How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Cleaning your dog’s ears is an important part of their grooming routine. A unique thing about a dog is the shape of their ears. Unlike humans, dogs have an L-shaped design. This design makes it easy for dirt and bacteria to collect inside, causing ear infections over time. But not to worry! Cleaning dogs’ ears is easier than you think. Today we will show you how to clean your dog’s ears in a few simple steps. The best part is that you will only need a few materials, like a dog ear rinse and some cotton swabs, to start. 

Signs Your Dog Needs Ear Cleaning 

If your dog’s ears appear red, swollen or have a foul odor, it’s time to break out the dog ear cleaner. Check for any signs of brown or yellow discharge leaking from their ears. It’s possible your dog may have a yeast infection. If you notice frequent head shaking or wincing when you touch the ears, it’s best to take your dog to a professional. Before an infection happens, regularly clean your dog’s ears at home. Experts recommend owners clean their dog’s ears at least once a week to avoid infections. 

How to Clean Dog Ears in 6 Simple Steps 

Step 1: Gather all materials 

To clean your dog’s ears, you will need a few materials, such as: 

Step 2: Place your dog in a comfortable position 

Before you begin cleaning dogs’ ears, sit them in an upright position. Comfortable sitting reduces stress and anxiety for your dog. Doing so makes the process easier and more relaxing for you and your pet. Also, this process guarantees a safe and complete dog ear cleaning. Slightly tilt your dog’s head to allow the dog ear cleaner to trickle into the ear canal. 

Step 3: Apply a few drops of a vet-recommended dog ear cleaner 

An ear cleaner for dogs commonly comes advertised as a dog ear rinse. A rinse solution removes dirt, debris, and wax buildup from the ears. For the best results, pick a vert-recommended rinse in a squeeze bottle. Gently squeeze the solution into the ear canal. If any leaks out, use a towel to soak it up. A squeeze bottle design allows the solution to get deep into the ear canal without hurting your pup. 

Step 4: Massage the Base of the Ear 

Massage the outside of the ear gently to spread the solution. Your dog may shake its head once the liquid goes in. Continue to massage the ear for at least 30 seconds. 

Step 5: Use Cotton Swabs to Wipe Away Ear Wax 

Cotton swabs allow you to reach the ear canal to remove any ear wax or debris. Only swab the areas of the ear you can see. If you push the cotton swab too far, it might cause more harm than good. 

Step 6: Dry the Ear With a Towel and Reward 

Finish up by drying your dog’s ears and head with a towel. There you have it. You are now an official dog ear cleaner! Repeat the same steps for the other ear. Remember to reward your dog with a treat as a good job sign.   

Cleaning dogs’ ears are essential to stop infections before they start. Certain dog breeds have strict grooming needs. Some dogs are more prone to infection than others without a consistent schedule. 

Dogs with strict grooming needs, like a poodle or bichon frise, may need to clean their ears more often than once a week. Speak to your vet or determine how often you should clean your dog’s ears. Expert advice will help you choose a dog grooming routine that works for you. 

Ear Cleaner for Dogs With Yeast Infection

If you notice a brown substance leaking from your dog’s ears, it might be yeast. Yeast may appear dark brown or black if the infection is bad enough. If your dog’s ears also have a strong odor attached, consult a veterinarian. If the condition is mild, you can buy a dog ear rinse to keep up with your dog’s weekly grooming. Some owners may try home remedies for cleaning dogs’ ears, like hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is dangerous for dogs and will only make any infections work. Using a vet-approved pet rinse is the best cleaning solution for dog ears. 

How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears: The Takeaway 

You are properly prepared to clean and care for your dog’s ears. These are the most important things to remember for the best ear-cleaning methods: 

  • Watch out for possible ear infections in your dog. Understand the signs and symptoms
  • Clean out your dog’s ears at least once a week
  • Use a vet-approved dog ear rinse 
  • Take your dog to the vet for routine ear examinations

Determine the best ear-cleaning solution for your dog and stick to a schedule that leaves your pup happy and healthy. 

Cited Sources: 

Burke, A. (2021, June 25). How to clean a dog’s ears. American Kennel Club. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from 


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