Why and How to Clean Dog Ears?

It’s crucial to know how to go about cleaning your dog’s ears as it is an important part of caring for his health. Dog ears can easily accumulate dirt which can lead to ear infections.

Some dogs may have naturally healthy and clean ears that don’t need much of your time. But it’s still important that you check your dog’s ears on a regular basis.

Dogs with long ears or that spend a lot of time in the water are the ones with a higher risk of developing ear infections. But this can still happen on any breed.

If your dog usually enjoys a good ear rubbing and one day he pulls away, it can be because he has an ear infection.

Always check with your vet if your dog shows any signs of ear infection.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dog’s Ears?

As mentioned before, no matter what breed your dog is, it’s important that you regularly check your dog’s ears. Make sure that they look healthy and clean. So you need to get familiar with what a healthy ear looks and smells like.

Only clean your dog’s ears if you see that they don’t have their regular healthy look. Cleaning your dog’s ears too much can lead to irritation and, consequently, infection.

If your dog is shaking his head more than usual and there’s any smell coming from his ears, it means it’s time to have them cleaned.

A good way to prevent infections is by keeping his ears dry and well ventilated. Also, avoid getting water into them during bath time.

If, at any point, it seems like your dog’s ears are infected, take him to the vet as soon as possible. Trying to clean an infected ear will only make matters worse.

It’s not unheard of dogs always having healthy ears that never need cleaning. But, again, it’s important to keep an eye on them.

What Do You Need to Clean Them at Home?

Cleaning your dog’s ears is a very simple procedure that doesn’t need a lot of supplies. All you’ll need is:

  • Cotton balls or gauze
  • A towel
  • Ear-cleaning solution for dogs

Yes, that’s it! That’s all you need!

One thing I want to mention though is: DO NOT USE Q-TIPS! Or anything with a pointed tip. These will only shove the dirt deeper into your dog’s ears which will cause infections. This can even lead to damaging the inner structure of the ear.

As for the ear-cleaning solution, you’ll find a bunch of homemade recipes. The internet is full of them! Some of these recipes can be harmful to your dog as they contain irritating ingredients. Some even won’t do a decent job.

Please, consider using a vet-approved ear-cleaning solution. It’s the safest choice as it’s specially formulated for your dog. They even have antibacterial and antifungal components that will help prevent ear infections.

You can always ask for your vet’s help when choosing the best ear-cleaning solution for your dog.

Can You Clean Dog Ears With Vinegar?

Using vinegar to clean your dog’s ears can be a good enough solution while you don’t have an ear-cleaning product. But do not use vinegar on its own! It has to be diluted with water. Here is are instructions on how to create an ear-cleaning solution using vinegar.

Don’t use this every time. Use it only if you run out of the ear-cleaning solution and give your vet a call before using this.

Vinegar should not be used on dogs with a perforated eardrum as it can lead to loss of hearing.

Can You Clean Dog Ears With Hydrogen Peroxide?

Never ever ever ever in a million years!

Using hydrogen peroxide to clean your dog’s ears can cause irritation on healthy skin cells.

The ears are a very sensitive part of our bodies and using this ingredient can lead to permanent damage.

5 Important Tips to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

  1. Get your dog used to having you touch and grab his ears from an early age. It’s important that your dog is comfortable with you handling his ears even before you start cleaning them. Make it a pleasant experience for him. Out of the blue, start touching and grabbing your dog’s ears – gently, of course. Give him treats and praise as he allows it.
  2. Cleaning your dog’s ears can be a messy task. Make sure you do this in a bathroom or another room that is easy to clean. It’s normal that your dog will shake his head during the process, making a mess wherever you are.
  3. Make sure your dog is calm before starting this process. Avoid cleaning your dog’s ears when he’s overly excited.
  4. Praise your dog or give him a treat as he allows you to clean his ears. Do not scold him. If he’s not letting you clean his ears, wait until he’s calm to try it again. Scolding will not help.
  5. Never let the tip of the ear-solution applicator touch your dog’s ears. It can be a vehicle of bacteria. If this happens by accident, wipe off the tip with a clean cotton ball soaked in alcohol. That way, you won’t be spreading bacteria or yeast.


7 Easy Steps to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

  1. Grab everything you need – including your dog – and move to an easy-to-clean room. Have your dog sit in front of you facing away from you and between your legs. Keep all the supplies at hand.
  2. Gently grab one of his ears and hold the ear vertically. That way you’ll expose the ear canal and straighten it out
  3. Fill your dog’s ear canal with the vet-approved ear-cleaning solution. Massage the base gently for about 30 seconds. As the solution dislodges ear-wax and debris, you will hear a squishing sound.
  4. Use a cotton ball or a gauze to wipe away any dirt from the inner part of the ear and the upper ear canal.
  5. Allow your dog to shake his head if he wants. Use the towel to protect yourself and to clean any debris that comes flying out.
  6. After your dog shakes his head, use another cotton ball or gauze to wipe out the ear canal. Never go deeper than one knuckle.
  7. Give your dog a tasty treat! He was such a good boy!

Now all you have to do is repeat on the other side and you’re done!


It’s important to guarantee that your dog’s ears are healthy and clean so you can prevent ear infections. Make sure you regularly check them. That way you’ll also catch any problems – like ear mites – before they get worse and cause serious damages to your dog.

If, at any point, your dog shows signs of pain when you’re handling his ears, check immediately with your vet. It’s possible that your dog is developing an ear infection!

Let me know in the comment section below if this post was useful!

Sharing is Caring

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *