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How to Clean a Dog's Ears

Help your pet avoid ear infections and expensive trips to the veterinarian by keeping their ears clean.


  • Step 1: Gather your supplies in one place Gather your cotton balls, ear cleaning solution, and treats in one spot so that you can easily get to them while cleaning your dog's ears.
  • Step 2: Clean the inside surface of their ear flap Wet a clean cotton ball with the ear cleaning solution. Lift your dog's ear flap, and clean the inside surface. Wipe only the area that you can see and easily reach.
  • Step 3: Squirt cleaner in the ear canal; massage ear for 30 seconds Squirt the ear cleaning solution into your dog's ear canal. Use your fingers to massage the base of your dog's ear for 30 seconds, swishing the solution around inside their ear canal.
  • Step 4: Let your dog shake his head Step back, and let your dog shake their head to get rid of the excess solution in their ear canal.
  • TIP: Clean your dog's ears weekly if they have floppy ears. Basset Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, and other droopy-eared dogs are more prone to infections.
  • Step 5: Dry ear with a clean cotton ball Dry your dog's ear with a clean cotton ball. Be careful to dry only the portion you can see, and stop if you feel any resistance. Don't push too far into their ear canal or you could cause damage.
  • TIP: Don't use cotton swabs, like Q-tips, to clean inside your dog's ear canal. You could rupture their ear drum or push debris deeper into the ear.
  • Step 6: Repeat in other ear Repeat the cleaning process in your dog's other ear. Clean your dog's ears frequently to avoid smelly ears and ear infections.
  • FACT: The Basset Hound breed originated in France, where it was used by hunters used to track rabbits and deer.

You Will Need

  • Cotton balls
  • Ear cleaning solution

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