How and When to Clean Your Pets Ears

November 20, 2018

How and When to Clean Your Pets Ears

Having a dog is a lot of work! We have to keep their nails trimmed, their teeth cleaned, their fur combed, and administer the dreaded ear cleaning. Some pets don’t mind, but if your dog has a stench emanating from their canal or thick, black wax coming through an ear cleaning might not be such an easy situation to deal with.

The Anatomy of Your Dog’s Ear

Your dog’s ear canal is shaped like an “L,” creating the perfect conditions for bacteria and infection to multiply and thrive without notice. After it’s had a week or two to build up, you become more aware of the smell.


Dogs with larger ears are also more likely to end up with infections since the canal is constantly covered, resulting in less fresh air and sunlight. Where it’s dark and damp, bacteria will grow!


Seasonal Allergies

Most of the time, there’s not much that can be done about a dog who is inherently allergic to pollen and grass other than providing medication. However, prevention is key when dealing with canine ears, and regularly cleaning helps to remove any sticky black wax that stays hidden within the grooves of the ear. You can also give your pet 1 mg of Benadryl per pound of bodyweight every 12 hours to help reduce swelling and inflammation.

Ear Mites

The natural environment of your dog’s ear is the perfect place for ear mites to live and breed, much like their coat is perfect for fleas. However, they’re not all that big a deal and you can expect your pet to get them at least once in their lifetime.


Liquid ear cleaners and topical medications usually help to clear out the common ear mite.

Yeast Infections

Dogs who love to spend a lot of time in the water are prone to ear infections, especially if water becomes lodged in their ear. If you take your pet to the dog park and the water isn’t being cleaned often enough, you may eventually have an issue with bacteria entering their ear canal. This can create a disbalance in the Ph, and eventually you’ll start to see crust and irritation along the inside of the ear.


While over the counter medications and remedies can definitely make a huge difference in the comfort of your dog, you should still see a veterinarian if problems persist or get worse. Discoloration, bleeding and sores represent the possibility of a hematoma or another serious issue.


If you aren’t sure whether or not your pet has allergies to certain medicines, consider speaking to your vet regardless of the severity of their ear issue. That way, you can safely use your over the counter ear cleaner without agitating the ear further.

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