How to clean your dog’s ears

Floppy-eared dogs often face ear infections brought on by yeast or bacteria because their owners don’t know how to care for their dogs ears. As a veterinary technician, I helped pet owners by training them how to clean their dog’s ears in order to help the dogs recover from ear infections and to prevent future infections.

Since I don’t have a dog to demonstrate on, I have found this resource on YouTube that demonstrates clearly the technique to follow to clean your dog’s ears.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Gather your supplies

Collect your ear cleaner and cotton balls and set them aside.

Step 2: Restrain the dog

It would be very difficult to attempt cleaning your dog’s ears alone. Make sure you have an assistant who your dog trusts and that can restain the dog without significant effort.

Step 3: Add ear cleaner to the ear canal

Gently pull back the pinna (ear flap) and squirt some ear cleaner into the ear canal. Fill the ear canal. Place a cotton ball over the opening of the ear canal to prevent the liquid from spilling out and causing a mess.

Step 4: Massage the base of the ear

Briskly massage the base of the ear. This action will break up any debris in the lower part of the ear canal.

Step 5: Tilt the dogs head to the side to empty the cleaning solution

While not shown in the video or in the infographic that follows, an easy way to prevent a messy situation is to drain the dog’s ear by tilting its head to the side. Keep the cotton ball in place and allow the ball to absorb the liquid as it pours out of the dog’s ear.

Step 6: Gently wipe the visible parts of the ear canal and pinna

Use a clean wet cotton ball to gently wipe away dirt from the pinna and the ear canal. Do not force the cotton ball down into the ear canal. When you feel slight resistance, that’s as far as you should go. To avoid causing injury to your dog, do not use cotton tip applicators (Q-Tips).

Step 7: Allow your dog to shake its head

As the dog shakes its head, it will cause some of the debris to fly out of the ear.

Repeat steps 3-7 on the other ear.

Follow your veterinarian’s recommendation for how often to clean your dog’s ears.

how to clean dog ears


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