Ear Care for Dogs

Written by: Jamie
Updated: June 27, 2019

Keeping your dog’s ears clean is an important part of general pet hygiene, but where to begin? Here’s everything to know about ear care for dogs, including dog ear wash products you can use.

dog ear care

Ear infections are one of the most common reasons for taking your dog to the vet; that’s why an important element of caring for your dog is ensuring he or she has clean, healthy ears.

Dog ears are different from human ears, and so they require a different kind of care and attention. While our ears do work in a similar way to dogs’, the main difference is that dogs are able to hear sound at a higher frequency. This is because dogs have a much larger ear canal than humans, and they have 18 mobile muscles, whereas humans have only 6.

As humans, we can easily take care of our own ears, but dogs need a little help from their owner in order to keep things ship shape. This article will take a look at why cleaning your dog’s ears is essential, how best to go about cleaning them, and reviews of two dog ear cleaner products available to buy online.

Why Clean your Dog’s Ears?

Ear infections are common among dogs. Dogs’ ears have a much larger opening than humans’, and they don’t have the ability to clean or maintain themselves as we do. Just like taking your dog for walks and giving him or her regular washes, ear cleaning is an essential part of caring for your pet.

Performing a regular ear wash on your dog helps ward off infection and ear mites, which can cause discomfort and pain, and lead to more serious issues for your dog further down the line.

vet checking dogs ears

Ideally, you will clean your dog’s ears regularly from when they are a puppy. Some dogs need more attention given to ear hygiene than others: pooches with large, floppy ears or those who regularly enjoy swimming should have their ears cleaned and checked more often.

Read on to find out which tools you need to clean your dog’s ears safely and effectively.

Recommended Reading: Is activated charcoal just as effective for dogs as it is for us?

Can You Use Human Tools to Do This?

Cleaning your dog’s ears means using the right tools and products. You cannot use human ear cleaning tools to clean a dog’s ear. You should never use cotton buds on your dog’s ear (and really, you shouldn’t be using them on your own ears either) as there is a risk of putting them too far into your ear canal and causing damage.

To clean your dog’s ears safely, the best tools to use are damp balls of cotton wool or cotton pads and ear cleaner for dogs, which can be bought online or at your vet’s.

Read on to learn how best to clean your dog’s ears using these tools.

ear care for a small dog

How Should You Clean a Dog’s Ears?

Once you’re prepped and you have the right tools for the job, it’s time to clean your dog’s ears. Factor in the size of your dog when beginning to cleaning its ears. If you have a larger dog, it will be easier to clean their ears in an open space where they can lie on the floor. If you have a smaller dog, he or she may be comfortable sitting on your lap.

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Lift up your dog’s outer ear flap, called the ear pinna, so you can inspect what’s going on inside. Redness can indicate a mild infection. A slight smell and a little brown wax is usually normal. Ear issues that might indicate more serious issues include pus-colored or black discharge, or a strong and unpleasant odor. If you notice any of these in your dog’s ears, you should visit the vet and seek further advice.


Here’s how to clean your dog’s ear safely and effectively:

  1. Take a damp piece of cotton wool or cotton pad and gently clean the ear pinna and entrance to the ear. Wipe away any dirt or wax that may have built up.
  2. Take your dog ear cleaner and insert the nozzle into the entrance of the ear canal. Squeeze the bottle to squirt the cleaner into the inner ear, and gently rub any overflow into the base of the ear to make sure the liquid is fully dispersed inside.

Please note that although this process does not hurt or cause discomfort to your dog, it will probably shake its head when you apply the cleaner.

If your vet has issued you with special drops for your dog, apply these after the general cleaner.

There are many different kinds of ear cleaner for dogs on the market, but how do you know which one to choose? Read on for our reviews of two popular products that are available to buy online today.

Recommended Reading: Don’t miss our guide to eye care for dogs next!

The Best Ear Cleaning Products for Your Dog

In this section, we take a close look at two of our favorite cleaning products for dog ears.

Pro Pooch Dog Ear Cleaner (250 ML)

This ear cleaner from Pro Pooch is a best-selling product for cleaning out wax and dirt, helping to stop excessive itching, and reducing odor. The cleaner is certified and vet-approved and made using 100% natural ingredients. Want to know more? Read on to find out more about this popular dog ear wash.

Key Features

  • Targets multiple areas: itching, head shaking, wax reduction and odor removal
  • Used for cleaning the outer ear area
  • 100% natural, non-toxic ingredients + free from alcohol
  • pH balanced to work alongside your pooch’s natural cleaning system
  • A trusted UK brand – BRC certified + made in the UK
  • Certified safe for use by vets
  • Money-back guarantee

Product Overview

Pro Pooch Ear Cleaner is priced competitively. It is around the middle of the price range for similar products, which is probably one of the main reasons for its popularity. Customers have lauded the benefits of this product, and for many the fact that the product is effective while being totally natural makes it stand out from its competitors. For an effective ear cleaner without the fear of exposing your pet to harmful chemicals, the Pro Pooch Ear Cleaner offers great value for money.

It’s definitely possible to find dog ear cleaning products that are cheaper, but these are often diluted and rarely vet-approved as the one from Pro Pooch is. In addition to this, the total absence of any toxic ingredients and harsh chemicals gives you peace of mind as a dog-owner, as you can be sure that it won’t cause any damage or risk of allergic reaction in your pooch.

Pro Pooch are so confident with their product that they offer a money-back guarantee if you’re not completely happy. All in all, it’s a confident brand with a solid product that stands out and is a breath of fresh air in the pet ear cleaner market.

The Bottom Line

Pro Pooch Ear Cleaner is a great option for those seeking a safe, all natural cleaner for their dog. If you’re looking for a solid and reliable mid-range product, try it out and see for yourself – you won’t be disappointed.

Vet’s Best Ear Cleaning Pads for Dogs (50 Pack)

A product specifically designed to clean dirt and wax buildup, these convenient cleaning pads make it quick and easy to freshen up your dog’s ear and protect them from infection. Each pad is single-use and contains natural ingredients for soothing and cleansing. Learn more about this product from Vet’s Best by reading our review below.

Key Features

  • Formulated to remove dirt, wax and reduce odor
  • Improves overall ear hygiene
  • Gentle and soothing with natural ingredients
  • Convenient and hygienic single-use pads
  • Allows gentle targeting of problem areas with the owner’s own hand

Product Overview

These ear-cleaning pads are designed from the angle of convenience and hygiene. The owner simply needs to place a pad on their finger and gently clean the dog’s outer ear, before disposing of the pad. The pads are designed to work with the sensitive skin of your dog’s ear and contain naturally soothing ingredients including aloe vera.

These pads are definitely a convenience that can motivate you to clean your dog’s ears more regularly, and they provide peace of mind knowing that they are designed specifically with this purpose in mind. In this regard, they’re not shockingly expensive for their niche purpose.

However, arguably the only big difference between these cleaning pads and regular cotton wool or cotton pads is that they fit around your finger. You also still need to buy the cleaning solution separately, so consider this when factoring in the cost of the pads.

The Bottom Line

Although convenient, you could use ordinary cotton pads made from pure cotton without any toxic ingredients in the place of these pads and save yourself a lot of money in the process.

Recommended Article: Can dogs get headaches just like we do? Find out in our latest article.


When undertaking ear care on your dog, it’s important that you use products specifically designed for the job.

The Pro Pooch ear cleaner reviewed here is a great example of a mid-range, all-natural cleaning solution that can be used on all dogs without the worry of an allergic reaction – a good bet if you’re buying online, as they are vet-approved.

The Vet’s Best ear cleaning pads are a reliable product that will do the job, but they are not necessary for giving your dog’s ears a good clean; they’re more a matter of convenience for the user.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Jamie! I've always been around dogs and now writing about them is an absolute joy.
Read more about my story here.
Reach me at Jamie@woofbarkgrowl.co.uk or connect with me on LinkedIn below.

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