Can you use apple cider vinegar to clean dog's ears?

Can you use apple cider vinegar to clean dog’s ears?

Did you know you can use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to clean your dog’s ears??

Sounds crazy, right, but it’s true. Even some vets recommend it!

Apple cider vinegar makes for an effective ear cleaner, and saves your dog from expensive chemical ear cleaners from the pet shop.

But don’t go pouring apple cider vinegar into your dog’s ears just yet, there’s some important basics we need to cover.

Why would you clean your dog’s ears?

If your dog’s ears are a bit dirty, wiping them with a diluted apple cider vinegar solution will do the trick (using the formula below), but quite often our dogs have yeasty ears or ear infections.

We need to think a little harder if your dog has an ear condition.

Did you know most dog’s suffering itchy or yeasty ears are suffering a food sensitivity?

Some say allergies, but food sensitivity is the correct term – check for wheat, cereals, or specific meat proteins in your dog food like chicken, lamb, or beef.

9 times out of 10 I find food sensitivities are caused by wheat or cereals in a dry dog food.

If this is the case (which it may not be), cleaning your dog’s ears with apple cider vinegar merely covers up the real issue.

Using apple cider vinegar for an ear infection

It’s safe to use a diluted apple cider vinegar solution for a mild ear infection, but if the condition worsens you must speak to your vet.

Apple cider vinegar works as a cleanser, and also acts as an anti-fungal and antibacterial agent.

If an ear infection isn’t treated properly it can spread to the middle or inner canal (known as otitis media and interna). This will cause more problems for your dog and an escalating vet bill for you.

Did you know your dog’s ear canal is three times as long as yours?

This is one of the reasons our dogs are more susceptible to ear infections than we are.

Failing to treat an ear infection can lead to hearing loss or permanent damage to the ear drums.

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

How to clean dog ears with vinegar
What are the symptoms of an ear infection in a dog?

The most common symptoms of an ear infection are as follows:

  • Shaking or tilting the head
  • Scratching or rubbing at the ears
  • Redness, scabs, swelling, or discharge from the ears
  • Unpleasant odour
  • Obvious discomfort
  • Hearing loss

If your dog has any of these symptoms, a careful clean with an apple cider vinegar solution may reduce the symptoms, but keep an eye on it.

How to clean dog ears with vinegar

Cleaning your dog’s ears with apple cider vinegar is easy.

This is how we normally make the dilution:

  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup of water


Using a cotton ball, delicately apply the ACV solution to the inside of your dog’s ears. The cotton ball helps you apply the solution without causing pain to your dog.

Assuming there isn’t much pain, you can add a few drops directly to your dog’s ear canal, then massage the base of their ear for a minute or two.

Finally, wipe the inside of your dog’s ears with a clean damp cloth soaked in ACV.

Do not use a used cloth or cotton ball, as any bacteria can worsen the infection.

If you notice any redness, irritation, or excessive discharge in your dog’s ears, stop using the ACV and phone your vet – you don’t want any infection to worsen, and neither does your dog.

Hopefully the result will be good! Your dogs ears should look much better, and with any luck, any infection will heal without a trip to the vets!

When you should stop cleaning your dog’s ears with vinegar

If your dog has an ear infection, you want to make sure it doesn’t spread to the middle or inner ear.

If the infection looks severe or the apple cider vinegar is showing little affect, take him to your vets for a check-up.

It’s likely your vet will clean the ears with a topical ointment, and possibly prescribe antibiotics if the condition warrants it.

Similar Posts

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments