Our dogs are faithful and beloved companions. We always strive to take great care of them in every way, from making sure they eat a healthy diet to taking them to the veterinarian from time to time to check for illnesses and overall well being.
But we also need to take care of our dogs by making sure that they're clean. Most of us already regularly give our dogs baths to clean away bugs, dirt, and loose hair. This keeps their skin and fur glossy, fluffy, and clean.
But it’s also important to regularly clean your dog’s ears. These sensitive tissues are actually liable to get pretty dirty from regular play and roughhousing, especially if your dog spends a lot of time outside. While they’re partially cleaned with normal baths, the insides of their ears require special attention.
Fortunately, we have safe and effective pet-specific wipes here at Dr. Brite. Let’s break down how you can use these pet wipes to clean your canine’s ears.
Do You Really Need to Clean Your Dog’s Ears?
Even though dogs do a pretty decent job of cleaning themselves (at least to their own standards), it’s still important to occasionally give your dog a bath. Not only does this help with the “wet dog” smell, but it also helps keep fleas and other hygiene issues down for your furry friend.
By the same token, it’s important to occasionally wash your dog’s ears. Your dog can’t really clean their own ears, either on the outside or inside, and dogs don’t lick their paws to “wash” their ears like cats do. That means it ultimately falls to us pet parents to make sure that our dogs are as clean as possible.
How do you know if yourdog’s ears need to be cleaned? There are a few signs you can keep an eye out for:
- Check your dog’s ears every once in a while. Healthy, clean dog ears should look pink, odorless and won’t appear inflamed or dirty.
- On the flip side, if there's lots of dirt or wax on theinterior of your dog's ears, that's a pretty good sign that they need to be cleaned.
- You might also see fleas, ticks, or other bugs. If this is the case, your dog's ears definitely need to be cleaned and it's a good idea to take them to the vet as well.
- You might also smell a foul odor from your dog’s ears if they need to be cleaned.
However, be careful that you don't over-clean your dog's ears. Overcleaning their ears could cause the skin on the inside to become raw and irritated, or it could lead moisture to build up over time, affecting their hearing and opening up the possibility of ear infections.
How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Dog’s Ears?
Assuming you don’t see any of the warning signs above, it’s a good idea to clean your dog’s ears about once a month. You shouldn’t need to clean your dog’s ears more than twice a month unless they have a special condition or they spend a lot of time outside in muddy or dusty backyards.
You can also ask your veterinarian how often you should clean your specific pup’s ears. They may be able to offer precise advice about cleaning supplies or chemicals, especially since they’ll know if your dog is susceptible to certain conditions or side effects.
What You’ll Need
Once it's time to give your dog's ears a cleaning, it's a good idea to get the tools and things you'll need to clean their ears ready beforehand. Here's a short list of the stuff you'll need:
- A good cleaning wipe or solution. Cleaning wipes are usually a little easier to use than soaking a gauze pad or rag in your chosen cleaning solution, but either option works
- A particularly good choice isDr. Brite's Pet Pure Cleaning Wipes. These wipes are made without sulfates and alcohol, so they aren't toxic. Instead, we formulate our wipes usingcastile soap – a kind of natural soap derived from vegetable oils – and a host of other helpful ingredients to ensure that yourdog doesn't get sick if they accidentally ingest some of the cleaning wipe solution.
- You’ll also want to get a towel or dry gauze pads so you can dry your dog’s ears. You can always let their ears dry by themselves, but it’ll take longer and your dog might be uncomfortable.
- You might also consider grabbing some treats.Some dogs have difficulty sitting still for long stretches, and treats could provide the motivation they need to let you do your work.
How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
Fortunately, cleaning your dog’s ears is simple. In many ways, it’s similar to how you would clean your dog with a regular bath.
Step One: Sit Them Down and Give Them a Pet
Most dogs will appreciate it if you go slow. Even though dogs are used to getting bathed by their owners, lots of pups also don’t particularly like the experience.
To make things more comfortable for your canine companion, sit them down, and give them a few treats or a pet. This calms them down. If your dog has a more calm temperament, however, you don't necessarily need to do this step.
Step Two: Clean the Outside of Their Ears
After your dog is sitting patiently, it's time to start cleaning their ears. Begin with the outside of each ear, using a separate cleansing wipe for each ear. That's because each wipe will pick up dirt, debris, earwax, and hair and you don't want to spread that stuff around from ear to ear.
When cleaning your dog’s ears, you don’t need to go too hard or too rough. Slow, gentle strokes with your cleaning pad or wipe will be enough to get rid of any dirt or wax that might have been rubbed into their fur.
If there’s a stain or mud or something else caked into their fur and you can’t get it out with a few gentle strokes, consider visiting a vet or using a wet wash rag instead. Again, though, be sure not to go too rough. Your dog’s ears are relatively thin and fragile compared to the skin elsewhere on their body.
Step Three: Clean the Inside of Their Ears
Next, take fresh cleaning wipes and rub down the inside of your dog’s ears. Your dog’s ear canals need to stay relatively dry, so we don't recommend using a soaked washrag to clean out wax and dirt.
As mentioned,Dr. Brite's Pet Pure Cleaning Wipes are a great solution since they aren't too wet, but can remove most dirt and debris easily. But you can also get these wipes as part of the pack, which includes additional oral care sprays and other stuff to help your pup look (and smell) their best!
When cleaning, be sure to move gently and carefully, and don't dig your wipe or other cleaning pad too far into their ears. Go too deep, and you run the risk of accidentally injuring your dog, which will require a veterinarian visit. Just like with human ears, your dog’s inner ear canals are meant to have a little wax and hair to assist with keeping dirt from affecting the eardrums.
Step Four: Dry Their Ears
We recommended getting some dry gauze pads specifically so that you can dry your dog’s ears after cleaning them thoroughly. Use the dry gauze pads to mop up any residual moisture that might be left behind from your wet wipes.
As before, don't go too deep or you might end up injuring your dog by accident. A good rule of thumb is to stop before you reach the inner folds of their ear. If in doubt, just play it safe and wash closer to the outside of their ears. In the worst-case scenario, you can always have your veterinarian finish your cleaning job later.
As you can see, it’s pretty easy to clean your dog’s ears, especially when you have excellent cleaning wipes like ourconditioning pet wipes. These special wipes are specifically formulated with all-natural ingredients to not just cleanse, but to soothe! The best part -- even if your dog manages to lick part of the wipe, they won’t get sick or have an upset stomach.
Even better, you can use these pet wipes to clean the rest of your dog. They’re a great travel-friendly cleaning solution for your pup – use a few to clean their fur, wipe down their face, or clean their paws after they run around outside for a while and you can’t give them a bath.
Be sure to check out the rest ofour pet-friendly cleaning solutions and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!
1. Can I use water to clean my dog's ears?
There are many ear cleaning treatments available for dogs, but warm water is usually sufficient in most situations. Cotton wool balls should be used instead of Q-tips, which can damage a dog's ear. As you begin to work your way into the ear, dip the cotton wool into the liquid.
2. Can I use baby wipes to clean my dog's ears?
Cleaning your dog's ears at home doesn't require a lot of tools. Cotton balls, tissues, and baby wipes are some of the things humans use as grooming tools. You can consult your veterinarian about the best way to clean your dog's ears.
3. Should I be cleaning my dog's ears?
Do all dogs need to have their ears cleaned? Certainly not. Regularly cleaning your dog's ears is necessary, but excessive washing can cause irritation in the ear canal, which can lead to infection. Dogs with healthy, clean ears may never require ear cleaning.
4. How often should you clean dog ears?
How often should you clean your dog's ears? It's generally recommended to clean your dog's ears once a month. Those with long, floppy ears or dogs that swim regularly may require biweekly or weekly ear cleaning. Make sure the ears are thoroughly dried after swimming or washing.
5. Can I flush my dog's ear with saline?
A saline solution made from normal saline can be used and is quite safe. Virbac's Epi-Otic Ear Cleaner is included in this category. Chronhexidine and alcohol are not present in Epi-Otic. Popular and safe solutions include Zymox cleanser with bio-active enzymes and ear wipes like these.
6. Can I use vinegar to clean my dog's ears?
Commercial ear cleaners are safe when used as your veterinarian has instructed since they have various features built in to help reduce debris and moisture in the ears. Using vinegar (white or apple cider) as an ear cleaning to help treat ear infections or as a general cleaner is a DIY that has made its way through the channels.
7. What is the brown stuff in my dog's ears?
Dark brown or black earwax is frequently linked to bacterial or yeast ear infections. If your pet's earwax is this color, it's a good idea to speak with a veterinarian. Brown—Ear wax in a light brown color is typical and expected. Wax that is accompanied by odor or swelling may indicate an infection.
8. What are symptoms of ear mites in dogs?
Dogs who have ear mites may scratch their ears, heads, and necks, experience skin rashes, shake their heads, have waxy, dark ear discharge that resembles coffee grounds, and have an awful ear odor.
9. Can I use salt water to clean my dog's ears?
You can give your dog regular ear saline, which is usually a secure choice. Before buying and utilizing any products for your pet, as with anything else related to them, it is always advisable to speak with your veterinarian.