Natural Ear Care

essential oils for dogs ears

Essential Oils for Dogs Ears

Ear infections are very common in dogs. According to a website run by two veterinarians, about 1 in 5 canines suffers from this problem. We just learned that our elderly dog had this condition as well, after bringing him to the groomer. She said his ears were red and inflamed. We had noticed that he was rubbing them along our couch and also on our carpet. We had noticed an odor, but assumed it was due to the fact that he needed a bath and haircut.
But now I know that offensive dog odor is a telltale sign of an ear infection. Other symptoms include any noticeable redness in the ear passage. Behavioral changes are another signal that something is amiss. Our dog had been slowing down, but we attributed this to old age. (But that wasn’t the entire problem.)

Natural Treatment for Dog Ear Infection

Horrified that our dog had something treatable, but hadn’t been addressed, I wanted to do something to fix the problem right away. So I went online and began researching holistic treatments for dog ear infections. Quickly, I learned there were a number of effective remedies. I was specifically searching for essential oils that are safe to use on dogs. A growing number of pet owners also use these oils to calm their anxious pets and to treat minor medical conditions. I’ve even read on one site of a veterinarian who noticed these oils can even help animals with chronic ailments.
However, it’s very important to find out which oils are safe for dogs, and which ones are not. This is why it’s essential to work closely with an open-minded veterinarian. Also, if you suspect your dog has an ear infection, he or she should be seen by a vet to rule out other problems. Please understand that I’m not a vet, just a dog “Mom.” So you’ll want to check with your own vet before using essential oils on your pet. Never put them on a pregnant dog or on a young puppy.

If your dog has an ear problem, and you decide on a holistic approach, please consult your vet first. (I can’t stress this enough.) Since I’m not an animal healthcare expert, I can’t give medical advice. All I can do is share the story of how we use lavender essential oil and other aromatics on our own dog.

A number of different remedies for canine ear infections are circulating on the Internet. They were easy to access. I went online because I wanted to do something right to alleviate the redness in my dog’s ears. This was not a medical emergency, as the infection had likely been present for some time.

I settled on one recipe, because it was very easy to mix, and I had the required oils on hand. One was geranium, which is considered good for killing all types of germs. Lavender oil also has a reputation for fighting infections. Plus, it has a very soothing quality. This recipe is similar to the one we used.

  • The original recipe called for 1 tbs. of coconut oil, but I used olive oil instead, because this has traditionally been used for ear infection.
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil (available here)
  • 5 drops of geranium essential oil (available here)

The original recipe called for using a Q-tip to apply this oil twice a day, only on the parts of the ear that are visible. Instead, we used a cotton ball, and applied a bit more once a day. With our adopted pound pup, this was a two-person job.

Lemongrass Oil for Dogs

Within a day after beginning the oil treatment, our dog’s ears began to look a little better. He also put up less resistance to having this solution applied to his ears. Within a few days, the redness had noticeably decreased. We continued the treatment for nearly two weeks, and the ears are healed.
Now, though, since our dog is old, we’re going to do periodic maintenance treatments with either the same recipe or this one.

If you’d like to learn more about using essential oils on dogs, here is an excellent resource.

Essential Oils for Dogs ReferenceEssential Oils for Dogs Reference

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Disclaimer

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Essential oils should not be used on pregnant or lactating dogs. This article is meant for discussion only, and is not written as diagnostic or medical advice, as I am not a veterinarian. Pet owners with health concerns should discuss them with a licensed professional.