How to Clean Dog Ears With Hydrogen Peroxide – Step By Step

Dogs can get a variety of ear problems, and the one that people seem to have the most problems with is ear mites. If you suspect your dog has an ear infection or just needs its ears cleaned out for any reason, hydrogen peroxide is often used as a cleaning agent. 

Hydrogen Peroxide will kill bacteria, fungus, and yeast inside of your pet’s ears which will help relieve them from the discomfort they may be experiencing from these various problems. Your dog may be prone to ear infections or wax build-ups if they are not cleaned regularly. 

There are many different methods for cleaning your pup’s ears, but the methods that I am going to share with you today are my favorite! 

Ear infections in a dog are a common ailment. They occur when yeast or fungus grows out of control in the fluids of the external ear canal, leading to inflammation and an unpleasant odor that can cause pain for your furry friend. 


How to Clean Dog Ears With Hydrogen Peroxide – Step By Step – 3 Methods 

Method 1: Use an Eyedropper

To clean a dog’s ears, make sure the area is dry and free from hair. In an eyedropper, add the desired amount of hydrogen peroxide. 

Add water to the bottle, then replace the top of the dropper with its rubber bulb before squeezing the bulb with your thumb until the liquid begins running through the entire length of the tube’s opening. 

Finally, tilt his head if possible so that you can place the eardrops in slowly. Then, take a soft cloth and gently clean the ear canal. Be careful to not go in too far, since it may cause damage to the inner ear.

Method 2: Use a Ziplock

The ear is very sensitive and we want to prevent contamination with other wastes that could be on the floor or elsewhere. 

To prevent this, pour hydrogen peroxide into a ziplock bag gently if you do not have a dropper and then cut off a small part of the corner to act as a dropper. 

Seal half of the seal so no fluid can move out towards your hand until you’re ready for it to pour out (this will make this process much cleaner). 4-5 drops should do well for a dog’s ear.

If this method is a little complicated for you and you do not have a dropper, you can try to use a water bottle by poking a small hole into the cap to act as a dropper!

Method 3: Use a Tissue

When cleaning dog ears, much like when humans use hydrogen peroxide, add an equal amount of rubbing alcohol to the hydrogen peroxide. Apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to tissue and use this as an insertion point for wiping dirt and debris from inside the dog’s ear canal. 

Avoid pouring too much of the solution directly into the ear since this can cause damage due to its acidic nature. Wipe around in circular motions until everything has been cleaned out of your dog’s ear canal, then follow with rinsing out that same canal with water or clean tissue paper. 

If you use tissues that are used for a runny nose, make sure that none of the tissue is left behind in the ear. This kind of tissue can easily tear apart and be left in the ear canal, causing problems down the road. 

Why Hydrogen Peroxide is Used

Hydrogen peroxide is used by veterinarians to clean out dogs’ ears, but it must be diluted so that it can’t damage the sensitive dog ear canal. A veterinarian would recommend this solution for various reasons, including an infection or allergies to yeast or mites. Only use one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water. 

This will create a 3% solution that stays within the recommended range of 2-6%. Never get this too close to 6% because higher concentrations can cause harm. Hydrogen peroxide is safe and effective for clearing dirt, debris, oil, and bacteria from the ear canal. Clearing out ears with hydrogen peroxide can be very helpful in preventing ear infections in dogs. 

Ear infections are so painful and uncomfortable that they often need to be treated with antibiotics. So if you know there is a lot of gunk in your dog’s dirty ears, it’s time to start using hydrogen peroxide! 

This is not a scientifically proven process, but there are dog owners who swear by it. Hydrochloric acid is present in the saliva of some carnivores and the hydrogen peroxide might kill certain bacteria and fungi. Some dog owners also claim that hydrogen peroxide will help dissolve ear wax, which helps relieve your pet from pain and inflammation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Hydrogen Peroxide Used in Dogs’ Ears?

Hydrogen Peroxide is a nontoxic and mild disinfectant. It can remove debris, bacteria, and fungi to provide short-term relief from the itching due to canine otitis media (middle ear infection). 

Hydrogen peroxide can safely be used in dogs to help relieve an ear infection or any other condition that involves yeast growth. This will work by killing yeast-causing organisms found in your dog’s ears. 

The hydrogen peroxide will need to stay in their ears for at least one minute to kill all potential dangers so you mustn’t use too much of it or put it too close to their skin because this could create irritation or discomfort.

When Should I Contact a Vet About My Dog’s Ears?

In general, a visit to your veterinarian should be scheduled if you notice your dog pawing at his ears, shaking his head excessively, or tilting its head. 

If you have any questions about how this information relates to the specific healthcare of dogs, call up your vet and they’ll be happy to answer them for you. The best way to make sure that everything is alright with an animal is by periodically visiting the vet! 

It’s important to see a veterinarian if the following signs are noticed: for example, any discharge from the ear canal, redness, or swelling of the outer ear flap.

What if Hydrogen Peroxide Doesn’t Help My Dogs Ears?

If this is a chronic condition, then there is probably something else going on. Look for ear mites, bacterial/fungal infection, allergies to what they’re ingesting, or allergic reactions to things nearby (i.e. soaps and shampoos). 

If it’s not any of those things and the dog does not have other problems such as inflamed nasal passages, deafness, or other difficulties in his ability to hear normally, then try applying hydrogen peroxide again.

Use a cotton ball daily for 5 days using only the minimum necessary surgical cotton balls and wash your hands thoroughly after touching anything that might touch the inside of his ear canal. You may find that you need to give Azodyl or an alternative treatment.


If you’ve ever dealt with the annoyance of an ear infection, then you know how frustrating it can be. You may not realize that dogs are susceptible to all sorts of ear problems too! One issue that seems to plague them, in particular, is ear mites. 

These pesky critters feed on your dog’s skin and hair inside their ears, leaving behind a nasty mess for both pets and owners alike. 

Hydrogen peroxide is often used as a cleaning agent when those little creatures make themselves at home; but if this doesn’t work or there’s some other problem going on, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your vet right away! 

We hope we were able to answer any questions about why hydrogen peroxide works.

Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has been a dog lover since childhood. He has had his Lab Mix with Hound for over 10+ years now! They enjoy playing outdoors together. Brian loves sharing his knowledge about all things dog on this website. Read more of Brian's articles.