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Do I Need To Use A Q-tip? The Best Way To Clean Dog Ears

Do I Need To Use A Q-tip? The Best Way To Clean Dog Ears

Ear infections for dogs can be a very frustrating and painful process for both the owner and the dog. Here are some good practices for the best way to clean dog ears…

Depending on the kind of dog you have, you might need to clean their ears more often than others. For example, dogs with floppy ears are a lot more prone to ear infections than dogs whose ears stand straight up. Is there one single best way to clean dog ears? Of course not, but there are some important factors and practices you need to consider when you keep your pups ears as clean as possible.

Why Is Cleaning My Dog’s Ears Important?

Cleaning your dog’s ears is really important because, if left unchecked, their sensitive ears can develop painful infections. Obviously this leads to more expensive vet bills, but it’s even more difficult because the dog’s ear canal is a very unique design. As such, it’s very easy for dirt and other irritants to get trapped in the canal. If you don’t clean this area, you are more likely to have annoying itchiness, or even ear infections.  

Should I Use An Ear Cleaner For My Dog’s Ears?

Yes, please use an ear cleaner designed specifically for dogs. As we mentioned above, dog’s ear canals are very unique and sensitive. That in mind, you can’t just use hydrogen peroxide, or rubbing alcohol to clean their ears because it will further exacerbate any underlying issues with your dog’s ears. This is especially true if your dog's ears are swollen or irritated. There are specific cleaners for specific uses so be sure to check with your veterinarian about the cause of the irritation, and the best solution for that irritation.

What Do I Need To Clean My Dog’s Ears? Can I Use A Q-tip?

All you need is your ear cleaning solution, some cotton balls, or some gauze, and a towel just in case there are any spills/accidents. It might be a good idea to have some treats handy as well, just so you can keep rewarding your dog for that extra special good behavior as you clean their ears.  Do NOT use Q-Tips. Like with humans, putting a stick in their ear is never a good idea because there is a high chance of you doing damage to their ear drum.  Furthermore, while it might take up some of the dirt or irritant, the Q-Tip is more likely just pushing the dirt and irritant further down the ear canal. The further down it goes, the harder it is to clean, and the more likely your dog will get another ear infection. Again, do NOT use a Q-Tip when cleaning your dog’s ears.

All The Steps To Clean Your Dog's Ears

  1. Sit on the floor and have your dog sit in front of you with his bottom in between your legs. 
  2. Grab a hold of one ear and hold the ear flap up vertically to straighten out the ear canal.
  3. Pour enough cleaner to completely fill the ear canal. Don’t worry about spilling, it will happen.
  4. PRO TIP: Do not put the tip of the bottle into the ear. If the tip of the bottle touches your dog’s ear, you need to clean the tip because there’s a chance some of the yeast or infected material found its way on the tip
  5. Keep holding the ear, but start to massage the ear with the other hand. The massage starts to break up any of the material in the ear, and you should hear a slight squishy sound from the canal. 
  6. Wipe away any material or liquid that comes up, and then let your dog shake their head. This is important because the remaining ear cleaning solution will move from the canal  out the outer ear. 
  7. Grab a hold of the ear, and wipe away any debris from the process.
  8. Give your dog some well deserved treats.
  9. Repeat the same process with the other ear.

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