How do I get Rid of Dog Mites?

Jennifer Fenn
Jennifer Fenn
A vet can treat ear mites with ear drops.
A vet can treat ear mites with ear drops.

The treatment you choose to get rid of dog mites will likely vary, depending on the type of mite your dog has, and your preference in terms of trying to take care of the problem at home, or visiting a vet. Home remedies are frequently used to get rid of mites, but a trip to a veterinarian may be necessary if the infection is serious or if home treatments don't work. Some common treatments include washing the dog with a medicated shampoo, applying a soothing ointment, and administering prescription medications.

Dogs may receive a chemical wash as part of a mite infestation treatment.
Dogs may receive a chemical wash as part of a mite infestation treatment.

Dog mites are tiny parasites that live in a dog's fur. They like to tunnel under the skin to lay their eggs, which causes the skin to become inflamed, reddened, and itchy. Some treatments may be more effective than others to get rid of dog mites, depending on the type of mite your pet has and the severity of the infection. Common types of dog mites include ear mites, mange, and walking dandruff.

Getting Rid of Ear Mites

Applying ointment can reduce discomfort from dog mites.
Applying ointment can reduce discomfort from dog mites.

As the name suggests, ear mites live in a dog's ears. The most common symptoms of this type of mite include scratching around the ears; shaking the head and ears; and blood or a dark, coffee ground-like substance in your dog's ear canal. Special ear mite treatments can be purchased online, at a pet supply store, or at some veterinarian offices.

Drops that include an insecticide may help get rid of dog mites in the ears. These drops should be massaged deep into the dog's ear canal for at least two to three weeks. Gently cleaning the entire ear daily will also help remove the parasites. Many veterinarians recommend that the infected dog's entire body also be treated, since ear mites can move to other areas of the skin. Most tick and flea medications will work to kill ear mites on a dog's body; the product label usually states whether or not it works on mites too.

Getting Rid of Mange Mites

A dog scratching around its ears might have ear mites.
A dog scratching around its ears might have ear mites.

Mange mites can also be referred to as scabies. Most dogs have this type of mite, and they are typically passed from mother to puppy during the first few weeks of life. In most cases, mange mites only cause symptoms in dogs that have a weak immune system or that are very old. Symptoms of mange include hair loss and scaly skin, usually beginning around the dog's face, but which can spread over the entire body.

Humans are generally left unmolested by ear mites.
Humans are generally left unmolested by ear mites.

Most often, a veterinarian is needed to recommend or prescribe the best treatment option for mange. Lotions, shampoos, and dips are among the most effective treatments. Benzoyl peroxide is a popular home remedy that may be helpful in relieving skin irritations caused by mange, with a small amount rubbed into the affected area to relieve symptoms until the mites are gone. Sometimes mange is treated with weekly injections of a dog-safe insecticide, though this is not common and some breeds of dogs do not tolerate this treatment well.

Getting Rid of Walking Dandruff

Another common type of dog mite is the cheyletiella mite, more commonly called "walking dandruff." These mites can be seen moving in a dog's fur, which gives them their name. The most common symptoms are itchy, flaky, and scaly skin on the dog's back. A veterinarian will usually diagnose walking dandruff and prescribe a series of prescription baths. These mites can be transmitted between dogs and humans through close contact, so you'll probably want to get rid of them quickly.

General Dog Mite Treatments

Both over-the-counter and prescription medications can help to get rid of dog mites, and it is best to talk to a veterinarian before taking this route. A general veterinarian or a specialist, like a veterinary dermatologist, will be able to recommend the best course of treatment, and prescribe medication if necessary. Some veterinarians sell medicated baths, shampoos, and lotions right in their offices, and many large pet supply stores also fill prescriptions for animals.

Cortisone creams may help alleviate itchiness and skin irritation caused by dog mites, but they are not appropriate for all animals, so you should talk to your veterinarian before using one. Antibiotic creams, available by prescription, can be used to aid in the healing of sores and other skin abrasions, as well as helping to prevent any further infection. Removing the hair in very infected areas may also help dogs suffering from dog mites, as it can make treatment easier by exposing the infected skin.

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Discussion Comments


Can you use olive oil for ear mites?


RE: Demodectic Mange. I had done a lot of looking on the internet and finally decided to try my own protocol. I went to the drug store(Rite Aid) and purchased PanOxyl 10 percent Benzoyl Peroxide acne wash and Renewal 10 percent Benzoyl Peroxide cream. I put my dachshund in the bathtub and soaped him up with the PanOxyl. I let it stand for about five minutes and then thoroughly rinsed him.

While his pores were still open, I put the cream on him and really rubbed it into his skin, especially into the affected areas. I placed him in his crate to dry so he would not try to rub all the medication off himself. Within a few hours he was dry, and already no itching and scratching. I repeated the procedure the next day just to make sure that all mites were dead. He had a little irritation which I took care of with hydrocortisone. It has been a month and his coat in gorgeous -- no itching or scaling, and he is a happy, healthy pup.


My Lhasa Apso has a problem with her sebaceous glands and constantly chews herself until she bleeds. The vet has prescribed medication, and we changed her food to eliminate by products. We bathed her in mineral oil and her skin so soft. We keep Frontline on her but still she continues to dig at herself. What can relieve our little family member? I am so broken-hearted.


We were once advised to use diatomaceous earth as a natural remedy to treat fleas in the home. My only precaution is to remember that it is a very fine dust, so a little goes a long way! I am fascinated by the Febreeze and Eucalyptus suggestions and might also recommend a Clorox product for safe home use called Clorox Anywhere.


can mites be in soil and garden areas?


I have a 12 week old, three pound, 10 ounce Pomeranian puppy. I figured after I had paid for him, that the people were the front for a puppy mill, but I saw him and it was too late for me to change my mind.

I got him on Good Friday and took him to the vet on Monday. They found parasites in his stool and put him on 1 Panacur Granule. I asked if he had fleas because he was scratching all weekend and she examined him and said no.

I just took him back for another puppy shot and said can you please check him again, he is scratching non-stop. I said his skin is so dry it is flaking. Now understand, this women has been a vet for a while, but she didn't see any fleas so she did a skin scraping. I waited 45 minutes before she came back and said he is covered with Cheyletiellosis!

She game me four doses of Revolution and Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo, which I am too use every 3 days. I have another dog and two cats and I told her I had frontline plus and she said OK. Last night she calls me and tells me that I should bring the Revolution back and she will give me Cat Revolution and that i need to buy Frontline spray at a pet store because they don't carry it and it would take them a week to get.

I called around and no one carries it and then I looked online, only to find out, that it has been discontinued. I have lost all faith in this vet. I also had two different vets in the past, both of whom have let me down. So, I went to PetSmart and purchased Adams Pyrethrin Dip. It has 0.97 percent Pyrethrin. I purchased Zodiac Household spray. It has 0.28 percent Permethrin. I also got Zodiac Puppy shampoo with 0.15 percent Pyrethrins and adult dog shampoo Sentry, which has 0.50 percent Permethrin.

I am so confused what to do and what to use. I used the shampoo the vet gave me and after he dries I used the Revolution on the puppy on Monday night. Now I don't know if it's too soon to use anything else or if I should find something else. I will not got back to that vet again. He has had this on him and in my home around my other pets, for over a month since she didn't know what she was looking at the first time I brought him in. I seriously need some help for my puppy.


Our cat had to be put down due to systemic mites. They were beginning to spread to the dog and she was miserable. We just couldn't get rid of them.

However, the dog has only one hot spot and we have begun treatments of Neem oil (a wonderful natural insecticide) and Borax baths. They seem to be really helping with any itching. The Diatomaceous Earth is an awesome idea. We'll pick some up this week. I know it kills micro-organisms in the soil in the same fashion as described.


I went through all kinds of treatments for"hot spots" then I noticed a lot of dander, along with the stink, and bought Febreze that kills dust mites. The dog laid on the wet bed, and calmed right down. That was the idea I used to calm her frantic itching.

We live on the water and I figured it was from the waterfowl. I've been spraying her,and every thing-coats,bed etc. I then contacted a cyber friend on a forum, and received this interesting answer: Go to a feed store,or Home Depot,and buy food grade Diatomaceous Earth --not the kind for pool pumps!-1 tsp with each meal, and a dusting on her coat. It will feel like talcum to you, but it's razor sharp to the mites. It scratches their exoskeletons, killing them. So I'm buying that this week.

I've been spraying her with the febreze whenever she starts to itch somewhere,and it's working O.K.,and she also smells great!


Garlic is toxic to dogs in any form and causes Heinz body anemia, a very dangerous condition, as well as possible adverse gastrointestinal problems.


I had a great dane who died of mites over a year ago. We tried every treatment we could but nothing worked. We recently welcomed another great dane, Jack, into our home and after a couple of weeks we noticed he was developing similar skin problems as our last dog, which meant the mites never left.

Since we noticed the problem at an early stage, we were again determined to fight them and tried a variety of treatments with little or no results.

We desperately sought the help of a doctor who, besides practicing regular medicine, also practices natural medicine. He recommended a new treatment which included:

Feeding Jack one garlic head every day (not one garlic clove). Jack didn't like the taste of garlic so we chopped it into little pieces and gave it to him inside a slice of bread with honey. Garlic intake provides enormous benefits to humans and animals.

Giving Jack one caplet of Mega Minerals from GNC in his food once a day.

Bathing Jack with eucalyptus water. You basically boil water, add a bunch of eucalyptus leaves, let them boil for about 10 minutes and let the water reach a warm temperature (for Jack's comfort). Then you give a nice sponge bath to his whole body, paying special attention to the more damaged areas. Apparently mites can't stand eucalyptus.

Jack sleeps in his own room outside the house so the doctor recommended burning a log and throwing in eucalyptus leaves inside the room.

Washing the rug, mattress, blanket, etc. where Jack slept thoroughly and spraying them with bleach.

At the same time, another doctor prescribed Jack with antibiotic (ciprofloxacin) and antihistamines (Claritin). However, you should consult with your vet on this one.

It's been approximately a month since we started with this treatment and Jack seems to be getting better every day. He scratches a lot less than he used to, the damaged areas are no longer bleeding and he no longer smells bad. I can't say which part of the treatment is doing the job or if it's the result of the whole thing but I strongly recommend it. A great advantage is that it's 100 percent natural and inexpensive.

I really hope this works as well for your dog as it did for Jack.


I had walking dandruff mites for one year. I finally got rid of it with organic apple cider vinegar. The mites hate the vinegar, I think it kills them. I put a small amount the the dogs water, I drank it in water three times a day and rubbed on my arms and legs. washed off my desk etc. it worked.


Do dog mites remain in the home environment even after the dog is gone?


I have also used the mineral oil treatment. It worked for my dog, but did not work at all for my cat. I'm not sure why it was different for the cat. I called the vet and I had to get some prescription ear drops. That cleared it up.


My dog had ear mites horribly. My vet told me that I could use mineral oil. IT WORKED! Apply the mineral oil with an eye dropper or an ear syringe. Rub the inside of your dog’s ears with your thumbs to make sure that the mineral oil has well coated their ears. When you finish, your dog will probably want to shake. I found out the hard way that it is a good idea to do it outside because my dog shook his fur and splattered mineral oil on my couch. The mineral oil worked wonders and was a lot cheaper than a vet bill.

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    • A vet can treat ear mites with ear drops.
      By: Trish23
      A vet can treat ear mites with ear drops.
    • Dogs may receive a chemical wash as part of a mite infestation treatment.
      By: Eric Isselée
      Dogs may receive a chemical wash as part of a mite infestation treatment.
    • Applying ointment can reduce discomfort from dog mites.
      By: Coprid
      Applying ointment can reduce discomfort from dog mites.
    • A dog scratching around its ears might have ear mites.
      By: Ermolaev Alexandr
      A dog scratching around its ears might have ear mites.
    • Humans are generally left unmolested by ear mites.
      By: Den
      Humans are generally left unmolested by ear mites.