How to Clean Your Pet’s Ears: A Step-By-Step Guide

by | Oct 12, 2021 | Blog

Your pet’s ears will likely need to be cleaned at some point in their life. The frequency of cleaning can depend on a number of factors. If they happen to have allergies, they may need their ears clean at least once a week to stave off allergy-related ear infections. Follow these steps from the Heart of Brooklyn Veterinary Hospital to make cleaning your furry pal’s ears a breeze.

Step 1: Gather your pet’s ear cleaning equipment

Some pets require medicated ear cleaner, but if your four-legged friend’s ears are only a little dirty and need a simple wiping out to freshen them up, a regular ear cleaner is fine. Have on-hand cotton balls, gauze, and long-stemmed Q-tips to help remove debris.

Step 2: Have your pet sit in a corner or a family member hold them

Pets can get a bit squirrely when they see a bottle of ear cleaner, so enlist a family member’s help or corner your pet to hold them still.

Step 3: Acclimate your pet to the ear cleaner solution

Rather than dumping the ear cleaner from the bottle into your pet’s ear, gently introduce them to ear cleaning by squirting a little on a cotton ball and wiping out their ear with the damp cotton. However, pets who are predisposed to ear infections will likely need a deeper flush, which requires a squirt or two of ear cleaner deep in the canal. 

Step 4: Massage the ear cleaner into your pet’s ear to break up debris

After applying the ear cleaner—either by leaving the soaked cotton ball in the ear or by flushing—massage the ear base to break up debris. This helps move the cleaning fluid deeper in the ear canal for hard-to-reach debris.

Step 5: Wipe out the cleaner and the debris

Using your cotton balls, gauze, and Q-tips, remove all traces of debris from your pet’s ears. The cotton balls and gauze wrapped around your finger work well to reach deeper in the ear canal, and the Q-tips can clean out the folds in the ear flap.

Step 6: Reward your pet

Reward your pet for a job well done throughout the ear cleaning process and when you’re finished! Next time, they’ll look forward to their ear cleaning.  

If you find that your pet’s ears seem sensitive, red, inflamed, or full of a waxy build-up or discharge, contact our team for help.