4 Tips to Safely Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Posted on September 2, 2022 by Pinnacle Pet

Cleaning your dog’s ears is an important part of a good hygiene routine as a pet owner. Because ears are a fragile area on your dog, it’s important to know when and how to do it correctly. Below, we’ll offer some helpful tips on cleaning your dog’s ears. 

1. Know When to Clean Your Dogs Ears

Most dogs require periodic cleaning. However, cleaning may be required more often, depending on your dog’s breed and lifestyle. For example, floppy-eared breeds need to be cleaned more frequently. Additionally, dogs that frequently play in water may need ear cleaning regularly to avoid ear infections.

Signs That Your Dog’s Ears Need Cleaning

  • If its ear smells yeasty, it should be cleaned.
  • If dirt or other visible contaminants are present in the ear, it’s time to clean.
  • A healthy ear should appear pinkish and free of odor.

2. Use a Veterinarian Approved Cleaner

Always use a veterinarian-approved cleaner. Home remedies found on the internet are usually unsafe or ineffective. Never use hydrogen peroxide to clean your dog’s ears. It can cause irritation and permanent damage over time.

3. Use Appropriate Technique

Apply the cleaning product to the dog’s ear canal without touching the applicator to the ear (that could introduce bacteria). Gently massage your dog’s ear and listen to the squishing sound as the solution dissolves build-up in its ear. Allow the dog to shake (you may want to shield yourself with a towel). Then use the towel to wipe your dog’s face. Finally, use cotton balls to swab your dog’s ear canal, but don’t go deeper than one knuckle’s length.

4. When in Doubt, Call a Veterinarian

If your dog has an ear infection, you should not clean your dog’s ear. Doing so could cause more damage. Signs that your dog’s ear is already infected include crying when you touch it or trying to pull away. Redness of the ear is a sure sign that the ear is infected. In these circumstances, it’s time to call a veterinarian.

Please visit the AKC website for more information on cleaning your dog’s ears properly. 

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