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Determining The Ideal Ear Cleaner for Your Dog

June 26, 2017

Determining The Ideal Ear Cleaner for Your Dog

Ear cleaning is an essential part of keeping your dog healthy. The trick is getting it done the right way without harming your fuzzy buddy and without it turning into a major hassle.

The good thing is there are plenty of natural ingredients you can use to safely clean your dog’s ears. And the process can be simple, quick, and painless for both you and your pet.

Why Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears Is Important

Dog ears can be very sensitive and should be checked up on from time to time for a number of reasons:

  • To fight chronic yeast or bacterial infections, and better yet, to prevent the onset of otitis and similar illnesses
  • To clear excessive wax buildup
  • To soothe ear irritation and redness

Dog ears are complicated and have ton of nooks and crannies where debris can easily get trapped. Dirt, bacteria, and even parasites love to call these hidden spots home. Moreover, whereas human ear canals have a clear, horizontal opening, dog ear canals are L-shaped and tricky to access.


Regularly cleaning your dog’s ears is an effective way to keep them safe from potential infections. Dogs with allergies are especially susceptible to developing ear complications, as are floppy eared dogs, including poodles, bassets, and cocker spaniels.

There are several common signs to look for to know your dog needs a cleaning:

  • Scratching and rubbing at the ears
  • Irregular head shaking
  • ​Ear mites
  • Dirty ears

The Pitfalls Of Chemical Cleaning

A dedicated dog ear cleaner might seem like the easiest route to clean your dog’s ear, but it is a quick fix that might end up doing more harm than good. Some store-bought solutions carry harsh chemicals that may irritate your dog’s ears. Potential consequences include:

  • Rashes
  • Weakening the immune system
  • Unnecessary side effects, which vary based on the product

Cleaning your dog’s ears with plain water should also be avoided. Stagnant water - particularly when it enters the ear canal - can actually help cultivate bacterial and fungal growth. Also worth mentioning is that alcohol can damage your dog’s ears and should be entirely avoided for internal ear cleaning.

Got your dogs ears in order but don't know what to do with its teeth? Click on the picture and find out more about cleaning dog teeth!


Natural Ways To Clean Dog Ears

The best type of ear cleaner may very well be a natural one, most of which can be made right at home. Several plain and yet effective methods:

  • 50% apple cider vinegar with 50% lukewarm water
  • 50% white vinegar with 50% lukewarm water
  • ​50% hydrogen peroxide with 50% water
  • ​Almond oil (mostly just to extract ear wax)
  • 8 ounces of lukewarm green tea

To clean your dog’s ear, soak a cotton ball or soft gauze in the all-natural solution and gently wipe the visible parts of your dog’s ear. It is important to neither scrub aggressively nor stick anything into the ear canal. After the ear flap is cleaned, insert the all natural solution into the ear canal with ear drops (and not a syringe). Massage the base of the ear with your thumb and forefinger for about 30 seconds. Finally, slowly tilt your dog’s head to let the ear cleaner drain.

Tips On Cleaning Your Dog’s Ear

  • Make it a positive experience: clean with affection and care, and offer a treat afterward.
  • Keep all of your tools nearby.
  • Allow your dog to participate by shaking out any excess ear wash.
  • Some dogs have a lot of hair growing inside their ear. Grooming and plucking hairs out every few weeks may be a necessity in such cases.

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