How to clean your dog's ears
Does your dog have problems with its ears and have you been advised to clean them? Here are some tips and advice on how to do it safely and effectively.
This article was written by a FirstVet vet
Did you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced, UK registered vets? If you are insured with one of our pet insurance partners, your video calls are completely free. You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
It’s a good idea to clean your pets ears in a room where it does not matter if it splashes on the walls when they shake their head, such as the bathroom. Try to make it an enjoyable moment for your dog. Ask a second person to help you. They can offer the dog a reward, such as a treat, while you clean the ears.
Gently lift and hold the ear flap upwards. Fill the ear canal with a pet-specific ear cleaning solution. Continue holding the ear flap while you gently massage the base of the ear with the other hand, down towards the cheek. The vertical part of the ear canal can easily be felt as a firm, slightly compressible, tube under the skin. This is important to spread the ear cleaner around the ear canal.
Next, with a clean piece of cotton wool, wipe away any debris that comes out of the ear canal. Do not use cotton buds, or insert anything into the ear canal, as it can easily damage the ear. Then release the ear flap. Please be aware that your dog may want to shake its head at this point.
Praise your dog and give a treat before switching to the other ear. If your dog has been well behaved with one ear, you can always clean the other ear the following day.
Finish by washing your hands.
If you suspect your dog has ear inflammation, you can read more about this here.
If you suspect your cat has ear inflammation, you can read more about this here.