How to Use A Dog Ear Cleaner At Home

Boxer dog looking lovingly at the camera

Whether they're small and rounded, tall and pointed, or large and floppy, a dog's ears are a part of its personality. Our furry friends use their ears to hear, balance, and express emotion. It's important that we work hard to keep them clean and healthy.

Ear canal cleaning is an often overlooked part of our dog's grooming routine. As pet parents, understanding when to break out the ear cleaner is essential to ensuring our dog's well-being and avoiding unwanted trips to the vet.

In this blog post, we'll look at why you should clean your dog's ear canal and the most effective ways to do so from the comfort of your own home.

Why do I need to clean my dog's ear canal?

Unfortunately for our furry friends, the structure of our dog's ear canal means it's easy for bacteria to accumulate.

Without proper removal, wax and debris buildup can lead to an infected ear canal, a trip to the vet, and an unhappy pup.

It's crucial to stay informed about your dog's specific ear type and breed so you know which ear-cleaning routine will work best for them.

How often do I need to clean my dog's ears?

As we're aware, no two dogs are the same. When it comes to cleaning your dog's ears, their breed, ear size, and activity level all play a role in how often you'll need to bring out the ear cleaner. 

Some dogs, like Cocker Spaniels and Basset Hounds, need more frequent ear cleanings because of their large, floppy ears. Dogs that spend a lot of time swimming may also need their ears cleaned more often, as excessive moisture can lead to yeast infections.

It's crucial not to clean your dog's ears more than necessary. While cleaning is an important way to help prevent ear infections, your pooch has sensitive ears, and over-cleaning can lead to irritation and infection.

Signs to look for

The only way to be sure that your dog's ears need cleaning is to look for the signs. Your dog is due an ear clean if they:

  • Have very waxy ears
  • Have noticeably smelly dog ears
  • Have visibly dirty ears

What equipment do I need to get started?

Ready to start a new ear-cleaning routine with your pup? Having the correct equipment is essential to ensure they get the care they need.

Fortunately, you don't need to purchase a long list of expensive products to prevent infections and keep your dog's ear canal clean.

What to use

Here's a list of essential items you'll need to get the job done:

  • A cotton ball or pad
  • A quality dog ear-cleaning solution
  • A clean towel (cleaning a dog's ear canal can get messy)
  • Treats (optional, but always recommended)

 Ear wipes are another great way to clean your dog's ears. While they aren't can't clean as deeply as dog ear cleansers, they're perfect for cleaning the outside of your dog's ears on the go.

What not to use

To keep your dog safe, avoid these items:

  • Avoid Q-tips, as they can push wax further into your dog's ear canal.
  • Avoid hydrogen peroxide and ear cleaners not made for dogs. Hydrogen peroxide can cause extreme irritation in your dog's ears.

Remember: If in doubt, ask your vet for advice.

French Bulldog with ears stretched out for ear cleaning

How to clean your dog's ears 

Now that you have all of your equipment, it's time to start cleaning. The cleaning process can be challenging, especially if your dog is uncomfortable having their ears handled. It's important to have a few tricks up your sleeve to help you get the job done.

Step-by-step guide

1) Make sure your dog is relaxed and comfortable. It may be easier to place smaller dogs on your lap. Larger dogs may prefer to sit between your legs or against a wall where you can support them.

2) Take your dog's ear and examine the ear canal. Use an ear wipe or damp cotton ball to gently wipe the entrance to the ear. This removes any excess dirt to make cleaning the ear canals easier.

3) Use the tip of your dog ear cleaner to squeeze the solution into your dog's ear canal. Be sure not to put the tip in too far to avoid causing your dog discomfort.

4) Gently massage the base of the ear for thirty seconds. This helps the ear-cleaning solution pass through the entire ear canal. You may hear a squishing sound as the ear cleaner moves around. This is normal.

5) Wipe away any excess ear cleanser with your cotton wool.

6) Let your dog shake their head to bring dislodged wax and debris to the surface. Most dogs will do this naturally.

7) Repeat the process until no wax remains.

8) Repeat the process for the other ear.

9) Keep cleaning until your pup has nice, clean ears!

Does my dog have an ear infection?

No pet owners want to see their four-legged friend in pain. It's important to always be on the lookout for itchy ears and infections. A dog's ear canal is the perfect environment for yeast and bacteria to grow.

Signs to look for

When cleaning your dog's ears, be on the lookout for the following:

  • Ear discharge
  • Excessive head shaking
  • Redness, swelling, and soreness
  • Excessive rubbing or scratching of the ear

Any of these signs can be a good indicator that your pup is suffering from an ear infection.

Concerned about ear infections? Sometimes a dog ear cleaner isn't enough. Your vet can offer several ear treatment options, including ear medications and drops.

The best dog ear cleaner

Looking to take your ear cleaning routine to the next level? Why not try Petpost's Premium Dog Ear Cleaner? Our gentle formula is filled with natural ingredients perfect for keeping your pup's ear canals clean without harsh chemicals. Try our simple cleansing formula today and help make your dog's ears clean and fresh.

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