Dog Ear Cleaning Step By Step

Dog ear cleaning is an important part of dog hygiene. Some dogs are more susceptible to ear infections than others. Floppy-eared or furry-eared dogs, such as the cocker spaniel, are prone to ear infections. Lack of air circulation within the ear, accumulation of moisture, bacteria, fungi or mites can cause dog-ear infections. Ear infections can result in hearing loss if left untreated. They can also be very painful depending upon how deep into the ear the infection occurs.

There are a number of ways to prevent a dog ear infection. Careful monitoring of the ears done weekly is the best form of prevention.

Inspect The Ears Once A Week

  • Most dogs do not like their ears to be touched, so getting them acclimated to ear inspections is important. Checking the ears should begin while the dog is a puppy; however, if it is an older dog this routine may take time.
  • Check the ear once a week by lifting up the flap of the ear and looking inside the ear for any swelling or redness. Healthy ears are fleshy pink.
  • Check for moisture and any insects, including mites, especially in the case of dogs with has floppy ears and/or fur inside the ear. This is a potential breeding ground for bacterial or fungal ear infections. To increase airflow, trim any excessive hair inside the ear.
  • Remove any dirt and/or debris with dog ear wash and cotton balls. Do not use Q-tips.
  • Rubbing alcohol can cause irritation to skin, especially if it is broken due to scratching; however, it helps remove excessive ear wax. Care should be taken so that the rubbing alcohol does not flow down into the ear by pouring it onto the cotton ball first.
  • Using garlic or apple cider vinegar will prevent any yeast from growing and therefore prevent some infections. However, monitor for any allergic reactions.
  • If there is an ear infection present, cold compresses can be used to relieve pain and control the swelling. Hydrocortisone cream can temporarily relieve the pain and itch of fungal infections until the dog is able to visit the veterinarian.
  • Take your dog to the veterinarian if there are any signs of an ear infection, such as swelling, itching, pain, redness, odor, oozing, ear discharge or head shaking. A dog walking in circles may have an infection to the inner ear. Take the dog to the veterinarian immediately since an infection to the inner ear can spread to the central nervous system and possibly lead to death.


Unfortunately, neither bacterial or fungal ear infections can be treated with home remedies. Only prescribed medications can cure either of them.