How to Clean a Dog’s Ears


Shawntelle asked: What household product can I use to clean my dog’s ears? He’s a pincher mix with a poodle miniature.

All animal’s ears can gather build up over time and need to be cleaned regularly for both health and comfort purposes. The cleaning process is simple and only takes a couple of minutes.

You Will Need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Nail polish remover
  • Soft cloths
  • Cotton balls
  • Water

Steps to Clean the Ears:

  1. There are several different products that can be used to clean your dog’s ears. A dog’s ears are sensitive, but they tolerate the cleanings well, so there are no special steps needed to prepare your dog for the cleaning process.
  2. If the ears are just lightly soiled, simple moisten a soft cloth or cotton ball with warm water (not too warm!).
  3. Gently wipe the inside of the ear with a few swipes around. Do not clean down inside of the ear as this can damage the eardrum and be quite painful for your pup. Stick to the outer edges and leave the inner ear for the veterinarian or groomer.
  4. If the ear has significant build up or stubborn areas, use one of the following mixtures:
    • One part rubbing alcohol with one part water
    • One part nail polish remover with three parts water
  5. Again, moisten a soft cloth or cotton ball with the mixture.
  6. Gently wipe the visible edges of the ear. Do not put any mixture inside of the ear canal and avoid wring out the cloth enough so that there will be no drips!
  7. Moisen another cloth with plain water and rinse the cleaner from the ears. Once again avoid getting any water into the ear canal.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Moisten the soft cloth or cotton ball and squeeze out any excess water. Do not have it so wet that it may drip into the ear.
  • Ears cannot tolerate scrubbing. If the build up remains after several simple wipes, have the ears professionally cleaned.
  • Many groomers will trim nails and clean your dog’s ears for $10-$15.

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