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How to Clean Your Dog or Cat's Ears

Help Keep Your Pet's Ears Healthy with Regular Routine Cleaning

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How to Clean Your Dog or Cat's Ears

Keeping your dog or cat's ears clean and free of debris is important to maintain the health of the ears.
Photo courtesy of Mathew Simontov/Flickr.com

Regular routine cleaning of your dog or cat's ears is recommended as part of his grooming protocol. Regular cleaning will help keep your pet's ears healthy, clean and free of disease.

How to Clean Your Dog or Cat's Ears

There are numerous ear cleansing solutions that can be used to clean your dog or cat's ears. If in doubt, ask your veterinarian to recommend an appropriate cleanser for your pet.

Start the cleaning process by filling your pet's ear canal with the cleansing solution. Massage the outside of the ear canal gently to break up any debris within the canal. If you release your dog or cat's head at this point, he will likely shake his head and send cleansing solution and debris everywhere.

Use a cotton ball and your finger to swab the inside of your pet's ear to remove the excess cleansing solution and debris from your dog or cat's ear.

Repeat this process until your pet's ear is clean. Then proceed to the opposite ear.

Never use Q-Tips or similar types of products to clean your dog or cat's ears. These tools can rupture your pet's ear drum if used incorrectly.

Clean your pet's ears as often as necessary to keep them free of debris and wax. Some pets may need to have their ears cleaned as often as once or twice a week.

Examine Your Pet's Ears for Signs of Infection, Inflammation or Other Ear Disease While Cleaning

While you are cleaning your dog or cat's ears, take a moment to look closely at them. Healthy ears should have little to no discharge, should not reddened or inflamed, and should not have an unpleasant odor. These signs may an indication of infection or other disease and should be checked by your veterinarian if present.

Also check your pet's ears for lumps and bumps that are not part of the natural contours of the ears, for foreign bodies and other abnormalities.

Spotting the signs of ear disease early, before the disease has become severe, can make management of the disease much simpler and save your pet from needless pain and discomfort as well.

Learn more: Ear Infections in Dogs and Cats

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