how to disinfect dog earplugs, by CrittEar

Keeping your dog’s ears clean and healthy is important to you. You want to keep those ears working as well as possible for years to come! Our dog earplugs can help with that. However, it is necessary to keep the dog earplugs clean between uses to make sure your dog is receiving the full benefit of the dog earplugs. So, you may be wondering, how do I disinfect dog earplugs? We have a way to keep those dog earplugs clean and disinfected.

Why Should I Clean My Dog Earplugs?

Let’s be honest – dog ears can be a pretty gross place. Like human ears, their ears produce wax and have a normal layer of bacteria and yeast inside them. These things are generally benign but can cause ear infections when they get out of control (source).

We recommend that you clean your dog’s ears and allow them to dry before inserting the dog earplugs. Still, no matter how well you clean, the dog earplugs may still be dirty when you take them out of your dog’s ears. You may find it necessary to clean and disinfect dog earplugs. We do not recommend placing dirty dog earplugs into a dog’s ears – even if it is the same dog that dirtied them in the first place.

Getting a Simple Clean

Perhaps you only have one dog and the dog earplugs are not shared between dogs. How do you get the dog earplugs clean? It is as easy as washing your hands! Simply use soap and water to thoroughly wash the dog earplugs and then allow them to air dry completely before reusing them. Drying time can take a day or more.

What happens if you have more than one dog or the dog earplugs are shared between dogs? You certainly don’t want the bacteria or fungi from one dog’s ears to be placed into another dog’s ears. Soap and water is great, but it a kind of clean that is different than what you would do to disinfect dog earplugs. We do have a way for you to make sure that the dog earplugs are able to be used between dogs – and every now and then when they are used with the same dog.

Clean vs. Disinfected

As it turns out, being “clean” and being “disinfected” are two different things. According to Dr. Lori Blackwell, one of the veterinarians testing our dog earplugs, cleaning something means “physically removing organisms”. That is what you are doing if you clean our dog earplugs with soap and water.

To disinfect dog earplugs it takes a little more work. Disinfecting means “not capable of spreading infection”. It requires using something that is bactericidal (kills bacteria) and fungicidal (kills fungi). Using regular soap may not reach this requirement and thus won’t fully disinfect dog earplugs.

What You Need to Disinfect Your Dog Earplugs

If you have multiple dogs or a groomer sharing dog earplugs between dogs, it is of the utmost importance to disinfect dog earplugs. We do have a way to do this. Follow the following instructions:

  1. Wash With Soap and Water
    Remove any physical wax or debris with soap and water. This is the same as if you were doing a simple wash for just one dog.
  2. Pat Dry
    Dry the surface of the dog earplugs by patting them dry with a towel.
  3. Apply a Disinfectant
    Wipe or spray one of these items onto your dog earplugs. It is not recommended to soak the dog earplugs in your choice of disinfectant.
    • 2-3% chlorhexidine solution,
    • 3 % hydrogen peroxide, or
    • 70 % alcohol, or a commercial quaternary ammonium disinfectant.
  4. Air Dry
    Allow the dog earplugs to completely air dry before use.

Since it can take some time for dog earplugs to dry completely, we recommend having more than one pair. A 3-pack of CrittEar Calm dog earplugs (all the same size) will save you 20% above purchasing 3 individual pairs. Groomer’s 3-Pack of dog earplugs (one small pair, one medium pair, and one large pair) is also available! You can save money while saving your dog’s ears from infections.

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