We had no idea that we were cleaning our dogs ears incorrectly until we noticed that both, Bruce Lee and Rocco Jet were constantly scratching at their ears, constantly shaking their heads and rubbing their faces on the carpet. We took both of our dogs to visit our Veterinarian and she took a quick look into both of their ears and noticed that they had clean outer ears, but dirty inner ears. We were using special cleaning wipes made specifically for cleaning dogs ears and wiping around the inside of their ears. We also would take a Q-tip and try to get the harder to reach areas further in their ears. When, we described our ear cleaning routine to our Veterinarian, she said we were doing it ALL WRONG. She took the time and showed us a diagram of the inner and outer ear and the correct way to clean their ears in the future.
Dogs ears have a very long inner ear canal that has a sharp bend that makes it prone to ear infections. When we were trying to remove hair and debris from the inner ear with the Q-tip we were actually pushing all of it into the sharp bend. There is no way to safely use a Q-tip on your dogs ears and we were told to completely stop this practice entirely.
The only safe way to clean your dogs ears is to purchase an ear wash made specifically for dogs ears, ask your Veterinarian for a recommendation. We purchased Pet Botanics Naturals All Natural Herbal Ear Wash. Add approximately 10 drops into the ear, the liquid will travel down into the inner ear canal and around the sharp bend to rest inside the very inner ear. Rub your dogs outer ear, massaging gently, this will swoosh around the ear wash inside the ear canal. This loosens the hair, wax and debris that is resting inside the canal. Then allow your dog to shake their head repeatedly. This forceful shake will remove the ear wash from inside the inner ear along with hopefully the hair and debris.
Then take a soft piece of tissue and gently wipe the outer ear, removing the debris that may have flown out of the ear canal. Do this to both of your dogs ears at least once a week.
Luckily, Bruce Lee and Rocco Jet just had dirty ears and no infections were present. Doing this cleaning process once a week will keep their ears clean, non itchy and smelling wonderful. If your dog is scratching its ears constantly, has smelly ears or if the inside of the ears are swollen and red, there may be an infection, make sure you get your dog to a Veterinarian right away for treatment. Ear infections can be extremely painful and uncomfortable and must be treated immediately.