How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

By Margaret H. Bonham

Cleaning your dog’s ears is a fairly uncomplicated job. Some breeds — notably sporting dogs and hounds — have a predilection for ear infections and injuries because of their hanging or drooping ears. These dropped ears make an ideal place for bacteria to grow and mites to hide.

If an odor is present around your dog’s ears, they may be infected, which means a trip to the vet.

Proceed slowly and exercise care during your weekly ear-cleaning session, and make sure you don’t enter the ear canal (which is hard to do because of where it is).

1Gently hold your dog’s head and expose the inner ear.

Sitting down beside your dog usually works. Flip long-hanging ears so that you can clean them.

2Squeeze some otic solution into your dog's ear and gently massage the outside of the ear canal to help the solution do its job.

Otic solution is available at groomer’s supply houses or from your vet; just follow the instructions on the label. Don’t use anything with insecticides or mite treatment, which may cause infection.

3Use a sterile gauze pad or sponge to gently wipe out the excess solution.

You can wrap the gauze or sponge completely around a clamp or forceps and use that to wipe inside and around the ear.

Don’t leave any excess solution behind; it can lead to an ear infection. If you notice any red dirt, anything that looks like coffee grounds, or a waxy buildup and you suspect ear mites, see your vet for the appropriate treatment.