Ear care

Step By Step to Cleaning A Dog’s Ears

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: November 28, 2018
Step By Step to Cleaning A Dog’s Ears

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Cleaning a dog's ears is something that needs to be done regularly, whether it's a puppy or an adult dog. It's very important to regularly clean their ears to avoid the appearance of fungi and related diseases.

Below we'll explain the products you need to carry it out and the methods to do so, ensuring that everything goes swimmingly. Keep reading this detailed AnimalWised article and find a step by step guide to cleaning a dog's ears:

You may also be interested in: Cleaning your Cat's Ears: Step by Step Guide

Steps to follow:


The first step is collecting all the materials that may be required to properly clean the dog's ears:

  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Cotton buds
  • Saline

Instead of saline you could also go for oxygenated water or specific products from any pet shop. It's recommended that the gauze is sterilized before application, because the cotton can fray inside the dog's ear and decompose.

Finally, for a much more thorough clean, you'll need to get hold of cotton buds. Yes, the same ones that are used on babies. They're much safer.

Step By Step to Cleaning A Dog’s Ears - Step 1

It's important to take into account that you should gradually get your puppy accustomed to this routine. However, if you've decided to adopt an adult dog, you should still work gradually so that the process doesn't scare it.

Always use positive reinforcement when your dog is still and lets you to manipulate it. This is an excellent tool to distract them, and to reward their good attitude in this moment.

Step By Step to Cleaning A Dog’s Ears - Step 2

Start the cleaning by pushing any hair blocking the ear to one side and by removing dead hair. In principle, if you look after your dog regularly your dog shouldn't be too dirty at this point.

The second step consists of wetting the gauze with the chosen product. It's advisable to apply some sort of specially-designed product, since it will make it easier to clean the ear and won't irritate your dog's skin. Start by cleaning the exterior creases around the ear where dirt tends to built up.

Step By Step to Cleaning A Dog’s Ears - Step 3

Once the outside of the ear is clean, we recommend replacing the gauze and using a new one to clean the inside. Wet the gauze again and gradually put your fingers into the dog's ear, without going in too deep.

You can go a bit further into adult dog's ears, but you must be very careful with puppies. Don't put your finger any more than one centimeter (less than half an inch) inside.

Slowly massage the inside of the ear with the gauze, being careful that your dog doesn't move. If you don't know the dog, it's especially important to do this step bit by bit. In addition, by doing it slowly and deliberately you'll have a greater opportunity to study the ear.

Step By Step to Cleaning A Dog’s Ears - Step 4

Finally, use a cotton bud for children (which are thicker than normal ones) to finish off cleaning the areas where our fingers can't reach. It is important to do this stage carefully, especially if your dog is nervous, because it could really cause it genuine damage to the ear.

Step By Step to Cleaning A Dog’s Ears - Step 5

Once the process is complete, all you need to do is massage the outside of the dog's ear to calm it down, and give it a reward for putting up with such a horrible experience.

Remember that if you don't consider yourself equipped to do this, or you have doubts on how to do it properly, go to a trusted vet and ask for advice. It will also be essential to visit the specialist if you notice especially dark dirt, bad smells (such as yeast) or a splashing noise. It may be a disease.

Step By Step to Cleaning A Dog’s Ears - Step 6

Caring for a dog in all aspects of daily hygiene is fundamental in preventing future health problems. At AnimalWised you can find out:

If you want to read similar articles to Step By Step to Cleaning A Dog’s Ears, we recommend you visit our Ear care category.

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Step By Step to Cleaning A Dog’s Ears