Dogs depend on their sense of hearing, which is far greater than that of humans. Their ability to use their ears is critical to their health and wellbeing. Creating time for ear cleaning is important.

Many dog breeds tend to have larger ears. Some dogs have thick hair and ears that lay flat along the head, protecting the ears from external dirt and other debris. Other dogs with shorter ears or ears that are often propped up (either artificially through surgery or naturally) are at a greater risk of the collection of dirt, oil and other grime.

For the health and wellbeing of a dog, it is essential to clean out the ears. Clean ears are more than just vital in maintaining a clean dog but for their health. Initially, some dogs may not like the feeling of something probing inside their ears. But eventually, they will grow accustomed to this feeling and allow you to perform routine ear cleaning.

In this post, we will share some benefits of ear cleaning for your furry friend.

What Issues Affect a Dog’s Ears?

veterinarian examining the ears of the dog


The number of issues that might affect your dog’s ears will vary based on how exposed your dog’s ear canal is to the elements. Certain dogs, such as short-haired breeds and dogs with upright ears are far more susceptible to potential problems. While these dogs are in greater need of regular ear cleaning, you still need to check your dog even if they have ears that lay flush with the rest of their heads.

Several issues affect a dog’s ears. Some dogs have allergies. They are allergic to foods, dust, dander, and other elements, just like humans. One way dogs with allergies clear their system is through ear wax. This is like if you have a sinus infection and your ears drain. Allergies may cause your dog’s ears to experienced a buildup of this waxy gunk.

Ear Mites

Ear mites are another problem that may affect your dog’s ears. In order to completely rid your dog of ear mites, you will need to bathe your dog and purchase ear medication that flushes out and kills the ear mites.

While ear mites are present, they will bite on your dog’s ear. You’ll also see a dark buildup of gunk that might look like ear wax, but is actually the byproduct of the mites (including dead mites).


Dirt will collect in your dog’s ear. If your dog plays outside and loves to romp around in the dirt, you will find it collects along the folds of your dog’s ear. It is essential to clean out your dog’s ear of dirt before anything finds its way deep into the canal of the ear.

If larger chunks of dirt and mud push into the ear, your dog will begin to scratch at their ear. This causes several issues, including scratching off hair and even hurting themselves with their nails.

Allergies and Wax Production

black bulldog


With the size of your dog’s ears, infections are more likely to enter your dog through their ears than just about anywhere else. Plus, if your dog produces a large amount of wax (either naturally or due to allergies) it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and other insects. The best way to avoid these kinds of issues is to perform regular ear cleaning on your dog.

Is There a Need for Ear Cleaning?

If you have a dog, there is a need to clean his or her ears. It is more than just ridding your dog’s ears of wax and dirt. It is a health concern. It is more important to perform regular ear cleaning than it is to wash your dog (although you need to do this as well). Washing your dog helps clean their coat, remove dead skin, clear away fur and improve their physical appearance.

Preventive Cleaning


Ear cleaning goes a step further. If your dog produces a large amount of wax, this wax will build up and collect inside the folds of their ear. As the wax buildup increases, there is a greater chance of small bugs, such as mites, moving in to feast on the build up. It also increases the possibility of bacteria growing inside of the ear.

Your dog’s ear is nice and warm. Combine the added moisture of wax, and you have a breeding ground for bacteria. If bacteria grow inside your dog’s ear, there is a good chance they might become sick. It also might cause them to develop new allergies. At the least, it will probably make they smell bad.

Spot Ear Mites

Cleaning your dog’s ears helps you spot ear mites. The mites themselves are too small to see by the naked eye. However, you’ll see the destruction caused by the mites. First, you’ll likely notice your dog is scratching at his ears far more frequently. If you’re not careful, your dog might scratch and cut himself with his nails.

Additionally, when mites leave behind the byproduct of nibbling on your dog’s ears, it also opens the possibility of developing bacteria, because in this case, it isn’t just ear wax, but excrement from the mites and the collection of dead mites. In order to avoid all of this, it is important for you to clean your dog’s ears through regular ear cleaning.

Key Benefits of Ear Cleaning for Your Dog

Adorable Jack Russell Retriever puppy portrait


The major benefit behind regular ear cleaning is to keep your dog healthy, happy and comfortable. Just like you your dog can feel the build-up of gunk inside their ear. It is one reason they scratch at their ears.

However, your dog will see more than a buildup of earwax. By cleaning your dog’s ear you’ll prevent the development of bacteria, which keeps them healthy, and you’ll help avoid the potential of ear mites, which keeps them happy, healthy and comfortable.

Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

First, before you ever clean your dog’s ear, you need to pet your dog and play with their ears. Your dog needs to feel comfortable with you touch in and around their ear. If your dog does not like it, you’ll struggle ever cleaning your dog’s ears. It might take time but keep with it. This way, when it comes time to clean their ears, you’ll have an easier time going about doing this.

The cleaning process can have a few different parts to it. First, you can use ear cleaning wipes. These wipes are soft and gentle on the skin and are good for necessary cleaning. These kinds of wipes work well if your dog’s ears are oily and there isn’t any substantial buildup of gunk in the ears. The wipes might not work well in certain folds of the ear, but for basic cleaning, these work well.

The next step is to clean into the tight folds of your dog’s ear. You might need to build up to this as the further into your dog’s ear you go the greater the chance of your dog feeling uncomfortable. In some tighter areas of the ears, you must use a cotton swab.

However, just like with your own ear, don’t try to go too far. Only work the area you can see to swab out the gunk that has collected within the folds of the ear that the cleaning wipes cannot reach.

What to Look For

veterinarian examining the dog in the clinic


During ear cleaning there are specifics you’ll want to watch out for that might stand out. For starters, look for any gunk that might be stuck to the inside of the ear to the point of it not coming off. This might be actually dried blood from mites chewing on your dog’s ear.

You’ll want to inspect your dog’s ears several times a week. By doing this if you suddenly notice a large build-up of gunk that seems to have appeared out of nowhere there’s a good chance it is from mites or an allergic reaction.

When either this or the dried gunk appears, you’ll want to keep an eye out for repeat issues. It should take time for your dog to produce a substantial amount of additional wax or for dirt to collect, so if after a few days there is a large amount of debris you know it’s either allergies or mites.

You need to use a cleaning solution inside your dog’s ear when this happens. With these solutions, you’ll squirt a few drops inside your dog’s ear and rub the ear to spread it around. If it is mites, you’ll do the same thing with a mite solution. Repeat this for several days in a row. This should clear out the gunk and kill off the mites.


Dog ear cleaning is essential. You need to do what you can to clean your dog’s ears. This will help keep them healthy while avoiding bacteria growth in their ears.

It doesn’t take much to clean your dog’s ears, and they will become accustomed to you cleaning the ears. It might take time for your dog to become accustomed to you cleaning the ears, but it’s best for both of you.