Angie Novatney, CVT ZimmVet

Cleaning your pet’s ears can be a challenging task but, there are a few ways to make it easier for you and your pet. First, there are supplies you’re going to need. You’ll need an ear cleaning solution designed specifically for animals, some cotton balls, and cotton swabs too. It helps to have someone assist in holding and distract your pet with some treats too! Peanut butter or canned spray cheese is a very helpful treat because this can distract your pet and is something they can lick at slowly. There are two ways to apply the ear cleaner, either pouring a small amount into the ear or applying to the cotton balls and wiping out the ears. If you pour the ear cleaner into the ear, you need to massage the base of the ear to move around the cleaner to loosen any debris within the ear. Wipe out gently with cotton balls to get the majority of the debris, then cotton swabs can be used within the crevices of the ear to get the smaller debris. Make sure not to go down too deep into the ear canal with cotton swabs as this can cause damage to the ear drum. It is good to allow your pet to shake their head during the cleaning to dislodge any debris farther down the ear to come out easier, then it can be wiped out. You can repeat this process of ear cleaner and wiping out a few times until all debris is gone from the ear. Make sure to clean ears after bathing, playing in the sprinkler or swimming, or even in the winter after playing in the snow. Ear cleaning can be done weekly to monthly depending on the amount of debris you see in the ears. If the ears are cleaned too frequently this can irritate the ears and problems.