DIY Dog Ear Oil
During my weekly check-up, I always inspect my dog’s ears. Do they look inflamed or dirty? Do they need to be cleaned or are they fine? I find it very important to not over-cleaning his ears – a mistake easily made. Just like dogs, we have ear wax and we too do not use harsh chemicals to clean them. As long as the ears are dry and do not smell funny you can simply remove the ear wax (gently!) with a cotton swab/balls. NEVER push the cotton ball or swab into the ear canal but just clean the area you can easily access with the swab. Otherwise, you may damage your dog’s ear very badly.
Due to my dog’s mites allergy, he often suffers from inflamed and itchy ears. Usually, I wash his ears with warm water and apple cider vinegar (fifty-fifty solution) but when he starts to shake his head and scratch his ears I know it is time to make a special ear wash oil which will get rid of the mites, the itchiness, and inflammation.
If you know how you can treat your dog’s itchy ears at home but keep an eye on them. Are the symptoms getting worse? Does your dog continually shake his head, scratches it? Some dogs damage blood vessels in their ears due to heavy head shaking. Go and see a doctor immediately. Ear infections that are treated not in the right way or too late can become a real health problem for your dog.
Preparing the ear oil
You will need:
- A (glass) bottle, flask or something else you want to store the oil in
- olive oil
- Mullein leaves
- Grapefruit seed extract (optional) – some drops
- Lavender oil (optional) – some drops
Peel the garlic and chop it really fine. Put the garlic and some olive oil in a pan and heat over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat if the garlic is getting brown. Let the oil cool off. Next, pour the oil into the bottle and add some herbs to give it that extra punch. Depending on the amount of oil you want to make you can adjust the quantities. I used 150 ml of olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of dried mullein, 10 drops grapefruit seed extract and 4 drops of lavender. Shake the bottle before using it. The garlic and mullein leaves will sink on the ground of the bottle and will not end up on the cotton ball/swab.
We use garlic for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiparasitic properties. Mullein is used when treating ear mites. It also reduces inflammation and supports the skin. Grapefruit seed extract and lavender smooth the skin in the dog’s ear and support healing.
Cleaning your dog’s ears
There are different ways to clean your dog’s ears. I always use a cotton ball and sometimes cotton swabs which I dip in the oil. After that, I squeeze the cotton ball/swab a little bit to get rid of any residual oil. If your dog is not trained or used to getting his ears touched and/or cleaned you should take is easy and reward him for every little step. When cleaning his ears, I start with the inside of his ear flap and gently massage the oil into it. Then I start to clean in inside of his ear (very gently) by removing any wax until the cotton ball/swab does not have any traces of dirtiness. You may notice that one ear is dirtier than the other and that you need more cotton balls for one ear than the other. This is perfectly normal. Just use as many cotton balls/swabs as it will take you. After the ears are cleaned I also wipe his neck and parts of his head with just a little bit of oil.
If your dog indeed is suffering from ear mites you need to reapply the oil every other day for a week and then let the ears rest for three days. Then apply the oil every three days for an additional month. That way you will not only kill the mites but also will prevent them to multiply.
What are your experiences with ear cleaning products? What is your favourite product to use?