How To Clean Dog Ears

Pets are loyal companions who provide immense joy and comfort in our lives. However, dogs also require routine care and upkeep like any other animals. One of the most important aspects of canine grooming is cleaning their ears. A dog's ear is not a difficult place to clean, as long as you are familiar with the basics of its anatomy.

Cleaning ears regularly prevents debris, dirt, and wax from building up and causing infections. It also helps keep their ears clean and healthy, preventing them from developing chronic problems.

It's highly recommended to clean your dog's ears at least once a month as it stops bacteria like yeast and mites from breeding in the fur of the canal. This article will show you the best way to clean dog ears by using a simple and inexpensive method.

Do I need to use an ear cleaner?

Whether you have a large or small dog, it is always important to keep them clean and free of dog ear wax and other debris. To clean their ears effectively, you will need to use a veterinarian-prescribed pet ear cleaner that is made from natural ingredients and won’t cause any irritation or inflammation. Additionally, ear cleaners can help to improve the smell of the dog's ears and make them easier to clean.

There are many types of ear cleaners available on the market, each of which is designed to clean a certain type of dog ear. Some of the most popular cleaners for dogs include Oto-Pet Otic Ear Cleaner, K9 Advantix Ear Wash, and Vet-K8 Ear and Eyewash. All of these cleaners are formulated with antibacterial and antifungal ingredients to fight ear infections and fungus, respectively.

Steps for Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

Here are some steps to follow and tips for cleaning your dog's ears.

Gather your Tools

You’ll need a few supplies including

  • Cotton balls (to clean their ear canal).
  • Dog ear cleaner (to remove any wax or debris that can cause infections and ear problems).
  • Treats (to praise them).

Start With Grooming

Make sure to pay attention to the shape, size, and color of their ear canals so that you will know where they are most sensitive. There are three types of dog ears - erect, floppy, and tipped. 

Erect ears stand up straight and point forward. They are used to give the dog a more alert appearance. Floppy dog ears hang down and maybe wagged back and forth or flopped to one side. Tipped ears are droopy at the tips and may be rotated in any direction.

If your dog's ears are covered in fur, you'll need to consider them when cleaning them. Pooches with hairy ears can be hard to clean because the fur collects dirt and gunk. A haircut will make the fur easier to remove and give you more access to clean their ears properly. 

Trim the hair close to the ear, using a sharp pair of scissors or a dog clipper. Dog grooming also includes bathing, brushing, eye cleaning, nail trimming with a dog nail grinder, and washing their coat to keep it fresh, clean, and healthy.

Wipe the Ear Canal

Gather a few cotton balls and wet them in the ear cleaner. Slightly push one of the dampened cotton balls into your pooch's outer ear canal, just behind their eardrum. Gently massage the ball around inside of their ears, working it down to the end of their canal. Be sure to clean the entire dog ear canal, including the top of the ear flap.

Relax Your Dog

Avoid sudden movements that could cause your pet to feel pain, discomfort, or strain during the cleaning process. Instead, allow your dog to sit or lie down comfortably. It’s always a good idea to take the time to relax your pup before you clean its ears. 

Not only will this help them to remain calm and relaxed during the process, but it also avoids any damage that may be done to their delicate ear canals. The cleaner will cause dryness and itching if applied incorrectly or in excess. 

Rinse Your Dog's Ears

Rinse their ears with cool water, and then dry them off. Gently rub the ear canal in a circular motion to remove any debris that was dislodged during the cleaning process. Be sure to also pay attention to their facial glands and eyes, as these areas may also need occasional gentle rinsing. 

Give Them a Treat

After cleaning their ears, it’s always a good idea to give your dog a treat for being such a good boy/girl. Some popular choices include biscuitsKong toys filled with treats, or even healthy appetizers like fruits or vegetables.

Step-by-Step Guide on how to hold dog ears

  1. Make sure your dog is comfortable and relaxed, by taking them out for a walk or playing with them.
  2. Hold the ears in one hand so that the ear canal is facing up and using the index finger of your other hand slide down towards the center of each ear as far as you can (while keeping pressure on top).
  3. Gently wiggle the earflap up and down to loosen any wax or dirt.
  4. Using a cotton ball, wipe each side of the ear canal, working your way towards the outer edge. Be sure to clean inside as well as outside. 

In What Cases Should You Apply Medication on Your Dog

Dogs can sometimes experience an allergic reaction to the ear cleaning solution or the antiseptic used in the procedure. In these cases, owners need to apply a small amount of medication using a cotton ball or dropper directly to the dog's ears regularly until the symptoms resolve. If your dog experiences any other symptoms, such as discharge from the ears, fever, or sensitivity to light, please consult your veterinarian immediately.


Cleaning dog ears is not challenging, but it is essential to assure that your pup's ears are healthy. It keeps them smelling fresh, and even improves the dog's hearing abilities. There are a few things you should know before you attempt to clean your dog’s ears. By following the above step-by-step guide you will be able to provide better care for them.

1 comment

Mohamed Hashi

Mohamed Hashi

Cleaning your dog’s ears is a crucial part of their grooming routine that often gets overlooked. This article does a fantastic job of breaking down the process into manageable steps, making it accessible even for first-time pet owners. The emphasis on using the right tools and products to avoid causing discomfort or harm to your dog is particularly valuable. It’s also great to see the article stress the importance of rewarding your dog post-cleaning, reinforcing positive associations with ear cleaning. Following this guide can help prevent ear infections keeping your dog happy and healthy.

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