Can I Clean My Dog’s Ears?

Can I Clean My Dog's Ears?Your dog’s ears should be routinely cleaned even though some consider this part of the canine anatomy to be mostly self sufficient. It’s a good habit to get into assuming you do it correctly, without causing harm.

Unfortunately, ear trouble is not exactly rare for pet dogs. Bigger breeds may be prone to infections because their ears tend to be large or they spend a lot of time getting down and dirty compared to us humans.

If you know that your dog has an ear infection, consider visiting your vet for appropriate treatment. But if you want to do some preventative care, or just learn more regarding this topic, then keep reading!

Can I Clean My Dog’s Ears? Answer: Yes, very carefully

It can be routinely done with the right products.

Hydrocortisone ear treatment made for dogs is the best treatment for bacterial ear infections that you can get without visiting a vet. Know that a brownish waxy secretion inside the ear canals is normal for a dog and you don’t need to remove that. For preventative care, the inside of the flaps are what you should be focused on to avoid veterinary visits. We use very convenient, disposable ear wipes made for dogs and they are great.

Preventative Care is Smart

Debris can accumulate in and around the ear flaps from running in weeds, brush or tall grass. These factors can eventually cause irritation which can lead to infection. Inspect your dog regularly to prevent ear issues before they can develop into something requiring a vet’s care.

Ear Infection Causes

Ear infections are common among Schnauzers, Poodles and some other breeds that get professionally groomed. If your dog gets groomed, tell the person doing the work not to pluck out hair inside your dog’s ear canals. To avoid future medical problems, keep that protective hair in place as it prevents ear infections by defending against foreign materials.

Treatment for Dog Ears

For debris or dirt inside their ear flaps, use a damp cloth with some mineral oil to wipe it away. This is a sensitive area so take your time. For our dogs, we use inexpensive but effective wipes which are moist and easy to use. They’re made for pets and really help to dissolve wax build-up while also cleaning the area. You can do this during bathing time.

Be gentle with your dog’s ears. Never put applicators such as cotton tipped buds, like Q-Tips, or swabs directly into a dog’s ear canals. That tends to push the buildup, either debris or wax, further into the ear drum. This can harm them which is why some people have their vets take care of everything.

If you stick to just cleaning the skin folds of the outer ear your dog should be just fine.

Ear Medicines for Canines

A discharge or a blockage or excessive wax accumulation means you should probably get professional help because they suggest bacterial or yeast infection. This is why preventative care is so important but ear drop medicines can treat several kinds of canine ear inflammation. Treatment should make direct contact with the infected area which is usually near the eardrum.

Vets have a technique where they massage the base of the ear for awhile, which spreads around the medicine. Restrain your dog in order to administer the ear medicine effectively and safely. You don’t want to inadvertently tear the canal wall.

The Use of Antibiotics

At the vet, your dog may be prescribed an antibiotic treatment for their infection. Brands for treating ear problems include Tresderm, Liquichlor, Gentocin Otic and Panolog. Anytime your dog receives drugs there could be a negative reaction so observe them closely.

Conclusion on Ear Cleaning

Just like with their teeth, you can and should clean your dog’s ears if you know what you’re doing. Many pets don’t require a cleaning often, but some kind of routine is prudent. If they have an ear infection, get professional help without delay if an over-the-counter canine-formulated Hydrocortisone solution isn’t working. Vets deal with these problems all the time!

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David June, 2015

Can I flush my dog’s ears with warm water?


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