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How to Clean Dog Ears

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How to Clean Dog Ears

Cleaning your ears is likely part of your daily self-care routine. Some people can get away with cleaning their ears every other day, while others recognize it as a weekly task to complete. Still, regardless of how frequently you clean your ears, it should be done regularly, no matter how that looks for you. 

Just like you and me, our canine companions require regular ear care as well. Cleaning your dog's ears is one of the most essential tasks when it comes to grooming your dogs. It's not as simple as sticking cotton swabs into your ear and swirling them around like you would for a baby's ears. Many dogs attend regularly scheduled appointments at the local groomer, which is a surefire way to ensure that your dog receives proper early cleaning. 

However, sometimes, making it to the groomers is not always feasible. Whether you're faced with a busier-than-usual schedule or something as restricting as the current pandemic, certain circumstances might cause you to have to clean their ears on your own. If you're interested in learning how to clean dog ears, you've come to the right place! 

You may have some questions when starting. You may wonder when you should clean your dog's ears and which tools you need when cleaning dog ears. But don't worry, we have you covered. Let's start by talking about when to clean the ears, and then we'll talk about the tools necessary for ear cleaning. After that, we'll dive straight into the step-by-step guide on how to clean dog ears! 

When Should You Clean Your Dog's Ears?

There is a time and a place for everything! The frequency of a dog's at-home cleaning regimen will vary from one dog to the next. A handful of factors affect how frequently the ears need to be cleaned, some of which include your dog's age, activity levels, and type of coat, as well as the breed of dog. 

If they have a flap that covers the ear, your dog is going to need their ears cleaned more frequently than dogs without an ear flap. This has everything to do with the fact that ear flaps trap debris in the inner parts of the earl, whereas ears without flaps have constant airflow. 

The shape and structure of the ear aside, another contributing factor to the frequency of your need to clean your pup's ears will be your pet's lifestyle. Does your dog have access to water, like an at-home pool or local lake that they love to swim in? If so, the ears will need to be cleaned far more frequently.

What Tools Do You Need for Dog Ears Cleaning?

It isn't uncommon for people to use cotton swabs to clean their ears. Other people will take their ear care a little further and wet their swabs with water before inserting them into the canal of the ear for cleaning purposes. But when it comes to your dog, water is not sufficient enough to use as an ear cleaner cleaning solution. 

How To Clean Dog Ears | Innovet Pet

When it comes to choosing a cleaning solution for your pup's ears, we advise you to avoid hydrogen peroxide actively. While hydrogen peroxide acts as an effective solution for many different cleaning projects, it is quite dangerous when used to clean dog ears. 

Use a dog-specific cleaning solution instead. You'll also need either a towel or some cotton balls for when your dog inevitably shakes his head. Cotton balls are suggested rather than cotton swabs because cotton balls are safer for dog ears. 

How to Clean Dog Ears: A Step-by-Step Guide

Gently wipe around the ear to make sure you don't accidentally damage your dog's ear canal by pressing too hard or rubbing too aggressively. If your dog's ear has an ear flap, lift it with care and hold it up while you slowly pour a small amount of dog-friendly cleaning solution right near the entry of your dog's ear canal. Make sure you don't aim for your dog's ear canal directly because it causes a very uncomfortable situation for your dog.  

Massage the base of the ear for around thirty seconds. The cleaning solution will slowly make its way into the inner ear, at which point you'll then want to let your dog shake his head so that the solution reaches all parts of the ear canal. Gently wipe any excess product with cotton balls, and move onto the other ear. Like everything about pet care, you'll get better at cleaning your pup's ears the more often you practice. 

Why Cleaning Your Dog's Ears is Important

Dog Grooming: How and Why Is It Important To Clean Dog Ears | Innovet Pet

One of the most common causes behind ear infections is the lack of cleanliness in and around the ears. If the ears are not well maintained or cared for, then ear infections might be on the horizon for your canine companion. While not all ear infections are directly caused by negligence surrounding ear care, ears are at a higher propensity for ear infections if you don't prioritize cleaning their ears. 

How to Get Ready to Clean Your Dog's Ears

Even when you know that cleaning your dog's ears is vital to their overall health, some pet owners mention that they often forget to do it. Since the canal is an internal structure, it's easy to understand why you might accidentally overlook your dog's ears. But the ear canal still needs to be cleaned, so coming up with a system will help you prioritize your dog's ears, too. 

One of the easiest ways to stay on top of cleaning your dog's ears is to group them in with everything else you do to clean your dog. Consider cleaning the ears on the same day you give your dog a bath. Clean your dog all over to avoid forgetting your dog's ears. 


Try to clean the ears on the same day that you groom them, as it's wise to prep your dog for an ear cleaning before diving right into the ear cleaning process. One of the main reasons for this suggestion is that cleaning the ears of a dog that hasn't been groomed right beforehand can make for quite a pointless ear cleaning experience. 

Take this hypothetical situation, for example. Let's imagine a dog that has patches of matted hair on and around the flap of the ear. The likelihood of there being matted hair within the ear canal is also very high. If matted hair is not taken care of before cleaning your dog's ears, the matted hair will naturally cause a blockage for air to flow into your puppy's ears. 

When this happens, it's essentially inviting a build-up to accrue in your dog's ear, whether it's in the form of ear wax or bacteria that live on hair follicles. Even if you clean the dog's ears in this situation, your efforts will be for nothing simply because the debris in the dog's ears will collect all over again, thanks to the matted hair that has not been removed. 

Matted hair is, of course, only one of many examples of why grooming your dog before cleaning their ears is an excellent procedure to abide by. It'll not only make your life easier but your dog's life, too!


How to Clean a Dog’s Ears
What is the Importance of Regular Dog Ear Care?
Instructions for Ear Cleaning in Dogs
How to Clean Dog Ears
Dog Ear Infections

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