Home Remedies for Your Dog Shaking its Head a Lot

November 02, 2023
dog shaking head a lot

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It’s heartwarming when our four-legged pals do that cute little head tilt, but what if they’re shaking their heads a lot more than just being their adorable selves? While it might seem like just another quirky dog behavior, frequent head shaking could mean they need some help.

Understanding why our dogs might be doing this is essential to figuring out how to help. We’ll also look at easy home remedies to give them relief. If you’re scratching your head about why your dog can’t stop shaking theirs, you’re in the right place.

While our remedies are simple and home-based, it’s always a smart move to check with your vet, especially if your pooch is showing any other signs of discomfort or if the head shaking continues. Your dog’s comfort and health are top priorities!

Why Do Dogs Shake Their Heads?

Dogs have a language of their own. From wagging tails to barking at the door, each action means something. Shaking their head is no different, and is mostly a natural behavior. If you’ve been noticing your pup doing this a lot though, it’s time to play detective and find out why. Here’s a breakdown of some common reasons:

  • Dirty Ears: Imagine wearing headphones with some dirt inside. Uncomfortable, right? Dogs feel the same with dirty ears. Build-up of wax or debris can make them want to shake it off.
  • Ear Infections: It’s like having a pesky itch you can’t scratch. Ear infections can make dogs feel super itchy or even cause pain, leading to frequent head shaking.
  • Allergies: Dogs can have allergies too. Sometimes, common things like pollen, dust, or even certain foods can irritate their ears, prompting the shake.
  • Bugs and Critters: No one likes uninvited guests! Tiny bugs, especially ear mites, can be a big nuisance for our furry friends, causing them to shake their heads in discomfort.
  • Wetness in ears: Just like dogs love to shake it up when they’re trying to get themselves dry, if they ever sense that their head is wet, they’ll likely whip it around like they just don’t care!

Figuring out the exact reason might need some observation, and in some cases, a vet’s expertise. But understanding these common causes is the first step towards helping your dog feel better.

Simple and Safe: Home Remedies for Dog Head Shaking

Seeing our beloved canine companions in distress is never easy. But the good news is, there are some home remedies you can try to help soothe their discomfort. These remedies are easy to whip up and use ingredients you might already have at home.

  1. Clean Their Ears Regularly: A weekly ear cleaning can work wonders! Use a soft cloth and warm water, gently wiping the inside of their ears to remove any dirt or wax. You can also invest in a dog-specific ear cleaner available at pet stores.
  2. Aloe Vera Magic: Aloe vera is nature’s soother. Apply a small amount of natural, pet-safe aloe gel to the inside of their ears to calm irritation. Always make sure the aloe vera doesn’t contain harmful additives and is safe for pets.
  3. The Wonders of Coconut Oil: This isn’t just great for hair or skin, but for dogs too! A dab of coconut oil can moisturize and soothe dry or itchy ears. Just make sure to use it sparingly and ensure it’s well spread.
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar Mix: A mixture of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water can be a gentle cleaner for mildly irritated ears. However, never use this on a dog with open sores or raw skin in the ear, since it will sting.
  5. Stay Allergy-Smart: If you suspect your dog’s head shaking is due to allergies, consider making small changes at home. Use hypoallergenic bedding, keep windows closed during high pollen days, and be mindful of new foods or treats that could be potential allergens.
  6. Calming Oatmeal Soak: Oatmeal has natural anti-inflammatory properties. Make a gentle oatmeal solution by blending plain oatmeal and water, and apply it to their ears for a soothing effect.
  7. Chamomile Tea: Chamomile has natural soothing properties. Make a weak chamomile tea, let it cool completely, and use it as a gentle ear wash. It can help reduce inflammation and soothe the ear.
  8. Warm Compress: If your dog’s ear appears swollen or painful, a warm compress can provide relief. Soak a cloth in warm water, wring it out, and gently hold it against the ear for a few minutes.
  9. Dietary Changes: Sometimes, recurrent ear problems can be linked to food allergies. Consider consulting with your vet about potential dietary changes or introducing Omega-3 supplements to boost skin and coat health.
  10. Gently Massaging the Ears: Sometimes, just a gentle massage around the base of the ears can help increase circulation and provide relief.

Remember: While these home remedies can offer relief, they’re not a replacement for professional vet care. If your dog’s head shaking persists or if you notice signs of deeper discomfort, it’s crucial to consult with a vet.

Wrapping It Up: Prioritizing Your Pooch’s Comfort

As we wind down our journey into understanding the mystery behind our dogs shaking their heads, it’s vital to remember that these lovable creatures rely on us for their well-being. Like when a child tugs at our sleeve with a problem, our dogs communicate their discomforts in ways like head shaking.

While the home remedies shared are a great starting point, they serve as initial steps to comfort and not complete solutions. If the head shaking continues or if there are other signs of distress, it’s a clear call for a trip to the vet.

By paying close attention to our dog’s behaviors and taking timely action, we not only ensure their physical well-being but also deepen the bond of love and trust. So, the next time your furry friend shakes their head, you’ll be equipped with knowledge, understanding, and remedies to help them out.


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I was unprepared for what would happen to my dog, Biscuit. 

Ever since she was a puppy, she’d spend her days running and playing. I’d take her on walks, to the beach, and dog parks.

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I went to the vet, who looked over Biscuit and said she was likely limping due to joint inflammation. She gave us something to help. This worked well at first. Biscuit was moving around more freely, and was limping less. 

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