Table of Contents

    How to Clean Dog’s Ears

    Preparation

    Always start by finding a good spot for cleaning your dog’s ears. The bathtub and backyard are likely the two best locations. An important part of how to clean dog ears is letting them do their thing and shake their heads, and all that loose debris will need to go somewhere, so make it easier for yourself. You’re also likely to get quite wet, both you and your dog, so having some spare towels to hand is always a good idea. 

    Inspecting your dog’s ears before cleaning them is an important part of preparation because you’ll need to make sure there isn’t anything serious going on in there.

    If it’s beyond your ability to clean them, you shouldn’t bother trying since it’s in their best interest to take your dog to the vet. Plus, plucking hairs from your dog’s ears could be painful and should be done upon the advice of your vet anyway. 

    What You’re Going to Need

    In order to clean them properly, you’ll need to have certain tools to ensure it’s as quick and stressless for your dog as possible. Always be sure to avoid any cleaning products that contain alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and other harmful substances, as these will no doubt lead to pain and irritation. If you have dog insurance, this is something the vet can take care of for you at little to no extra cost.  The items you’re going to need are: 

    • Some towels
    • A vet-recommended cleaning product
    • Tweezers (if they have too much hair in the ear canal)
    • Cotton buds or gauzes and tips (never put these further in than you can see)
    • Treats

    If you’re wondering how to clean puppy ears, the method is exactly the same but more care and a sensitive approach are required. 

    How to clean dogs ears

    How to do It

    • Add Ear Cleaner: Simply squirt a few drops into your dog’s ear on the inside of the flap after lifting it up. Then, aim a little further into your dog’s ear and apply gently. 
    • Massage the Ear: Now, and before your dog shakes its head, begin to massage the bottom part of the ear (the part closest to your dog’s head). You’ll know you’re doing it right when you hear some kind of sound. This increases the chances of the ear cleaner getting into those hard-to-reach places. Now, let your dog do its thing and shake its head wildly. 
    • Wipe out the Ear Canal: Once they’ve shaken out all the bad stuff that doesn’t belong, it’s time to wipe them clean. Use cotton or gauze and put it as deep as you can into their ear, but only as far as you can see, never further. Then, start dragging it back towards the outer ear and cleaning away any gunk or residue that’s left behind. Once you’ve finished, dry your dog’s head off and give them one of their favorite treats. 

    Why to clean dogs ears?

    Taking the time to bathe your dog might seem futile since they’re only going to roll around outside once you let them back out. But your dog’s hygiene is important to their wellbeing and certain parts of the body are prone to problems. Like if their ears aren’t regularly and thoroughly cleaned, for example. Ear infections in dogs are just one of the many common ailments they can endure, and it’s partly due to their affinity for getting down and dirty, resulting in debris making its way down the ear canal. 

    Learning how to clean a dog’s ears properly is an important part of basic grooming and for ensuring that they won’t have to put up with any infections or other problems. Keep reading to learn about dog ears and the right way to go about cleaning them. 

    Dog Ear Anatomy

    The pinna: this is the outside flap of your ear and is different depending on the breed of your dog. While some dogs have straight and pointy ears, others have floppy ears, and these are usually the ones that are more prone to problems. Ear infections and other issues are much more common in dogs that have floppy ears. 

    The most visible part of your dog’s interior ears is the external canal. This connects to the vertical and horizontal canals and is covered in cartilage and skin, creating ridges and folds on the skin’s surface. This is where the glands sit that produce and secrete wax and sebum into the ear. 

    The tympanic membrane is where the external canal of your dog’s ear ends at the eardrum. This piece of tissue lends itself to assist in hearing and registering vibrations, as well as protecting the middle and inner parts of your dog’s ear. 

    Go even further beyond the eardrum and there sits the middle and inner ear. Damage to these parts will have lasting effects on your dog’s hearing and balance, so be sure to avoid going that deep when cleaning. These parts are incredibly delicate and should be constantly clear of debris and residue.