The Best Way to Clean Dogs’ Ears in 5 Steps

best way to clean dogs ears
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Is there a best way to clean dogs’ ears? I think so because you can do it superficially with something like wipes, and that’s fine, if your dog just got something on his fur or the outer part of his ear, but if you’re really trying to clean the inside of the ears, then a deep cleaning is much better to do, that way, you get the inside and outside clean.

If you feel comfortable doing this yourself instead of having it done at a vets office or having them show you in person, then just follow these five steps:

1. Gather Supplies

best way to clean dogs ears

Really, the only two things you need to clean your dog’s ears is a good solution such as Epi-Otic and some gauze or rolled cotton. I guess you could also use cotton balls, but they’re a little harder to grasp onto and you can’t go as deep with them. Optionally, you may also want to get some q tips (for use on the outside only), some gloves if ear goop makes you queasy, and a mask, if you’re scared something might get in your mouth. Oh, and if your dog is a squirmy fellow, you may also want to ask someone for help.

2. Position and Restrain

best way to clean dogs ears

So, after you’ve gathered your supplies, the second thing to do in the best way to clean dogs’ ears is to either position your dog against a wall or even better, in a corner, or if you have a helper then have them position themselves against a wall while holding the dogs body with one hand and their head/muzzle with the other. If you’re alone, putting the dog’s butt in a corner helps because they don’t have much room to wiggle or run away from you. If you have a smaller dog, then you really want a helper, because it’s actually easier for them to wiggle out of any situation, so you’ll need someone to hold them.

*Just make sure you only do this if you feel 100% confident and safe with your dog. Definitely don’t go for it if you have even the slightest fear of him getting scared and biting or hurting you or anyone else in any way.

3. Apply Rinse

best way to clean dogs ears

After your dog is restrained and/or positioned, quickly grab your dog’s ear flap with one hand while holding the solution in your other hand. Grabbing the ear flap is so that the ears stay open and visible to you, and this is especially important in dogs with floppy ears. 

Now, most bottles come with a nozzle. You want to quickly put the nozzle almost all the way into the ear if it’s a big dog, or just the tip if it’s a small dog, and then you want to give it a medium squeeze. Be sure to clean and disinfect the nozzle after each use, otherwise, you risk contaminating the other ear, or other dogs, if using for multiple pets. Don’t be afraid to fill the ear with liquid, but you also don’t want to squeeze hard and fast because it can be painful and uncomfortable to get a lot of liquid suddenly into the ears.

4. Massage

The next step in the best way to clean dogs’ ears is to quickly put the bottle down without letting go of the ear flap and before the dog tries to shake his head, start gently massaging the bottom part of the ear. You want to kind of pinch the ear together while massaging it. You should hear a squishy sound from the liquid swishing around in the ear canal. It’s only the rare occasion when a dog doesn’t like this. Most immediately calm down and enjoy the massage 100%…they may even start trying to scratch with their leg like when you scratch their belly.

5. Clean and Remove Excess

Before you let go, brace yourself by closing your mouth and quickly turning around because they WILL shake and they WILL get it all over you! Once they’re done shaking, get them back in position, grab a piece of gauze or rolled cotton, twist it a bit in your hand so that it’s easier to put in your dog’s ears. Then insert it into the ear slowly and by using a twisting motion. You can kind of imagine twisting a screw into a hole, if that helps, as weird as it sounds 🙂 Do this over and over with a new piece until the gauze or cotton comes out clean.

If you feel the ear is still dirty, it is perfectly okay to apply some more solution and repeat the steps. Lastly, you can use some q tips to clean just the OUTSIDE part of the ear where it’s hard to get in the folds. Never insert a q tip into a dog’s ears. Even though their ear canals go much deeper than ours, and it isn’t likely you’ll hurt their ear drum, you should never risk it because it isn’t at all necessary.

One more thing, just in case you’re wondering, you want to follow these steps one ear at a time.

Well, I hope this was helpful in finding the best way to clean dogs’ ears. Sending nothing but love and well wishes your way!

Epi-Otic Review: The Best Dog Ear Cleaning Solution

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