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Ensure the Health & Hygiene of your Dog’s Ears

Being a pet owner is a tough job, especially when you need to examine and clean your dogs frequently. Cleaning dogs’ ears is an essential part of their cleaning routine. Just like humans, our pets also require grooming, particularly dogs with allergies and floppy ears. You must wonder if you must visit a vet to clean your dog’s ear. But unlike nail trimming and teeth cleaning, you don’t need to visit a vet for this. Moreover, it can be easily done at home in a few simple steps. Know more about the step-by-step procedures on how to clean dog ears and the do’s-don’ts for the same. 

Do I Need to Use an Dog Ear Cleaner?

People usually need help choosing between the best ear cleaner for dogs from the market and making one from a household product. It is optional to purchase a commercial dog ear cleaner for grooming your dog at home. Pet owners can make homemade dog ear cleaner using vinegar and alcohol. You only need to mix rubbing alcohol and a few tablespoons of vinegar in a bowl(in the same quantity). Remember to keep the mixture at room temperature before you use it on your dogs. The homemade mix is quite safe for your loyal companion’s inner ears. Use this mixture only for visible internal parts of the ears, as there could be an infection. 

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How Often Should I Clean My Dog’s Ears?

Usually, dogs are reluctant to get their ears cleaned. So, try harder to make the experience comforting and positive for your pet whenever you do this activity. So, how often to clean dog ears? Besides, some dogs have naturally clean ears and do not require cleaning. Others face sensitivity, and wax builds up in their ears over time. With time, dog ear wax accumulation can lead to infections if not cleaned well. Your dog’s breed, age, and activity determine how to clean dog ears at home naturally and frequently. Generally, cleaning once a month is preferred. However, if your fur pal has long, floppy ears or swims frequently, you may need to clean them weekly using a dog ear cleaning solution. 

We recommend you to weekly check your pet’s ears for signs of sensitivity, infection, and parasites (ear mites). Also, pet owners should dry and wipe out all of the water in dog ear as much as possible after each bath.

How to Clean a Dog’s Ears? (Step By Step Process)

  • Firstly, you need to inspect your dog’s ears before cleaning. Check whether the ear has dirt or normal wax if your dog shows signs of parasites or bacteria in the years involved then visit the vet for proper cleaning.
  • Now, what to use to clean dog’s ears? You can prepare or purchase ear cleaners for dogs.
  • Take a cotton ball and dip it into the dog ear cleaner. Squeeze the cotton ball to drain excess water from the ball. The cotton ball should be wet, but the water should not be dripping. Alternatively, you can use a piece of gauze instead of cotton and tie it around the index finger for grip.
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  • Gently wipe the gauze or cotton ball around both ear canals to remove the excess wax, oil, and debris. The number of cotton balls to be used depends on how dirty dog ears are. 
  • If your dog has too much wax accumulation in the ear canal, consult the veterinarian before irrigating the ear cleanser. 
  • For using the cleaner to irrigate, uncover the ear flap to open the ear canal. Position and squeeze the cleaner bottle to fill the ear canal with fluid. 
  • After pouring the liquid, rub the ears and massage gently for at least a minute. 
  • Clean the wax coming out of the year using gauze or cotton.
  • Allow your pet to shake and remove the debris. This allows the fluid to flow and remove the excess residue from the inner ear canal. 
  • Lastly, use dog ear wipes or a cloth to wipe the ear of your canine friend again before your pet runs out to play. Apply medication if needed. 

Ear Cleaning Do’s and Don’ts

  • Always use an ear cleaner after a recommendation from the Veterinary.
  • Don’t be harsh while cleaning; gently massage the ears to make the experience comforting for your dog. 
  • Don’t apply the homemade vinegar solution on cut marks or wounded areas.
  • Use different earbuds used for humans, especially the Q-tips. These ear cleaning tools can instead push the debris further, hampering the cleaning process. It can also damage the eardrum if not inserted with care. 
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  • Never use water to clean the ears. They don’t clean the ears but act as a catalyst in forming wax and debris.
  • Don’t damage or plush your dog’s hair while cleaning the ears. Plucking hairs can be very painful and might irritate your dog. 
  • Don’t try to clean the ears if you see signs such as –
    • Foul odor from the ears
    • Redness, inflammation, or swelling in ear canals.
    • Reddish or off-color discharge
    • Change in the activity and behavior of dogs (absurd scratching around ears, head shaking, or rubbing head on the floor).


Hopefully, you now have a better idea about how to clean dog ears adequately. You must do the grooming regularly so they can easily get used to it. Grooming a dog can be stressful when your dog is not in the mood to be cleaned. Therefore, offering them their favorite food or calming bites for dogs is recommended before proceeding. All the precautions are secondary but being gentle is crucial when cleaning your pet’s ear. Any mistake can irreversibly damage your pup’s hearing capacity for a lifetime.