How to Clean Your Dog's Ears with Apple Cider or White Vinegar
From the moment you start the bonding process with your new puppy, grooming should be a daily activity. Taking care of her ears is part of that process because sometimes they get dirty and even infected. The ear cleaner you can buy at your local veterinarian's office is effective but expensive. This is a recipe for an ear cleaner you can make at home.
Making an Ear Cleaner at Home Is Really Easy:
Use a solution that's half water and half vinegar.
The ratio is 1:1. If you use a half a cup of vinegar, mix it with a half a cup of water. The quantities do not need to be exact and I always like to add a little more vinegar that water. Use up all the solution and don't save any for next time— just mix it again the next time you need it.
Be sure to take a look at your dog's ears first to see if they are red and inflamed. If so, you need to make the cleaner with a lot less vinegar. Some vets recommend using only a 10% solution. If it is too strong and your dog has been scratching a lot because of allergies, ear mites, or some other infection, the vinegar can sting.
This method is only effective in removing some of the excess wax. It will diminish the effects of an infection but if the condition is severe and has been going on a long time, it can only be cleared up with other treatments, most likely antibiotics.
How to Apply the Vinegar Solution
Soak a few cotton balls in the mixture. If your dog has floppy ears, then lift them up and wipe the flap with the mixture. If her ears are dirty further down inside the ear canal, you can fill the canal up with the mixture, rub the ears vigorously, then let her shake her head. Wipe the excess out with a dry cotton ball. I do not recommend you stick a cotton swab down into the ear canal.
What Kind of Vinegar? For What Kinds of Ear Issues?
For ear infections, some people who are in favor of natural care recommend using apple cider vinegar in place of antibiotics. Apple cider vinegar may make the environment in the ear hostile to the bacteria and the issue might clear up without you having to resort to antibiotics.
If your dog has smelly earwax and you want to try the vinegar before taking him in to the veterinarian, clean the ears then apply a few drops of the apple cider vinegar to each ear once a day. Ear infections are hard to clear up so try this at least two weeks before giving up.
If your dog has ear mites, she will have a lot more wax and will need to be treated more vigorously.
If the dog's ears smell normal but her ear canals remain swollen and itchy despite being cleaned, she may have an allergy. Food allergies commonly present as ear swelling and itching. This is a problem you need to tackle as soon as possible. Chronic ear infections in dogs with floppy ears require expensive surgery.
Using vinegar and water to clean your dog´s ears is a simple and effective way you can keep her healthy. Use it every time you give her a bath, every time you take her swimming, or at least once a week when you are giving her a brief physical exam.