Many dogs suffer from itchy ears, and antibiotics are a standard treatment. Yet, the overuse of antibiotics has created bacteria able to resist this most commonly used remedy. Essential oils offer another way to help clear up the problem.

Dogs are often plagued with itchy ears; reportedly, as many as one in eight dogs seen by vets are brought in for treatment of this problem. Otitis externa—the official name—can be both debilitating and difficult for an owner to deal with. The disease is multifactorial in origin, which is a fancy way of saying that it may be caused or triggered by many things. This can sometimes make it hard for a vet to offer a quick fix.

The L-shaped structure of a dog’s ear creates a prime breeding ground for bacteria and yeast, and once they get out of control, the scratching starts. Often, the problem can be controlled with antibiotics, ear cleaning at home…

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