How often should you clean a puppy’s ears? Essential Tips

How to clean a dog’s ears

When considering the best way to clean a dog’s ears, the most important thing is to ensure that your dog is comfortable with the entire process first.

Of course, it’s ideal if you start handling or cleaning their ears when puppies as they’re much more likely to be ok with ear cleaning when they’re older. However, this isn’t always possible, particularly if you have a rescue or an older dog who’s never had their ears cleaned before.

Start by gently touching their ears and stroking them to gauge how your dog will react. If they don’t seem to like their ears being touched, don’t force it! Never try to clean a dog’s ears if they’re stressed or struggling: this could upset your dog and you could also become hurt. Instead take them to the vet and they’ll be able to clean them for you.

Before you start cleaning your dog’s ears, ensure you have the following things:

  • Damp cotton wool or cotton wool pads.
  • Ear cleaner (must be dog specific, never use products intended for human use).
  • A clean towel.
  • A second pair of hands (especially useful if your dog is not used to having their ears handled).
  • Plenty of treats for during and after the ear cleaning.
  • It’s also important that you never use cotton buds to clean your dog’s ears as these can be inserted too far into the ear canal and potentially cause damage.

    Do active dogs need more cleaning?

    Yes: Swimming and running through the woods can increase your dog’s risk of ear trouble. “Complications are primarily seen in the form of ear infections, which are most typically caused by bacteria or yeast. When water becomes trapped in the ears, the usually harmless bacteria and yeast can cause problems that may require veterinary attention,” says Dr. Boyle. Keep these 28 safety tips in mind when you take your dog outside to play.

    How often should you clean a puppy’s ears?

    Do I need to use an ear cleaner?

    It is highly recommended to use a good quality ear cleaner. Cleaners with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol can cause irritation within the ear canal, especially if the canal is inflamed or ulcerated. Some ear cleaners have antibacterial or antifungal ingredients to help prevent ear infections. Certain cleaners are also better at removing wax build-up. Your veterinarian can help you decide which ear cleaning solution is best for your pet.

    How Often Should I Clean My Dog’s Ears?