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Should you clean your dog’s ear?

Ear cleaning is an essential part of your dog’s basic growing routine. Every dog should have their ears cleaned from time to time, but some dogs need more frequent cleaning than others, especially those likely to get ear infection.

Here is a few tips you should know about cleaning your dog’s ears:

1) Dog ear cleaning supplies: you will need a few supplies, such as ear cleansing solution (Epi-Otic or Virbac are top choices), cotton balls, cotton pads, cotton-tipped applicators, and a towel. Avoid ear cleaners that contain alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as these can cause irritation.

2) Getting started with the cleansing process: make sure you take your dog to a ‘safe place’ such as tub or outside. When he/she shakes the head, that ear debris and cleaner will go somewhere, and it could be in you or in your walls. Wrap a towel around your dog or keep him/her under one, to help keeping her/him clean and dry. And don’t forget to inspect the ear before starting with the cleaning, this will give you an idea of how dirty they are.

3) How to clean your dog’s ears: begin by holding the ear flap up and squirting a few drops of the ear cleaner on the inside of the flap near the ear opening. Gently place the tip of the bottle into the ear and give a gentle squeeze. Before your dog shakes the head, begin massaging the base of the dog’s ear, massaging it will help the cleanser to fill the ridges in the canal and loosen ear debris. Massage it for a few seconds and then let go, allow your dog to shake her/his head. Make sure to use a towel to help keeping the process as clean and dry as possible. Use cotton balls or cotton pads (depending of the size of your dog’s ear) to wipe out the ear canal. If you choose to use cotton-tipped applicators to clean stubborn debris, keep in mind to never go further than what you can see or you might be at risk of causing damage to the eardrum. You can repeat the process if the ear is still not clean, then move on to the other ear. Finish by wiping away any visible debris and drying your dog’s head off. Then, reward her/him with a big hug, positive words such as ‘we are done! You did such a great job!’ and a treat of course!

Always be mindful that your dog’s ears are sensitive and need regular maintenance to prevent infections. They don’t want their ears cleaned, so you’re going to have to work with them. And over-cleaning can cause irritation, but under-cleaning can make way for excessive buildup.

Do you have any tips or tricks for cleaning your dog’s ears? Share them in the comments!

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