5 Recipes of Homemade Dog Ear Cleaners

Dog Ear infections (or otitis externa) are among the most commonly seen diseases in pets, particularly in dogs with floppy-eared dogs. Symptoms of an ear infection may include ear scratching, head shaking, ear redness and/or pain when touched, and a foul smell or dirty disposal inside the ear.

If you are looking for homemade dog ear cleaner best ideas from around the internet, then let us tell you that you don’t need many tools to clean your dog’s ears at home. Many of the items are human care tools, including cotton balls, tissues, or baby wipes. Yet, some dog owners wonder if it is safe to clean their dog ears at home or not.

The answer is yes, you can use either homemade dog ear cleaners or buy a dog ear cleaning solution from the market to clean your dog’s ears at home.

Here’s a detailed description of dog ear cleaning, including when to do it at home vs. seeing a vet, plus a key takeaway:

Understanding Dog Ear Infections

  • Common problem, especially in floppy-eared breeds.
  • Symptoms: scratching, head shaking, redness, pain, odor, discharge.
  • Causes: Bacteria, yeast, mites, allergies, foreign objects, etc.

Is It Safe to Clean Dog Ears at Home?

  • YES, for basic cleaning and maintenance with appropriate solutions (homemade or store-bought).
  • NO, if your dog shows signs of infection – see your vet for diagnosis and treatment.

How to Clean Dog Ears at Home

  1. Gather Supplies: Ear cleaner (ask your vet for recommendations), cotton balls/gauze, towel.
  2. Apply Cleaner: Gently lift the ear flap and squeeze the solution into the ear canal.
  3. Massage: Gently massage the base of the ear.
  4. Let Them Shake: Your dog will naturally shake out the loosened debris.
  5. Wipe Clean: Gently wipe away remaining debris and cleaner from the outer ear. Never use cotton swabs inside the canal.

Homemade Ear Cleaner Recipes (Use with Caution)

  • Important: Consult your vet before using any homemade solutions to avoid damaging your dog’s ears.

Common Recipes:

  • Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar (antibacterial, antifungal)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (use diluted, can be irritating)
  • Warm Water

When to See the Vet

Seek veterinary help if your dog shows these signs of infection:

  • Pain when ears are touched
  • Redness or swelling inside the ear
  • Foul odor
  • Unusual discharge
  • Excessive scratching
  • Head tilting

Things to Remember

  • Clean ears regularly (frequency depends on breed, activity, etc.) but avoid overcleaning which can worsen things.
  • Be gentle and make the process positive for your dog.
  • If unsure, it’s always safer to consult your vet first.


  • Q: Is hydrogen peroxide safe for dog ears?
    • A: Only when highly diluted. It can be irritating in strong concentrations.
  • Q: Can I use a Q-tip to clean my dog’s ears?
    • A: No! Q-tips can push debris deeper and damage the eardrum.
  • Q: How often should I clean my dog’s ears?
    • A: Depends on your dog. Healthy dogs may need cleaning every 1-2 weeks, while those prone to infections might need it more often.

Key Takeaway

Regular ear cleaning is important for dog health. While basic maintenance can be done at home, infections ALWAYS require a vet’s expertise for proper diagnosis and treatment.

How To Clean Dog’s Ears Safely At Home?

The ear as an organ of hearing, along with sight and smell, is extremely important for a dog. Dogs are much better and more subtle in distinguishing various sounds, not least because of their large and finely arranged shells.

In most dogs, they are large, and abundantly supplied with blood vessels and nerve endings, as well as powerful muscles that can move them in the right direction for the dog to improve sound pickup.

Like any other organs, the ears need careful handling and careful care. Animals, like dogs, produce a special sulfur that is designed to lubricate and protect the ear canal.

But with its excessive amount, ingress of water, dirt, and diseases, it becomes a breeding ground for dangerous microorganisms. To keep your dog healthy, you need to know how to properly clean your dog’s ears.

The Procedure:

Dog owners often wonder how often to clean their pet’s ears. On average, this procedure is performed once or twice a week, but cleaning the ears of dogs at home depends on many factors:

  • If the dog has a lot of wax in his ears, but he is healthy and behaves calmly, the contents are removed regularly as they accumulate;
  • If the ear hole is clean, then nothing needs to be done – you should not injure it once again;
  • In case the sulfur is thick, dense, and difficult to remove, you can use a washing lotion recommended by the veterinarian;

If a black coating appears with an unpleasant odor, wash the channels with 3% hydrogen peroxide. For this, you can use a syringe to inject around 1 teaspoon of solution into the ear canal. The dog will shake its head, so the procedure is best done in the bathroom or on the street. After it, clean everything and wipe it dry.

Please Note:

If something strange is found, pus, crusts, inflammation, the dog shakes its head, tries to scratch it, whines – do not try to remove the ear mites yourself. Treat any diseases by contacting your veterinarian. He will make the correct diagnosis, perform the necessary treatments and give recommendations for continuing treatment at home;

The same goes for a tick that can bite a dog after a walk in nature in the summer. If you are not sure of your abilities – go to the clinic, where the tick will be removed without problems and painlessly for the pet.

Be attentive to your dog, and regularly check the condition of the hearing organs, especially in lop-eared breeds, then your pet will not face various troubles.

Step-By-Step Guide To Clean Your Dog’s Ear At Home

So, are you prepared to start cleaning your dog’s ears at home? If yes, then follow these steps to do it properly and safely for your dog.

Step One: Add an ear cleaner

  • You can either use a homemade ear cleaner or an ear cleaner that the veteran has recommended for your dog.
  • To apply the cleaner, gently grasp your dog’s outer flap to hold the ear towards the ceiling.
  • Now pour a teaspoon of the cleanser or the prescribed amount into your dog’s ear canal.
  • Wait until you notice the liquid rise within your dog’s canal. Do not pour more than the prescribed amount ever.

Step Two: Massage your dog’s ears

  • Gently massage your dog’s ear.
  • This massage will help the cleanser to fill the ridges and thus loosen the ear debris in the canal.

Step Three: Shake the debris out 

  • After you are done with massaging, let your dog shake its head.
  • This will help the debris to come out of your dog’s ear. So, be prepared with a towel.

Step Four: Wipe your dog’s ear canal

  • Remove the debris and also the remaining cleaner from your dog’s ear canal using a gauze or cotton ball.
  • Gently take your fingers as far as they go.
  • NEVER use cotton swabs in your ear canal.

Is It Safe To Clean Dog’s Ears At Home?

Well yes, but before doing that, you better consult with your dog’s veterinarian. This is for your dog’s safety purposes. Ear irritation can cause due to dirty ears, or an ear infection. If it is an ear infection then t is better to seek help from a veteran.ear mites in your dog at home

Ear infections can appear due to fungi, bacteria, yeast, tumors, mites, trauma, polyps, or some other object. And in such a situation, before treating the problem, you need to know exactly what caused the infection.

No one but a veteran knows what causes what symptoms. Seeing the symptoms, the veteran can treat your dog properly. However, if it is only dirt, you can do it at home only.

Here are some common signs that you will notice in your dog when it gets an ear infection:

  • pawing at the ear
  • head shaking
  • change in balance
  • head tilting
  • discharge from the ear
  • reddening ears

Please Note:

When you see these signs, seek a veteran’s help to treat your dog.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Has A Fungal Ear Infection?

If your dog has a fungal ear infection, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Brown or red waxy discharge
  • Itching, tingling and scratching inside your dog’s ears
  • A musty or cheesy smell from the dog’s ears
  • Irritated or red ears

How to Make a Safe Homemade Dog Ear Cleaner Recipe

It’s important to organize everything before starting the procedure of cleaning your pet’s ears. And also make sure to show much affection during the procedure so that your dog does not get afraid of you or the procedure. It’s easier when you start training your dog for such a procedure at a younger age. This way, they will not be afraid anymore.

So, here are the homemade dog ear cleaners that you can safely use to clean your dog’s ear at home.

Method 1

This is the most common method to make ear cleaner for dogs.


  • 2 teaspoon water
  • Small jar
  • Spoon
  • 2 teaspoon 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Eye dropper or syringe


  • Add the ingredients to the small jar.
  • Stir well to mix all the ingredients properly.
  • Take the solution into the syringe or eyedropper.
  • Hold your dog as still as possible.
  • Pour the solution into your dog’s ear.
  • Now, gently massage your dog’s ear.
  • Finally, repeat the process with the other ear.


Don’t use more than 3% peroxide to make the solution.

Method 2

This is one of the easiest solutions for ear cleaners. This solution not only cleans the ear, but also adjusts the pH level within the ear and makes sure your dog does not get fungus, yeast, and bacterial infections.


  • 1 tsp clean water
  • 1 tsp vinegar


Same As Above.


Usethe solution to clean your dog’s ears who gets frequent infections. You can either use distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar for the solution.

Method 3

Use either lavender oil or any other essential oils. But if you use tea tree oil, it will help your dog recover from ear infections.


  • 1 drop of tea tree oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Same As Above.


Tea tree oil has antifungal properties. Thus, it helps to eradicate fungal and yeast infections.

Method 4

This solution kills fungus and bacteria while cleaning the ears. You need to mix vinegar and the boric acid until you see the boric acid dissolving properly. And only then you can add the povidone-iodine and rubbing alcohol.


  • 1/2 tsp boric acid
  • 4 tbsp vinegar
  • 5 drops povidone-iodine
  • 5 drops of rubbing alcohol


Same As Above.


Povidone-iodine generally helps to kill bacteria, however, it stains everything brown. Thus, if your dog has got white fur then you should omit using it.

Method 5

The alcohol and vinegar help to clean your dog’s ears as well as stabilize the pH.


  • Isopropyl rubbing alcohol
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Empty bottle


Same As Above.


In case rubbing alcohol stings, then use water instead of using alcohol.

Things to Remember When Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

Being a dog parent, it is your accountability to keep your pup protected and healthy matter what comes their way.

As soon as it comes to cleaning your dog’s ears, many factors affect the job. These factors include the size of your dog’s ears, how often you touch them, and so many more.

Most professionals and experienced pet owners suggest cleaning the dog’s ears at least twice a month. So, here is the thing you need to keep in mind while cleaning your dog’s ear

  • Make sure your dog is not uncomfortable with the process
  • See if there are any negative signs after using a homemade solution
  • If there is any problem you can’t handle, then take your dog to the nearest veteran as soon as possible.
  • If you are not confident to use a homemade recipe on your dog’s ear then just don’t do it.

How Often Should You Put Apple Cider Vinegar In Your Dog’s Ear?

First of all, use diluted apple cider vinegar cleaner to clean the ears of your dog. Apple cider vinegar truly acts as a cleanser, antibacterial, and antifungal. By rubbing this sparingly into your dog’s ears, you can clean the ear’s inside and cure the infection.

If your dog has a bad smell of earwax and you want to try the vinegar before taking him to the vet, clean his ears and then apply a few drops of apple cider vinegar to each ear once a day. Ear infections are difficult to cure, so try this for at least two weeks before giving up.


Factors like skin conditions, breed type, activity, and allergies play a vital role in the decision-making of how often you should clean your dog’s ear. Keep in mind that cleaning your dog’s ears too often can lead to chronic ear infections. Moreover, an improper cleaning procedure, in which liquid gets trapped, can lead to an ear infection, as well.

In maximum cases, an ear infection in a dog doesn’t go away with time on its own. Rather, if you wait for too long to treat the ear infection, it may worsen with time and becomes even more difficult to get things under control. Untreated ear infections can cause chronic issues like hearing loss, and often the need for expensive surgery.

So, be careful while cleaning your dog’s ear. Or simply take your dog to a vet whenever you see your dog showing some uneasy symptoms. Never neglect your dog’s ear health.


Is apple cider vinegar safe for dogs’ ears?

Apple cider vinegar can cleanse a dog’s ears and restore skin pH balance, but it’ll also dry out the ears and make them incapable to fight bacterial and yeast infections.

Thus, when you use apple cider vinegar to care for your dog’s ears, don’t use it directly, as it’s an acid that burns and causes irritation. Always combine the apple cider vinegar with some other component that makes the solution less acidic.

Can I use a washcloth to clean my dog’s ears?

Use a damp cloth or damp soft washcloth and cotton balls to keep your dog’s ears nice and clean. So, yes, you can use a washcloth to clean your dog’s ears as long as it is damp.

Can you put hydrogen peroxide in your dog’s ears?

You will need a mild ear-cleaning solution and cotton balls or gauze. We don’t recommend directly using cotton swabs, hydrogen peroxide, or alcohol to clean dogs’ ears. These can lead to inflammation of the ear canal as well as make an ear infection worse.

How do I treat ear infections in my dog without going to the vet?

Use a mixture of 50% organic apple cider vinegar and 50% water, soak a cotton swab and clean your dog’s ears. If you notice that your dog is in pain or his ears are too dry, discontinue use and contact your veterinarian.

Can you Use baking soda in dogs’ ears?

Baking soda generally helps to dry out extra wax, treat itching, and also infection in dogs’ ears because of its antiseptic properties. So, yes you can use baking soda to make a solution for your dog’s ear. However, never use baking soda in raw form.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at ItsAboutDog.com.

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