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How To Keep Dog Ears Clean

Keeping your dog's ears clean is crucial for their overall health and can help prevent infections. However, cleaning your dog’s ears can be challenging, especially if you’ve never done it before. Here are some tips and guidelines to help you keep your dog's ears clean and healthy.

Should You Clean Your Dog’s Ears?

Your veterinarian can help determine how often you should clean your dog's ears based on factors such as earwax buildup, grooming habits, swimming activities, and underlying allergies.

Some dogs may not require frequent ear cleaning, while others, particularly those who swim, play in the dirt, or have long, floppy ears, may benefit from regular ear cleaning to prevent infections.

If your dog’s ears are red, painful, or have a bad odor, they may have an ear infection, and you should contact your vet immediately rather than attempt to clean them yourself.

When To Clean Your Dog’s Ears

There is no standard timeframe for routine ear cleaning, as it varies depending on the dog’s breed, health, and lifestyle. However, if you notice a buildup of wax, it’s time to clean your dog’s ears. Regular checks during grooming sessions or bath time can help you stay on top of their ear health.

Ear Cleansers for Dogs

Always use a cleaner specifically approved for dogs, like Virbac Epi-Otic® Advanced Ear Cleaner. Avoid household items such as alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or essential oils, as they can cause infections or damage to your dog’s ears.

Use clean cotton balls or wipes for cleaning and avoid cotton swabs, which can push wax further into the ear canal and potentially damage the eardrum.

How To Clean Your Dog’s Ears

  1. Gather Supplies: Have a pet-approved cleaner, cotton balls or wipes, and possibly an extra pair of hands to help.

  2. Restrain Your Dog: Gently restrain your dog to prevent them from pulling away. An extra person can help hold your dog steady.

  3. Expect a Mess: Clean your dog’s ears in a place that’s easy to clean, like outside or on a towel.

  4. Be Gentle: Hold the exterior part of your dog’s ear (pinnae) to access the ear canal.

  5. Use the Cleaner: Fill the ear canal with the vet-approved cleaner. Gently massage the base of the ear to ensure the cleaner reaches all areas of the ear canal.

  6. Allow Shaking: Let your dog shake their head to expel the cleaner and wax.

  7. Clean Up: Use a clean cotton ball to wipe out as much of the ear canal as you can see. Repeat the process until the cotton ball comes out clean and there’s no more visible discharge.

When To Call Your Vet

If you notice redness, frequent heavy debris, odor, or signs of pain, contact your veterinarian. Regular ear cleaning can help catch potential problems early, preventing more severe infections and discomfort for your dog.

By following these tips, you can ensure your dog's ears remain clean and healthy, reducing the risk of infections and promoting overall well-being. For more detailed advice and products to help with your pet's ear care, visit

clean dogs ears
clean dogs ears


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