Cleaning the ears is an essential part of dog grooming and canine care. Regularly checking your dog’s ear is very important. You often see that a dog with healthy ears probably loves to have his ears rubbed, but if he feels any pain, he gets away from you.

Most dogs naturally have healthy ears and never need ear cleaning in their lifetime. On the other hand, some breeds of dogs with long hair are at high risk of ear infection and require regular ear cleaning to prevent ear infections.

If your dog regularly visits a professional groomer, make sure their ears are cleaned there. If you want to clean your dog’s ears at home, you should know the ear cleaning procedure and other important aspects. Read the article below and learn how you can clean your dog’s ears.

How to clean dog ears?

Dog ear cleaning is a challenging process, and when you clean your dog’s ear, make sure he is comfortable with the whole process. Of course, it will help you a lot if you start handling their ears from a young age.

At some point, it is not possible when you adopt an older dog that has no ear cleaning experience before. For them, start touching their ear and see how they will react. Never clean your dog’s ear when they are stressed.

Equipment needed

Certain equipment are needed before you start cleaning your dog’s ears, make sure you have the following things before starting the procedure.

  • A clean towel
  • Cotton wool pads
  • A dog-specific Ear cleaner 
  • A handler if your dog is not used to the procedure

Never use cotton buds in the ear cleaning process because they can go too far in the ear canal and cause a lot of damage. 

Procedure to clean a dog’s ears:

  • Put your dog in a comfortable position, lift the ear, and look well inside the ear.
  • Check your dog’s ear for discharge, redness, and a bad smell. A small amount of wax present in the dog’s ear is healthy. However, if the wax is present in large quantities and there are pus and odor, it is a sign of infection.
  • Now gently wipe the outside of the ear with damp cotton to remove excess wax.
  • Use a dog-specific ear cleaner in the ear canal and be sure not to insert it too far.
  • Start by massaging the base of the ear. It will help the cleanser to pass into the ear canal.
  • Wipe the cleaner with damp cotton.
  • Repeat the same process on the other ear.
  • If you are giving your dog ear drops, it is best to use them immediately after cleaning them. This will ensure that the ear drops are effectively absorbed without getting stuck in excess wax.

How often should I clean my dog’s ears?

Ear cleaning depends on your dog’s breed. If you have droopy-eared dogs like Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels, they require a regular ear cleaning. This problem with long drooping ears is because they allow less airflow in the ear, and there is a higher chance of yeast infection.

Similarly, dogs that like to swim more often need regular ear cleaning because additional moisture can cause an ear infection. Also, if your dog suffers from ear mites, he will need more regular cleaning.

What is the brown stuff in my dog’s ears?

Usually, the inner portion of the dog’s ear is pink, clean, and healthy. If you noticed a brownish discharge in your dog’s ear, it is an alarming sign because this discharge is a clear sign of ear infection. Dogs are generally known to get dirty, but the inside of the ear should always be clean and dry.

Can I use water to clean my dog’s ears?

There are many ear cleaning products available on the market, but if you want to use water to clean your dog’s ear, you can get the job done. Always use warm water and cotton balls to clean the ear. Dip the cotton wool in warm water and clean the ear from the outside of the ear to inward. 

How to clean dog ear with vinegar?

Vinegar can also be used to clean the dog’s ear. This is how you can use vinegar

  • Take half a cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar (ACV) and mix it with half a cup of water. If your dog’s ears are inflamed or injured, the concentration of vinegar in the water should decrease.
  • Some vets recommend a 10% ear cleaning solution because if it is too strong, it will sting, and the dog will start scratching his ear.
  • Do not save the solution for later use, make the solution, and use it only on time.

Vinegar has a lot of benefits. It can help to remove the extra wax to decrease ear infection. As the solution is acidic, it will kill a lot of harmful bacteria. 

How to flush your Dog ear? 

There are several techniques used to flush your dog’s ear, the most commonly used method is shown below.


  • First, examine the ear canal and determine the nature of the disease and the amount of debris in the canal. Your initial approach is to remove excess debris from the ear canal.
  • If you find that debris in the ear canal is waxy, soak the canal for 5 to 10 minutes with the help of a ceruminolytic ear cleaner.
  • Now flush their ear with warm isotonic saline. You can also use a video otoscope for this procedure because it has all the flushing equipment and higher magnification. However, an 8-French polypropylene urinary catheter or a bulb syringe with a 12 ml syringe can also be used.
  • If the debris is present in large quantities, you can use ear curettes or alligator clips to remove them.
  • Once the procedure is complete, evaluate the ear’s tympanic membrane.

You must be aware of the owner of the possible complications that can occur during the ear flushing. Typically, a normal ear heals after 20-30 days of flushing. Some veterinarians also recommend the use of non-toxic steroids and antibiotics after ear flushing.


The ear is an integral part of the dog’s body, and its regular cleaning and care are necessary. Always keep your dog on the lookout for infection and excess wax. You can use warm water and apple cider vinegar at home to clean their ear.

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