medications. I have changed food so many times figuring allergy. I finally went to a no-grain dog food. The ears and skin cleared up , but it kept reacurring every couple months. I finally did 2 days of searching on the internet. They are still on the no grain dog food........but, I am adding a teaspoon of chopped garlic packed in water to their dinner meal. Also a few squirts of flaxseed oil, and a little powdered Acidophilis. We keep treating a condition and not getting to the root!!! After 4 days.and a bath 2x a week with Selsum blue shampoo. my baby that has had problems all her life (3 years) does not scratch any more. great skin and coat. and no more bad ears!!!! The other three have had same diet and they are amazingly more happy and active. They don't scratch anymore either!!! I know it's the garlic!!! It is the best natural medication there is!!!! They all weight about 20 pounds each..........and for 3 weeks now.no side effects except i can sleep with out my bed shaking from dogs scratching , licking feet and shaking their heads!

Green Tea

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Tina (Seattle, Washington) on 10/19/2014

I use herbal green tea as a drops solution for my Beagle's chronic ear infection. I've only used it for 4 days but he's no longer scratching at his ears and yelping. Herbal green tea has been a natural healing solution for many different problems, not just dog infections and it works great. You put two bags of Tea in a cup of boiling water, let it steep for a few minutes, and when its cooled you put 10 drops in each ear 2-3 times a day. It doesn't sting and it smells good so the stinky ears part goes away. What you don't use can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days for repeated use.

I am however looking for a solution to my dogs inflamed ear flaps that won't sting please so if you have good ideas for that please respond here, I will check this daily. I am still working on my present E-mail as for some reason I can't check it due to problems with getting passwords to work.

Thank you and I hope my solution helps others.


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Dr Scott (Brisbane, Qld) on 03/10/2013

1. For infected ears rather than putting acids or alcohols into the already inflammed stinging chronic ear, try Manuka honey. Doesn't sting, i'ts active again all the harmful organisms in the ear (including Pseudomonas), and is safe if the ear drum is ruptured. It soothes inflammed skin and may helps draw material out of eardrums like a poultice. There are no bacterial resistence issues either. Also helps to deodorize stinky ears as well. Only downside is it can be a bit messy to apply and when it dries but can remove with wet cloth. Just Instill a few mls with a syringe and massage in -its easier when warm.

Works wonderfully and very economical and I use this in my Vet practice.

2. For those waxy or itchy allergic ears water based products like vinegar doesnt remove wax very well, try either warm olive oil or very dilute orange oil mixed with a little oatmeal. Good luck

Posted by Jan (Downers Grove, Il) on 04/15/2011

My shizh-tzu had ear pain so bad he yelped at the slightest touch. He would scratch at it and whine in pain and then shake his head. I always treat his ears after his bath with tea tree oil/water, and tried just plain tea tree oil a few times, to no avail.

Then remembered the Manuka Wound Honey I had just purchased, so I squirted a glob in his ear. Of course, it didn't go inside to well, so I followed it with 2 good sprays of apple cider vinegar, which washed it down into the ear canal. I massaged his ear for about a minute to work in well, then used a damp paper towel to remove most of the sticky residue around the outside of his ear. He shook his head once or twice, some brown crud came out, which I wiped away, and he has been fine ever since!

It has been 3 days, and no more scratching, shaking or pain! That is way faster than any antibiotic, which requires 2-3 applications a day for several weeks. I'm so thrilled to find something so healthy that works so perfectly, and for almost no expense at all! Win-win! ;D!

EC: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR -- AND WATER. One part ACV to two parts water seems about right.

Hydrogen Peroxide

8 User Reviews
5 star (8) 

Posted by Chris (Milton, Florida ) on 08/30/2022

Our Bordernese seemed to have an issue with his ear. Kept on shaking his head violently. I cut HP with water at a ration of 50:50, wetted a cottonpad with it and carefully massaged his inner ear. All good after first treatment. Thank you, earthclinic!!

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Phyllis (Ocala, Fl) on 12/11/2015

I've found the same results with peroxide. I've used it for years, now, but was told the same thing. I have a dear elderly couple who live next to me, they've literally spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars at the Vet. to have no results with there dog. This dogs ears were terrible after a year of Vet care, I constantly told him just buy peroxide and use it on his ears, that's all I use. He wouldn't do it, until recently, and he chuckles when he talks to me and says. you swear by this stuff and continually told me to switch, and I'm happy I did, but wish I'd listened many dollars before. Believe it, their dogs ears are better then they've been in years...due to the use of peroxide!

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Margo Burnett (Texas, Usa) on 07/22/2013

My standard poodle has had an ear infection in both ears for 7 years. I have had Vince on continuous anti biotics/meds/ raw food diet/thyroid meds and taken him to so many specialists. His eyes became infected about 3 years ago and were so raw they would bleed. Nothing I did helped my poor dog. I even tried allergy testing and gave him shots daily. Did not help any of the symptoms. Some days he just laid in his bed and moaned. Finally about 3 months ago I started cleaning his ears with peroxide and 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water. I also started feeding him twice a day and adding Dinovite in his food. It has taken 2 months but he is finally symptom free. It is the first time in 7 years that Vince is not in pain.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Lovemydogs (Loveland, Co, Usa) on 11/26/2011

I used hydrogen peroxide/water and this was the ONLY thing that helped Honey's ears. She is a 4 yr. old Shar Pei/Boxer mix and this dog is everything to me.

I had tried at least 4 different vet-prescribed medications and 1 OTC product for her chronic otitis externa. The vet also suggested a mix of vinegar/water to flush out the gunk but it didn't provide lasting relief. Basically, nothing worked.

My mom, in all her wisdom of 55 years, then suggested a 60/40 mix of peroxide/water, respectively. I saturated two cotton balls with the mixture, placed one in each ear, and massaged gently, letting the liquid loosen any buildup. I let her shake her head to get any excess out (and I get very dirty in the process). :)

I repeated this treatment once a day for one week. And her ears are better than they've ever been. They're not red and inflamed, nor are they as stinky. She isn't scratching at them as much, but she will lightly scratch at them every so often.

Now that they've cleared up, I'm going to try the coconut oil to soothe the skin in her ears. (The OTC treatment I had tried before the peroxide had left her with dry skin inside her ears). I'm going to apply the coconut oil with a swab but not POUR it in. I tried using coconut oil before but this was when she was on the other medication and her ears were not as cleared up.

I've read all over the internet "Don't use peroxide!" or "It can harm your dog's ears!" and my vet even hinted that she wouldn't put peroxide in her ears so don't use any product that contains it on my dog. BUT it has worked better than any other medication they've prescribed. How do you explain this?

Could it be that they want me to spend $15-$30 on a tiny tube of crap that doesn't even work so they can drive an Audi and not care about my dog's well-being and health? I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I'm looking at the cold, hard facts. I'm looking at the most amazing dog I've ever had and finally seeing her ears healed! How could the vet not have known about this miracle treatment that can heal my dog's ears and, not to mention, save me tons of money. I can buy a bottle of hydrogen peroxide for $1 and it lasts me for months.

My dogs mean the world to me; they are my family. And I would not take time make this post if I didn't really try this treatment and believe in the results. So you can try this if you want and post the results. I hope it will work for your dog, too!

Replied by Liz W.
(Durban, South Africa)


I try to use the most natural things for my baby puppy too.

HP is just liquid oxygen. The vets are the same all over.. I have been fortunate though. The veta at SPCA Durban and Brighton Beach have been exceptional to my girl.

COCO POP has an ear infection... going to be trying the HP today.

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