If your dog’s ears look dirty or smell weird, it might be time for a cleanup. Although it can be done by a professional groomer, cleaning dog ears is something dog owners can do by themselves to maintain their dog’s health and prevent ear infections.
Things to do before cleaning your dog’s ears
Prepare the space
Before introducing your dog into the equation, prepare the space where you’re going to be cleaning your dog’s ears. This should be a space where your dog can be comfortable and you have easy access to your tools, including cotton balls and an ear wash solution. Don’t use cotton swabs or q-tips, as these can damage the dog’s ears.
Be sure to have comfortable clothing and towels ready, as this can be a messy process, especially if your dog is not used to it.
Groom your dog if needed
If your dog has hair on its floppy ears, you should remove the hair around the ear canal and ear flap before cleaning their ears. This can be anything from a full haircut from a dog grooming professional to just plucking a few hairs from the ear canal, depending on your dog’s needs and how hairy it is.
Steps to clean your dog’s ears
Step 1: Restrain your dog
To clean a dog’s ears, you need it to be calm. You know your dog’s disposition, so you know better than anyone how much you’re going to need to restrain them in order to clean their ears. For small dogs, an arm wrapped around them can be enough to restrain them comfortably. For larger dogs, you can lean on them while they are lying down to restrain them, making sure you have access to the base of the ear at all times.
Step 2: Apply the ear wash solution
Hold the ear flap while squirting the ear cleaner into your dog’s inner ear. Be sure not to have the tip of the bottle or applicator touch the inner ear as it could damage the eardrum and cause discomfort for your pet. Be generous with the ear cleaning solution, using enough to fill the ear canal completely.
Step 3: Massage and clean the ear
Hold the ear flap and massage the ear for around half a minute. This allows the ear wash to clean the ear wax and other debris inside the dog’s ear canal. Use the cotton balls to remove any leftover buildup from inside of the ear flap and upper canal of the ear.
Step 4: Release and reward your dog
Letting your dog shake will help release the debris inside the dog’s ear flap and outer ear even more. Let it shake and clean the ear again afterwards. Finally, reward your pet with a treat and repeat the procedure with the other ear.