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Ear Cleaning for Dogs: An Ultimate Guide on How to Clean Dogs’ Ears

Ear Cleaning for Dogs: An Ultimate Guide

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Dog Ear Cleaning

Your dog or any kind of pet is a lovely part of your family. That is the main reason you always took great care of your dog. You fulfill its needs just like your close family member. While bathing them, you take care of each and everything to make sure that everything happens perfectly. You regularly check on them and note your tasks to clean the dog’s ear.

Ear cleaning is a task that you have to do carefully and correctly. This often-overlooked grooming step is essential and will help you avoid everything from infections to general discomfort. To help you figure out when and how to clean your dog’s ears, we tapped DOWG Essentials to break down the entire process.

Cleaning a Dog's Ears

Cleaning a Dog’s Ears

You should check your dog’s ear regularly; this leads to maintaining the health of your pet. The dirt and the wax could get stuck inside your pet’s ear, which can make the ear swell, and infections also take place. It prevents these from building inside your dog’s ear. It makes the dog comfortable. Implementing these steps will make the risk of infection go down, and you will clean the dog’s ear very effectively.

Dog’s Ear Anatomy

You need to have a basic knowledge of how to clean a dog’s ear and the ear anatomy to better clean a dog’s ear, as the dog’s ear is a very sensitive part. The ear of the dog has three man parts. These parts are discussed below:

  •     The external ear includes the visible part of the ear, known as the pinna, and the ear canal. The pinna collects sounds and directs them into the ear canal.
  •     The ear’s middle part includes the eardrum and the ossicles, which are the three bones and are smaller in size. This part is known for transmitting sound vibrations.
  •     The ear’s inner part receives the vibrations of the sound and converts them into electrical signals. These signals are then interpreted by the brain. It also helps maintain balance.

Signs and Symptoms of Ear Problems in Dogs

It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms that indicate your dog may be experiencing ear problems. Detecting these issues earlier can prevent further complications. Look out for the following signs:

  •     Inflamed and reddened ear tissue is a common indicator of an ear problem. Pay attention to any visible changes in the color and texture of the skin inside the ear.
  •     If your dog frequently scratches their ears or shakes their head vigorously, it may indicate discomfort or irritation. These actions are often an attempt to relieve the itchiness caused by an underlying ear problem.
  •     Unpleasant odors emanating from the ears or the presence of discharge, such as wax or pus, can be signs of an infection or other issues.
  •     Ear problems can cause dogs to exhibit behavioral changes, such as increased irritability or reluctance to be touched around the ears. In severe cases, you may notice balance issues or difficulty walking.

Signs That You Need to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

These signs indicate that your pup is ready for that monthly ear cleaning.

The smell is a sign of a disease or infection in the dog’s ear. This infection could be due to yeast or bacteria. In this kind of situation, you should be careful and take your pet to the nearest vet to clean the dog’s ear. And after that, carefully check the infection of the pet.

Consistent Head Shaking or Ear Rubbing

Head shaking and ear rubbing are signs of discomfort—and are likely an attempt to alleviate it. If you see dogs doing this, take a peek inside their ears.

“If their ears look dirty, give them a good clean and assess other factors such as: Does the ear look inflamed or painful? Is the ear itchy even after cleaning? Does the problem come back even after cleaning?” says Dr. Cormanes.

“If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you will need to go get it checked by the veterinarian, as they may be an indicator of an underlying issue.”

Visible Ear Discharge

Ears will always need cleaning if you see discharge, which is the visible accumulation of debris or earwax. “You will need to pay close attention to the color and consistency of the earwax,” says Dr. Cormanes.

“Normal earwax should be pale and yellowish in color and should not smell bad.”

If the wax of your dog is red, then it is a mite infection, and if it is green, then it is due to bacteria.

Preparing for Ear Cleaning

Gather Necessary Supplies

To clean your dog’s ears effectively, you will need the following supplies:

  •     Ear cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian
  •     Cotton balls or gauze pads
  •     Towels or tissues for cleanup
  •     Treats as rewards for your dog’s cooperation

Choose a Comfortable Location

Find a quiet and well-lit area where you and your dog can comfortably perform the ear-cleaning process. Make sure your dog feels secure and relaxed in this environment.

Get Your Dog Accustomed to Ear Handling

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s beneficial to get your dog accustomed to having their ears touched. Gently handle their ears and reward them with treats and praise to create a positive association, and then clean the dog’s ear.

Get Your Dog Accustomed to Ear Handling

How to Clean a Dog’s Ears

Cleaning a dog’s ears requires a systematic approach. Follow these steps to ensure safe and effective ear cleaning:

  •     Check your pet if there is any kind of redness, blood, or swelling by examining the ear of your dog. If you observe any of these things, consult your nearest vet.
  •     Carefully follow the instructions on the ear cleaning solution. Typically, you will need to fill the ear canal with the solution, being cautious not to overflow it. Gently massage the base of the ear for about 30 seconds to help loosen any debris or wax.
  •     Continue massaging the base of the ear to ensure the cleaning solution reaches all areas of the ear canal. This motion will help dislodge dirt and debris and distribute the solution evenly.
  •     Using a cotton ball or gauze pad, gently wipe away the loosened debris and excess cleaning solution. You have to be careful while attempting this, as the cotton could go inside the ear.
  •     Once you have completed cleaning one ear, repeat the process for the other ear. Remember to use a fresh cotton ball or gauze pad for each ear.

Safe and Effective Ear Cleaning

  •     Do not insert any kind of cotton earbuds or any sharp things into your dog’s ear. It’s very dangerous for your pet’s ear, and this can damage the delicate structures and potentially cause pain or injury.
  •     When massaging the base of the ear, use gentle circular motions. This action helps distribute the cleaning solution and dislodge debris without causing discomfort.
  •     Only fill the ear canal with the recommended amount of cleaning solution. Avoid overfilling, as an excessive solution in the ear canal can lead to discomfort or inflammation.
  •     Maintaining a calm and patient demeanor during the ear-cleaning process is essential. Dogs can sense stress or anxiety, which may make them less cooperative. Offer treats and reassurance to make the experience positive for your dog.

Preventing Ear Problems in Dogs

The preventions of the problems of the dog’s ear are:

  •     Incorporate regular grooming sessions into your dog’s routine. This includes brushing their coat, trimming excess hair around the ears, and keeping the ears clean. Maintaining cleanliness overall can help prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris in the ears.
  •     Excessive moisture in the ears creates a favorable environment for bacteria and yeast to thrive. After bathing your dog or if they’ve been swimming, make sure to dry their ears thoroughly using a clean towel. Avoid leaving damp ears, as this can lead to infections.
  •     Keep your dog away from potential irritants that can cause ear problems. These irritants may include excessive dust, pollen, cigarette smoke, or chemicals. Minimizing their exposure to such substances can help prevent unnecessary ear issues.
  •     Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to have your dog’s ears examined. Routine inspections can help identify any early signs of ear problems and allow for prompt treatment if needed.

When to Seek Veterinary Assistance

While regular ear cleaning is beneficial, some situations require professional veterinary care. If you notice any of the following signs, consult your veterinarian:

  •     If your dog’s ear problems persist or worsen despite your cleaning efforts, it’s essential to seek veterinary assistance. If the ear of your dog suddenly starts to swell or become red, or any kind of sensitivity happens, you should take the pet to the closest vet.
  •     If your dog experiences any kind of injury, and you see infections like blood or pus, you should immediately take your pet to the nearest vet as they are the real boss to deal with them. Sometimes, your pet needs treatment in case of this kind of injury.
  • During the process of cleaning, if the dog shows any kind of complicated behavior or exhibits discomfort, it is better to consult with your closest vet. They could treat them in a better way and can guide you on how to tackle these kinds of situations.

Best Vegan Dogs/Cats Ear Cleaning Solution

Vegan Ear Cleaning Solution is a product that cleans and sanitizes dogs’ and cats’ ears easily and quickly. It is made with a sulfate-free agent, which leads to efficient cleaning.

This Vegan Ear Cleaning Solution from DOWG Essentials helps to remove wax and dirt from the ears of the dog. This leads to a healthy ear for your pet.

Best Vegan Dogs/Cats Ear Cleaning Solution

It contains a unique and gentle formula that leads to zero irritation and penetration on the pet’s ears. You can also make entry into a more sustainable environment by selecting a vegan product for your pet.

You can also get more tips by going to the blog section of the DOWG Essentials.


You can regularly check and clean your pet’s ear. This process is the main part of the pet’s care. You can keep your dog’s ear perfectly clean by following the steps presented in this article. By following this, you can prevent your dog from infections, and you will be able to clean the dog’s ear perfectly with ease. And if any kind of mishap happens, then you should consult with the vet for better treatment.

You can buy more products from the DOWG Essentials by visiting their shop.


  1. How many times should I clean my dog’s ear?

Generally, a monthly cleaning is sufficient for most dogs. However, certain breeds or dogs with a history of ear issues may require more frequent cleaning. You should keep an eye on your dog to the veterinarian regularly for more precision.

  1. What type of soap or water should I use for my pet’s ear?

For the pet’s ears, it is not recommended to use regular soap or water to clean them. These can irritate the pet’s ear. The pH level of normal soap is not compatible with the sensitive skin of the pet. It is best to use a veterinarian-recommended ear-cleaning solution specifically designed for dogs.

  1. What should I do if my dog resists or becomes anxious during ear cleaning?

If your dog resists or becomes anxious during ear cleaning, it’s important to remain calm and patient. Take breaks if needed and offer treats and positive reinforcement.

  1. What are the natural techniques for cleaning a dog’s ear?

You can use vinegar and, in some cases, hydrogen peroxide for the ear cleaning of the dog. However, you should consult your vet before using these. For some kinds of dogs, the natural ingredients could ultimately become so much harsh. Always follow professional advice to ensure your dog’s safety.

  1. Should I clean my dog’s ear regularly?

 Yes, you can clean your dog’s ear regularly. But the main thing is that it leads to way much dryness and also rashes. Stick to a regular cleaning schedule recommended by your veterinarian, or seek guidance if you’re unsure.

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