The ears of your dog are more than just “the organs of hearing.” Just like a few body parts, ears are critical to not only the beauty of a dog but also its living. So, who takes the responsibility of caring for your lovely canine if it is not yours?
All of us want to keep our favorite pets healthy, but unfortunately, many of us cannot follow the safe and recommended method. I’m telling you this because I love these creatures as any enthusiast does. So, I’ve done my research and collected a lot to share with you.
By the way, I’m Kawkab, and today, I’m telling you how to clean dog ears with vinegar and other ingredients available at home plus a routine cleaning schedule.
Read more about” How to clean dog pee from carpet? Details Here…
How to Clean Dog Ears with Vinegar?
Now, I’m telling you the right way to complete the cleaning process without hurting or causing an inconvenience to your little pup.
Prepare a Cleaning Solution
The skin inside the ear of your dog is too sensitive to tolerate the chemical effects of vinegar, as it may lead to irritation, thereby causing more harm than good. You need to dilute white vinegar with clean water. Make sure the water contains no invisible agents or anything that may be harmful to dog ears.
Take a cup and prepare the mixture, which should contain 50% of both ingredients. Leave the cup for at least half an hour, so the mixture warms properly to the temperature of the surroundings. This adjustment is important because the cold liquid, as it enters the ear canal of your dog, may cause some kind of discomfort.
An Alternative: A Homemade Dog Ear Cleaner with Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an excellent and almost an interchangeable alternative to white vinegar. Made from carefully fermented apples, this liquid works best with olive oil, particularly when your pet has a yeast infection.
Cleaning dog’s ears with olive oil is better than doing it with water as the latter might feed the yeast instead of helping you remove it. This usually happens if you cannot wipe the inside part of the ears properly. Most caregivers are not simply accustomed to paying much attention to a task involving this level of caution.
You can also clean dog ears with vinegar and alcohol. Choose rubbing alcohol and use it in a tiny proportion to the vinegar. Don’t just take my word for it. My recommendation is to follow a vet’s suggestion in this regard. Alcohol itself is not typically safe for the pet, but a few drops can help with certain cases.
Do the First Wipe
Use cotton swabs, and make no mistakes in it. Move the swabs gently inside the ears to remove major and sticky dirt. You need to have better access right to your pet’s ear canal after a little while.
Cleaning a Dog’s Ear with the Mixture
You can take a cotton ball in place of swabs and soak at least half of it in whatever mixture you’ve prepared. Put that gently in one of the ears. Massage that ear over the cotton ball. Deal with the base of the ear carefully because the canal is located here.
You can also use a regular eyedropper and put a few drops of the solution in the ear canal. Fold the earflap of the dog gently over the opening of its ear and then massage that area for some time. This will allow the vinegar to saturate the surfaces of the ear properly.
Then, use the cotton ball to grab onto any dirt or debris and absorb the excess solution. Remove that ball and use another following the steps above. Doing this twice will be enough. Do the same to another ear.
Take a new cotton swab and use it to wipe the ears. Try to wipe and clean from inside to ensure that no wax, debris, or even the residue of the mixture doesn’t stay there. Move as gently as possible because you don’t want to hurt the animal. Avoid using the same cotton swab more than once.
Tips to Follow While Cleaning Dog’s Ears
- Don’t let the dog stay in a way that the vinegar gets into its eyes. Even if it is just one drop, the pet will suffer irritation and pain.
- Conscious people try to train their dogs to shake the head upon specific signals or gestures. A little shake will empty much of the liquid from the dog’s ear canal.
- Don’t force the solution into your dog’s ear because some dogs are just afraid of having anything inside their ears, let alone a cleaning mixture. Praising the pup or giving it a treat can be a smart trick.
- Don’t use vinegar if your dog has perforated eardrums. Vinegar could only lead to a more significant issue, the loss of hearing.
How Often Should You Clean?
I know you could be happier to get this piece of information earlier than now, but I wanted you to understand what exactly you’ve come to read this article for in the first place. Well, some puppies need it at least a few times per month, while others may need this more frequently, like several times a week.
As a general rule, once a week is fair enough for a dog with a healthy ear canal. Leave it to a veterinarian to determine if the animal is having any sort of pain, infection, or damage. Dogs with vulnerability to frequent infections or such issues need the cleaning job at least 3-4 times a week. Others that have no such issues may go well with a monthly schedule.
Dogs that have been prescribed by a veterinarian must be treated with care according to that expert’s guideline, and that includes the cleaning schedule too. Again, some dogs have narrow ear canals or more scarring than others. These dogs need cleaning quite a few times over the week.
If you don’t have to take your dog to a vet because it has no infections, you can clean its ears once a week. Don’t clean ears for dogs sparingly, I mean without following a routine. By any chance, you might forget to wipe the inside thoroughly. Such carelessness may lead to other problems due to the residue of the cleaning solution.
The Best Dog Ear Cleaning Solution: Homemade or Commercial Products?
A natural solution comes handy when you have more than one puppy to take care of. The cost of a commercial dog ear cleaning solution can be anywhere from $10 to $100 or more depending on the container, which comes in different sizes such as 1.25 Oz, 4 Oz, 8 Oz, etc. However, I am no vet, and you may not want to improvise. Also, your vet may prescribe a commercial product.
So, I guess the next right thing for you to know is the product that you may choose when your dog needs a simple cleaning session without any instruction from a pet doctor. Well, I’m providing you with some choices here.
- “ZYMOX Pet King Brand Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone”
- “Pet MD – Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes – Otic Cleanser for Dogs, Aloe and Eucalyptus – 100 Count”
- “Pet MD – Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes – Otic Cleanser for Dogs”
I’ve found that these products are reliable and chosen by dog owners more frequently than most of the similar solutions. Many vets also suggest these cleaning products for their safe and pet-friendly ingredients.
You might take that the best part of this article has been over. But I suggest you stick to it a little longer because I’m going to answer some questions asked by lots of people who need to clean their dog’s ears but just don’t know how or if this task has anything to do with ear infections.
How to tell if your dog has an infection?
Answer: Allergies, bacteria, ear mites, hair growth inside the ear canals, excessive swimming/bathing, polyps, yeast, and excessive production of wax in the ear are the most common causes of dogs’ ear infection.
You may not be able to detect and keep your dog free of all these at a time, but you certainly can determine if it has infections that need immediate cleaning and treatment.
Common symptoms include odor from the ears, lack of coordination and balance as the dog moves, tilting or shaking of the head for no obvious reasons, frequent scratching and with force, unusual redness on the ear canal, the swollen outer portion, sudden eye movements (back and forth), and discharges (bloody, yellow, or brown).
Is it normal for your dog to have brown discharge?
Answer: No, a dog shouldn’t produce brown or yellow discharge unless it has some kind of external ear infection. Associated with the discharge are a few other signs that include fruity odor, inflamed ears, pain, unnecessary and frequent shaking of the head, etc.
An infection of this nature can be treated with oral, antibiotic medications, or antifungal lotion. Sometimes, commercial ear-cleaning products like the ones I stated above, or ear-drying agents may work wonder if the infection is not severe. However, you must consult a vet before applying any of these solutions.
Should You Clean Dog Ears with Hydrogen Peroxide?
Answer: No, I don’t think that can be an option at all. It is readily available in most households, and this is part of why people ask too often if they can use it on dogs with ear infections. Whether it is a simple cleaning session or an infection of the dog you want to treat, you should avoid applying it as it is associated with mild to severe irritation to a dog’s skin cells.
The tissue inside the ears is too sensitive to tolerate hydrogen peroxide. Exposure to this only on a few occasions may eventually cause damages to your dog’s ears. But you can still use it upon the suggestions from a certified vet; otherwise, you should look for a safe solution.
What does bacteria or yeast infection look like?
Answer: Check the inside of the dog’s ear. If you see black or brown debris in thick texture, it is a sign of yeast-related infections. Don’t confuse yourself with the yellow-brown buildup, which usually indicates bacterial infections. You should use a microscopic test to confirm the color and nature of the infection. For a better response, you can ask a vet to run the test at his/her facility.
How do you treat ear infection?
Answer: The procedure starts with cleaning. Try to use a cotton ball instead of anything else because it works as a lid that allows the cleaning solution to move forward and backward inside the ear canal while absorbing the excess of the solution and holding onto whatever debris comes up.
Some dog caregivers want to use Q-Tip swabs. But these items may push the debris even deeper into the canal only to rupture the dog’s eardrum. After cleaning is done, you should allow the pet’s ear canals to dry. Leave them for at least 15 minutes.
It is time to treat the ear infection with the prescribed medication. Experts usually recommend antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, or anti-yeast medications. Ensure you don’t miss a single point of instruction, including the schedules for use while applying for the medicine.
At this point, I’ll talk about one more thing relevant to your understanding of how to clean dog ears with vinegar. Previously, I’ve mentioned that vinegar with water is an effective solution as far as routine cleaning, earwax, and mild infections are involved.
Nonetheless, you should consult a veterinarian before thinking about any remedies, including the natural one I explained above. Should you treat your dog with the right medication, you must know if it will work.
For example, you may not know of any infection that the dog might have. A vet would prefer giving certain medications to recommending vinegar. I know you wouldn’t compromise on the wellbeing of your beloved canine.
Did I miss the fact that matters? Feel free to inform me, and until then, I wish you and your pup healthy and safe living.