Let’s review what NOT to do:
- Do not allow water to get into the ear canal if possible. It can lead the formation of bacteria and fungus.
- Do not use a syringe as you may damage your dog’s ear. Leave this tool to the professionals.
- Do not go deeper than ½ inch into the ear canal – unless you’re trained it’s not worth getting overly ambitious and accidentally hurting your dog.
Do It Yourself Dog Ear Cleaning Supplies*
- Hemostat (special scissors) sterilized before and after each procedure.
- Commercial ear powder
- Commercial ear cleaning solution or homemade mixture (see below)
- Cotton (sterile medical grade preferred).
*Do not use Q-Tips or alcohol as a dog ear medication.
- Straighten the ear canal by gently pulling the tip of the ear flap upwards.
- Drip a dog ear cleaning solution (see below for recommendations) into your dog’s ear canal using a plastic or glass dropper.
- Gently massage the base of your dog’s ear with your thumb and forefinger for 30 seconds. The ear canal will feel like a small hard tube between your fingers. You will know that you’re doing it right if you hear a squishy sound.
- Tip your dog’s head to the side and let the dog ear cleaningsolution drip out onto a towel. If this is your first time, don’t be surprised if a lot of material comes out!
- Allow your dog to shake out any excess dog ear wash.
- Being careful not to insert anything deeper into the ear canal than ½ inch, remove any excess wax or particles with a soft cloth, tissue or specially made dog earcleaning pad.
- Ventilate your dog’s ears by folding back their ears and allowing them to dry out for about five minutes.
- Wrap things up by administering a dog ear drying powder.
If you can see a build-up of oil or wax inside the ear, try using an Almond Oil dog ear cleaning solution:
- Pour a small amount of almond oil into a cup or glass
- Immerse cup or glass (do not let water overflow into cup) in a sink or bowl full of hot water
- Straighten ear canal by gently lifting the tip of the ear flap upwards
- Slowly drop about ½ teaspoon of almond oil into your dog’s ear canal using a plastic or glass dropper
- Allow the oil to run down ear canal for 5 seconds
- Gently massage the ear canal with your thumb and forefinger as mentioned above. Again, if you hear a squishy sound you know you’re doing it right.
- Use a soft cloth, tissue or special ear cleaning pad to remove the excess oil.
For normal weekly cleaning (do not use on inflamed ears):
- Commercial Ear Cleaner – there are several good ones on the market, such as Halo’s Herbal Natural Ear Wash Solution.
- Vinegar Rinse – Create a mixture of 1/3 apple organic cider vinegar (2% to 2.5% acetic acid) and 2/3 water. Using a dropper, gently flush the ear canal with between 1 and 5 ml of the solutions.
The above is also good to use after swimming.