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Home » Are You Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears Correctly?

Are You Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears Correctly?

My dog is often guilty of selective hearing (especially when it’s time to go potty on a rainy day); however, the weather didn’t explain why my dog’s ears always seemed to be clogged. Earwax build-up can impact a dog’s hearing, just as it can with our own. Worse, it can lead to problems for our pups, such as permanent deafness, ear infections, and balance issues. Summer also calls for extra caution, as those days playing in the water can lead to a higher chance of infection and irritation. Cleaning your dog’s ears is important, and it can be easily done at home!


At Springtime, we believe that the natural way is the best way. With full hearts (and clean ears), here is our recipe for cleaning a dog’s ears:

Vinegar & Water Ear Cleaning Recipe

♥ Apple Cider Vinegar or White Vinegar

♥ Water

♥ Cotton Balls

Gather the cotton balls, tweezers, vinegar, water, and a bowl. Mix vinegar and water, both at room temperature, at a 1:1 ratio in the bowl. Once your solution is ready, dip a cotton ball into it, then gently swab the outer edges of your dog’s inner ear.

Make sure you have a good supply of cotton balls on hand, so you can use a new one each time you swab. Use as many cotton balls or swabs that it takes until they are clear when you remove them from your dog’s ear. As long as you remain gentle and stay toward the outer edges of the ear canal, this process will not harm your pet.

An irritated ear, likely from an allergy.

If you come across a stubborn piece of debris, use the tweezers to carefully and gently remove it, so that it does not irritate your dog’s ear and cause further damage.

Dog ear infection symptoms

  • Head shaking
  • Unusual incidence of tilting head to one side
  • Constant scratching
  • Bad odor from ears
  • Discharge from ear
  • Redness or inflamed ears
  • Pain or discomfort to the touch

Why it’s important to keep dogs’ ears clean

Keeping your dog’s ears clean is an essential part of their grooming regimen, because there is a lot of debris that can work its way in, such as mites, dust, bacteria, grass bits, and more. Regular cleaning will lower their chance of illness and ear infection. Dogs with particularly hairy ears (Poodles, Shih Tzus, etc.) and dogs with floppy ears (Cocker Spaniels, hound breeds, etc.), are more prone to trap moisture, wax, and stubborn debris, and as a result are more prone to ear issues. Dogs who are frequent swimmers are candidates for a daily clean, as moisture is a main catalyst for ear infections. Some dogs have allergies or other conditions that make them more prone to ear issues. In these cases, natural supplements containing bee pollen and/or spirulina, can help support clean, healthy ears, in addition to regular cleaning. Longevity has definitely helped my pooch’s every day comfort, (although he still pretends to not hear me when I tell him there aren’t any dinner scraps left!)

Keeping your dog calm and happy during the groom will lead to easier future ear cleans. Extra belly rubs before and after, as well as a favorite treat, can help ensure that your dog associates ear cleaning as a positive procedure. Making it a doggie spa day? See our nail trimming article!

Here’s to a summer of happy dogs with happy hearing.

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