What to Clean Your Dog’s Ears With: 3 Simple Solutions

Dog Ear Cleaning

January 12, 2018

What to Clean Your Dog’s Ears With: 3 Simple Solutions


Your pup’s ears are the most important sensory tools they have aside from their nose. Due to the way their ears are built, it’s important to clean your dog’s ears to prevent infection, irritation, and to keep them free from nasty things – like parasites.

Dogs have long ear canals which means debris can easily build up over time which leads to irritation. This also gives bacteria a comfortable spot to camp out and grow which leads to ear infections.

There are many ear cleaners on the market for dogs, but many have not-so-nice ingredients in them. If you’ve been wondering what to clean your dog’s ears with that won’t hurt their ears – take a look at these three natural ear cleaning solutions.

3 Solutions for What to Clean Your Dog’s Ears With

You should check your dog’s ears once a week to see if they are dirty. Keep in mind that their ears are very sensitive, so use a soft cotton ball, be gentle, and use a natural cleaner like the recipes listed in this article.

  • Start out by giving your pet a treat and showing them the ear cleaner
  • Hold the ear up and fill the ear with ear cleaner
  • While you’re still holding the ear, move your hand to where the ear meets your dog’s head and gently massage the base for a few seconds
  • Let go and allow your dog to shake their head
  • Wipe the ear with a cotton ball until it’s clean
  • Reward your pup with another treat

3 Natural Ear Cleaner Recipes

bottle of vinegar

Witch Hazel/Vinegar/Oil

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup witch hazel
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil or vegetable glycerin
  • Combine ingredients in a bottle (preferably with a squirt tip)

Apple cider vinegar contains antifungal properties. Witch hazel is good for irritation and oil will help soothe your pup’s ears.

Vinegar/ Water

  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Combine ingredients in a squirt bottle

This solution is super easy to mix. It’s also mild enough for dogs with sensitive ears that may not respond well to things like alcohol.

Alcohol/Boric Acid/Vinegar

  • 2 ounces of vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon boric acid
  • 4 drops rubbing alcohol
  • Combine (very thoroughly) in a squirt bottle

Boric acid, vinegar and rubbing alcohol are great for getting your dog’s ears squeaky clean in a flash. This recipe also uses less liquid for those that have trouble getting their dog to sit still long enough for their ears to be filled.

Signs of Ear Infection

Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly is important, but it may not always prevent infection.

If your dog exhibits signs of redness, discharge, swelling, a bad odor, or dark ear wax inside the ear its best to contact a veterinarian to check for infection.