How to clean your dog's ears

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What causes infected ears and how can you treat it? Dr Katrina Warren shows how simple it is to keep your dog's ears clean and healthy.

How to clean your dog's ears

Ear problems are one the most common reasons why dogs are taken to the veterinarian.

Ear infections can be extremely painful and often dogs suffer for several weeks before the issue is noticed.

A dog’s ear canal is a long narrow canal, which extends downwards and then inwards to the eardrum. Unfortunately, because of this shape it is easy for parasites, yeast and bacteria to build up and thrive.

Dogs with pendulous ears like Cocker Spaniels and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and dogs with hairy ears like Poodles and Poodle Crosses are prone to ear infections as their anatomy prevents their ears from being well ventilated. Moisture can easily get trapped, particularly after swimming.

Common signs of ear problems

  • Head shaking and ear scratching
  • Ears sensitive to touch
  • Discharges and odours
  • Swelling and skin redness
  • A head tilt

Cleaning your pet’s ears

Checking your dog’s ears should be included as part of your dog’s regular grooming schedule. Some dogs will need more frequent cleaning than others.

  • Regularly check your dog’s ears for excess wax, offensive smells, pain, swelling or redness.
  • Always clean and dry ears after swimming
  • When bathing your dog, try to avoid getting water in their ear canal.
  • Be gentle and careful when cleaning our dog’s ears- do not use cotton buds to clean their ears as there is a risk of perforating the ear drums.
  • Use an appropriate cleaning solution such as PAW Gentle Ear Cleaner which contains no alcohol, harsh chemicals or acids commonly found in other cat or dog ear cleaners, so it’s more comfortable for your pet.

Please consult your veterinarian regarding any ear problems your pet may experience. Ear infections will not resolve themselves and will need veterinary care.