Ear Cleaning at Home

Cleaning your pets ears is often recommended by your veterinarian as maintenance in animals prone to ear debris build-up, as well as in animals that are undergoing treatment for an ear infection.  Pet owners can safely clean ears at home by following these instructions.

What you need:
  • Cotton balls
     
  • Pet ear cleanser (examples:  Epi-Otic, VET Cleanser)

What to do:
  1. Gather your supplies and a few treats.
     
  2. Soak a cotton ball with ear cleanser.  Hold this cotton ball over the opening of the ear canal, and squeeze the cotton ball so the cleanser drips into the canal.
     
  3. Massage the ear canal.  You will probably hear "squishy" noises.
     
  4. Use dry cotton balls to wipe out what you can reach.  You cannot reach far enough to do any harm with a cotton ball.  Do not use a Q-tip.
     
  5. Treats!
     
  6. Repeat on the other ear.

Tips:
  • The cleanser is designed to break up the debris and allow it to be cleaned out of the ear.  You will not have a complete clean the first time, but this will be accomplished over a few cleanings.
     
  • The cleanser is also designed to evaporate and leave the ear dry.  Do not use water, as this is likely to leave the ear damp and prone to infection.
     
  • If your pet is on treatment for an ear infection and the veterinarian has recommended ear cleaning, you should clean the ears approximately 1 hour before the ear medication is due.  This allows the ear to dry and does not wash out the medication too soon after it is given.