Does your dog have ear problems at this time of year? Canine ear infections, fungal issues and sore and itchy ears can be aided by Applied Zoopharmacognosy. This holistic method enables your dog to self-select their own natural medicines, such as beeswax and rosehips, providing natural antibiotics and a boost to their immune system. Boosting your pet’s immune system can help to prevent recurrent infections. Bones the Springer Spaniel demonstrates how dogs can choose what they need for sore and itchy ears, in this YouTube video of his session with me.

These are my top 5 natural remedies for dogs with sore and itchy ears:

  1. Beeswax. A natural antibiotic and immune booster, beeswax may be selected in it’s natural state, as a hard yellow wax, (chewed up with relish by many dogs), or as a salve, softened with oil (please see the recipe below). I use organic, unbleached bars or locally sourced beeswax when it’s available. Dogs who are interested in the beeswax, but don’t chew it up, may enjoy the following salve, which is easier for them to eat.

14g organic/local unbleached beeswax (half a bar)

100ml of Rice Bran oil or sunflower/olive oil if preferred

Heat the oil very gently in a saucepan. Add the beeswax after a few minutes and allow it to gently dissolve in the oil. Once it has completely dissolved, pour the warm oil into a sterilised jar or pot. Offer the salve to your dog when it has cooled completely. This recipe can be amended to your dog’s preference, by replacing 30ml of the oil with a macerated oil (see below), but add this to the cooling mixture at the end, instead of heating it in the saucepan.

  1. Macerated oils. Chickweed, Calendula and Arnica are popular macerates for dogs with itchy ears. An almond oil base is the most frequently selected. These oils help to soothe the itch and offer repair to the tissues. Inhalation or licking only, please don’t put it in their ears!
  1. Green Clay powder. Can help to dry out the area and is particularly good when there is an infection or fungal issues. Offer to dust the dry clay around your dogs ears. Please don’t put it into the ear. Neem powder is a fantastic companion to add into the green clay, if this is a fungal issue or if mites are present or suspected. It helps to kill the mites by stopping their reproductive cycle, whilst boosting the dog’s immune response.
  1. Rosehips. Organic rosehip shells or powder for your dogs to eat, offers them a fantastic source of vitamin C, helping to boost their immune system. They are often popular with dogs during the winter months. They also assist repair of the skin.
  1. Essential oils. Sandalwood and Lemon are the most frequently chosen oils and offer natural antibiotics and an antibacterial action for ears. These may be licked by your dog and they may also enjoy having them massaged onto the ear flap and around the base of the ear. Sandalwood can be diluted in warm water to carefully clean the ear flap, but as with the other remedies, please don’t put anything into the ear canal.