When Do Dogs Need Ear Cleanser?

Dogs are usually not big fans of getting their ears cleaned or checked. Dog ears are sensitive, so routine ear care will help prevent and detect ear problems. If they are not cleaned and inspected occasionally, they can have ear problems and complications. 

Checking for Infection

It is recommended to check your dog’s ears for infections once a week. Look for signs of irritation, infection, dirt, sensitivity, and parasites such as ear mites. You should routinely check your dog’s ears, so you are familiar with how they are usually. A shift in how the ears look or how your pet responds to an ear check-up may suggest they need a vet exam.

Recognizing the Signs of Infection

  • Excessive shaking of the head.
  • Persistent scratching or pawing at the ears.
  • A foul odor emanates from the ears.
  • Dark, brownish discharge resembling coffee grounds.
  • Sensitivity or discomfort when touching the ears.
  • Persistent head tilt, especially accompanied by balance issues.
  • Redness or swelling of the ear canal.
  • Hearing loss or changes in behavior (less common but possible).

It is best to consult a veterinarian if you suspect any signs of an ear infection in your dog. If these symptoms are left unchecked, they can lead to complications and chronic ear problems. Ear problems in dogs occur due to underlying reasons such as ear conformation, allergies, parasites, etc. These issues should be diagnosed so that the ear problem does not reoccur.

Frequency of Dog Ear Inspection and Cleaning

It is a good idea to keep inspecting your dog’s ears weekly. If they are healthy, then cleaning once a month is enough. A routine ear clean should not exceed once every 1 to 2 months for a dog with healthy ears. Inspecting and cleaning your dog’s ears after any water activity, especially after bathing, swimming, or playing in a pool, is recommended. It prevents excessive water from staying in the ear canal during bathing or playing. 

Note: Don’t over-clean your dog’s ears; it can disrupt the natural balance, leading to an overgrowth of harmful microorganisms. 

Ear Cleaning Tools

Avoid using Q-tips or similar cotton buds to clean your dog’s ears. They can harm the ear by pushing ear wax and debris further down the ear canal. Using your finger wrapped in soft gauze or cotton balls is better to clean your dog’s ears. You can also use a safe ear rinse free of antibiotics, alcohol, or toxic materials. Good hygiene is essential – wash your hands properly before starting the ear cleaning and ending the job. You can also wear gloves.

Cleaning Procedure

Before cleaning your dog's ears, give it treats and plenty of belly rubs. This will soothe your dog and help it relax. It's better to pick a calm and relaxed moment when your dog is either exhausted or sluggish and when you have adequate time to perform the procedure. Try to make this a fun experience for your dog, as they don’t like their ears to be cleaned.

There are two ways to clean your dog’s ears:

  1. Dab the outer flap of the ear, including the ear folds. Start cleaning from outside and work your way in; use a new cotton ball or unused gauze for the ear canal. Make sure your dog is comfortable throughout the process. Don’t be aggressive or cause any damage by going too deep. 
  2. The second way is to put a small amount of ear-cleaning solution in your dog’s ears. Stroke the base of their ears and let them shudder their heads to help loosen any debris inside the ear. Put a cotton ball or finger with gauze in the ear canal to properly wipe out the interior of the ear canal. Repeat one more time for a detailed clean. Try to work from the inside out, using a new cotton ball each time until it comes out clean. Gently pat clean the ear flap, and the ear folds at the end. 

Once you end the cleaning process, bribe your dog with more treats, rubs, snuggles, and soothing words. Positive reinforcement is significant and ensures your dog is ready and inclined for the next ear cleaning.

If you’re too scared to clean your dog’s ears yourself, bring them to your veterinarian or dog groomer.

Cautions When Cleaning Your Pet’s Ears

Your vet may advise you to clean your pet's ears as often as necessary, depending on its specific condition. If you get cleaning solutions for your pet’s ears from your vet, they can be made according to your pet's special needs. There are many types of solutions, and you could ask your vet for guidance on the suitability of a particular one for your dog as well as the period of time you will keep doing the cleaning.

Aftercare and Monitoring

Look at your dog's activities over the next few days as their ears are cleaned. Noticing how they behave or how the ears look. Check for any signs of something wrong, such as more scratching than usual, redness, and discharge, which should not appear at any cost. 

How often you ought to clean your dog’s ears depends on your dog’s breed, lifestyle, and medical record of the ear. For many dogs, once every thirty days would just do fine. However, it may be necessary to undertake routine cleanings for dogs with drooping ears, who are used to swimming or tend to have more recurrent ear infections. Striking a balance is always essential. Overdoing may interfere with the ear’s natural ecosystem, resulting in inflammations or other ear infections, whereas underdoing may lead to wax accumulation.


It is imperative to check the ears of your dog. Cleaning off the wax and checking ears occasionally may help you build a stronger bond between yourself and your canine friend while avoiding potential future irritations that might harm his health. Understanding how to check for these problems at an earlier stage may prevent your pet from developing severe conditions later in life.

Looking for an ear cleanser for your dog? Divine Canine’s Essential Ear Cleanser is a gentle and effective solution that’s anti-microbial, anti-odor, and anti-itch.

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