Puppy Ear Cleaning

DIY Puppy Ear Cleaning

Puppy ear cleaning is an essential part of your dog’s basic grooming routine. All dogs should have their ears cleaned routinely, but some dogs need a more frequent and thorough cleaning than others. This is especially true for dogs prone to ear infections. Fortunately, it’s easy to clean your dog’s ears at home. You just want to do it properly, so you don’t do any damage.

The best place to clean your dog’s ears is outside or in the bathroom. This is a great thing to do just before a monthly bath. Keep in mind that when the dog shakes its head, that ear debris and cleaner have to go somewhere, and that includes your walls and you, so beware. You may wish to place a towel under your dog to absorb and wetness. You may also want a towel to keep you dry.

Get the Essentials

Before puppy ear cleaning begins, inspect them.   This gives you an idea of how dirty they are and lets you check for excess hair. If your dog has a lot of hair coming from the ear canal, it may need to be plucked. This applies to some breeds with floppy ears. You can check out our grooming page to find out some simple grooming techniques.

Puppy Ear Cleaning

You’ll just need a couple of items to get the job done; some clean cotton gauze squares and a vet approved ear wash solution such as this. First, begin by holding the ear flap up and squirting a few drops of ear cleaner on the inside of the flap near the ear opening. Next, gently place the tip of the bottle into the ear and give it a gentle squeeze.

Massage the Ear

Before the dog can shake its head, begin massaging the base of the ear (this is the bottom part near the jaw where cartilage can be felt). You should be able to hear a smacking sound in the ear. This is the cleaner sloshing around inside the ear.

By massaging, you are helping the cleanser fill the ridges in the canal and loosen ear debris. After massaging for a few seconds (more for very dirty ears) you can let go and allow your dog to shake. You might want to turn away or hold up a towel for this part.

Once your dog has a good shake (and he will), lightly moisten cotton gauze with ear cleaner. Use the cotton gauze with your finger to wipe out the ear canal. Put your finger in the ear canal as far as it will go without forcing it.

If the ear still seems dirty, repeat the process. Stop if your dog’s ear begins to get red or bleed or your dog seems to be in pain.

Move on to the other ear and repeat all the steps. Finish by wiping away any visible debris and drying your dog’s head off. Make sure to offer a treat reward and plenty of praise.

Dog ear cleaning each month is a good habit to get into. Not only will they have “squeaky clean” ears, but it will allow you to always keep an eye out for any infections brewing in there that you may not have known about.

I love to finish the whole ordeal off with a good brushing.  We offer some great tips on simple Puppy Grooming that you can take advantage of and learn from.  All in all, good ear cleaning is a bit of work with a large reward.


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