How To Clean Dogs’ Ears: Cleaners, Tips, & More

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Dog getting ears cleaned (Caption: Guide To Cleaning Your Dog's Ears)

It’s easy for a dog’s ears to become tainted with parasites, bacteria, and yeast due to the ear’s curvature. Dirty dog ears aren’t just smelly and uncomfortable. If debris becomes trapped, an infection may occur. This fact is why it’s imperative to regularly check your dog’s ears to prevent possible health concerns down the road.

Dirty Dog Ears

You may not think about it much, but dogs’ ears can get very dirty, and cleaning those dirty dog ears can do more than remove wax and debris. It can also be a preventative measure to keep ear infections and discomfort at bay. Common problems include bacterial and fungal infections and parasites like ear mites. If you notice an odor or discharge coming from your pup’s ear, that may be a sign that a cleaning would be helpful.

What Are Ear Mites In Dogs?

Hand holding dog's ear with hematoma (Caption: Dog Ear Hematoma)

Ear mites in dogs, also known as otedectes cynotis mites, are generally mild. However, mites can be cause for concern. Dogs with ear mites typically scratch their ears and shake their heads excessively.

If your dog shakes his head too much, then a hematoma may form in the ear. This condition occurs when blood pools in the ear from a blood vessel breaking. Ear mites are highly contagious and can spread to other parts of the body but do not affect humans.

Dogs With Dirty Ears

Breeds with floppy ears (e.g., Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, and Basset Hounds) are more susceptible to infections and have dirtier ears by nature. Also, dogs with allergies are more vulnerable to infections than those without allergies. All dogs, regardless of breed and ear type, should have their ears checked and cleaned regularly.

Dog Ear Cleaner

Pet MD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes

Wondering where you can buy a good ear cleaner for dogs? Two of the highest-rated solutions on Amazon are the Virbac EPIOTIC Advanced Ear Cleanser and the Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution. We also recommend the Pet MD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes to help you gently remove dirt, wax, and debris from your pup’s ears.

How To Clean Dog Ears

Cartoon of veterinarian petting dog next to piggy bank (Caption: Start Saving Money On Vet Bills, Compare Pet Insurance Rates In Minutes; Button Text: Get My Quotes)

Need to know how to clean dog ears? It’s essential to attend to ear infections in our canine companions. Leaving a dog’s ear infections unattended can lead to hearing loss or other possible damage. Before you begin cleaning, you’ll want to purchase a trusted cleaning solution (see recommendations above) and have plenty of cotton balls nearby. Do not use cotton swabs because they can push debris further into the ear. Wash your hands before you start and wear gloves, so you don’t risk further problems. Now you’re ready to begin cleaning.

  1. Start on the outside and work your way into the ear. Be sure to clean out all areas of the ear you can reach.
  2. Wet a cotton ball with the cleaner and wipe the inside of your dog’s ear flap.
  3. Add cleaning solution to another cotton ball and clean the inside part of the ear. Stop when you feel any resistance. You don’t want to push too far into the ear and cause damage. Although the canine ear canal is much longer and shaped differently from ours, it’s easier to harm the eardrum.
  4. If you notice the cotton balls are extremely dirty or you notice a foul smell, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian.
  5. Don’t forget to give your dog lots of treats and attention for being so good.
How To Clean Dog Ears graphic

Check With Your Vet First

Don’t attempt to clean your dog’s ears if you don’t feel comfortable with the process. Rather, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a cleaning. Watch your vet perform the cleaning and ask questions during the process. Once your vet has instructed you, you’ll have the confidence and knowledge to clean them yourself when your dog gets dirty ears. If you have concerns with the cost of care, reduce those costs of preventative care and a pet wellness plan.

Cleaning With Vinegar And Water?

In this three-minute video from ExpertVillage Leaf Group, Dr. Laurel Leach talks about how to clean your pup’s ears with vinegar and water. One important thing she mentions is that you should check with your vet before putting anything in your dog’s ears to prevent damage.

Keeping Your Pup Clean

Cleaning your dog’s ears is only one thing to consider when keeping your pup clean. It’s also essential to understand how bathing your dog will help keep him clean. Every dog is different, and the type of fur and level of outdoor activity play a role in determining how often you’ll need to bathe your dog.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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