If you are looking for the best way to clean your dogs ears then you are in the right place! .

At Pro Pooch, we have cleaned our fare share of doggy ears with our dog ear cleaner, while developing our range of naturally derived products.

To help you get the job done, we have compiled a list of common questions and put together a step by step guide to help you get through it with as little fuss as possible!

Why should owners clean their Dog’s Ears?

Dog ears have quite long ear canals, ranging from 5-10cm, and their ear canals have a right-angled bend. This makes it easy for stuff to get into their ears and almost impossible for them to remove it on their own.


A dog’s ear canal is warm, dark and moist, the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, so debris in the ear often causes ear infections and your dog may injure themselves trying to deal with the irritation.

diagram of dog ear canal

Your dog is at the highest risk of getting an ear infection if they have floppy or extremely furry ears, as these ears collect the largest amount of moisture. Swimming also significantly increases the risk of ear infection as moisture gets locked into the fur around and inside the ears.

You can learn more about causes, symptoms and treatments for ear infections here.

How often should they be cleaned?

How often you should clean your dog’s ears depends on a number of factors: what type of ears they have, where you usually go on your walks, and how often they swim.

For most dogs you should clean their ears at least once a month and after every swim. It’s also important to check their ears after prolonged walks or outdoor play time, especially prolonged play time in wooded areas. If you see any hint of debris, clean their ears out right away.

Dogs with floppy ears or a lot of fur in their ears should have their ears cleaned at least once every two weeks. You should also trim the excess fur around their ears regularly to avoid infection. Most vets are willing to show you how to do this yourself at home.

Ultimate Guide: How To Clean Dog EarsYou can go to the vet and get them to properly clean your dog’s ears but it is much simpler(and more affordable) to get the necessary supplies and learn how to do it yourself.If your dog has skin allergies or is prone to ear infections due to another issue you will want to clean their ears once a week.

When is an ear cleaner NOT suitable for my dog?

Using a natural dog ear cleaner should be a preventative measure, used as part of a regular cleaning routine. It is not a cure for any sort of mite, fungal or yeast infection that has already taken hold.

If your pet is displaying any of the following signs, you should consult a vet:

  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge.
  • Dog has swollen ear.
  • Odor in the ear.
  • Excessive and continued scratching.
  • Redness.
  • Swelling.
  • Crusts or scabs on inside of the outer ear.
  • Hair loss around the ear.

If your dog already has an ear infection, it can be cured with the correct antibiotic medication. Once the infection has cleared up, you can revert to using a natural dog ear cleaning solution which, if used regularly, will keep your dog's ears comfortable and healthy. 

Will a dog ear infection just go away?

No, left untreated an ear infection can be very dangerous.

Yeast, mite and fungal infections all need to be dealt with by a veterinary professional, usually with a course of antibiotics. Once any infection is cleared up, it is important to inspect and care for the ear on a regular basis.

Can I use a homemade dog ear cleaner instead of purchasing one?  

It is possible to create your own, but the best dog ear cleaners are carefully formulated by chemists to use just the right amount of surfactant (the compounds that remove the gunk from the ear) to safely do their intended job without causing any pain or irritation to your pet.

Whipping together your own DIY Ear Cleaner may be cheaper, but it may not be safe for your dog. If you do want to go down this route, contact your vet to see what they recommend, rather than relying on unverified information you find on the internet which could be at best ineffective, and at worst, very dangerous for your dog.

What do you need?

It is important to invest in a good quality ear cleaner, especially one with natural ingredients. 

You need three things to clean your dog’s ears properly at home:

  1. Ear Cleaner

Choosing the right ear cleaner for your dog is absolutely essential. Unfortunately there are dozens of ear cleaning products available and many contain harmful compounds. Knowing what to avoid is as important as knowing what to look for.

Avoid These Ingredients When Purchasing An Ear Cleaner.

  • Drying Agents - Drying agents such as alcohol, menthol and chlorothymol are commonly used to reduce moisture in your dog’s ears. This does reduce the chance of infection but can irritate your dog’s skin and cause other issues.
  • Synthetic Fragrances - “Fragrances” is a catch-all term for a large range of chemicals, many of which can be harmful to your dog. There is no requirement for companies to list the ingredients in fragrances, meaning there’s no way to know whether or not a fragrance will hurt your dog. 
  • Preservatives - Many companies use preservatives to keep their ear cleaners fresh but these preservatives can cause severe skin irritation, especially if your dog has pre-existing skin problems.
  • Artificial Colours - These aren’t particularly common but they can be particularly harmful if your dog has sensitive skin.

  • What you should be looking for?

    A good ear cleaner for your dog will be made with  naturally derived ingredients and will use purified water instead of regular water. Many ear cleaning solutions use essential oils taken from a variety of herbs, while our holistic Pro Pooch Ear Wash Solution For Dogs uses extracts from citrus fruits.

    The most important thing when choosing one of these ear cleaning solutions is that every single ingredient is specifically listed in the product description. If a company says they use a proprietary blend or use another tactic to avoid listing their exact ingredients, run the other way.

    1. Cotton Pads

    You will need cotton pads to clean your dog’s ears properly. Make sure they’re 100% cotton and kept in a sterile environment so you aren’t adding germs to your dog’s ears instead of cleaning them.

    1. Gloves

    Your hands are covered in an incredible amount of germs and the cleaning process can be a little bit gross, so a pair of plastic gloves are highly recommended. If you choose not to wear gloves you should make sure your hands are properly sanitised before you start cleaning your dog’s ears.

    Note: If your dog’s ears are severely inflamed, red or itchy you should take them to a vet instead of doing ear cleaning at home. They will likely prescribe a special medical ear cleaning solution, often with an anti-fungal component.

    8 Steps To Get The Job Done Correctly.

    If your dog’s ears are simply dirty/have a mild odour you can clean their ears at home by completing the following steps:

    1. Gather your ear cleaning supplies

    Everything you need to clean your dog’s ears should be within easy reach before you begin. This process can get messy so you’ll want to do it away from expensive furniture--and make sure you’re wearing something you don’t mind getting dirty. If you’re going to wear gloves you also want to put them on now.

    1. Get your dog to sit with you

    Call your dog over to the area where you plan to clean their ears and get them to sit. Give them a treat and show them the ear cleaning supplies you have.

    1. Trim excess fur around the ears

    If your dog has a lot of fur around their ears you want to trim the excess fur away BEFORE you use the ear cleaning solution, as this fur will get extremely wet during the cleaning process and may be more difficult to trim afterwards.

    1. Fill the ear with cleaning solution

    Lift the flap of your dog’s ear and hold it upright, then direct the ear cleaning solution tube downwards to fill the ear canal. Be gentle and talk your dog through the process in a soothing tone.

    1. Spread fluid through the ear canal

    Continue holding the ear upright with one hand and use your other hand to massage the base of the ear with small, circular motions. You’ll know you’re doing this correctly if you hear a squelching noise. This ensures that the ear cleaning solution reaches every part of the ear canal.

    1. Let go

    After massaging the ear for around 20 seconds, let go and stand back. Your dog will shake their head vigorously to clear the liquid out of their ears.

    1. Clean it out

    Wipe the folds around the entrance to the ear canal until the area appears clean and is mostly dry.

    1. Switch ears

    Switch to the other ear and start the process again.


    Note: If you have a big dog or you’re nervous about doing this yourself for the first time it’s a good idea to get a friend or family member the dog trusts to help.

    Extra Tips

    • If you get a puppy, get them used to regular ear cleanings right away - puppies may also need more frequent cleanings
    • Avoid using Q-Tips in your dog’s ears as they can push debris further into your dog’s ear canal
    • Make sure your dog’s ear canal is completely full of ear cleaning solution, even slightly overflowing, before you start massaging it
    • Remember to give your dog lots of praise when they sit through an ear cleaning session-it’s not fun for them!


    Learning how to clean your dog’s ears properly at home will help your dog stay healthy and happy, saving you a lot of stressful (and expensive) trips to the vet.

    See why over 100,000 dog owners in the UK trust Pro Pooch Dog Ear Cleaner by picking up a bottle today.