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[Detailed Guide]How to Clean Dog Ears at Home

Do you want to clean your dog’s ears but don’t know how to do it? Here is a detailed guide about how to clean dog ears at home. Keep it in mind and regularly do the cleaning process to keep your dog ear healthy.

by Lane | 2019-06-08 Share:

How to Clean Dog Ears

It is necessary to clean dog’s ears regularly. The special structure of the dog’s ear canal makes it difficult to remove the material inside. The material can increase the chance for itchiness and ear infections. You must wonder how to clean dog ears at home easily. This is a detailed guide to help you clean your dog’s ear safely and effectively.

Before learning how to clean dog ears at home, we need to know the dog’s special ear canal first. It is L shaped, with distinct vertical canal and horizontal canal. That is why we need to learn the proper way to clean dog’s ears. 

>> Also read: 4 Common Dog Health Problems

clean your dog’s ear 

Part 1: Preparing to Clean Your Dog's Ears

Take a moment to inspect your dog's ears first. If your dog’s ears look red, inflamed or they smell bad, consult your veterinarian before cleaning. Your dog may have an ear infection or other ear problems which you have to go to pet hospital. If there is no problem, prepare the following equipment you need before you start to clean your dog’s ears.

Ear cleaning solution

The first and most important product that you need is ear cleaning solution. You can choose the safe and easy-to-use brands. Or you can contact your veterinarians for some recommendation.

Cotton balls, cotton pads, or gauze squares

Use cotton pads or gauze squares for the outer ear, and use cotton balls for the inner ear. 


If your dog has too much hair in the ear canals, you need to prepare it. 

A clean towel or two

The towels should be prepared to contain potential messes, especially if your dog is prone to shaking his head when something gets in his ears.

Treats for your dog

You need to treat your dog to guarantee the ear cleaning goes smoothly. 

Part 2: How to Clean Dog Ears Step by Step

Once you have prepared all the equipment, you can begin the ear cleaning. Gently rub him to reduce his nerves. Follow the step-by-step guide on how to clean dog ears to start the cleaning process.

Step 1: Getting your dog to sit on the floor and give him a treat.

Step 2:  Hold one ear flap upright to expose the ear canal.

Step 3:  Hold dog’s ear flap with one hand, and fill enough ear cleaning solution into the ear with your other hand. 

How to Clean Dog Ears 

Step 4: Keep the ear up vertically with one hand, gently massage the base of the ear with your other hand for about 30 seconds. This helps the cleaning solution to break up the debris in the ear canal. If the cleaning solution moves to the horizontal part of the ear canal, you should hear some big squelchy noises.

Step 5: Release the ear and allow your dog to shake his head. This moves out the remaining ear cleaning solution and debris in the ear canal. You should hold a towel over your dog’s head to prevent the ear cleaning solution from flying everywhere.

Step 6: Hold the ear flap up, and gently remove the cleaning solution and debris at the visible part of your dog's ear canal and outer ear using the cotton ball or gauze. Only wipe the ear canal as far as your finger reaches.

Step 7: Reward teats to your dog.

Step 8: Repeat the cleaning procedure with the other ear.

Part 3: 4 Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

1, Not filling enough ear cleaning solution.

For a great cleaning, you should completely fill your dog’s ear canal with the cleaning solution until you can see the fluid pooling in the ear canal. Because the special shape of dog’s ear, the cleaning solution will not come into the horizontal canal if you don’t fill enough cleaning solution.

2, Use cotton swabs instead of cotton ball.

Because the ear are one of the most sensitives areas, it will lead to ears drum damage, pain, and hearing loss if you place cotton swabs deeply or forcefully into the ear. So using the cotton swabs is safer.

3, Put the tip of the cleaning solution into the ear.

It may lead to bacterial infection if the tip of the bottle touches dog’s ear. If the tip of the cleaning solution touches the ear, wipe the ear with a soaked alcohol cotton ball.

4, Punish your dog during the cleaning process.

Most dogs don’t like cleaning their ears, so never punish your dog during the cleaning process. You can allow your dog to inspect the bottle of ear cleaner before the cleaning process. Give him treats or canned food to distract his attention. If your dog is stressed or nervous, wait a few minutes. If you punish your dog during the cleaning, it could make it much harder to clean ears the next time. If your dog appears painful during the cleaning, stop it and consult your veterinarian.

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The Bottom Line

Hope this detailed guide can help you get how to clean dog ears at home. Cleaning your dog’s ear regularly will help protect his hearing and keep dog healthy.

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Related Readings for Reference

• 7 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy

• How to Dispose of Dog Poop More Efficiently

• 8 Common Trash Can Dangers for Your Pet

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