We have all witnessed our dogs scratching and biting at their skin sometimes, but what if you notice that occurs more often lately? There is a big chance that some pesky parasites, known as mites, have found their way onto our furry friends and are causing them discomfort. Moreover, if left untreated, these can present numerous health issues.

If you’re wondering what kills mites on dogs instantly and immediately relieves your dog, this article will help you discover the best remedies. The sooner you act, the faster and more effectively you will eliminate the mites and prevent more damage.

killing mites on dogs

Signs of Mite Infestation in Dogs

If your dog is scratching and biting more than usual, he may have mites. These tiny parasites can infest your puppy and cause much discomfort, so it’s essential to recognize an infestation early to treat it immediately.

You should take your dog to the vet at the first sign of mites. They can examine your dog, determine if mites are present, and recommend treatment. Early treatment is essential to relieve your dog’s discomfort, heal skin damage, and eliminate the infestation.

These are common symptoms and signs of mite infestations:

  • Excessive scratching and biting – You will notice your furry friend scratch, lick, or bite at the skin, especially the ears, elbows, armpits, or paws.
  • Bald patches or irritated skin – Examine your dog’s coat for bald patches, redness, or scabs. Mites feed on skin cells and oils and damage the skin, meaning you may notice hair loss.
  • Restlessness or skin irritation at night – Mites are often more active in the dark, so infestations in dogs are more likely to occur at night. Your dog may seem restless and scratch or bite its skin at night or early morning.
  • Musty odor – A mite infestation can give your dog’s skin and coat an unpleasant, musty smell. This odor comes from mite droppings, excretions, and infections caused by constant scratching.
dog mites

Over-the-Counter Products for Instant Mite Relief

After identifying a mite infestation on your pup, you’ll want to find immediate relief for dog mite infestation. Several over-the-counter products can help kill mites and soothe your dog’s skin instantly.

Topical Treatments

Topical medications, like shampoos, sprays, and spot-ons, are popular for fast-acting mite management. Look for products containing pyrethrin, permethrin, or benzyl alcohol, and spray it over your dog’s entire body, mainly concentrating on the paws, ears, and belly.

Smiling Paws Pets shampoo is used by both veterinarians and pet lovers, and it has been proven to treat dogs for mites and fleas successfully.

Oral Medications

Oral medications like ivermectin, milbemycin, or spinosad can kill mites from the inside out for systemic treatment. These come as tablets, capsules, or flavored chews and will enter your dog’s bloodstream, killing mites all over the body.

NextGard is one of the most popular chewables for effective mite treatment for dogs in the US. Users especially appreciate that it can be used in all dogs from 8 weeks of age and greater than 2 kg and is available in 3- and 6-month packs.


Your vet may prescribe corticosteroids like prednisone that help suppress the immune system and decrease swelling, relieving intense itching in a matter of hours. However, these only provide temporary relief and will not kill the mites themselves.

Home Remedies for Quick Mite Treatment

Among the quick solutions for killing mites on dogs, home remedies also play their part successfully. Try these DIY solutions using items you already have at home:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an excellent option as it contains lauric acid, which can kill and repel mites. Gently rub the oil into your dog’s fur, especially in affected areas. Then, let it soak in for at least half an hour before bathing as usual. Moreover, you can also give coconut oil orally – 1 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight is a perfect measure.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The acid in apple cider vinegar balances your furry friend’s skin pH, making it less habitable for mites and other parasites. Create a solution of equal parts water and vinegar and spray it on affected areas, or use it to wipe down your dog with a washcloth. If your dog has sensitive skin, you should be very dilute.

Diatomaceous Earth

This fine powder dehydrates and kills mites. The application is the same as with coconut oil, so gently rub it into your dog’s fur, especially around the ears and between the toes. Wait for a few hours, and then brush it out.

Natural Ingredients with Instant Mite-Killing Properties

Natural ingredients can be very effective as fast-acting remedies for dog mites. These natural pesticides are safe to use, and you can also use them to thoroughly clean your home to remove any mites in the environment.

Certain essential oils have natural acaricidal properties, meaning they can kill mites and other small insects. Some of the best for dogs include:

  • Tea Tree oil – This oil has strong antifungal and antibacterial properties. You can add a couple of drops to shampoo or dilute with a carrier oil and apply to the coat.
  • Lavender oil – Not only does this oil help repel mites and other insects, but it also helps soothe skin and has soothing properties.
  • Peppermint oil – The minty solid aroma helps repel mites, while the oil has natural acaricidal effects. Dilute with a carrier oil and apply to the coat, avoiding sensitive areas like eyes, nose, and mouth.

Diatomaceous earth and coconut oil are also safe and effective natural ingredients. The fine powder is non-toxic to dogs and humans but deadly to mites, while the coconut oil has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties to help kill mites on contact, while it will also suffocate any mites by coating the hair shafts.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Dog Mites

To avoid a mite infestation, the best defense is a good offense. Prevention is always better than cure.

Bathe your dog regularly using a vet-approved shampoo. At a minimum, aim for once a month or every other month, depending on your dog’s skin type and activity level. Thoroughly wash and rinse your dog, especially around ears, paws, genital area, and tail where mites like to hide, and then brush your dog with a flea comb to remove loose hair and skin where mites can cling.

Inspect your dog’s skin and coat weekly for unusual signs like redness, irritation, scratching, or bald spots. Check the ears for a waxy, dark discharge, indicating an ear mite infection.

Treat your yard with a pesticide spray, especially in shady, damp areas. Wash your dog’s bedding, towels, and any other fabrics they come in contact with in hot, soapy water.

Lastly, make sure you take your dog for regular veterinarian checkups and consult your vet immediately if you notice any symptoms of mites. Your vet can examine your dog and may take skin scrapings to determine the type of mite and recommend appropriate treatment.


As you have seen, understanding what mites are and can do to your dog and knowing how to treat them quickly and effectively is essential. Mites cause a lot of discomfort for your canine companion and present many health issues if left untreated.

Fortunately, many over-the-counter products and natural home remedies can help you kill these little parasites, while there are also ways to prevent possible infections so your furry friend can live an itch-free life.

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