How to Clean Dog Ears: Pet Care Guide

Since your dog’s ears are one of the areas with a high concentration of scent-sensitive cells, they can also get infected when your dog sniffs around. It’s common for dogs to get ear infections, which is why you need to know how to clean dog ears so you can keep them infection-free. 

Your veterinarian can advise on how to clean your dog’s ears regularly. How frequently you clean your dog’s ears depends on several things, including:

  • Your dog probably makes a lot of ear wax.
  • Do you regularly have your dog groomed?
  • Does your dog enjoy swimming, which could lead to water entering its ears?
  • Is there a hidden allergy in your dog?

Especially if you have an oversized puppy with tiny ears – as every retriever-type dog has, keeping them clean is essential for their health and wellbeing. Still, many areas of your dog may not be so evident that they need attention. Cleaning dogs ears should be on a regular schedule to keep them clean and healthy; infections and mites love dark, dingy places! 

Why should you clean a dog’s Ear?

As previously mentioned, infections and mites love dark, dingy places. When their ears are not kept clean and dry, they are at an increased risk of bacteria and mites. When bacteria and mites are in your dog’s ears, they can cause what is known as otitis externa. This is an infection in the dog’s ears, resulting in pain and inflammation in and around the ears. This can be very painful for your dog and may eventually result in it having to be medicated or even having its ears surgically removed. That’s why keeping your dog’s ears clean from dirt, sweat, and excess oil is essential. This not only keeps them looking fresh and clean, but it also keeps them healthy and bacteria and mite-free.

Undoubtedly one of your dog’s loveliest traits is its ears. Your dog’s ears, whether lop-eared or alert, drooping or folded, are a portal into a whole universe beyond our comprehension. Did you know that a dog can hear at frequencies up to 67-45,000 Hz while a human can only hear at frequencies between 64 and 23,000 Hz?

An injury can severely hamper a dog’s perception capacity of its delicate ears. Even though they are unique, a dog’s ears get dirty, especially outside. Knowing when not to clean dog ears is just as crucial.

Essentials for cleaning dog’s Ear

Pet parents should concentrate on cleaning the external ear canal during routine ear cleanings. You can watch a demonstration of the following processes from a qualified vet tech or your doctor.


Start by using cotton tips, cotton balls, and ear cleaning.

Step by step

  • Using cotton balls to get rid of any visible dirt in the ear canal is crucial. Typically, debris consists of wax and perhaps too much hair. Many breeds, like terriers and poodles, are prone to having an excessive amount of hair.
  • In a two-person job, cleaning ears can benefit from some light restrictions. The majority of dogs dislike getting their ears cleaned.
  • To gently clean your pet’s ears, gently insert the bottle’s dispensing tip or soak cotton balls in the cleaner (my fave tip). Setting the cleaner on the counter to warm up to room temperature might be beneficial.
  • Squeeze the cotton balls or cleaner gently until liquid is visible in the ear canal.
  • Then, massage the Ear while holding the pinna (flap) up to prevent the regular shaking a dog will do. The massage breaks down the debris.
  • Clear out that debris next. Use the dry cotton balls to clean the Ear gently. You’ll gather some garbage as you clean up their ear canal. Wipe those ears until all of the debris is removed. (There are also ear wipes available for rapid cleaning.)
  • Continue doing this until all of the trash is gone.
  • Remain back and watch them tremble!
  • To ensure the entire canal is dry, dry the Ear with cotton balls.
  • Rinse, then repeat with the next Ear.

Dog ear washes solutions.

There are many different options available for cleaning dogs ears. You can use veterinarian-recommended ear cleaners, a mixture of water and vinegar, or ear ointments. Beware that some ear cleaners are too potent for your dog’s ears and can irritate them. Like any other cleaning product, please read the label and ensure it is safe for your dog. Ear wash is readily available at any pet store and is typically very safe. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to clean dog ears. It is safe for dogs and has ear infection treatment capabilities. Ear ointment can be used together with any of the techniques above. The cream will keep your dog’s ears moisturized and help prevent infections.

List of some dog ear wash solutions

  • Great Ears Multi-Symptom is the best dog ear cleaner for various symptoms. Canine ear cleaner
  • Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Cleaner is the best dog ear cleaner for chronic problems.
  • The best dog ear cleaner for persistent problems Ear cleaner Zymox came in second.
  • Best Dog ear cleaner for General Purpose and Drying: Ear cleaner Dechra EpiKlean
  • MalAcetic Otic Cleanser is the best dog ear washer for bacterial infections.
  • TrizULTRA + Keto Flush: The Best Dog ear cleaner for Fungal Infections
  • The best dog ear cleaner for dog ear wax is Ear cleaning solution from Vetoquinol.
  • Pet MD Veterinary Tris Flush is the most cost-effective dog ear washer.
  • Vet Organics EcoEars Dog ear cleaner is the best herbal and botanical cleaner available.

Common Infections and Their Medication

Common infection of dog ear

Dogs frequently develop ear infections, especially those with floppy ears like Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels. Fortunately, you may take action to lessen these crises’ duration and severity for your dog. There are even some over-the-counter medicines accessible.

The three types of ear infections are otitis externa, medium, and interna. These infections frequently develop as a result of the external Ear being infected. Otitis media and the internet can be hazardous conditions that cause vestibular symptoms, facial paralysis, and hearing.

Common Medications for dog ear infection

Ear drop

  • Mometamax
  • Claro
  • Otomax
  • Posatex 
  • Solan
  • Oceania


  • Augmentin (amoxicillin-clavulanate)
  • Enrofloxacin 
  • Cleocin (clindamycin)
  • Cefpodoxime

Oral and topical antifungal medicines

  • Sporanox (itraconazole)
  • Miconazole
  • Ketodan (ketoconazole)

Medications that reduce inflammation

  • Galliprant
  • Carprofen
  • Meloxicam
  • Deracoxib 
  • Firocoxib


Surgery might be necessary for extreme circumstances if ear infections are chronic and don’t respond to medicinal treatment. For instance, a total ear canal ablation (TECA) is a surgery that allows veterinarians to remove both the vertical and horizontal ear canals to the Middle Ear.

Warning! Do not use these while cleaning your dog’s Ear.

Make sure your dog cleaner doesn’t include any potentially dangerous substances.

  • Alcohol and alcoholic things.
  • Oily things.
  • Acidic things.
  • Impure towel
  • Never put anything in a dog’s Ear, not shampoo, vinegar, or olive oil. 
  • Avoid sticking cotton buds in the Ear; doing so will push wax and other particles deeper and risk damaging the eardrum.


What is the brown stuff in my dog’s ears?

If your dog has brown material in their ears, you may wonder whether this is normal or if you will have to deal with a canine ear infection.

Can I use baby wipes to clean my dog’s ears?

Yes, I can use baby wipes to clean the dog’s ears.

How do you get black gunk out of a dog’s Ear?

Although it could be a sign of an ear infection, black goo in a dog’s Ear frequently indicates an ear mite infestation. Wax accumulation, side effects from allergies, dirt or debris, or a flea infestation are some more explanations. Regularly clean the ears, and make sure a veterinarian looks at any issues.

Why is one of my dog’s ears always dirty?

Excessive ear wax, infections, allergies, and mites are all potential causes of dirty dog ears.

How often should you clean dog’s ears?

An excellent basic guideline is once each month. Dogs who swim frequently or breed with long, floppy ears could require weekly or biweekly ear cleanings. Ensure that your dog’s ears are dehydrated after swimming or bathing.

Can I put olive oil in my dog’s ear?

Never put olive oil, vinegar, shampoo, or any other substance in a dog’s Ear.

How can I treat my dog’s ear infection without going to the vet?

We offer natural remedies you can give your dog at home to treat minor ear infections. We advise using our homeopathic remedy first, followed by a peroxide- or apple cider vinegar-based cleaning method, and then a coconut oil-based therapy.


Your dog’s ears need just as much attention as the rest of its body. If you want to keep them happy and healthy, make cleaning their ears a regular part of their grooming routine. Always remember to be gentle, and don’t forget to keep their ears moisturized! Now that you know how and why you should clean dog ears, why not take some time out of your day to do it?