If your dog is prone to ear infections or seems to have a lot of wax build up, you may be wondering if you can use hydrogen peroxide to clean your dog’s ears. After all, over the counter drops for humans’ ears contain peroxide solutions. So is hydrogen peroxide a good way to clean out your dog’s ears?
Many veterinarians say yes, but advise to do so under medical supervision. That is, if you suspect your dog has some sort of yeast build-up or other infection in their ear, you should NOT wipe down the inside of their ear with hydrogen peroxide unless consulted by a vet to do so first. A solution of one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water can be used to wipe out the canals of the ear with a cotton ball (NEVER use a q-tip or pointed object, as that can lead to damage in the ear) for a dog with a mild infection post-veterinarian approval. Hydrogen peroxide can kill forms of bacteria that can cause ear infections, which will leave your dog earache free.
Other veterinarians are not so keen on the idea of using hydrogen peroxide to clean dog ears or to treat ear infections. The reason experts are wary of using hydrogen peroxide is because of how it works chemically. Hydrogen Peroxide is H2O2. When it enters the ear, a bubbling sound can be heard. This is the hydrogen peroxide 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 H20, 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 lead to ear damage and, in severe cases, hearing loss.
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 be working closely with your veterinarian to tailor a treatment just for your pup.