How Do I Get Rid of Mites on My Dog Naturally?

The best way to treat mites on your dog is by using a combination of home remedies and medications prescribed by your veterinarian.

How to get rid of mites on dogs naturally

How to get rid of mites on dogs naturally

You can treat a dog at home with natural products like olive oil, tea tree oil, and lavender oil to kill mites and soothe the affected skin. To get rid of mites on a dog naturally at home, you’ll need to mix up some essential oils into a spray bottle or shampoo to get rid of the pests.

Apply the following lotion: mix thoroughly together 5 drops each of lavender and chamomile oil and 10 ml of evening primrose oil with 30 ml of olive oil.

How do I know if my dog has mites?

If your dog’s skin is dry and flaky, it may be suffering from mites. If left untreated, the problem will quickly worsen.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should take your dog to the vet for a diagnosis:

  • Itching or scratching
  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Secondary infections

The best way to check for mites is to examine your dog’s skin and coat. You may see the mites moving or notice a tick-like appearance.

Mite infestations often occur in the inner ear first, so you may also notice signs of ear infections, such as:

  • excessive scratching at the ears
  • excessive head shaking
  • foul odor in the ears
  • redness or scabbing around the ear

Mites can also cause hair loss, scabs, and itching on your dog’s head and neck. Their feces can darken your dog’s hair and cause crusty eruptions that ooze fluids. These fluids can be highly irritating to your dog’s skin, causing scratching, redness, and hair loss.

If the mites are highly concentrated, you may be able to see them in your dog’s ear canals and on their fur, but it is more likely that you will need to do a skin scraping to see them. You will want to take your dog to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

What can I put on my dog to kill mites?

Treatment for each type of mite is different. For example, a medicated shampoo may kill demodectic mange mites, it may not do anything for ear mites or walking dandruff mites. Your vet can diagnose the type of mite affecting your dog and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

For a dog with mites, use a shampoo that is medicated with benzoyl peroxide or another treatment. If the infestation is light, you may be able to get away with using a medicated shampoo without any other treatment. You can also apply a conditioner containing benzoyl peroxide or sulfur to your dog’s skin if it has dried out.

If the infestation is heavy, you may need to see your veterinarian for oral medication or injections. Mites are contagious, so if you have multiple animals in your house, they will all need to be treated simultaneously.

You might be tempted to purchase OTC products from pet stores to treat your dog’s mange, but these often don’t work and can be very dangerous to your dog’s health. For instance, OTC shampoos can contain pesticides that kill all types of bugs on contact – including fleas and ticks – but they do nothing to eliminate mange. Some shampoos also contain harsh chemicals that can irritate your dog’s skin and make his condition even worse. Additionally, OTC shampoos can dry out his skin and coat, leaving him itchy, flaky, and uncomfortable.

Types of mites on dogs

The Demodex canis type leads to a gradual loss of hair over the body and thickening of the skin while the Sarcoptes scabiei type is more localized but more irritant and severe in its effects. Thirdly, there is a form that is restricted to the ears.

1. Itch mite

More likely to be the source of chronic itching is the infection known as scabies. This is caused by a mite known as Sarcoptes scabiei.

The pregnant female mite burrows up into the outer layers of the skin, forming tunnels into which she deposits her eggs. An allergic reaction to the mite and its eggs and droppings eventually develops and this produces the intense itching.

It may take 4 to 6 weeks after the initial infestation for the allergic reaction to develop. The often widespread, itchy rash is usually worse at night or when the body is warm (e.g. after exercise or a hot shower).

Usually, the disease is noticeable first on the dog’s muzzle and ears. Later the legs and the trunk may be affected. Small pustular skin eruptions emerge and the hair covering takes on a mottled appearance.

The dog usually is intensely itchy and may rub large areas of skin raw. Puppies often develop a very dry skin with large scales and loss of hair in tufts.

The Sarcoptes scabiei mites burrow into the outer layer of the skin to lay their eggs. Fortunately, because it does not burrow very deeply, it is easily treated.

Insecticidal washes or medicated shampoos are usually prescribed as these are safe. Long-coated dogs should be clipped before treatment. Washes are repeated weekly until all signs of irritation have disappeared and the hair grows again.

2. Demodex canis

The second form of canine mange is caused by the Demodex canis mite which burrows into the deep layers of the skin.

Demodex canis mite is most commonly found in short-haired dogs less than a year old. The first signs are usually small hairless areas on the face and the outside of the legs.

The dog does not seem to be greatly irritated unless a secondary skin infection occurs. Staphylococcal infection results in pustules and small abscess formation which causes intense itching and matting of the hair with a thick scab.

Fortunately, demodectic mange is far less common than sarcoptic mange as it is far more difficult to treat. The parasite is less accessible to insecticides and special formulations have to be used to treat severe cases.

The uncomplicated disease in puppies is usually self-limiting and demodectic mange is not infectious to humans. Soaps and creams containing sulfur have been used as the standard home treatment for mites.

3. Ear mite

Ear mites are tiny insects which can proliferate within the ear canal of a dog or cat and cause a chronic irritation. Young dogs are most frequently affected and the animal reacts by rigorously shaking the head or scratching its ear from time to time. Examination of the external ear canal reveals a thick, reddish waxy exudate which completely blocks the ear canal.

The ear mite does not burrow into the skin lining the ear but its presence seems to provoke an allergic reaction and make the tissues more prone to a bacterial ear infection. The mites are easily killed with normal insecticides once the waxy exudate has been removed to enable the medication to come in contact with the parasite.

Dogs prone to ear infections should have their hair removed from the ear canal regularly. Care should be taken, if the dog swims frequently during the summer, to apply some ear drops to the ears after swimming. In some dogs, the regular administration of drops that acidify the surface tissues of the ear canal has brought about a dramatic reduction in the incidence of ear infections.

Conclusion of getting rid of mites on dogs

Many different types of mites can affect dogs. The most common include ear mites, Demodex mites, and scabies mites. These parasites are highly contagious and can spread from dog to dog through close contact.

In most cases, you’ll need to take your dog to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. Your vet may prescribe special shampoos, dips or medications to kill mites on your dog’s skin.

If you have other pets in the house, you should get them treated as well (even if they don’t have symptoms). This is because some types of mites can live off hosts for several days, making it possible for them to spread between animals after treatment.

It is important to note that some dogs have sensitive skin and may react negatively to certain treatments or ingredients. Be sure to read the labels carefully before applying any treatment on your dog’s skin as some may cause allergic reactions if used incorrectly.

We hope this article has been helpful in your search for how to get rid of mites on dogs!


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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