How-to Clean Your Dog's Ears

Regular ear cleanings are a necessary part of your dog's grooming routine. Much like humans, if hygiene requirements are not kept up with infections are more likely to occur, causing your dog pain and discomfort. Regularly cleaning your dog's ears is a great way to prevent dog ear infections and maintain healthy ears!

When is it Time For an Ear Cleaning?

A healthy and clean ear will look pink in color, have little to no odor, and will not look dirty or inflamed.
Dog Ear Problems
An ear that requires a cleaning may have an odor and appear dirty. If you notice your dog shaking their head frequently or an odor coming from their ear, it may beneficial to consult your veterinarian to rule out the possibility of an ear infection.
Dog Ear Problems
Some dogs may only need an ear cleaning every so often, but others may need a cleaning more frequently. Recurrent ear infections can be a symptom of allergies in dogs.

How-to Clean Your Dog's Ears

What you'll need

  • Cotton balls or gauze
  • Ear-cleaning solution
  • Towel

Avoid using things such as cotton swabs or anything with a pointed tip as to not inflict damage to your dog's ear. Cotton swabs tend to push dirt and debris further into the ear canal which over time, can be harmful.

Picking an ear cleaning solution for your dog can be challenging as there are multiple options available. If your dog has an ear infection or is prone to infections, your veterinarian may recommend and/or prescribe a medicated ear cleaner. If your dog is not prone to infections and just needs a simple cleaning every now and then, a non-medicated pet ear cleaner will suffice. 

Step 1

  • Gather all of the supplies you will need and try to clean your dog's ears when they are calm to make the process easier.
  • Ensure your dog is in a secure area and hold your dog close to you.

Step 2

  • Gently squeeze veterinarian- approved ear cleaning solution into your dog's ear. Try to avoid allowing the tip of the bottle to touch the ear, this will reduce the chance of contamination.
  • Gently massage your dog's ear at the base for about 30 seconds and allow the cleaner to lift the debris. 
  • Your dog may want to shake their head after the solution is applied. You can use a towel to clean off any ear cleaning solution that has gotten on you or your dog!

Step 3

  • Use a cotton ball or gauze to gently wipe the ear cleaning solution/ debris from the ear.
  • Only clean the areas of the ear that are visible (about the depth of a knuckle) to avoid inflicting damage to the ear canal.
  • If at any point during the ear cleaning process your dog seems to be in pain, consult your veterinarian to make sure your dog does not require medical attention.