Cleaning your dog’s ears is vital to eliminate excess wax and discharge and keep ear infections at bay. There are a variety of solutions and products that help maintain your pup’s ear hygiene and health. One of them is hydrogen peroxide.
You’ll notice that most over-the-counter ear drops at your local pharmacy contain peroxide solutions. This may prompt you to wonder whether you can use plain hydrogen peroxide on your dog. More so to clean your furry friend’s ear if they are prone to an ear infection or seem to have a lot of wax build-up.
While some veterinarians advise against it, others advocate for its use, but this is conditional; you should only use it under close clinical or medical supervision.
Recommended Hydrogen Peroxide Usage
Before anything else, it is important to ensure your dogs’ ears need cleaning. Some dogs do not need cleaning, others require infrequent cleaning, and others require frequent cleaning. Knowing which category your dog falls in is important, as unnecessary cleaning can lead to irritation and ear infections. If your dogs’ ears are stinky and look dirty, then cleaning is vital.
Hydrogen peroxide is also good for treating and killing bacteria that lead to ear infections and leaves your dog’s ears pain-free. The solution is most effective if your dog is suffering from a mild infection.
When using peroxide to clean your companion’s ears, dilute it with fresh water. The solution should contain an equal measure of hydrogen peroxide and water. You should then:
- Absorb the solution using a ball of cotton wool.
- Gently pull your dog’s ear flap, tilt its head to the side and gently squeeze in the solution.
- Gently massage the base of your dog’s ear for about 30 seconds. You should hear a sloshing sound.
- Tip the head, and wipe off the run-out.
- Repeat the process for the other ear.
- Once you are done, use a dry cotton ball to clean inside the ear. That should get rid of any remaining solution, wax, and dirt.
The Risks Associated With Hydrogen Peroxide
Those who oppose the use of hydrogen peroxide to clean your puppy’s ears or treat an infection argue that:
Hydrogen peroxide is H2O2. Upon introducing some into your dog’s ear, you will hear a bubbling sound, meaning the intended function is taking place. It kills and gets rid of all good and bad bacteria. In its effectiveness, the solution releases extra oxygen molecules, which leave you with water, chemically written as H20.
Introducing water to a warm, damp environment like your dog’s ears promotes the growth of bacteria. It further worsens your dog’s ear infections, tampering with its standard ear functionality. In worst-case scenarios, it could end in hearing loss.
Moreover, the ear tissue is quite soft and sensitive, so using hydrogen peroxide can irritate it and damage healthy cells.
Given the unending debate on its use, deciding whether to use hydrogen peroxide to clean and treat your pup’s ears can be confusing. In choosing to use it, there are both benefits and risks.
So, should you use it or not? Our advice is to keep your trusted vet close and follow their instructions on the usage if they advocate for it.
If you are skeptical, ask them to recommend an alternative treatment for your dog’s ear infection. There are plenty of safe treatments to choose from.