How to Clean Your Puppy’s Ears?

how to clean your dog ears

Our puppy’s ears are not the same as ours – this biological difference made the puppy’s ears reaction to the outer atmosphere different from how our ears react.

Many factors can lead to a health issue with your dog’s ears. Disfavors to the things in your Pet’s surroundings (like pollen, grass, mold, dust mites, etc.,) also known as canine atopy, food sensitivities, or food allergies—this inherent problem in the structure of our puppy’s ears. Pets, especially puppies, which have an ear infection, often evolve an unnatural amount of wax and may develop infectious debris in the ears.

Why do you need to clean your Puppy’s ears?

The answer to the question that whether the ears of my puppy are needed to be cleaned is always yes, but how frequently we need to be clean our puppy’s ears that we are going to discuss. But before discussing this, we need to know what types of dog breed needs a special focus or attention, or we can say more cleaning than the others?

Some Breeds develops an infection in the ears faster, for example, puppies with ears that hang down like the golden retriever or the basset hound, the cocker spaniel. Similar breeds are more prone to develop that irritating infection in comparison to the breeds with ears that stand upright.

The main reason behind this is that there isn’t any required airflow in the puppy’s ears who has floppy ears. Because of this reason, trapping of moisture and debris happens more easily and frequently inside their ear canal, where it could transform or develop itself to yeast infection or bacterial.

There are breeds like Bichons Frises and Poodles, whose ear canals have hair grew inside, which resist the airflow and lead to ear infection, but saying that this air resisting issue is the only factor that is responsible for ear wax problem isn’t true. Mites or any kind of allergies can also be the major reason behind the development of the ear wax problem.

dogs' ear anatomy

How often you need to clean your Puppy’s ears?

Now, after discussing the reasons behind the occurring of ear wax problem. What breed needs our special attention? And, what is the basic science behind the excess wax development? We are now coming back to the primary question that – How often do you need to clean the ears of your puppy?

The answer will vary upon the fact of how prone is your dog to developing ear infections. Based on that, it is suggested that you should do regular cleansing as it might reduce the frequency of wax issue development. So we can say how often do you need to clean your puppy’s ears depends upon your puppy.

But an important thing that we should be noted down is that cleaning your puppy’s ear is appreciable, but doing it too often might get them irritated. It’ll be best if you take the advice of your veterinarian. 

For some, ear cleaning should be done once in a month or even weekly, and in some cleaning is required once in a month. If your puppy already has an ear infection, then what you need to do now is that the cleansing should be done on a daily basis or every day while treating the infection with medication.

Even when our Pet doesn’t show any symptoms of getting an ear infection, still getting your puppy’s ear cleaned once a month or when they are smelling bad will considered a noble move as we all know precaution is better than cure. Thus doing it before happening will make the issue highly manageable.

The infection of ears in a dog can be excruciating. That’s why it is suggested that you do not wait and immediately seek the medical intervention of your Vet and get your puppy adequately treated.

Puppy’s ear infection symptoms

Before discussing the symptoms of ear infections, let’s discuss what the different kinds of ear infections are?

There are mainly three kinds of ear infections. They are otitis external, media, and internal – affecting different parts of the canine ear. According to a survey done in 2018, it was found that around 20% of the pet puppies are suffering from an ear infection of some form. So it’s our job to know if our puppy is suffering from this painful infection.

Now let’s discuss the types of infections in the ears with their symptoms:

Otitis Externa – This term is given to the infection in which there is inflammation of cell linings or outer or external ear canal.

Otitis Media and Interna – refer to the infection of the middle and inner ear canal. The problem of ear infection isn’t just limited to pain and irritation. Still, in some cases, the infection developed into their worst, causing facial paralysis, deafness, or signs of vestibular disease. So if you see your dog circling, head tilting, and lack of coordination, these are the clear sign that your dog needs immediate attention get him/her to the veterinary doctor.

Now, as we have discussed the infections, let’s discuss the symptoms vividly:

 The symptoms of ear infection:

  1. The puppy starts shaking its head.
  2. Foul smell and odors.
  3. Skin becomes Scaly.
  4. Smelly Discharge, which is often dark in color.
  5. Puppy starts Whining and Pawning at the ear affected by the infection.
  6. Swelling or puffiness in the ear.
  7. Redness can be seen in the affected ear.
  8. Itchiness.
  9. Lack of balance.
  10. Unusual eye movement
  11. Puppy starts tilting its head.
  12. May also cause Hearing loss.

If you find any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should be consulting your veterinarian as soon as possible.

What do you need to do to clean your puppy’s ears?

Before describing and you getting into the action, please do note that the puppy’s ear isn’t similar to us. Dogs’ ears are much more sensitive, and that’s why in the process of trying to help your Pet in getting himself out of the ailment, do not hurry first I’ll suggest you be gentle as any wrong move can cause serious damage. Also, note that your puppy won’t want their ears to be cleaned, so you need to work with them.


Getting the best out is important – what we mean to say is that we need to get the right tools.

What you can do is, have a bag of cotton ball ready or rap your finger in gauze and use it, you might want to use a pair of gloves but if in case you don’t have, what you can do is simply do it without gloves. Get the job done and wash your hands after that. Perhaps one of the essential tools that can be used is Puppy’s ear rinse. Just get your research done right while searching for your Puppy’s ear rinse and see that it does not contain any steroids, alcohol content, or it should not be toxic.

Don’t miss it all up. What we mean to say is, keep yourself handy with stuff, don’t run for tools or related stuff while cleaning as it’ll hamper the cleansing and may also cause damage to the puppy’s ears.

How to clean your Puppy’s ears?

You want to start on the outside and work your way in – but only until you start feeling resistance, if you will going to try to push yourself further, then you will end up damaging your puppy’s ears, so better be careful. To avoid any harm while cleansing your puppy’s ear, please the follow below steps carefully:

  1. Wet a cotton ball using Puppy’s ear rinse.
  2. Tie your Pet and get him/her in the position where cleansing can be done gently.
  3. Now with the wet cotton ball, wipe the part of the ear that you can easily see(outer flap).
  4. Then wet another cotton ball to clean the inner ear.
  5. Follow these steps once a week.
  6. But if you find that the cotton ball or the gauze is especially dirty, then in that case, immediately consult your Vet and start the prescribed medication.

Clean your Puppy’s ear with warm water or cleaning your dog ear with a solution:

  1. In order to start, be prepared with some of the pre-requisites, that is, some cotton balls or gauze.
  2. You will also need a Puppy’s ear cleaner recommended or approved by a veterinarian.
  3. Clean your puppy’s ears during his bath because the cleaning ear can be messy.
  4. If there is any hair growth in the ear canal, then removing those hairs by plucking will be beneficial. So, pluck out those unwanted hairs in the puppy’s ear canal first. If this irritates your puppy’s ears, then wait for a day or two to give the skin of your puppy’s ears some time to calm down so that cleaner doesn’t cause any further irritation.
  5. Squeeze a bit by bit of Puppy’s ear cleaner solution into the ear and let it drop down into the ear canal.
  6. Begin massaging the base of the ear (this is the bottom part near the jaw where cartilage can be felt). In this way, the cleaner helps in breaking down wax and debris.
  7. Allowing your puppy to shake its head will help the Puppy’s ear cleaning solution and debris left in the ear to come out from the ear canal to the outer opening of the ear. So, let him do that.
  8. Clean the outer ear flap and inside the ear with a cotton ball or muslin square. Wipe as deep inside you as can, using the cotton ball or muslin.
  9. Repeat the same above mentioned steps with the other ear as well.

Please check below video for how to clean your dogs’ ears:

Natural Home Remedies / DIY Puppy’s ears cleansing solution that you can make at home:

  1. VINEGAR – Just add one spoon of vinegar into one spoon of clean water.
  2. HYDROGEN PEROXIDE – Often used in medicine and home remedies as a disinfectant. It is used as a disinfectant due to its oxidizing and reducing properties and leads to the breaking if bacterial cell wall. However, too much use too often should be avoided to prevent damage to the ear. Use one teaspoon 3% hydrogen peroxide with one part of the clean water.
  3. VINEGAR AND BORIC ACID – This is a super formula for killing the excessive microorganisms inside the Puppy’s ear. All you need to do is take four teaspoon vinegar, ½ spoon boric acid, and five drops of disinfectant alcohol.
  4. HOMEMADE ESSENTIAL OILS – Homemade and easily available essential oils like olive oil and tea tree oil are also used as a potent ear cleanser. They not only help to cleanse the ear but also have an antiseptic and antifungal property, which helps in preventing the growth of microorganisms. All you need to do is mix one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of tea tree oil, and you’re good to go!

These certified home remedies have been used for ages and work well. However, you might want to check for any allergies that your dog may have to this substance, also called canine atopies.

Preventing Problems

  1. Never put the cotton-tipped applicators into your puppy’s ear any further than you can see, or you may cause damage to the eardrum.
  2. You’re not supposed to put the tip of the bottle into the ear.
  3. Observe your puppy’s ears for any kind of excessive fluid, thick wax, scratch, or wounds. If you see any of these signs, DO NOT attempt to clean your puppy’s ear and contact your veterinarian for appropriate advice and treatment.

Wrapping It Up

We have discussed above the infections in the ears of the puppies, their symptoms, how we can prevent them, treat them, and cure them. But as it is well said that,

‘Prevention is better than cure.’

That’s why, clean the ears of your fur babies regularly, and if there is any symptom of an infection, then get your puppy’s ears well treated by a veterinarian before the condition gets worse.

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