What To Use To Clean Dog’s Ears

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If you’re a dog owner, you know that there are times when their ears need a good cleaning. You may wonder what to use to clean dog’s ears. I know I did!

I have 2 Labrador retrievers and 1 Bernedoodle. I’ve also had Labradoodles and many other dogs in the past. Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that I have experience with different kinds of ears.

I’m sure you know that not all dogs are the same, especially when it comes to ears. One of my Labradoodles had more poodle traits that Labrador. As a matter of fact, you couldn’t tell he was a lab, other than his temperament. His ears were terrible! We couldn’t get past all the ear infections and even considered a drastic surgery to open the canals.

We finally figured out that it was a food allergy that was causing many of the infections, but we had to clean his ears regularly or he would get an infection, even with the food change. From what my vet said, it’s a common problem with poodles due to there being so much hair in their ears and because the ears are floppy and little air gets to them.

My labs, however, never get ear infections, even if I slack off some. (I really try not to!) Granted, they aren’t like many labs since they don’t particularly enjoy the water. I’m sure I would have to be more regular if they did like to spend time in the water.

What To Use

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I’ve seen a lot of recipes for cleaning your dog’s ears. I’m not a veterinarian, so I can’t comment as to whether or not those recipes are a good choice.

I have always used ear cleaners that my vet or my sister recommended. My sister is an amazing breeder and I trust her judgment. She cares for her pups like babies.

There are many solutions to choose from at your local pet store. If you have a water dog, you may want to consider the solutions with alcohol in them to dry out their ears. I would NOT recommend using solutions with alcohol on sore or sensitive ears. You’ll get a yelp for sure!

I’ve seen people try to clean their pup’s ears with q-tips. I wouldn’t recommend that at all. Q-tips can cause injury to your dog. Especially if you slip or they move suddenly and you perforate their ear drum. The best choice is a soft cloth, cotton balls, cotton pads, or gauze.

Why You Should Clean Your Dog’s Ears

All dogs are different. Some need to have their ears cleaned often whiles others not so much. The breed and activities of the dog definitely play into whether their ears need a lot of maintenance or not.

If your dog is in the water often, and have floppy ears, they may require more attention to their ears than a dog who has ears that stand up and hates the water.

If you don’t pay attention to your dog’s ears, they could get a severe infection and even lose some of their hearing. The most important reason, to me is, your dog’s comfort. If their ears are infected or extremely dirty, it hurts them. Most of us don’t want our furry friend’s to be in pain.

Dog’s ears are structured with a long canal. Sometimes, that deep horizontal canal won’t allow debris and other materials to be expelled. Their ears may get itchy and it can lead to an infection.

How To Clean Your Dog’s Ears

It’s not always fun to clean your dogs ears….lol You know what I mean. They shake their head while your squirting in the solution and you wear more than gets in their ear!

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One way to avoid that may be to have somebody hole the dog still while you do the cleaning. This is how I do it and it seems to work well for my fur balls!

* Get lots of treats!

*It works well to clean their ears if they can’t move too much. If somebody can’t help you, you can tuck their hiney into your stomach with their head away from you. If your dog is too big for that you can tuck them up against a piece of furniture or even a corner to hep keep them still.

*Pour the solution into the ear. Fill the canal.

*Massage the base of their ear. It should make a squishy sound. Doing this will help to loosen any
material that is in the canal.

*Let them shake their head. It will help the debris to exit the canal.

*Wipe the entire ear with a clean piece of gauze, cotton or a soft cloth.

* Give your dog plenty of praise and love and those treats we talked about!

Your pup may continue to shake their head. I always wait a bit and wipe out the ears again just to help keep the dirt and material from going back into the ear canal.

How Often You Should Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Most dogs that I have had did well with cleaning about once a month.

Many say to clean the ears once a week but it was too much for my dogs. Their ears got a sore and red, so I cut back and monitored their ears weekly to see if their was any wax or material in their ear.

Once per month was the magic number for my dogs. Your dog may be different. I don’t believe that one number fits all pups.

My Labradoodles were another story. I had to clean the one with more poodle traits once a week and sometimes more in order to keep him infection free.

We also had to remove the hair from his ears which totally freaked me out. It didn’t hurt him at all but just the thought of pulling out his hair was really hard for me to get past.


It is important to keep your pup’s ears clean. Just like people, no two dogs are the same, so it’s best to monitor your dog’s ears to see how often you need to clean them so you don’t overdo it or wait too long.

It’s much easier to keep them clean than it is to have to both clean them and deal with an infection.

Make sure to praise your dog and always be kind. If you don’t love it, imagine how they feel. If you can’t manage it on your own, ask for help. Both you and your dog will have an easier time.

If you have some tips or tricks for cleaning dog’s ears, drop your comment below!

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