Updated on December 18, 2022

It’s tempting to run your fingertips over your dog’s velvety ears since they feel so good, but have you ever thought about cleaning the ear canal as part of your dog’s normal grooming routine?

Brushing your dog’s teeth, brushing their fur, clipping their nails, and cleaning the ears are just few of the many things you should do to keep your dog looking and feeling their best.

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Cleaning your dog’s ears at home isn’t that difficult, although it may take some adjusting on your dog’s part. If only we could have a conversation with our dogs and tell them why we want to check in their ears.

So, if you’re at a loss as to how to begin cleaning your dog’s ears since you’ve never done it before, this is your starting point. Our goal is to provide you with the most up-to-date, comprehensive information we have accumulated on the subject of ear hygiene.


It’s easy to forget about our dogs’ ears when it comes time to brush them, but keeping their ears clean is crucial for many breeds.

However, how frequently you should clean your dog’s ears is highly dependent on factors such as the dog’s breed, environment, and activity level. While the ears of some dogs can remain clean and healthy even if they aren’t regularly cleaned, the ears of others need a more rigorous regimen of care to prevent the accumulation of dirt, debris, and wax that can lead to infection.

Ear infections are more common in dogs with floppy ears, so it’s important to clean the ears of Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels on a regular basis. The ear canal of a person with droopy ears is a breeding ground for infection because of the decreased airflow and decreased space for debris to escape.

Ear hygiene for dogs

Taking care of your dog’s ears
In addition, if your dog enjoys going for a swim, whether in a dog pool, the ocean, or even just mucky puddles, you should be sure to clean his ears often. These swimmers are at a significantly higher risk for ear infections due to the increased wetness in their ears.

The frequency with which you should clean your dog’s ears is, of course, highly dog-specific. Even if your dog’s ears are always spotless, you should still give them a once-over on a regular basis to make sure there are no signs of infection or ear mites. This includes gently stroking the ears to make sure they aren’t tender to the touch.

To avoid irritating or damaging the ear canal, regular cleaning is necessary. If you’re not sure how often you should clean, your vet can examine your pet and suggest a routine that will work for your dog.


Cleaning your dog’s ears might seem like a daunting task at first, but with enough practise, you’ll have the hang of it in no time. Keeping your dog still throughout the procedure without them performing an escape act is the most challenging part. Having some good snacks on hand, though, might help you solve that problem!


You’d like everything to go swimmingly and for your dog to sit perfectly still so as to minimise the likelihood of any anxiety or distress on your dog’s part. When dealing with a wiggly, dramatic dog, though, we all know how difficult this can be.

If you start stroking, cleaning, and petting your puppy’s ears from an early age, he or she will grow to be much more tolerant of ear cleaning as an adult. It’s okay if you’re well over the “puppy” stage, though. To test their reaction, try gently touching and rubbing their ears first.

If your dog seems extremely distressed and is actively trying to escape from you, it’s best to take him to the doctor first so they can help you calm him down before cleaning his ears.

If you think your pet will cooperate long enough for you to get some work done, you should do so in a small, secure area where they can’t easily escape. Although it may be simpler to clean the ears of a large dog when it is lying down or sitting on the floor, you may discover that it is more convenient to do so with a small dog while it is sitting on your lap. No right or wrong answer here; do what makes you happy.


Luckily, you won’t need a lot of gear for this; just make sure you have:

Do not use cotton swabs since they can push the wax and dirt deeper into the ear canal; instead, use a number of damp cotton wool balls or pads.
If your dog is prone to ear infections or wax buildup, your vet can recommend an ear cleaning solution made especially for dogs.
The use of a fresh towel
A helping hand from somewhere
A plethora of sweets


You can now safely and successfully examine the inner ear of your dog. Raise the pinna (ear flap) vertically by pinching it between thumb and fingers.

A tiny amount of wax, typically a pale colour, around the ear drum is normal for a healthy ear. The presence of irritation, excessive wax or discharge, or a particularly offensive odour are all warning signs that something is seriously wrong and necessitate a trip to the veterinarian immediately.


Your dog may experience some anxiety throughout this transition; therefore, it is important that you do everything you can to ensure their safety and comfort. Use the ear cleaning solution to remove the debris and germs from your dog’s ears.

While it is unlikely that you would cause any damage by using an ear cleaner specifically intended for canine ears, it is still a good idea to proceed with caution.

Please remove part of the liquid. Don’t be stingy with the solution; there’s a lot of the ear canal that we can’t see that needs to be cleaned.


Now that you have a good amount of the cleaner in the ear, you should return the ear flap to its original position and massage the ear canal for at least 30 seconds.

By doing so, the ear cleaning solution can more easily reach the ear canal’s deepest crevices, where it can begin dissolving and softening any accumulated muck. The cleaner will make a swishing, squelchy sound as it goes around.


Your dog probably needs a rest after all this nonsense. They may feel the need to sway their head from side to side; give in to the temptation!

If you give your dog a good shake of the head, the extra cleaner and debris will be pushed toward the ear’s outer entrance. This allows you to remove any loose dirt by wiping it away with a damp cotton swab.


Those of you who are dogs and are reading this, we’re truly sorry, but it’s time to start over. We must now go on to the opposite ear!

But first, you should give your dog a lot of praise and tasty treats because he or she is such a nice dog.


Your dog’s ears should be treated with medicated ear drops as soon as possible after you finish cleaning them, if prescribed by your veterinarian.

You need to do this so that the medication goes throughout the ear and doesn’t get clogged by any wax, dirt, or grime that was already there.


Ear problems can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including but not limited to allergies, ear mites, infections, and disorders including vestibular illness and otitis. Keep an eye out for signs like:

inflammation and redness
Excessive head shaking Ears will be sensitive to touch; if they normally enjoy you rubbing their eyes and are now moving away, something is likely wrong.
They’re rubbing their ears unusually frequently.
Severe smelling and oddly coloured ear discharge
Ear mites that can be seen (they’ll have a gritty appearance, like ground coffee, and cause crusty, scabby, and bleeding skin around the ears).
For this reason, it’s important to examine your dog’s ears often for signs of parasites or infection.

After a swim or bath, make sure to give your dog a thorough drying of their ears to avoid infection. Your dog’s wet ears are the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria and yeast that flourish in warm, moist conditions.


Ear cleaning is an important part of regular dog grooming since it eliminates the potential for infection and helps to maintain your dog’s overall health and happiness.

It shouldn’t be too much of a bother once they’re used to you seeing via their ear canals.






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