What do I need to clean my dog’s ears?
Cleaning your dog’s ears does not require any special equipment. A good quality ear cleaning solution, some cotton balls or gauze, and some treats to reward your dog are all that is needed. Do not use cotton tip applicators (Q-tips®), due to the risk of perforating the ear drum or causing trauma to the ear canal. In addition, the use of cotton tip applicators can push debris further into the ear canal.
Firstly if your dog has very red, itchy, inflamed, and painful ears, see your Vet before you start cleaning. It is quite likely your dog has an ear infection, so ear cleaning will not do much good at this point. If your dog has an infection severe enough to damage the eardrum, some ear cleaners can damage the ear further.
The key with ear cleaning is to use a large amount of ear cleaner. As the ear canals are quite long, the wiping step is not to get all the ear discharge out. The idea is that when you massage, you will be breaking up the discharge lining the inside of the ear canal so that it forms a solution with the ear cleaner. Your pet can then shake the liquid out.
There are various types of ear cleaners, but the most important thing is that you only use a good quality dog ear cleaner. Never put olive oil, vinegar, shampoo, or any other substance in a dog’s ear. Also, avoid poking around with cotton buds in the ear, you will only work any wax and debris further in and potentially damage the eardrum.
Step 2: Hold the ear flap
Gently grasp the tip of the ear flap and pull upward. This will expose the inside of the ear and the ear canal.