Clean your dog's ears

Did you know that it's recommended to check your dog's ears at least once a week as part of preventative health care?

This makes it easy for you to determine if there are any issues, such as an infection or ear mites, that require ear cleaning. Most dogs only need an occasional cleaning of their ears. However, this can become a common task for dogs with floppy ears, dogs that enjoy swimming, or dogs with ongoing skin allergies.

If your vet told you to clean your dog's ears, would you know what to do? Ideally, your dog should be used to having their ears cleaned from puppyhood, but this is not always the case.


The first thing to do is make sure you have everything you need to clean your dog's ears. These include: damp cotton wool and a dog ear cleaner, as well as any ear drops prescribed by the veterinarian.

This is how you use the ear cleaner for dogs

Lift your dog's ear with one hand and hold it between your thumb and forefinger so that you can see the inner part of the ear.

If you haven't seen a vet yet, you'll need to examine the ear for redness, discharge, or odor. Light brown earwax can be normal, but if the discharge is red, pus-like, or black, it may indicate an infection that needs veterinary attention.

Administer the ear cleaner by inserting the dropper into the ear canal. This is specifically designed for dog ears, so you're unlikely to injure the eardrum, although it's important not to insert the dropper too far into the ear.

Squeeze the bottle to release the ear cleaner, then massage the base of the ear to distribute the cleaner inside the ear. Please note that while dogs love to be massaged, they also tend to shake their heads.

If there is excess ear cleaner in the outer ear canal, wipe it away with a piece of damp cotton.

If you've visited your vet and need to administer ear drops, apply them after cleaning according to the directions on the medication. In this way you ensure that the drops get into the ear and do not sit in the outer area of the auditory canal.

Follow the same procedure for the second ear.

You should keep this in mind when caring for your ears

Do not use cotton swabs as there is a risk that they will penetrate too far into the ear canal and cause damage there.

If you notice any unusual discharge as described above, you should see your vet as it could be more than just earwax.

If your dog is not okay with you cleaning his ears, you should not force it as you could harm yourself and your dog. There are always qualified nurses in the offices willing and able to help you clean your dog's ears.