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How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears Properly

Dog Ear Cleaning

January 19, 2018

How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears Properly

Just like us humans, dogs need their ears to be kept clean. Dogs with floppy ears are even more susceptible to infection, irritation, and build up. Learning how to clean your dog’s ears properly, helps to prevent the dirt and wax from building up – causing bigger problems.

Why Ear Cleaning is Necessary

Being proactive in cleaning your dog’s ears helps reduce excess wax buildup and helps you prevent ear infections that might start to affect your dog’s quality of life. Basically, it is an easy way to help your dog feel better and keep him cleaner and healthier.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dog’s Ears?

Knowing how often to clean your dog’s ears depends on a few factors. The breed of your dog, the level of his activity, and how often he has wax buildup makes a huge difference in how often you should clean his ears.

A good rule of thumb is that a dog with normal wax buildup and normal activity should have his ears cleaned once a month. Dogs that go swimming or get wet ears should have it done more often.

small brown dog exiting pop up dog kennel @palmettomoonpointers

Types of Solutions and Supplies for Ear Cleaning

There are a few things you will need to have with you before you start to clean your dog’s ears. In fact, make sure you have a checklist of what is needed and have everything so that you do not have to go back and forth or stop what you’re doing.

  • Ear Cleansing Solution: There are a number of choices. Find one without hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, other than that all should work well for your needs. Your veterinarian can help make a solid recommendation.
  • Towels: For any messes
  • Tweezers: To help clear out hair in the ear canal.
  • Cotton Balls or Cotton Pads: To help with the ear cleansing solution.
  • Cotton Tipped Applicators: To clean ear ridges of debris.

Things to Avoid When Cleaning Ears

There are a few things to avoid when cleaning your dog’s ears.

  • Using the wrong cleansing solution
  • Not using enough cleansing solution – it seems like you’re drowning your dog, but your not.
  • Using a cotton swab inside the ear
  • Working around things you do not want to get messy
  • Not contacting the vet if you see something wrong

Step by Step Instruction for How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

  1. Make sure you’re in an area that your dog can shake and the gunk in their ear will not damage something. They will shake.
  2. Hold your dog’s ear flap up and squirt cleansing solution inside of the ear. Do not overdo it or use too much pressure but get about the size of a quarter amount in there.
  3. Hold your dogs head, and start rubbing or massaging the base of his ear. This allows the solution to loosen ear debris and fill the ridges in the canal. You should be able to hear a smacking type sound.
  4. Massage for 15-20 seconds then stop.  Now you will use the cotton pad to wipe out his ear canal. You can place the cotton pad in as far as possible without forcing it. Do not use the stick cotton swabs like the brand name Q-Tips – this can damage the dog’s ears.
  5. Repeat again on the same ear with the cleansing solution and the cotton pad.
  6. Once you are done, let your dog shake.  Dry your dog’s head and repeat on the other side. If you feel that his ears are still dirty then you can repeat the process.
  7. Once you are done, make sure to reward your dog with a treat so that he relates the ear cleaning with something pleasant.

If you need something to clean them with, here are three solutions: