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Is It Safe to Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean Your Dog’s Ears?


If your pooch is prone to ear infections or seems to have a lot of wax buildup, you may be wondering if you can use hydrogen peroxide to clean a dog’s ears. After all, over-the-counter drops for humans’ ears contain peroxide solutions. So is it a good way to clean out your dog’s ears? The short answer is that veterinarians disagree about whether hydrogen peroxide is safe and effective for your pup. Here’s why.

Some vets say hydrogen peroxide is OK for your dog’s ear

Many veterinarians say yes, hydrogen peroxide is safe for dogs, but they advise using it under medical supervision only.

That is, if you suspect your dog has some sort of yeast buildup or other infection in their ear, you should not wipe down the inside of their ears with hydrogen peroxide unless your vet tells you to do so.

You can use a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water to wipe out the canals of the ear with a cotton ball for a dog with a mild infection, post-veterinarian approval. Never use a Q-tip or pointed object, as that can damage the ear.

Hydrogen peroxide can kill forms of bacteria that can cause ear infections, which may leave your dog earache free.

Other vets say it’s not OK to use

Other vets are not so keen on the idea of using hydrogen peroxide to clean dog ears or treat ear infections. The reason experts are wary of using it is because of how it works chemically.

Hydrogen peroxide is H2O2. When it enters the ear, it makes a bubbling sound. This means it’s working, killing any and all bacteria in your dog’s ear, good or bad. As it bubbles, that extra oxygen molecule is released, leaving you with H2O, or water.

Water in a warm, damp place like your dog’s ear is a perfect environment for any resistant bacteria to not only survive but thrive. This can lead to a more severe ear infection, which can cause ear damage and, in severe cases, hearing loss.

Proper ear care for dogs

It can be a bit confusing and overwhelming to decide whether or not you should use hydrogen peroxide to clean out your dog’s ears, as there can be benefits, but there are also some dangers.

The best way to decide the course of action for any medical treatment of your dog is to work closely with your vet to tailor a treatment just for your pup. There are many other products you can buy to clean your dog’s ears. You should discuss these with your vet.


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