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How To Clean Your Dog's Ears

Using ear cleanser or ear medication

Don't squirt the solution into your dog's ears! Most dogs hate this. Instead:

  • Soak a cotton ball with cleaner or medication
  • Put the cotton ball into the ear
  • Close the ear flap, and gently massage

Take your time and work when your dog has exercised and welcomes the opportunity to sit quietly. Give a big reward—we recommend Blue Buffalo Bits Dog Treats—after medicating.

Your pet appreciates receiving ear medications at body temperature. Warm ear medications that are required to be kept in the refrigerator. Use a hot water bath rather than a microwave, or leave the medication out until it reaches room temperature.

Cautions when cleaning your dog's ears

Cleaning your dog's ears is a very important part of your dog's overall health, and gentleness is the key:

  • Do not massage firmly and do not rub the ear firmly
  • Do not let your pet scratch or rub their ear firmly either

Why not?

The 7th (Facial) and 8th (Vestibulocochlear) cranial nerves travel together and are easily damaged. When these nerves are stretched, or irritated by rubbing, your pet can lose hearing and equilibrium. Some pets, especially cats, develop Horner's syndrome: the pupil of the eye constricts, the 3rd eyelid elevates, the upper lid drops. Other pets lose their balance, become ataxic (uncoordinated), circle, and fall over. Fortunately, these symptoms are preventable if you dont't rub or massage too firmly.

Recommended pet medications for cleaning your dog's ears
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