A common item in your medicine cabinet, hydrogen peroxide has a multitude of purposes. But is it safe to use when cleaning your dog’s ears?A dog with big, floppy ears is the epitome of adorable. What many dog owners do not realize, however, is that a dog’s ears need a certain degree of care and attention, especially ears that are large and floppy. Because moisture can get trapped in the ears, dogs with ears that hang down are more prone to ear infections. To counteract this, many pet owners turn to hydrogen peroxide, as it is usually readily available in your medicine cabinet. It may seem like a simple and straightforward solution at first, but it might not be so. There is a lot you need to know about hydrogen peroxide and the way it is properly administered. Knowing what you are dealing with can make a world of difference for both you and your pet. This is a sponsored placementWhether it’s an ear infection or a health issue that requires you to induce vomiting in your dog, sometimes hydrogen peroxide won’t do the trick – and you’ll still have to go to the vet’s office for your pet to be thoroughly examined. Vet bills can be a big expense for the family budget, which is why it pays off to have a pet insurance plan – precisely for situations such as this, that happen out of nowhere and require quick action to be resolved to the benefit of your four-legged best friend. If you are looking for an affordable but reliable plan, Lemonade Pet Insurance offers a basic accident & illness plan that covers 70%, 80%, or 90% of medical expenses for diagnostics, procedures, and medication, depending on the plan you pick, reducing the cost of vet care substantially. And not only that, but you can opt for an optional add-on that covers preventative health care such as wellness exams and vaccines if you want to make sure you stay ahead of any potential health issues down the road. The math is as follows – for instance, you’ll pay $29.50 each month for a 3-year-old Labrador in Texas, with 80% co-insurance, an annual limit of $20,000, and an annual deductible of $250. If you want to add the Preventative package, you’ll pay $45.50 each month. It really adds up – peace of mind is priceless, but it sure doesn’t hurt when you don’t have to pay big bucks to get it.Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe for Dogs? When it comes to cleaning your own ears, you may have tried a home remedy using hydrogen peroxide or a store bought solution made with peroxide. Before you do the same for your dog, however, you should take a moment to consider whether it is safe. You and your pet are not the same, after all. If you ask three different veterinarians about the safety of using hydrogen peroxide on dogs, you might get three different answers. Opinions are different on the matter. So, how do you decide whether to try it or not?Sometimes, the difference between simple dirty ears or an actual ear infection can be obvious. While some doggos might be quite ok with having dirty ears, they will still tend to scratch them alot. This can be a telltale clue to check them out. An infection, however, is often followed by a string of other symptoms. Lethargy, apathy, loss of appetite, whimpering, head shaking, and other odd behaviors can be an indication that something is wrong. Related: 6 Ways To Properly Clean Dog EarsBefore you do anything, you need to consult with a vet. It is not recommended that you use hydrogen peroxide in your dog’s ears if he is suffering from a serious infection or yeast build-up. If, however, your veterinarian confirms that your dog’s ears are simply dirty or that he has a mild bacterial infection, hydrogen peroxide might be a good option. Just be sure to check with your vet before you do anything.While an infection is, of course, remedied by antibiotics and therapies, a dirty ear simply needs to be cleaned thoroughly – and kept that way! How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Dog’s EarsOnce you determine that it is safe to use hydrogen peroxide in your dog’s ears, you need to learn how to do it.Related: Why do Dogs Get Ear Infections?First and foremost, never use hydrogen peroxide straight out of the bottle – you need to dilute it first. Take equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water and stir them together. Hydrogen peroxide can be too strong all on its own, and can cause chemical burns and other big problems.Take a clean cotton ball and dip it in the solution. Wring out any excess moisture then use the cotton ball to carefully wipe out the ear and the outer ear canal. Never use a q-tip or another pointed object because you could accidentally push it too far into your dog’s ear and cause damage to the ear drum.Once you’ve cleaned your dog’s ear, use a fresh cotton ball to wipe away any excess solution.Now that you know how to clean your dog’s ears, it should be fairly easy to keep them clean. When you bathe your dog, be sure to keep his face and ears dry – if you need to clean his face, just use a damp washcloth. After your dog goes for a swim, check his ears and dry them with a cotton ball or a clean cloth as needed. Just remember not to use anything that could puncture your dog’s ear drum or cause him any pain. The q-tip might be your “weapon” of choice, but it’s too risky to use one on your pet’s ears – just one wiggle or a sudden jerk and you could easily pierce their ear drum and make an even bigger issue than before. Keeping your dog’s ears clean is fairly easy – just check them once a week and clean them as needed! If your dog does develop an ear infection, wait for your veterinarian to make a diagnosis before you do anything – depending what kind of infection it is, special treatment may be needed. Of course, not all dog breeds have the same ears, and some can get much dirtier than others. Doggos with large drooping ears that have many folds are bound to have dirt and ear wax accumulated everywhere – and fast. Cleaning in such cases is done more often, and can be much more detailed and time consuming. Of course, if you happen to find cleaning your dog’s ears challenging in any way, you can always seek professional help. Not only can your vet do that for you, but a professional grooming salon can do it as well. After all, it is a big part of any dog's beauty routine! Is Hydrogen Peroxide Just For A Dog’s Ears?In a few words, “No, it is not.” Outside of the pet world, hydrogen peroxide has numerous uses in many spheres of life. However, when it comes to dogs, these uses quickly narrow down.According to the American Kennel Club, and a multitude of other resources, you can use hydrogen peroxide for your dog to induce vomiting if you need to. BE SURE TO CONSULT YOUR VETERINARIAN FIRST AND FOREMOST, though.They’re your best resource. While in contact with them, this is what the AKC recommends:If your dog hasn’t eaten within the last two hours, giving him a small meal can make it more likely that he will vomit. An upset stomach can be “disturbed” by new food and vomiting can quickly follow. Make sure you have a 3-percent hydrogen peroxide solution. Higher concentrations are toxic and can cause serious damage. Always – always – read the labels and the tiny print. Sometimes it can make an immense difference. Administer the proper amount: the suggested dosage is 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of the dog’s body weight by mouth, with a maximum dose of 3 tablespoons for dogs who weigh more than 45 pounds. But ask your veterinarian about the best dosage for your dog and only induce vomiting if your dog ate the substance within 2 hours.Administer the dosage with a feeding syringe or turkey baster and squirt it from the side by pulling back his lips and squirting between his back teeth. You can also squirt from the front into the back of your dog’s tongue or mouth. Be careful not to let your dog inhale the substance, as this can lead to aspiration. If your dog doesn’t vomit within 15 minutes, you can give him a second dose.Stay with your dog while he vomits. Collect a small sample of the vomit for your vet to analyze, and do not let your dog re-ingest the material. It might be a nasty thing to do, but think of the importance of such a sample. Keep an eye out for complications and adverse reactions, such as vomiting for more than 45 minutes, diarrhea, lethargy, bloat or gastric dilatation-volvulus ( GDV), or gastric ulcers. Seek the immediate help of your vet if something like this occurs. Again, it’s ALWAYS necessary to consult your veterinarian before inducing vomiting. You should never attempt such things without professional consultation. Of course, it is best that your vet does it, after all. And, if you are ever uncertain if you should use or administer something, if you are confused about the proper name of the medicine, or have any other doubts – then it is best not to administer it at all. You might end up making things much, much worse.