Essential Guide to Proper Ear Care for Dogs

Essential Guide to Proper Ear Care for Dogs

Consistent ear care is crucial for the overall health of your furry friend. Whether your dog has pricked alert ears or longer, floppy ears, regular maintenance helps prevent infections and keeps your pet comfortable.

Knowing what the inside of your dog’s ears looks like can help you catch any early signs of irritation or infection. In this guide, we’ll cover when and how to clean your dog’s ears, what products to use, and signs that indicate a potential issue.

Check Your Dog’s Ears Regularly

It’s important to inspect your dog’s ears a few times a week. Familiarize yourself with the normal appearance of your dog’s ear canals to easily spot any changes. Look for:

  • Redness
  • Excessive buildup
  • Dark splotches
  • Flakes

Use the Right Products

When cleaning your dog’s ears, opt for a quality ear cleaner. Products such as ear medicine are effective in eliminating yeast and other unwanted buildup. Avoid using Q-tips to clean inside the ear canal, as it can puncture the eardrum. Instead, apply the ear cleaner to a cotton ball and gently swab the outer parts of the ear.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dog’s Ears?

Dogs with Pricked Alert Ears

For dogs with pricked, alert ears like German Shepherds or Huskies, a cleaning session once or twice a week is typically sufficient. These breeds don’t accumulate as much dirt and debris as those with floppy ears.

Dogs with Floppy Ears

Breeds with longer, floppy ears like Bloodhounds, Basset Hounds, or Golden Retrievers often require more frequent cleanings—at least twice a week. These breeds tend to gather more dirt and debris due to their ear structure.

Signs Your Dog May Have an Ear Infection

Regular inspections can help you detect symptoms that may require a professional’s attention. Look for:

  • Excessive buildup in one ear
  • Redness and irritation
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • A funky, yeast-like smell

If you notice these signs, it’s advisable to consult your veterinarian for further evaluation and treatment.


Caring for your dog’s ears is an important aspect of their overall health maintenance. Regular checks and cleanings can prevent infections and ensure your dog is comfortable and happy. Make ear care a consistent part of your pet’s grooming routine to keep them in top shape.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to address any issues early and ensure your dog enjoys optimal ear health.