How To Clean Your Dog’s Ears Safely in 3 Simple Steps

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Cleaning a dog’s ears can be a tricky process, but it’s necessary to clean them to avoid dirt buildup that can lead to ear infections. Most dogs hate to have their ears or head touched, let alone cleaned. Have you ever noticed how your dog shies away or yelps if you accidentally pull on their ears? This also may be a sign of an ear infection, especially if your dog enjoys having their ears rubbed. (Do they make that adorable groaning-in-pleasure sound when you really rub their ears? Then those ears may need a good clean.)

Of course, cleaning your dog’s ears can be a little easier if you have a few tricks to do it. Here, we’ll discuss the best practices for safely cleaning your pooch’s ears without stressing them out.

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For starters, you’ll need a couple of tools and treats. Make your dog comfortable and entice them into staying still with a chew toy or hard bone. Once they’ve relaxed, you can begin the cleaning process. To start, rub their ears to see if they shy away. If you know your dog hates to have their ears touched, this may be a little trickier of a way to assess. In extreme cases, you may need a vet’s assistance to safely clean your dog’s ears, as you don’t want to hurt them as they struggle away. Finally, if you notice a smell emitting from their ears, then that’s a good sign they need to be cleaned.

It’s important to note that cleaning your dog’s ears will agitate an infection. Cleaning is only used as a preventative measure, and if you’re sure your dog has an ear infection, call your vet.

Keep reading to see how to clean your dog’s ears in three simple steps.

  

How To Clean Your Dogs Ears in 3 Steps

To start the cleaning process, grab a cotton ball or gauze, nothing with a pointy tip should enter your dog’s ear because it may drive dirt or grit deeper into the ear canal. You’ll need an ear-cleaning solution and a towel.

Veterinarian cleaning Dog ears Licensed from Adobe

Follow these three easy steps to clean your dog’s ears:

  • Gather your supplies and your dog. Calm them with treats, their favorite toy, or gentle pats.
  • Squeeze ear-cleaning solution into your dog’s ear (enough to fill the ear) and massage gently at the base of the ear for 30 seconds. This will dislodge any dirt or debris in your dog’s ear. Be careful to not let the ear-cleaning solution touch your dog’s ear canal because of the bacteria.
  • Let your dog shake their head as much as they like. Use the towel to wipe their face-off. Once they’ve finished shaking their head, use the cotton or gauze to wipe out the ear canal, but don’t go in further than one knuckle. If your dog is in pain during this process, call your vet.

Alternatively, you can also use ear wipes to safely remove gunk and germs from your dog’s ears, but you’ll want to use veterinary wipes designed for this purpose. We recommend checking out Pet MD Dog Ear Wipes, which are alcohol-free.

  

What Tools Do You Need To Clean Your Dogs Ears?

Many human beings use Q-tips and cotton swabs to clean our ears, but doctors actually recommend avoiding using cotton swabs for ear wax. Likewise, we know that those ear wax cameras are popular on TikTok, but they aren’t necessarily great for your ear health unless you’re a trained professional. The same guidelines apply to dogs.

In general, all you need to clean your dog’s ears are some tasty treats, a towel and dog ear cleaning solution. Check out our favorite dog ear cleaners below to help aid with the process.

1. Crazy Dog Train-Me! Training Reward Dog Treats

BEST TREATS

For training and calming your dog during cleaning procedures, you don’t want to give them something that will spoili their dinner. This Train-Me! dog treats are made from yummy chicken and pork liver that your dog will find irresistable.

dog training treats Amazon

Dog Training Treats (Chicken)

$13.77

  

2. Vibrac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner

BEST FOR SENSITIVE EARS

This vet-approved dog ear cleaner has been a crowd favorite for years. The gentle treatment is an excellent formula made specifically for cleaning dog’s ears. Non irritating and made with anti-adhesive glycol technology to prevent microbial attachment. It contains 0.2% salicylic acid and is best for dog’s with sensitive ears. It has a mild citrus aroma.

Vibrac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner Courtesy of Chewy

Vibrac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner

$10.85

  

2. Pet MD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes

BEST DROPS ALTERNATIVE

Most of the best dog ear cleaners are drops, but these wipes are also vet-recommended to clean your dogs ears. Just be careful not to insert them into the ear canal; they should be used for wiping only. These wipes contain aloe vera and eucalyptus.

pet md dog ear wipes Amazon

Pet MD Dog Ear Wipes

$12.99 $15.97 19% OFF

  

3. Nutri-Vet Ear Cleaner

BEST TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION

The Nutri-Vet formula has aloe vera to help enhance the cleansing process along with its combination of effective ingredients to clean your dog’s ears. The aloe vera contains enzymes, proteins, and growth factors to help reduce inflammation. This formula will improve your dog’s itchiness from eczema, fungal infections, and insect bites. Try this formula if you want to deodorize your dog’s ear canal with the all natural use of aloe vera.

Nutri-Vet Ear Cleaner Courtesy of Chewy

Nutri-Vet Ear Cleaner

$6.99

  

4. PetArmor Ear Rinse

BEST FOR INFECTION PREVENTION

The PetArmor rinse is an excellent choice for pet owners seeking to prevent ear fungus and other bacterias from growing in their pet’s ear canal. The dual-action rinse kills both bacteria and yeast while also protecting against bacterial growth. This is a great preventative measure against ear infections. Clean out dirt and wax easily with this dual-action rinse.

PetArmor Ear Rinse Courtesy of Chewy

PetArmor Ear Rinse

$6.98

  

5. VetWell Otic Solution

BEST SCENT

The best dog ear cleansers have a refreshing fragrance, like this one with a cucumber melon scent. This cleaning solution also has aloe vera to help soothe irritated ear canals. Apply directly to the ear canal to deodorize, clean and acidify, and reduce itching. This also helps decrease dog ear wax buildup and smelly discharge. The VetWell ear cleanser is a delicious smelling treatment that will help prevent infections in both dogs and cats. Keep your furry friend safe and healthy by regularly checking and cleaning their ears.

VetWell Otic Solution Courtesy of Chewy

VetWell Otic Solution

$12.99

  

5. Vet Organics Eco Ear Cleaner

BEST ECO-FRIENDLY

The Vet Organics brand prides itself on being pet-friendly and planet-friendly. Their ear cleaner is an organic formula made with all-natural ingredients and is an excellent solution to medicinal-based options. Let your dog’s ears be free of dirt and wax that can lead to an eventual infection by applying the Vet Organics Eco ear cleaner. It also helps with odor, discharge, and bacteria buildup. Let your dog have healthy and happy ears all year long.

Vet Organics Eco Ear Cleaner Courtesy of Chewy

Vet Organics Eco Ear Cleaner

$19.88