What are Natural Ringworm Remedies?

Despite the misleading name, ringworm actually refers to a fungal infection in the hair fibers and epidermis of a dog’s skin, rather than the presence of a parasitic worm. There are a number of natural remedies that can be used to treat ringworm, all of which have the aim to prevent the spread of infection through elimination. Natural remedies are frequently used to combat dogs ringworm, especially at the early stages of the infection. Whilst the dog may need to be taken to the vet for diagnosis, natural remedies can be administered at home by the dog owner. 

Book First Walk Free!

Natural Ringworm Remedies Procedure in Dogs

Three of the most popular and effective natural remedies for treating ringworm are anti-fungal pet shampoo, apple cider vinegar, and tea tree oil. No preparatory steps are required, except an initial visit to the vet to have the ringworm diagnosed.

An anti-fungal pet shampoo will help fight and eliminate the infection. To use:

  • Wash your dog with an anti-fungal pet shampoo in the bath
  • Do this every other day until the infection has gone

Apple cider vinegar will relieve the itching and soreness of the infected area. To use:

  • Make a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and water
  • Put the solution in a spray type bottle
  • Spray the infected area with the solution two to three times a day, as needed

Tea tree oil is said to have curative properties and will also aid with discomfort in the affected area. To use:

  • Dilute the tea tree essential oil with water, aiming for a percentage of 1%
  • Using cotton wool, apply the solution generously to the infected area
  • Repeat this process twice a day, for one week 

Efficacy of Natural Ringworm Remedies in Dogs

Many dog owners have reported significant success with the remedies above in preventing the spread and eradication of ringworm.  The anti-fungal shampoo is particularly effective in stopping the spread of infection as the whole dog is washed with the solution. 

There are alternative treatment options to combat ringworm. A vet may prescribe medicated shampoo and an ointment containing miconazole to kill the fungus. If the case is severe, they may also prescribe an oral medication to work in conjunction with any topical treatments. This alternative treatment option is usually effective in eliminating the ringworm, often with quicker results than natural remedies. 

Natural Ringworm Remedies Recovery in Dogs

The dog will not be adversely affected by the natural treatment options so will not require recovery time. An owner may start to see improvements in the infected area after a week of treatment. Improvements should be steady over the next month, and within a month or two the dog could be fully healed. The dog may need to be taken to the vet’s if the condition worsens, but if the infected area clears up, no follow-up appointment will be necessary. The owner should continue to keep the dog well groomed and cleaned to diminish the chances of the dog contracting ringworm again.

Cost of Natural Ringworm Remedies in Dogs

The cost of natural remedies to treat ringworm is low. Anti-fungal pet shampoo can be bought for between $10-$25. Apple cider vinegar can be bought for around $5. A 10ml vial of tea tree oil can be purchased for as little as $5. The only other cost will be for the initial diagnosis at the vet’s, which on average costs between $45-$55. The price could vary if you have a dog with a number of infected areas or if you needed to return to the vet for further appointments because the infection had worsened. But, overall natural remedies are an extremely cost effective treatment method. 

To use the alternative treatment method offered at the vets will cost considerably more. The initial diagnosis will cost between $45-$55. Topical creams and ointments could cost anywhere between $20 -$100. If medicated shampoo is also required, this could add anywhere between $10-$35 to the total cost. Whilst the medication from the vets is more expensive, it is more effective, with ringworm usually being completely eliminated within one to three weeks. 

Dog Natural Ringworm Remedies Considerations

The benefits of the natural treatment route are that they are safe and pose no harm to your dog. So there are no short term or long term implications associated with the natural treatment options. Medical treatment from the vet runs the risk of containing chemicals that a dog may be allergic to. Plus, excessive use of medication on a dog may be harmful in the long term. The only risks associated with the natural treatment options are that they will not eliminate the dog’s ringworm as swiftly. Plus, there is the possibility the natural treatments do not clear up the ringworm in its entirety. 

Natural Ringworm Remedies Prevention in Dogs

Ringworm is extremely difficult to prevent, as it is contagious. There are currently no reliable vaccines to prevent ringworm. There are certain steps that can be taken to prevent infection, though. Firstly, being aware of the dogs surroundings. Grooming facilities, kennels, dog shows and vets are all locations where there is a greater risk of infection. To the best of your ability, make sure the facilities are clean, including instruments being disinfected between animals. Keeping the dog’s environment clean is the most effective preventative measure an owner can take.

Rodents also play a part in spreading infections such as ringworm. If a dog has access to rodents in their immediate environment, it would be sensible to take necessary measures to eliminate the pests. This can be a very effective preventative measure, plus, reduces the risk of owners contracting anything from rodents in their house and garden. 

Owners can also prevent the spread of ringworm by monitoring their pets. If an owner sees excessive dandruff, sore patches, and an unusual amount of itching by the dog, then the owner may catch the infection at a primary stage. Treating ringworm early on will diminish progression and the chances of it spreading to other pets or humans in the house.

If an owner knows other pets have ringworm, then they must quarantine their own dog. If the neighbors dog has ringworm, then distance between them must be ensured at all times. Keeping the dog separate from other infected animals is an effective preventative measure.

Natural Ringworm Remedies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Bella Betty Sophie
Bishone Frise
9 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

We have three Bishon's all females. The mother of the 3 started to bite her self and scratch around her back legs and thighs and tail so bad all the hail is gone. We started giving her iodine baths and putting a antibiotic cream on all the wounds it's starting to heal and her hair is finally starting to return. My question is our other two are now starting the same way and we can see them starting to lose hair in the same spots. What can I do now to prevent it from getting worse on the other two her daughters ?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1491 Recommendations
If the cause is ringworm, you should give all your dogs regular baths with medicated shampoo as well as applying topical ointments; the bedding should be washed on a hot wash as well regularly until all symptoms have disappeared. It would be best to have your Veterinarian confirm and they may prescribe some medication for your girls. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Bella Betty Sophie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Japanese Spitz
11 months
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

I have an 11-month old japanese spitz. I suspected that she is suffering from ringwom infection. It started from its face down to its leg. I am using sulfur soap. Is it ok to bathe her every day?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1491 Recommendations
Whilst there are different types of treatment for ringworm, I would recommend using a medicated shampoo from your local pet shop over sulphur soap; lime-sulphur dips are commonly used as well for treatment. Miconazole based shampoos are widely available, however for more severe cases systemic treatment may be required as well. There are different types of sulphur soap, some of which may contain some ingredients which may be dangerous for dogs so check the ingredients list if you are going to use it. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Darphie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Labrador Retriever
8 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Itching and Licking

My dog has pink dots in body and rings in stomach legs and chest she is licking and chewing 8months old Labrador she is active but rings and itching is problem

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1491 Recommendations

Ringworm may be treated systemically, topically or may resolve itself; treatment with topical medications is normally recommended (with systemic treatment being given for chronic cases) especially if they are causing irritation and risks trauma from scratching. There are some at home natural treatments which may be used which are discussed on this page; a visit to your Veterinarian should be made just to check the severity and confirm the diagnosis. Environmental cleaning should be carried out with bleach to prevent reinfection. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Regi's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Zoe and Julie
6 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Skin Irritation

Skin condition. I have two beagles. One has hair loss on ear (no redness) and the other a sore on her foot (some clear liquid and she dies lick it). Could they be related. Ill take them to there vet next week as well.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1491 Recommendations

They may be related, but possibly not; the licking of the foot may be due to excessive licking and may be treated with regular bathing and stopping them from licking it; hair loss on the ear may be caused by a few different causes, without examining the ear and the paw I cannot really tell you any useful information. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Zoe and Julie's experience

Was this experience helpful?