How to clean dogs’ ears in 3 simple steps

Posted by Argos, December 17th 2015, last updated September 11th 2020.

It’s a good idea to check your dog’s ears on a regular basis – about once a week – as this can help you spot any health issues or problems your dog might have.

While checking your dog’s ears, you will notice from time to time that they could do with a good clean.

Just like people, dogs benefit from having their ears cleaned regularly. How often the ears need cleaning will depend on your dog breed and what he or she gets up to on a daily basis.

Dogs have sensitive ears and they don’t enjoy having them cleaned very much. But, if there’s no damage or serious problems, it’s a job you can do at home.

So, let’s learn how to clean dogs ears in a few simple steps and by following these tips:

Cleaning your dogs ears is very important

Make it a positive experience

Most dogs will try to escape an ear-cleaning, so try to make the process as calm as possible.

Reward your dog with extra treats if he or she sits still or co-operates.

When you’re in a position to start, take a close look at the ear and make sure all you can see is just dirt or a build-up of earwax.

Look out for any evidence of parasites. It may be possible to remove mites or ticks yourself but, if you’re struggling, always consult your vet.

If your dog has floppy ears, gently fold them back. You won’t be able to see all the way into the ear canal but you should be able to clean sufficiently.

Gently does it

A range of ear cleaning products are available for dogs, but warm water will do the job in most cases.

Use cotton wool balls – don’t be tempted to use Q-tips as these can damage a dog’s ear.

Dip the cotton wool into the liquid and work your way from the outside of the ear inwards.

Make sure you always check your dog's ears for dirt and clean them regularly

Move into the ear but only until you start to feel resistance. If you try to push in too far, you might damage the ear.

Change the cotton wool ball and replace the fluid as soon as it starts to get too dirty.

Be sure to clean out the creases in the ears as this is where most dirt can build up.

Shake it off

When you have done both ears, reward your dog with another treat and then let them shake their ears dry. They’ll probably really enjoy this bit!

When they’ve had a good shake, have another gentle wipe around with the cotton wool ball to pick up any extra debris that has come loose.

Finally, get out your diary and pencil in the another ear-cleaning date in a week or so.

Now you know how to keep your dog’s ears clean, remember to keep your furry friend protected with Argos Pet Insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our dog insurance policies today.

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