What you need to know about cleaning your dog's ears

September 23, 2014

Have you noticed a buildup of dirt and grime in your dog’s ears? There’s no need to run off to the vet. Cleaning your dog's ears is something you can easily do using items you probably already have at home.

What you need to know about cleaning your dog's ears

How often should I clean my dog’s ears?

This depends somewhat on the climate where you live, as well as the type of ears your dog has.

  • If you live in a warm or humid environment, you may want to clean your dog’s ears on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
  • You may also want to adopt this cleaning frequency if your dog has long/floppy ears, as moisture and dirt can easily collect and get trapped.
  • Trapped dirt and moisture can lead to infection, but a regular cleaning schedule can easily prevent this problem.

At-home ingredients make the perfect cleaning solution

You can purchase a commercial dog ear cleaning product at the store, but if you’re looking for an affordable solution you can make at home, you’re in luck.

  • One of the best cleaning solutions you can use on dogs’ ears is one part water, one part white vinegar.

You don’t need much solution, so try mixing one tablespoon of each together.

  • You can also make a solution of one part water and one part hydrogen peroxide.

Don’t use rubbing alcohol on a dog’s ears because it can dry out the sensitive skin.

Use soft cotton balls

The best tools for cleaning dogs’ ears are cotton balls.

  • Grab a cotton ball or two, your chosen cleaning solution and you’re ready to start.

Do NOT use cotton swabs, as those can easily cause damage to the ear canal. Instead, gently swipe the cotton ball along the ears.

Stay calm and positive

Dogs are sensitive and can tell if something unusual is going on.

  • Ear cleaning might make your dog nervous, so approach it with a positive, calm attitude.
  • Call your dog over to you and share some pats and affection, or a belly rub—whatever you know your dog enjoys—so that she is relaxed and associates ear cleaning time with happy times.
  • Gently wipe out all of the dirt and debris you see in the outer ear. Depending on how dirty your dog’s ears are, this may take a few cotton balls! Be sure not to go too far into the ear.
  • If you are gentle, both you and the dog will do fine.

Warning signs you might need a vet’s help

If you notice discharge from your dog’s ears, any redness or swelling, crusty skin or an unpleasant odour, call your vet right away to discuss the situation and get medical care.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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