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Cleaning Your Dog's Ears: Why, How and What to Look Out For

Cleaning Your Dog's Ears: Why, How and What to Look Out For

It's important to keep all parts of your dog well-groomed - not just because they can get smelly, but also because it's essential for their overall health. In this article, we'll discuss why your dog's ears need cleaning, how to do it safely and effectively, and what to look out for when cleaning them. So read on to learn everything you need to know about keeping your pooch's fluff flaps spotless!

Contents of this article

Anatomy of a Dog Ear

Some dogs have large ears which need regular cleaning
The ear flaps act as protection for the ear canal

Ear Flap

The ear flap, also known as the pinna or outer ear, is the visible part of the ear. It is made up of cartilage and skin and has a number of important functions, such as collecting sound and regulating temperature.

Ear Canal

The ear canal is the part of the ear that goes inside your dog's head.

Why it is important to keep the ears clean

The dog's ear canal is prone to a variety of problems when not kept clean, including ear infections, inflammation and odour. By cleaning the ear flap and canal on a regular basis, you can help prevent these issues and ensure that your pup stays healthy and happy.

Here are just a few of the reasons why it is an important part of your grooming routine:

cleaning your dog's ears regularly can help to prevent ear infection
Keeping the ears cleaned can prevent ear infection

Ear Infection

When dirt, wax and other debris accumulate in them, it can create the perfect environment for bacteria and other harmful organisms to thrive.

This can lead to ear infections, which can be both painful and dangerous if left untreated.

Some breeds are more prone to ear infections, and you should talk to your vet if they are a regular occurrence.


A dirty ear often produces an unpleasant smell, which can be quite objectionable (and embarrassing for you as the owner). Luckily, keeping them groomed means that they're much less likely to have a smelly ear canal.

A foul odour can also sometimes be a sign of a yeast infection or ear mites, which you should always get checked out by a vet.


A buildup of wax and dirt inside the ear flap can cause inflammation of both the outer ear and inner ear, which is known as otitis. Dogs with inflamed ears often experience a reduced sense of hearing, and may also have trouble balancing.

How to Safely and Effectively Clean Your Dog's Ears

It's important to be gentle when cleaning the inside of your dogs ear
Hold the ear flap and use cotton to access the inside of the ear

The best way to clean the ears is by using a gentle, non-irritating ear cleaner specifically designed for dogs. Always avoid using human ear drops or Q-tips on your dog, as these can cause damage and irritation.

Here are a few tips on how to safely and effectively groom a dog's ears:

1. Inspect the ear canal

Before you start cleaning the ears, you should always inspect the ear canal to look for signs of inflammation or damage. Part any fur in the ear and look at their skin in order to make sure there are no signs of cuts, scratches or redness that will only be made worse by the presence of water or cleaning solution.

2. Make sure that you have the right supplies

To clean the ears properly, you will need a bowl of warm water, some gentle ear cleaner, a soft cloth and a cotton ball.

3. Gently wet the cotton ball in the warm water

Squeeze out any excess water.

Place some of the ear cleaner onto the cotton ball.

Apply this, and gently massage it into any dirt, wax or other debris that may be present.

4. Gently clean the outer part of your dog's ear

Use soft upwards motions to gently wipe away any dirt or debris from the ear flap.

Do not use anything sharp, as this can cause damage or injury.

5. Wipe the inside of the ears with a damp cotton ball or cloth

Remember to be gentle when cleaning the ears, as you don't want to cause your dog any discomfort.

6. Dry the ear with a clean cotton wool ball

Be sure to remove all traces of moisture from your dog's ears after you have cleaned them. Leaving moisture inside the ears can lead to infection, so make sure you dry them properly.

7. Offer your dog a treat after cleaning their ears

This can help show them that being cleaned is a positive experience, and the next time you try to clean their ears they will be more likely to cooperate.

Make ear cleaning a positive and rewarding experience for your dog
Rewards and treats help make it a positive experience

Safety precautions for when you are cleaning the ears

Cleaning your dog's ears helps keep them clean and healthy
Always be careful when cleaning your dog's ear canal

When cleaning the ears, it is important to be aware of the following things:

  • Do not use anything sharp when cleaning the ears, as this can cause damage

  • Do not insert anything into your dog's ear canal, as this can cause further damage

  • Do not clean the ears if they are already injured or inflamed

  • Clean your dog's ear canals on a regular basis to prevent infection, odour and other problems

What products can I use to clean my dog's ears?

Source vet approved products for your dog
Find the right products for your breed

The best way to clean their ears is by using a gentle ear cleaning solution specifically designed for dogs. There is a wide range of cleaning solutions available, and you should choose one that has been approved for use by vets.

Ear Cleaning Solution

One of the most popular ear cleaning solutions is called Ear Stuff from the Stinky Stuff company. It has an overwhelming amount of good reviews and somewhat of a cult following. It is a very popular recommendation amongst social media users.

Ear Stuff by Stinky stuff is very popular for ear cleaning amongst dog owners
Ear Stuff by Stinky Stuff

Ear Cleaning Wipes

You can find these amazing ear cleaning wipes by Dogs life on our website for only £9.99. They come in a pack of 50 so should last you for ages. They conveniently fit right over your finger and are pre-soaked with an Aloe-vera solution that makes ear cleaning a breeze!

How often should you be cleaning a dog's ears

It is important to clean your dog's ears on a regular basis in order to prevent infection, odour and other problems. How often you need to clean your dog's ears will depend on how dirty they get, but it is generally recommended that you do so at least once a week.

Cleaning your dog's ears will not only make them more pleasant to be around, but it can also contribute to their overall health and well-being.

Make cleaning your dog's ears part of your regular grooming routine
Ear cleaning should be part of the regular grooming routine

Take a look at this great video by VetVid which shows you how to follow the steps listed in this article

In Summary

If your dog's ears are dirty, it can result in some serious health problems. How often you need to clean your dog's ears will depend on how dirty they get, but it is generally recommended that you do so at least once a week with a suitable cleaning solution or ear cleaning wipes.

Cleaning your dog's ears will not only make them more pleasant to be around, but it can also contribute to their overall health and well-being.

That's it for this article on How to clean your dog's ears. Hope you enjoyed reading it, don't forget to leave your comments in the section below.

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