How to Clean a Dog’s Ears
Many owners often wonder how do you clean a dog's ears?
We've put together this handy guide to tell you everything you need to know about cleaning your dog's ears at home.
Many dog owners often wonder: should I be cleaning my dog’s ears? The
short answer is, usually, yes. It’s often an overlooked part of your
dog’s grooming regime, but for many dogs it is extremely important as it
allows you to regularly check for problems or ear infections.
Cleaning your dog’s ears is incredibly easy to do and can be done at
home (providing you and your dog are comfortable with it). If you’ve
never done it before you may be wondering where to start, which is why
we’ve put together this handy guide to tell you how to clean a dog’s
How often should I clean my dog’s ears?
This often depends on your dog. Droopy-eared breeds such as Cocker
Spaniels and Basset Hounds will require more regular ear cleaning as the
can be more prone to ear infections. This is because longer droopy ears
allow less air flow, and debris and moisture may easily become trapped
in the ear canal, which can result in a yeast infection.
that like to swim will also require regular ear cleaning as the extra
moisture can predispose them to ear infections. Additionally, you should
always be on the lookout for ear mites on your dog as they are also a
potential cause of ear infections and can also be transmitted to other
In short, it’s important to
clean your dog’s ears regularly enough to avoid infections, but not too
often as this can damage the canal or cause irritation that can result
in further problems. If you’re unsure, it’s best to ask your vet as
they’ll be able to recommend a cleaning schedule that suits your dog’s
How to clean a dog’s ears When considering the best
way to clean a dog’s ears, the most important thing is to ensure that
your dog is comfortable with the entire process first. Of course, it’s
ideal if you start handling or cleaning their ears when they’re puppies
as they’re much more likely to be ok with ear cleaning when they’re
older. However, this isn’t always possible, particularly if you have a
rescue or an older dog who’s never had their ears cleaned before.
Cleaning a dogs ears
by gently touching their ears and stroking them to gauge how your dog
will react. If they don’t seem to like their ears being touched, don’t
force it! Never try to clean a dog’s ears if they’re stressed or
struggling: this could upset your dog and you could also become hurt.
Instead take them to the vet and they’ll be able to clean them for you.
What equipment you need Before you start cleaning your dog’s ears, ensure you have the following things:
• Damp cotton wool or cotton wool pads
• Ear cleaner (must be dog specific, never use products intended for human use)
• A clean towel
• A second pair of hands (especially useful if your dog is not used to having their ears handled)
• Plenty of treats for during and after the ear cleaning
It’s also important that you never use cotton buds to clean your dog’s
ears as these can be inserted too far into the ear canal and potentially
Step by step guide to cleaning a dog’s ears:
your dog is comfortable, then lift their ear, holding it between your
thumb and forefinger to get a good look inside the ear.
the ear and check for redness, discharge or a bad smell. It is normal
for there to be a small amount of light-coloured wax. However, if there
is a very large amount, the ears are very red, or there appears to be
pus or a malodourous smell, it’s a sign of a problem and will require
Gently wipe around the entrance of the ear with damp cotton wool – this will remove dirt or excess wax.
the tip of your chosen dog-friendly ear cleaner into the ear canal –
being sure not to insert it too far – then squeeze the bottle to release
the ear cleaner.
Massage the base of the ear to help the cleaner pass into the ear canal.
Wipe away any excess cleaner with damp cotton wool.
Repeat process for the other ear.
If your veterinarian has given you ear drops to use, it’s best to apply
them within a short period after you’ve finished cleaning them. This
will ensure that the medicine will enter the ear effectively and be
absorbed without getting stuck on excess wax.
Signs your dog has an ear infection
If your dog has an infection, they’ll have ears which are sensitive to
the touch and they’ll be red and inflamed. They may also shake their
head regularly or try and scratch their ears as it’ll feel incredibly
irritating for them. You may notice discharge coming from the ear too
which could be foul smelling or an unusual colour.
If you think your dog has an infection, be sure to take them to the vet
immediately and they’ll be able to prescribe antibiotics and ear drops
to clear up any bacterial or yeast infections. Additionally, if the
infection is due to a parasite, they will be able to give you
appropriate medication to kill them
So now you know how to clean a dog’s ears! Be sure to check their ears
regularly and always be on the lookout for anything unusual.