How to clean your dog's ears - it's not that hard! We share how!

We get it, ear cleaning can be an overlooked part of a dog’s grooming. But then we remember that cleaning our dog’s ears helps promote good health and comfort. Cleaning a dog’s ears reduces the risk of infections and hearing damage, which often occurs due to the buildup of wax, dirt, and oils. While many dog owners rely on a professional groomer to clean their pooch’s ears, ear cleaning is easy and you can do it yourself. Here’s how to clean dogs ears.

The first step to successfully cleaning your dog’s ear is gaining an anatomical understanding of the ear.

How To Clean Dogs Ears – It’s Not That Hard

A dog’s ear canal is essentially ‘L’ shaped and it is divided into three parts:

  • Outer
  • Middle
  • Inner Ear 

Outer Ear

The outer ear is the ear flap that you can see without effort, and it is usually either upright or floppy.

Middle Ear

Next is the middle ear, which begins with a thin membrane called the eardrum. It is very fragile, so you need to be gentle during ear cleaning.

Inner Ear

The inner ear connects to the brain and this is where the nerves for balance and hearing are situated.

The Goal – For When You Are Learning How To Clean Dogs Ears

The goal of cleaning a dog’s ear is to clear the material trapped in the outer canal in order to maintain a dry environment, which discourages the growth of bacteria and yeast.

Signs of a Dirty Ear

Now that you understand the anatomy of a dog’s ears, the next thing to know are the signs that dogs exhibit when they need to have their ears cleaned. Cleaning your dog’s ears too often can lead to infections, so you need to be able to tell when your dog’s ears require cleaning. 

If you notice a mild odor or a discharge from your dog’s ears or when you see them shaking his head more than normal, then their ears might be due for cleaning. 

“But if your dog’s ears are red, inflamed and painful, consult with your veterinarian before you clean it. They are symptoms of an ear infection and cleaning a dog’s infected ear does more harm than good.”

How To Clean Dogs Ears

Cleaning your dog’s ears is very easy but you can make it easier for you and your pup by getting the supplies ready beforehand. You only need a cotton ball, a veterinarian-recommended ear cleanser, a towel, and treats.

Step 1

Begin by getting your pup to sit calmly and reward them with a treat.

Step 2

Hold one ear flap and squeeze the cleaning solution into the canal.

Step 3

Gently massage the ear for about 20 seconds, release the flap and allow your dog to shake their head (it’s a natural response).

Step 4

Remove the loosened debris and cleaning solution from the outer ear with a cotton ball and only go on the outside and remove any debris you can visually see that is in the outer section of the ear canal. Do not insert your finger or the cotton ball too far.

Step 5

Repeat the process for the other ear. 

If you notice that your dog is in pain at any point during the cleaning process, discontinue immediately and consult your veterinarian.

How About a Q-Tip?

Avoid using cotton-tipped swabs (Q-tips) or anything with a pointed tip as they may push the debris further and even damage the ear canal.

Simple Steps For Clean Dog Ears

How to clean dogs ears is simple when you know how to do it! Let us know if you have any tips for making cleaning your dog’s ears a snap by leaving a comment below.

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