How to Clean Dog Ears & Cat Ears

Updated: July 07, 2022

"Cleaning your pets’ ears helps keep the ears healthy and prevents too much buildup of ear wax, yeast, or bacteria that may lead to infections."

How to clean dog ears and cat ears is essential in proper grooming. Just like us, our furbabies need their ears cleaned regularly, too. Cleaning your dog’s and cats ears helps keep the ears healthy and prevents too much buildup of ear wax, yeast, or bacteria that may eventually lead to infections. Keep reading to find out the safe and proper way how to clean dog ears and cat ears.

Things You’ll Need to Clean Your Dog’s or Cat’s Ears?

For a safe and positive ear cleaning experience for your dog or cat, here are some of the supply options for cleaning cat ears or dog ears.

Option 1:

  • Pet WiPees™​ Ear Wipes. These dog and cat ear wipes are free from parabens, sulfates, alcohols, and harsh chemicals. Plus, they contain only vet-approved, pet-safe scents. These double as the solution and wipe all in one and are safe for every day use.

Option 2:

  • Soft gauze or cotton balls. Avoid using cotton swabs when cleaning your furbaby’s ears as these will only push debris deeper into the ear canal, making it harder to reach, and may lead to infections or damage to your pet’s eardrums
  • A dog or cat ear cleaning solution. If you are using a solution, be sure to purchase one made specifically for dogs and cats. Note: you do not need to add a solution to Pet WiPees™, but you can add it to cotton balls or gauze.

Also Consider:

  • Gloves for your hands
  • Treats, toys, or Gnawtlers® as a distraction for your dog or cat to keep them still or as a reward for a good behavior

How to Clean Dogs Ears

Cleaning dog’s ears regularly is an important part of grooming, especially for floppy eared dogs. If you are anxious about cleaning your dog’s ears, remember that they are, too. Your dog’s ears are sensitive. So, it is important to be gentle and only use gentle products as well to avoid any irritation or discomfort. It is important that you keep your furbaby calm all throughout the ear cleaning session. To help keep them relaxed, consider cleaning their ears after exercising or snuffling. You may also provide them with Gnawtlers® to keep them distracted and entertained if they are not a fan of ear cleanings.

  • Prepare the things you will need ahead to keep you from moving around and distracting them once you get them ready. Choose a quiet room when cleaning your dog’s ears. This will help them feel calm and relaxed and will also help you remain focused on the job.
  • If your dog is attempting to run away, you can secure them in between your legs with gentle pressure. If they are trying to break free from your hold, allow them, give them time to feel relaxed, and then secure them again.
  • how to clean dog ears, cleaning dogs ears, how to clean dogs ears at home
    • Gently pull your pet’s ear flap up and turn it a little back toward the top of the head. This will help straighten their ear canal.
    • If you are filling your dog’s ear canal with the ear cleansing solution, see to it that you do not touch the tip of the nozzle to the ear canal to avoid contaminating the ear cleaning solution. After filling the ear canal with the solution, gently massage the base of the ear for a few minutes. This will help in dislodging ear wax and other debris stuck deep inside. Note: many dogs do not like the feeling and will try to shake the fluid out.
    • If you are using Pet WiPees™ Ear Wipes, cover your finger with the wipe and gently wipe the crevices of your dog’s ears. Start by cleaning from the outside and then gradually work your way inside the ears. Gently wipe any dirt, debris, or any wax buildup. Pet WiPees™​ Ear Wipes contain natural cerumenolytic agents that help soften ear wax for easy removal. Plus, D-Glucitol and D-Mannitol that help reduce bacterial populations that can lead to ear infections.
    • If you see signs of ear mites, dog ear infections, or have any concerns about your dog’s ears being cleaned, it is best to consult your vet.

    How to Clean Cat Ears

    Cats are known to be very good at grooming themselves. In fact, some cats don’t even need baths. But, they can not clean their ears, so it is your job as a pet parent to do so. For squeaky clean cat ears, here are some safety steps you can follow:

      • Cats can be very mischievous and moody. Choose a time when your cat is tired or ready for some loving. It will be frustrating if you try to clean your cat’s ears while they are in a playful or excited mood. To calm them, try to stroke them, scratch, or offer them anything that calms them down (might be their favorite toys or treats). Then, find a quiet area that is away from the hustle and bustle of your household and other pets. Find a sitting position that makes you feel comfortable and then hold your furbaby on your lap.
      • If you notice your cat still feeling anxious, try to wrap them with their towel or with Pet Parents® Pawtect® Blanket. These premium waterproof pet blankets will help your cat feel snug plus this protects you from getting scratched.
      • Just like with cleaning a dog’s ear, if you “flood” your cat’s ears with the ear cleaning solution, be sure to massage it for a few minutes.
      • If you are using Pet WiPees™ Ear Wipes, gently use the wipe to clean the entire ear working from the outside to the inside of the ear canal. These NatureTuff™ wipes are hypoallergenic and made from bamboo for a tear-resistant, textured wipe that removes ear wax, dirt, and other debris.
      • Remember not to go any deeper if you see any signs of discomfort in your cat. Consult your vet if you if you see anything that does not look or smell good.
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      When to Contact the Vet for Your Dog or Cat's Ears

      Knowing how to clean dog ears and cat ears at home is essential in keeping your furbaby clean and comfortable. Dog and cat ears should be cleaned regularly to help avoid ear infections, smelly ears, and other issues. But, if you cannot handle cleaning your pet’s ears, contact a professional groomer. If you notice your pet being uncomfortable and in pain during your ear cleaning session, reach out to your vet for them to be able to conduct an examination of your furbaby’s ears before proceeding with any ear cleaning procedure. Causes of concern include:

      • Crusty ears
      • Strong, foul odor coming from the ears
      • Excessively scratches ears
      • Swelling of the ears
      • Presence of mites, ticks, and fleas

      With patience and consistency, cleaning your cat’s ears and dog’s ears becomes an effortless part of their grooming sessions. Knowing what to use to clean dog’s ears is half the battle. Find the options that work best for your dog or cat and remember that in order to make the process as easy as possible, fewer steps in cleaning cat ears and dog ears is better. Put these steps on how to clean cat ears and how to clean dog ears into practice so your furbabies can continue living healthy lives.

      "Pet WiPees™​ Ear Wipes contain natural cerumenolytic agents that help soften ear wax for easy removal. Plus, D-Glucitol and D-Mannitol that help reduce bacterial populations that can lead to ear infections."