How to Safely Clean Dog’s Ears

September 16, 2022

As dog owners, we all know that taking care of and cleaning our dog’s ears is an essential part of keeping FIDO healthy. However, it’s not a very intuitive thing to do. There’s lots of things to consider, and it can be hard to know when to clean your dog’s ears in the first place! That’s why we’ve put together this short blog to teach you everything there is to know about cleaning your dog’s ears.

How often should I clean my dog’s ear?

healthy clean dog ear

A healthy dog ear should look slightly pink and have no odor.

The person who first said “there can never be too much of a good thing” clearly knew nothing about cleaning a dog’s ears. Over-cleaning your dog’s ear can lead to irritation and inflammation, both of which make your dog’s ear rife for infection. Unfortunately, however, not cleaning your dog’s ear often enough can lead to similar issues. So how are you supposed to know how often to clean your dog’s ear?

First, you should know what a dog’s ear looks like when it’s healthy and clean. Well, here’s the answer: the inside of her ear should look slightly pink and have no odor. An unhealthy dog’s ear may be clogged with debris, appear red and inflamed, or even smell like Frito chips! (that’s a sign of too much yeast growth). Moreover, if you notice a change in how your dog’s ear looks or smells, or if she is fussing with her ears more than usual…it’s probably time for an ear cleaning.

On the subject of dogs’ ears, it’s worth noting that some dog breeds require more frequent ear cleanings than others. Dogs who are prone to ear infections, this includes those with long, pendulous, droopy ears, such as Basset Hounds, require more frequent cleanings.  Other dogs in this same category with long floppy ears include: Spaniels, Beagles, Dachshunds, Bloodhounds and most Hound dogs.  Likewise, dogs who spend lots of time in the water should also have their ears cleaned more regularly. Dogs who swim frequently should also have topical astringents applied to their ears before they get in the water; this will prevent water from entering their ear canal and help stave off infection. Banixx Pet Care Spray fits the bill nicely for this one.

In summary, a good general rule of thumb is to inspect and clean your dog’s ears once per month. This will likely ensure you don’t miss any signs of ear infections in your dog.

What do I need to clean my dog’s ear?

clean dog's ears wipes

Make sure you have the right equipment and supplies before cleaning your dog’s ears.

Properly cleaning your dog’s ear requires you to have the right equipment and supplies. Below, you’ll find a list of supplies you need to clean your dog’s ear.

  • Treats: You’ll want to keep some of your dog’s favorite treats on-hand to distract them, reward them for good behavior and keep them calm during the cleaning. Plus, these treats can help reinforce that ear cleaning is a positive experience for your pup.
  • Clean, dry towels: Ear cleaning can get messy – fast! This is especially true if your dog gets a bit nervous or squirms during ear cleaning. Having a towel on-hand will help minimize cleanup time and keep any messes under control.
  • Cotton balls/Sterile gauze: Sterilized cotton balls or swabs should be used to clean the ridges of your dog’s outer ear to minimize the chance of recurrent infections. However, remember to never insert cotton swabs directly into your dog’s ear canal. Doing this can risk damaging their hearing.
  • Ear Rinse/Ear Cleaner/Ear Wash for Dogs:. The names abound but in selecting one, be careful to avoid using any cleaners that contain alcohol or hydrogen peroxide; these ingredients can irritate or burn your dog’s ears. Hydrogen peroxide causes irritation or even damage to healthy tissue. Ears contain very sensitive tissue that needs a gentle solution. Banixx Pet Care is the ideal ear wash (or ear rinse) since it has no sting and has no scent (to scare your pup). Remember, that your best friend has a sense of smell up to 1,000 times stronger than you so, a product with added perfume just makes him nervous!! So when looking for an at home dog ear cleaner, just reach for Banixx Pet Care.

Now to prepare your dog’s ear for cleaning

Be sure to clean your dog’s ears in a familiar, calm setting. If you’re going to be inside, consider doing this in the tub. If you can’t, then place towels underneath your dog to keep your floors dry.

Make sure to inspect your dog’s ears before you clean them. This will let you determine how dirty they really are.  If you notice that your dog’s ear has a foul smell, appears very red or inflamed, or seems to cause them discomfort, be very cautious with the cleaning process.

If you believe your dog has symptoms of an ear infection, reach first for Banixx!  Banixx provides instant relief for pets big and small from ear infections with no mess, no burn, and no odor. Best of all, it’s a dog ear cleaning solution that doesn’t rely on pesky antibiotics or scary steroids.

How to Clean a Dog’s Ear

clean dog's ears

Be sure to clean up any remaining debris or waxy film from inside the ear with a clean cotton-ball or gauze.

If you’re feeling nervous about cleaning your dog’s ear, just take a breather. Everything is going to be just fine. Just follow our simple guide below!

  1. Place a cotton ball or folded-up sterile gauze that’s lightly moisturized with the cleaning solution gently into your dog’s ear. Banixx is the product of choice for all the reasons previously mentioned; its potent yet gentle.  Make sure to not press the ball or gauze down into the canal; this can damage your dog’s hearing. Gently massage the cotton or gauze against the ear tissue so that it’s coated with Banixx. Banixx works on contact.
  2. If things are going well ( = no panic from your dog).  Remove the cotton/gauze and make it much more moist.  Re-apply to your dog’s ear and again massage into the ear tissue. The goal here is to completely saturate the inside of your dog’s ear.  This ensures that any debris or crusty deposits will glide off the ear tissue into the cotton or gauze and be removed when you remove the cotton. The simplicity of the Banixx is that it acts immediately on contact.  Its unique formula completely inhibits any fungal/yeast or bacterial growth while having no sting or nasty medicinal smell.
  3. While this is going on, remember to treat your dog!
  4. You can gently massage the base of your dog’s ear to maximize the effectiveness while the cotton is still in the ear. Do this by gently applying pressure in a circular motion to the base of your dog’s ear for 10 to 15 seconds. Most dogs with any minor ear issues really enjoy this! This will help the ear cleaner reach hard-to-reach crevices of your dog’s ear canal. If the cotton/gauze is slightly soiled, replace it with a new one.
  5. Allow your dog to shake her head–After you’ve finished massaging the ear canal, take the cotton ball/gauze out of your dog’s ear. Then, let him stand up and shake it all out! After all, wouldn’t you want to shake all that junk out of your ear, too?

Finally–Clean up any remaining debris or waxy film from inside the ear with a clean cotton-ball or gauze.

Treat your pup !

“Another treat?!”   YES!  Another one!  You want there to be as many chances as possible for your pup to build a good association with getting his ears cleaned. He did all that you asked? Correct? Then reward, and rewards can be also encouraging words, you know the drill. “that’s a really Good Boy!  Or  Girl!

dog ear spray

If you spray Banixx directly into the ear, be SURE it is at least room temperature.

Surprisingly, some dogs are just fine with a spray of ear wash (Banixx Pet) directly into the ear.  IF you are able to so, be SURE that the product is at least room temperature.  If in doubt, run the bottle under a warm faucet for a few minutes.  Imagine how YOU would react if squirted some cold liquid into your ear and how much nicer it would be if it were warm. Additionally, start out with a slow, minimal squirt or stream and very slowly increase the volume.  DO anticipate that your dog will shake his head with some force, in short order, so be ready with those towels for a defense!

Now that you know how to clean your dog’s ears and what to be on the lookout for, you’ll be able to keep him happy and healthy! Of course, there’s always more to learn about taking care of your four-legged friend. For more information on how to be a great parent to your pup – especially in the summer – check out any of these dog blog articles and further more if you’ve ever wondered how long a dog can go without peeing, we have that answer too!




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