Cleaning your dog’s ears on a regular basis is very important for their comfort and to prevent ear infections. Cleaning their ears may seem really easy, but there is actually a process to it that you need to follow. Now, you can opt to go for costly clinical ear cleaning solutions, but those cost a lot and are often no better than homemade ear cleaning solutions. So, let’s talk about different homemade ear cleaning solutions for dogs that you can make for next to no cost. Also, we’re going to talk about the ear cleaning process itself.
How To Clean Dog Ears With A Homemade Solution – The Basics
All dogs need their ears cleaned, some more than others, but the fact remains the same. Dogs with higher amounts of ear wax and dogs with longer hair will require their ears to be cleaned fairly often. If the ears start to look dirty, you need to use a cotton ball to clean them out with. Once again, you can use a solution you have purchased, but we would recommend making your own ear cleaning solution, something we will discuss later on.
Be sure to remember that the skin on the inside of your dog’s ears is very sensitive, so never scrub or rub hard and never use solutions containing harsh chemicals. Also, try to stick to the external parts of the ear. Now, this does not mean the outside as in where the fur is.
You do need to lift up the flaps and get to the inside, but never actually go inside of the canal. Only ½ inch into the canal is recommended at the very most. If the dirt is too deep, you may want to go to a vet to ask for advice. If the ear canal of your dog has lots of hair in it, you will need to groom it before you can clean it with the solution. Using tweezers to tweeze the hair out of the canal is the go to method here.
Spotting An Infection
One very important thing is to be able to spot the signs of an infection in the early stages before it develops into something more severe. If you notice an infection occurring, you need to take action right away. If your dog’s ears display the following symptoms, they could very well be infected.
- Dark ear wax.
- Ear wax that smells like coffee.
- Hair on the ears falling out.
- Crusty skin (we have covered some flaky skin shampoo options here).
- Bumps and swelling.
- Inside of the ear turns red.
- Liquid discharge from the ears.
Cleaning The Ears – Step By Step
Cleaning a dog’s ears is really not that hard. Just follow the steps outline below and everything will be just fine.
- Soak the cotton ball in the cleaning solution.
- Place the cotton ball on the inside of the dog’s ears.
- Massage the ears with the cotton ball inside.
- Remove the cotton ball and allow the dog to shake.
Remember that if your dog is not used to this, it is going to be a challenge to get it to cooperate. Make sure to make the ear cleaning process a relaxing one. Pet them first, give them a treat, and make sure they are relaxed. Rubbing their belly, petting them, giving them kisses, and giving them treats when they cooperate are all good ways to encourage them to be good while cleaning their ears.
Some Different Homemade Ear Cleaning Solutions
To help you save money, let’s go over a few different homemade ear cleaning solutions for your dog that you can mix all by yourself.
- The first solution consists of vinegar, boric acid, and alcohol. Mix 2 ounces of vinegar, ½ teaspoon of boric acid, and a few drops of alcohol. This is a very simple solution to make by yourself. Simply mix the boric acid with the vinegar and then add in the alcohol. If you want to make it even more sterile, you can also add a couple of drops of povidone iodine. The iodine has a very strong smell and can discolor light colored fur, so just keep that in mind.
- The second solution is a simple water and vinegar solution. Simply mix together 1/3 cup of vinegar with 2/3 cups of water. This is a good alternative to the above solution in case you are weary of using alcohol. Try to go for apple or cider vinegar, but any option works just fine. The water should be fairly warm, so only mix this together right before you go to clean your dog’s ears.
- This third solution is a simple mix of olive oil, almond oil, and mineral oil. You only need a few drops of each, which is quite convenient. This mix is good for loosening ear wax. If you like, you can mix this solution in with any of the other 2 for increased efficacy.
- This particular solution is great for irritated ears. If your dog is always shaking its head and scratching its ears, you may want to use this solution. It consists of a mix of white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol. Mix equal parts vinegar and hydrogen peroxide and then add in a few drops of alcohol. Only mix enough for one cleaning session at a time.
- Aloe Vera gel is another good option for dogs with irritated ears. You need to leave this stuff in for a couple of minutes before wiping it out for it to take effect. It’s a good way to relieve redness, irritation, and itchiness.
Some Cleaning Tips
There are some things that you need to avoid doing when cleaning your dog’s ears. So, let’s go over these right now.
Never let water get inside the actual ear canal. This can cause irritation, infection, the growth of fungus, and can actually lead to a loss of hearing.
- Never use a syringe to put the homemade cleaning solution in your dog’s ears because you risk inserting the syringe and the liquid too far into the ear.
- Never go deeper than ½ inch into the ear canal as this can cause a whole host of problems.
- Always start on the outside first, then work your way in.
- If you encounter resistance when pushing the cotton ball in, do not continue pushing. Only push it in so far as it can go with minimal force. Don’t jam the cotton ball in there so deep that you cannot remove it.
- Use a different cotton ball for the inner and outer ears.
Remember folks, your dog’s ears need to cleaned regularly, kind of like you! Seriously though, make sure to follow our tips because dog ears are sensitive and prone to irritation and infection. We would definitely recommend using a homemade solution because you will know exactly what ingredients are in it, plus it won’t cost you a fortune either.