How To Clean Your Dog's Ears

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 01:10:08 PM America/Los_Angeles

Being a parent is a rewarding experience and job.  This is true for your 2 legged and 4 legged children.  Pet parenting is special.  People mostly choose to have a furry little friend; whether it is a rescue or purchase.  Because you made the decision to be pet parents, you know they rely on you for everything.  Taking care of your dog goes beyond selecting designer clothing and sophisticated dog food, potty training and daily care must be taken just as seriously so that your four-legged loved one can thrive and run from end to end on fresh grass in total wellness. 

Each time you devote to grooming your dog do not forget about their ears.  That canal has potential to be home to parasites, fleas, dirt and more.  No matter how much your dog fusses, clean ears make for a healthier more comfortable dog.  This is one of the major things pet parents do to show their love for their animal.  If you do not take the time to keep your pet’s ear canal healthy, your pet could suffer major problems down the road.  Dog ear cleaning does not have to be an unbearable chore, instead make it a time when you show heaps of love and affection for your animal child and he or she might just grow to enjoy this time spent with its’ human mother.  Read on to discover how to safely keep your dog ear’s clean at home between vet visits.

dog ear cleaning

Look inside

Build a routine each week and take a closer look at your dog’s ear canal.  Check for signs of dirt, parasites or infection marks.  This will not take long and the more you do it, the more comfortable your four-legged child might become.  These weekly ear wellness moments clear up minor problems before they turn into bigger issues.  Sit in a lighted area so you get a good view and take a look inside the ear.  Waxy buildup, discharge or redness could mean infection so a trip to the vet may be in order.

Playing outdoors in real grass, your dog relies on its ability to hear. It is one of its’ keenest senses.  It is how they navigate through their domain.  The entire dog ear is very sensitive.  It is exposed to infection from the outer edge of the ear flap down into the canal.  Like babies, ear problems are one of the most typical reasons pet owners take their dogs to the vet.



By Ermolaev Alexander via Shutterstock

Bugs and parasites of various kinds get in your dog’s ears and cause pain.  Mites, fleas, ticks even scratching each cause and contribute to ear problems. To help combat mites, fleas, and ticks, it can be helpful to spray your dog's bedding with a natural bug spray.  Sometimes foreign objects found in real grass get in the ear canal causing infection and inflammation.  Yeast and bacterial growth are common when weather has too much moisture or heat in the environment.  Both are havens for infections.  Finally, some dogs have allergies that adds to your dog’s ear distress.


Your pet relies on you for comfort.  Untreated ear infections make for a miserable animal.  The constant pain and itching worsens each day left untreated.  No matter how they try, dogs cannot fix this problem with scratching and shaking their ears.  This self-medication often makes the problem worse.  When you see your dog trying to bring relief, take a moment and check the ear canal.  Checking is an easy grooming step pet owners should practice weekly.  It is so important for the health of your animal.

Many times, initial ear irritation in your dog goes unnoticed.  If your dog’s ear irritation progresses to a more chronic state, classic symptoms including

  • Head shaking
  • Ear rubbing
  • Discharge from one or both ear canals
  • Odor
  • Hair loss on or around the ear

Regardless of the type of breed you have, canine ear problems affect each breed.  If your dog’s ears are longer and low set, ear issues are even more common.  If you are a pet parent that bathes their dog regularly, make sure you dry the ears to avoid risk of infection.

How to clean your dog’s ears

Most dogs do not like having their ears cleaned, it is right up there with indoor potty for dogs and housebreaking.  But, with regular ear cleaning they might even begin to enjoy it.  Make it a special moment to bring comfort to your dog.  Maybe gently rub down their frame, massage their paws and limbs.  This technique really relaxes them so actual ear cleaning becomes less of a big deal.

Cotton balls and a good pair of hemostats are all you need as cleaning tools.  Q-tips are not recommended because they push objects and debris further into the canal.  You could also damage the ear.  There are many cleaning solutions you can purchase or make your own at home for a more natural approach to ear grooming.  A popular DIY dog ear cleaner is plain white vinegar and water. Mix one part 1/3 cup vinegar to 2/3 cup water.  Alcohol dries out the skin inside your dog’s ears and should not be used as a cleaning agent.

Take a small amount of the vinegar and water solution and put in your dog’s ears and just massage them for a moment.  Next allow your dog to shake its head.  This loosens dirt and other debris in their ears.  Use your cotton ball, secured in your hemostat device (or your fingers) and gently wipe in the ear.  Use a fresh cotton ball each time on each ear.  Never use the same cotton ball.  Repeat until no more wax is seen on the cotton ball. 

Your pet did a great job so remember to reward with hugs, delicious dog training treats and your loving voice.  Weekly cleaning sessions are more than enough; never over clean the ear which leads to infections as well.  

Why they need cleaning?

When your dog’s ears are clogged and unable to get good air flow; ear infections happen.   Ear wax and debris easily accumulate outside your dog’s ear to inside the ear canal and develop into ear infections.  Without weekly inspections and cleaning the canal is prone to infections.  If pet parents do not develop a routine for caring for their pet’s ears serious damage is inevitable down the road.  A dog’s ears are sensitive so regular inspections and cleaning prevent infections.

Homemade dog ear cleaning solutions work just as great as over the counter products. Often these products have less ingredients, so irritation is lower.  Remember your pet needs you to feed him, love him and care for him right down to his ears.